12 Dec 18. Finnish Defence Forces to purchase Bittium Tough tactical radios. The Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command has received authorisation to enter a purchase agreement for handheld and vehicle Bittium Tough software-defined radios (SDR) and related accessories. The agreement follows after Finland Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö gave consent to conclude a contract with Bittium Corporation. In August 2017, the Finnish Defence Forces signed a letter of intent with Bittium Wireless for the field radios. Valued at approximately €13m, the procurement contract will be signed with Bittium Wireless and will also include battery chargers, user training and an environment for application development. It will include an option for the procurement of additional tactical radios and associated equipment, training and system management. The total value of the purchase would amount to €257m if the optional additional purchase is exercised. With the new SDR products, the Finnish Defence Forces will renew its existing stock of field radios with modern broadband data transfer radios to support the reformed combat doctrine, according to Bittium. These tactical radios are compatible with the Bittium tactical wireless IP network (TAC WIN) SDR-based system that is already in service with the Finnish Defence Forces. Delivery under the contract will be completed by the end of 2020. In the first phase, the new radios will be first deployed with the Finnish Army. Replacement of analogical field radios with the land forces will be carried out in a phased manner. The radios will be supplied for use by the Finnish Air Force and Finnish Navy in the later stages. (Source: army-technology.com)
11 Dec 18. Poland orders 20,000 pistols and upgrades Grot rifle. Poland ordered 20,000 semi-automatic Vis 100 pistols in 9 × 19mm NATO calibre for its armed forces on 4 December. The Polish territorial army, the Wojska Obrony Terytorialnej (WOT), is procuring the new handgun in 2019–22 through the JWN (Nil) special forces support unit with a contract signed with Fabryka Broni Łucznik-Radom (FBLR). The new pistol will replace P-64s and P-83s and become the service handgun for the land forces, navy, air force, and WOT. The WOT has also ordered the first phase of the upgrade of the Grot C16 FB-M1 (MSBS-5,56) 5.56mm modular assault rifle to the M2 version to be introduced in 2019. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
13 Dec 18. Rheinmetall to supply the German Bundeswehr with Elefant 2 semi-trailer tractors – contract worth up to €122m. The Bundeswehr has contracted with Rheinmetall to supply it with heavyweight semi-trailer tractors. The first of these unprotected Elefant 2 heavy-duty transporters is slated for delivery in 2019, with a further 31 vehicles to follow in 2020. In all, the order for the first 32 vehicles is worth around €28.5 m, including value added tax. The framework contract runs for seven years and includes an option for the supply of a further 105 Elefant 2 vehicles. This means a total order value of €122 m (including VAT) for 137 vehicles. Following the Bundeswehr’s award in July 2017 of a major contract to Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles for unprotected transport vehicles (“Ungeschützte Transportfahrzeuge”, or UTF), the latest order is another major sales success for the company in Germany. The Elefant 2 semi-trailer tractor is powered by an eight-cylinder, 680 HP diesel engine. This gives the high-mobility truck a maximum speed of 89 km/h and lets it handle gradients of 60 percent. The technically permissible gross train weight is 139 tons. The Elefant 2 features the same driver’s cab as the UTF family of vehicles. If necessary, the cab can be exchanged for a protected version. Its equipment includes a Rotzler double winch, each with pulling strength of 20 tons. With the Elefant 2 on the way, the Bundeswehr’s family of heavyweight transport vehicles continues to grow. The unprotected Elefant 2 complements the protected Mammut heavy-duty transporter, likewise supplied by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles. Particularly in light of Germany’s obligation in 2023 to furnish NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF 2023), being able to transport heavy combat vehicles will be a key capability.
12 Dec 18. Indra, Atlas Elektronik selected to provide ESM capability for German K130 corvette. Indra has teamed with Atlas Elektronik to provide electronic systems for the German navy’s Braunschweig-class K130 corvettes. Indra has been contracted by the navy to provide the second series of the corvette with five of its latest generation Rigel radar electronic support measures/radar electronic countermeasures systems, alongside German partner Atlas. Indra has previously integrated this type of system into the first series of K130 corvettes that are in service with the German navy, so is supplying a system that is customer-proven, it said. The Rigel system provides the vessel with the ability to monitor the electromagnetic spectrum and detect active radar emissions, and thereby counter multiple active threats simultaneously by using disturbance and deception techniques. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
10 Dec 18. Cyprus orders second Saar 62 OPV. The Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Cyprus has ordered a second Saar 62 offshore patrol vessel (OPV) from Israel Shipyards, Haifa, for delivery in early 2020, according to local press reports on 5 December, which a source also confirmed to Jane’s. In Cypriot service, the Saar 62 has a gross displacement of 500 tonnes and a 30-strong crew and carries two rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RIBs) for inspections. Its armament includes two stabilised, remotely operated turrets with one 23mm gun each; a Simbad mount with two Mistral very short-range air-defence system missiles; and two 12.7mm machine guns. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
11 Dec 18. Rohde & Schwarz has signed a procurement and maintenance contract with the Defense Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO) of the Danish Ministry of Defense for the implementation of NATO BRASS EO. The Danish Navy is the first user to implement the new NATO target architecture BRASS Enhancement One Target Architecture (BRE1TA) for HF communications within the fleet. In addition to procurement and installation of the system solution for twelve ships and three shore stations, the contract includes 15 years of maintenance, service and support. BRE1TA offers simplified routing, resulting in faster transmission of military information between coastal stations and seagoing units in accordance with STANAG 4406; and IP services can be provided over shortwave links in accordance with STANAG 5066. Backward compatibility with NATO BRASS Initial Core Capability (ICC) and NATO legacy systems ensures interoperability with other branches of the armed forces and NATO units.
10 Dec 18. Thales to deliver STIR-radars for French Navy frigates. Thales has been awarded a contract by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) to provide new gun and missile fire control radar for frigates. Under the contract, the company will deliver seven Thales STIR-radars for installation on French Navy frigates. From the total radars, five will be deployed on the future intermediate-size frigates (FTI), with the remaining two installed on FREDA-frigates. The all-weather STIR-radar features advanced stealth target tracking capability. It has been designed to ensure accuracy and reliability even when operating in high clutter environments and multipath conditions. (Source: naval-technology.com)
13 Dec 18. Bundeswehr orders H145 search and rescue helicopters. The Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINWBw) has ordered seven H145 helicopters to replace the German Armed Forces’ (Bundeswehr) obsolete Bell UH-1D search and rescue fleet. The aircraft will be delivered in 2020 and will be stationed at the sites in Niederstetten, Holzdorf and Nörvenich. Airbus Helicopters will also be responsible for logistics support, repair, and maintenance of the helicopters. According to an agreement with the Federal Ministry of Transport, the Bundeswehr is also responsible for search and rescue operations in the event of aircraft accidents on German territory. It therefore maintains a fleet of search and rescue helicopters on permanent standby; and these helicopters are also available for use in national disaster management operations. The Bell UH-1D model currently in use by the Bundeswehr first entered into service in the early 1970s. Among other features, the H145 LUH SAR (Light Utility Helicopter Search and Rescue) helicopters are equipped with high-performance cameras, searchlights, emergency beacon locator systems, a full suite of medical equipment, rescue winches and load hooks that can be used for fire-extinguishing tanks for example. The H145M, the military version of the H145, is a tried-and-tested light twin-engine helicopter that was first delivered to the Bundeswehr in 2015 and has since also been ordered by Serbia, Hungary, Thailand and Luxembourg. Mission readiness of the H145Ms already in service is above 95%. At its site in Laupheim, the Bundeswehr operates 15 H145Ms as light support helicopters for special forces. The helicopter pilots of all branches of the armed forces train on the H135, the H145’s ‘little sister’. Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite. It includes a high-performance 4-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class.
13 Dec 18. France orders three more Airbus A330 MRTT tankers. Airbus Defence and Space has received a firm order from the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) for a further three A330 MRTT Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft. The aircraft, known as Phénix in French service, constitute the third and final tranche of the multi-year contract for 12 A330 MRTTs signed by the French Ministry of Defence in 2014. The first of the fleet was formally handed over in October and the remainder will be delivered by the end of 2023 under an accelerated timescale requested by France. In French service the A330 MRTT will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines and equipped with a combination of the Airbus Refuelling Boom System and underwing hose-and-drogue refuelling pods. The aircraft can be configured in a variety of layouts carrying up to 272 passengers as well as medevac arrangements including the French MORPHEE intensive care module carrying up to ten patients as well as 88 passengers. The combat-proven A330 MRTT has been ordered by 12 nations which have now placed firm orders for 60 aircraft, of which 34 have been delivered.
12 Dec 18. Germany has extended the successful operation of the Heron 1 drones by Airbus DS Airborne Solutions GmbH, a company of Airbus, until mid of 2020. These contracts have been signed with the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support on December 12th, 2018. This renewed contract marks the continuation of one of the most successful cooperation’s between the Bundeswehr and Airbus Defence and Space. The contract comprises the provision of all assets and manpower to support the Israeli Heron 1 systems operations in the two countries of deployment. Heron 1, manufactured by the Israeli manufacturer IAI (Israeli Aerospace Industries), is a medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial system (UAS) which can stay airborne above the respective operational area for very long periods and can be operated from unpaved runways under harsh environmental conditions. The Heron 1 has a wingspan of about seventeen meters and a maximum mission duration of more than twenty-four hours. The detection of IEDs from the air, convoy and patrol unit escort, route exploration and supervision, creation of movement profiles and long-term supervision, support for status reports as well as object and camp protection rank among the military tasks. In addition the system is also used for security and humanitarian support operations.
10 Dec 18. Poland orders Flyeye mini UAS. WB Group has signed a $3m contract with Poland’s Ministry of National Defence for the supply of four sets of its Flyeye mini UAS with training package. The contract includes options for the delivery of ten additional sets. Each Flyeye set is comprised of four UAS, ground control station and backpacks/cases. The UAS can be hand-launched with no additional equipment and can be operated in constrained spaces and confined areas. With modular design, the UAS can be quickly assembled and dissembled. Its standard observation head carries two cameras: visible light and IR. The aircraft has a maximum payload of 4kg with a maximum speed of 120km/h, endurance of two-and-half-hours and 30km LOS range. Flyeye can be used for ISTAR in the battlefield, sensitive areas, national borders, natural disasters or large public events, and can be integrated with light precision armament and an acoustic vector sensor to detect source of fire. Delivery of the systems to Poland is due by the end of 2018. (Source: Shephard)
13 Dec 18. DARPA selects Aerojet Rocketdyne for OpFires propulsion system. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a contract to Aerojet Rocketdyne to design a propulsion system for its Operational Fires (OpFires) programme. The OpFires programme has been designed with an aim to develop a ground-launched system, which would allow for hypersonic boost-glide weapons to penetrate modern enemy air defences, as well as easily and quickly engaging critical time-sensitive targets. Under the $13.4m contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne will focus on the development of design propulsion concepts and technologies for a new ground-launched tactical weapon system. Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president Eileen Drake said: “We are very pleased to have been selected by DARPA to develop propulsion technologies to support the OpFires programme. The 12-month, $4.6m first phase of the effort is focused on the design and development of an advanced solid rocket motor. The contract comes with an option for Phase II and is valued at $8.8m over 12 months if exercised. Phase II of the OpFires programme will see Aerojet Rocketdyne build and test at least two representative booster test articles. OpFires also includes a Phase III, which will focus on the integration of different weapon systems and will conclude with the performance of integrated end-to-end flight tests slated for 2022. Last month, companies Aerojet Rocketdyne, Exquadrum, and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) were selected to develop and demonstrate a ground-launched system to improve precision engagement of time-sensitive targets. (Source: army-technology.com)
10 Dec 18. Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Illinois, has been awarded a maximum $118,172,545 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for commercial portable power equipment. Other contracts are expected to be awarded under this solicitation (SPE8EC-17-R-0010), and awardees will compete for a portion of the maximum dollar value. This was a competitive acquisition with seven offers received. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. Locations of performance are Indiana, Texas and the United Kingdom, with a Dec. 9, 2023, performance completion date. Using customers are Army Navy Air Force Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE8EC-19-D-0034).
10 Dec 18. Kromek, a worldwide supplier of detection technology focusing on the medical, security and civil nuclear markets, has been awarded its first contract for biological-threat detection by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”), an agency of the US Department of Defense. The contract, which is worth $1.99m over a twelve-month period and commences immediately, is to develop a proof-of-concept device for a vehicle-mounted biological-threat identifier. This project expands the application of Kromek’s technology to include biological-threat detection and builds on the success of the Company’s work with DARPA in nuclear-threat detection using the D3S product family. Following the initial twelve-month period, the contract could potentially be extended to a multi-year contract for the development of a fully deployable system. The project aims to develop a next-generation vehicle-mounted system capable of rapidly identifying the pathogens used in any biological attack, enabling a quicker response and reduced harm to people and the environment. The new system will reduce the detection and pathogen identification time significantly compared to current systems. The completed system aims to extend the existing SIGMA network for biological threats as part of DARPA’s new SIGMA+ initiative.
07 Dec 18. General Dynamics Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut, is awarded a $346,500,311 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-16-C-2111 for fiscal 2019 lead yard support and development studies and design efforts for Virginia class submarines. This lead yard support will maintain, update, and support the Virginia class design and related drawings and data for each Virginia class Submarine, including technology insertion, throughout its construction and post shakedown availability period. The contractor will also provide all engineering and related lead yard support necessary for direct maintenance and support of Virginia class ship specifications. In addition, this contract modification provides development studies and design efforts related to the Virginia class submarine design and design improvements, preliminary and detail component and system design, integration of system engineering, design engineering, test engineering, logistics engineering, and production engineering. The contractor will continue development studies and design efforts related to components and systems to accomplish research and development tasks and prototypes and engineering development models required to fully evaluate new technologies to be inserted in succeeding Virginia class submarines. Work will be performed in Groton, Connecticut (91 percent), Newport News, Virginia (8 percent); and at other various sites throughout the U.S. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed by September 2019. Fiscal 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy); and fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of $129,889,865 will be obligated at time of award and no funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.
REST OF THE WORLD
13 Dec 18. Russian Navy to acquire 12 new Lada-class submarines. The Russian Navy plans to procure 12 more Project 677 Lada-class diesel-electric submarines (SSKs). “We will continue to build the Project 636.3 Varshavyanka-class [Improved Kilo-class] SSKs and at least 12 of the newest Lada-class submarines,” the navy’s commander-in-chief, Admiral Vladimir Korolyov, told Russian media on 3 December. According to the admiral, Russia’s naval shipbuilding industry is building two more Project 677 SSKs, Kronstadt and Velikiye Luki. “The Kronstadt submarine was launched in late September. Both SSKs will be delivered to the navy in 2021,” he said. An Admiralty Shipyards source told Jane’s that the contracts for the fourth and fifth submarines would be signed in 2019. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
14 Dec 18. BAE Systems Australia’s new subsidiary ASC Shipbuilding has been awarded a contract by the Australian Government that provides the framework for the design and build of nine Hunter Class frigates for the Royal Australian Navy. The Australian Government and ASC Shipbuilding signed the contract after ASC Shipbuilding structurally separated from ASC Pty Ltd and was acquired today by BAE Systems. Work has already begun to mobilise the Hunter Class Frigate Program, and the Head Contract signed today incorporates detailed scope for the design and engineering work necessary to allow prototyping to commence in 2020, and to ensure steel is cut on the first ship in Adelaide in 2022. The scopes for the build of the ships are to be agreed and added to the Head Contract in due course. The Hunter program provides a strong foundation for a continuous naval shipbuilding endeavour in Australia, creating and sustaining more than 5,000 jobs across BAE Systems and the wider Australian defence supply chain over the life of the program. In addition to 1,000 apprentices and graduate roles that will be created throughout the program’s life, job opportunities will include engineers and project managers, specialists in steel work, mechanical, electrical and technical trades and many other professions.
10 Dec 18. DSME awarded contract to build ASR-II submarine rescue ship. South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) has been awarded a contract for the construction of a new auxiliary submarine rescue ship (ASR-II) for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN), the company announced on 7 December. The 5,200-tonne vessel is expected to be delivered to the service by the end of 2022 as part of a deal signed with the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) worth KRW444bn (USD397m), according to the Yonhap News Agency. The ASR-II, which is expected to feature a helicopter deck and reach speeds of up to 20kt, will have a ‘centre well’ (moon pool) through which a deep-sea rescue vessel (DSRV) will be deployed to rescue the crews of distressed submarines at depths of up to 500m amid waves as tall as 4m. The ‘centre well’ will also allow for broader submarine support operations in addition to underwater exploration, according to DAPA. Moreover, the vessel will embark a remotely operated vehicle that will be capable of operating at depths of up to 1,000m. The RoKN currently operates a multipurpose submarine rescue ship – the 103 m long, 4,300-tonne RoKS Cheonghaejin – which was commissioned in November 1996 and can operate in waves of 2m or smaller. The ship relies on an A-frame to launch and recover the DSRVs. The service also operates a 107m, 3,500-tonne, helicopter-capable multipurpose salvage ship named RoKS Tongyeong, which is designed to meet the submarine rescue role. Both ships were built by DSME. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
13 Dec 18. Advanced antenna sets for Halifax frigates. The Canadian Department of National Defence has awarded a $21.7m contract to Saab Microwave Canada for the supply of a modern electronically-stabilised antenna set for the Sea Giraffe 180 radar installed on Halifax-class frigates. The contract also includes an option to acquire 12 more antenna sets, which could bring the total contract value to $97.5m. The first frigate to receive the antenna will be HMCS St John’s, in early 2021. The installation will coincide with its planned maintenance period schedule. Sea Giraffe is medium-range air and surface search radar. The upgrades to the antenna set will enhance its performance, increase its reach to up to 180km, and provide new 3D detection and tracking capability. (Source: Shephard)