30 Jul 14. Ecuador, Embraer in Offset Negotiations. Ecuador’s government is negotiating an offset agreement with Brazil’s Embraer for the sale of 18 Super Tucano aircraft for the Ecuadorian Air Force. The offset agreement with Embraer is aimed at improving Ecuador’s local capacity in the areas of aircraft maintenance and possibly the development of a spare-parts manufacturing capability. “We have begun talks with Embraer with regard to technology transfer, in accordance with the contractual commitments already established,” the Deputy Minister of National Defense of Ecuador, Carlos Larrea, was quoted by Defesanet. The contract was agreed upon in May 2008 and was valued at USD270m. Brazil could also help Ecuador with meeting some of its technological development targets. It is understood that Ecuador has prioritised the development of weather satellites and systems for unmanned aerial vehicles. It is reportedly negotiating partnerships with INPE (National Institute of Space) Researches and ITA (Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica), among other institutions and Brazilian companies.(Source: MPI – Hawk Information)
20 Jul 14. Japanese Huey replacement moves forward; RfIs issued. News from the Farnborough Airshow 2014, which was held in the UK, suggest that the Japanese competition to replace UH-1 Hueys is beginning to get interest from the industry. So far we know that Airbus Helicopters has teamed up with Kawasaki Heavy Industries, while Bell Helicopters has partnered with Fuji Heavy Industries. AgustaWestland is also expected to compete for the tender by collaborating with Mitsui and Fuji Heavy Industries, with the exact details pending. The government has issued a formal RfI to these suppliers. Kawasaki and Airbus are reportedly intending to put forward a new design. However, last month Japanese media reported that Japan plans on buying 150 medium multi-role utility helicopters to replace their existing UH-1 Huey. The programme is estimated to be worth around USD2bn and there is potential for future export orders as Japan is trying to build its industrial base. The new UH-X helicopters are required for use in various different operations with a capacity to carry up to 12 passengers and 6000 kg of cargo. It will augment existing CH-47 operated by the Self-Defence Forces of Japan. A previous attempt to procure these helicopters was cancelled in March 2013 after two army officers were found guilty of illegally helping Kawasaki Heavy Industries to win the contract to locally develop the helicopter. (Source: MPI – Hawk Information)
22 Jul 14. Japan to start construction of Aegis destroyer in FY2015. Japanese media reported that Tokyo is progressing with its plans to add two more Aegis-equipped destroyers to its fleet by 2020. Japan News reported that the construction of the first ship will begin in FY2015 with the second ship to follow in FY2016. Reports added that it takes about five years to complete work on a single Aegis Destroyer at an estimated cost of JPY150 bn. (Source: MPI – Hawk Information)
25 Jul 14. RfP for new South African Navy hydrographic vessel issued. Armscor has issued a Request for Proposals (RfP) on behalf of the South African Navy for a new hydrographic survey ship and related equipment.
A notice on the Armscor website defines the requirement as “supply of a hydrographic capability product system for the SA Navy”. The new vessel will replace the 43-year-old SAS Protea (pennant number A324) and the RfP is in line with statements made to DefenceWeb earlier this year by Navy chief, Vice Admiral Mosuwa Hlongwane, shortly after he took over command of the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) maritime arm of service. “A replacement for Protea is opportune as we expect the new Hydrographic Bill to be enacted in the next Parliamentary session,” Hlongwane said, adding the new acquisition would play “a pivotal role” in South Africa’s international hydrographic responsibilities in the future. He said progress