27 Jul 16. Canada’s Massive Surface-Combatant Program to Get Underway This Summer. The Canadian government will ask for bids as early as next month for the largest shipbuilding program in the country’s history, with the field of contenders for a new fleet of surface combatants expected to be dominated by European firms. The project to build the Canadian Surface Combatant will see the selection of an existing warship design and combat system to reduce risk and speed up construction. Procurement minister Judy Foote said the decision to base the warships on an existing vessel will allow the delivery of the ships two years earlier than could be expected with a new design. The first of the warships, which will form the backbone of the future Royal Canadian Navy fleet, are expected around 2024. Construction is to begin sometime after 2020. (Source: glstrade.com/Defense News)
28 Jul 16. Indian Navy to acquire four more P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft for $1bn. The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has reportedly awarded a $1bn contract to Boeing to deliver four additional P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft for the Indian Navy.
The latest order is considered as a contract option to an initial $2.1bn contract awarded by India in 2009 to acquire eight P-81 planes from Boeing.
Sources familiar with the matter were cited by USNI News as saying that the contract option ‘would add the four aircraft as a direct commercial sale’.
Without confirming the exercise of the option, Boeing spokeswoman Caroline Hutcheson was quoted by the news agency as saying: “The Indian Navy has been clear about their intent to exercise these options.
“We will defer to the MoD for any formal announcement.”
The new aircraft will replace eight Russian Tupelov Tu-142M Bear anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft bought by the Indian Navy in 1988.
The Indian Navy’s version of the US navy’s P-8A Poseidon jet, which is based on Boeing’s next-generation 737 commercial aircraft, features Indian-built sub-systems.
The 39.47m-long P-81 is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, which can be engaged in broad-area, maritime and littoral operations.
Powered by two CFM56-7 engines supplied by CFM International, the aircraft can operate at a speed of 450mph and has a range of 4,500nm.
In May 2013, the Indian navy took delivery of its first P-81 aircraft.
27 Jul 16. India To Upgrade Sukhoi Fleet With Russia’s Help. India has stepped up negotiations with Russia to upgrade its 194 Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole aircraft with the near fifth-generation level at a cost of more than $8bn. The upgraded version would be renamed Super Sukhoi.
“A Russian team was in New Delhi earlier this month to discuss [the] upgrade plan with India, which will be finalized in the next four to six months,” said a senior Ministry of Defence (MoD) official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) wants to upgrade the existing and eventually the entire fleet of 272 Su-30MKI to the near fifth-generation level to increase its combat worthiness, an IAF official said.
While the IAF official said the [Su-30MKI] upgrade won’t affect the proposed Indo-Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) — worth $25 bn — analysts say the diversion of funds for the Super Sukhoi could delay the FGFA.
India and Russia inked a Preliminary Development Agreement in 2011 to jointly build the FGFA. However, a final agreement, which will clear the payment of around $6 bn as India’s share in the development of the FGFA, has yet to be inked because the two sides have not been able to resolve issues relating to work share in production, the order from IAF and the incorporation of FGFA by IAF.
“Upgrade of the Su-30 will certainly slow the FGFA acquisition primarily due to financial limitations,” retired IAF Air Marshal Muthumanikam Matheswaran said. “But upgraded Su-30 is not the same