Sponsored by American Panel Corporation
UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
02 Aug 18. British Army looking to take better cover. The UK Ministry of Defence has opened a competition to find a new in-field temporary fortification for small groups of dismounted soldiers. This will focus on protection from ballistic threats, directed energy, blast, and fragmentation caused by weapons such as small arms, grenades, mortars and artillery, and rocket-propelled grenades. Applications are expected to focus on novel materials, innovative structures, and novel ways to strengthen and support structures once deployed. The final solution will also need to consider observability in optical, ultra-violet, and radio-frequency spectra and innovative camouflage and concealment could form part of an overall solution. Funding of up to GBP600,000 (USD787,000) is available for the first phase and the competition is due to close in October 2018. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
08 Aug 18. German MoD submits procurement plans to parliament. The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) has submitted a list of procurement programmes for the second half of 2018 to be considered by the Bundestag, the German parliament, after the summer recess. The list contains 23 items covering a wide spectrum for parliament to decide this year, with 5 additional items to be delayed until 2019. Jane’s understands the delay is due to the length of time it took between the September 2017 federal elections and the formation of a coalition government in March 2018. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
06 Aug 18. Bulgaria overhauls Mi-17 and Mi-24 helicopters. On 30 July, the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence published a tender for the general overhaul of two Mi-17 transport and four Mi-24V combat helicopters of the Bulgarian Air Force (BuAF). The deadline for submission of bids is 3 September, with a framework agreement covering a period of 48 months to be signed with the successful bidder. The procurement is valued at BGN37.3m (USD22bn): BGN11.3m for the Mi-17s and BGN26m for the Mi-24Vs. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
06 Aug 18. Bulgaria details armoured vehicle procurement. The Bulgarian Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 25 July placed details online of the project to procure 150 armoured vehicles for the Bulgarian Land Forces (BuLF). The 17-page document was approved by Bulgaria’s Council of Ministers on 16 May. The BGN1.224bn (USD722m) BuLF modernisation project calls for BGN810m to be spent on the acquisition of at least 90 armoured combat vehicles, and BGN414mi on at least 60 special and support vehicles. In addition, BGN240m is planned for the acquisition of related equipment, documentation, personnel training, training and simulation equipment, an automated fire control system for a self-propelled mortar battery, and related communication and information systems. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Aug 18. With size and anti-sub capabilities in mind, Italy’s Navy rethinks ship designs. The Italian Navy is considering changing the design of some of its planned PPA multifunctional ships to make them smaller, and to possibly give them an anti-submarine capability, an Italian source has told Defense News. The seven vessels were ordered as part of a €5.4bn (U.S. $6.3bn) package to replace a range of aging vessels in the Navy’s fleet. Three are already under construction by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, with preparations to build the fourth underway. But planners may go back to the drawing board for the last three vessels, as mission priorities change, said the source, who has knowledge of the program’s developments. Plans for the vessels were first drawn up when the Navy was run by Adm. Giuseppe de Giorgi, who opted to bring a sizable amount of design work in house, where service planners decided to build the PPA vessels large, reasoning that they would cover more missions. Today, the vessels weigh in at about 6,000 tons. That is not as big as Italy’s 6,700-ton FREMM frigates, but far larger than the vessels they will replace, which displace about 2,000 tons and less. PPA vessels are also the same length as the FREMMs, measuring about 146 meters long and 16.5 meters wide, just 3 meters narrower than the FREMMs. That makes the PPAs too large to dock at certain ports in Sicily where they would be used in migrant-monitoring missions, the number of which have risen in recent years. Now, with a new Navy chief, Valter Girardelli, at the helm, plans are under consideration to turn the last three PPAs into 3,000-ton patrol ships. Planners are also reevaluating the need for an anti-submarine capability, noting that eight ASW ships are now being retired, while there are only four FREMM frigates with an ASW configuration. A second option is to turn the last three PPAs into 4,500-ton ASW ships. By making them smaller, four vessels would be purchased with the same funding as the three larger PPA vessels, the source said. (Source: Defense News)
07 Aug 18. JEDI cloud contract receives first protest. Oracle has filed the first protest of the Department of Defense’s $10bn Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract, less than two weeks after the agency issued its final request for proposals. Oracle’s protest, filed with the Government Accountability Office Aug. 6, comes as little surprise, as many private sector companies have criticized the DoD’s intent to award JEDI to a single provider, handing whichever company is awarded the contract a significant share of the defense cloud market. But Pentagon officials have been adamant that the contract is still designed for competition and will not automatically be awarded to one of the few cloud behemoths that can currently meet all capabilities, such as Amazon Web Services. Officials have also stated that a single award still remains the best method for achieving the DoD’s desired outcome. A GAO decision on the protest is due Nov. 14, nearly a month after the bidding deadline for the contract closes on Sept. 17. Washington Technology first reported the protest. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Federal Times)
08 Aug 18. USN sees greater possible savings with two-carrier deal. The US Navy (USN) could save about USD2.5bn if it were to fund the third and fourth Ford-class aircraft carriers under a single contract, according to USN Secretary Richard Spencer. That is about USD500m more than shipbuilding industry officials had estimated earlier this year. There is a potential for even greater savings, Spencer told media on 7 August. “I’ll take [USD]2.5bn now; that’s a preliminary number. We’re trying to get it higher,” he said. The USN released a two-carrier request for proposal (RFP) to carrier shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS) on 19 March to determine how much money the USN could save through such a deal. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
07 Aug 18. US Air Force releases timeline for light attack aircraft procurement. Key Points:
- The USAF expects a contract award for light attack aircraft by September 2019
- The service is laying the ground work for acquiring light attack aircraft
The US Air Force (USAF) announced on 6 August that it formally intends to solicit proposals from limited sources and award one contract for light attack aircraft production. The USAF anticipates a request for proposal (RFP) by December and a contract award by September 2019, according to a notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. The service suggested that Sierra Nevada Corp (SNC) and Textron Aviation were the only companies that appear to possess the capability of meeting the requirement within the USAF’s timeframe without causing a delay in meeting the needs of the warfighter. SNC and Textron Aviation were the two companies that participated in the short-lived Light Attack Experiment (LAE), previously known as OA-X. LAE started in early May, but ended in early July after a fatal crash on 22 June. Navy Lieutenant Christopher Short died when the Embraer/SNC A-29 Super Tucano he was piloting crashed while over the Red Rio Bombing Range. Textron Aviation’s AT-6 Wolverine also participated in the flying portion of the LAE. In addition to SNC and Textron Aviation, Aero Vodochody of the Czech Republic intends bid for the light attack procurement. The company said in mid-July at the Farnborough Airshow in the United Kingdom that it would offer its F/A-259 Striker aircraft. Aero Vodochody said it could not comment by the time of publication. Dan Grazier, military fellow at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), has suggested that the USAF is not serious about procuring light attack aircraft. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
07 Aug 18. USAF seeks Gulfstreams for liaison, C2, ISR. The US Air Force (USAF) is looking to procure Gulfstream business jets to serve in a variety of roles, including liaison, command-and-control (C2), and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). The Commercial Derivative Aircraft Division (CDAD) of the Air Force Life-Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) issued a request for information (RFI) on 6 August for between two and 40 G550 aircraft for modification to the USAF’s current C-37B liaison configuration. In addition, an undisclosed quantity of G550s may be acquired for ISR, as well as G650 and G280 aircraft for C2. No details were released pertaining to possible delivery timelines or contract values. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
06 Aug 18. USAF AMC chief proposed spiral development from Boeing in exchange for KC-46 acceptance. Key Points:
- A top USAF general floated decades of spiral development work to Boeing in exchange for accepting a flawed KC-46
- The comment shows how deeply concerned the service is with the aircraft’s problems
A key US Air Force (USAF) officer involved in the KC-46 Pegasus tanker programme told the service’s acquisition chief he would accept the flawed aircraft as-is, with certain problems unresolved, in exchange for 100 years of spiral development from prime contractor Boeing.
“Why not?” Air Mobility Command (AMC) Chief General Carlton Everhart told reporters on 2 August at a Defense Writers Group breakfast in Washington. “That way I can continually improve it and it will always stay at the top of its game.”
Gen Everhart said the USAF’s acquisition chief, William Roper, told him that he could not guarantee that request. The concept behind spiral, or iterative, development is improving a platform with rapid deployment of technology in periodic intervals, such as every six months or one year. Gen Everhart did not say if his offer was formally made to Boeing. The general said the KC-46 issues that concern him regarding October delivery are military type certification, supplemental type certification, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification, getting data from the USAF, and then crunching that data. Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space, and Security (BDS), said in May that Boeing’s contract with the USAF was to deliver tankers with the centreline drogue system (CDS) and FAA and military certifications. Gen Everhart said work on the CDS still needed to be finished and that the US Navy (USN) would not test on it until the system was fixed. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in April that the original development contract required Boeing to deliver 18 operational aircraft, 9 wing aerial refuelling pods (WARPs), and 2 spare engines by August 2017. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
06 Aug 18. The US Navy’s top acquisition priority stumbles out of the gate. The U.S. Navy’s $122.3bn Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine program is off to an inauspicious start after faulty welding was discovered in several missile tubes destined for both the Columbia and Virginia-class programs, as well as the United Kingdom’s follow-on SSBN program. In all, 12 missile tubes manufactured by BWXT, Inc., are being scrutinized for substandard welds. Seven of the 12 had been delivered to prime contractor General Dynamics Electric Boatand were in various stages of outfitting, and five were still under construction. The Navy and Electric Boat have launched an investigation, according to a statement from Naval Sea Systems Command spokesman Bill Couch.
“All BWXT welding requiring volumetric inspection has been halted until the investigation is complete,” Couch said.
The bad welds came to light after discrepancies were discovered with the equipment BWXT used to test the welds before shipping them to GDEB, according to a source familiar with the issue.
The discovery of a significant quality control issue at the very outset of fabrication of Columbia injects uncertainty in a program that already has little room for delays. The issue is made even more troubling because it arises from a vendor with an excellent reputation, and raises questions about whether the Navy can deliver Columbia on time, something the Navy says is vital to ensuring continuous nuclear deterrent patrols as the Ohio class reaches the end of its service life. The issue with the missile tubes, part of the common missile compartment to be installed in both Columbia and the UK’s Dreadnought submarine program, should not put the Columbia program behind schedule, Couch said. The impact on Royal Navy’s Dreadnought program is less clear, Couch said.
“Impacts to the delivery of missile tubes to the UK will be assessed upon completion of GDEB’s efforts to define and scope next steps,” Couch said.
BWXT is one of three vendors sub-contracted to deliver tubes for Columbia and Dreadnought and one of two on contract for Virginia class, Couch said. The quality control issue not only impacts the U.S. and U.K. ballistic missile submarine programs, but might also impact the schedule for the Navy’s next iteration of the Virginia class, Virginia Block V, which incorporates additional vertical-launch missile cells, known as the Virginia Payload Module.
“The Navy is assessing the potential impact to Virginia-class submarines with VPM,” Couch said.
Early indications are the issue is contained to just tubes fabricated by BWXT, Couch said.
“The Navy/GDEB team is working to bound the scope of the problem and engineering assessments are ongoing to assess and determine remediation for the identified issues,” Couch said. “Initial reports indicate that the other vendors do not have the same issue, and they continue to produce missile and payload tubes.”
The Navy awarded General Dynamics a $101m contract for SSBN missile tubes back in 2016. Design work for the common missile compartment goes back nearly a decade. In September, the Navy awarded a $5.1bn contract to General Dynamics Electric Boat to finish design work for the boat ahead of beginning construction in 2021. What impact the faulty welds will have on the cost of either Columbia class, already among the most expensive programs in Defense Department history, or Virginia class is unclear, said a Navy official familiar with the details speaking on background. A July Congressional Research Service report put the cost of acquiring the 12-ship Columbia class at $122.3bn.
“It’s not a good sign for a program that has had a lot of attention, it’s the Navy’s number one acquisition priority,” said Bryan Clark, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and a retired submarine officer. “It’s an early and pretty significant failure in a major component from a manufacturer with stellar reputation.”
In a statement, General Dynamics said the company was committed to limiting the impact on the U.S. and U.K. sub programs.
“General Dynamics Electric Boat is investigating a weld issue identified by one of its subcontractors on missile tubes delivered to GDEB for use in the U.S. COLUMBIA and UK DREADNOUGHT SSBN programs and payload tubes for the VIRGINIA Class SSN program,” the statement reads. “GDEB is working closely with the subcontractor and the Navy to mitigate any potential impacts to these programs. As our customers expect the best from us, safety and quality are central to the culture at General Dynamics Electric Boat.”
The Navy needs to start construction on Columbia in 2021 to have the boat out on patrol by 2031, a schedule NAVSEA still thinks it’s on track to meet.
“The Navy purposely planned for early construction of the Common Missile Compartment including missile tubes and first article quad pack, to mitigate risks such as these, and construction start for Columbia remains on schedule in FY2021,” Couch said.
Ultimately, however, it is probably too early to tell if there will be any significant impact to the Columbia schedule, said Clark, the CSBA analyst.
“The problem is that this causes challenges down the line,” he said. “The missile tubes get delayed, what are the cascading effects of other components down the line? It’s a pretty intricate dance at Electric Boat when it’s building two other fast attack boats at the same time so what the impact of a delay here will be might not be clear.” The question of whether the Navy can recover from the setback is still an open one, said Thomas Callender, also a retired submarine officer and analyst with the Heritage Foundation. “The Navy does not have a lot of margin in the time-frame for the class, especially in the first hull, so that is a worry.” (Source: Defense News)
06 Aug 18. The light attack aircraft competition will be down to two competitors. The Air Force is preparing to begin buying light attack aircraft next year — and the winner is going to be either Textron’s AT-6 Wolverine or the Sierra Nevada Corp.-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano. According to a pre-solicitation posted on FedBizOpps on Aug. 3, the service will put out a final request for proposals to the two competitors in December with the hopes of awarding a contract by the end of September 2019. However, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told Defense News on Monday that service leaders have not yet made a final decision on whether to green-light a program of record. Should that happen, the pre-solicitation will ensure that the service can move as quickly as it would like to eventually procure new planes, she said. If the new weapons program moves forward, it appears the service will limit the competition to the two aircraft currently involved in the service’s light attack experiment. The pre-solicitation states that SNC and Textron Aviation “are the only firms that appear to possess the capability necessary to meet the requirement within the Air Force’s time frame without causing an unacceptable delay in meeting the needs of the warfighter.” The Air Force’s decision to only consider the A-29 and AT-6 had been foreshadowed by officials like Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, its top uniformed acquisition officer, who repeatedly stated that the service would likely limit a competition to those two participants.
“The whole way we got to where we’re at, we put out an invitation to participate, and we only had two that met all of the criteria that we were looking for,” Bunch said in July. “We experimented with those, and they performed well enough that we did another phase, and those are the only two that we invited in [for phase two]. So at this point right now I’m seeing it as a competition between two airplanes.”
However, the determination pours cold water on several potential competitors who either didn’t make it to the second phase of the experiment — like the AT-802L Longsword built by L3 Technologies and Air Tractor — or foreign firms like Czech aerospace manufacturer Aero Vodochody or South Africa’s Paramount Group, which had hoped the U.S. Air Force would run a full and open competition. Air Force officials in favor of buying new light attack aircraft believe investing in low-cost, off-the-shelf planes will yield longterm cost savings, as those aircraft will be able to accomplish low-end missions at a lower cost per flight hour compared to the fourth and fifth-generation fighters currently operating in the Middle East.
“We must develop the capacity to combat violent extremism at lower cost,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said in a statement released Monday afternoon. “Today’s Air Force is smaller than the nation needs and the light attack aircraft offers an option to increase the Air Force capacity beyond what we now have in our inventory or budget.”
Service leaders are also hopeful that, if the U.S. Air Force signs on to buy light attack planes, other countries engaged in the counterterrorism fight may also join in on the buy, lowing the price per plane for all customers and making it easier for their militaries to cooperate during coalition missions.
“It is important to look at the light attack aircraft through the lens of allies and partners,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein in a statement. “An interoperable light attack aircraft that delivers common architecture and intelligence-sharing network capabilities will enhance our collective ability to compete, deter and win across all domains.”
The pre-solicitation release follows the conclusion of the final leg of experiments between the AT-6 and A-29. Both planes began a series of flight demonstrations at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., this May. However, after an A-29 crash resulted in the death of a naval aviator flying the plane, the Air Force cancelled the rest of the planned flights. A spokeswoman said then that about 90 percent of the flying portion of the experiment had been completed before the mishap. Since then, Textron and SNC have submitted additional maintenance data to the Air Force. Michael Rambo, Textron’s director of defense sales, said the company had delivered most of the required information as of July 14 and that it was standing by to hear whether it could provide any further support as the Air Force conducted additional tests of a network on which the light attack aircraft would run. “The airplanes that we had out there were very successful in demonstrating some of that network capability, so as the Air Force continues to refine it, we’re standing ready to assist them in that refinement,” he said. (Source: Defense News)
06 Aug 18. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) supported Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) in their Final Critical Design Review (FCDR) for the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) Program. Northrop Grumman serves as ESG’s C4ISR and control systems integrator for OPC, with responsibilities that include the integrated bridge, navigation, command and control, computing network, data distribution, machinery control, and propulsion control system design and production.
“Northrop Grumman has been a trusted member of the ESG team since the inception of the OPC program,” said Joey D’Isernia, president, ESG. “Their expertise in systems design and integration has contributed to ESG’s ongoing success in achieving the USCG’s requirements for the OPC platform.”
The OPC will be the Coast Guard’s newest class of cutters, with 25 ships planned for the class. It will provide the majority of offshore presence by the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet, assisting in missions ranging from combating transnational organized criminal networks off Central America to patrolling in the increasingly accessible Arctic.
“Northrop Grumman’s C4ISR and control systems architecture for OPC is innovative, affordable and open,” said Todd Leavitt, vice president, maritime systems, Northrop Grumman. “FCDR approval establishes a C4ISR/control systems design baseline that fulfills the newest generation of Coast Guard mission requirements, and is easily scalable for future platforms.”
FCDR was held on June 27-28, with OPC Production Readiness Review to follow later this year. Northrop Grumman will operate the OPC Test and Integration Facility for C4ISR, and the Land-Based Test Facility for control systems, at their facility in Charlottesville.
03 Aug 18. US Navy awards major contract to Huntington Ingalls for its newest class of amphibious vessels. The U.S. Navy awarded shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls a $165.5m contract to procure long lead-time materials for the LPD-17 Flight II, according to a contract dated Aug. 2 and released Friday. The amphibious transport dock, designated LPD-30, is the first of the 13-ship LPD-17 Flight II class that will replace the current dock landing ships. The program, which was until April known as LX(R), is expected to be built exclusively at HII’s yard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
“This is a significant milestone as we embark toward a new flight of LPDs,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said in a statement. “The Flight II LPDs will be highly capable ships meeting the requirements and needs of our Navy-Marine Corps team. We look forward to delivering this series of affordable LPDs to our nation’s fleet of amphibious ships.”
The Navy is anticipating awarding a detailed design and construction contract either late in 2018 or early 2019. The Navy’s cost goal for the program is $1.64bn for the first ship and $1.4bn for each subsequent ship, according to the Congressional Research Service. LPD-30 is going to come equipped with Raytheon’s Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar, an upgrade over the AN/SPS-48 currently on the LPD-17 class. Ingalls has also moved out on fabrication for the future Richard M. McCool, named for a World War II-era Medal of Honor recipient, meaning it has cut the first 100 tons of steel, which will be the last of the Flight I LPD-17, according to a July 30 announcement from Naval Sea Systems Command.
“We are excited to commence fabrication on the 13th and final ship of the LPD 17 Flight I class,” said Capt. Brian Metcalf, LPD 17 program manager, in a statement. “We continue to benefit from the maturity of this program, and look forward to achieving future production milestones as we work to deliver this versatile and capable warship to the fleet.” (Source: Defense News)
REST OF THE WORLD
08 Aug 18. Malaysia reduces aircraft types in air force transformation roadmap. Key Points:
- Malaysia will reduce the types of military aircraft it operates as part of a long-term transformation programme
- The move aims to sustain the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s warfighting capabilities despite current fiscal challenges
The types of aircraft to be operated by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will be reduced as part of a long-term transformation programme aimed at sustaining the service’s operational capabilities up to 2055. Details of the transformation programme, which has been referred to either as ‘Capability 55’ or ‘CAP55’ in official documents, were disclosed in an infographic released by the RMAF via its social media channel on 6 August.
“CAP55 will give us more flexibility in the management of assets, implementation of operations, and will give greater advantages to the country,” said the service in another presentation published earlier. The CAP55 programme will begin later in 2018 and run through to 2055.
The RMAF has a fleet of Sukhoi Su-30MKM, F/A-18D, and MiG-29N ‘Fulcrum-A’ fighter aircraft, although the MiGs are currently grounded. The service also operates the BAE Systems Hawk Mk 108/208 and the Aermacchi MB-339 in the light attack and lead-in trainer roles. As part of the transformation programme, these will be reduced to just two types of aircraft: the multirole combat aircraft (MRCA) and the light combat aircraft/fighter lead-in trainer (LCA/FLIT). The MRCA airframes will be distributed across two squadrons, while the LCA/FLIT airframes will be operated across three squadrons. The RMAF’s rotary-wing fleet, which currently comprises Airbus EC 725 and S-61A utility helicopters, will also be reduced to a single aircraft type that will be distributed across two squadrons. Meanwhile, the RMAF’s transport squadron will be reduced to two aircraft types: the strategic airlift/multirole tanker transport (MRTT) and the tactical airlift platforms. The strategic airlift/MRTT platform will be based within a single squadron, while the tactical airlift airframes will be distributed across two squadrons. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Jul 18. India’s special forces getting equipment upgrade. India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has finalised several contracts in recent months for weapons and other assorted equipment designed to enhance the capabilities of the country’s special forces. Official sources told Jane’s that miscellaneous equipment for the special forces of all three services has been sourced from original equipment manufacturers from Finland, Germany, Israel, Italy, Russia, and Sweden over the past 12-18 months. “The special forces equipment purchases were accorded high priority by the MoD, which bypassed the time-consuming tendering process associated with the Defence Procurement Procedure [DPP],” an industry official told Jane’s on condition of anonymity.
“Given that the number of weapons required by the special forces is comparatively small, this has made it easier for the MoD to fast-track these acquisitions,” he added. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
08 Aug 18. Chile to part-finance military procurements with copper profits. Chile has adjusted its laws to allow profits from the country’s copper mining industry to be used to buy military equipment. Chilean President Sebastián Piñera on 6 August allowed 10% of the profits of the Codelco company to be used for military purchases. Codelco is a state-owned corporation and is also the country’s main copper and mining company. The new amendment will allocate the money to the treasury but the percentage will diminish over the next eight years until it reaches zero. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
07 Aug 18. Textron discusses offset obligations with Indian MoD. Key Points:
- Textron is second US defence corporation to recently engage with the Indian MoD over offset issues
- Development highlights continuing difficulties that US firms face in meeting Indian offset requirements
US defence group Textron has said it is in discussion with the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) about meeting its defence offset obligations in the country. The company is the second major US firm to confirm in recent weeks its engagement with the MoD over offsets. Earlier, Lockheed Martin also said that it was talking to the MoD about the “structure and discharge” of required offsets tied to its contract to supply C-130J Hercules transport aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF). (Source: IHS Jane’s)
07 Aug 18. India lifts ban on dealings with IAI and Rafael. India’s federal government announced on 6 August that it has lifted the ban on activities involving two leading Israeli defence companies with which it had conducted only ‘restricted business dealings’ since 2006. Minister of State for Defence Suresh Bhamre told parliament that the decision to lift the ban on Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems had been taken in April during a meeting of senior Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials. The move followed a ‘closure report’ filed by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which had been looking into corruption allegations made against the two companies. “Accordingly, the case has been reviewed and the restriction [against IAI and Rafael] has been removed,” said Bhamre. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
07 Aug 18. Philippine, Russian navies consider submarine agreement. The Philippine Navy (PN) and Russian Navy are discussing the terms of an agreement to expand collaboration on diesel-electric submarines, state-run media in Manila has reported. The Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported on 6 August that the two navies recently discussed the draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) through which Russia would look to meet the PN’s requirement to procure the subsurface capability. Citing PN spokesman Commander Jonathan Zata, the PNA said the Philippines is looking at Russia as a “possible source” of submarines and that the pending MOU would enable Russia to provide the PN with submarine training to support military operations, maintenance, and sustainment activities. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
06 Aug 18. Cohort plc company SEA has addressed a new market after it showcased its capability at a UK Defence Services Industry Day on board the Royal Navy’s HMS Albion in Tokyo. SEA is already an established supplier in the Asian market with programmes for Torpedo Launcher Systems (TLS) for the Royal Thai Navy, Royal Malaysian Navy and Philippines Navy. However, a significant shipbuilding programme in Japan also highlights opportunities for SEA’s range of launcher systems, above and below the water communications, Echo sounders, Training and Simulation and its leading edge technology thin line KraitArray towed Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) sonar. SEA has an office in Kuala Lumpur and the industry day in Tokyo provided the company with opportunities to engage with senior naval staff, procurement specialists and with potential Japanese partners. SEA International Business Development Director Paul Parsons explained that the UK Government is putting considerable focus on trade post-Brexit and Japan has been identified as one of the key markets where there are significant opportunities for UK plc.
“There are major naval shipbuilding programmes underway and, although Japan has an established indigenous capability, we believe that our technology can enhance that and fill some existing gaps. This was an excellent opportunity for us to accelerate our knowledge and understanding of the market, whilst promoting our pedigree on the back of a UK RN ship,” he said.
Escalating political tensions across Asia have led to growth in naval shipbuilding and submarine programmes throughout the region and Parsons believes, in particular, the increase in demand for ASW capability lends itself to SEA’s KraitArray sonar becoming a valuable asset for ASV, AUV and smaller surface vessels.
“The developing shipbuilding programme offers potential for Japan to become an important future market for our proven technology and the industry day was a valuable fact finding and customer engagement opportunity,” he added.
06 Aug 18. Russia plans to buy at least 14 Il-78M-90A tankers. The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to buy at least 14 Ilyushin Il-78M-90A aerial tankers until the end of 2027, Deputy Defence Minister Alexey Krivoruchko said during a visit to the Aviastar-SP aviation plant, a subsidiary of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), on 1 August, adding that this number “may be increased”. “We are considering signing a long-term state contract for the delivery,” he said, pending “the positive results of the aircraft’s trials, which are scheduled for this year”. A Russian aerospace industry source told Jane’s that the MoD’s requirement for the Il-78M-90A is estimated to be over 30 aircraft. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Aug 18. Boeing begins building F-15QAs for Qatar. Boeing has begun production of the first of 36 F-15QA (Qatar Advanced) Eagle combat aircraft that were signed for in December 2017. The Qatari Ministry of Defence (MoD) disclosed the launch of production in a Tweet posted on 3 August that showed senior government ministers touring the line in St Louis, Missouri, and signing the first aircraft parts. Neither the MoD nor Boeing has said when deliveries will begin, but it has been disclosed that they will run through to the end of 2022. The Advanced Eagle is the latest variant of the Boeing-made fighter that has also been ordered by Saudi Arabia as the F-15SA. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
01 Aug 18. Lockheed Martin engages Indian MoD over C-130J offsets. Key Points:
- Lockheed Martin says it is co-operating with the Indian MoD to complete offset obligations within the performance period
- The negotiations, which come amid reports of failed offset targets, highlight continuing offset challenges in India
Lockheed Martin told Jane’s on 1 August that it is co-operating with the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) to discharge defence offset obligations linked to its sales of C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The comments follow media reports in India that the MoD has cashed in part of a bank guarantee from Lockheed Martin in relation to a fine linked to an alleged breach of offset obligations tied to the C-130J programme. As per Indian defence offset rules if Lockheed Martin and the MoD do not reach an agreement on the offset proposal the US company could face stiffer penalties.
A Lockheed Martin spokesperson confirmed that the offset package under discussion was linked to the US government’s sale of a second batch of six C-130Js announced in 2013, which was costed at USD1.1bn. The IAF acquired an initial batch of six aircraft in 2007 for USD962m, although Lockheed Martin’s offset obligations linked to this programme have already been met. Sales of both batches of C-130Js were conducted under the US Foreign Military Sales route.
“Lockheed Martin has been diligently discharging its offset obligations in India since 2009,” said the spokesperson. “This has delivered extensive economic benefits through investment, skills training, transfer of technology and exports. Our successful joint ventures in India have been a key part of helping India achieve its goal of developing an aerospace and defence supplier ecosystem and participating in the global supply chain.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
American Panel Corporation
American Panel Corporation (APC) since 1998, specializes in display products installed in defence land systems, as well as military and commercial aerospace platforms, having delivered well over 100,000 displays worldwide. Military aviators worldwide operate their aircraft and perform their missions using APC displays, including F-22, F-18, F-16, F-15, Euro-fighter Typhoon, Mirage 2000, C-130, C-17, P-3, S-3, U-2, AH-64 Apache Helicopter, V-22 tilt-rotor, as well as numerous other military and commercial aviation aircraft including Boeing 717 – 787 aircraft and several Airbus aircraft. APC panels are found in nearly every tactical aircraft in the US and around the world.
APC manufactures the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Large Area Display (LAD) display (20 inch by 8 inch) with dual pixel fields, power and video interfaces to provide complete display redundancy. At DSEI 2017 we are exhibiting the LAD with a more advanced design, dual display on single substrate with redundant characteristics and a bespoke purpose 8 inch by 6 inch armoured vehicle display.
In order to fully meet the demanding environmental and optical requirements without sacrificing critical tradeoffs in performance, APC designs, develops and manufactures these highly specialized displays in multiple sizes and configurations, controlling all AMLCD optical panel, mechanical and electrical design aspects. APC provides both ITAR and non-ITAR displays across the globe to OEM Prime and tiered vetronics and avionics integrators.