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29 Nov 18. Bulgaria relaunches tender for two modular patrol boats. The Bulgarian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has relaunched a tender for the acquisition of two multifunctional modular patrol boats for the Bulgarian Navy. The tender was originally launched in 2016 but the shipbuilding project has been in limbo since December 2017 when sole bidder and contract winner MTG Dolphin decided to withdraw its proposal. According to an MoD statement, requests for proposals (RFPs) for the new tender were sent to Damen (Netherlands), Fincantieri (Italy), Lürssen (Germany), MTG Dolphin (Bulgaria), Naval Group (France), Navantia (Spain), and ThyssenKrupp (Germany) during November. The deadline for prospective bids is 15 February 2019. The best offer will be selected by 5 April 2019, with an agreement to be signed by 31 May at the latest. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
27 Nov 18. Bundeswehr to progress Sea Lynx replacement ‘in near future’ – industry official. The German Ministry of Defence is expected to continue with its effort to replace the navy’s ageing Westland Mk 88A Sea Lynx anti-submarine warfare/anti-surface warfare (ASW/ASuW) helicopters, an industry official told Jane’s on 27 November.
Speaking at the Berlin Security Conference, Dan Bedoya from Sikorsky said that a competitive acquisition document for between 24 and 30 new ASW helicopters is expected to be released by the Bundeswehr “in the near future”.
“An AWE [Auswahlentscheidung: selection decision document] is due in the first quarter of 2019,” he noted.
The German Navy has 21 Sea Lynx helicopters that it is looking to begin replacing from about 2023. Sikorsky’s parent company, Lockheed Martin, is pitching the MH-60R Seahawk, while Airbus is proposing the Sea Lion variant of the NHIndustries NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) and Leonardo the AgustaWestland AW159 Lynx Wildcat.
Bedoya’s comments come weeks after Lockheed Martin announced it was teaming with Rheinmetall in its bid, with the two companies signing a letter of intent (LOI) in early October. While the details of the Lockheed Martin/Rheinmetall bid have not been disclosed, the MH-60R is equipped with the Thales/Raytheon AQS-22 Airborne Low-Frequency Sonar (ALFS) and previous Foreign Military Sales of the type have included torpedoes, 12.7 mm GAU-21 (M3M) and 7.62mm M240 (FN MAG) machine guns, AGM-114 Hellfire laser-guided missiles, and 70mm rockets that have been upgraded with BAE’s Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System laser guidance kit. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
27 Nov 18. New Submarines: Binding Offer Received. Norway and Germany will together negotiate a contract to procure six identical submarines. The commercial process towards the supplier has been ongoing since the summer of 2017, and the binding offer from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems was received on 30th of October 2018. The procurement agencies, Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) in Norway and Bundesamt für Ausrüstnung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) in Germany, received the binding offer from the main supplier on the 30th of October 2018, and has begun a thorough joint evaluation of the offer.
“We will now go through the offer from the shipyard before the negotiations begin,” says Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen.
Norway and Germany will conduct joint negotiations towards the shipyard with the aim of reaching an agreement and signing a contract in 2019. Both nations expect the negotiations to be challenging. Germany and Norway will procure identical submarines in the same timeframe. This will give synergies and savings throughout the lifetime of the submarines for both nations.
In addition to the submarine cooperation, the nations have established a Navy-to-Navy cooperation, Research and Development cooperation and a Missile cooperation. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Norwegian Ministry of Defence)
26 Nov 18. IBM adds to its JEDI cloud contract protest. Though the Government Accountability Office may have cleared one obstacle to the Department of Defense’s potentially $10bn Joint Enterprise Defense Initiative by dismissing an Oracle protest of the contract, another protester is ramping up its arguments against the JEDI contract. IBM, which first filed a protest of JEDI Oct. 10, filed additional materials with GAO Nov. 19 in support of its claim that the DoD has turned its back on the wishes of Congress and the administration, as well as industry best practice in cloud acquisition. Members of the private sector have long been critical that the DoD’s decision to award the contract for its sweeping tactical cloud to a single contractor unfairly narrows the playing field to a handful of companies, while ensuring that the agency passes by advantages presented by smaller cloud contractors. Lawmakers have already called for an investigation into the JEDI contract, saying that it appeared tailored to one specific vendor.
GAO denied Oracle, the first contractor to protest JEDI, but has until Feb. 27, 2019, to issue a decision on IBM’s protest. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/www.federaltimes.com)
22 Nov 18. US Department of Homeland Security seeks market information on C-UAS providers. The Department of Homeland Security, Science & Technology Directorate acting through Sandia National Laboratories is soliciting information from potential manufacturers on their CUAS technologies. This RFI seeks to identify candidate COTS CUAS technologies and systems for evaluation in calendar year 2019 to aid in acquisition and deployment decisions. The RFI consists of a questionnaire designed to help DHS collect technical product information on CUAS systems that will allow sorting and filtering for a number of potential applications.
Given the significant rise in sales and capabilities, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have quickly become a security concern due to the ease with which they can aid in intelligence gathering and/or be used as a malicious delivery platform. Federal agencies responsible for protecting facilities, personnel, and critical infrastructure have an immediate need for counter systems to these UAS.
Congress recently passed legislation granting DHS and component agencies limited authority to mitigate UAS threats at ‘covered’ facilities. The S&T Directorate of DHS is requesting information on commercial CUAS technologies to inform an understanding of the current technical capabilities, features, and costs of commercial-off-the-shelf technologies This information will be used by DHS S&T and its subcomponents to identify candidate technologies for a range of applications. For this reason, information on all CUAS technologies and systems is being accepted only through a standardized questionnaire.
DHS needs to collect technical information on commercially available CUAS products and systems and then evaluate a subset of those systems against manufacturer specifications and claims. DHS is requesting information to identify candidate CUAS technologies and systems for evaluation in calendar year 2019, to aid in acquisition and deployment decisions. (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
20 Nov 18. DARPA looks to ‘less-explored’ blockchain uses. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to get a better handle on what it calls the “distributed consensus protocols” behind blockchain to see how they can improve security, storage and computing in the Defense Department. In a Nov. 19 request for information, DARPA said it wants feedback on three “less-explored avenues” of the technology that might inform a future program:
Incentivizing participation without money. Whereas Bitcoin miners are paid for their work verifying the accuracy of transactions, DARPA is interested in ways to analyze participants’ contributions and fairly reward them with something of value besides currency.
Economics-driven security models. The research agency wants insight into approaches that support the idea that participants — such as Bitcoin miners — work to make money (an economic notion), rather than for the either honest or malicious reasons that computer science literature traditionally subscribes to participants.
Centralized aspects. Although consensus protocols operate as large-scale distributed systems, there may be some centralized aspects — such as codebases, network topologies or pool of developers — that could influence the security of the entire system.
Responses are due Dec. 20. DARPA intends to hold a workshop in mid-February 2019 based upon responses to this solicitation. (Source: Defense Systems)
REST OF THE WORLD
28 Nov 18. Taiwan Plans Purchase of 66 F-16V Fighter Jets: Report. Taiwan’s military has abandoned its plan to buy a number of F-35 fighter jets from the U.S., and will instead continue to consider a potential purchase of 66 F-16V fighter jets, reports suggest. United Daily News (UDN) reported rumors suggesting that the fleet of F-5 fighter jets at Zhi-Hang Air Base in Taitung County will be retired and replaced by 66 F-16V jets to strengthen the region’s defense against Chinese warships and other threats. The Taiwan military began investigating the potential F16-V purchase in August, and the Ministry of National Defense hopes to request a prospective quote from the U.S. by the end of the year, reports suggest. The U.S. is open to the possibility of licensing to Taiwan the intellectual property and production line expertise relative to F-16V production, posing an opportunity for Taiwanese industry development and employment, reports suggest. Air Force Command Headquarters told UDN that any potential weapon procurement is judged against enemy capability and operational needs. The Taiwan Government is expected to request a quote for the 66 proposed F-16V fighters, with the U.S. expected to confirm price and availability in the middle of 2019. This would then lead to payments taking place through the Ministry of National Defence’s budget for 2020. According to international prices, the sale of 66 F-16V fighters would amount to around US$10bn (NT$308.98bn). The price would be greater if Taiwan was to manufacturer the jet in Taiwan, reported UDN. In January 2017, the Taiwan Air Force began to upgrade its existing fleet of 145 F-16A/B fighters at a total cost of NT$110bn (US$3.46bn). The first of these upgraded fighters took to the skies in Oct. 2018, with the project expected to be completed before 2022. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Taiwan News)
28 Nov 18. Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing Sign Multi-Billion Dollar Agreement. In a sign that the Israel Air Force has decided to purchase the new F15IA fighter jet and KC-46 refueling tankers to bolster its long-range capabilities, Israel Aerospace Industries has signed a multi-billion dollar agreement with Boeing. According to a statement by IAI, the two signed a “strategic agreement” in which Boeing is expected to provide work packages to the leading Israeli aerospace company which would potentially amount to billions of shekels “relating to potential future Boeing sales of defense products to Israel, including new tanker aircraft.” With a need to keep ahead of regional changes and increased threats in the Middle East, the IAF is expected to soon place orders on several new aircraft to upgrade its aging squadrons and is currently evaluating several Boeing platforms, including the KC-46 refueling tankers, F-15IA fighter jets, Chinook transport helicopters, along with V-22 tiltrotor aircraft. Israel is involved in a decade-long “war between wars,” and its air force has always striven to achieve air superiority and freedom of activity over its regional foes. While the IAF is said to be also considering buying used Boeing 767 commercial aircraft and converting them for airborne refueling of combat planes, Boeing is offering the new KC-46 tanker, which is also based on the commercial 767. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Jerusalem Post)
28 Nov 18. Bell pitches Viper attack helo to replace Japan’s Cobra copters. American company Bell is promoting its AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter at the Japan International Aerospace Exhibition in Tokyo as its entrant for Japan’s attack helicopter replacement program.
The East Asian U.S. ally is seeking a new helicopter to replace the approximately 70 Bell AH-1S Cobra helos currently in use by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. The country had released a request for information in May seeking a new helicopter.
Speaking to Defense News at the show, retired Lt. Gen. George Trautman, a former U.S. Marine aviator and commander of all Marine Corps aviation who now works as an adviser for Bell, said the company responded to the RFI through the U.S. government with 50 AH-1Z helicopters.
John Woodbury, Bell’s director of global military business development in the Asia-Pacific region, added that the RFI called for an attack helicopter with “marinization and shipboard compatibility,” with Trautman asserting that the AH-1Z can “operate onboard ships far better than the competition.”
The representatives from Bell said there’s more to marinization than additional corrosion protection from saltwater. They said this also includes foldable rotor blades and other measures that reduce the stowage footprint onboard the limited space on ships, as well as a design that minimizes electromagnetic interference.
The requirement for the new attack helicopter to operate from ships suggests Japan plans to use them on Izumo-class helicopter destroyers or the smaller Hyuga-class of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, which are equipped with a long flight deck to operate multiple helicopters.
Japan will likely require at least a degree of technology transfer and local production for the new helicopters. Bell’s relationship with Japan reaches across 65 years, including the company’s partnership with Fuji Heavy Industries (now Subaru) for production of Japan’s AH-1S helicopters. (Source: Defense News)
29 Nov 18. Hunter Class frigates to boost national economy and jobs. The $35bn SEA 5000 program is expected to deliver thousands of jobs and an unprecedented economic boost around the country, a report released by prime contractor BAE Systems Australia has revealed.
BAE Systems Australia’s report shows that at its peak in 2028, the Hunter Class frigate program will contribute more than 6,300 jobs and just under $1bn in gross domestic product (GDP) to the national economy.
This significant contribution is in addition to the important and ongoing impact of BAE Systems’ activities in Australia, which, the report shows, contributed $1.2bn in 2017 through its work to support the Australian Defence Force at more than 25 major sites across the nation.
BAE Systems Australia chief executive Gabby Costigan said, “BAE Systems has for several decades played a critical role in ensuring the security and prosperity of Australia. We are pleased to release this report today demonstrating that BAE Systems’ involvement in the Hunter Class frigate program alone will more than double the company’s already significant contribution to the national economy.”
The report, titled The economic impact of BAE Systems in Australia and produced by BIS Oxford Economics, shows that every job directly created on the Hunter Class program will have a multiplier effect of 2.7 in 2028.
Modelling estimates the Hunter Class program will contribute $17bn to the national economy and over 6,300 full-time jobs will be generated across Australia at the program’s peak in 2028.
The program’s demand for a highly skilled workforce will also boost advanced technology skills and know-how in South Australia and nationwide.
“Australia’s defence industry plays an indispensable role in supporting the Commonwealth government as it adapts to our changing security environment and grows the capability needed to better protect the nation. As regional defence priorities have changed, we have supported the development of a stronger and more capable sovereign defence industry,” Costigan explained.
The economic modelling shows that the program will also have wide-ranging effects on Australia’s GDP. The report estimates that BAE Systems’ involvement with the Hunter Class program will contribute a total of $17bn to national GDP over the project lifetime (2018-19 to 2047-48).
Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said, “As well as the direct contributions to our national economy, the Hunter Class program will enhance technical knowledge in Australia’s naval shipbuilding enterprise.”
Of this, some $7.1bn will be contributed by BAE Systems direct activities, while the procurement chain will contribute an additional $4.4bn.
The report highlighted the impact of BAE Systems on the Australian economy, including a number of key points, including:
- BAE Systems made a total contribution to Australian GDP worth almost $1.2bn in 2017. The largest portion of this came from the company’s direct activity, worth $600m.
- BAE Systems’ activities support a large supply chain in Australia, producing a significant amount of economic activity in a range of sectors. This activity amounted to an $230m indirect contribution to GDP in 2017. It was driven by the company’s purchases of goods and services from Australian suppliers, which amounted to $330m in 2017.
- BAE Systems’ activities in Australia in 2017 were responsible for supporting a total of 7,190 FTE jobs. Of this, 3,200 were supported internally across BAE Systems’ 30 locations in Australia.
“We are proud to work with companies throughout our supply chain on some of the most complex engineering programs in the world and together we create highly skilled jobs, new technologies and play our part in driving increased productivity in Australia,” she added.
The report states over 500 Australian businesses have been pre-qualified to be part of the Hunter Class supply chain. The Australian steel industry will benefit in particular with about 48,000 tonnes of steel required.
“Australia’s shipbuilding sovereignty is being guaranteed through the Hunter Class program, with ASC Shipbuilding constructing the frigates,” Minister Pyne said.
The $35bn SEA 5000 Hunter Class frigate program will see Australia’s eight Anzac Class frigates replaced with nine Hunter Class vessels, to be built by BAE Systems at Osborne Shipyard in South Australia from 2020, the project is expected to create 4,000 jobs. In October, BAE Systems Australia announced that it had signed an advanced work arrangement (AWA) with the Australian government for the Hunter Class frigate program. The AWA allows BAE Systems to continue to mobilise the program, including maturing design and engineering plans, establishing a skilled workforce and setting up the required infrastructure necessary to commence prototyping in 2020. (Source: Defence Connect)
28 Nov 18. Will the Thai Air Force get more Gripen jets? The Royal Thai Air Force’s Wing 7, home to all of the country’s Saab Gripen aircraft, wants more jets. The question is whether the country’s defense budget will allow for it, one official said Tuesday.
“As operators, we know that this is a very good aircraft, and we would love to have more,” said Group Capt. Prachya Tippayarat, deputy commander of the RTAF’s Wing 7. “But it’s just that I don’t know when. The Air Force will have to think about that.”
The RTAF currently operates 11 Gripen C/D fighter jets, bought from the Swedish government and manufactured by Saab. The Air Force lost one Gripen in a 2017 crash that destroyed the jet and killed the pilot.
With 11 jets left, it is more difficult to accomplish both training and maintenance, Tippayarat said.
“So of course we are looking for the replacement for the 12th one. It’s just a matter of when. As the operator, we cannot tell when we are going to have that aircraft,” he said, adding that the service might have other budget priorities.
Thailand’s 11 Gripen aircraft are operated from Surat Thani Air Force Base, located about 328 miles south of Bangkok. Defense News visited the base Nov. 27-28 and accepted airfare and accommodations from Saab.
Surat Thani plays a key role in defending southern Thailand. Although the nation also operates Northrop Grumman F-5s and Lockheed Martin F-16s, Wing 7’s Gripens are the Royal Thai Air Force’s premier fighters, used primarily for air-to-air and air-to-ground combat, and for secondary missions such as reconnaissance, Tippayarat said.
The Thai government is also considering an upgrade of the RTAF Gripens’ software suite, he added. The jets are currently configured to the MS19 standard, but the potential upgrade to MS20 would bring the jets into the most advanced configuration for the Gripen C/D.
The MS20 software adds capabilities that make the Gripen a more formidable jet for air-to-ground attacks, including an electro-optical pod that allows the jet to drop laser-guided weapons, the addition of Boeing’s Small Diameter Bomb and MBDA’s Meteor missile, and new radar modes.
One MS20 enhancement that the RTAF won’t need is the addition of Link 16 capability, the data link used by NATO and its partner nations. The RTAF Gripens run on the Thai military’s indigenous network, Link T. If Link 16 functionality is needed, the service can use its F-16s, but operating Link T on the Gripen allows Thailand to protect its homegrown capabilities and information, Tippayarat said.
Saab delivered the first Gripens to Thailand in 2011. Other Gripen C/D users include Sweden, Hungary, the Czech Republic and South Africa.
(Source: Defense News)
28 Nov 18. Frigate Design Decision Faces Another Delay After Latest Challenge. The federal government’s plan to award a group of companies led by Lockheed Martin Canada the contract to design and support the construction of the navy’s new frigates was dealt another setback late Tuesday by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, CBC News has learned. The agency said it intends to investigate a complaint by one of the other bidders, Alion Science and Technology Corp., and its subsidiary Alion Canada. The tribunal ordered the Liberal government to suspend negotiations with Lockheed Martin, which was selected last month by Public Services and Procurement Canada as the preferred bidder on the $60bn program.
“You are hereby ordered to postpone the award of any contract in connection with the above-mentioned procurement until the Canadian International Trade Tribunal determines the validity of the complaint,” said a copy of the letter that was obtained late Tuesday by CBC News.
Alion asked the CITT last week to investigate the procurement deal, saying the preferred warship design will need substantial changes and that it doesn’t meet the navy’s requirements as spelled out in the government tender. Last week, the company asked the Federal Court in a separate filing for a judicial review of the long-awaited decision. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/CBC News)
28 Nov 18. South Korea to Acquire Israeli Early Warning Radar Systems and Boeing Maritime Patrol Aircraft. South Korea is acquiring two Israeli Green Pine Block C early warning radar systems capable of detecting ballistic missiles in the ascent stage. The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced the decision to purchase the two additional Green Pine Block C early warning ballistic missile radar systems at the 116th meeting of the Defense Project Promotion Committee presided over by Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo on Nov. 27 at the Ministry of National Defense complex. Produced by Israel’s ELTA, the radar systems have a 300km greater detection range than the Green Pine Block B currently possessed by the South Korean military.
“The radar model was selected through competitive bidding with the Dutch company Thales,” a DAPA official explained, adding that there were “plans to sign a contract within the year.” A budget of 330bn won (US$292m) is to be spent on the acquisition. A final decision was also made at the meeting on the purchase of six Poseidon (P-8A) maritime patrol aircraft produced by US company Boeing for submarine tracking.
“They were judged to be suitable for combat in testing, and negotiations have been completed with the US government on the price and technical conditions,” A DAPA official said.
“We plan to sign a purchasing contract within the year,” the official added.
DAPA reportedly plans to acquire the Poseidon aircraft at a cost of around 210bn won (US$186m) each under a foreign military sales format, for which the US government provides quality assurance for a period of time when selling weapons to an ally. Equipped with AN/APY-10 radar, the Poseidon aircraft can travel at maximum speeds of 907km/h with a cruising range of 7,500km and operational radius of around 2,200km, and can be armed with Harpoon missiles and torpedoes. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/ Hani Kyoreh)
27 Nov 18. US clears Apache sales for Egypt, missiles for Qatar. The U.S. State Department Tuesday announced it has cleared the potential sale of ten AH-64E Apache helicopters for Egypt, with an estimated price tag of $1bn. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency also announced it had cleared $201m in tank ammunition for Egypt and a package of Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) for Qatar, with an estimated price tag of $215m. The combined $1.416bn in sales are not guaranteed; as with all DSCA announcements, the sales must pass through the Senate, at which point negotiations can begin. Total quantities and dollar totals often change from the original DSCA announcement and final sale.
The obvious headliner of Tuesday’s announcements is the $1 bn estimate for the Apache buy. In addition to the ten helicopters, the package includes 24 1700-GE-701D Engines, night vision sensors, 135 Hellfire Missiles, M230 30mm Automatic Guns, and other equipment. Boeing, Lockheed, General Electric and Raytheon are the major contractors.
“Egypt intends to expand its existing fleet of multi-mission heavy attack helicopters to address U.S.-Egyptian interest in countering terrorist activities emanating from the Sinai Peninsula that undermine regional stability,” the DSCA wrote in its announcement. “This sale will contribute to Egypt’s military goal to update its capability while further enhancing greater interoperability between Egypt, the U.S., and other allies.”
Egypt has attempted to upgrade its helicopter fleet for some time, but lost ground in 2013 when the Obama administration froze military aid following a military coup. That aid, including weapon deliveries, resumed in late 2014.
Also announced Tuesday was the potential sale of 46,000 M831A1 and M865 rounds and 10,000 APFSDS-T rounds, used by Egypt’s fleet of tanks, for an estimated cost of $201m. In September, Egypt was cleared for $99 m worth of similar ammunition. Work will be primarily done by General Dynamics.
“Egypt will use the 120MM IM HE-T cartridges to maintain a strategic munitions inventory for its M1A1 tank fleet and in support of operations against militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the Sinai,” the DSCA announcement states. “They will use the target practice rounds to train M1A1 crews in proper crew procedures in a training environment using munitions that cost a fraction of tactical rounds and have nearly zero explosive or penetrating capability.”
Qatar, meanwhile, was cleared to buy $215m worth of air-to-air weapons, with Raytheon the prime contractor.
That package includes 40 AIM 120C-7 AMRAAM missiles, one spare each of the AIM 120C-7 AMRAAM guidance section and AIM-120C-7 control section, eight AMRAAM Captive Air Training Missile (CATM-120C), as well as associated software, cryptology and communication security and navigation equipment. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
27 Nov 18. RTAF seeks to upgrade Gripen combat aircraft to MS20 configuration. Key Points:
- The RTAF is looking to upgrade its Saab Gripens
- The plan, however, does not yet appear to be a fully funded programme
The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) is looking to upgrade its fleet of 11 Saab JAS 39 Gripen C/D multirole combat aircraft to the MS20 configuration.
“We are planning to upgrade the Gripens to the MS20 standard. We have seen the capabilities of the current standard and it would do everything we need,” Group Captain Prachya Tippayarat, the deputy commander of the RTAF’s Wing 7 at Surat Thani Air Base, told Jane’s on 27 November. However, no details were provided as to when the upgrade would take place. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
27 Nov 18. Russian Helicopters touts platforms to Thai military. Russian Helicopters has promoted its Ansat lightweight multirole platform and the Mi-171A2, an enhanced version of its Mil Mi-17 multirole medium helicopter, to the Thai military, aiming to secure additional sales in the Southeast Asian country.
The two helicopter types were showcased at an event held at the Royal Thai Navy’s (RTN’s) U-Tapao Air Base in Chonburi on 26 November. The event was part of Russian Helicopter’s ‘South Asian Heli Tour’ in which it is promoting the two platform types to civilian and military customers across Southeast Asia.
The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has procured five Mil Mi-17V5 multimission helicopters since 2011 – the Thai military’s first acquisition of Russian rotary-wing platforms – while in 2017 the Thailand’s Ministry of Interior ordered two Russian Ka-32A11BC utility helicopters for disaster relief operations.
In a press release announcing the promotional event, Andrey Boginskiy, the director general of Russian Helicopters, said the company is “striving to reinforce business relations with commercial and state customers in Thailand”. He added, “The potential operators show interest in Ansat and Mi-17 rotorcraft in various modifications, thus we believe that showcasing our helicopters here is perfectly timed.”
In 2016 the RTA disclosed a requirement to procure additional Mi-17V5 helicopters to replace its ageing fleet of Boeing CH-47D Chinook heavy-lift platforms. The requirement is understood to be at least 12 units, although these are expected to be ordered over several batches. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
27 Nov 18. Japan may buy additional 100 F35 fighters – Nikkei. The Japanese government is considering buying up to an additional 100 F35 fighter jets from the United States for more than 1trn yen (6.9bn pounds), the Nikkei reported on Tuesday. Japan already plans to buy 42 of the stealth fighters, the Nikkei said without citing sources. (Source: Reuters)
26 Nov 18. Innovation partnership to boost defence research in SA.
South Australian researchers have secured nearly $659,000 in funding from the Defence Innovation Partnership (DIP) to collaborate on the development of cutting-edge defence research projects.
Five research projects aimed at enhancing the next-generation Australian Defence Force across key priority areas are being funded through the second round of the Collaborative Research Fund program.
SA Premier Steven Marshall said that this funding provides the opportunity to develop groundbreaking defence capabilities and cement South Australia’s position as the defence state.
“These projects will see researchers from South Australia’s world-class universities collaborate with defence industry leaders from around the globe to solve some of Defence’s complex technological challenges,” the Premier explained.
The five projects funded as part of the Defence Innovation Partnership grant are:
- $150,000 for human-machine interfaces for detecting, monitoring and managing psychological stress, led by the University of Adelaide with partners the University of South Australia, Flinders University, ElectroAutoMedics and Defence Science and Technology (DST).
- $94,700 for identifying combat and combat-related stigma through the language of a deployed Australian military population, led by the University of South Australia with partners the University of Adelaide, DST, and the Road Home.
- $150,000 for AI enabling Australia’s Future Submarine, led by Acacia Systems with partners the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, DST and Lockheed Martin.
- $150,000 for Miniaturised Orbital Electronic Warfare Sensor System (MOESS) – Phase 1, led by DEWC Systems with partners DST, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia.
- $150,000 for engineering, design and lab-based testing of Vehicle Health Usage Monitoring System (VHUMS) for defence vehicles, led by Dynamic Engineering Solution with partners DST, the University of Adelaide, University of South Australia and Flinders University.
“We are extremely pleased by the robust collaborations we have seen through the Collaborative Research Fund program. As part of our charter, the Defence Innovation Partnership will work with all applicants to find pathways to continue their research and development,” chair of the Defence Innovation Partnership advisory board Kim Scott said.
The Defence Innovation Partnership is a catalyst for Defence-relevant research and development in South Australia. It fosters collaboration and engagement between Defence SA, DST, the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, the University of South Australia and other research organisations and industry.
The Defence Innovation Partnership helps deliver innovative technologies and research and development solutions to Defence in four main ways:
- Creating connections between researchers, industry and Defence;
- Fostering Defence-relevant collaborations through the Collaborative Research Grants program;
- Attracting research and development funding to SA; and
- Supporting the translation of defence and national security research and development.
“Defence research and development is a key priority for South Australia’s broader defence strategy and is critical to ensure that we maximise the full extent of the Commonwealth government’s $90bn naval shipbuilding commitment,” Premier Marshall said. (Source: Defence Connect)
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