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EUROPE

06 Feb 19. Launch of the industrial phase of the Future Air Combat System (or Système de Combat Aérien Futur, SCAF).  The Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, and the Minister of Defense of the Federal Republic of Germany, Ursula von der Leyen, traveled to Gennevilliers on February 6th, 2019, at the Safran site to launch the industrial phase of the Future Air Combat System (or Système de Combat Aérien Futur, SCAF). SCAF is a Franco-German cooperation that will provide the two countries with successors for their respective fighter aircraft as well as drones and missiles which will together form an integrated system. The two ministers announced two essential milestones for the development of this foundational project for European defense:

— An industrial agreement between the French and German engine manufacturers, Safran and MTU:

During the ministers’ visit, Safran and MTU signed an industrial cooperation agreement to power future combat aircraft. This agreement will be followed in mid-2019 by the signing of a contract with France and Germany for the engine demonstrator of this new-generation combat aircraft.

— The award of the contract architecture and concept study of the SCAF to Dassault and Airbus:

The ministers announced the award to Airbus and Dassault of a contract for an architecture and concepts study for SCAF. This contract allows manufacturers to define the main lines of SCAF and each of its components. 65m euros are earmarked for this contract.

In addition, the Armed Forces Minister inaugurated, with her German counterpart, the new turbine blade development platform for the Safran site in Gennevilliers, and announced the award to Safran of a € 115 million basic engineering contract for new-generation turbine blades – the so-called “Turenne 2” studies.

These studies will make it possible to increase, by 2025, the temperature of the high-pressure turbines of our engines by 150 degrees Celsius. Today, a Rafale engine withstands an already very high temperature of about 1850 degrees C, so the goal is to make an engine capable of withstanding a temperature of about 2000 degrees C. This type of technological development is essential for the development of engines for future combat aircraft. Finally, as part of the “SME action plan” led by Florence Parly, Safran has today committed, through the signing of a convention, to support the dynamics of this plan, by promoting the territorial anchoring of many jobs, and fostering the rise of SMEs and defense startups.

SCAF Milestones:

— July 2017:

Franco-German Council of Ministers in Paris: The President of the French Republic and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany affirm their intention to strengthen European defense, notably through industrial cooperation.

— April 24, 2018:

ILA air show in Berlin: French and German air force chiefs of staff, in the presence of the two defense ministers, sign an agreement defining the operational requirements (HLCORD) in the presence the CEOs of Airbus and Dassault.

— 19 June 2018:

Franco-German Council of Ministers in Meseberg: Florence Parly and Ursula von der Leyen, the French and German defense ministers, sign the Letter of Intent on SCAF.

— 19 November 2018:

Brussels: Florence Parly and Ursula von der Leyen meet on the sidelines of a European Council to clarify the industrial organization of SCAF. In particular:

  1. A study of concept and architecture entrusted in co-leadership to Airbus and Dassault. 2. An “engine” demonstrator study entrusted to Safran as leader and to MTU Aero Engines as subcontractor.
  2. An “aircraft” demonstrator study entrusted to Dassault as leader and Airbus as subcontractor.

— February 6, 2019:

During a visit to the Safran-Gennevilliers site, the two ministers announce the signature of the architecture and concept contract awarded to Dassault and Airbus, as well as the agreement between Safran and MTU. SCAF is formally launched, and the manufacturers are at work.

General features:

According to a French defense fact sheet, the New-Generation Fighter is intended to:

— be the air combat system for the 21st Century

— completely revisit combat in the third dimension

— meet the requirements for the full range of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions

— deployable for the future French aircraft carrier

— guarantee interoperability with systems deployed by NATO and European Union

— support the development of a European defense industrial base.

Innovations:

— disruptive technologies to adapt to future threats

— global cooperative engagement system combining different types of interconnected platforms and sensors

— new, multirole combat aircraft benefiting from artificial intelligence.

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

(Source: defense-aerospace.com French Armed Forces Ministry)

07 Feb 19. Armaments: Germany and France Jointly Develop A New Engine. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen visited her French counterpart Florence Parly in Paris. Both ministers reiterated their intention to jointly develop engines for the new Next-Generation Weapon System (NGWS) fighter aircraft. Near the French capital, they visited the future production halls and inaugurated a new research and development facility for aircraft propulsion. Finally, a German-French partnership agreement was signed for joint production – with the option for further partners.

New center for research and production

Both ministers were convinced on site of the possibilities of development: from hydraulic presses, which form glowing steel into engine parts, to filigree wax models, which are poured out with steel from the smelting furnace. Robotic arms and human hands provide fine work and high-tech “Made in Europe”:

“This accumulation of technology is impressive,” said von der Leyen in front of engine blades, combustion chambers and heat shields.

The newly-inaugurated production hall is also a research platform, as it is here that the first turbine model for the new combat aircraft is to be developed. The engine of the new fighter jet must meet the highest aerodynamic requirements, as it is responsible for the flight characteristics.

New project for new partners

“Excellence is achieved when you strive for perfection,” said the French Minister of Defense. The new research facility is a place of “intellectual innovation,” Parly said, expressing her confidence in German-French industry, because “talent, creativity and perseverance” are at home here.

“The future is here,” agreed Ursula von der Leyen. “Germany and France are deepening their cooperation for the benefit of our countries, the European Union and our defense,” she said.

The German-French relationship is for them a close alliance: “We are friends and we are partners – equal and on equal terms.” For other European countries, such as Spain, the armaments project is not closed, but wide open.

She gave the starting signal in English: “Get down to work, make it fly!”

Two nations, two companies, one project

The jet engine will be developed by the French technology group Safran Aircraft Engines and the German company MTU Aero Engines from Munich.

Both companies have been working together for over 50 years. For example, Safran Aircraft Engines produces propulsion systems for the Airbus A 400M transport aircraft, the French Rafale fighter aircraft, as well as engines for Ariane rockets for the European Space Agency (ESA).

MTU, the “Turbine and Engine Union”, is the leading engine manufacturer in Germany. In the new project, MTU will produce the low-pressure turbine as well as the high and low compressors. Safran is responsible for the combustion chamber, high-pressure turbine and afterburner. (Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com) (Source: defense-aerospace.com/German Ministry of Defence)

05 Feb 19. Airbus, Dassault Jointly Awarded Two-Year SCAF/FCAS Architecture Study. France and Germany on Jan. 31 awarded a two-year, 65m euro contract to Airbus Defence and Space and Dassault Aviation to define the general architecture, and the industrial organization, of their next-generation combat aircraft, according to senior French officials. The contract kicks off work on the new combat system, known in France as the Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF) and in English as the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), and was awarded by France’s defense procurement agency, DGA, acting on behalf of both governments, to Airbus and Dassault as co-contractors. Its 65m euro cost is split between both countries on a 50-50 basis. The award will be officially announced on Wednesday Feb. 6 in Gennevilliers, near Paris, when French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly and her German counterpart, Ursula von der Leyen, will together visit a Safran plant and witness the signing of a Letter of Intent between Safran and MTU Aero Engines on the SCAF program. The ministers will also visit the PFX research center where Safran is developing high-technology blades for advanced turbines.

No-one was available to comment at the German defense ministry. Dassault Aviation referred work-share enquiries to the armed forces ministry, while a spokesman for Airbus Defence and Space said that “at the Minister’s meeting at the end of November, both countries communicated that Airbus and Dassault are ‘nominated primes,’” and denied any work-share changes.

In fact, their co-contractor status is limited to the architecture study, and does not modify the leadership roles: France will lead the New-Generation Fighter project as well as the Next-Generation Weapon System of which it is a component, with Dassault as industrial leader, and Airbus as junior partner. Airbus will be responsible for the Future Combat Air System, which will integrate the NGWS with other interconnected aviation and space assets.

In exchange, Germany will lead the European MALE drone project and the Maritime Patrol Systems 2030 (both with Airbus as industry lead) and the bilateral Future Ground Combat System, with Rheinmetall or KNDS as industry lead, which will ultimately replace both Germany’s Leopard 2 and France’s Leclerc main battle tanks.

The Jan. 31 architecture contract officially kicks off the bilateral project, which was first agreed to by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in July 2017, and subsequently firmed up by an MoU between their two defense ministers, and another one between Airbus and Dassault, both signed at the Berlin Air Show in April 2018.

In November, the two ministers met againin Paris to lay the ground-work for the Jan. 31 contract. The next step, scheduled for the Paris Air Show in June, will be the award of contracts to Dassault and Safran to design and build technology demonstrators for the NGT and its engine.

General SCAF/FCAS architecture

Since the program was confirmed in April, the general architecture has not changed very much: Dassault, with Airbus D&S as its junior partner, will lead the Next Generation Weapon System program and its main component, the New-Generation Fighter (NGF) which it will also develop, together with its immediate support environment comprising unmanned wingmen, legacy fighters like Rafale-X and Eurofighter, tankers and AEW&C aircraft.

France will also lead the development of the New Generation Fighter’s engines, which will be led by Safran Military Engines with Germany’s MTU Aero Engines as a junior partner.

Airbus DS, on the other hand, will take the lead for the network of sensors and systems into which NGWS will be integrated – the Future Combat Air System – and which is envisioned as integrated network of space-based assets, manned and unmanned aircraft, missiles and other ISR and EW assets manage the aerospace war.

Much remains to be decided, however, in terms of which assets will be combined into SCAF/FCAS; the definition of their missions and thus their technical requirements as well as who will design and produce them. These systems range from missiles to satellites to ground-based radars to other sensors, the elaboration of tactical and strategic orders of battle, and fusing them into a common operational picture. This aspect of the development work will also be led by Airbus.  (Source: Defense-Aerospace.com)

04 Feb 19. German Navy eyes new sensors, BMD for air-defence frigates. Germany has officially begun a tender to replace the long-range SMART-L search radars fitted to the navy’s three in-service Sachsen-class (F 124) air-defence frigates, with the service also looking to introduce an expanded ballistic missile defence (BMD) capability during the sensor retrofit. A request for bids was released in late January and outlined a requirement for the production, delivery, and ship integration of three new radars, along with associated identification friend or foe (IFF) systems. One more radar and IFF system are to be purchased for test, reference, and training purposes at the Maritime Engineering School (Marinetechnikschule) in Parow. A spokesman for the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr: BAAINBw) told Jane’s that a contract winner was likely to be announced by mid-2020. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

02 Feb 19. Germany splashes out on new VIP jets after G20 debacle. Germany will order a new fleet of government jets after a series of embarrassing breakdowns that has left government ministers stranded and highlighted the parlous technical condition of much of the NATO member’s military hardware. The announcement, made late on Friday, followed the debacle last year of Chancellor Angela Merkel missing the start of a Buenos Aires summit of G20 global leaders after a radio failure made her government jet turn back mid-flight. Defence Minister Ursula Von Der Leyden said Germany would buy a new Airbus <AIR .PA> A350 later this year, with two other jets to follow. Buying jets straight from the production line would be a new move for the air force’s VIP transport wing: Germany currently operates two ageing second-hand A340s, which are no longer made, as well as some smaller aircraft.

The high-profile fleet breakdowns have highlighted the armed forces’ broader struggles with trying to raise their level of technical readiness as traditionally placid Berlin moves cautiously towards a more interventionist global posture. A string of procurement delays, cost overruns and technical mismatches have interfered with attempts to renew the country’s naval fleet, while deadlines for selecting a new warplane fleet have repeatedly been missed.

Following Merkel G20 debacle, in January international development minister Gerd Mueller was briefly stranded in Malawi after another government jet broke down. (Source: Reuters)

USA

04 Feb 19. Check out who’s helping Boeing build the next Air Force training jet. L3 Technologies, Triumph Group Inc. and Collins Aerospace are among the companies that will work alongside Boeing to create the U.S. Air Force’s T-X trainer. Boeing was previously tight-lipped about its industrial collaborators on T-X, disclosing only its partnership with Saab — which co-designed the plane and builds the aft fuselage — and General Electric, whose F404 engine powers the plane. L-3 Technologies will provide missions systems equipment — specifically navigation and surveillance systems — for the jet, confirmed a Boeing spokeswoman to Defense News. Collins Aerospace, a division of United Technologies Corporation, will provide its ACES 5 ejection seat, prevailing against rival Martin-Baker’s Mk18 system. Collins will also make the jet’s landing gear, including its wheels, brakes, structure and actuation, the company stated in a news release.

“Our innovative technologies will play a critical role in helping to keep aircrews safe, reducing maintenance costs, and improving operational performance,” said John Fyfe, the company’s director for Air Force programs.

Meanwhile, Triumph will provide hydraulic systems and the “airframe mounted accessory drives” used in the Saab-produced aft fuselage. An airframe-mounted accessory drive provides power for the aircraft’s hydraulic pumps, auxiliary fuel pumps and electrical generators, according to the company, and Triumph also produced such systems for Saab’s Gripen E aircraft.

“We look forward to delivering these systems for the T-X program that will provide U.S. Air Force pilots in training with the latest equipment to support missions that protect freedom and democracy,” said Frank Dubey, the executive vice president of Triumph Integrated Systems.

Boeing won the T-X contract in September, beating out Lockheed Martin and Leonardo DRS for an award worth up to $9.2bn.

For Boeing and the other companies involved with developing the T-X, there is potential to increase the number of aircraft produced through international sales and follow-on buys by the Air Force. However, keeping down costs will be key to profitability.

The T-X program of record calls for the purchase of 351 trainers, but the service could buy up to 475 aircraft if all options are executed on the current contract. Air Force acquisition officials said that structure gives the service more flexibility to procure jets at a rapid pace if needed.

The first four lots of T-X jets will be produced under a fixed-price, incentive-fee model, which would allow Boeing to rake in greater profit if it meets certain Air Force goals. From the fifth lot onward, planes will be delivered under a firm fixed-price structure whereby industry accepts the risk of cost overruns.

While the recent announcements shed some light on the industrial participation in the program, big questions remain.

Boeing is set to manufacture its portion of the T-X at its St. Louis, Missouri, production facility, a move that the company says will support 1,800 direct and indirect jobs in Missouri.

Saab executives have also vowed to bring some of the production to the United States, boosting the amount of the plane made in the U.S. to 90 percent. During a September 2017 news conference, Saab AB president and CEO Haken Buskhe said that the company was considering building a new facility, working with an existing company and using its space, or buying an existing plant.

“I’m not standing here without having done some homework,” he said then. However, despite having multiple options on the table, Saab has not announced a decision on the location of its U.S.-based T-X plant. (Source: Defense News)

04 Feb 19. FAA extends deadline for UAS remote identification RFI. The FAA has extended the deadline for its request for information for UAS remote identification (https://www.unmannedairspace.info/uas-traffic-management-tenders/faa-announces-rfi-remote-identification-industry-partners/) from 4 February to 19 February.

“The FAA is seeking capable respondents who demonstrate in their responses capabilities to support the objectives of the RFI (Section 2) based on the responses to the topics and questions (Section 7) as reviewed in accordance with the instructions and criteria established in Section 5. The initial requirements document illustrates in detail the nature of the requirements and is intended to assist respondents with understanding the objectives of the RFI. The FAA will consider respondents that do not demonstrate the capability to meet all requirements listed in the initial requirements document. Please mark PROPRIETARY on all documents submitted as necessary.”

“Updated RFI amendment 01 is posted. This amendment incorporates “Figure 1” as well as changes response due date to February 19, 2019. Additionally, questions and responses have also been posted.”

Solicitation number: 32227 (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)

01 Feb 19. US Air Force intends to issue contract for Multi-Intelligence Smart Processing effort.

Key Points:

  • The US Air Force intends to issue a contract to GA-ASI for Multi-Intelligence Smart Processing
  • The goal is to advance sensor technologies that aid in C4ISR, targeting, and other efforts

The US Air Force (USAF) said on 29 January that it intends to award General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) a sole source contract for the Multi-Intelligence Smart Processing (MISP) effort.

The contract is to advance commercial and government-developed sensor technologies that combine multiple sensor research areas across multiple domains and/or cyber environments. These experiments will aid in the development and transition of systems of sensor systems that increase current defence capabilities in C4ISR, targeting, combat identification, battlespace awareness, and protection of airborne asses in contested environments, according to a notice posted on Federal Business Opportunities.

This work includes evaluation, selection, procurement, modification, integration, installation, and testing of Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)-developed sensor exploitation technologies and communications into the GA-ASI MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and associated ground control stations (GCS) and squadron operations centres (SOC).

The contract is worth approximately USD50m and is expected to begin in fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019). GA-ASI deferred a request for comment on 30 January to the USAF, which did not respond by the time of publication.

The MISP objectives include conducting research and development (R&D), modelling and simulation (M&S), experimentation, testing, technology demonstrations, and analysis for characterising the performance profile of combined system of sensor systems technologies. GA-ASI will also integrate multiple combinations of advanced sensors, processing, and exploitation capabilities focused on C4ISR and strike.

Another key objective is researching and developing open mission systems and computing for optimised on- and off-board processing, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), and command and control (C2). The USAF seeks to demonstrate and assess integrated sensor systems capabilities in operationally relevant environments. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

31 Jan 19. Trump Administration Eases Regulations on Gun Exports, Raising Concerns. American gun manufacturers and their allies have pressed the federal government for years to change the way it regulates small-arms exports in an effort to ease restrictions, boost gun sales abroad and lower costs at home. The Trump administration appears to be on the brink of delivering. Officials from the State and Commerce Departments — the two entities tasked with regulating arms sales internationally — privately told Congress this week that they intend to finalize rules next week that would shuffle which agency oversees most consumer gun exports, relaxing export regulations and oversight, according to congressional aides familiar with the plans. Once Congress receives formal notification of the rule change, lawmakers will have 30 days to decide whether to intervene or let the new rules take effect.

Under the changes, many American gun and ammunition manufacturers that sell primarily to consumers would no longer be required to register with the State Department, which currently licenses international arms sales, or to pay the department an annual fee. Instead, those sales would be licensed by the Commerce Department, which has a simpler process and does not charge a fee.

The changes are almost certain to provoke resistance from some Democratic lawmakers, who fear that lighter regulation will lead to a proliferation of American guns, including AR-15s and similar semiautomatic rifles frequently used in mass shootings, around the world and exacerbate illegal arms trafficking. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has such strong concerns that he plans to place a hold on the new rule — a step that his staff believes could effectively bar it being carried out for a period of time to allow for negotiations over his objections.

But blocking the changes permanently would be exceedingly difficult. It would require an act of Congress and, therefore, the overwhelming support of congressional Republicans, who generally back changes that will lessen regulations on businesses, especially gun manufacturers.

Though many liberal lawmakers now oppose the plan, the push to streamline government controls on American arms exports began under President Barack Obama to promote export opportunities for American companies and refocus regulatory attention on sales that could pose national security risks. The rule to move commercial gun export licenses to the Commerce Department was nearly complete when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in late 2012, killing 26 people, most of them children. Though the proposal was not related to domestic gun control, Mr. Obama’s administration delayed the rule-making process and never reopened it.

Mr. Trump’s campaign to pare back federal regulations across the government revived the issue. He formally proposed a rule change virtually identical to Mr. Obama’s last May and has subsequently incorporated public comments. The meeting between administration and congressional officials this week was meant to draw that process to a close.

Among the items being transferred to the Commerce Department’s jurisdiction are semiautomatic and single-shot firearms, as well as a range of parts and components. The State Department will continue to license sales of items that serve “a critical military advantage or perform an inherently military function,” including automatic weapons. (Source: glstrade.com/New York Times.com)

01 Feb 19. CH-53K IOC to be delayed as “major schedule revision” planned to correct faults. The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter will miss its initial operating capability (IOC) date of December 2019 as the Program Office plans a “major schedule revision” to rectify faults discovered during testing, the US Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) reported on 31 January. The fiscal year (FY) 2018 DOT&E report for the helicopter listed a litany of faults that must be corrected before IOC can be declared.

“The late December 2019 IOC will be delayed. Current projections estimate that IOT&E will start in early 2021 due to the need to correct multiple design deficiencies discovered during early testing. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

05 Feb 19. US Army to downselect potential Shadow UAV replacements. The US Army plans to downselect three potential replacements for its Textron RQ-7 Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) later this month before handing them over to operational units for a ‘try-decide-buy’ procurement. Speaking under the Chatham House Rule at the IQPC International Military Helicopter conference held from 5–7 February in London, a senior official said the service wants a platform with a lower acoustic signature, that is runway independent, and transportable in a Boeing CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter. It will also be armed and able to carry a variety of payloads. To this end, the army issued a request for proposals in 2018 and is currently performing a fly-off of a number of candidate platforms at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

04 Feb 19. US Navy canvasses industry for GLGP seeker options. US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has released an initial Request for Information (RFI) to assess potential seeker options for the US Navy’s (USN’s) next-generation Gun-Launched, Guided Projectiles (GLGP), which are planned to be fired from the MK 45 5-inch guns that equip the service’s cruiser and destroyer fleet.

The RFI was released on 29 January and states that the USN is interested in a “variety of seeker solutions”, particularly radio frequency (RF) and passive optic seeker types for terminal guidance. “These two seeker families have been emphasised because they minimise platform modifications while providing system capability against raids and enabling over-the-horizon terminal operation,” the RFI stated.

Mid-course guidance could be provided by the AN/SPY-1/6 air- and missile-defence radar along with a “platform-to-projectile” two-way datalink. This mid-course guidance could be used to reduce field-of-view (FOV) requirements, with the navy noting that it is interested in gimbaled and body-fixed seekers. A gimbaled seeker could add cost and complexity but would reduce FOV requirement “significantly” compared with body-fixed examples.

The GLGP will have “significant volumetric limitations”, according to the RFI, with the seeker size ultimately affecting warhead size. “The available volume of a high-velocity guided projectile is very limited, which emphasises the importance of high-energy density power sources,” it said.

The proposed seeker location is expected to be in the front of the projectile, which enables the forward aperture to acquire and track targets. Despite this, the navy is still keen to keep the front “relatively dense” to maintain aerodynamic stability. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

REST OF THE WORLD

04 Feb 19. Brazil to start detail phase on first nuclear-powered submarine. The Brazilian Navy is scheduled on 11 February to begin initial detailing activity, or Phase C, of its first nuclear-powered submarine, SN Álvaro Alberto, the service told Jane’s. A preliminary adjustment document between the General-Coordination of the Nuclear-Propelled Submarine Development Program (COGESN) and Naval Group was signed on 14 December 2018, the navy confirmed to Jane’s on 31 January. Work will be undertaken by the Submarines Development Center (CDS). Construction, or Phase D, of the Submarino com Propulsão Nuclear Brasileiro (SN-BR) submarine is scheduled to debut in early of 2022, with launch to take place in 2029 followed by testing and culminating with commissioning of the boat in 2030. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

04 Feb 19. Guyana to acquire additional aircraft for defence force. The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Air Corps is to receive new aircraft to bolster its capabilities, the country’s president said during the annual officers’ conference on 24 January. David Granger told the GDF that a number of platforms will be acquired. Granger noted that the GDFs fleet was augmented last year with the acquisition of two Britten–Norman Islander light reconnaissance and troop transport aircraft, and that light transport aircraft are to be procured this year. He also announced that the GDF will “acquire drones for border surveillance, inshore patrol vessels and engineering and transport equipment through budgetary allocations in FY 2019”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

04 Feb 19. Minister Pyne supports strategic policy with grant funding. Australian Defence Minister Christopher Pyne and the Department of Defence have announced a series of grants to fund key thought leadership projects conducted by Australian strategic policy think tanks and academic institutions to further the national security debate. The Department of Defence has awarded $8.719m (exclusive of GST) in grants over three years to fund projects by think tanks and academic institutions that contribute to the national security debate in Australia.

The Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said the annual Strategic Policy Grants Program was designed to support original initiatives that help inform Defence’s strategic policy advice, as well as support more public discourse on defence and security issues.

“Australia’s security can be strengthened by more rigorous debate between policymakers, think tanks, scholars and the broader public. Defence’s Strategic Policy Grants Program helps ensure that our best minds make valuable contributions to that debate,” Minister Pyne said.

This announcement follows growing debate about the strategic direction of Australia and the military capabilities the nation will require in order to secure national interests, while remaining a capable and reliable ally to regional and global security partners including the United States, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and developing partners like India.

Minister Pyne congratulated this year’s recipients, who include:

  • The Lowy Institute, Sydney
  • The Institute for Regional Security, Canberra
  • National Security College, Australian National University, Canberra
  • RAND Australia, Canberra
  • The Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University, Canberra
  • The United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney
  • Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA)
  • The University of Adelaide, Adelaide

The Strategic Policy Grants Program (SPGP) aims to deliver outcomes that support Defence policy objectives to increase the strategic policy workforce’s capability to deliver high-quality policy advice to Defence and the Australian government.

Specifically, these outcomes are intended to increase the amount and quality of discourse, debate and research on Defence strategic policy issues, as well as to deliver more professional development opportunities to Defence’s strategic policy workforce.

The SPGP is responsible for a number of key policy and annual documents that support the development of Defence capabilities and accountability, including:

  • The Defence White Papers
  • Portfolio Budget Statements
  • Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements
  • Strategy Frameworks
  • Defence Updates
  • The Joint Operations for the 21st Century: Future Joint Operating Concept (2007)
  • Strategic Reviews

As part of the Defence Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group, the SPGP maintains mutually beneficial relationships with other agencies in the Australian Intelligence Community, other government agencies, as well as allied and other foreign intelligence agencies.

As a result, there are opportunities both domestically and internationally in a variety of forums, ranging from conferences and seminars to international roundtable discussions.

Defence Intelligence has close relationships with the defence intelligence agencies of Australia’s allies, maintaining liaison offices in several countries. Defence Intelligence also has analysts on exchange postings, as well as a variety of secondments with our fellow agencies in the Australian Intelligence Community. (Source: Defence Connect)

01 Feb 19. Indian MoD approves indigenous construction of six SSKs. India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved the long-deferred INR400bn (USD5.62bn) Project 75(I) programme aimed at locally building six diesel-electric attack submarines (SSKs) featuring an air-independent propulsion and land-attack capability. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, cleared the construction of the boats on 31 January under the Strategic Partnership (SP) category of the MoD’s Defence Procurement Procedure 2016. The SP category entails a domestic private-sector manufacturer entering into a collaborative venture with an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) – following MoD approval – to locally build defence equipment to further the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

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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.

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