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03 June 19. UK MoD seeks more information on communications for Project MORPHEUS. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a new request for information (RFI) as it develops its policy for procuring the communications element of Project MORPHEUS, which is the part of the UK’s Land Environment Tactical Communications and Information System (LE TacCIS) Programme aimed at delivering the next generation of tactical communications and information systems. The RFI, issued at the end of May 2019, said the MoD “is considering a future Multi-Mode Radio (MMR) requirement that will be a software-defined combat net radio capable of operating across a broad range of frequencies, from 30 – 2000MHz, to deliver point to point, networked, or Mobile Ad Hoc Network (MANET) communications.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)

01 June 19. In or out? Here’s why Fincantieri may rejoin bidding to build British ships. Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri is reconsidering its decision to exit the bidding process to build up to three logistics ships for Britain’s Royal Navy, according to an industry source in Rome. The company’s latest review comes after the Ministry of Defence team running the competition revised the terms and conditions of the proposed deal.

Fincantieri halted work on its bid to build the ships, known by the British as fleet solid support ships, several weeks ago. However, shipyard executives are looking again to see whether recent moves by the Defence Equipment and Support arm of the MoD to refine the terms of the deal could reopen the door for a bid, an Italian industry source said.

One of Europe’s leading naval and civil shipbuilders, Fincantieri was one of five companies invited last year by the British MoD to bid to build the logistic supply ships.

Also invited were Navantia of Spain, Japan Marine United Corp., Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering of South Korea, and a homemade consortium made up of Babcock International, BAE Systems, Cammell Laird and Rolls-Royce, known as Team UK.

“Fincantieri pulled out, but the MoD then asked the firm to consider new terms and conditions two weeks ago. Those conditions are now being evaluated,” the source said.

“Fincantieri pulled out originally because the U.K. wanted a proposal based on a new design, which involves a good deal of work and a big investment, and there was no funding from the MoD for that,” the source added. “Additionally, the competition appeared tailor-made for the U.K. consortium.”

Fincantieri declined to comment.

The Defence Equipment and Support arm, or DE&S, confirmed it recently changed the terms and conditions of the proposed deal, but said it was normal practice to refine the commercial and technical aspects of the requirement and the move was not connected with any withdrawal.

“It is not unusual to make revisions to terms during the competition phase and these revisions have not been made in reaction to a company withdrawing,” an MoD spokesman said. “The terms and conditions for the Fleet Solid Support competition remain subject to revision until we request ‘best and final offers’ from industry.”

Earlier this year, DE&S scrapped a competition to build five Type 31e frigates after it failed to attract bidders due to concerns over the terms and conditions demanded by the MoD. DE&S revised the terms and restarted the bidding process.

DE&S declined to provide details on the nature of the changes to the terms and conditions for the logistics ships.

Recent media reports said Daewoo had also withdrawn. British Defence Procurement Minister Stuart Andrew last week confirmed the Italian withdrawal but declined to make any announcement about Daewoo’s position.

The competition to build the logistics ships has sparked controversy in the U.K. over whether the contract should have been awarded to a British company rather than opening bidding to international competition.

The MoD affirms the logistic ships are not military vessels and therefore it is bound by European Union regulations to open up the bidding internationally. Politicians disagree with that reasoning, with one member of Parliament calling that position “patently ludicrous.” Some politicians want the MoD to award the deal locally to help sustain the domestic industry.

Bids are due to be lodged with DE&S in July, with a winner announced next year. Britain wants to acquire two logistics ships with an option for a third. The deal could be worth up to £1bn (U.S. $1.3bn). The first ship is due in service in 2026. The ships, to be operated by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, are primarily meant to support the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier. (Source: Defense News)


03 June 19. Bulgaria sees F-16 jet deal with U.S. at $1.2bn. Bulgaria expects the United States to make an offer soon to sell it eight new F-16 fighter jets for its army at $1.2bn (£947.6m), the defence ministry said on Tuesday. The U.S. State Department approved the possible sale of eight F-16 aircraft and related equipment at an estimated cost of $1.67bn, a Pentagon agency said on Monday. European Union and NATO member Bulgaria is looking to replace its ageing Soviet-made MiG-29s and improve compliance with NATO standards. A deal for Lockheed Martin’s F-16V Block 70 would be the Balkan country’s biggest military procurement since the fall of Communist rule some 30 years ago. The defence ministry said the U.S. approval outlined the upper threshold of the costs and it expected a draft contract from Washington within two weeks.

“There is a two-week timeline in which the U.S. government will present to Bulgaria a draft Letter of Offer and Acceptance in which the expected price for the eight jets with a package of necessary related equipment will be within $1.2bn,” the ministry said in a statement.

The expected price comes above the initial estimate for the deal at 1.8bn levs ($1.04bn), but the Bulgarian parliament has given the defence ministry a green light to go over that. Sofia said talks for the deal will continue after it receives the draft contract. (Source: Reuters)

30 May 19. Leonardo proposes its M-345 training aircraft to replace Spanish Air Force C101s. Leonardo proposed its new M-345 basic-advanced jet trainer aircraft to replace Spanish Air Force (SPAF) C101 Aviojet advanced trainers at the International Defence and Security Exhibition (FEINDEF), being held in Madrid on 29–31 May. The company is touting the M-345, which made its maiden flight on 21 December 2018, as providing “jet performance at turboprop cost”. The Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare: AM) has ordered five M-345s, which it designates as the T-345A, the first of which is due to be delivered in early 2020. Eduardo Munhos De Campos, Leonardo’s vice-president for product solutions, said on 30 May the AM had a requirement for 45 M-346s to replace its 137 MB-339s, which first entered service in 1982 and are used by the Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team. (Source: IHS Jane’s)


03 June 19. US Army to ask industry for Robotic Combat Vehicle – Light (RCV-L) prototypes. The US Army is moving out with plans to acquire a new Robotic Combat Vehicle – Light (RCV-L) platform, and is asking industry to propose their non-developmental prototypes for upcoming experiments.

In a 31 May notice on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the service announced that it will formally request industry white papers in mid-June and provide additional key prototype proposal deadlines. For now, however, army leaders envision acquiring an “expendable platform” that is transportable via CH-47 Chinook sling load or on C-130 Hercules aircraft that will be combat ready within 15 minutes for reconnaissance missions.

“The RCV-L will support modular mission payloads and enable commanders to tailor the vehicle’s capabilities to each particular mission,” the army wrote. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

03 June 19. US Air Force Unit seeks Dronebuster counter-UAS jammer or equivalent. The 377 MSG/PKB at Kirtland Air Force Base seeks sources to provide a single component specifically designed to produce radio frequency signals to deprive the enemy of electronic equipment through position fixing, signal identification, deception, and jamming with resultant tactical advantage to our own operating forces. Looking for brand name or equal for the below listed items.

  • Dronebuster Block 3 / NSN: 5865-01-664-7864 or equal.
  • High Capacity BB-2847A/U Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery / NSN: 6140-01-493-8092 or equal.
  • Single Day on-site training which includes CONUS travel, per diem, training materials.
  • Manufacturer Warranty

377 MSG/PKB anticipates conducting a competitive acquisition for this effort. The effort is expected to result in a Firm-Fixed-Price contract. NAICS code is anticipated to be 334511, size standard 1,250 employees.

Solicitation Number: RFQ1369372_Dronebuster_Sources_Sought

Deadline for responses: 10 June 2019

Agency: Department of the Air Force

(Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)

30 May 19. GAO denies ITEP helo engine protest from ATEC. The US Government Accountability Agency (GAO) has denied a protest from Advanced Turbine Engine Company (ATEC) pertaining to the awarding of the US Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) to its competitor earlier in 2019.

ATEC – a joint venture (JV) between Honeywell and United Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney military engines unit – had protested the awarding to General Electric (GE) Aviation of a USD517.4m engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract on 1 February on account of the Department of Defense (DoD) unfairly overlooking, as it saw, its better value and lower rick proposal. The JV announced on 30 May that this protest had been refused.

“We are disappointed in the outcome and are currently reviewing the decision in detail. The GAO findings notwithstanding, a procurement this crucial should never be made based on paper proposals. Indeed, it is customary for the Pentagon to thoroughly test competing engines before making a final down select. Testing provides clear, unequivocal evidence of engine capabilities that cannot be obtained through a proposal. Therefore, we have recommended that Congress provide the funding to allow the [US] Army to take both engines further into the EMD phase of the procurement before making a final selection,” ATEC said in a statement.

The ITEP programme is geared at developing a powerplant to re-engine the US Army’s current fleet of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters, as well as power the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft being developed under the wider Future Vertical Lift (FVL) effort. Under ITEP, the US Army is looking to increase the power output of the 2,000shp GE T700 turbine that powers the Black Hawk and Apache by 50% to 3,000shp, while reducing fuel consumption by 25%. (Source: IHS Jane’s)


06 June 19. Funding to strengthen Australian cyber security capability. The federal government has backed Australia’s cyber security sector to grow and create new jobs, with businesses to share in up to $8.5m in funding. Announcing the opening of the second round of AustCyber’s Projects Fund, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews encouraged companies that can make a significant contribution to the sector to apply.

“Australia’s cyber security industry is continually growing and this funding will further boost our ability to become a global leader in the field, creating more Australian jobs while also making the nation more cyber resilient,” Minister Andrews said.

Minister Andrews explained the importance of the investment, saying, “According to a report released by AustCyber last year, the global cyber security market is projected to be worth almost US$250bn by the year 2026. This funding will assist the cyber security industry to upskill and expand the sector, and harness the enormous opportunities available to Australia.”

Matched funding for individual projects ranges from $100,000 to $3m, totalling up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs.

Previous funding of $6.5m has resulted in many innovative advancements, including unique smart barcode technology that enables people to identify and verify the quality of products they buy through their smartphone, and technology that allows for independent authentication of personal data stored and managed on mobile devices.

AustCyber was established in 2017 as part of the Australian government’s Growth Centres Initiative.

The Industry Growth Centres are part of the Coalition’s plan to drive innovation and productivity to grow the economy and create 1.25 million new jobs over the next five years. Applications close on Friday, 12 July. For more information on the AustCyber Projects Fund, visit www.austcyber.com/grow/projects-fund. (Source: Defence Connect)

04 June 19. Indonesia signals progress in deal to procure Su-35s. Deliveries of Sukhoi Su-35 ‘Flanker-E’ multirole combat aircraft from Russia could start before the end of the year, according to Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu.

Ryacudu was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying that he expects the Indonesian government to finalise its part of the transaction within the next few months. “I think that the issue will be solved this year,” he said.

The Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) did not confirm the schedule. However, Jane’s understands that the Russian side of the Su-35 contract with Indonesia has already been agreed by Moscow, and that delays have partly been caused by Indonesia’s presidential election, which was held in April, and negotiations within the Indonesian government about what commodities will be exported to Moscow as part of the deal.

In comments reported by Tass, Ryacudu said that “certain challenges [in finalising the deal] are due to the fact that three departments of the [government] are involved in the process”. He said the MoD has agreed to the deal but that the Indonesian ministries for trade and finance “are still in the process of approval”.

Ryacudu added that while “fundamentally the issue has been solved”, various levels of approval are required because the Su-35 contract involves “various forms of payment”.

Indonesian MoD officials have previously confirmed to Jane’s that the Su-35 transaction consists of several elements consistent with Indonesia’s Defence Industry Law – also called Law 16 – through which the government seeks to secure offset-like benefits linked to defence procurement.

The total value of the Su-35 contract, which features the supply of 11 aircraft, is USD1.14bn.

Half of the contract’s value, about USD570m, is being financed through countertrade, with Indonesia expected to export to Russia a long list of commodities including palm oil, rubber, machinery, coffee, cocoa, textiles, tea, footwear, processed fish, furniture, copra, paper, and spices. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

04 June 19. Proposals submitted for India’s NUH helicopter programme. Three foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and eight local companies submitted their proposals to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in New Delhi on 3 June to supply 111 naval utility helicopters (NUHs) to the Indian Navy (IN) for an estimated INR220bn (USD3.18bn).

Industry officials told Jane’s that in response to the MoD’s Request for Expression of Interest (REoI) issued in February, Airbus Helicopters is offering its H145M and AS565 Panther, while Lockheed Martin is proposing the Sikorsky S-76D, and Russian Helicopters its Kamov Ka-226T ‘Hoodlum’.

At the same time eight local manufacturers, which have been designated potential ‘Strategic Partners’ (SPs), also responded to the MoD’s parallel REoI, which was also despatched in February. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

03 June 19. Turkish Consortium Gets A Whopping $2.3bn Order To Build Ships For Indian Navy. In a major boost for the Indian Navy, Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), a Ministry of Defence Enterprise, is ready to sign a contract with a consortium formed by five leading shipyards in Turkey for technical collaboration to construct five Fleet Support Ships worth $2.3bn. According to information released to the press, Turkish TAIS has won a cooperation tender that involves the production of five fleet support tankers of 45,000 tons. A member of the SAHA Istanbul Defense, Aviation and Aerospace Cluster, Turkey’s largest industrial group that has undertaken important responsibilities for the country’s defense and aviation industries, TAIS will manufacture the ships in a local shipyard as part of the Indian project. As part of its tasks in the project, TAIS will be responsible for the modernization of the shipyard, the design of the ships, engineering services, planning and management of production, preparation of shipbuilding material specifications and main materials. As a pilot shipyard, the tender contract will be signed by Anadolu Deniz İnşaat Kızakları, TAIS’s co-founder. A process of eight years is projected for the $2.3bn tender. The total amount will be shared between TAIS and the local shipyard.

“We have won this tender in one of the most difficult markets in the world against the biggest global competitors with our design capabilities, technical competence, determination and courage. We have proven to the world what the Turkish private sector can do,” said Süalp Ürkmez, deputy chairman of the board of directors of TAIS and CEO of Anadolu Deniz İnşaat Kızakları. (Source: Google/https://eurasiantimes.com)

03 June 19. Hawker Pacific launches ICN Gateway for LAND 2097 Phase 4. Hawker Pacific launched its ICN Gateway for the Australian Defence Force’s forthcoming Special Operations Helicopter acquisition project under LAND 2097 Phase 4. The gateway will be used as the primary vehicle for potential suppliers to register expressions of interest (EOI), respond to specific work packages as they are released and support pre-qualification activities.  Under LAND 2097 Phase 4 the helicopters are to be proven commercial or military off the shelf, optimised for operating in dense urban environments, and capable of being rapidly deployed by air transport in ADF Boeing C-17A Globemaster III aircraft.

Craig Purry, Hawker vice president government business Asia Pacific, said, “The launch of this gateway will continue to support Hawker Pacific’s commitment to growing Australia’s sovereign defence industry capability base.”

These helicopters will primarily support air assault of small Special Forces teams and should be capable of being rapidly re-configured by fitment of proven, ISR equipment and weapons systems.

Purry added, “Hawker Pacific are committed to identifying and engaging with small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and Indigenous businesses, which have capabilities to support upcoming work packages and demonstrate a real value proposition to the project.”

Defence is planning to acquire a fleet of up to 16 light helicopters to enhance the aviation capability of Australian Special Operations Forces through increased mobility, direct air support and ISR as part of LAND 2097 Phase 4.

The Defence request for tender (RFT) established that the helicopter should be a proven design (already in service either in commercial or military capacities), optimised for operating in dense urban environments and capable of rapid deployment by air transport in the Royal Australian Air Force’s C-17 Globemaster strategic airlifters.

The successful helicopters are intended for use by the Australian Army’s 6th Aviation Regiment, based at Holsworthy, south of Sydney, and will complement a squadron of larger MRH-90 Taipan helicopters. More information regarding the program, including tender applications, is available here. EOI are open until 5 August 2019. More information about Hawker Pacific’s Special Operations Helicopter program is available online at hawkerpacific.com/SOH. (Source: Defence Connect)

01 June 19. UAE issues formal request to buy KC-46A tanker, says Boeing. The United Arab Emirates has emerged as a surprise customer for KC-46A Pegasus, having formally made a request to buy the tanker aircraft, according to manufacturer Boeing.

Speaking to reporters at a media event on the sidelines of the annual Shangri-La Dialogueregional security summit in Singapore, Jeff Shockey, Boeing’s vice president of global sales for defense, space and security, confirmed that the Middle Eastern kingdom had issued a letter of request for three tankers.

The UAE now joins the list of potential markets for the KC-46A, alongside other interested parties such as Indonesia, Israel, Norway, Qatar and NATO.

Japan has already joined the U.S. Air Force in selecting the KC-46, with a request for four aircraft approved by the U.S. State Department in 2016 with two having already since been contracted through the Foreign Military Sales program.

The UAE’s request to buy the KC-46A is a surprise, given it currently already operates three Airbus A330 multirole tanker transports. It currently operates about 150 Lockheed Martin F-16E/F Fighting Falcon and French-built Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter jets.

It is unclear if the UAE is holding a competitive tender for additional tankers. Airbus referred Defense News to the customer when asked if the European manufacturer has received interest from the UAE about additional tankers. (Source: Defense News)


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