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17 Oct 19. Three bidders offer combat vehicles to Czech military, as German joint venture bows out. The Czech Ministry of Defence has announced it received three initial bids to supply new infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) to the country’s military, with one player deciding to pull out of the competition.
Vehicles in the race include the Ascod, supplied by General Dynamics European Land Systems, BAE Systems’ CV90, and Rheinmetall’s Lynx. The contract, under which Prague aims to acquire some 210 vehicles for the country’s military, is estimated to be worth about 50bn koruna, or $2.2bn.
The fourth invited bidder, PSM Projekt System & Management GmbH, a joint venture between Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall, which makes the Puma, decided not to submit an offer because the companies believe the tender would require a costly rebuild of the vehicle to comply with its terms, the Czech ministry said in a statement.
“The project team will now begin to assess the received preliminary offers,” the ministry said. “Subsequently, the suppliers will be invited to submit their final offers.”
The planned procurement is to allow the Czech Republic to replace its outdated Soviet-designed BVP-2 vehicles with new IFVs. (Source: Defense News)
14 Oct 19. Czech Army procures 4×4 all-terrain vehicles. The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) has prepared the first step of the renewal of the Czech Army‘s 4×4 vehicle fleet. The CZK1.99bn (USD85m) contract will be for the procurement of at least 600 4×4 all-terrain vehicles for deliveries beginning in 2020. The most important factor of the procurement will be price. Czech MoD press officer Petr Sýkora told Jane’s on 11 October that the ministry would make a call for bids from automobile manufacturers at the end of October and November. The procurement will allow the phasing out of Land Rover Defender and UAZ-469 vehicles. The Czech Army has operated the UAZ since 1974. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
14 Oct 19. Boeing believes too many public FARA-CP details gives competitors advantages. Key Points:
- Boeing believes its strategy of public silence in the US Army’s FARA-CP procurement gives it flexibility to adapt late in the competition
- Too much information can provide advantages for competitors, it claims
Boeing will not be revealing public details of its US Army Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft-Competitive Prototype (FARA-CP) proposal because it is concerned that competitors could gain an advantage in this competition, the company has reported.
Boeing said it is keeping the US Army fully informed on its progress. Shane Openshaw, Boeing Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft programme manager, told reporters on 14 October at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference that the company is performing a risk review assessment of an initial design, and is also moving ahead with long lead activities that will support building of a prototype. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
REST OF THE WORLD
17 Oct 19. See KAI unveil a new export version of the Surion helo, following a fatal crash last year. After a potential helicopter deal in the Philippines fell from its reach, Korea Aerospace Industries has presented a new concept of its KUH-1 utility helicopter’s heavily armed version for the international market.
The KUH-1E, an export variant of the troop-carrying Surion helicopter, was unveiled at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition, or ADEX, which is taking place Oct. 15-20.
“The KUH-1E has been in development for four years to meet the requirements of foreign customer nations,” Kim Ji-hyung, spokesman for KAI, told Defense News. “Not every country [can] afford both utility helicopters and attack helicopters. For those customers, the KUH-1E is expected to be an optimal solution.”
The South Korean company did not reveal specific target customers, but indicated the armed helicopter would be able to compete in the markets of Southeast Asia, South America and Africa.
Industry sources point to Indonesia as one of the KUH-1E targets, as the Southeast Asian nation has a requirement for 100 medium-lift helicopters and is a key arms trade partner of South Korea.
The KUH-1E mock-up on display features a weapons mount equipped with rockets, missiles and a gun pod. Stub wings mounted forward of the door can carry either Hellfire or Spike anti-tank missiles; pods for domestically built 2.75-inch rockets; and infrared-homing air-to-air missiles.
The attack version is also fitted with the Garmin G3000, a large touch-screen, glass-integrated avionics system. It can also be equipped with TACS II, the newest version of traffic collision avoidance systems. The helicopter’s nose features a three-dimensional weather radar, according to KAI. The helicopter has a maximum takeoff weight of 8,709 kilograms.
Last year, the Philippines showed interest in buying a score of Surion helicopters as an alternative to a botched deal to procure 16 Bell EPI helicopters from Canada. But the government canceled its plan to purchase the South Korean helicopter, jointly built by Airbus Helicopters, after the fatal crash of an MUH-1, the marine variant of the Surion. Instead, the Philippines ordered Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
“The competition for the Philippines Army was affected by the crash of an MUH-1, not because of the rotorcraft’s performances,” said a KAI source involved in the Surion export project, speaking on condition of anonymity. “As the reported defects and problems have been cleared, the Surion still has competitiveness in terms of price and performances.”
KAI also displayed at ADEX a concept for a marine attack helicopter to compete against the Bell AH-1Z Viper for a deal with the South Korean Marine Corps, which wants to buy 24 attack helicopters for amphibious assault operations.
Powered by a twin turbo-shaft engine with 1,800-plus horsepower, the marine attack version is to be armed with Lockheed Martin’s AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missile; the Mistral ATAM air-to-air missile developed by MBDA; 2.75-inch non-guided/guided rockets; and the 20mm turret gun, according to KAI.
South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration issued a request for information early last year, but the agency hasn’t decided whether the helicopters will be purchased through a competition open to foreign offerings or only to locally developed bids.
Boeing is also vying for a contract with its AH-64 Apache model.
“The concept of the Marine Attack Helicopter on display showcases KAI will be able to meet the Marine Corps requirements,” said Kim, KAI’s spokesman. The company is conducting feasibility studies into Surion’s attack concepts.
Javier Ball, the international campaign manager for Asia at Bell, is confident the AH-1Z’s inherent shipborne operational capability will serve the Marine Corps well.
“Anybody can land on a ship, but leaving on a ship is where we think marinization comes into effect. That starts with the design of this aircraft,” Ball said in an interview with Defense News. “Aircraft designed to be operated on land can land on a ship, but they lose some capability when they try to operate aboard the ship.”
As the U.S. military and its regional allies put an emphasis on shipborne operations, the use of a common attack helicopter model for amphibious missions would benefit joint efforts, Ball added.
Light, armed and taking flight
In the meantime, a light, armed version of the Surion performed flight demonstrations during the show. Based on the Airbus H155, the Light Armed Helicopter, or LAH, is under development by KAI and Airbus Helicopters.
The LAH development is a parallel effort with the Light Civil Helicopter, or LCH. KAI plans to develop the 4.5-metric-ton LCH by 2021 and then modify it into the LAH by 2023.
KAI rolled out an LAH prototype in December, and the helo completed its maiden flight in July. The LAH is armed with the turreted 20mm Gatling gun under its nose. The aircraft is also mounted with 70mm rockets, missile early warning systems, and laser/radar warning receivers.
KAI plans to build about 200 LAHs to replace Bell AH-1 Cobras and older MD 500 helicopters flown by the South Korean Army. (Source: Defense News)
18 Oct 19. Australian Defence Industry Minister announces new SME export grants. Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price has announced $130,000 in grants for two Australian defence SMEs looking to build their export capability. Sydney-based Blueprint Laboratory will use its grant to meet accreditation requirements, aiding its ability to sell robotic arms to the US and UK military.
Melbourne’s Natex Engineering will use the grant to increase its capability to meet the quality requirements of defence customers, opening up the potential for $4.1m in new contracts.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price announced the latest recipients of the Defence Global Competitiveness Grants.
“The Defence Global Competitiveness Grants seek to build a stronger, more sustainable and globally competitive Australian defence industry by supporting small businesses to build export capability,” Minister Price said.
The grants will help Australian SMEs to invest in projects that build export capability to build a stronger, more sustainable and globally competitive Australian defence industry.
The Defence Export Strategy defines Australian defence exports as “any defence-specific or dual-use goods or services exported by Australian defence industry, including as part of a supply chain, that are intended for a defence or national security end-user”:
- Up to $4.1m is available each year from 2018-19 to 2028-29;
- The minimum grant amount is $15,000;
- The maximum grant amount is $150,000;
- The grant amount will be up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs; and
- The maximum grant period is 18 months.
Minister Price added, “We know more exporting businesses means more Australian jobs, so we’re giving small business the tools they need to take their products and services to the world.”
Further information about the Defence Global Competitiveness Grants, including eligibility criteria, application information is available here.
“Helping small businesses become ‘export-ready’ means they can take up opportunities to help them grow and create more jobs,” Minister Price said. (Source: Defence Connect)
11 Oct 19. Leonardo postures AWHero for Australia’s SEA 129 Phase 5.
- Leonardo Helicopters is proposing its AWHero rotor-wing UAS for Australia’s SEA 129 Phase 5 project
- The system is being touted as the only contender that is backed by a helicopter manufacturer
Leonardo Helicopters is positioning its AWHero rotary-wing unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the Australian Department of Defence’s SEA 129 Phase 5 programme, the company confirmed with Jane’s at the Pacific 2019 maritime exposition in Sydney.
The programme seeks to equip the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) future Arafura and Hunter classes of vessels with embarked UAS capabilities.
Leonardo’s AWHero has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 200 kg, including payload and fuel at 85 kg. It has an endurance time of six hours, a service ceiling of 14,000 ft, and a maximum cruise speed of 90kt.
The vehicle is powered by heavy fuels, including JP-5, JP-8, and Jet A-1, and has a maximum operating radius of up to 50n miles, with options to upgrade it to 100n miles when auxiliary fuel tanks are carried. The system features automatic deck landing and take-off capabilities.
The AWHero has two modular payload bays. Its nose bay can be incorporated with electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) turrets of up to 10 inches in diameter, or EO/IR turrets of up to 8 inches in diameter with radar.
Meanwhile, its underbelly and side bays payload space can be mounted with heavier equipment including the Visual Detection and Ranging (ViDAR) sensor payload from Sentient Vision Systems.
“The main differentiator between the AWHero and other competitors vying for the same programme is that ours is the only one that is backed by a helicopter manufacturer instead of a UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] manufacturer,” said Michael Lenton, executive chairman of Leonardo Australia, in an interview with Jane’s at Pacific 2019. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
American Panel Corporation
American Panel Corporation (APC) since 1998, specializes in display products installed in defence land systems, as well as military and commercial aerospace platforms, having delivered well over 100,000 displays worldwide. Military aviators worldwide operate their aircraft and perform their missions using APC displays, including F-22, F-18, F-16, F-15, Euro-fighter Typhoon, Mirage 2000, C-130, C-17, P-3, S-3, U-2, AH-64 Apache Helicopter, V-22 tilt-rotor, as well as numerous other military and commercial aviation aircraft including Boeing 717 – 787 aircraft and several Airbus aircraft. APC panels are found in nearly every tactical aircraft in the US and around the world.
APC manufactures the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Large Area Display (LAD) display (20 inch by 8 inch) with dual pixel fields, power and video interfaces to provide complete display redundancy. At DSEI 2017 we are exhibiting the LAD with a more advanced design, dual display on single substrate with redundant characteristics and a bespoke purpose 8 inch by 6 inch armoured vehicle display.
In order to fully meet the demanding environmental and optical requirements without sacrificing critical tradeoffs in performance, APC designs, develops and manufactures these highly specialized displays in multiple sizes and configurations, controlling all AMLCD optical panel, mechanical and electrical design aspects. APC provides both ITAR and non-ITAR displays across the globe to OEM Prime and tiered vetronics and avionics integrators.