Sponsored by American Panel Corporation
UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
03 Dec 19. Type 45 power supply upgrade delayed. Work to install a third electrical generator into the UK Royal Navy’s (RN’s) Type 45 destroyers will now not start until next year. Delays to preparatory work at Portsmouth naval base are blamed for the Type 45 Power Improvement Project (PIP) falling behind schedule, according to a UK naval source.
Work on the project to install the additional generator into the hull of the first Type 45, HMS Dauntless, was planned to start at Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, Merseyside, in October, but this first slipped to December, and now is expected to start by the end of next March, according to the source. (Source: Jane’s)
05 Dec 19. Portugal seeks to modernise its Leopard 2A6 MBTs. The Portuguese Army is to carry out a mid-life update project for its Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks (MBTs) to extend the fleets’ life and modernise several subsystems, a source at the Army High-Staff’s Forces Planning Division told Jane’s. The plan, in line with the country’s Military Programming Law 2019–2030, is to carry out a EUR46.027m upgrade from 2026 to 2030, comprising EUR2m in 2026, EUR4m in 2027, EUR12.027m in 2028, EUR12.5m in 2029, and EUR15.5m in 2030. The source said the project encompasses installing a driver’s passive thermal imaging camera suite to improve front and rear-view during manoeuvres; air conditioning unit to cool electronics in the turret and improve crew endurance; auxiliary power unit (APU) to deal with the increased power demand and deliver continuous power supply; new fire extinguishing system in the driver and combat compartments; ultracaps in the electrical suite to mitigate harmful electrical discharges; and an electric gun, turret control, and drive system with digital stabilisation. (Source: Jane’s)
03 Dec 19. US Army seeking new ATGM technology to counter explosive reactive armour. On the hunt for ways to defeat tanks outfitted with explosive reactive armour, the US Army is seeking vendor input on anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and associated technologies that will be ready within eight years.
The move comes at a time when the service is modernising its ground combat vehicles and missile arsenal, in preparation for a large-scale conflict with the likes of Russia or China. To do so, in part, the service is soliciting White Papers for ATGM weapons and technologies for its modernisation programmes, according to a 27 November request for information. Specifically, the service is interested in kinetic energy missiles, ATGMs with chemical energy warheads, and “manoeuvrable” missiles. (Source: Jane’s)
03 Dec 19. Sikorsky offers first company-qualified armed Black Hawk with sights on regional customer. Key Points:
- Sikorsky is promoting its first company-qualified armed variant of its latest model Black Hawk aircraft
- The company has pitched this armed Black Hawk to a regional customer
Sikorsky is promoting for the first time in Latin America its first company-qualified, fully integrated armed version of its latest S-70i Black Hawk utility helicopter with hopes of securing a regional military as the model’s first customer.
Sikorsky had a mockup armed Black Hawk display at the Farnborough Air Show in 2016 to show what the company had in development. This year, in January, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) rolled it out and now that model has officially been qualified by Sikorsky.
The company has a potential customer in the region and is promoting this fully-integrated armed S-70i for its versatility. Adam Schierholz, Sikorsky Latin America regional executive and product marketing director, told Jane’s on 2 December at Expodefensa that this potential customer has two different defined needs for the future -one for utility aircraft and another for armed aircraft.
“This is exactly what we have been looking for,” Schierholz said. “The beauty of combining those two needs into one aircraft allows the customer to save a ton of money.”
The company is marketing this armed S-70i as an affordable option for militaries with smaller budgets such as those in the Latin America region. The aircraft, Schierholz told Jane’s on 25 November ahead of Expodefensa, can be switched from utility to armed in three hours by adding the wings and weapons without requiring dedicated crew, training, and spares. This is the first time that Sikorsky has qualified its own armed Black Hawk. (Source: Jane’s)
04 Dec 19. US Army seeking new soldier-worn sensors to monitor performance. On the future battlefield, US Army leadership wants to better measure soldiers’ and squads’ performance and are now on the hunt for new wearable sensors that can help them do just that.
In a November request for information (RFI), the service asked vendors to submit information about their wearable technologies that are capable of monitoring soldiers during training and combat missions for the Measuring and Advancing Soldier Tactical Readiness and Effectiveness (MASTR-E) effort. The goal is to identify systems and technologies capable of integrating “soldier research in training environments” within 24 months.
“The MASTR-E programme addresses the problem that the army has limited means to objectively and holistically measure soldier/squad performance, leading to sub-optimal operational, training, and acquisition decisions,” the army wrote. (Source: Jane’s)
REST OF THE WORLD
04 Dec 19. Saab says Colombia wants new fighters, in a break from past practice. Key Points:
- A Saab executive said that Colombia wants to buy new fighters to help reinvigorate its fleet
- The nation has traditionally purchased used aircraft, which can come with sustainment issues
The Colombian Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Colombiana: FAC) wants to procure new fighter aircraft to rejuvenate its fleet, a move that would break from past practices of procuring used fighters, according to an industry official.
“The requirement and the will from the FAC, at this stage, is extremely clear,” Thomas Linden, Saab Colombia vice president, told Jane’s on 3 December at the Expodefensa trade show in Bogota. “They do not want to go back and buy used aircraft as they have done before a couple of times.”
Linden said the FAC is taking a longer-term perspective and wants to improve its fleet based on new technology. He said that used aircraft procurement usually bring problems such as logistics and spares supplies.
The FAC has 19 Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) Kfir C10s and 3 Kfir TC12s, according to Jane’s World Air Forces.
Saab offered 12 single-seat Gripen Es and three dual-seat Gripen Fs, the same models being built for Brazil and Sweden. He said Saab is offering 15 aircraft because this is the existing requirement, despite being fewer aircraft than the 22 Kfirs being operated by the air force.
Linden said the FAC announced in August that it was looking at three contenders: the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, the Gripen, and the Eurofighter Typhoon. IAI told Jane’s at the Paris Air Show in June that it would offer a further enhanced Kfir NG that could be based on remanufactured FAC airframes, surplus Israeli Air Force airframes, or possibly even new-build ones depending on the requirements. (Source: Jane’s)
04 Dec 19. Contract for design, construction of RoKN’s first FFX-III frigate to be awarded in first quarter of 2020. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 4 December that the contract for the detailed design and construction of the first FFX-III-class guided-missile frigate for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) is expected to be awarded in the first quarter of 2020.
The DAPA said that the estimated cost for the design and construction of the first vessel, the name and dimensions of which have yet to be revealed, will be KRW450bn (USD377.6m), adding that this stage of the FFX-III project is set to be completed in 2024. Local media have reported that a total of six ships of the class are set to be built for the RoKN.
In December 2016 the DAPA announced that it had awarded South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) a KRW16.6bn contract to carry out preliminary design and development work on the 3,000-tonne frigate class, which is expected to feature improved anti-submarine warfare and air-defence capabilities.
The agency said at the time that the FFX-III vessels, which will incorporate stealthy elements in their design, will feature an advanced multi-functional phased-array radar offering 360° of coverage that can simultaneously track and detect multiple potential threats. (Source: Jane’s)
29 Nov 19. Malaysia looking to lease helicopters to replace grounded Sea Kings. Malaysia is looking to lease helicopters to replace its fleet of grounded Sikorsky S-61 Sea King medium-lift transport helicopters. Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu told the Malaysian parliament on 27 November that the ministry was expediting the leasing process, describing it as a stop-gap measure before the purchase of new helicopters.
A RMAF S-61A-4 Sea King/Nuri helicopter. Malaysia is looking to lease helicopters to replace its fleet of grounded S-61 Sea King platforms. (Marhalim Abas)
Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) chief General Affendi Buang told Jane’s, “We will do a tender and conduct our evaluation based on cost and capabilities. Many companies are interested in the project.”
Gen Affendi said the RMAF is looking to lease eight helicopters using the funds allocated to operate the Sea Kings. He was unsure, however, how many platforms the Malaysian Army is looking to lease.
The RMAF operates around 12 Sea Kings designated Nuri, while the Malaysian Army’s air wing operates four with another 10 airframes in storage.
The fleet was grounded after one of the platforms made an emergency landing at an army camp near the Malaysian-Thai border in August. The air force later stated that the helicopter had suffered an unspecified technical fault. (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.
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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.