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30 Mar 20. Polish Army seeks disposable anti-tank weapons. The Polish Armament Inspectorate (AI) on 26 March announced that it is to begin a technical dialogue with industry on 2-3 April for the provision of a lightweight disposable anti-tank weapon to replace the Polish Army’s RPG-7. The AI will assess the initial technical requirements, the delivery schedule, and the price, including logistic support and training over 20 years of use. Key characteristics of the weapon such as weight, dimensions, minimum and maximum effective range would also be analysed.
The weapon is to be fitted with various types of high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) and high explosive squash head (HESH) rounds that would be able to penetrate both armoured vehicles and reinforced concrete structures. (Source: Jane’s)
31 Mar 20. The Air Force’s KC-46 tanker has another serious technical deficiency, and Boeing is stuck paying for it. The Air Force on Monday logged another critical technical flaw for the KC-46 tanker, this time revolving around excessive fuel leaks. Under its contract with the service, KC-46 manufacturer Boeing is responsible for paying for a fix to the problem, Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Cara Bousie said in a statement.
“The Air Force and Boeing are working together to determine the root cause and implement corrective actions,” she said. “The KC-46 program office continues to monitor the entire KC-46 fleet and is enhancing acceptance testing of the fuel system to identify potential leaks at the factory where they can be repaired prior to delivery.”
The problem was first discovered in July 2019, but the Air Force did not say why the issue had been escalated to Category 1 status — the designation given to problems with a significant impact on operations or safety. The service also did not immediately comment on questions about what sort of receiver aircraft were most involved with the deficiency or the severity of the problem.
A Boeing spokesman said that the Air Force had discovered 16 aircraft in need of repair, and that seven have already been fixed.
“The KC-46 fuel system is equipped with redundant protection for fuel containment. In some cases with this issue, aircraft maintenance crews are finding fuel between the primary and secondary fuel protection barriers within the system,” the company said in a statement.
Boeing is working with “utmost urgency” to address the problem and implement a fix to the remaining aircraft, the statement said. A Boeing spokesman added it would take about 10 days to retrofit each aircraft at the rapid response depot facility in San Antonio, Texas. The fix was also being incorporated into production line in Everett, Wash., which is currently undergoing a temporary suspension due to COVID-19.
The latest Category 1 deficiency brings the total up to four:
- The tanker’s remote vision system or RVS — the camera system that allows KC-46 boom operators to steer the boom into a receiver aircraft without having to look out a window and use visual cues — provides imagery in certain lighting conditions that appears warped or misleading. Boeing has agreed to pay for potentially extensive hardware and software fixes, but the Air Force believes it will system won’t be fully functional until 2023-2024.
- The Air Force has recorded instances of the boom scraping against the airframe of receiver aircraft. Boeing and the Air Force believe this problem is a symptom of the RVS’s acuity problems and will be eliminated once the camera system is fixed.
- Boeing must redesign the boom to accommodate the A-10, which currently does not generate the thrust necessary to push into the boom for refueling. This problem is a requirements change by the Air Force, which approved Boeing’s design in 2016. Last year, Boeing received a $55.5m contract to begin work on the new boom actuator.
Boeing’s fixed-priced firm contract for the development of the KC-46 has a $4.9bn ceiling that leaves the company responsible for any expenses billed in excess of that amount. So far, the company has paid more than $3.5bn of its own money to fund corrections to ongoing technical issues. (Source: Defense News)
26 Mar 20. USMC solicits industry to provide mobile air-defence system for JLTV vehicles. The US Marine Corps (USMC) has formally begun its search for a ground-based air-defence system (GBADS) for integration aboard its Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs).
A request for information (RFI) issued by the Department of Defense (DoD) on 26 March called for the means to effectively defeat fixed- and rotary-winged (FW/RW), manned and unmanned aerial threats in support of the Marine Air/Ground Task Force (MAGTF) commander’s scheme-of-manoeuvre.
“The purpose of this RFI is to solicit potential solutions from industry on a FW/RW defeat capability that can be integrated onto the Marine Air Defense Integrated System [MADIS],” the RFO posted on the beta.sam.gov website said. As noted in the solicitation, which was issued about 27 months after the corps first revealed its MADIS initiative to help field a near-term counter unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) capability, the FW/RW air-defence requirement is to be broken down into separate increments. MADIS Increment (Inc) 1, which is the subject of this current RFI, is to comprise a pair of JLTV vehicles (one Mk1 and one Mk2) to provide a short-range ability to detect, track, identify, and defeat aerial threats. MADIS Inc 1 focuses on the integration of command-and-control (C2) software onto the JLTV Heavy Guns Carrier (HGC) variant. The Mk1 vehicle will include a counter-FW/RW and a non-kinetic C-UAS capability, while the Mk2 vehicle will include a detection, kinetic, and non-kinetic C-UAS capability. The effective range of the systems will be no less than the FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missile system (noted by Jane’s Land Warfare Platforms: Artillery & Air Defence as being an envelope between 200m and 4km). It shall have a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 9 (most mature) and not require new development. It should also be able to support delivery of two engineering development models during Q3 of fiscal year (FY) 2021, and manufacture of 13 low-rate initial production (LRIP) units during Q3 2022. (Source: Jane’s)
26 Mar 20. US Air Force sets April deadline for 3DELRR replacement. US Air Force officials want defence companies to submit prototype proposals for the revamped Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) system by April, as part of the service’s effort to get the beleaguered programme back on track. The industry proposals for the 3DELRR effort will be evaluated under the air service’s “Speed Dealer” acquisition strategy, designed to fast-track evaluation and selection of radar prototypes, which could lay the groundwork for a follow-on production deal for 35 radar platforms, a 23 March air force solicitation states. Issued by the Theater Battle Control Division at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, service officials expect to award up to three Other Transactional Agreements (OTAs) for prototype variants of the 3DELRR system via the Speed Dealer programme. (Source: Jane’s)
REST OF THE WORLD
02 Apr 20. Russia offers Indian Navy new submarine deal. The Indian Navy (IN) is believed to be examining a proposal by Russia’s state-owned JSC United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) to offer the service three refurbished Kilo-class submarines to augment its shortfall in diesel-electric submarines (SSKs). Official sources told Jane’s on 2 April that as part of the same offer, which was first made in December 2019, USC also proposed conducting major refit and life-certification (MRLC) work on three of the IN’s Sindhughosh Kilo (Project 877EKM)-class submarines to extend their operational life by 10 years. The entire package – dubbed ‘three plus three’ – has reportedly been priced at USD1.8-2bn, and was expected to have been formalised at a meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-M&MTC) that was scheduled to take place in Goa in March but was called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Source: Jane’s)
31 Mar 20. German Government Approves Submarine Delivery to Egypt. The German government has approved Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems’ license to supply a submarine to Egypt and four warships to Israel. Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier (CDU) announced these decisions of the Federal Security Council on Tuesday to the Bundestag’s Economic Committee in a letter that was made available to the German Press Agency.
The committee also gave the green light for the export of ammunition and fuses worth EUR 179m produced by Rheinmetall’s to the Gulf emirate Qatar, while a Rheinland Air Service (RAS) aircraft will go to Pakistan and 72 Diehl Defense air-defense missiles to the Philippines. Rheinland Air Service has already delivered two RAS 72 Sea Eagle maritime patrol aircraft derived from the ATR-72 commercial turboprop. It is part of a multi-year contract signed in 2015 for equipping the Pakistan Navy with a modern fleet of maritime patrol aircraft. The first aircraft of the fleet was formally handed over in June 2018 and the second aircraft was delivered after it was unveiled to the general public at the Paris Airshow in June 2019.
Germany’s Federal Security Council approves export of ammunition and fuzes worth $195.4m to Qatar Produced by Rheinmetall..probably for Qatar Armed Forces Leopard 2A7+ and PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers https://m.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/bundesregierung-genehmigt-u-boot-lieferung-an-aegypten-16705433.amp.html …
Egypt was the third best foreign customer of German manufacturers last year, ordering armaments for 802m euros. Deliveries to the country ruled by President Abdel Fattah al Sisi are controversial because of the human rights situation there, but also because Egypt is part of the Saudi Arabian war coalition of Arab countries in Yemen. The German federal government has imposed an arms export ban on Saudi Arabia, among other things because of this war against the Houthi rebels supported by Iran.
The left Bundestag MEP Sevim Dagdelen sharply criticized the export permits. “In violation of its own principles, the federal government continues to irresponsibly authorize weapons of war to authoritarian regimes in areas of tension and crisis,” she said. “We need an immediate end to this unscrupulous export policy that endows weapons conflicts worldwide.” (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)
30 Mar 20. Brazilian Army releases requirements for its new MBT project. The Brazilian Army has recently published two documents, one outlining operational requirements and the other technical, logistical, and industrial requirements, that will lead to the potential future acquisition of a new main battle tank (MBT).
Project ‘Viatura Blindada de Combate-Carro de Combate’ (VBC-CC) points to an armoured fighting vehicle manned by a crew of four with a combat weight of less than 50 tonnes and maximum dimensions of 12 m in length and 4m in width with a maximum hull height of 3m. It is expected to have a top speed exceeding 60km/h, a range of 400km, and the ability to ford to a depth of 1 m and to be able to traverse a ditch or trench up to 2.5m wide at maximum load.
The army is seeking a tracked chassis with a multi-fuel engine and semi-automatic or automatic transmission and a turret with manual and electric drive, with both offering low thermal and radar signatures. The turret must be armed with a stabilised, low-recoil 120mm smoothbore main gun, a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, a remote-control weapon station armed with a 12.7mm machine gun, and eight 76mm smoke grenade launchers.
Mandatory items would include a 24V electrical system; an automatic fire suppression system; a fire control system with ballistic computer, weather station, target auto-tracking, laser rangefinder and thermal imager for commander and gunner; an air conditioning unit; a command-and-control system comprising a radio, intercom and battle management system (BMS); an auxiliary power unit; a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protection kit; a hard- or soft-kill protection system; an external rear-mounted telephone; and provisions for frontal obstacle-breaching components, a signature management system, additional armour and an internal spall liner. (Source: Jane’s)
30 Mar 20. Support announced for Australian defence industry. The government has announced a support plan for Australia’s defence industry amid the continued economic downturn. Though the release does hint at ongoing evaluations of how “appropriate relief” might be extended to contractors, the key feature identified in the short-term was fast-tracked payments to defence industry suppliers.
According to Defence, some suppliers will receive payment up to two weeks earlier than usual. Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said that COVID-19 posed an unprecedented challenge to Australia’s defence industry. This could help the industry – which employs 35,000 Australians – to weather the economic fallout.
“Defence industry makes an important contribution to our economy, our security posture and our safety,” she said.
“That is why we brought forward the payment of more than $500m to businesses in Australia, which ensures money is flowing into the Australian economy at a time of acute pressure.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said that the Morrison government was committed to ensuring Australian industry personnel were supported, so they could keep equipping and sustaining Australian troops.
“Australian small businesses are the backbone of our defence industry and we will continue to do everything we can to relieve the current pressures they’re under,” she said.
“Minister Reynolds and I are speaking today with major defence companies and industry groups to hear how we can further assist and provide support to Aussie workers and small businesses in our defence industry.
Measures put in place include:
- Accelerating payments to Australian suppliers by making payment as soon as possible after their invoice has been approved for payment by Defence, irrespective of the contracted payment terms;
- Reinforcing to strategic prime contractors the important role their Australian sub-contractors play in ensuring prompt payment across the supply chain; and
- Providing appropriate relief to contractors in circumstances of demonstrated adverse effects as a result of the COVID-19 crisis on the supply of labour, equipment, materials or services required to meet current contractual obligations.
Defence said that assistance will also extend “to the sizeable Defence estate with a continued focused on delivering capital facilities and infrastructure works across Australia to support existing and new capabilities”. All current and future contractual clauses have been amended to provide time and cost relief for COVID-19 impacts under its construction contracts. For further information or support, businesses can contact the Centre for Defence Industry Capability on 13 28 46 or www.business.gov.au/cdic or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. (Source: Defence Connect)
27 Mar 20. Brazil discards the Barroso corvette upgrades. The Brazilian Navy dropped its initial plan to modernise one of its frontline surface combatants, the corvette CV Barroso (V34) as part of the offset package for acquisition of four Tamandaré-class frigates, it told Jane’s on 20 March. The technical risks involved in the compensation project related to Barroso modernisation were analysed during the negotiation phase for the acquisition of the four ships, the navy said. It was found that there was a high probability of not being successful, due to the complexity of adapting the combat system of Barroso to receive the systems that will be used in the Tamandaré class, the navy added. (Source: 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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