Qioptiq logo


Sponsored by American Panel Corporation

http:// http://american-panel.com/



25 Jun 20. Tempest partners on target with year-end business pitch for UK. Despite the huge disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic lockdown and the uncertainty of Brexit before it, the UK’s ambitious programme to develop a future combat air system remains on target, industry sources say.

Launched during the Farnborough air show in July 2018, the Tempest activity draws together leading UK defence industry players BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, and the UK arms of Leonardo and MBDA, working in concert with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Royal Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office. Their current focus is on delivering an outline business case proposal on schedule at the end of this year.

Next-generation concept is being developed as Eurofighter Typhoon successor for UK

Operating as Team Tempest, this group has since last year also been working with the MoD to advance the planned involvement of international partners Italy and Sweden. A first trilateral meeting between the participating governments took place online in May.

“In line with UK government advice, a significant proportion of our employees are working from home, and we have put in place interim arrangements to ensure our business continues to deliver during these difficult times,” says Andrew Kennedy, strategic campaigns director at BAE Systems Air.

“Throughout the lockdown period, we have continued to work in collaboration with the MoD and our Team Tempest partners, and at this point, we have been able to minimise any impact on our work,” Kennedy says. “We are confident that any short-term delays can be mitigated as we continue to progress according to the original timescales outlined in 2018 – and ultimately achieving initial operating capability in 2035.”

Leonardo deputy managing director UK Alastair Morrison says that only 25-30% of its employees have been on site at any one time during the pandemic. The ability for the bulk of its staff to work from the home throughout the crisis stemmed from previous major technology investments made by the company, he notes.

“We’re going forward [and] getting our materials together” in support of the business case submission, he says. “There is a huge amount of activity going on just now.”


Referring to the MoD’s continued drive to keep Tempest on schedule despite the pandemic’s disruption and economic impact, Morrison says: “It has focused quite a bit of attention, and this kind of thing can be seen as an engine to recovery.

“These things don’t come along very often,” he says of the broad-ranging Tempest opportunity, adding: “there’s a kind of freshness about the programme. We see it as a route to a new generation of revenue, and it’s also one of the things that transports the business. It is opportunity and necessity that makes us change. We will not be going back to doing everything business as usual – even when Covid[-19]’s not there.”

Kennedy says that despite the near-term challenges posed by the pandemic, “The UK requirement for a world-leading combat air sector, delivering prosperity, military capability and international influence has not changed and, accordingly, we continue to develop the technology, skills and transformational thinking necessary to show how Tempest can deliver this ambition.” (Source: News Now/Flight Global)

17 Jun 20. Agency to Procure Support from Industry for NATO Ballistic Missile Defence Capabilities. The NATO Communications and Information Agency has released an Invitation for Bids to provide system engineering, integration and testing support to NATO’s Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Programme until 2029. The €60m contract will have a duration of four years (with an option for a further four) and also include a preliminary transition period of up to six months to guarantee business continuity and enable a winning bidder to familiarise with the programme. The support will be used in the ongoing development and fielding of NATO’s BMD capabilities with the bid invitation having been issued on 3rd June and closing on 1st September 2020 before the agency awards the contract in the second quarter of 2021.

In 2005, the North Atlantic Council approved a capability package to provide NATO-Wide Theatre Missile Defence and in 2010, Heads of State and Government agreed to expand the programme beyond the protection of NATO deployed forces to also protect NATO European populations, territory and forces. In 2016, Allies declared the Initial Operating Capability of NATO’s BMD capability, which offers a stronger capability to defend Alliance populations, territory and forces against potential ballistic missile attacks. This capability will keep providing the necessary support to NATO as the Agency works to deliver the next expected capability declarations, while it also expects to release another Invitation for Bids under the programme this summer to an estimated value of €11m.

This contract will cover certain services for the BMD Integration Test Bed, which supports test and exercise events at both the system and architecture level. The Test Bed is responsible for ensuring that technical requirements are met and that operational interoperability with other NATO and national systems is assured with bidders free to bid for one, or both, of these contracts. (Source: ESD Spotlight)


19 Jun 20. Contract Signed for the Construction of the Multi-Purpose Combat Ship 180. The construction of four Multi-Purpose Combat Ships 180 (MKS 180) is of great importance both for the German Navy and for Germany as a business and industrial location. After the approval of the budget committee of the German Bundestag to finance the new ships on June 17, 2020, the contract between the procurement office of the Bundeswehr and industry was signed on June 19, 2020.

With the signing of the contract, a major milestone was reached after a multi-year, competitive award procedure. The MKS multi-purpose combat ship 180 is being built in cooperation between the Dutch Damen Shipyards Group, the Thales Group and the Lürssen shipyard, incorporating the German Naval Yards.

The construction of the ships will begin in 2023 after a three-year development phase. The first ship will be delivered after another four years. The three subsequent ships are to be handed over to the Navy by the beginning of the next decade. In the contract, the Bundeswehr kept an option to purchase two more ships.

German added value secured

The MKS 180 is based on the design of the Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding and will be largely built in German shipyards. Damen Werft plans to generate over 70 percent of the construction contract’s shipyard in Germany. This ensures jobs not only in the area of the shipyards, but also with German naval subcontractors. It is also contractually agreed that around 30 percent will be awarded to medium-sized companies. The state-of-the-art command and control system of the future units comes from the Thales Group, and the central sea and airspace monitoring radar from Hensoldt.

The ship also has a large number of sensors and effectors from the USA, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway. Germany has secured extensive rights to the ship for the future.

The planned construction costs amount to approximately 4.6bn euros net. A total of around 6bn euros are budgeted for the four units – including the land facilities for training – and the roughly ten-year external construction supervision.

Intensive German-Dutch cooperation

The cooperation of the German-Dutch armed forces is considered an outstanding example of European cooperation in the field of defense. It began with the establishment of the 1st German-Dutch Corps in 1995. Another milestone was the integration of the Dutch 11th Airmobile Brigade into the German Rapid Forces Division in 2014.

With the incorporation of the naval battalion with the Dutch Marine Corps (Korps Mariniers) and the integration of a Dutch brigade into a German division, a further stage of military cooperation between the armed forces of both countries was reached in 2016.

This close connection is not only reflected in the troops. Binational cooperation has also been successfully practiced in the arms sector for years. Here, for example, not only the cooperation with the armored transport vehicle (GTK armored transport vehicle) Boxer and Fennek scout car, but also cooperation on their operation, for example with the Leopard 2 battle tank or the PzH2000 self-propelled howitzer, should be mentioned.

In the Navy there was close cooperation with the frigate classes F124 and De Zeven Provinciën. A further step in binational cooperation is the Tactical Edge Networking (TEN) project, with which Germany and the Netherlands are taking the common path towards digitally networking their armed forces in land-based operations.

Joint shipbuilding promotes key technology

The conclusion of the contract for the multi-purpose combat ship 180 opens the door to exploring further cooperation opportunities in the maritime sector. To this end, State Secretary Benedikt Zimmer and his Dutch counterpart, State Secretary Barbara Visser, initiated a joint dialogue.

Military shipbuilding is defined as a key national technology in both Germany and the Netherlands. However, this in no way precludes cooperation – on the contrary. Joint steps can ensure the availability of security-critical technologies. The goal of each country is to provide its own navy with modern, ready-to-use submarines, boats and ships. But they also want to be able to offer competitive warships on the world market.

Following the European idea, joint projects in the area of key technologies are not only useful, they are necessary so that the connection to technological developments can be kept with increasingly complex weapon systems. A dialogue is to be held with the Netherlands on this. We want to talk to each other about the joint replacement of systems such as the F124 frigates, which are getting old.

“The intensive cooperation between the Netherlands and Germany has a long history and offers opportunities for the future. That is why I regularly consult with my German colleagues to see how we can use these opportunities together,” said State Secretary Visser.

State Secretary Zimmer was looking forward to this view of the future: “Together we can provide our navies with modern, highly complex ships and boats, while strengthening our national industrial base. Our goal is to provide our soldiers with modern systems in good time!”

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com) (Source: defense-aerospace.com/German Ministry of Defence)


24 Jun 20. Boeing Boosts Israeli Aerospace Industry by $1bn in Three Years. Cooperation with domestic firms expands Israel’s aerospace sector. Boeing strengthened the Israeli aerospace industry by nearly $1bn (3.5bn Israeli shekels) in the last three years, according to the latest data from the Industrial Cooperation Authority (ICA) within Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry.

Boeing’s multiple cooperation projects with Israeli companies helped drive this growth.  The company committed to a long-term strategy for developing Israel’s aerospace industry in 2018, as part of an umbrella agreement with the Ministry of Economy and Industry. Since then, Boeing has directed at least 35 percent of the contract value from Israeli government defense procurements to Israel-based companies and suppliers. The agreement is also a testament to the ICA’s commitment to bridge the gap between small and medium-sized (SME) businesses and multinational corporations.

“This agreement is definitely an opportunity, a vote of confidence, especially these days and a declaration of intent by a leading international business corporation in the capabilities of the local Israeli industry and its products,” said Ziva Eger, ICA chief executive. “By nurturing strategic partnerships such as these, we will continue to promote the Israeli economy forward.”

Boeing has worked in coordination with the Production and Procurement Directorate of the Ministry of Defense, as well with the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel, to train and develop SMEs on the path to becoming Boeing suppliers. Boeing has assessed and provided training to over 60 Israeli SMEs. Recent examples include:

* Israel Aerospace Industries major structures work for the F-15 program; avionics and spare parts for the V-22 Osprey, the T-38 Talon and T-45 Goshawk;

* Elbit Systems providing sensors, processors and displays on many Boeing platforms, including the helmet mounted display, DIRCM systems and the electronic warfare suite for the H-47 Chinook;

* Key contracts and expertise sharing with small and medium Israeli suppliers, including RADA Electronics Industries Ltd., Sapphire, Ashot Ashkelon Industries, TAT Technologies Group and BAZ Airborne;

* Innovative development projects with small companies such as ALGOLiON and Assembrix.

“Boeing’s partnership with Israel extends more than seven decades and the country has a robust and capable industry that can provide global support to both defense and commercial businesses,” said Maria Laine, Boeing vice president, International Strategic Partnerships. “Boeing and the Israeli government’s considerable investment in the aerospace industry will continue to serve as a growth accelerator in the country and as a bedrock for customers and suppliers to develop lasting partnerships. (Source: ASD Network)

26 Jun 20. Leidos welcomes AeroPM to LAND 129 Phase 2 project bid. Leidos Australia has announced its collaboration with Australian SME AeroPM for expert technical, airworthiness, certification, test and evaluation advice for the LAND 129 Phase 3 tender response.

The LAND 129 project will replace and enhance the existing Australian Army’s tactical unmanned aerial system (TUAS) and contribute to strengthening Australia’s sovereign capability. Leidos Australia is one of four companies shortlisted to compete for the conceptual system integration design phase of the project.

Paul Chase, Leidos Australia chief executive, welcomed the collaboration, saying, “Leidos is committed to working with Australian companies across all of our tenders, and LAND 129 Phase 3 is no different.

“AeroPM is an impressive Australian veteran-owned SME, which is not only supporting the Australian industry, but also the veteran community. They have a solid record working on complex technical programs and their strengths complement our exciting offering.”

Led by chief executive Emily Frizell and general manager Adam Frizell, AeroPM will support Leidos to achieve type certification and continuing airworthiness for both the platform and mission support systems. In addition, AeroPM will provide support for delivery, transition, operational service strategy, and the test and evaluation program.

Emily Frizell said, “We look forward to working with Leidos and supporting the future of Defence. With a high percentage of ex-service personnel on our team and our experience supporting Defence projects, we have significant insight into the needs of the men and women on the ground.”

AeroPM engaged with Leidos Australia after a recent call requesting expressions of interest (EOI) from Australian companies to join the bid via the Leidos Australian Partner Portal.

Together, AeroPM and Leidos have a shared vision in developing a solution that best supports Defence’s current and future needs.

As part of the LAND 129 Phase 3 program, Defence is looking for a capability to replace the SHADOW 200’s current capability set, which includes EO/IR stabilised imagery, communications relay payload, laser designation, electronic line-of-sight communications and advanced simulation.

As part of its efforts to expand its TUAS capabilities, Defence is looking for the new capability to include more advanced modular payloads, encrypted communications, a reduced equipment footprint, runway independent operations, quieter operations, operations in more classes of airspace (apart from military restricted airspace), increased environmental operating envelope and increased connectivity and networking in the battlespace.

The new TUAS requirements must also meet the following:

* TUAS – an air vehicle with a GTOW of more than 25 kilograms and less than 250 kilograms;

* System – a TUAS consisting of, at a minimum, an air vehicle and a ground control station (GCS);

* Subsystem – a subsystem of a TUAS, e.g. propulsion, avionics, autopilot, GCS, data link;

* Component – a component of an TUAS, e.g. a battery, antenna, servo motor; and

* Services – services related to TUAS, e.g. operations, engineering, maintenance, training.

Defence is looking to hear from Australian suppliers operating in the TUAS space in terms of systems, subsystems, payloads and components.

The next phase of the project will focus on a competitive evaluation of more comprehensive tendered solutions from the four primes, prior to progressing the project to government consideration in 2021. (Source: Defence Connect)

24 Jun 20. Australia provides funding to companies for F-35 programme. The Australian Government has provided funding to three companies to increase their involvement in the global Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35 programme and continue to fight against the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

NuMetric, which is trading as Axiom and one among the three companies, has secured more than A$800,000 ($553,240) to purchase new technical equipment and train staff for its operation.

Under the contract, Axiom will procure a five-axis 3m vertical computer numerical control machine.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “Axiom recently joined forces with Defence to rapidly produce face shields for frontline health workers.

“This demonstrated the highly advanced manufacturing capacity we have in our defence industry and why it’s important to invest in these capabilities.

“The funding we’re providing Axiom will enable them to invest in new equipment to ramp up their involvement in the F-35 programme, which leads to the creation of more local jobs and opportunities in their supply chain.”

In total, 50 Australian companies have received approximately A$1.8bn ($1.2bn) in the production of the F-35 programme.

Work under the programme will employ over 2,400 Australian workers.

The grants were awarded under the New Air Combat Capability – Industry Support Program, which supports the development of improved capabilities that enhance sustainment and follow-on development phases of the F-35 programme.

Additionally, Moog has won A$250,000 ($172,900) to analyse the capability gap required to prepare for the sustainment phase of the F-35 Global Support Solution.

Once completed, the analysis will make the company a qualified repair source under the F-35 programme.

The government also provided A$250,000 ($172,900) to A W Bell that will be invested by the company in its Dandenong South casting and production facility. This will improve competitiveness and reduce risk for the F-35 global supply chain. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

18 Jun 20. South Korea’s ADD to study possible upgrades for FA-50 light attack aircraft. South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) is aiming to enhance the range and combat capabilities of Korea Aerospace Industries’ (KAI’s) FA-50 Fighting Eagle light combat aircraft, 60 units of which are currently in service with the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF). As its ageing F-5E/F and F-4E combat aircraft are gradually decommissioned, the RoKAF would like the twin-seat, single-engined FA-50, which was originally developed to provide close air support, to play a bigger role in the force, a military official told Janes on 18 June.

As a result the ADD will conduct a study from July to December to examine how to expand the aircraft’s capabilities in several areas, including the possibility of it carrying conformal fuel tanks for extended range, as well as targeting pods and new weapons systems, including beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAMs).

The FA-50 Fighting Eagle is the light-strike variant of the T-50 Golden Eagle advanced jet trainer. Developed along similar lines to the Yak-130 and M-346, the FA-50 has an internal General Dynamics M197 20 mm three-barrel Gatling-gun (modified M61A2) and seven external stations (one on centreline, two under each wing, and an air-to-air missile [AAM] rail on each wingtip) for AAMs and air-to-surface missiles (ASMs), rocket pods, bombs, munition dispensers, practice bombs or equipment, and training targets. (Source: Jane’s)

18 Jun 20. Sikorsky set to pitch armed Black Hawk for Philippine requirement. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, is preparing a proposal to offer to the Philippines an armed version of its latest S-70i Black Hawk utility helicopter. The proposal will be positioned to meet the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF’s) requirement to procure an initial six attack helicopters, Sikorsky told Janes on 18 June. The proposal would progress as a direct commercial sale (DCS).

Sikorsky is positioning the armed version of its latest S-70i Black Hawk (pictured) for a Philippine Air Force requirement to procure an initial six attack helicopters. (Sikorsky)

The proposal also builds on Sikorsky’s contract – awarded in April 2019 – to build and deliver 16 S-70i Black Hawks to meet the PAF’s separate ‘combat utility helicopter’ (CUH) programme.

Sikorsky said its production of the CUH platforms has not been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The first six of these Black Hawk aircraft – all of which are being produced at PZL Mielec, Sikorsky’s company in Poland – will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2020, with remainder scheduled for 2021.

The CUH programme is, according to Philippine media reports, valued at about USD240m. The PAF’s attack helicopter programme meanwhile is budgeted by the Philippines at about USD265m, significantly lower that two related offerings made by the US government in late April.

These proposals, which would progress through the US government’s Foreign Military Sale (FMS) mechanism, feature the Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian or Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter. While the US government has estimated the cost of these two procurements at USD1.5bn and USD450m respectively, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has stated that the Philippines “can’t afford” either of them.

Jon Rudy, Sikorsky’s regional executive for Asia-Pacific, told Janes. (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.

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.


Back to article list