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29 Jun 20. Met Police to replace Guardian M-RAV. Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that the Met Police is close to issuing a tender for the replacement of its fleet of approximately 16 Jankel Guardian vehicles.

The Guardian offers protection and capabilities in excess of other vehicles currently used by Law Enforcement Agencies in such roles, whilst still maintaining a discreet appearance. The Guardian has been conceived and designed as a multi role armoured 4×4 vehicle, to fulfil a number of operations roles including:

  • High readiness fire-arms support and patrol vehicle
  • Hostage negotiation
  • High threat containment vehicle
  • High threat area control and patrol vehicle (airport control)
  • Public order / riot control vehicle (when fitted with the modular Riot Protection System [MRPS])
  • Overt Observation Post (OP)
  • Overt Sniper Position
  • Counter Terrorist (CT) and hostage rescue intervention vehicle (when fitted with elements of the Reactive Intervention System [RIS])
  • High threat emergency evacuation vehicle
  • High risk (Cat ‘A’) prisoner conveyance vehicle (when fitted with the prisoner handling cage)

Other Police forces are keen to buy the same vehicle as the Met so will be looking at the result of the tender closely.

Bidders for the Guardian replacement will be the usual suspects, Jankel, Ricardo, Mercedes and Babcock MacNeillie.


26 Jun 20. Swiss set date for fighter referendum. Switzerland is to hold a national referendum on its Air2030 requirement to procure new combat aircraft on 27 September. The date, announced by the government on 26 June, will see the population decide on whether or not to proceed with a planned procurement of a new aircraft type to replace the Swiss Air Force’s ageing Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II and Boeing F/A-18 Hornet fleets. As previously reported though, the type selection itself will not be subject to a vote. With the Covid-19 pandemic having delayed proceedings, the referendum will take place before the offers from industry are due in November. These offers will come from Germany’s Airbus for the Eurofighter Typhoon, from France for the Dassault Rafale, and the United States for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). For the fighter requirement, the competing companies contacted via the government authorities are requested to submit the most advantageous offer for Switzerland. The proposal should include prices for 36 and 40 aircraft (including logistics and weapons), as well as other defined industrial aspects of the bid including offsets. Under a previously released timeline Switzerland had planned to select a new fighter type in 2020, though this will now likely take place in 2021. Parliamentary approval and the award of funding is due in 2022, with deliveries to follow from 2025. (Source: Jane’s)

29 Jun 20. Dutch-Belgian M-frigate replacement delayed as research phase is completed. The research phase of the programme to replace Dutch-Belgian M-frigates has been completed but deliveries will be delayed, the Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on its website on 24 June.

The Dutch MoD said the design phase would last two years, longer than anticipated, delaying delivery of the first new frigate to 2027 – two years later than had initially been planned for its entry into service. This phase will be followed by operational effectiveness and safety testing. The Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) is scheduled to receive the first ship in 2028 and the second one a year later.

The Belgian frigates are to be delivered no later than 2030. The first Belgian ship was originally scheduled to enter service in 2027.

The research phase elaborated on requirements for the ships to produce a ship design within budget and construction timelines. The two MoDs worked with contractors Damen and Thales to arrive at a design that meets Dutch, Belgian, and NATO requirements. (Source: Jane’s)

25 Jun 20. As the Future is Unpredictable: FCAS is an Incremental Journey. In a unpredictable world of growing threats, FCAS will deliver increasing operational effects by leveraging the collective capabilities of connected manned and unmanned platforms, bringing the next level of Air Power to highly denied environments.

At the heart of FCAS, manned New Generation Fighters teaming with unmanned Remote Carriers as force multipliers will form the Next Generation Weapon System or NGWS. Various national and ally platforms will supplement the NGWS in a collaborative approach by adding their unique capabilities. Such a system of systems approach will reach beyond the air domain by including sea, land, space and cyber. The Air Combat Cloud will enable seamless collaborative combat across domains by leveraging the connected capabilities of pooled platforms.

Such an FCAS vision entails doctrinal and technological challenges, as European air forces and navies will operationally benefit from new capabilities as they gradually arrive. This will require a two fold coordinated approach: European air forces and navies need to change the way they operate and industry must develop the needed new technologies. This cannot be done “overnight” and will require time. By progressively providing FCAS capabilities, European air forces and navies will be able to meet the growing threats they face.

An incremental roll-out of FCAS capabilities is already planned with initial situational awareness across platforms capabilities in the mid-2020s. This will be followed by manned unmanned teaming between upgraded existing fighters such as the EF LTE and 1st generation Remote Carriers in the early 2030s, before achieving the full FCAS vision in 2040 with the NGWS as its core.

Meeting the doctrinal and technological changes can only be done if air forces, navies and Industry work hand in hand. This is FCAS! (Source: ASD Network)


30 Jun 20. Patria and Kongsberg teaming up for U.S. turreted mortar programs. Patria and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace have teamed up for the future U.S. turreted mortar programs. The teaming will provide to the U.S. market an unrivalled combination of Patria’s world-leading mortar systems together with Kongsberg’s U.S. remote weapons systems (RWS) manufacturing capabilities and experience in the U.S. market.

Patria Nemo is the foremost turreted mortar system. It is a remote-controlled 120mm mortar system capable of both direct and indirect fire on the move. Nemo can also execute multiple rounds simultaneous impact (MRSI) fire missions with up to 6 rounds per MRSI mission. In addition to being highly protected, Patria Nemo is light, compact and easily installable on light, tracked chassis, wheeled armored vehicles or navy vessels.

Having an eye on upcoming turreted mortar programs for the U.S. armed forces, Patria and Kongsberg have agreed to leverage Kongsberg’s existing RWS manufacturing facilities in Johnstown, Pennsylvania for Nemo’s production to the U.S. market. Kongsberg’s Johnstown’s facility together, with their wide U.S. supplier base, has provided over 14,000 weapon systems to U.S. armed forces over the last 20 years. Kongsberg produced MCT-30 remote turrets for the U.S. Army’s Stryker program in Johnstown and in May 2020 was selected to do the same for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle program.

“Kongsberg’s track record in high-end weapon system production in the U.S. is highly regarded making Kongsberg a logical choice to manufacture our systems for the U.S. Armed Forces. We are now ready to provide the U.S. with the world’s most advanced, protected and mobile 120mm mortar system and to do so from within the U.S.”, says Jussi Järvinen, President of Patria’s Land Business Unit.

“KONGSBERG and Patria have a long history of working together and a relationship that was strengthened in 2016 with KONGSBERG’s minority stake in Patria”, says Pål Bratlie Executive Vice President Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS. “This teaming agreement for the Nemo mortar system is a fantastic means for our companies to join forces to provide solutions to the warfighter for the turreted mortar mission”.

01 Jul 20. Boeing-backed Wisk says no to US Air Force’s Agility Prime. US autonomous air mobility company Wisk, which is backed by Boeing, is not offering its 12-rotor Cora all-electric air taxi for the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) Agility Prime electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) competition.

Wisk CEO Gary Gysin told reporters on 26 June that the company’s mission is to be purely commercial. Wisk spokesman Chris Brown said on 30 June that the company’s decision to not pursue Agility Prime is based on a larger goal of bringing an air taxi to New Zealand and later the United States.

Although there are several use-case opportunities Wisk can pursue, Brown said it is important for the company to remain focused on its primary objective to deliver safe, autonomous travel in urban areas. Agility Prime seeks to establish a collaborative strategy with industry and investors that accelerates fielding the most promising technologies for savings and utility to the Pentagon, as well as potential commercial market success.

There are few eVTOL developers who have the support of a major original equipment manufacturer (OEM) such as Boeing. Automobile manufacturer Toyota announced in January it was investing USD394m in Joby Aviation’s eVTOL aircraft. In addition, Airbus, Bell, Embraer, and Hyundai are players in the eVTOL space.

Marilyn Smith, Georgia Institute of Technology aerospace engineering professor and Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence director, told Janes. (Source: Jane’s)

28 Jun 20. NASA seeks UTM/ATM partners to support advanced air mobility trials. NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) is seeking advanced air mobility (AAM) vehicle industry partners that will focus on demonstrating integrated AAM operations in flight activities to be conducted as part of the first AAM National Campaign (NC-1) in 2022.  NASA is currently seeking AAM vehicle developers that propose to begin information exchange with NASA in preparation for flights as part of NC-1 in 2022.

NASA’s ARMD plans to host an Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign series with a goal to promote public confidence and accelerate the realization of emerging aviation markets for passenger and cargo transportation in urban, suburban, rural and regional environments.  For the purpose of this National Campaign, NASA views the term Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) to cover transformative and disruptive aerial transportation systems and networks for mobilizing people and things in ways that haven’t been available to the public before, and reaching to places which are not practical today due to noise, airspace, infrastructure and other limitations.

AAM includes local missions in rural areas and those within complex and challenging urban environments, often referred to as Urban Air Mobility (UAM), as well as intraregional operations between cities and between metropolitan and rural areas.  In addition to these use cases, AAM refers to novel vehicle configurations that are enabled by electrification of the propulsion system inclusive of all-electric and hybrid-electric propulsion architectures, levels of vehicle autonomous operations and reduced pilot/operator workload and improved trajectory compliance, and operations at densities that cannot be managed by current air traffic management system architectures.

The Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign (NC) was previously known as the “Urban Air Mobility Grand Challenge (UAM GC)”, and NC includes an expansion in scope from the original UAM GC to be inclusive of all AAM systems and markets, whereas the original UAM GC scope focused on UAM only.  The NC is inclusive of short take-off and landing (STOL) and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles that have all-electric or hybrid-electric propulsion systems with intended use cases of passenger carrying, as well as cargo and surveillance applications.

NASA plans to host an initial or first AAM National Campaign (NC-1) in Calendar Year (CY) 2022 that will enable participants to demonstrate integrated operations in relevant scenarios that include: two-way network flight plan communications; beyond visual line of sight operations; real and simulated vehicle and operations contingencies; dynamic traffic avoidance and trajectory management; and approach and landing in the presence of real structures (e.g., buildings in an urban environment) and associated mechanical turbulence.

NASA is aligning NC-1 with industry-proposed initial commercial operations based on concepts of operations in low density and low complexity environments.  NASA is also structuring NC-1 to include key elements necessary to progress beyond initial commercial operations to achieve scalability of operations, such as, Simplified Vehicle Operations (SVO) through assistive automation and autonomy, and airspace operations using lessons learned from the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) construct to manage the high-density air traffic.

Responsible authority: NASA

Tender number: 80AFRC20ARMDNC-1

Deadline: June 30, 2021

(Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)

25 Jun 20. Pentagon solicits proposals for new hypersonic advanced warning system. The US Department of Defense (DoD) is soliciting industry proposals for the development and fielding of a new network of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, designed specifically to detect, track, and provide advanced warning against hypersonic weapons launched against US armed forces or allied targets.

The request for proposals (RFP) issued by the Pentagon’s Space Development Agency (SDA) to industry on 15 June is seeking programme proposals in support of the early warning LEO satellite network for advanced missile threats, known in agency parlance as the Tracking Layer. The Tracking Layer is only one element of the SDA’s multi-layer National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA) strategy to detect, identify, and deter potential terrestrial and space-based threats.

Those additional layers include the Battle Management Layer, which is designed to provide “architecture tasking”, mission command and control, and data dissemination to support “time-sensitive kill chain closures at campaign scales”, according to SDA documents. Agency officials envision the Navigation Layer to provide US armed forces alternative position, navigation, and timing (A-PNT) capabilities in GPS-denied environments, the documents stated.

The Deterrence Layer will foster platforms and technologies to “deter hostile action in deep space” beyond geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO), while space-based programmes developed under the Support Layer will “enable ground and launch segments” to provide overarching support to the SNA’s responsive space architecture, the documents said. The Transport Layer, as envisioned under the SDA strategy will provide space-based “assured, resilient, low-latency military data and connectivity” to US armed forces across the globe, SDA officials said in the documents. Finally, the Custody Layer will leverage LEO satellite networks to provide comprehensive “all-weather custody of time sensitive, left-of-launch” surface mobile targets, such as missile launchers, the documents added. (Source: Jane’s)


02 Jul 20. Australian shipbuilder pushes back against reports of frigate design concerns. The builder of the Royal Australian Navy’s new Hunter-class frigates has told Defense News that the ship’s design remains “within agreed weight and space envelopes,” despite a recent report in Australian media claiming recent changes have caused concern.

ASC Shipbuilding was responding to a June 26 story in the Australian Financial Review that said growth in the ship design’s weight and length is “sparking concerns.”

But ASC Shipbuilding Managing Director Craig Lockhart said Thursday the company remained confident in its ability to meet Australia’s capability requirements and specifications.

“ASC Shipbuilding is going through the normal naval design process for the Hunter-class frigate and is working collaboratively with the [Australian Defence Department’s] Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group and the Royal Australian Navy to design a ship that meets Australia’s capability and performance requirements,” Lockhart said.

Australia is building nine Hunter-class frigates under the AU$35bn (U.S. $24bn) Project Sea 5000. The ship is based on BAE Systems’ Global Combat Ship, which is under construction in the U.K. for the Royal Navy as the Type 26 and will also be built in Canada as the Canadian Surface Combatant. However, the Australian government has mandated the incorporation of a CEA Technologies electronically scanned radar, which is designed and manufactured in Australia. It has also required the Lockheed Martin Aegis combat system and an Australian interface designed by Saab Australia.

Australia’s specifications have impacted the size and weight of the Australian vessel’s radar mast as well as its power and cooling requirements, but Lockhart maintains the ship is not undergoing a redesign. Rather it is in the midst of what he calls a “normal naval design process,” and he sees nothing to date which will challenge the design margins.

“This design work involves understanding the impact of the Australian-specific systems and equipment and incorporating the agreed design activities, which have occurred as the first-of-class Type 26 Global Combat Ship design matures,” Lockhart said.

“Contrary to the suggestion made in the article, Hunter is not being redesigned, but instead our team is right in the middle of a normal naval ship design process for Hunter,” he added. “Importantly, the design activities being undertaken remain within the agreed weight and space envelopes for Hunter, and we remain confident in our ability to meet the capability requirements and specifications for the commonwealth on time and on budget.”

Prototyping construction work is expected to begin at ASC’s new purpose-built shipyard in Osborne, South Australia, in December, ahead of cutting steel for the first ship in December 2022. This first vessel is planned to become operational with the Royal Australian Navy around the end of the decade. (Source: Defense News)

03 Jul 20. BAE, AIDN exchange blows over Hunter Class content. BAE Systems has hit back at allegations from the defence industry union that Australians are being cut out of the Future Frigate supply chain. The news comes after a report surfaced in The Australian newspaper yesterday, detailing the company’s plans to restrict tenders for the first batch of three Hunter Class frigates to British suppliers.

“AIDN is concerned to learn that BAE Systems and Defence have decided to appoint foreign suppliers into the Hunter program without allowing Australian companies the ability to compete in a fair and equitable manner,” Australian Industry Defence Network (AIDN) chief executive Brent Clark said.

“To change established supply chains for future ship builds in itself introduces levels of risk that may impact on cost and schedule.

“If the intention truly is for Australian companies to be introduced at a later point in the process then it would appear to make more sense to bring them into the supply chain from the outset.”

On its part, subsidiary ASC Shipbuilding looked to allay concerns it was not living up to Australian industry content requirements, arguing that local firms will be progressively integrated into the nine-ship program. The company also said that there are simply no suppliers from which to source many integral components for the build – citing gas turbines, gearboxes, diesel generators and steering equipment as examples.

ASC Shipbuilding managing director Craig Lockhart said that the company is “backed by a track record of growing the capability of Australian companies in the defence industry”. BAE Systems Australia includes over 1,500 domestic companies in our supply chain and spends more than $300m annually across this spectrum.

“Specific equipment or systems required for the Hunter Class are not currently designed or made in Australia. In these specific cases we have made the decision with the Commonwealth to appoint suppliers to the first batch of ships that while not Australian can deliver the capability that is required first and foremost, and without putting at risk the schedule,” Lockhart said.

“In the cases where an Australian company has not been appointed we have instructed the original equipment manufacturers to develop plans to maximise the use of Australian industry in the design, manufacturer, test and installation of their equipment and systems during batch 1.

“In these specific cases we have made the decision with the Commonwealth to appoint suppliers to the first batch of ships that, while not Australian, can first and foremost deliver the capability that is required, and can do so without putting at risk the schedule.

“If an Australian company is not involved in batch 1, it does not mean they will not be involved on batch 2 or 3. We are confident that our approach to growing capability in Australia’s industry will see a growing proportion of Australian companies contracted to the program over the life of the program, ultimately gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver what is needed on Hunter and to grow a sovereign shipbuilding industry.”

The company said it is on track to meet its contractual commitment to spend at least 54 per cent of the total contract value in Australia during the initial design and production phase, and remains confident that it can “achieve north of 60 per cent of Australian industry content over the life of the program”.

30 Jun 20. US appears to confirm expanded F-15QA buy for Qatar. The United States appears to have confirmed an expanded procurement by Qatar of the Boeing F-15QA Advanced Eagle combat aircraft, with recent Department of Defense (DoD) articles and notifications referring to a larger number than officially contracted. The first of an official 36 F-15QA fighters departs Boeing’s St Louis facility on its maiden flight earlier in 2020. Recent official US military notifications appear to indicate that Qatar’s procurement has now been expanded to 48 aircraft. (Comment)

The Gulf state is currently contracted to receive 36 of the latest-generation multirole fighters, with a deal signed in December 2017. However, since at least late-May the DoD has issued no fewer than three official statements in which it has referred to a buy of 48 aircraft. The US State Department initially cleared Qatar to buy 72 aircraft, so this expanded procurement would be in line with current Congressional approvals.

On 23 May the DoD disclosed that the US Army Corps of Engineers had contracted Doha-based company BAH-ICM JV to build facilities for the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s (QEAF’s) new fleet. In the notification, the department said; “The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) purchase of forty-eight (48) F-15QA aircraft improves the State of Qatar’s capability to meet current and future enemy air-to-air and air-to-ground threats”. Janes noted this discrepancy in the numbers at the time, but as it was the first such occurrence this suggested that it may have been in error. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Jane’s)

29 Jun 20. US highlights CAATSA risk in Indian fighter procurement. The United States government has urged India to reconsider its planned acquisition of Russian fighter aircraft, a move that risks potential sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

In comments to Janes on 26 June an official from the US Department of State did not make specific reference to the Indian Air Force (IAF) procurement but said that India has not been safeguarded from possible penalties under the law.

The official said, “Without commentating on private diplomatic conversations, I can confirm that we urge all of our allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russia that risk triggering sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).”

The official added, “While we cannot prejudge whether a specific transaction would result in sanctions, it is important to note that CAATSA does not have any blanket or country-specific waiver provision. “There are strict criteria for considering a waiver, and each transaction is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The Secretary of State has not made any determination regarding the significance of any transaction involving India.”

The comments come after Janes reported on 19 June that the IAF was looking to fast-track the procurement – valued at about USD1.4bn – of 21 used Mikoyan MiG-29 and 12 new Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft to boost its air combat capabilities. The move is partly in response to heightened border tensions between India and China. The IAF would aim to take delivery of the aircraft in 2022. (Source: Jane’s)

29 Jun 20. BAE sets the record straight on Hunter Class concerns. It seems as though the Royal Australian Navy’s big-ticket acquisition projects can’t seem to catch a break with concerns about the $35bn SEA 5000 Hunter Class frigate program now coming to the surface, however, how accurate are the concerns?

When the Commonwealth announced in June 2018, it would be partnering with BAE Systems Australia as the successful tender for the $35bn SEA 5000 Future Frigate program, it seemed as if the pieces were finally falling into place for the government’s signature $95bn naval shipbuilding plan.

Despite the well documented challenges facing the Future Submarine Program, the Hunter Class appears to have be progressing well, at least until now, with Andrew Tillet of The Australian Financial Review reporting on a series of concerns stemming from within industry and Defence in an article titled ‘Sinking feeling: Frigate heads back to drawing board’.

In this piece, Tillet quoting the Department of Defence confirmed that the dimensions of the Hunter Class frigates have grown as part of the design phase in order to accommodate Australian specific requirements, ranging from radars and computers, through to the American-designed Aegis combat system.

Tillet stated, “BAE Systems conceded the frigate may have to swell in size but insisted it would still meet the Navy’s requirements.

“The Australian Financial Review understands senior naval officers are beginning to have misgivings, although the relationship is nowhere near as strained as it is with the French submarine designer Naval Group.”

Tillet added, “The initial design, as pitched to the government, gave the frigate a weight of 8800 tonnes when fully loaded and length of 149.9 metres.

“The winning bid deviated from the base UK design because it was required to include the Australian developed CEA phased array radar, the American Aegis combat system and an Australian developed combat tactical interface by SAAB.”

This recognition appears to make a mountain out of a molehill, at a time when concerns about the value for money proposition presented by major defence acquisition program is increasingly in the spotlight.

Adding to his concerns, Tillet quoted an ‘industry source’, who said: “One industry source said the frigate’s weight was on track to exceed 10,000 tonnes, necessitating the need for the hull to become bigger, which could affect its speed, acoustic performance and ability to conduct stealthy anti-submarine warfare operations.

“A larger vessel has several flow-on costs, including construction, needing extra fuel for sailing and the provision of wharf infrastructure.”

Craig Lockhart, managing director of BAE subsidiary ASC Shipbuilding, countered the concerns raised by both Tillet and the unnamed industry source, telling Defence Connect, “ASC Shipbuilding is currently going through the normal naval design process for the Hunter Class frigate and is working collaboratively with the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group and the Royal Australian Navy to design a ship that meets Australia’s capability and performance requirements.

“This design work involves understanding the impact of the Australian-specific systems and equipment, and incorporating the agreed design activities which have occurred as the first of class Type 26 Global Combat Ship design matures. Contrary to the suggestion made in the article (AFR 26 June 2020), Hunter is not being redesigned, but instead our team is right in the middle of a normal naval ship design process for Hunter.”

Building on these points, Lockhart added, “Importantly, the design activities being undertaken remain within the agreed weight and space envelopes for Hunter and we remain confident in our ability to meet the capability requirements and specifications for the Commonwealth, on time and on budget.

“The Hunter Class Frigate Program is on target to cut steel for prototyping in December 2020 and for first of class construction in December 2022.”

Australia’s nine Hunter Class frigates will be based on the BAE Systems Type 26 Global Combat Ship currently under construction for the Royal Navy and will replace the eight Anzac Class frigates when they enter service beginning in the late 2020s.

The Hunter Class is billed as an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) centric vessel delivering an advanced ASW capability to the Royal Australian Navy at a time when 50 per cent of the world’s submarines will be operating in the Indo-Pacific region.

BAE Systems Australia announced that it had selected Lockheed Martin Australia and Saab Australia as combat systems integration industry partners, responsible for delivering the Australian designed CEAFAR 2 Active Phased Array Radar, Lockheed Martin designed Aegis combat management system and Saab Australia 9LV tactical interface.

The $35bn program sees ASC Shipbuilding become a subsidiary of BAE Systems throughout the build process beginning in 2020 at the Osborne Shipyard in South Australia, creating more than 4,000 jobs.

BAE Systems expects the Australian industry content (AIC) for the Hunter Class build will be 65-70 per cent, which will create and secure thousands of jobs for decades.

At the end of the program the Commonwealth will resume complete ownership of ASC Shipbuilding, thereby ensuring the retention in Australia of intellectual property, a highly skilled workforce and the associated equipment.

SEA 5000 is expected to support over 500 Australian businesses who have been pre-qualified to be part of the Hunter Class supply chain, with the Australian steel industry in particular, benefiting from the 48,000 tonnes of steel required to build the ships. (Source: Defence Connect)

29 Jun 20. Boeing to replicate AIC model for Apache bid. Boeing says it will replicate its established Australian Industry Content (AIC) model if the AH-64E Apache is selected for Australia’s armed reconnaissance helicopter replacement under Land 4503.

Boeing has a network of Australian industry partners on the sustainment and training programs it delivers for rotary and fixed wing aircraft, including F/A-18F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers, CH-47F Chinooks, P-8A Poseidons and E-7A Wedgetails.

“We have successfully introduced more platforms acquired through the foreign military sales (FMS) process by the ADF than any other industry partner in Australia,” Scott Carpendale, Vice President and Managing Director, Boeing Defence Australia, said. “To ensure success for our customer and Australian industry, we have developed and replicated a model that increases AIC over time.”

Boeing has offered the AH-64E Apache for the Land 4503 program and is proposing acquisition through a FMS agreement followed by sustainment and engineering services through a combination of FMS and direct commercial sale.

“Our solution provides the ADF with a proven, military-off-the-shelf platform supported by a low risk, mature sustainment solution that can rapidly achieve initial operational milestones and enable the expansion of in-country sustainment capabilities with Australian industry partners,” Carpendale said. “We have maximised in-country services on all of our Australian programs and we will do the same on Land 4503.”

To grow AIC on the Land 4503 program, Boeing is establishing the Boeing Rotorcraft Network – Australia (BRN-A) to bring together Australian industry across its rotorcraft programs including the CISS and Helicopter Aircrew Training System programs.

“We created the BRN-A so we can maximise the amount of rotary-wing work that is delivered in Australia,” Nick Gothard, Supply Chain Management Director, Boeing Defence Australia, said. He added that the BRN-A also supports Boeing’s commitment to identify opportunities for Australian companies in its global supply chains.

Boeing is also inviting expressions of interest through the Industry Capability Network (ICN) across 43 work packages including work on airframe assemblies, avionics systems, component manufacturing, ground support services, the supply of materials, the provision of power systems, and the supply of other support and training solutions.

“More than 130 Australian SMEs have expressed an interest in supporting Boeing Defence Australia’s rotorcraft programs,” Gothard said, “and through the BRN-A approach we’ve identified some great capability in Australia.

“[An example is] Asia Pacific Aerospace (APA), an Australian supplier who is certified to complete maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) tasks on the AH-64E Apache engines and offers scope to increase the capability provided in-country.” (Source: Google/http://www.australiandefence.com.au/)


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