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24 Sep 20. Israel, Italy swap helicopters and missiles in new arms deal. Israel’s Ministry of Defense announced a reciprocal procurement agreement with Italy’s defense ministry that will see Israel acquire 12 training helicopters and Italy receive Rafael Advanced Defense Systems “Spike” missiles and Elbit Systems simulators.
The agreement builds on a 2011 deal between Israel and Italy in which Israel purchased 30 training aircraft and Italy purchased an Israeli observation satellite and two airborne early warning systems. This week’s deal signing completes an exchange that began in February 2019, the Israeli Ministry of Defense said.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who was in the United States this week for a meeting with his US counterparts, hailed the new pact.
“The completion of this agreement is essential for the training of IAF helicopter pilots and for the development of Israel’s economy. It also reflects the great importance of defense industries both for Israel’s security and its economy,” Gantz said.
The Israeli MOD did not provide an amount for the agreement and neither Rafael or Elbit would comment on the specifics of the deal. This is in line with Israel defense companies usually not commenting on specific dollar amounts of their sales. The deal comes as Israel enters a second lockdown for Covid-19. The pandemic has made face-to-face meetings with defense companies and officials rare.
According to European Defense Review, in January the Italian army was planning to acquire 126 Spike antitank missiles which they would take delivery of in 2021. The Spike family of missiles is used by 33 countries, several of them in Europe. It is often marketed in Europe through Germany-based Eurospike. More recently Rafael has offered its Spike NLOS as part of the Polish tank-destroyer program, and Slovakia has acquired the Spike LR 2. The Italian procurement of the Spike missiles includes launchers and missiles.
Italian defense acquisition chief Lt. Gen. Nicola Falsaperna signed the agreement with his Israeli counterpart Amir Eshel on September 22. “The agreement … is another expression of the close security and economic relations between Israel and Italy. It enables the IDF to complete the replacement of the old training aircraft in the IAF. In addition, the reciprocal procurement agreement, which includes the purchase [of systems] from Israeli defense industries, positively affects Israel’s exports and economy,” Eshel was quoted as saying.
Israel will receive 12 August Westland 119KX training helicopters manufactured by Leonardo and two simulators for Israel’s air force flight school. According to Israel’s Ministry of Defense, the first seven of the helicopters were already purchased, and this week’s deal is for five more. The new aircraft will replace the Bell 206 helicopters that Israel has been using since the 1970s. (Source: Defense News)
23 Sep 20. Turkey eyes new markets for exports. Turkish government officials and industry executives are hoping to find new sales in what they see as emerging export markets in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
“These are promising markets for Turkish manufacturers,” said one senior procurement official.
A Turkish diplomat familiar with the three countries said that “smooth, friendly, problem-free political relations” with all three Asian countries promise export deals for Turkish companies. “As more Turkish-made systems become combat-proven [by local use], interest from those countries will increase,” he said.
Hakan Kurt, chairman of Capital Exhibition, calls Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan as “hot markets” for Turkish defense and aerospace industries. Capital Exhibition organizes Defence Port Turkey South Asia.
“Turkish manufacturers do not have the problem of ‘lack of sellable platforms’ like they had a decade ago,” Kurt said.
Kurt expects that Turkish defense and aerospace exports to the three Asian countries could reach $5bn in the next 10 years.
Turkey’s overall defense exports stood at $2.74bn in 2019, down from the official target of $3bn.
A defense specialist in Ankara advised caution about Asian markets.
“These countries need hardware. They have good political ties with Turkey. But their economies are often cash-strapped. Turkey may also have licensing problems in any potential export deal as it depends on foreign technology for local production,” he said.
In 2018, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed a $1.5bn agreement to sell a batch of 30 T129 attack helicopters to Pakistan. But the deal has not moved forward as TAI has failed to secure U.S. export licenses for the contract.
The T129 is a twin-engine multirole attack helicopter produced under license from the Italian-British company AgustaWestland. It’s powered by two LHTEC T800-4A turboshaft engines. Each engine can produce 1,014 kilowatts of output power. The T800-4A is an export version of the CTS800 engine. LHTEC, the maker of the engine, is a joint venture between the American firm Honeywell and the British company Rolls-Royce.
The defense specialist said that most likely Turkish hardware to go into Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan would include naval vessels and patrol boats (except Afghanistan), smart ammunition, drones and armored vehicles. (Source: Defense News)
16 Sep 20. Belgian and Dutch Naval Replacement Programmes. Belgium and the Netherlands will replace almost their entire fleets in the next 15 years. This will mean six new ships for the Belgian Navy, and 23 for the Royal Netherlands Navy.
Some of these new ships are being developed jointly by Belgium and the Netherlands, while for some others the Netherlands is seeking cooperation with Germany.
Many vessels in the Belgian and Dutch fleets date back to the eighties and nineties and the Netherlands in particular has long postponed the replacement of many ships. Although Belgium replaced their WIELINGEN class frigates 15 years ago, they did so with Dutch M-frigates from the nineties. Both countries also operate TRIPARTITE minehunters which are over thirty years old.
Because Belgium bought two Dutch M-frigates, both navies are equipped with the same frigates and also the same minehunters. Both navies have been working together since 1948 and have almost merged in recent years. The Belgian frigates are maintained in the Netherlands and the Dutch minehunters in Belgium. The navies share a headquarters in Den Helder (the Netherlands), their operational and logistics schools are binational, and from 2021 both fleets will receive the same uniforms. It is therefore logical that the two countries jointly replace their frigates and minehunters.
Mine Countermeasure Vessels
Already in 2013, Belgium and the Netherlands had plans to jointly replace their TRIPARTITE minehunters. Three years later, the Ministers of Defence of Belgium and the Netherlands signed a Letter of Intent for the joint replacement. It was agreed that the Netherlands would lead in the replacement of the M-frigates, while Belgium would take on the new minehunters. A European tender followed.
The project is now in full swing and the consortium Belgium & Naval Robotics, consisting of the French companies Naval Group and ECA Group, is working hard to deliver the first new mine countermeasures vessel (MCMV) in April 2024 to the Belgian Navy; the Royal Netherlands Navy will follow later. Both navies will receive six ships each.
An important part of the project is the new concept of stand-off mine warfare; the motherships remain outside the mine danger area and MCM tools operate from the mothership to detect, classify and destroy mines from a great distance, often over the horizon.
While the old TRIPARTITES are made of composite, the future MCMVs will be made of steel.
They are in fact built around the Launch & Recovery System (LARS) that was specially developed for these ships. With a length of 81.4 m and a width of 17m, the ships have an uncommon length to breadth ratio for warships.
The LARS is mainly intended for unmanned service vehicles (USVs). The 12 m-long INSPECTOR-125 USV can operate with up to six drones in the mine danger area. These drones were developed and built by the ECA Group in Belgium. The drones in question are the T-18M UMISAS towed sonar that is dragged behind the INSPECTOR and thanks to the interferometric synthetic aperture sonar, can transmit high-resolution images to the mothership in real time. The autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) A-18M can independently search the seabed and when a contact is made, the crew in the operations room in the mothership can inspect the mine-like object with the camera of its remotely operated vehicle (ROV), the SEASCAN. Finally, the K-STER C will destroy the object.
To operate drones over the horizon, Saab SKELDAR V-200 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide communications between the USV and the mothership. The UAV can of course also be used for other tasks.
The latter also applies to the motherships that can accommodate 63 additional crew, in addition to the 29 permanent ship’s complement. The ships are equipped with various sensors and weapon systems and will also receive a 40 mm gun, which is somewhat unusual for modern-day MCMVs. At the time of writing, it is still not known which gun will be chosen, nor has a final choice been made for radars and electro-optical sensors.
Construction of the first ship will start on 23 February 2021 and the ships will be built in France by Kership and Piriou.
In anticipation of the arrival of these new ships and especially the new toolbox, the Dutch Navy has leased a civilian vessel, the GEOSEA. Dutch and Belgian naval personnel have been working with this ship and with drones from ECA since spring 2020 to become familiar with the new systems and to provide the manufacturer with feedback that can be used for the development of future tools. The project team is also planning to test the LARS with the GEOSEA. Whereas the ships are designed to last at least thirty years, the toolbox will be regularly updated or replaced.
The replacement of the M-frigates started in the Netherlands in 2010 with the first studies carried out. It soon became clear that the Netherlands wanted to replace the frigates in cooperation with other countries. Considering Belgium also operated M-frigates, it was the logical partner, but the Netherlands also looked at the German MKS 180 frigates. However, cooperation in this area came to an end when the German ship became too big and expensive.
Belgium and the Netherlands proceeded with a Dutch design. The replacement project was officially started in the Netherlands in June 2016 and soon thereafter, it became known that Belgium had reserved €1Bn for two new frigates.
Unlike the MCMVs, no European tender was launched for these frigates, but Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) was contracted directly. That did not mean that DSNS designed the ships, because that is still largely done by the Afdeling Maritieme Systemen (Department of Maritime Systems) of the Defensie Materieel Organisatie (DMO).
Since 2013, several designs have been published, sometimes accidentally. Over the years, the size of the ship increased, but the design has eventually decreased. In 2019, design 22D was presented, and according to DMO, it represented the “ideal ship” that met the requirements, but it did not fit the budget. Research was then conducted into an off-the-shelf design of DSNS, but that ship failed to meet the requirements. DMO then removed systems from the design and some requirements were adjusted.
This resulted in DMO design 22D being modified to a 132-m long frigate, displacing 5,500 tonnes. The MK 41 VLS, with 16 cells, is primarily intended for the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile Block 2 (ESSM Bl. 2), but Belgium has previously indicated that it was considering the Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) as well. With such a weapon, Belgium wants to contribute to ballistic missile defence (BMD).
Although missiles like the SM-3 can be fitted in the MK 41 VLS, the frigate is not designed for BMD. The new frigates are in fact designed with anti-submarine warfare in mind. Since they are required to operate far from the task force in search of submarines, they must also be able to defend themselves against missile attack.
They will therefore have the new APAR Block 2 X-band radar, an S-band radar that has been further developed from SMILE and NS100 and a new fire control concept called Above Water Warfare Suite (AWWS), which has been developed by Thales in the Netherlands for several years. MKS 180 will also receive these sensors.
However, the most important sensor for the new frigates is located in the stern area of the ship, namely the low frequency active passive sonar (LFAPS). This is a DMO development in collaboration with the Dutch research institute TNO and the Canadian company, Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems. The frigate can lower the LFAPS into the sea and detect submarines far better than previously the case using a passive towed array or medium-frequency sonar. The current Dutch M-frigates recently sailed with this new sensor.
The Multi Use Accoustic Support Suite (MUASS) will also be introduced on the ships at the end of this year. This software was developed by DMO and the Dutch Navy together with TNO and is based on an existing TNO sonar model. Data and algorithms have been added to this, such as data from the ship, sensors, environmental information and oceanographic models. It resulted in a package that, as sea tests now show, brings major improvements to anti-submarine warfare by ship and submarine.
Although these important elements are already deployed at sea with the current frigates, it will take a while before the new ships can start looking for submarines. The contract for the ships is expected to be signed at the end of 2021 with the four ships for the Netherlands and Belgium are scheduled to be delivered in the period 2027-2030. DMO is investigating whether there is a sufficient budget to build the frigates at the Damen yard in the Netherlands and not, as has been usual practice since 2005, at Damen’s shipyard in Romania.
Combat Support Ship
The first new ship the Dutch Navy will receive is not an MCMV or a frigate, but a tanker. The combat support ship (CSS), the future HNLMS DEN HELDER, will be delivered in 2024.
In contrast to the other projects, the CSS project started only recently. After the decommissioning of HNLMS ZUIDERKRUIS in 2012 and the sale of HNLMS AMSTERDAM in 2014, the Dutch Navy lacked a tanker until the arrival of HNLMS KAREL DOORMAN.
However, because it was decided not to replace the AMSTERDAM, the KAREL DOORMAN became the only tanker in Dutch service, even though it is a joint support ship (JSS) and replenishing at sea is only one of the tasks of this multifunctional ship.
It was no surprise that when HNLMS KAREL DOORMAN was commissioned, the Chief of the Royal Netherlands Navy said that he needed another replenishment ship. When in late 2016, budget funds became available for ‘combat support’ for all defence services, the Navy managed to squeeze a ‘combat support ship’ into the plans. At the time, it was still intended to be a fairly simple tanker that would be based on a proposal that DSNS had already designed for a tender for a new Norwegian tanker. In addition, elements from the JSS would be used for commonality.
DMO and DSNS worked jointly the design and specifications. However, the requirements changed gradually, especially when it came to the environment, but the requirements for shock, blast and signature reduction were also higher than in the beginning. The design boasted a gun, the advanced Thales NS100 radar and a GOALKEEPER CIWS (which is being replaced). But a budget deficit arose because the estimates of the investment budget were not indexed and the Navy feared that the operating budget of the tanker would be too tight. At that time, DMO realised that the design did not fit the budget.
Ultimately, it was decided to increase the budget and simply adjust the design. The weapon systems and sensors were removed from the design, however, provisions for these systems have been spared.
On 19 February 2020, Damen and DMO signed the contract for the ship. In February 2021, construction of the vessel will begin at Damen Shipyards Galati, in Romania. The CSS will arrive in Den Helder in June 2024, after which the combat management system, sensors and weapon systems will be installed. The CSS is scheduled to be commissioned in 2025.
The new Dutch tanker will measure 178.3 m in length and will have a displacement of 22,585 tonnes. There is room for 160 people in total, including a complement of 75 crewmembers. Weapon systems will initially be limited to machine guns. The propulsion of the CSS is diesel-electric and the DEN HELDER will be the first naval vessel to sail with the new WÄRTSILÄ 31 diesel generator sets. Combined with the shape of the hull and the design of the propeller, the design yields a saving of 6% compared to a comparable ship with engines of a different brand and type.
The replacement of the WALRUS class submarines (1990) is by far the most complex project of all the current Dutch naval projects. As with the frigates and MCMVs, the plans were already clear in 2013, but it is by no means certain whether the first new submarine can be delivered in 2027.
The complexity of the project relates to its international nature and major political interests. The other naval projects have, however, continued to progress without too much political interference. In the submarine project, however, there have always been conflicts of interest between the Ministry of Defence (the best boat), the Ministry of Finance (the cheapest boat or nothing at all), Economic Affairs (a Dutch submarine) and Foreign Affairs (a decision that does not result in an argument with Paris or Berlin). The Submarine Service, in the end, has relatively little to no influence.
The roots for this can be found back in the eighties and nineties. The WALRUS class were more expensive in the 1980s and were delayed. Despite the fact that the boats were cheaper and have a higher rate of availability than contemporaries of the VICTORIA class (Canada) and COLLINS class (Australia), this is still called the WALRUS affair and politicians still shudder at the thought of the “scandal”. Another reason is that, partly due to political disinterest, the Dutch submarine shipyard RDM ran out of work from the 1990s and went bankrupt a few years later. Without a submarine builder, the Netherlands had to cooperate with foreign shipyards. Furthermore, the Netherlands wants diesel-electric submarines that can operate far from home. Dutch coastal waters are too shallow for safe submarine operations, so these submarines have been active in the Indian Ocean, and from the Norwegian Sea to the Caribbean. The result is a sensitive international process with a large number of committees, councils and resonance groups, and a lot of delay.
Initially, four shipyards participated in the tender. These were Navantia (Spain), Naval Group (France), TKMS (Germany) and Saab (Sweden). Naval Group has recently started Royal IHC as a partner in the Netherlands, and Saab has been working with Damen on the replacement project since 2015.
In December 2019, under political pressure, the MoD decided to continue the next round with three shipyards and start the competitive dialogue with Naval Group, Saab and TKMS.
This led to excessive criticism from experts and from parliament. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Defence wants to continue with this and a final decision will only take place in September.
If the Ministry’s plans go ahead, discussions will be held with the shipyards about the requirements and the design. This normally happens between DMO and DSNS, but DMO now want to talk to the three yards at the same time. None of the shipyards though has a design matching exactly the Dutch requirements. The existing submarines are either too small (Saab Kockums A26 and TKMS Type 212CD) or too large (Naval Group BARRACUDA SSN). Although the yards have already submitted proposals in the various RFIs, DMO has not yet told the yards what the requirements are.
Knock-out criteria will determine which yards will drop out prematurely. The contract must be signed in 2022 with the four new submarines expected to be completed between 2027 and 2031.
DMO wants to replace ten smaller ships all at once. In May 2020, DMO sent a letter to the Dutch Parliament regarding the replacement of submarine tender HNLMS MERCUUR (1987), diver training vessel SOEMBA (1989), four diver support vessels CERBERUS class (1992), training vessel VAN KINSBERGEN (1999), two hydrographic survey vessels SNELLIUS class (2003) and the Caribbean support vessel HNLMS PELIKAAN (2006).
Although the ships are all different and the replacements will not be identical, according to DMO the ships have many similarities and the DMO therefore wants to tender the ships simultaneously. It is still being decided whether this is to be done by a contract directly awarded or by a (European) tender. What the final path looks like will be announced at the end of 2021/ beginning of 2022. The first ship will have to be replaced around 2024.
Air Warfare and Command Frigates
The Air Warfare and Command frigates (LCFs) entered service in the period 2001-2005. The ships are currently being modernised with AESA radars for, inter alia, ballistic missile defence (BMD), the Thales SMART-L MM / N. In the near future, the frigates will also receive Leonardo’s VULCANO 127/64 LW naval gun. These new guns will replace the antiquated 127 mm OtoBreda guns, which were bought second hand from the Royal Canadian Navy.
The LCF replacement project was expected to start in 2021, but in 2019 a decision was taken to postpone the timeline by five years because funds were needed to improve buildings instead and because the rising costs for the F-35 had to be covered.
The German plans to replace the F124 frigates might also have been a factor. Because Damen will collaborate with the German shipyards Blohm + Voss, Lürssen and German Naval Yards for the construction of the German MKS 180 frigates, there are talks between the Dutch and German MoDs to replace the LCFs and F124s together. Both ships, incidentally, arose from the failed NATO Frigate for the Nineties (NFR90) and both countries collaborated in the field of sensors and weapons systems. However, the Dutch director of DMO, Arie Jan de Waard said that the Netherlands currently had no plans to build identical ships with Germany. He is currently focused mostly on the subsystems.
Landing Platform Dock
The Royal Netherlands Navy operates two landing platform docks (LPD): HNLMS
ROTTERDAM (1998) and HNLMS JOHAN DE WITT (2007). The ROTTERDAM has been on the list of ships to be replaced for some time, but in 2013, it was announced that the replacement vessel had been postponed.
Incidentally, the ROTTERDAM was modernised in 2019 and equipped with, among other things, the new Thales NS100 radar, a combined operations room and an amphibious warfare centre. The JOHAN DE WITT will also receive a midlife upgrade shortly.
In June 2020, the Dutch MoD announced that it planned to collaborate with Germany on new amphibious vessels. While the German Navy does not possess these vessels, its own Seebataillon (an integral part of the Dutch Marine Corps since 2016) does engage in the amphibious domain.
Replacement, no Enlargement
Not all plans are set in stone – some are no more than sketches and the future has now become more uncertain due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The high costs that Belgium and the Netherlands, like many other countries, will have as a result of this crisis, mean it is highly likely that projects will experience difficulties in the coming years, although there are no plans for budget cuts so far.
In both countries, there is also much political uncertainty. Belgium still has no government and there will be elections in the Netherlands in March 2021. For decades there have been budget cuts imposed on both navies and especially in the Netherlands, this has led to a large backlog with many relatively old ships still serving in the fleet. The backlog is now being addressed, but the Navy remains very vulnerable. Also, both the Belgian and Dutch Navies, with two and six frigates respectively, are small. However, all efforts are now focused on replacement, as enlargement seems to have been ruled out this decade. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
24 Sep 20. Boeing assembles team to bid for next-gen missile defense interceptor. Boeing has assembled a team with General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems and Aerojet Rocketdyne to bid to build the Missile Defense Agency’s Next Generation Interceptor (NGI).
The agency decided last year to scrap its plans to redesign the kill vehicle of its current Ground-Based Interceptors (GBI) that is part of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system designed to defend the homeland against possible intercontinental ballistic missiles from North Korea and Iran.
The MDA is holding a competition instead to design a brand new interceptor for the GMD system.
The company has an extensive history with the GMD system in place at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, having held the development and sustainment contract for years. That contract is set to expire in 2023 and MDA is weighing options to break up that contract to foster competition that promotes increased capability.
“The Boeing-led team will deliver critical technology to enhance our homeland missile defense,” Norm Tew, Boeing Missile and Weapon Systems vice president, said in a Sept. 24 statement. “Combined, we bring decades of expertise in proven missile and weapon systems.”
An NGI “requires a new way of thinking supported by a proven ability to deliver pioneering solutions,” Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS, said in a separate company statement issued Sept. 24. “We are excited to partner with Boeing to deliver the disruptive technologies needed to help MDA rapidly deploy an interceptor system that bolsters the nation’s missile defense network and ensures that the U.S., our allies, and partner nations maintain military overmatch against ever evolving threats from adversaries.”
Aerojet Rocketdyne will supply the propulsion system. “As the country’s premier hit-to-kill propulsion provider, we’re able to deliver low-cost, high-performance systems by leveraging our skilled workforce and strategic investments in innovative technology and materials,” Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO, said in the Boeing statement.
Boeing reports the team submitted its NGI offering to MDA on Aug. 12.
Also according to the statement, Northrop Grumman will serve as a “component supplier” on the Boeing team.
Northrop is also teaming up separately with Raytheon to compete against the Boeing team and Lockheed Martin. Raytheon was the developer of the now-canceled RKV.
MDA aims to downselect to two companies later this year, who will then compete for the right to build the interceptor.
Proposals were due July 31, but MDA noted in its request for proposals that there may be some give in that schedule due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The agency requested $664.1m in fiscal year 2021 for the NGI program, as part of a $4.9bn five-year budget plan. (Source: Defense News)
24 Sep 20. Boeing Partners with General Atomics, Aerojet Rocketdyne in Homeland Missile Defense Bid. Boeing [NYSE: BA] is teaming with General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) and Aerojet Rocketdyne in its bid to build the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The NGI is a key element of the MDA’s missile defense system, which is designed to intercept and destroy incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles.
“The Boeing-led team will deliver critical technology to enhance our homeland missile defense,” said Norm Tew, Boeing Missile and Weapon Systems vice president and general manager, and Huntsville site senior executive. “Combined, we bring decades of expertise in proven missile and weapon systems.”
On Aug. 12, the Boeing-General Atomics-Aerojet Rocketdyne team submitted an NGI offering that will improve performance and enhance the nation’s ability to defend against future threats.
GA-EMS has a long history of delivering missile technology and complex systems for critical national defense programs. “This partnership combines our legacies in innovation, bringing together new ideas to create an affordable and reliable solution to defend against emerging threats,” said Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS.
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s propulsion systems have powered the nation’s missile defense for decades. “As the country’s premier hit-to-kill propulsion provider, we’re able to deliver low-cost, high-performance systems by leveraging our skilled workforce and strategic investments in innovative technology and materials,” said Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president.
Northrop Grumman will serve as a component supplier on the Boeing-led team. A contract award is expected later this year.
REST OF THE WORLD
24 Sep 20. West Australian government expands funding to support defence manufacturing workforce. The West Australian government has announced an $18m package to build a pipeline of skilled workers in Western Australia to attract Defence maritime projects to the state.
This workforce investment will help provide the skilled workers needed to support upcoming WA defence projects and secure future defence work, expected to be valued at up to $75bn nationally over the next decade.
The package includes $8.5 m for an additional $20,000 incentive, on top of existing financial subsidies, for shipbuilding employers to take on in-demand apprentices in readiness for a pipeline of future work.
A further $3.3m will be provided to create new TAFE short courses to support Western Australians to upskill and become ‘defence ready’. The package also includes $800,000 to create two new scholarship programs to encourage women and Defence veterans to take up a career in the defence manufacturing industry.
WA Premier Mark McGowan said, “This is a significant investment to help supercharge WA’s defence manufacturing industry, creating vital employment and training opportunities for Western Australians.
“Further, South Metropolitan TAFE’s long established relationship with the defence industry and expertise in defence-related training means Western Australia is well positioned to take on maritime defence-related work.”
The program will be co-funded between the state government and industry, with each party contributing $5,000 per scholarship. It will create 20 scholarship opportunities per year for both women and Defence veterans.
WA Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia added, “Western Australia is continuing to invest significantly in the defence industry, with this workforce investment to provide local people with the skills they need to get jobs on these projects.
“These initiatives will not only bolster our capacity to complete current projects but demonstrate the state’s readiness to secure billions more defence work in coming years.”
Equipment will be upgraded at South Metropolitan TAFE, to assist with training students in defence-related industries.
Four new computer numeric control milling and lathe machines will be purchased to train metal fitters and machinists, with workshops customised to accommodate the new machines.
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery reinforced the statements made by Premier McGowan and Minister Papalia, saying, “The West Australian government is establishing Western Australia as the primary hub for the maintenance and sustainment of submarines and frigates. We are creating hundreds of jobs for Western Australians over the next four years.”
As part of the package, a dedicated defence industry team will be established at Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre to undertake careers promotion across all schools and provide advice to job-seekers and potential workers.
“The training opportunities that will come from this initiative are really exciting and will further enhance the attractiveness of learning at TAFEs in Western Australia, in particular the courses at our South Metropolitan campuses,” Minister Ellery said.
“Defence industry projects offer incredible opportunities for the state and this investment will further strengthen our capacity to secure high-value, job-creating work.”
A maritime defence industries toolkit will also be developed to provide practical advice for job-seekers and a dedicated ‘Jobs in Defence’ webpage and advertising campaign will be launched to continue to attract more West Australians to WA’s defence manufacturing industry.
Further information about the defence initiatives, visit the Jobs and Skills WA website or contact the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre on (08) 9599 8655. (Source: Defence Connect)
24 Sep 20. Raytheon Australia announces team of Aussie SMEs for LAND 129 bid. Raytheon Australia has announced its team of 10 Australian SMEs to deliver a fully sovereign Australian industry capability to the Army if it is selected to deliver the LAND 129 Phase 3 tactical unmanned aerial system project.
Raytheon Australia’s fully integrated and low-risk solution features an operationally superior rotary wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) that is optimised for future growth as part of the company’s LAND 129 Phase 3 offering.
The company’s 20-year pedigree as a trusted and prime systems integrator, along with a team of SMEs including Schiebel Pacific Ltd and their world-leading CAMCOPTER S-100 UAS, will create a sovereign and sustainable UAS industry to support the Australian Defence Force now and into the future.
Michael Ward, managing director of Raytheon Australia, said this team gives expression to Raytheon Australia’s commitment to fulfil the requirements of LAND 129 Phase 3 in a way that will build a genuine sovereign industrial capability.
The team, which would be led by Raytheon Australia, includes the following companies:
- Schiebel Pacific Ltd, Nowra
- Air Affairs Australia, Nowra
- Innovation Composites, Nowra
- MMC Ltd, Sydney
- Calytrix, Perth
- Penten, Canberra
- Varley, Newcastle
- Sentient Vision, Melbourne
- Rojone, Sydney
- Thomas Global, Sydney
“Our team brings Raytheon Australia together with more than 10 Australian SMEs and suppliers to deliver a solution for LAND 129 Phase 3 program delivered by Australians for the Australian Defence Force. Raytheon Australia will be working with local suppliers to foster Australian industrial sovereignty, prioritising Defence’s operational needs,” Ward explained.
Raytheon Australia’s solution will provide a superior Australian capability for Army that will enable 150 skilled jobs across the country. The team’s solution also prioritises regional investment and the promotion of manufacturing in Australia, with the S-100 to be assembled, and parts to be sourced and manufactured, in-country.
In a virtual discussion with the LAND 129-3 solution team, all the partners discussed the way such an arrangement benefits the broader defence supply chain, creating job and export opportunities, while delivering on the ADF’s capability requirements.
Ward said, “We will deliver a highly capable, flexible and scalable solution that offers the lowest risk and the greatest opportunity for a sovereign UAS capability for Australia.”
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)
22 Sep 20. Korea, Indonesia Set Renegotiations for Joint Fighter Jet Development Project. Korea and Indonesia are working on a new agreement for their joint fighter jet project, which has hit a snag following Indonesia’s delay in paying hundreds of millions of dollars. About 10 officials from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) ― the maker of the KF-X aircraft ― left for Jakarta, Tuesday, to meet Indonesian officials on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the two organizations. The joint fighter jet project is called the KF-X (Korean Fighter eXperimental) in Korea and the IF-X (Indonesian Fighter eXperimental) in Indonesia. While the two sides have held four rounds of renegotiations, the latest talks come after about a year. It is also the first meeting since Indonesia’s Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto took office last October. Subianto had been putting off resuming talks with the Korean government, saying he would review the overall content of the country’s defense budget and weapons systems. During this week’s meeting, officials of the two countries are expected to review conditions of the joint development project to strike a deal, as Indonesia wants a reduction in how much it promised to pay the Korean government. Indonesia initially agreed to pay 1.7trn won ($1.46bn), which accounts for about 20 percent of the total 8trn won project budget. But it has only paid about 220bn won. It stopped paying in late 2017, citing the country’s deteriorating financial situation. While payment is supposed to be completed by 2026, the arrears are around 500bn won. According to industry officials, the Indonesian side wants to reduce its contribution from the promised 20 percent to 15 percent. The proposal was raised by Indonesian President Joko Widodo when he met President Moon Jae-in during a visit to Korea in September 2018, according to the officials. Last year, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto said the country was considering offering CN-235 aircraft from the country’s state plane maker PT Dirgantara Indonesia as part of its contribution, instead of cash. Industry officials said Indonesia also wanted the Korean government to transfer more of the technology for the fighter jet development to Indonesia ― a request that Korea cannot decide alone because some of the technology is linked to the United States. Meanwhile, the fighter development by KAI is going smoothly, with the manufacturer set to roll out the prototype in the first half of 2021. Earlier this month, KAI started assembling the prototype of what will be the country’s first indigenously developed fighter jet. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Korea Times)
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.