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UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
05 Oct 20. Defence Infrastructure Organisation sets out future spending with launch of Procurement Pipeline. DIO spends around £3bn each year buying infrastructure services in the UK and overseas to support the UK Armed Forces. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has today (5 October 2020) launched its Procurement Pipeline.
The Procurement Pipeline complements the previously published DIO Commercial Strategy and informs existing and potential suppliers of what DIO plans to buy on behalf of its customers.
The publication of the pipeline supports DIO’s commercial principles of being easier to do business with and building a broader and more diverse supplier base, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The pipeline will be updated each quarter to provide the supply chain with greater visibility, enabling them to better plan their activities and offering reassurance of future work packages during potentially challenging times for industry.
DIO is passionate about the work it does to support the men and women of defence. Its suppliers are at the forefront of what it does in the construction and infrastructure markets, and DIO’s ambition is to work seamlessly with its supply chain to be more efficient and more productive.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, said: “We are committed to being a good commercial partner. Our defence estate is a critical element in our delivery to our people and defence tasks. We hope a transparent pipeline helps all suppliers identify how and where we can work together.”
Nick Wilkinson, DIO’s Commercial Director, said: “I am pleased to share DIO’s Procurement Pipeline with current and potential suppliers. It is extremely important both for us in DIO and our current and future suppliers that we share as much of our upcoming work as possible. We know the importance of having time to adequately plan strategic alignment, bidding resources and working resources against work packages suppliers are interested in. This is equally in important for DIO as it helps us to think further ahead in our planning and gives a wide range of high capability suppliers from SMEs to large organisations the ability to bid.”
The DIO Procurement Pipeline is available: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dio-procurement-pipeline (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
07 Oct 20. France to Order 12 More Rafale Fighters, 10 NH90 Special Forces Helicopters. France will order “by the end of the year” 12 additional Rafale fighter jets to replace the twelve aircraft that will be taken from the French Air Force inventory and supplied to Greece, French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly told Parliament’s Defense Committee during an Oct. 6 hearing.
“We fully intend, by the end of the year, to award an order, in parallel with the order for the aircraft ordered by Greece, for up to 12 aircraft for the Air and Space Force,” the minister told MPs during the hearing.
The contract with Greece will be signed by the end of the year and will result in 12 Rafale being taken from the French Air and Space Force fleet next year for delivery to Greece. These aircraft will be replaced in French service by the 12 new-build aircraft. France will also order six additional new-build Rafales for Greece, which is buying a total of 18 Rafales. The Rafale contract with Greece is worth between “1 and €2bn,” according to Agence France Presse.
In addition, Parly also confirmed that she intends to fully implement the 2019-2025 multiyear program law, which calls for 129 Rafale to be in service by 2025. “I would like to reassure you: we had agreed together on a milestone in 2025 with 129 Rafale aircraft, and I fully intend to keep to this commitment,” the minister told the committee.
This additional order comes at the right time for Dassault, which risked seeing its Rafale production line interrupted in 2024, once the six new aircraft ordered by Athens had been built.
The company is already under contract to deliver 28 Rafale to France between 2022 and 2024, and the new orders for the 18 new aircraft (12 for France and six for Greece) will keep the production line running into 2025, when the final order for the fourth and final batch of 40 Rafale is expected to be awarded.
Ten NH90 helicopters for Army Special Forces
Parly also revealed to the committee that the Ministry of the Armed Forces had ordered ten additional NH90 helicopters intended the modernize the helicopter fleet of the Army special forces.
“On September 29, the Ministry awarded an order to NH Industries for ten NH90 helicopters to equip the 4th Special Forces Helicopter Regiment (RHFS),” Parly told MPs. This order had long been anticipated but its award was delayed.
NH Industries is a consortium of Airbus Helicopters, Italy’s Leonardo and the Dutch Fokker. This order will also benefit equipment manufacturers Thales and Safran, as well as their subcontractors, some of whom have been hard hit by the Covid-19 crisis in the aeronautics sector, the minister said.
First five NH90s to be delivered in 2025
The first five helicopters of this new order will be delivered in 2025 and the other five the following year, according to the Ministry of the Armed Forces. The NH90, dubbed Caiman by the French Navy, can transport up to 20 commandos or 2.5 tonnes of equipment. It can also be used for fire support, parachuting or casualty evacuation missions. It is intended to gradually replace the Puma and Cougar helicopters of the French Army. To date, 24 NH90s have been delivered to the French Navy, which has ordered 27, and 45 to the French Army, which has ordered 74. (Source: defense-aerospace.com)
06 Oct 20. Competing teams continue to pursue German CH-53 replacement after tender cancellation. The two teams competing for the Luftwaffe’s future Schwerer Transporthubschrauber (Heavy Transport Helicopter, STH) requirement still plan to offer their helicopters after the Bundeswehr cancelled the tender. The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced in a press release on 29 September that the tender was cancelled because it “would be unlikely to be realised within the allocated budget while meeting all requirements”.
The Bundestag, the German parliament, committed EUR5.6bn (USD6.6bn) to the STH programme in November 2018, but Janes understands that the two competing proposals – the Boeing H-47 and Sikorsky CH-53K – would have cost about EUR10bn. Neither company officially confirmed this to Janes, with Rheinmetall, which is the chief partner in the Sikorsky team offering the CH-53K, on 2 October citing public procurement law and Boeing saying on 1 October that it “cannot comment on live commercial matters and ongoing negotiations with the BAAINBw [Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr, Germany’s Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support]”.
In its press release, the German MoD said the STH requirement would be re-examined but that a contract would not be ready in 2021, although the aim is still to replace the CH-53G, the service life of which ends in 2030, “in a timely manner”. The ministry added, ”the STH project is of very high priority for the Bundeswehr, as air transport is of paramount importance for the mobility and responsiveness of the armed forces, as well as for humanitarian and support services. The project will therefore be continued with changed specifications”. (Source: Jane’s)
05 Oct 20. Patria AMVXP continues to the second phase of Bulgarian vehicle acquisition program. Patria’s armoured combat vehicle AMVXP has been selected for the second phase of Bulgarian vehicle acquisition program based on a tender phase. The final decision on the actual acquisition will be made after field tests and negotiations. Also, General Dynamics has proceeded to the second phase.
‘This is very good news as it is a sign of the high quality of Patria’s vehicles and level of expertise, as well as customers’ confidence in them. If Bulgaria chooses Patria AMVXP as its future combat vehicle, we are ready for technology transfer and vehicle manufacturing in Bulgaria,” says Jussi Järvinen, President of Patria’s Land Business Unit.
Patria AMVXP is a modular, powerful and robust armoured wheeled vehicle representing the top of its class, with a premium level of protection and mobility on terrain and roads. Patria AMVXP is also available with amphibious capability for amphibious and landing operations. The capabilities of the platform allow the integration of any weapon system. With effective and continuous product development and lifecycle support, the fleet is always up to date.
BATTLESPACE Comment: Sources state that GDELS is the other bidders elected with Piranha 5. The losing bidders were Nexter’s VBCI and Boxer.
02 Oct 20. Opening of Price Offers for the Project for Combat Armored Vehicles for the Land Forces. The price offers of the two companies – General Dynamics (General Dynamics) and Patria (Patria) – admitted to the next stage in the procedure for the implementation of the project for combat armored vehicles of the Land Forces, were opened today, October 2, at the Ministry of defense. The opening of the offers was attended by the Deputy Minister of Defense Anatoliy Velichkov, the Commander of the Land Forces, Major General Mihail Popov, representatives of the companies, as well as directors of directorates from the Ministry of Defense. The interdepartmental working group will evaluate the submitted price proposals. Field trials of the proposed vehicles will be carried out to check the compliance of the declared parameters with the tactical and technical requirements set for the mechanized unit (armament and mobility) and the communication and information systems of the armored combat vehicle. With the participants who have successfully passed the field tests, negotiations will be held to improve the bids, after which they will be ranked in descending order. The Interdepartmental Working Group will prepare a report to the Minister of Defense on the results of its activities, containing a ranking of the participants, as well as a proposal for selection of a contractor or for termination of the procedure. The project for investment expenditure (PIR) “Acquisition of basic combat equipment for the construction of battalion battle groups of a mechanized brigade” was approved by a Decision of the 44th National Assembly on 08.06.2018.
On 05.08.2019 a move was made of the procedure for investment project “Acquisition of basic combat equipment for the construction of battalion battle groups from the mechanized brigade”, as a request for a proposal was sent to the companies, potential contractors of the project: Patria, Nexter, General Dynamics and Artec GmbH.
At the beginning of 2019, meetings were held with the four companies, potential contractors of the project, during which issues were discussed regarding technical requirements, evaluation criteria, bid evaluation methodology, industrial cooperation, share of local production and others.
By Order R-153 / 22.11.2019 of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria, an interdepartmental working group (IWG) was established to evaluate the received offers under the PIR “, Which started its work on December 18, 2019.
The work on the project for “Acquisition of basic combat equipment for the construction of battalion battle groups from the mechanized brigade”, which is of particular importance for the modernization of the Bulgarian Army, continues.
(defense-aerospace.com EDITOR’S NOTE: Bulgaria is holding a competition to acquire 150 modern armored combat vehicles, and has short-listed Patria and the General Dynamics’s Mowag unit. Local press reports claim that both submitted bids significantly exceed the program’s budget, which was fixed at 1.46bn levs (about $870m) by about $300m.
The size of the budget overrun is such that there is a risk that the tender will be canceled outright, according to some reports, which note that the forthcoming visit of Defense Minister Krasimir Krakaczanow to the US to sign a 10-year “road map” of bilateral defense cooperation could lead to the direct acquisition of the US vehicle.) (Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com) (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Bulgarian Ministry of Defence)
08 Oct 20. Space Development Agency wants someone to launch its first 28 satellites. Now that the Space Development Agency has selected four contractors to build its first 28 satellites, the organization is looking for a launch provider to ferry them into orbit.
According to a solicitation posted Oct. 6, the agency plans to select one company to provide launch services for all 28 satellites, with the first launch taking place in September 2022.
Those 28 satellites will comprise tranche 0 of SDA’s National Defense Space Architecture, a new proliferated constellation providing a whole host of services primarily from low Earth orbit. Among other things, the NDSA is anticipated to provide beyond-line-of-site targeting, hypersonic missile warning and tracking, and a space-based mesh network that will connect all of the services as part of the Pentagon’s new Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) approach.
The constellation will ultimately include hundreds of satellites, but SDA isn’t putting them all up at once. Rather, the agency has adopted a spiral development approach, where the most mature and ready technology is added to the constellation in two year tranches.
This launch solicitation covers the first tranche, otherwise known as tranche 0. Slated to go into orbit in fall 2022, tranche 0 is what SDA calls its “war fighter immersion tranche.”
“Its goal is to provide the data in a format that the war fighters are used to seeing on tactical timelines that they can be expected to see once we actually become operational,” SDA Director Derek Tournear told C4ISRNET. “The whole purpose of tranche 0 is to allow the war fighters to start to train and develop tactics, techniques and procedures so that they can create operational plans for a battle where they would actually incorporate these data.”
With just 28 satellites, tranche 0 will not provide global, persistent coverage. Instead, it will provide periodic, regional capabilities. Tranche 0 will feature the inaugural satellites in the transport and tracking layers. The 20 transport layer satellites will form the base of a space-based mesh network, passing data from satellites to weapon systems along a high-speed, on-orbit corridor. Tournear has previously stated that the transport layer will serve as the space component of CJADC2, the Pentagon’s effort to connect sensors to shooters across domains and services.
The inaugural tracking layer will be made up of eight satellites. The tracking layer will be used to detect and track hypersonic threats, working with the transport layer to pass tracking data and custody from satellite to satellite—collaborating to keep an eye on globe-traversing missiles that can evade current missile warning capabilities.
SDA has selected Lockheed Martin and York Space Systems to each build 10 of the transport layer satellites, while SpaceX and L3 Harris will split the eight tracking layer satellites.
Because the SDA has given vendors flexibility in the designs of their satellites, there is some variety to the weight of the space vehicles being launched into orbit. While all 20 transport layer satellites will weigh approximately 200 kilograms, give or take 20 kilograms, there is a significant difference in the size of the eight tracking layer satellites. One vendor—either SpaceX or L3 Harris—will be contributing four tracking layer space vehicles weighing approximately 1,068 kg each. The other vendor’s space vehicles will be significantly lighter at just 249 kg.
In total, SDA is looking to put as much as 10,164 kg of hardware into orbit. The agency wants all 28 satellites delivered to two circular, 950 km near-polar orbits, with the tranche divided evenly into two planes of 14 satellites. The launch provider has until March 31, 2023, to put all payloads on orbit and has discretion as to how many launches it will use to do that. The goal is to have as many satellites up as close to September 2022 as possible. Proposals are due by Nov. 5 at 4 p.m. EST. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
08 Oct 20. The Air Force pushes off the start of its E-4B ‘Doomsday Plane’ replacement program. The Air Force has paused its effort to replace the E-4B “Doomsday Plane,” as it considers a new acquisition approach, the service said Oct. 2. The service originally intended to issue a request for proposals for the Survivable Airborne Operations Center program in December, which would formally kick off a search for a replacement for the four aging E-4B Nightwatch airborne command posts currently based at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
However, the program was recently given the Acquisition Category 1D designation, the label for major weapons programs that require the oversight of the defense acquisition executive — in this case, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord.
Because of the new designation, “The acquisition strategy is being updated and coordinated with stakeholders,” the Air Force stated in a solicitation posted to SAM.gov on Oct. 2. “Additional details regarding the path forward/updated schedule will be released in the near future.”
Nicknamed the “Doomsday plane” due to its ability to withstand a nuclear blast, the iconic blue and white E-4B serves two purposes: to provide a secure and survivable command center in the event of a nuclear war and to transport defense secretaries around the world.
The E-4B was derived from the Boeing 747-200 and introduced by the Air Force in 1974. But after almost 50 years in service, the aircraft is nearing the end of its service life and it getting more difficult for maintainers to keep up with the repairs necessary to keep the small fleet up and running — especially given the requirement that at least one plane be kept on alert status at all times.
Under the SAOC program, the Air Force had planned to buy new commercial-derivative planes, harden them enough to survive a nuclear blast, and add modern communications and command and control systems. (Source: Defense News)
06 Oct 20. Anduril’s Luckey seeks to break the Pentagon’s cost-plus contracting model. The founder of United States defence startup Anduril wants to force Pentagon acquisition to become a realm of more private investment in products, with taxpayers bearing less risk and cost-plus contracts becoming less relied upon.
Palmer Luckey said on 30 September that traditional cost-plus contracting does not work for modern technologies such as computer vision, networking, and artificial intelligence (AI). It very rarely incentivises the right behaviour, he said, and often penalises those who figure out how to cut timelines and do things more efficiently. Cost-plus contracts pay a contractor for all of its allowed expenses, typically up to a set limit, with the ‘plus’ referring to an additional payment that allows a contractor to make a profit.
Luckey said he started Anduril to save US taxpayers hundreds of billions of US dollars while making tens of billions of US dollars per year. He added his business model had to be impactful enough in order to change how defence programmes are funded.
“We set out to be a major defence player … and we have to get those revenue numbers to matter,” Luckey said during a Starburst Accelerator event. “I think if we can do that, using our current model, we are going to force everyone to adapt as well. Which would be, in my opinion, a pretty good outcome to have a lot more private investment in defence.”
Anduril markets defence products, including its Lattice AI data fusion platform, the Ghost 4 autonomous vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) small unmanned aerial system (sUAS), and the Anvil precision kinetic intercept sUAS platform, with the earnings he got from selling his Oculus virtual reality (VR) headset to Facebook in 2014. The proceeds have been reportedly estimated as greater than USD1bn. (Source: Jane’s)
05 Oct 20. Lucrative contracts coming soon from US Army’s enterprise information systems office. The U.S. Army’s enterprise information systems office expects to release requests for proposals for several highly lucrative contracts in the next few months, a top official has announced.
At an AFCEA Belvoir event last week, Ross Guckert, program executive officer at Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems, laid out the office’s top four highest value contracts for the upcoming quarter, including multi-award contract for IT services valued up to $10bn.
That contract, called Information Technology Enterprise Solutions-4 Hardware, has a base period of five years with five one-year options. According to industry day slides from July, the office plans for 17 awardees. A draft RFP will be released in the first quarter of fiscal 2021, which started Oct. 1. The final RFP is slated for release in the second quarter of fiscal 2021.
ITES-4H will provide the Army with IT services such as client, servers, storage and network environment, as well as maintenance of legacy platforms. ITES-4H is a follow-on for ITES-3H, which has 17 incumbents.
PEO EIS is also planning to release three more RFPs in the coming months.
In October, expect an RFP for an enterprise-wide cloud service provider. The estimated value is about $200m, and according to a PEO EIS spokesperson, the performance period is one year with two option years. The scope of the contract is migration and management of PEO EIS systems in a cloud environment, the spokesperson said.
Sometime between October and December, the office will release an RFP for IT services for its Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Enterprise Systems and Services, a data security provider to the joint force. That contract is valued at between $220 and $260m with a one-year base and four option years. An award will be made to a single vendor in the second quarter of fiscal 2021.
Finally, expect a woman-owned, small business set aside contract for strategic communication services, including “digital media, graphic design, protocol, and congressional and public affairs,” the spokesperson said. The performance period is one-year with four options, expected to be worth about $15-20m. It is unclear exactly when that contract will be released. (Source: Defense News)
REST OF THE WORLD
09 Oct 20. South Korea to replace Black Hawks with homemade Surion helos, says lawmaker. South Korea’s arms procurement agency plans to replace its fleet of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters flown by the Army with KUH-1 Surion utility helicopters developed by Korea Aerospace Industries, according to a lawmaker.
Rep. Han Ki-ho of the main opposition People Power Party revelead the plan ahead of a parliamentary audit of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, or DAPA, in the coming week.
According to the lawmaker, the DAPA has decided to retire 103 UH-60P helicopters by reversing plans to upgrade the American medium-lift helo, which as flown for about two decades.
“The UH-60 upgrade plans were revoked in May last year all of sudden,” said Han, a retired three-star Army general, citing a feasibility study conducted by the state-funded Korea Institute for Defense Analyses. “Instead, the defense authorities opted for additional production of Surion helicopters.”
According to the study, it would cost some 3.3trn won (U.S. $2.9bn) to producing about 130 Surion troop-carrying helicopters, which is more than five times higher than the price of UH-60 upgrades.
“Comparing to the UH-60 Black Hawk, the KUH-1 Surion has an 84 percent level of flying time and 83 percent of flying distance,” Han said. “Surion has a seat capacity of nine troops, but the UH-60 can carry 11 troops.”
Despite gaps in performances and cost, the DAPA has prioritized the economic benefit of locally producing the helos, the lawmaker said. “Ignoring the results of a credible feasibility study, the DAPA is just trying to scrap the UH-60 upgrade plans that have been on track over the last eight years since 2013,” he added.
The twin-engine KUH-1 was co-developed by Korea Aerospace Industries and Airbus Helicopters, formerly known as Eurocopter, in 2009 to replace the aging fleet of UH-1Hs and 500MDs, which have been in service for decades.
KAI is scheduled to supply the South Korean Army and Marine Corps with about 220 Surion units by 2023 under contracts with the DAPA. The aircraft manufacturer also developed Surion’s light, armed version — the Light Armed Helicopter, or LAH — based on the Airbus H155.
The LAH development is a parallel effort with the Light Civil Helicopter, or LCH. The Korean firm plans to develop the 4.5-metric-ton LCH by 2021 and then modify it into the LAH by 2023. KAI rolled out an LAH prototype in December 2019. The LAH is armed with the turreted 20mm Gatling gun under its nose. The aircraft is also mounted with 70mm rockets, missile early warning systems, and laser/radar warning receivers. KAI plans to build about 200 LAHs to replace Bell AH-1 Cobras and older MD 500 helicopters flown by the South Korean Army. (Source: Defense News)
08 Oct 20. Ukraine and Great Britain Have Launched Large-Scale Projects for the Development of the Ukrainian Navy — Andrii Taran. A memorandum of intent between the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on cooperation in developing and enhancing the capabilities of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was signed during the official visit of President Volodymyr Zelenskyi to Great Britain.
The document was signed on behalf of Ukraine by Defence Minister Andrii Taran. According to him, it is a question of supply of modern samples of military equipment and the newest high-precision armament, adjustment of production of separate types of military production in Ukraine, and also development of bases of the Navy.
“The implementation of these projects will significantly strengthen the capabilities and combat potential of the Ukrainian Navy, as well as the interoperability with the naval component of NATO member states. In addition, we expect that this will be a driver of recovery of the shipbuilding industry of Ukraine and will attract to our economy the latest technologies,” noted Andrii Taran.
Specific measures for the practical implementation of the agreements reached will be discussed during a bilateral meeting between the Minister of Defence of Ukraine Andrii Taran and the Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom Ben Wallace, which will take place on Thursday, October 8.
On October 7, 2020 the Ukrainian delegation headed by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi visited the naval base of Great Britain “Portsmouth”. During the event, the delegation inspected the aircraft carrier of the British Navy “Prince of Wales” and held an interactive round table with representatives of British companies, which are considered as potential partners in developing the capabilities of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Minister of Defence of Ukraine Andrii Taran, as a member of the official delegation of Ukraine, is taking part in the events envisaged by the program of the official visit of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi to the United Kingdom.
(defense-aerospace.com/ Ukrainian Ministry of Defence EDITOR’S NOTE: In a separate statement, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said that “an important aspect is the attraction of funding from the UK’s export credit agency in the amount of 1.25bn pounds” to finance the project.
This will consist, according to Ukrainian media, in a 10-year loan to finance the UK’s supply of eight Barzan-class fast attack craft to Ukraine.
The first two ships would be built in the UK, while the other six would be built in Ukraine.) (Source: defense-aerospace.com/ Ukrainian Ministry of Defence)
07 Oct 20. South Korean military aiming to speed up acquisition of light aircraft carrier. Amid the growing naval capabilities of neighbouring countries, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) have requested that construction plans for the Republic of Korea Navy’s (RoKN’s) next-generation light aircraft carrier be brought forward.
Officials from the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Seoul told Janes on 8 October that the JCS want the carrier’s basic design to be included in the MND’s Defense Mid-Term Plan covering the period from 2021–25, meaning that design work could start as early as next year.
According to RoKN data, completion of the basic design will take about three years, with a further seven years required for the detailed design and construction, meaning that the carrier could be ready for delivery as early as 2031. Depending on how long the sea trials period takes, the carrier could be operational between one and two years earlier than initially planned.
The 30,000–35,000 tonne carrier, which is being acquired under the LPX-II project, is expected to support operations of helicopters and short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.
This means that the MND will also try to speed up the introduction of STOVL fighter aircraft, with MND officials telling Janes that the procurement process for the fighters is expected to begin “in earnest” next year. The RoKN is believed to have an initial requirement for about 20 such aircraft.
While the exact type of STOVL aircraft has yet to be determined, the Yonhap News Agency reported in August that it is likely to be the F-35B, adding that it is the only model that meets the RoKN’s requirement. (Source: Jane’s)
07 Oct 20. Rheinmetall confirms Aussie industry opportunities for Millennium Gun manufacture. Rheinmetall has confirmed it would manufacture and sustain its 35mm ‘Millennium Gun’ at the company’s MILVEHCOE facility as part of its offer to the Commonwealth to deliver a single weapon system to meet current needs of the Royal Australian Navy fleet as well as future-proof against emerging self-defence and mission requirements.
Defence Connect understands that while the Millennium Gun system – currently in service with nations including Indonesia and Denmark – is currently designed and manufactured in Switzerland, Rheinmetall has proposed to transfer technology from Europe to its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Redbank Queensland as part of its offer to the Commonwealth.
Millennium is a highly flexible and powerful weapon that is unique in its capability for effective self-defence against threats to ships at close range. In particular, the Millennium Gun has the ability to engage a broad spectrum of air and surface threats from high speed anti-ship missiles to UAVs, fighters, rotary wing aircraft as well as small, highly manoeuvrable fast inshore attack craft.
A proven “multi-tool” like the Millennium will significantly aid in the survivability of the platform in any multi-threat scenario. Millennium’s accuracy and high rate of fire delivers superior fire power, lethality and cost-per-kill ratio compared to others in the 20-40mm calibre bracket.
Rheinmetall’s new facility in Queensland is the cornerstone of the company’s commitment to building Australian industry capability (AIC) and is designed to produce military hardware for the Australian Defence Force and for export. Also known as the Military Vehicle Centre of the Excellence (MILVEHCOE), the facility is purpose built for design manufacturing with test infrastructure including an EMC chamber, small calibre (up to 35mm) firing tunnel and prototyping workshop.
Capability across the new precinct runs from heavy manufacturing to a clean room for Rheinmetall’s digital and optics systems as well as a sophisticated armour manufacturing shop, featuring a state-of-the-art press that will produce an array of composite ballistic materials; in short, a self-protection production capability for ballistic protection for ships and vehicles.
Millennium’s unique AHEAD air burst ammunition will also be produced in Australia delivering critical sovereign capacity. Precise programming for each individual AHEAD round maximises hit probability and energy on target at extended ranges to enforce a keep out zone around a vessel.
AHEAD sub-projectiles also have a significant destructive effect on electro-optic sensors, which provides for a tertiary anti-submarine warfare capability for Millennium, particularly when submarine optronic mast exposure is likely to be high when operating in littoral waters.
Integrated with a number of combat systems and associated radar and electro-optic sensors, Millennium is proven and in service at sea today. The 35mm Millennium Gun requires no deck penetration. It offers a range of versatile mounting options including the ‘containerised’ ISO Mount option, which allows deployment of Millennium as a mission module on almost any class of ship without any major structural alterations.
Delivering anti-surface and anti-air capabilities in one inner layer self defence system, the Millennium system will directly support the primary surface combatant role and afford superior protection for Amphibious and Afloat Support platforms particularly in light of the increased breadth of the contemporary and evolving threat spectrum. (Source: Defence Connect)
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.