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06 Nov 20. Germany approves ‘Quadriga’ Eurofighters. The Bundeswehr is to receive 38 new Eurofighter type fighter jets: The budget committee of the German Bundestag has now released 5.5bn euros for this at its meeting on November 5th.
The first Eurofighter tranche is being replaced
The procurement project of the fourth Tranche, also known under the name Project Quadriga, will gradually replace the Eurofighters of the first (Tranche 1) production lot, which were procured between 2003 and 2008. Since the Tranche 1 aircraft can only be used for aerial combat and spare parts are often outdated, this first series should be replaced.
In addition, major replacement and exchange parts for Tranche 1 are no longer manufactured. In the medium term, this would have meant that the jets would have been extensively and costly overhauled. With the new 38 aircraft, the Eurofighter fleet will in future have a uniform and more flexible range of capabilities.
Equipped with modern radar technology
The new Eurofighters will be equipped with a modern E-scan radar. This will enable pilots to better discover and track air-to-air and air-to-ground targets. This is also possible for several targets simultaneously, and independently of one another. In addition, the radar has a higher immunity to countermeasures and interference. In June 2020, the Budget Committee approved the procurement and system integration of the same radar system for the Eurofighters in tranches two and three.
Test and development center Eurofighter under construction
The new aircraft to be procured are also intended to replace the two Eurofighters that were destroyed in an accident last year. In addition, three of the 38 machines are intended for test purposes. These will be assigned to the future national test and development center Eurofighter. The center is intended to provide significant support for the future system support and further development of the modern E-scan radar, among other things.
Reliable weapon system
The Eurofighter is the mainstay of the German combat aircraft squadrons. The twin-engined jets thus represent essential capabilities of the Bundeswehr to secure German airspace and to fight opponents on the ground and in the air. This modern weapon system is suitable for use in air defense as well as for air strikes. The aircraft was originally designed as air superiority fighters and was later enabled to perform other roles. Thanks to their versatile networking options, the combat aircraft can be used in close association with other air forces as well as land and naval forces.
Bundeswehr contribution to NATO
With the procurement of the fourth Eurofighter tranche, Germany will be able to ensure its contributions to the NATO planning goals in the Advanced Air Combat Capability and Joint Precision Strike Capability capabilities. The procurement project should allow 140 Eurofighters to reliably perform their tasks over the longest possible period.
The project approved by the budget committee of the German Bundestag on November 5, 2020, with a total volume of around 5.5bn euros, was presented as a 25m euros bill. This term includes all procurement and development projects of the Bundeswehr with an investment volume of 25m euros or more. These require the separate approval of the budget committee of the German Bundestag before the contract is concluded.
(Source: defense-aerospace.com/German Ministry of Defence)
04 Nov 20. US Army’s tactical network modernization team requests industry pitches for future capabilities. The U.S. Army’s Network Cross-Functional Team released a solicitation outlining capabilities it’s interested in acquiring as part of future tactical network tools.
The broad agency announcement was posted last week on beta.sam.gov. It lays out future research areas the Army’s tactical network modernization team made up of the NetworkCFT and Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical, wants to explore as part of future capability sets — new network tools it’s delivering every two years.
“The Network-CFT is focused on integration of tactical network efforts and ensures disciplined innovation as it works with speed and precision,” the announcement read. “The Network-CFT is conducting experimentations and demonstrations of proven joint and special operations solutions, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology, and Non-developmental items (NDIs) with operational units to inform future requirements.”
The tactical network modernization team is seeking technology that aligns with its four lines of effort for upgrading the network: unified network; common operating environment; joint interoperability/coalition accessible; and command post mobility and survivability.
All proposed technologies must be at a technology readiness level of six, the announcement read, meaning they’re ready to be demonstrated as a prototype in an environment similar to the field.
For the unified network effort, the Network CFT-PEO C3T team are seeking “available, reliable and resilient network that ensures seamless connectivity in any operationally contested environment.” Capability Set ’23, the next iteration of tactical network tools, is focused on increasing network capacity and reducing latency. Unified network includes capabilities such as advanced waveforms to improve resiliency.
The common operating environment line of effort “is interested in the means of ensuring a simple and intuitive single-mission command suite that is easily operated and maintained by Soldier.”
The joint interoperability/coalition accessible team is looking for tools that can “more effectively” interact, both technically and operationally, with joint and coalition partners.
The final line of effort, command post mobility and survivability, is interested in means of improving the “deployability, reliability, mobility and survivability” of command posts. The Army’s current vision for future command posts are those that can be quickly set up and torn down, while also having low electromagnetic signatures to avoid detection by adversaries.
“Certainly, any time that you adopt a lot of commercial technologies you start to look at how your signature is on the battlespace, so I really look to industry and how they can bring some of their best ideas and technologies for how we can potentially do spectrum obscuration, as well as decoys so we can minimize our footprint on the battlefield,” said Brig. Gen. Rob Collins, commanding general of PEO C3T.
The Army’s announcement is valid through the end of October 2025. (Source: Defense News)
30 Oct 20. USAF issues RFI for directed energy C-UAS technologies. The US Air Force (USAF) is requesting information from industry about directed energy (DE) capabilities for counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) technologies.
The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Architecture and Integration Directorate (AFLCMC/XA) seeks to better characterise the technological, manufacturing, and performance capabilities of the industrial base to develop and produce upgrades to DE prototypes and related C-UAS subsystems. The directorate will use this information to inform its trade space analysis of solutions for engagement and mission level modelling and simulation (M&S), as well as programme cost estimates for potential future technical maturation of DE C-UAS systems.
The USAF wants to research the industrial base for C-UAS capabilities related to fixed-site Air Base Air Defense (ABAD) against potential Group 1 and 2 UAS threats, which weigh 25 kg or less. These threats may have characteristics such as small size; low radar cross sections; low infrared (IR) or radio frequency (RF) signatures, or no RF signatures at all; the ability to hover; and low-altitude flight capabilities, which may render them difficult to detect and defeat.
Additionally, these UASs are typically either controlled remotely from a ground control station (GCS) or can fly pre-programmed routes. Recent and pending procurements of DE C-UAS weapons require even further development and improvement, including connected and related, but not limited to, subsystems such as command-and-control (C2) suites, radar, and electronic warfare (EW). (Source: Jane’s)
26 Oct 20. Two RFIs From The Space Development Agency For Launch Services + Satellites. Space Development Agency (SDA) has posted a Request for Proposal (RFP) for launch services to deliver its Transport and Tracking Tranche 0 capabilities to orbit earlier this month.
The scope of the RFP includes delivery of up to 28 spacecraft — SDA’s initial Transport and Tracking satellites.
The launch requires delivery of two, circular, 950 km, near-polar orbits, with the first launch expected to occur in September of 2022.
Upon award, the launch services contractor will work with SDA satellite providers on payload integration with the launch vehicle(s) and will lead the mission integration activities.
Full RFI details at this direct link…https://beta.sam.gov/opp/95a8c11c0a9440e2a1ac8d7e3a9317c5/view
The response due date is November 5, 2020.
The SDA has also released a Request for Information (RFI) for Tranche 1 of the National Defense Space Architecture, scheduled to launch in late FY2024.
Tranche 1 is largely a proliferation of the capabilities demonstrated in Tranche 0; however, SDA is working with the warfighter community through its Warfighter Council and conducting market research to inform its final minimum viable product for Tranche 1 capabilities.
Tranche 1 is anticipated to include 100 to 150 transport satellites and should include technical and manufacturing readiness level 6 solutions to ensure viable warfighting capabilities once deployed.
SDA is interested in hardware, software, firmware, process, procedure and technique solution that will enable beyond line of sight targeting and advanced missile tracking.
Full RFI details at this direct link… the response due date is November 13, 2020.
REST OF THE WORLD
05 Nov 20. France and India talk submarines as Rafale fighters are delivered. European and South Asian nations share security concerns as China advances.
India received three more French fighter jets on Wednesday, and a deal for French submarines might not be far behind as the European and South Asian nations find they share a commitment to Indian Ocean security.
The submarines would come from French shipbuilder Naval Group, which “will formulate an offer that goes very far in the Make in India direction,” said a source familiar with the company’s preparation for the submarine procurement tender under the Indian Navy’s P75I category.
The source spoke of talks between French Defense Minister Florence Parly and her Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh, in September. The meeting, in New Delhi, covered Indo-French defense cooperation and procurement contracts, including “ongoing ones as well as possible future prospects,” the source said. “One of these is the P75I submarines tender.”
The tender is to build six stealth submarines with air-independent propulsion technology that would have a longer submerged range than subs already being shipped to the Indian Navy.
The deal, expected to be finalized sometime next year, is valued at 420 bn rupees ($5.6bn), according to Harsh V Pant, chief of the Strategic Studies Programme, Observer Research Foundation.
Naval Group is currently working with India’s state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders to deliver six Kalvari submarines that are valued at a combined 230bn rupees ($3.13bn). Two of these have already been launched, two are undergoing sea trials and two are under construction.
The projects include technology transfers from the French company to its Indian partners.
France has been doing more defense business with India during the past five years. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the country was India’s eighth largest arms supplier from 2010 to 2014, making $199m worth of deals. It moved up to No. 3 during the following five years, completing $1.6bn in deals. Russia and Israel were Nos. 1 and 2.
Pant said France remains committed to India, particularly when it comes to transferring technology. “After the [technology transfers involved with the P75I submarines], it is estimated that the navy’s next submarine-building project would be entirely indigenous vis-a-vis its design and technology,” he said.
India’s military budget allocations show how French arms producers are gaining ground. Usually, about 40% of India’s total defense capital outlays go to its air force. This has enabled India to buy 36 Rafale fighters from France’s Dassault Aviation, the first five of which were delivered in September. The army and navy typically win 20% to 30% of these outlays, but continuous submarine upgrades could require the Indian government to expand the navy’s budget in the coming years.
New Delhi and Paris’ cooperation goes beyond arms deals. France also supports India’s bid to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. “Paris recognized India’s geopolitical relevance much before others in continental Europe,” said Gulshan Sachdeva, a professor at the Centre for European Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Mohan Kumar, once India’s ambassador to France, said France is probably the only major power with which India has “no serious dispute or difference.” The U.S. raises trade disputes with India, Germany is not a Security Council member and the U.K. tries to maintain a balance in its relations with India and Pakistan.
But “France has always stood by India,” Kumar said. “At the height of the 1998 nuclear tests, when the entire Western world declared India a pariah, France stood by us.”
France has naval bases and territories in the Indian Ocean, which makes New Delhi believe Paris could make for a good strategic partner. © Reuters
The countries also want to elevate their defense relations above the current seller-buyer dynamic. Toward that end, France and India, as well as Australia, have begun a dialogue to work outside of the Quad — the Indo-Pacific grouping of the U.S., India, Australia and Japan. At the first official level summit held virtually in September, the trio discussed climate, environment, biodiversity and challenges to multilateralism, Pant said.
France has a naval base in Djibouti, near the northwestern rim of the Indian Ocean, and a territory, Reunion Island, in the same body of water. These holdings make New Delhi believe Paris would make for a good strategic partner as China builds up its naval presence throughout the sea. “Maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region,” Sachdeva said, “is likely to emerge as a key area of bilateral engagement in the coming years.” (Source: News Now/https://asia.nikkei.com/)
02 Nov 20. U.S. Drone Sale to Taiwan Crosses Key Hurdle, Nears Approval: Sources. The sale of four sophisticated U.S.-made aerial drones to Taiwan has crossed a key hurdle in Congress and is at the last stage of approval, sources said on Monday, a deal likely to add to already strained ties with China. The $600m deal would be the first such sale since U.S. policy on the export of sophisticated and closely guarded drone technology was loosened by the Trump administration.
Reuters reported in recent weeks on the administration moving ahead with four other sales of sophisticated military equipment to Taiwan, with a total value of around $5bn, as it ramps up pressure on China and concerns rise about Beijing’s intentions toward the island.
The U.S. State Department could formally notify Congress of the sale later this week, one of the people said. The formal notification gives Congress 30 days to object to any sales, but this is unlikely given broad bipartisan support for the defense of Taiwan.
The four MQ-9 SeaGuardian drones, made by General Atomics, would come with associated ground stations and training. While the drones are armable, they will be outfitted with surveillance equipment, the people said. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Reuters)
31 Oct 20. UK Bars Sale of South Korean Fighter Jets for the Argentine Air Force. The United Kingdom has effectively barred the sale of the FA-50 Fighting Eagle to Argentina, with the South Korean manufacturer informing Buenos Aires that it is unable to supply the light fighter and strike jet since it has British-made parts.
In a letter dated 28 October, a senior official at Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) told Argentina’s ambassador to the Republic of Korea Alfredo Carlos Bascou that the FA-50 cannot be exported due to the UK government’s arms embargo on the country. The FA-50 includes six major components that are sourced from the UK.
“It is our regret to inform you that the UK export license issue is not resolved to date. Although KAI did not yet find a solution, KAI is making a reasonable endeavor to resolve this UK export license issue,” the letter posted online said.
In Argentina Defense minister Agustín Rossi, admitted that the British government had objected to the FA 50 operation with South Korea. Rossi described the situation as another display of “imperial arrogance” by the UK.
Following the 1982 South Atlantic conflict, UK imposed an arms embargo on Argentina extensive to procurements which have minimum components of British origin, such is the case with the South Korean FA 50, and six UK made pieces.(Source: defense-aerospace.com/MercoPress)
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