UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
03 June 21. Government fund will support new ideas for cleaning up space. Space firms are being invited to apply for a share of up to £800,000 in funding from the UK Space Agency to develop ideas for space debris removal missions. One of the biggest global challenges facing the space sector is orbital congestion and space debris. There are currently an estimated 900,000 pieces of space debris including old satellites, spent rocket bodies and even tools dropped by astronauts orbiting Earth. Space debris can stay in orbit for hundreds of years and present a real danger to the rapidly increasing number of new satellites being launched each year. The UK Space Agency is looking to fund two active debris removal feasibility studies through its Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) programme, which aims to make space safer and more sustainable. The feasibility studies will develop a debris removal mission concept and system design. The deadline for applications is the 13 July 2021 and the opportunity is open to businesses, non-profits and academics.
Jacob Geer, Head of Space Surveillance and Tracking at the UK Space Agency, said, “Space debris is a growing issue but there are real opportunities for the UK to lead the world in developing and marketing technologies to solve the problem. This funding could give space firms the scope and support to make real breakthroughs. As we progress further into this new age of space mega-constellations, the UK Space Agency will work with the industry and international partners to ensure humanity can utilise space safely and sustainably. The surge in new missions to refuel, repair or reposition old spacecraft in orbit could present a real opportunity for the UK.”
This is the latest investment the UK Space Agency is making in cleaning up space. In 2020 it awarded seven UK companies a share of over £1m to help track debris in space. It also recently awarded £2.5m to Astroscale to develop the technology to remove communication satellites. The UK is also the leading contributor to the European Space Agency’s Space Safety programme which provides collaboration and funding opportunities for UK scientists and industry.
One collision with space debris could create thousands of small, fast-moving fragments which can damage the satellites that provide everyday services such as communications, weather forecasting or satellite navigation.
Today’s announcement follows a new publication by UKSpace highlighting the importance of In-orbit servicing (IOS) capabilities for national security and economic growth. The report acknowledges the UK is ahead of the curve in important areas like close proximity operations, as demonstrated by Astroscale’s recent ELSA-d mission. It predicts that technologies and skills developed through IOS, including debris removal, could deliver massive benefits to society, with revenues worth tens of billions of pounds to the UK.
New figures released by the UK Space Agency this month show strong growth in the UK space sector. Income rising from £14.8bn in 2016/17o £16.4bn in 2018/19, representing a growth of 5.7 per cent in real terms, while employment is up by 3,200 from 41,900 to 45,100. Research and development spending rose 18 per cent in real terms from £595m in 2016/17 to £702m in 2018/19. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
01 Jun 21. Leonardo lays foundations for AW149 New Medium Helicopter bid. Leonardo has laid the foundations for its New Medium Helicopter (NMH) bid to the UK, identifying potential roles and configurations for its AW149 ahead of the formal launch of a competition by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Senior programme leaders and test pilots at the Leonardo Helicopters UK facility in Yeovil spoke about the ongoing preparatory work that is geared towards securing the much anticipated requirement to replace the Westland-Aerospatiale SA 330E Puma HC2 and three other helicopter types in the 2025 timeframe.
“The [NMH] competition is going to have to start sooner rather than later. While we wait, we have looked at the roles of those aircraft flying today [that are to be replaced], and we have taken a view as to how those roles might develop into the future,” Mike Morrisroe, head of UK Campaigns at Leonardo Helicopters UK said on 28 May. “What that allows us to do is to develop configurations, so for each of those roles we have developed configurations for the AW149. We have got quite a detailed understanding of what the cost of these configurations is, and what the maintenance burden looks like. We have developed mission scenarios, and we have done performance analyses to compare what the MoD has today with what it might want in future. So, for us at the moment, everything we are seeing is confirming that the AW149 is a really, really good fit for the roles that the aircraft [being replaced] have today, and maybe what they might want to do in the future.” (Source: Jane’s)
30 May 21. New National Flagship to showcase cutting-edge British design, engineering and green technology while boosting trade and driving investment. British businesses will be given a new global platform to promote their products through a new National Flagship announced by the Prime Minister today.
The ship, the first of its kind to be built and commissioned by the UK, will boost British trade and drive investment into our economy. The vessel will be used to host high level trade negotiations and trade shows and will sail all over the world promoting British interests.
A typical six month itinerary for the flagship might include docking at a port in a country where a British Prime Ministerial visit is taking place to accommodate parallel discussions between British and local businesses, hosting trade fairs to sell British products to an emerging market and providing the venue for an international ministerial summit or major trade negotiations between the UK and another government.
The ship, the name of which will be announced in due course, will be the first National Flagship since 1997 when the HMY Britannia was decommissioned. However, its role will be distinct from that of any previous National Flagship, reflecting the UK’s new status as an independent trading nation and helping us to seize the opportunities that status presents.
As well as being a resource for British firms looking to export globally, the ship will also be a tangible manifestation of British ingenuity and shipbuilding expertise. The Government’s intention is to build the ship in the UK. This will create jobs, help drive a renaissance in the UK’s shipbuilding industry and showcase the best of British engineering around the world.
The Prime Minister said: “This new National Flagship will be the first vessel of its kind in the world, reflecting the UK’s burgeoning status as a great, independent maritime trading nation.
“Every aspect of the ship, from its build to the businesses it showcases on board, will represent and promote the best of British – a clear and powerful symbol of our commitment to be an active player on the world stage.”
As well as promoting trade, it is expected that the flagship will play an important role in achieving the UK’s foreign policy and security objectives, including by hosting summits and other diplomatic talks. Construction of the ship is expected to begin as soon as next year and the ship will enter service within the next four years. The tendering process for the design and construction of the ship will launch shortly, with an emphasis on building a vessel which reflects British design expertise and the latest innovations in green technology.
The ship will be crewed by the Royal Navy and is expected to be in service for around 30 years. Costs for the construction and operation of the ship will be confirmed following the completion of a competitive tendering process. (Source: joint-forces.com)
26 May 21. European space agency invites participants in testing campaign of Galileo high accuracy Signal in Space (SiS). Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) has launched a call for expression of interest to invite external stakeholders to participate in a testing campaign of the Galileo High Accuracy Service (HAS) Signal in Space (SiS) broadcasting. The deadline for submissions is 11 June 2021.
The call targets in particular the participation of receiver manufacturers developing Galileo E6-B/C receivers that will implement Precise Point Positioning (PPP) corrections based on the Galileo HAS in their devices. The campaign is an essential step towards the development of the HAS operational service phase.
Goal of the campaign
By providing access to the HAS SiS Interface Control Document (ICD) to interested parties, through this call EUSPA aims to enable the participation of relevant stakeholders to the incoming HAS SiS testing. Through this participation EUSPA will collect relevant feedback on the HAS SiS ICD structure and implementation at Receiver level. It is also interested in the participants’ results received during the HAS SiS testing and any relevant implementation aspects, and on receiving their inputs and suggestions concerning the HAS service-related aspects and specifications.
Access to the HAS SiS ICD will only be granted subject to the signature of a Non-Disclosure Undertaking by the interested parties complying with the conditions indicated in the call. The HAS SiS ICD will be published during 2021, after the conclusion of this testing campaign.
The tests carried out by the participants may cover tracking and processing of GPS and Galileo signals relevant for HAS, as well as decoding and processing of the HAS broadcast corrections, in addition to user positioning performance evaluation.
HAS SiS ICD call at a glance
- Reference: EUSPA-GAL-CFI-254439
- Launch of call – 18 May 2021
- Deadline for request of clarifications from EUSPA – 28 May 2021
- Last date on which clarifications are issued by EUSPA – 4 June 2021
- Deadline for submission of expression of interests – 11 June 2021
- End of evaluation process – end of June
- Signature of NDU – end of June
Galileo High Accuracy Service
The Galileo HAS will be an open access and free of charge service based on the provision of precise corrections (orbit, clock, biases, atmospheric) transmitted in the Galileo E6 signal (E6-B, data component) from a subset of the Galileo satellites, allowing the user to achieve improved positioning performance.
The precise corrections provided by the Galileo High Accuracy Service will allow users of the service to reduce the error associated with the orbit and clocks provided through the Galileo Open Service broadcast navigation messages and the GPS Standard Positioning Service navigation data. These corrections, together with the biases provided by the service, will enable users to perform decimetre-level precise positioning accuracy. Future evolutions of the service will include regional atmospheric corrections to improve convergence times.
For more information visit: www.euspa.europa.eu (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
29 May 21. Croatia to drop €1bn on used Rafale fighter jets. Croatia’s government has made a decision to buy 12 second-hand Rafale F3-R fighter jets from France for the country’s Air Force, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said.
“The purchase of the multirole fighter aircraft will strengthen Croatia’s position as a member of NATO and a partner within the European Union. For the first time, we will reach 2 percent of the GDP allocated to strengthening our defense capabilities,” Plenković said, as quoted in a statement released by his government. The deal is to be worth some €999m (U.S. $1.2bn) and, in addition to the aircraft, it will cover weapon systems, spare parts, logistics and training. Following the cabinet’s decision, Zagreb will proceed to negotiate the contract’s details with Paris. Under the plan, France is to deliver the first six twin-engine aircraft in 2024, and the remaining six Rafales will be supplied the following year. The delivered aircraft will include 10 single-seater and two twin-seater fighter jets.
Other offers considered by Zagreb included the purchase of F-16 Block 70 aircraft from the United States, Swedish JAS-39 Gripen C/D fighter jets, and F-16C/D Block 30 aircraft from Israel. Through the acquisition, Croatia’s Air Force is aiming to replace its outdated Soviet-designed Mikoyan MiG-21 fighters.
In 2018, Croatia’s Defence Ministry announced it intended to purchase used Israeli F-16s, but in early 2019 the government scrapped the decision and re-launched the tender. Croatian officials told local media the U.S. government accused its Israeli counterpart of unfair competition in the tender. (Source: Defense News)
01 June 21. Department of Defense Releases 2022 Military Intelligence Program Budget Request. The Department of Defense released the Military Intelligence Program (MIP) top line budget request for Fiscal Year 2022. The total is $23.3bn and is aligned to strategic priorities of the Secretary of Defense. The department determined that releasing this top line figure does not jeopardize any classified activities within the MIP. No other MIP budget figures or program details will be released, as they remain classified for national security reasons. (Source: US DoD)
REST OF THE WORLD
28 May 21. Seoul, Manila continue talks on meeting Philippine Navy’s future submarine requirements. South Korea and the Philippines have continued co-operation talks aimed at meeting the Philippine Navy’s (PN’s) future submarine requirements.
South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) announced on 27 May that the Assistant Secretary for Logistics and Acquisition at the Philippines’ Department of National Defense (DND), Jesus Rey R Avilla, visited the Republic of Korea Navy’s (RoKN’s) Submarine Force Command on 12 May to discuss “various areas of co-operation” to enhance the PN’s future submarine capabilities.
Among the issues discussed were the transfer of RoKN know-how on operating submarines, the resumption of the RoKN-hosted International Submarine Education and Training Program (ISETP) – which has been put on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic – and regular navy-to-navy talks on submarines.
Avilla also visited the RoKN’s submarine workshops and training sites, as well as DSME facilities. Moreover, he held meetings with representatives of South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) to discuss the level of support by the South Korean government and a soft loan.
The shipbuilder told Janes that it has been offering Manila a “total solution package” since 2011 that includes DSME 1400PN diesel-electric submarines – an upgraded and modified version of the Nagapasa (DSME 1400)-class boats currently in service with the Indonesian Navy – along with crew training and a soft-loan to meet the PN’s submarine acquisition project.
The latest development comes after Philippine Undersecretary for Finance and Material Raymundo DV Elefante and PN chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Barcodo visited DSME and the RoKN’s Submarine Force Command in November 2020 to discuss the ‘total solution package’. (Source: Jane’s)
01 June 21. Babcock Australasia shortlisted for Land125 Phase 4. Babcock Australasia has been down-selected for the next stage of Land125 Phase 4 Integrated Soldier System (ISS) with a solution that draws on sovereign industry capability and an extensive network of Australian suppliers.
Land 125 Phase 4 will deliver an ISS integrating all elements and subsystems that are used, worn or carried by soldiers in any operational context or environment for up to 72 hours without resupply.
The down-selection reflects the company’s longstanding expertise in multiple areas. Andy Davis, Babcock Australasia’s managing director – defence said. Babcock’s technology integration, asset management, and strategic procurement solutions will enable the integration of specialist products by different providers after introducing a digital development environment as part of its solution.
“In partnership with Defence, Babcock brings extensive, proven expertise in technology integration and asset management to the LAND125 Phase 4 project, delivering an ISS to equip Australian soldiers now and into the future,” Davis said.
“Babcock has approached LAND125 Phase 4 in an innovative way that is beneficial for Defence, looking at ‘best of breed’ products and enabling Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to integrate their world-leading product into the ISS for an optimal cost.”
“Babcock puts the needs of the customer first by integrating end-user focused and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) agnostic solutions, partnering with local suppliers to deliver sovereign industry capability.”
Davis commented that Babcock is “supplier-agnostic” in their approach to the ISS, supporting the success of the program and the quality of the product.
“Platforms and products are chosen in accordance with rigorous evaluation processes that always put the customer and final user needs first. The result is a robust approach that delivers sovereign capability through local facilities and supply chains that are integrated, reliable and secure,” Mr Davis said.
“Babcock invites suppliers to work with us in partnership with Defence, as we bring a new way of working to LAND125 Phase 4.” (Source: Defence Connect)