UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
11 Aug 21. Cycle 2 of Defence Innovation Loans now open. Loans up to £1.6m available. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to commercialise your defence solution,The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is pleased to launch Cycle 2 the Defence Innovation Loan competition, which has £10m to lend for innovative defence solutions.
Accessible to SMEs, and with a below market interest rate of 7.4% per annum, the Defence Innovation Loan provides an excellent opportunity to apply for affordable funds to help you commercialise your defence solutions.
Defence Innovation Loans: An introduction
How to apply?
Check out the full document and submit your idea.
Have questions? Speak to the experts at our upcoming webinar
DASA and Innovate UK will host a live webinar to answer all of your questions about Defence Innovation Loans, on Thursday 9th September. This is a great opportunity for you to ask questions to our panel of experts from both organisations, so you can ensure your application is a success.
Catch up on our previous webinar
We received some great questions during our last Defence Innovation Loans webinar. Catch up on what you missed here.
How much is available for a Defence Innovation Loan?
The total of £10 m is available for the Defence Innovation Loan competition this year, of which comprises £5M from the Defence Innovation Fund and £5M from Army.
You can apply for a loan between £250,000 and £1.6 m with a below market interest rate of 7.4% per annum. This loan can cover up to 100% of eligible project costs to aid the commercialisation of the solution and overall term of the loan must not exceed 7 years.
Please note, Innovate UK will carry out the Defence Innovation Loan credit evaluation of this competition and you will enter into a loan agreement and security agreement with Innovate UK Loans Ltd.
Read the full DASA competition document for more information on Defence Innovation Loans.
Who can apply for a Defence Innovation Loan?
To apply for a Defence Innovation Loan you must:
- be a UK registered SME
- intend to exploit the results in the UK or overseas to make a significant and positive impact on the UK economy and/or productivity
- give evidence that your business is suitable to take on a loan
Please note, individuals, academic institutions, research organisations and large companies are not eligible for innovation loans.
What kind of innovation will be considered for a loan?
The Defence Innovation Loan is open to innovative ideas to improve the defence of the UK. Your innovation must be mature at TRL 6 or above, to ensure the solution can be commercialised within the time scale of the Innovation Loan. There also must clearly be evidence of a defence need for the innovative solution.
Two tracks of funding
The Defence Innovation Loan has two tracks of funding, covering general Defence solutions and more specific solutions for the Army.
Track 1: Defence Innovation Fund (£5M)
Track 1 is open to innovative ideas to improve the Defence of the UK.
Track 2: Army Innovation Fund (£5M)
Track 2 is open to innovations which align with any of the priority areas below and targets an Army end user.
Priority areas include:
- army Industrial engagement framework decision-support
- directed energy weapons
- human performance enhancement
- information advantage
- robotics and autonomous systems
- and more…
Ready to apply?
Read the full DASA competition document here.
09 Aug 21. Italy to invest USD2.1bn on Eurodrone project. Italy seeks to invest EUR1.8bn (USD2.1bn) through 2035 in the European Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS), also known as Eurodrone programme, under plans disclosed in the country’s latest multiyear planning document (Documento Programmatico Pluriennale: DPP) for 2021–23. The DPP, released on 5 August, states that the Italian Ministry of Defence plans to invest EUR1.9bn foreseen over a 15-year period (including EUR30.1m residual from 2020) to fund development, acquisition, and logistics support of the new European MALE unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The new system will be a valuable addition to enhancing persistent surveillance capabilities, the DPP notes, adding that the Euro MALE RPAS will represent a leap forward compared with the existing generation of unmanned technologies. It will feature an open architecture, modularity, and be predisposed to receive iterative upgrades to adapt to the evolving mission scenarios.
The DPP mentions the Eurodrone will be primarily employed in surveillance roles and, interestingly, does not mention potential future options for an armed configuration of system.
News on Italy’s commitment to the Euro MALE RPAS programme comes after the Executive Administration (EA) Director of the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) and senior representatives from prime contractor Airbus Defence and Space from Germany and Spain signed an agreement on 15 July to allow European Defence Industrial Development Programme funding from the European Union to partially finance the project, which also includes Leonardo from Italy and Dassault from France. (Source: Jane’s)
06 Aug 21. Polish Navy shortlists Navantia to build frigates under ToT programme. The Polish Ministry of Defence is expected to finalise the decision on the contractor by next year. The Polish Ministry of Defence has selected Navantia’s offer in a ‘shortlist’ alongside two other finalists for Poland’s Technology Transfer (ToT) programme.
If selected, Navantia will build three frigates under the ToT programme.
Last month, the Polish Armaments Inspectorate (AI) ordered three coastal defence frigates from a consortium led by Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (Polish Armaments Group, PGZ) as part of the Miecznik programme.
The Miecznik programme has launched by the Polish Government.
This programme envisages the construction of three multi-mission frigates at the local PGZ naval shipyard in Gdynia through a ToT contract with an international firm.
It is part of a strategic plan launched by the Polish Government to upgrade its Armed Forces with an investment of €115bn until 2035.
Navantia is currently participating in the viability phase to propose a design for the project that adheres to the requirements of the Polish Armaments Inspectorate. The Polish Ministry of Defence is expected to finalise the decision on the contractor by next year. (Source: naval-technology.com)
04 Aug 21. Poland launches Miecznik coastal defence frigate programme. The Polish Armaments Inspectorate (AI) ordered three coastal defence frigates on 27 July from a consortium led by Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (Polish Armaments Group, PGZ) under the Miecznik programme. During the signing ceremony at PGZ Naval Shipyard in Gdynia, Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak gave the programme timeline: ”By the end of November, the consortium will prepare three designs. Afterwards, no later than the beginning of 2022, the best concept will be chosen. Then, the consortium will work on the final design and will build the vessel. Under the schedule, we would like to launch the first warship in four years.”
PGZ spokesperson Jacek Zagożdzon told Janes on 2 August that the contract covers the entire Miecznik programme, from providing design concepts to delivery of the frigates. A PGZ press release published after the ceremony stated three frigates would be built in Polish shipyards and delivered by 2034. The estimated value of the order is roughly PLN8bn (USD2bn). AI spokesperson Major Krzysztof Płatek told Janes on 28 July that this amount would cover ”all programme costs, including weapon systems, the integrated combat system, logistics, and training”.
Poland’s Technical Modernisation Programme 2021–35 foresees the procurement of three frigates capable of engaging both aerial and naval threats and able to operate in Polish territorial waters as well as support NATO blue water operations. (Source: Jane’s)
12 Aug 21. The Pentagon is exploring its options for a more efficient and powerful F-35 engine. As the Defense Department starts to put money toward advancements that will keep the F-35 relevant against Chinese threats, incumbent engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney is making the argument that F135 propulsion system upgrades should be part of the equation. Over the next decade, the Pentagon is set to upgrade the Lockheed Martin-made F-35 with a suite of new weapons, computing technologies and software that will make the jet a more capable foe, as Russia and China field their own improvements to fighters and air defense systems. But F135 engine modernization is not included in those Block 4 upgrades — at least not currently, said Jen Latka, Pratt & Whitney’s vice president for the F135 engine program.
“Now is the time we need to get the requirement in place, the funding, and then start the program,” she told Defense News in an Aug. 6 interview.
In March, Pratt & Whitney delivered a study to the F-35 Joint Program Office on F135 engine upgrades, which proposed two enhanced engine packages, which could be applied to all three variants of the F-35.
“Our objective was to provide the most cost-effective solution we could identify to meet the future requirements on the air vehicle,” Latka said.
The F-35 joint program office told Defense News in a statement that it is evaluating the Pratt & Whitney study “and data from other sources as we assess future power, cooling, and air vehicle performances needs of F-35 beyond Block 4.”
The company believes that an enhanced engine would provide an 11 percent improvement in range, 10 percent improvement in thrust and a 50 percent increase in thermal management — an important factor for enabling the F-35 to retain its stealth characteristics.
While Latka declined to detail the development and non-recurring engineering costs of proposed upgrades, they are designed to be “production cost neutral” — meaning that once the improvements are spliced into the production line, the Pentagon will be able to buy advanced F135s at the same price as the older model.
The upgrades are also designed around making the engine less expensive to sustain. An enhanced engine could generate approximately $40 bn in sustainment savings over the life of the program, according to Pratt & Whitney estimates.
The F135 is already being operated in excess of its specifications as new capabilities have been added to the F-35, Latka said.
That is only going to become more of a problem as the Pentagon upgrades the F-35 with Technology Refresh 3 — a new core processor, memory unit and panoramic cockpit display — and adds the Block 4 hardware and software capabilities, which will further tax the jet’s existing weight and cooling thresholds.
“[The services] have a very ambitious modernization program,” Latka said. “They’re going to continue to put capabilities on that jet. And so we need a requirement in propulsion that is commensurate to support … the added weight [and] all the performance requirements that come with adding capability.”
Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, the Pentagon’s F-35 program executive, has previously acknowledged that the F-35 engine will likely need increased power and thermal management to accommodate Block 4 technologies.
“I think the need to look for options from a propulsion system perspective is present,” he told lawmakers during a July 13 hearing.
However, it’s unclear whether the Defense Department will seek to upgrade the existing F135 design or move toward a brand-new propulsion system. The Air Force is currently testing three-stream adaptive engine prototypes made by Pratt & Whitney and General Electric as part of the Adaptive Engine Transition Program.
Fick saw GE’s engine prototype while visiting the company’s facility in Evendale, Ohio, earlier this summer.
“Candidly, I was impressed,” Fick said, adding that while “there’s a lot of work to be done before that becomes a production engine, before that becomes a reality for the F-35 program perhaps,” he would work with the services to explore alternative engine options.
While the F135 meets the Air Force’s current requirements, the service will have tested and garnered data from prototype AETP engines by the end of FY22, which will help inform future F135 upgrades, Air Force acquisition executive Darlene Costello said during the hearing.
Lt. Gen. David Nahom, the service’s deputy chief of staff for plans and programs, told lawmakers that the service is “very excited” about the increased power and efficiency the AETP engines could bring to the F-35. However, fielding it would require a “significant investment” that is not currently part of Air Force budget plans.
“Right now, given the current top-line we have right now, we’re going to struggle to get any further with this technology,” he said.
Brig. Gen. Dale White, who leads the Air Force’s program office for advanced aircraft, poured even more cold water on the idea of upgrading the F135 with AETP technologies during a Aug. 12 roundtable with reporters.
“The technology that is inside AETP is very different than what we use on the fielded systems we have,” he said. “And so trying to change a power plant in … a fielded system is extremely complex, and there’s a lot that goes with that. And so you have to think about what the return on the investment might be there.” (Source: Defense News)
11 Aug 21. US Navy delays Mi2 contract award to Martin UAV. The US Navy (USN) hopes to provide another transaction (OT) prototype award to Martin UAV in early September for the Mi2 unmanned aircraft effort after previously estimating an award in July. Gerald Swift, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) AIRWorks director, told Janes on 5 August that AIRWorks is going through its final processes toward this contract and that AIRWorks had a good dialogue with Martin UAV about what to include in its initial prototyping award. Martin UAV and its V-Bat 128 vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) tail-sitting fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) won the Mi2 Technology Demonstration in April.
Both parties had a bit of discovery, he said, and AIRWorks wanted to ensure that this discovery was included as both parties progressed into the next phase of Mi2. Swift said these discussions also allowed AIRWorks to put more scope into the statement of work.
In a standard federal acquisition regulation (FAR) contract, Swift said there is a discussion between the government and the award recipient about what a statement of work means and what it includes, and that the parties ensure they are meeting all of the requirements.
An other transaction authority (OTA) environment has more flexibility than a typical FAR contract.
“We were able to take advantage of that exchange in a more healthy way to make sure that we had everything covered,” Swift said. (Source: Jane’s)
11 Aug 21. Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has released new data on the build and testing for the Bell 360 Invictus competitive prototype. The Bell 360 program is rapidly progressing through manufacturing, assembly, components testing, and systems integration work for the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program. The team has completed multiple design and risk reviews with the Army and is on schedule for all program requirements. The Bell 360, a low-risk, high-speed platform with proven technology and inherently reliable designs, will deliver soldiers transformational operational capabilities at an affordable cost.
“This team is achieving great results responding to requirements, reducing programmatic risk, and delivering state-of-the-art capabilities for the Army,” said Chris Gehler, vice president and program director for the Bell 360 Invictus. “We are combining Bell’s unique knowledge of the demands placed on scout aircraft with engineering and technical expertise to give the Army a weapon system to dominate attack reconnaissance missions for decades to come.”
Since beginning the build in late 2020, Bell has made significant progress on the Bell 360 Invictus fuselage, main rotor blades, gearbox assembly, cases, and other high-value components. By implementing a design-as-built methodology that digitally connects the entire program throughout its lifecycle, Bell has increased its ability to collaborate in real-time with program partners and the Army. This method accelerates decision-making among distributed teams using a common, secure data environment that creates a singular source of data for the program leading to reduced assembly, rework time and cost.
Along with assembling the Bell 360 Invictus, high-value components such as the main rotor gearbox, driveshafts and couplings are being tested at Bell’s Drive Systems Test Lab (DSTL). The DSTL is used to carry out risk-reduction efforts that ensure the program has accurate and verified data to qualify components in advance of flight test.
A new FARA-specific Systems Integration Lab (SIL) is also operational at Bell. This facility allows Bell to integrate flight-critical components, software, and mission systems for testing, verification, and validation of functionality before they take flight on an actual aircraft. This approach reduces technical risk and aids in the safe, rapid, and efficient execution of flight test program.
“The Bell 360 Invictus is an exciting aircraft that brings sophisticated digital systems together in a high-speed, reliable, maintainable vehicle for austere environments around the world,” said Jayme Gonzalez, program manager, Bell 360 Invictus. “The Bell 360 offers the Army the ability to modernize using simplified and inherently reliable designs to reduce costs and deliver enhanced effectiveness for the Army.”
REST OF THE WORLD
12 Aug 21. Canadian firm begins negotiations to buy Lebanese Hawker Hunter jets. Canadian company Lortie Aviation is entering negotiations to buy five of Lebanon’s Hawker Hunter fighter jets after the Ministry of National Defense held three auctions for the aircraft, Defense News has learned. The ministry authorized the Lebanese Armed Forces to issue an agreement of consent with the Canadian firm for the sale of the five Hawker Hunters and spare parts. The parties involved will now negotiate a price. The deal is expected to be worth about $1m.
Lortie Aviation was the only bidder for the Hawker Hunters in the third auction that was held Aug. 12. Three Sikorsky S-61 helicopters also up for sale received no bids and might now be sold as spare parts.
The first auction held by the ministry took place May 11, but the number of interested parties failed to meet government requirements, leading to a second auction on July 12 that had the same result.
“Public biddings are subject to the Public Accounting Law. Hence, when after setting a date, at least two companies must submit for competition, which was not the case with the Lebanese Air Force, hence two more biddings were held,” a source with knowledge of the sales process told Defense News.
Defense News previously reported that two other companies expressed interest in the Hawker Hunters but it appears they did not submit bids: British firm Hawker Hunter Aviation and U.S.-based company Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (a subsidiary of Textron Systems).
The commander of Lebanon’s Air Force, Brig. Gen. Ziad Haikal, recently told Defense News that Lortie Aviation had been in discussions with the service to procure the jets following a visit by company officials.
“After their procurement, the jets will be used as enemy fighters in training with the U.S. Air Force. The Hawker Hunter is a powerful aircraft and very maneuverable, and it fits this type of training,” he said.
The Hawker Hunters have been nonoperational since 2010. The country is keeping two of the aircraft type for refurbishment and preservation in a local museum.
Haikal told Defense News in an earlier interview that the sale is part of the service’s effort to reallocate its assets and restructure its fleets to maximize the utility of available resources.
“The Hawker Hunter aircraft and Sikorsky helicopters have been nonoperational for many years, in the absence of financial resources to maintain them. This public auction will be the first step to restructure the training fleet and firefighting capabilities,” he said.
The Lebanese Air Force previously showed interest in the Pakistani Super Mushshak trainers, but it never received a response from Pakistani authorities. Haikal said the Air Force might now buy Cessna 172 or similar trainers equipped with the glass avionic suite Garmin G1000 to ensure interoperability with the Cessna Caravan 208 already fielded by the service.
Meanwhile, the Air Force is discussing the sale of Sikorsky S-61 helos as spare parts with several companies, including Canadian company Rotor Maxx, the source told Defense News.
Lebanon’s military was initially eyeing a contract with American firm Air Tractor for an aircraft similar to the AT-802 that can support the county’s firefighting capabilities as well as supply spare parts and pilot and technician training, after selling the S-61 helos. But if the returns in the spare parts sale are not enough to support that goal, the service plans to buy other firefighting capabilities like Bambi Buckets or Fireflex firefighter packs. (Source: Defense News)
11 Aug 21. Russia receives 200 main weapon systems during first half of 2021. The Russian Armed Forces received some 200 main weapon systems in the first half of 2021, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced during a joint military hardware acceptance day on 10 August.
Shoigu said this included MiG-35S multirole combat aircraft, Mi-8MTPR-1 and Ka-52 helicopters, 12 radars, a Bastion mobile coastal defence missile battery, and nine naval vessels, including the Project 885M nuclear-powered guided missile submarine Kazan and the Project 21631 corvette Grayvoron.
Deputy Defence Minister Alexey Krivoruchko added that Russian Ground Forces and Airborne Troops received 68 new and 70 overhauled land weapon systems, 163 new and 156 overhauled vehicles, 56 artillery and rocket systems, and 100,000 man-portable weapons and pieces of equipment. CEOs of defence industry enterprises said 26 T-90M Proryv tanks, 60 BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, and seven 2S19M2 Msta-S 152 mm self-propelled howitzers were delivered to the troops in 2021.
Krivoruchko expected 20 T-14 Armata and 65 T-90M tanks, a brigade of Iskander-M mobile tactical ballistic missile systems, and 18 unmanned aerial vehicles to be handed over to the military before the end of the year.
Russian Aerospace Forces received two new and three overhauled fixed-wing aircraft, eight new and 14 overhauled helicopters, two Forpost-R unmanned aerial systems, and more than 32,000 air-launched weapons in the first half of 2021. The service is set to receive four Su-57 multirole combat aircraft this year, Krivoruchko said. Three nuclear-powered submarines, a diesel-electric submarine, and six surface vessels are to be handed over to the Russian Navy in 2021. (Source: Jane’s)
09 Aug 21. Quantum Innovation Hub to be Tech Central’s first collaboration space. Sydney’s Central Station and Central Square. The NSW Government has called for expressions of interest in becoming founding members of the new Quantum Terminal, Tech Central’s first collaboration space, which is taking shape within the historic walls of Central Station’s Sydney Terminal Building. The NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said a residency in The Quantum Terminal was a chance for startups to be part of history and help grow the innovation ecosystem in Tech Central.
“This is an exciting component of our long-term goal for Tech Central, to create 25,000 innovation jobs and encourage 25,000 new students to focus on science, technology, engineering and maths and life sciences studies,” Mr Ayres said.
“The Quantum Terminal will be home to a community of researchers, educators, developers, programmers and engineers who will help lead the development and innovation of quantum excellence.”
Minister Ayres said as a whole Tech Central will in time provide 50,000 square metres of affordable space for start-up and scale-up businesses.
The Terminal has been designed to help future-focused startups scale their businesses and thrive, amongst a curated community of experts in their field and access to shared and private workspaces and large event spaces.
The Quantum Terminal is part of the 24 hectare renewal of Central Precinct, located in the northern end of Tech Central. Transport for NSW is leading plans to renew this iconic location.
“With its proximity to educational institutes as well as major hospitals, the Central Precinct will allow unmatched connectivity to leading businesses and research institutions, further driving the success of Tech Central,” says NSW Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance.
Expressions of interest for founding members of The Quantum Terminal will be open to organisations within The Quantum Technology, High Performance Computing, MedTech, Artificial Intelligence and adjacent technology verticals along with other key innovation enablers.
Quantum technologies promise huge transformation with potential to solve problems beyond the scope of conventional supercomputers. Sydney is already home to one of the largest concentrations of quantum experts in the world.
Peter Turner, CEO of Sydney Quantum Academy, a partnership of four of Sydney’s leading universities and the NSW Government, said the new space will enhance Sydney’s appeal as a place to develop cutting-edge quantum science and technology.
“The Sydney quantum community has a track record in delivering world-firsts. This initiative provides the space needed to nurture this culture of innovation. It will allow the Sydney Quantum Academy to bring the community of entrepreneurs, academics, businesses and students together to share ideas, seed growth and develop the talent required to meet industry’s rapidly expanding needs.” For more information on the latest expressions of interest go to: The Quantum Terminal (jll.com.au) (Source: Rumour Control)
12 Aug 21. Indonesia reaffirms commitment to KF-21 fighter, engineers to re-join project. Engineers from Indonesia are set to re-join the programme led by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to develop the KF-21 Boramae multirole fighter aircraft.
The development follows Indonesia’s recent “reaffirmation” of its commitment to the joint programme, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said on 11 August.
DAPA said that 32 Indonesian engineers are preparing to restart work on the KF-21 project and that their number will grow to about 100 by the end of the year.
DAPA added that the officials are currently preparing visa documentation and will be required to quarantine for two weeks before restarting work on the programme.
A spokesperson from KAI told Janes that the returning Indonesian personnel will resume work collaborating with KAI counterparts on KF-21 production and ground- and flight-testing activities.
The spokesperson added that in the coming months KAI will support Indonesian engineers’ understanding of work undertaken since their absence. Korean language studies are also under consideration.
In its statement, DAPA said the technicians return to work on the KF-21 follows the Indonesian government’s decision in April to “reaffirm its continued participation in the joint development” programme.
The agency said that Jakarta had also requested that Indonesian engineers return “as soon as possible” to South Korea to work on the aircraft. “In response, the South Korean government agreed that the return of Indonesian technical staff is required for the stabilisation of the joint development programme,” said DAPA.
South Korea and Indonesia agreed in 2015 to invest KRW8.8trn (USD7.6bn) to develop the KF-21, with Jakarta paying 20% of development costs in return for access to technologies. (Source: Jane’s)
06 Aug 21. Egypt interested in acquiring E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Egypt is in discussions with the United States to acquire Northrop Grumman’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft. This emerged during the United States Navy League’s annual Sea-Air-Space conference, which was held on 3 August outside Washington, DC. In a presentation by Captain Pete Arrobio with Naval Air Systems Command (Navair), it was revealed that both Egypt and Taiwan are in discussions to acquire the E-2D while France and Japan are in the process of acquiring the type. Northrop Grumman claims the E-2D is two generations ahead of previous models, allowing it to work with sea, air and land-based combat systems to defeat large and small targets. Its Lockheed Martin AN/APY-9 AESA radar has an estimated range of 550 km through 360-degree coverage and can apparently identify stealthy aircraft. The Advanced Hawkeye reached initial operational capability (IOC) with the US Navy in 2014. The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) is one of the few Arab air forces with an airborne early warning as well as airborne electronic warfare capability, flying E-2C Hawkeyes, C-130H Hercules electronics intelligence (ELINT) aircraft and several Beech 1900 ELINT aircraft, amongst others. Between 1986 and 1993, Egypt acquired six E-2C Hawkeyes and in the early 2000s it spent more than $140m modernising five E-2Cs to Hawkeye 2000 standard with APS-145 radar and upgraded mission computer, tactical mission system displays and navigation system. With its APS-145 radar, the Hawkeye 2000 can track more than 2 000 targets simultaneously at a range of over 640 km and control 40–100 intercepts. In 2003 the United States delivered a single second-hand E-2C that was modernised to Hawkeye 2000 standard. Yet another Hawkeye 2000 was delivered in 2010 and although Egypt requested another example in 2015, it seems this deal never transpired. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)