UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
15 Sep 21. Japan could become partner nation on UK-led future fighter effort, says program director. Japan could be the next partner nation for the trinational, British-led next-generation fighter program, an official hinted at the DSEI arms trade show in London.
The United Kingdom, Sweden, and Italy are jointly developing cutting-edge technologies to feed into the Future Combat Air System effort. The FCAS is to eventually lead to a core fighter aircraft and a raft of new capabilities alongside it by 2035.
Since 2020, Japan has partnered on elements of the program, but military and industry officials at the biennial DSEI conference in London hinted that the relationship could develop further within the next few years.
The program — also referred to as Tempest, and separate from the Franco-German-Spanish effort also known as FCAS — is working with Japan on the technological initiative, said the U.K. program director, Air Commodore Johnny Moreton.
“We’ve been in negotiation, conversations and some pilot projects — nothing necessarily too complex at the moment,” he said while moderating a Wednesday panel on the program’s advantages through international alliances at the conference.
In July, the Japanese government announced that the two countries had pledged to jointly develop new engine technologies that could inform both the London-led FCAS program, and Tokyo’s F-X effort to build a new sixth-generation fighter jet.
“We’re doing a joint engine viability study with Japan at the moment, and that’s quite exciting,” Moreton said. “They have an F-X program that has a very similar time frame to us, 2035; the threat is very similar to the one that we are anticipating, and in terms of an industrial nation, clearly they sit at the top table, as do we.”
The United Kingdom and Japan might extend the partnership beyond engine technologies, into electronic warfare and radar capabilities, he noted. However, those are “very much at a minor stage at this point,” he added.
Last year, the U.K., Sweden and Italy signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the FCAS project, involving their national industry partners BAE Systems, Saab and Leonardo, respectively.
While Moreton emphasized that the British military’s work with Japan was an “exploratory partnership” during the panel, the static display of a possible FCAS cockpit just feet away from the podium on the DSEI exhibition floor had four national flags hanging distinctly above it.
The close, if still unofficial, partnership between the United Kingdom and Japan on FCAS-related technologies demonstrates that “where we see opportunity across the world, we are prepared to embrace” it, Moreton said.
While the FCAS allies and their industry teams are working together to develop the next-generation technologies, the concept of “freedom of modification” — where each country has the ability to make its own changes to the future aircraft and systems — also remains paramount.
“We want to be able to upgrade, advance [and] develop our capabilities ourselves, and as sovereign countries inside the partnership, each partner has that goal,” Moreton said.
Japan’s participation is a clear example of that dynamic, said Guglielmo Maviglia, senior vice president for Leonardo’s Tempest program.
“Trying to tightly bound all of this [effort] into a single partnership, I think, is a mistake anyway,” he said on the panel. “So leaving the flexibility for other partners to join is really important, and Japan provides us with our first test of that.”
On July 29, the British Defence MInistry announced a £250m (U.S. $346m) contract to launch the FCAS concept and assessment phase with its “Team Tempest” partners. The nation plans to spend about £2bn on the program over the next four years, the government said. The contract was awarded to a U.K. industry team led by BAE Systems, which includes Rolls-Royce and the British arms of Leonardo and MBDA.
The FCAS team will continue this phase over the next several years, with plans to define and begin the design of FCAS, mature system technologies, invest in a skilled workforce, and secure the digital and physical infrastructure needed by 2024.
“The purpose of this phase is to look at the concepts [and] make an assessment of the program,” Moreton said. “And then, in late ‘24, go to our governments — Italy, Sweden, U.K. in this case, and potentially Japan — and say: ‘This is the program. This is what we can deliver. This is the timeline and the capability.’ And we’ll move forward from there.” (Source: Defense News)
17 Sep 21. £170m investment for the next generation of Royal Navy submarines. BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce will undertake concept and design work for the Royal Navy submarines.
Design work for the next-generation of Royal Navy submarines is underway following the award of two contracts to UK industry, the Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has today announced.
Two contracts worth £85m each had been awarded to BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce to deliver design and concept work for a future Class of Royal Navy submarine.
Over the next three years and supporting 350 jobs in the process, the contracts will deliver design work to inform a future decision which will help define the replacement approach for the Astute Class submarines – the nuclear powered fleet of submarines (SSNs) currently in service with the Royal Navy.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said, “Marking the start of a new journey for the Royal Navy’s submarines, British designers and engineers will lead the way in developing submarines for our Royal Navy. This multi-m pound investment ensures that this vital capability will be ready to replace our Astute Class submarines as they come out of service, whilst supporting high-skilled jobs across the Midlands and North West of England.”
In his role as Shipbuilding Tsar, the Defence Secretary is firmly committed to supporting the UK shipbuilding and maritime industries, of which these contracts will play an important role. Underpinned by the Prime Minister’s £24bn increase in defence spending across four years, these contracts build upon commitments outlined in the recent Defence Command Paper ensuring that the Royal Navy has a world-leading underwater capability prepared to meet future threats.
Submarine Delivery Agency CEO, Ian Booth said, “Designing and building submarines is one of the most complex and challenging feats of engineering that the maritime industry undertakes. It is essential that work on the next generation underwater capability commences as early as possible. This relies on some of the nation’s most experienced defence nuclear experts from the very beginning of the design phase.”
The industry teams, including Babcock International, are working closely with MOD to mature early design work on a range of options for a new crewed nuclear-powered submarine known as the Submersible Ship Nuclear Replacement (SSNR).
The contract with BAE Systems in Barrow will sustain around 250 roles at the shipyard to develop the platform design and delivery arrangements. At Rolls Royce in Derby, approximately 100 jobs are expected to be sustained through the contract for the development of the Nuclear Steam Raising Plant and the production arrangements. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
17 Sep 21. BAE Systems welcomes £85m future submarine programme contract. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded BAE Systems a £85m contract to support early design and concept work on the Royal Navy’s next generation of submarines.
The contract will enable the Company’s Submarines business to progress the early stages of a programme to deliver a replacement for the Astute class, helping to sustain the UK’s future underwater military capability and support 250 highly-skilled jobs in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
Ben Wallace, the Secretary of State for Defence, said: “Marking the start of a new journey in submarine development, British designers and engineers will lead the way in building submarines for our Royal Navy.
“This multi-m pound investment ensures that this vital capability will be ready to replace our Astute class submarines as they come out of service, whilst supporting high-skilled jobs across the Midlands and North West of England.”
Ian Booth, Submarine Delivery Agency CEO, said: “Although it is too early to determine what the capability solution will be, designing and building submarines is one of the most complex and challenging feats of engineering that the maritime industry undertakes. Such work relies on some of the nation’s most experienced defence nuclear experts from the very beginning of the design phase.”
Steve Timms, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Submarines business, said: “We’re very proud of our role in the delivery of the nation’s submarine fleet and this contract further builds on our rich heritage.
“In what is the 150th anniversary year of our Barrow shipyard, we now have the opportunity to further strengthen our partnership with the Royal Navy long in to the future.
“We’re looking forward to working with our partners and helping to deliver another strategically important and critical national defence programme.”
The contract has been awarded following approval of a three-year Programme, Definition and Design phase for a capability solution for the MOD’s Maritime Underwater Future Capability (MUFC) programme.
BAE Systems will work alongside the SDA, Rolls-Royce, Babcock and partners on a new class of nuclear powered attack submarines for the UK Royal Navy to replace the Astute class – currently referred to as SSN-Replacement (SSNR).
Four of the seven Astute submarines have already been delivered to the Royal Navy, while the remaining three are at an advanced stage of construction at BAE Systems’ site in Barrow. BAE Systems is also a member of the Dreadnought Alliance and, working alongside the SDA and Rolls-Royce, is leading the design and build of a replacement for the Vanguard class. Build of the first two of the four new Dreadnought class submarines is well underway in Barrow.
17 Sep 21. Rheinmetall new strategic partner of the Bundeswehr for deployed operations support – new line of business launched. The German Bundeswehr has awarded Rheinmetall a framework contract as part of its “Deployed Operations Support” project. The agreement was concluded in August 2021 with the Federal Office for Infrastructure, Environmental Protection and Bundeswehr Services (BAIUDBw). Germany’s armed forces will be able to count on a reliable partner to set up, operate and, when necessary, dismantle operational infrastructure. Rheinmetall is one of three companies selected by the Bundeswehr to serve as a strategic partner for deployed operations support. The contract went into effect upon signature and has an initial duration of four years, with a triple option for a one-year extension. During this period, Rheinmetall is obligated to provide services when called upon by the Bundeswehr. The selection of partners for providing deployed operations took place within the framework of the “German Armed Forces Contractor Augmentation Programme (G-CAP)”. Initiated by BAIUDBw, this project requires private sector service providers to supply troop support services during deployed operations. In adopting this policy, the Bundeswehr joined a global trend: many other armed forces rely on service providers to perform such tasks. Experts estimate that global sales for these services are worth around €350 bn annually. Rheinmetall is positioning itself to address this growing international market. The Düsseldorf-based Group has set up a company for this purpose, Rheinmetall Project Solutions GmbH, which will consolidate and develop resources and capabilities necessary for operational support of this kind and seek to provide services on a long-term basis. This new business area will operate in close collaboration with Rheinmetall Canada, whose special technological know-how is set to expand internationally. In addition to the G-CAP framework agreement, Rheinmetall Project Solutions recently won a service contract for round-the-clock monitoring of a forward operating base using a tethered surveillance aerostat.
As Dr Deniz Akitürk, managing director of Rheinmetall Project Solutions GmbH puts it, “We are pleased by this success and proud of having been picked by the Bundeswehr as a partner for infrastructure during deployed operations. We can assure our customers that the name Rheinmetall will stand for maximum reliability, performance and flexibility in this new field of business.”
G-CAP is primarily intended to relieve the troops and let private industry set up the operational infrastructure, thus enabling the Bundeswehr to conserve resources and focus on its core mission in high-threat situations. Deployed operations support is a core capability, ranging from the establishment of forward operating bases to the creation of permanent operational infrastructure. This includes, for example, accommodation, water supply, power generation, rations and mess halls, waste disposal and laundry services.
16 Sep 21. US Army seeks C-UAS concepts for “challenging dense urban environments.” The US Army has issued a “Defense-in-Depth Experiment (DiDEX) 3 Request for Information (RFI)” to industry, academia, individuals, and laboratories to submit technology white papers addressing innovative technologies and capabilities that can be used in challenging dense urban environments. The TSOA DiDEX 3 event is executed to improve operational security, force protection, and survivability. The TSOA team identifies potential vulnerabilities in emerging technologies including performance degradation in contested environments, interoperability, adaptability, and training/ease of use through live experiment venues.
“The TSOA DiDEX 3 will focus on challenges presented by
(1) detecting, tracking and defeating sUAS in a dense urban environment and
(2) integrating counter-UAS (c-UAS) systems into a single common operating picture (COP).
After reviewing the technology submissions, the Government may invite select candidates to participate in a TSOA field experiment/assessment venue in which we evaluate the capability as applied to the Warfighter, its technical limitations and vulnerabilities through an enemy perspective.
TSOA DiDEX 3 will be conducted 6- 10 December 2021 in Austin, TX
Tender number: TSOA-DIDEX3
Deadline: October 1, 2021 (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
REST OF THE WORLD
16 Sep 21. Australia releases RFP for air defence system. Industry stakeholders have been invited to submit proposals for the ADF’s future medium-range air defence capability.
The Department of Defence has officially opened a request for proposal (RFP) for the Medium Range Ground Based Air Defence System.
The RFP aims to offer insight into potential capability, the availability of prospective assets, and an estimated timeline for delivery.
Key systems for consideration by the project include command and control systems, radars, and missile launchers.
The delivery of a Medium Range Ground Based Air Defence System is in addition to the Commonwealth government’s Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise.
The enterprise aims to address gaps outlined in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update by providing stakeholders, both SMEs and established primes, with opportunities in advanced manufacturing through the establishment of industry partnerships.
“The creation of the national guided weapons enterprise is a significant step and will ensure Defence’s enduring ability to effectively deter and defeat threats against our national interests,” Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said.
“To complement the enterprise, the government is also investing in a new Integrated Air and Missile Defence capability that will further improve the survivability of our deployed forces.
“Together, the government’s investments in guided weapons, explosive ordnance, and air and missile defence capabilities will strengthen our shape, deter and respond mission and keep Australia safe.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price noted the projects’ contribution to sovereign industrial capability.
“These projects will seek to maximise Australian industry involvement, enabling opportunities to develop our local expertise, which will deliver a long-term boost to our sovereign defence capability,” Minister Price said. (Source: Defence Connect)
16 Sep 21. Babcock sells first new frigate design licence to Indonesia. Babcock the aerospace, defence and security company has secured the first export contract for its Arrowhead 140 (AH140) frigate through a design licence agreement with PT PAL Indonesia (Persero), a state-owned enterprise that builds and maintains ships for military and commercial use from its facilities in Surabaya, Indonesia.
The breakthrough deal comes two years since Babcock’s AH140 design was first announced as the preferred bidder for the UK Type 31 frigate programme at DSEI 2019, with the contract confirmed in November of the same year.
The design licence will enable PAL to build two Arrowhead 140 frigates in Indonesia with bespoke design modifications for the Indonesian Navy.
The agreement was signed at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2021 event in London, on board HMS Argyll, by David Lockwood CEO Babcock and Kaharuddin Djenod, CEO PAL. And was witnessed by the Defence Minister of Indonesia, Prabowo Subianto and UK Defence Secretary, Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP.
Babcock has been working alongside the UK Government to promote the Arrowhead 140 Frigate into the global market with strong interest internationally. The company recently announced that it was one of the bidders down selected by the Polish Government to provide a potential design solution for the Polish Navy’s Miecznik (Swordfish) frigate programme.
The baseline Arrowhead 140 design can be configured to meet a broad range of naval requirements and, with Babcock’s support PAL will now engineer the required modifications to configure the Arrowhead 140 for the Indonesian customer.
David Lockwood, CEO Babcock said, “Today is a really exciting moment for Babcock and our frigate export programme, as we sign the design licence with PAL for two new frigates for the Indonesian Navy.
“The beauty of our export product is that it is a readily transferable design that can be tailored to the customer’s needs as part of our strong Arrowhead frigate portfolio. What’s more, the design licence and subsequent build programme will be a significant catalyst for prosperity in Indonesia.
“Working with our Indonesian colleagues this contract will see Arrowhead 140 frigates built in Indonesia, by the local workforce, contributing directly to the social and economic value of its sovereign shipbuilding community and country as a whole. We look forward to further opportunities to support PAL as the programme matures.
“It’s a proud day for the Babcock and PAL teams.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said, “I was delighted to attend the contract signing between Babcock and Indonesia on board HMS Argyll today, representing the best of British maritime design and engineering to our international partners. Signalling the strength of our defence relationship with Indonesia, both of our Naval Forces will operate this world-leading frigate in the future and will work closely together to protect our mutual interests around the world.”
The Arrowhead 140 frigate design, benefits from a proven hull-form that has been tried and tested in real-world operational environments from NATO and coalition task forces to national regional and deployed operations. The baseline Arrowhead 140 design can be configured to meet a broad range of operational requirements and profiles a global frigate may be called upon to undertake and adopt and with a growing number of users it can also support interoperability between naval allies.
Babcock, the international aerospace, defence and security company, with a leading naval business, has signed a Cooperation Agreement with Ukroboronprom in support of Ukraine’s Naval Capabilities Enhancement Programme (UNCEP) at DSEI, the world’s leading defence and security event.
Ukroboronprom State Concern is a strategic manufacturer of weapons and military hardware in Ukraine that consolidates state enterprises to meet the needs of the defence and security forces of Ukraine.
This signing enables Babcock to continue to build on the recent signing of a tripartite Memorandum of Implementation (MoI) in Odesa between the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, the UK Government and Babcock, which confirmed Babcock as the designated prime industrial partner.
Working collaboratively with Ukroboronprom, Babcock plans to invigorate the supply chain for Ukraine by working with local companies across the UNCEP which will help to deliver jobs, skills and wider economic benefits.
Babcock is well-placed to support Ukraine’s ambitions for the UNCEP, with an established history of designing, building and managing the integration of some of the world’s most complex ships, from small combat boats and rescue craft to offshore patrol vessels and aircraft carriers, coupled with significant experience in the new build, refurbishment and management of modern shipyard and naval base facilities.
Babcock CEO David Lockwood said:
“We are delighted to sign a Cooperation Agreement with Ukroboronprom today at DSEI in London. As the designated prime industrial partner in delivering the Ukraine Naval Capabilities Enhancement Programme it is vital and important that we find innovative ways to collaborate.
“Working alongside Ukroboronprom we have a team of experts dedicated to ensuring that our engagement with Ukrainian sub-contractors and Ukrainian Government agencies progresses quickly to deliver a modern naval fleet and maritime support infrastructure in Ukraine.”
15 Sep 21. Babcock, the international aerospace, defence and security company, with a leading naval business, has signed a Cooperation Agreement with Ukroboronprom in support of Ukraine’s Naval Capabilities Enhancement Programme (UNCEP) at DSEI, the world’s leading defence and security event. Ukroboronprom State Concern is a strategic manufacturer of weapons and military hardware in Ukraine that consolidates state enterprises to meet the needs of the defence and security forces of Ukraine. This signing enables Babcock to continue to build on the recent signing of a tripartite Memorandum of Implementation (MoI) in Odesa between the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, the UK Government and Babcock, which confirmed Babcock as the designated prime industrial partner. Working collaboratively with Ukroboronprom, Babcock plans to invigorate the supply chain for Ukraine by working with local companies across the UNCEP which will help to deliver jobs, skills and wider economic benefits. Babcock is well-placed to support Ukraine’s ambitions for the UNCEP, with an established history of designing, building and managing the integration of some of the world’s most complex ships, from small combat boats and rescue craft to offshore patrol vessels and aircraft carriers, coupled with significant experience in the new build, refurbishment and management of modern shipyard and naval base facilities.
Babcock CEO David Lockwood said, “We are delighted to sign a Cooperation Agreement with Ukroboronprom today at DSEI in London. As the designated prime industrial partner in delivering the Ukraine Naval Capabilities Enhancement Programme it is vital and important that we find innovative ways to collaborate.
“Working alongside Ukroboronprom we have a team of experts dedicated to ensuring that our engagement with Ukrainian sub-contractors and Ukrainian Government agencies progresses quickly to deliver a modern naval fleet and maritime support infrastructure in Ukraine.”
15 Sep 21. Lockheed Martin Australia awards SEA 1000 contracts to local firms. Twelve sub-contracts have been awarded to local firms and academic institutions as part of the prime’s work to support the Future Submarines program.
Lockheed Martin Australia has awarded 12 contracts with a combined value of $900,000 ($75,000 each) to a range of local stakeholders, tapped to deliver white papers on the development of novel and emerging advanced technologies in support of Australia’s future Attack Class submarines combat system.
These latest awards form part of the fourth cycle of research and development (R&D) contracts, funded under the company’s Future Submarine Combat System Integrator Program. This takes the total value of awards funded to $2.9m across 25 Australian industry and research organisations.
Recipients under Cycle 4 have been selected for the following research topics:
- the development of visual sensor prediction tools (South Australia-based elmTEK);
- asset maintenance techniques (Curtin University);
- communications at speed and depth (University of South Australia);
- visualisation of bioluminescence data (AMC Search and Victoria-based Molino Zhang and Associates);
- above water laser communication (RMIT);
- novel recovery approaches of submarine-launched UUVs and UAVs (Flinders University and AMC Search);
- intelligent mission recording (Acacia Systems); and
- investigating effective anti-fouling and anti-corrosion treatments to mitigate sonar array degradation (Tasmania-based Biofouling Solutions, Flinders University, and Swinburne University of Technology.
The contracts followed a competitive review and assessment of proposal responses. Upon completion of the White Papers, further contracts may be awarded to selected respondents for Ongoing Capability Research.
Lockheed Martin Australia’s R&D Program is based on an ongoing nine-month cyclic process funded by the Commonwealth and administered under the contract.
Joe North, chief executive at Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand, congratulated the latest tranche of recipients.
“Lockheed Martin Australia is working hand-in-hand with Australian industry and advancing high-tech research and development initiatives to support Australia’s sovereign defence capability and build a regionally superior submarine capability for our nation and the Indo-Pacific,” he said.
“We are committed to partnering with industry and Australian universities to further expand Australia’s technology base and grow Australian sustainment capability in support of the Future Submarine Program. Australian industry is at the very heart of that opportunity.
“Right now, the Attack Class submarine combat system is being designed, tested and integrated by Australians, in Australia, for Australia.” (Source: Defence Connect)