UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
22 Oct 21. UK sets sights on interim strategic sealift capability. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has begun to explore options for a future strategic sealift capability to begin operation in 2025. A request for information (RFI) to inform programme and commercial strategies for a planned interim capability, lasting a minimum of five years and to an updated user requirement, was released on 20 October. This interim capability would succeed the MoD’s existing sealift contract, which expires at the end of January 2024. Strategic sealift provides the MoD with a capability to deploy cargo overseas from the United Kingdom in support of both standing commitments and contingent operations. The UK’s current roll-on roll-off strategic maritime capacity, vested in the four Flensburger RoRo 2700 sealift ships MV Anvil Point , MV Hartland Point , MV Hurst Point, and MV Eddystone , is provided by Foreland Shipping (previously AWSR Shipping Ltd) under the terms of a 25-year private finance initiative (PFI) arrangement running to the end of December 2024. The RFI for a projected strategic sealift interim solution seeks responses from interested parties relating to ship characteristics, classification, capacities, and crew requirements. It also requests information on any previous long-term charter/contract arrangements and the ability to provide ‘surge’ capacity at short notice when required. Formal industry engagement for the interim strategic sealift capability is expected to start in mid-2022. Full operational capability under the new contract is planned for January 2025. (Source: Janes)
REST OF THE WORLD
28 Oct 21. Philippines seeks tactical air mobility boost. The Philippine Air Force’s (PAF’s) air mobility fleet is set to benefit from five new Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical airlifters, following approval from the House of Representatives for additional funding for acquisition of the new aircraft. According to local media, the House approved a request to set aside an additional 5.5bn pesos (US$108.3m) in the 2022 General Appropriations Bill to cover downpayment for the order. PAF chief Lieutenant General Allen Paredes was quoted as saying that the service urgently requires a boost in airlift capacity in order to undertake humanitarian assistance and disaster response, overseas foreign worker repatriation and troop deployment. The approval comes after a PAF C-130H Hercules medium airlifter operated by the crashed in Patikul Village in Jolo, Sulu province, on 4 July. Aircraft #5125 had been carrying 96 military personnel at the time of the incident, the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) said in a statement. Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana subsequently announced that the aircraft crashed as it overshot the runway while attempting to land at Jolo Airport. All passengers aboard the C-130H – which was assigned to the PAF’s 220th Airlift Wing and operated by three pilots and five crew – were Philippine Army personnel being transferred to the province to bolster security against militants from the Abu Sayyaf group and other threats. Philippine authorities have since retrieved both the flight data and cockpit voice recorders from the wreckage. Only recently commissioned into PAF service in February, the C-130H had been the first of two ex-US Air Force (USAF) aircraft acquired under the US Excess Defense Articles Program. The second aircraft is expected to be delivered by the end of the year. Another C-130H operated by the unit had been written off after it caught fire at Clark Air Base in March 2019 and is understood to have four serviceable C-130s of various models remaining in its current inventory. (Source: AMR)
25 Oct 21 Indonesia seeks more autonomy on CN235 production in offset talks for A400M. Indonesia is seeking greater autonomy from Airbus in the manufacturing process for the CN235 twin-turboprop aircraft.
Meeting documents provided to Janes indicate that Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials have included this objective as an offset condition should Jakarta decide to procure A400M multirole aircraft for the Indonesian Air Force.
The CN235 is a medium-range utility aircraft that was jointly developed by Construcciones Aeron´auticas SA (now part of Airbus) and Indonesian manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia – PTDI (earlier known as IPTN) in the 1980s.
Several variants of the aircraft have since been developed, with PTDI securing contracts for maritime patrol and transport versions of the airframe with customers like the Indonesian armed forces, the Nepal Army Air Wing, and the Senegalese Air Force since 1993.
As reported by Janes in October 2021, the Indonesian MoD has restarted talks to potentially procure a fleet of Airbus A400Ms to enhance military airlift capabilities of its air force. Indonesian defence planners are also in consultation with Airbus to understand if the aircraft type can also fulfil its air force’s in-flight refuelling requirements.
An attendance list of the recent meeting that took place between Indonesian officials and Airbus on 1 October includes five representatives from the MoD’s Directorate General for Defence Potential, a senior executive of PTDI, and representatives from state-owned aerospace service provider, GMF AeroAsia. Documents from this meeting further indicate that PTDI is pushing to manufacture more segments of the CN235 at its facilities in Bandung, Indonesia. These segments are namely the aircraft’s inboard flaps, nose fuselage, engine cowlings, nose and main landing gears assemblies, and centre wing box assembly. (Source: Janes)
25 Oct 21. Defence calls tender for HOBART-class life cycle manager. Defence has called tenders for the role of Capability Life Cycle Manager for the RAN’s three Hobart-class DDGs. The successful tenderer will support and sustain the destroyers through their lifespan, including an imminent $5.1bn capability upgrade. According to Minister for defence Industry Melissa Price MP, the destroyers will be the first major RAN platform to have a Capability Life Cycle Manager, a further step in the realisation of the Future Maritime Sustainment Model under Plan Galileo – Defence’s new national, innovative approach to sustainment.
It follows the appointment of Raytheon as the Capability Life Cycle Manager for the new Arafura-class Offshore Patrol Vessels in December 2020.
An Industry Briefing will be held about the Hobart class destroyer Capability Life Cycle Manager on 4 November 2021.
Australia’s defence industry will act as a ‘steward’ for the Hobart class destroyers under a new approach to sustainment that will optimise their capability and create hundreds of jobs in South Australia, said Minister Price.
“This model builds on the success of our continuous naval shipbuilding initiative and has been designed to ensure we can continue to deliver complex naval capability at sea that is reliable and fit-for-purpose,” Minister Price said.
“It includes performing asset management for the capability and supporting the upgrade of their combat management system.
Tenders will need to be received on or before 21 January 2022. Further information is available on AusTender. (Source: Rumour Control)