29 Nov 21. Switzerland signs Air2030 contracts. Switzerland has signed for both the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II and the Raytheon Patriot ground-based air-defence systems (GBADS) to fulfil its Air2030 requirement.
The Federal Council announced the milestones on 26 November, some five months after the country announced its decision in July to procure 36 F-35As and five Patriot GBADS based on the highest overall benefits for the lowest overall costs.
“Contracts for the purchase of the F-35A combat aircraft and the Patriot long-range ground-to-air defence system have been finalised by Armasuisse with the US government,” the council’s announcement stated.
As noted by the council, based on an exchange rate of CHF0.95 to USD1, commitment credits amount to CHF6.035bn for combat aircraft and CHF1.987bn for ground-to-air defence. “The cost of combat aircraft is therefore below the assumed financial volume. In the policy decision on the purchase of combat aircraft, approved by the Swiss people, the authorised financial volume amounts to CHF6.3bn, based on forecasts of the trend in prices up to 2031 and the expected payments,” it said. This financing plan was narrowly endorsed by the Swiss people in a national referendum in September 2020.
For the fighter element of Air2030, the competing entries came from Germany’s Airbus for the Eurofighter Typhoon, France’s Dassault for the Rafale, and the United States’ Boeing and Lockheed Martin for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-35A respectively. For the GBADS requirement, Air2030 considered an offer from France for the Eurosam SAMP/T and the US for the Patriot. Deliveries of both the F-35A and Patriot are due to commence in 2025. (Source: Janes)
REST OF THE WORLD
29 Nov 21. Turkish, Ukrainian companies team up for Mi-8 helicopter upgrades. Turkey’s largest defense company has signed a deal with two Ukrainian businesses to share upgrade work for Ukrainian-made Mi-8 helicopters. Military electronics specialist Aselsan will work with Ukraine’s Motor Sich and Ukroboronprom to perform electro-optical and missile upgrades on the Mi-8s. The deal was signed during Saha Expo, a defense and aerospace event held in Istanbul from Nov. 10 to 13.
Saha Istanbul is Turkey’s largest business cluster, with 645 members in the defense and aerospace sectors.
Under the plan, Aselsan will outfit the Mi-8s with either its Common Aperture Targeting System or its F-500C electro-optical system, enabling the aircraft to have laser targeting capabilities. It will also install either L-UMTAS or Cirit missile systems on the helicopters.
“The deal will involve all Mi-8s in the inventory of several militaries,” an Aselsan official said.
In 2018, the Ukrainian Air Force inducted two refurbished Mi-8 helicopters — Mi-8MTPB and Mi-8MTPI — back into service. The aircraft have large, phased array antennas fitted to the outside of both sides of the main cabin, as well as additional antennas and aerials on the tail and elsewhere.
Mi-8MTPI has the ability to detect and determine the general location and type of hostile emitters, giving it a limited capacity to conduct intelligence gathering missions on enemy defenses.
This is the second helicopter modernization effort bringing together Turkish and Ukrainian companies. In August, Turkish Aeronautical Association and Ukraine’s Ukrspecexport formed a partnership to provide repair and maintenance services for up to 1,500 Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters. As part of the contract, the partners will initially provide depot-level maintenance and repair services for the 18 Mi-17 helicopters currently in use by Turkey’s Gendarmerie force.
Under a preliminary contract, the association had serviced Mi-17s at its maintenance base in the Turkish province of Isparta, although it’s unclear how many helicopters were involved.
For work on Turkish helos and potentially foreign platforms, a new maintenance and repair facility will be established in the Turkish capital Ankara. Spare parts and engine tests will be carried out in Ukraine by Motor Sich.
The partnership expects the most immediate work performed under the Turkish-Ukrainian deal could come from Libya, Pakistan and Azerbaijan. (Source: Defense News)
24 Nov 21. AUKUS members sign naval nuclear propulsion agreement. Minister for Defence the Hon Peter Dutton MP, signs the Exchange of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information Agreement, with United States Chargé d’Affaires Michael Goldman, and British High Commissioner Victoria Treadell CMG, MVO, at Parliament House in Canberra.
The AUKUS partners – Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States – have signed the Exchange of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information Agreement, an important step in Australia’s pursuit of conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines.
Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said the Agreement will further advance consultation by Australia’s Nuclear-powered Submarine Task Force, permitting the UK and the USA to exchange sensitive and classified naval nuclear propulsion information with a third country for the first time.
“This Agreement will support Australia in completing the 18 months of intensive and comprehensive examination of the requirements underpinning the delivery of nuclear-powered submarines,” Minister Dutton said.
“The United Kingdom and the United States will be able to share naval nuclear propulsion information with Australia, which they cannot with any other country, in the determination of the optimal pathway to acquire nuclear-powered submarines for operation by the Royal Australian Navy.
“With access to the information this Agreement delivers, coupled with the decades of naval nuclear-powered experience our UK and US partners have, Australia will also be positioned to be responsible and reliable stewards of this technology.”
The Agreement will also provide a mechanism for Australian personnel to access invaluable training and education from their UK and US counterparts, necessary for learning how to safely and effectively build, operate and support nuclear-powered submarines.
Importantly, the Agreement is consistent with Australia’s international obligations, including under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Australia is not seeking nuclear weapons, Minister Dutton says. The submarines will be conventionally armed. The Agreement only allows for the sharing of naval nuclear propulsion information. No nuclear equipment can be transferred under this agreement.
Minister Dutton also highlighted the importance of the Agreement for Australia’s regulatory framework: “This Agreement will assist Australia to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to create a world-class regulatory and safety regime required for the safe operation of naval nuclear propulsion,” Minister Dutton said.
The Agreement has been tabled in the Australian Parliament for consideration by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties. The Agreement is also subject to the domestic processes of the United States and the United Kingdom. (Source: Rumour Control)