UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
28 Mar 22. UK aerospace R&D receives fresh funding boost. £685mn commitment allows ATI to lift moratorium on new projects easing fears about government’s commitment to ‘green’ aviation. The ATI, whose partners include Airbus, was created in 2013 as a collaboration between government and industry to set the sector’s technology strategy. About 80 per cent of its current research projects contribute in some way to lower emissions, according to the ATI. Ministers have given Britain’s Aerospace Technology Institute the green light to take on new projects as they set out the latest budget for the body that allocates state funding for innovation in the sector, easing industry fears about the government’s commitment to net zero aviation. The ATI will receive £685mn in taxpayer funds over the next three years the government said on Tuesday, allowing it to lift the moratorium it was forced to impose on applications for new grants a year ago. Industry executives warned at the time that the hiatus risked private sector research and development going overseas in search of financial backing, as the other big western aerospace nations — the US, France and Germany — continued to allocate substantial state funding into decarbonising the aviation sector. The squeeze on funding last year was caused by a surge in demand from new projects combined with a delay in drawdown in funding from existing schemes caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The latest budget, which covers the period 2022 to 2025, equates to a 50 per cent uplift on the previous three years. Industry Minister Lee Rowley said the fresh funds showed the UK’s “increasing ambition” and would give “large and small businesses the confidence to invest in the technologies that will bring civil aviation into the next generation.” Gary Elliott, the ATI’s chief executive said the money would allow the institute to consider applications for new research projects from next month. He added that with the requisite match-funding from industry the ATI would be able “to invest more than £1bn over the next 3 years in the cutting-edge technology needed to move towards our net zero targets.” In last October’s spending review, the government had committed to extending the funding for the ATI by five years to 2031 but provided no details, leaving the ATI’s support for new research in limbo. Industry executives welcomed the uplift in government support but cautioned that it would not be enough to match the scale of the challenge and that a step change would be needed to position the UK at the forefront of aerospace innovation. “This is good news but the industry will need long-term funding if we are going to hit the government’s target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” said one. (Source: Google/FT.com)
28 Mar 22. GE and Safran compete to power AW149 for UK NMH requirement. Leonardo is expected to choose between the General Electric (GE) CT7-2E1 and the Safran Aneto-1K to power the AW149 in its bid for the UK New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirement. Both engine manufacturers are promoting their use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), the heritage of their engines, and commonality with other powerplants in UK service. At a press event on 23 March, Safran’s chief executive officer of helicopter engines, Nick Earl, promoted the engine’s high power, its RTM322 heritage, and the use of SAF. With the Royal Air Force (RAF) known to be particularly keen on SAF, the Aneto can take 50% SAF now, and will be cleared for 100% SAF in two to three years. Approximately 75% of Safran’s research and development budget is for environmental programmes, said Earl. He said the NMH contract is a “massively strategic programme for us”. (Source: Janes)
31 Mar 22. Trans-Atlantic team to develop technical concept for NATO’s Future Surveillance and Control capabilities. Airbus Defence and Space together with Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and seven industrial players forming the ASPAARO (Atlantic Strategic Partnership for Advanced All-domain Resilient Operations) team have been selected by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) to conduct one of three Risk Reduction and Feasibility Studies (RRFS). The studies aim to suggest technical solutions for the Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC). In November 2021, Airbus with subcontractors Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems (UK), Exence (Poland), GMV (Spain), IBM (US), KONGSBERG (Norway), Lockheed Martin (US) and MDA (Canada) submitted a proposal to NSPA outlining how this transatlantic team would address the complexities of NATO’s future capability requirements. The selection of the ASPAARO team as a study partner represents an important step toward providing NATO with unmatched tactical surveillance, command and control capabilities to overcome the challenges of the future and replace the current Airborne Warning and Control System fleet which will reach the end of its service life around 2035. Over the next months the ASPAARO team will perform a thorough assessment of a fully distributed surveillance model; refine details; assess related feasibility, risks and costs; and provide a recommended technical solution with proven technologies, open standards and interfaces for the multi-domain capabilities AFSC shall provide.
“Airbus is committed to a long-lasting cooperation with NATO and its member nations on the Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC) programme. The current crisis situation is a reminder that vigilance as well as surveillance and control capabilities are of key importance to the defence of the Alliance. Airbus Defence and Space is leading the ASPAARO team which will be contributing to the Risk Reduction and Feasibility Studies. The focus is on a cross-domain fully distributed system to create the most reliable, resilient and capable solution for NATO’s future surveillance and control,” said Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space.
Northrop Grumman President of Aeronautics Systems Tom Jones stressed ASPAARO’s team commitment to NATO’s security mission. “The ASPAARO team brings together some of the world’s best engineers, scientists and system managers. The team is committed to offering optimum technical solutions to our NATO customer’s future surveillance and security needs.”
Northrop Grumman President of Aeronautics Systems Tom Jones stressed ASPAARO’s team commitment to NATO’s security mission. “The ASPAARO team brings together some of the world’s best engineers, scientists and system managers. The team is committed to offering optimum technical solutions to our NATO customer’s future surveillance and security needs.”
The outcome of the three studies will help NATO and individual allies make informed decisions on the final AFSC technical concept and acquisition of surveillance systems.
25 Mar 22. Boeing teams with Airbus on Germany’s STH heavy-lift helo competition. Boeing has announced that Airbus is to be its chief partner in its bid to secure the Schwerer Transporthubschrauber (STH) heavy-lift helicopter requirement for Germany. The US manufacturer said on 25 March that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to partner with Airbus Helicopters in its offer of the Chinook to Germany. Boeing, along with rival bidder Lockheed Martin and its CH-53K King Stallion, is looking to fulfil the STH requirement to replace the Luftwaffe’s 70 VFW-Sikorsky CH-53G-series Stallions with between 40 and 60 new helicopters.
“With our Chinook offering and together with our German industry partners, we will create more than 500 highly skilled jobs in-country, all in direct support of the Bundeswehr’s heavy-lift mission requirements,” Michael Haidinger, president of Boeing Germany, said.
The partnership with Airbus Helicopters builds on the existing Chinook industrial team earlier announced by Boeing. This team comprises Aero Bildung, CAE, Aircraft Philipp, Collins Aerospace, Cotesa Composites, Diehl Defence, Honeywell Aerospace, Liebherr, Reiser, and Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd. (Source: Janes)
30 Mar 22. Post-Afghanistan, US Air Force changes Jolly Green II helicopter purchase plans. The U.S. Air Force wants to cut the total number of new combat rescue helicopters it plans to buy by one-third, a sign of how it is adjusting to a post-Afghanistan threat environment. The Air Force originally planned to buy 113 HH-60W Jolly Green II helicopters, the successor to the HH-60G Pave Hawk. But the service’s proposed budget for fiscal 2023 includes money for 10 more Jolly Green IIs that year — and those would be the last, capping the procurement at 75. The root of the lies in the military’s shift away from counterinsurgency-focused conflicts, such as the wars in Afghanistan and against the Islamic State group. Instead, the military is preparing for a potential fight against a technologically advanced peer or near-peer adversary such as China or Russia — one in which the airspace would likely be highly contested and helicopters would be more vulnerable.
“The scenarios that we’re most worried about are not the same as they once were,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said in a March 25 briefing with reporters. “The acts of aggression like we’re seeing in Europe, or we might see in the Pacific by [China], put us in a very different scenario from a combat rescue point of view.”
In a follow-up email, the Air Force said the decrease in the total quantity of HH-60W purchases was part of its overall plan to ensure its future force has the right balance of capabilities in a conflict with near-peer competitors.
The Sikorsky-built Jolly Green II was designed from the ground up to fly Air Force pararescue specialists on combat rescue missions. Pave Hawks, on the other hand, are heavily modified Black Hawks.
Sikorsky redesigned the HH-60W’s fuel tanks to increase cabin space and make the helicopters safer in the event of a crash. The aircraft includes multiple cameras as well as communications and intelligence capabilities so airmen can rapidly receive and analyze the information needed to conduct rescues.
In an emailed statement, Lockheed Martin, which owns Sikorsky, said the program is progressing and production is underway. So far, 17 HH-60Ws have been delivered to the Air Force.
“We are working closely with the Air Force to meet their CSAR [combat search and rescue] mission requirements to field the [Defense Department]’s only dedicated CSAR helicopter, and provide the most capable platform to the warfighter,” Lockheed Martin said. “We look forward to continuing deliveries of this vital capability to our customer.”
The Air Force has so far awarded four production lots for the helicopter, most recently in February. Sikorsky officials said in an interview in Orlando, Florida, earlier this month that the Air Force would likely start ordering Jolly Green IIs for the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve in Lot 5 next year.
Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the Air Force’s decision makes sense.
“They’re not completely divesting from the [combat rescue] mission, they’re just reducing” the number of helicopters being purchased, Harrison said in a Tuesday interview. “It does reflect the reality that the strategic focus is moving towards a much more contested air environment, in which case helicopters are not well suited to operate.”
During the two decades of conflict in the Middle East, the Air Force was able to operate in all but uncontested airspace.
But in a high-end fight, the Air Force would have to contend with sophisticated enemy radars and air defense systems, which would be much harder for helicopters — even up-to-date helicopters like the Jolly Green II — to evade.
Helicopters are “good for picking up downed pilots in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, where we can operate somewhat with impunity in the air,” Harrison said. “And they’re good for humanitarian assistance, disaster relief-type operations. But those things aren’t the focus of the strategy anymore. The focus is on the high-end fight, and these helicopters don’t provide as much value in the high end fight.”
Sending a combat rescue helicopter into that kind of a high-threat environment could result in a situation where it gets shot down, and even more airmen are endangered.
“Would you really want to send in a helicopter and risk the crew of that helicopter in order to save one pilot that’s been downed somewhere?” Harrison said. “That’s a hard decision to make. And in a highly contested environment, where it is more and more likely that the helicopter crew will not make it out alive, that means that this platform is not as useful, that commanders are not likely to make that decision.”
And while electronic warfare systems onboard a rescue helicopter could help confuse and jam enemy radar systems, Harrison said, they can only do so much to try to hide a rotary-wing aircraft.
“Just because of the physics of having a giant rotor swinging around at high speed, that creates a huge radar signature as well as an acoustic signature,” Harrison said. “Ultimately, you’re dealing with a platform that is difficult to conceal.”
It also remains to be seen how much appetite lawmakers will have for reducing the HH-60W purchases, Harrison said, or whether Congress will restore some in future years.
John Venable, a defense policy expert at the Heritage Foundation think tank and a former F-16 pilot, said in a Wednesday interview that the Air Force is making a mistake by slashing its combat rescue helicopter buys.
Combat rescues in a contested environment would undoubtedly be difficult, Venable said — but not impossible. And even if it is dangerous, he added, the Air Force needs to be ready to try, and to have enough helicopters on hand to carry out such rescues.
“In a high-threat environment, it will be very challenging to execute CSAR missions,” Venable said. “But it has always been the contract of the Air Force that we would have CSAR assets available, since helicopters have been flying, to go in and rescue pilots. And we will make sure that we give every effort to recover those pilots if they are in fact shot down.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
29 Mar 22. Pentagon delays JWCC cloud competition, now valued at $9bn. Pentagon CIO John Sherman says program is going well, but “we’ve recognized that our schedule was maybe a little too ahead of what we thought.” The Defense Department will delay awarding contracts for the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability, its enterprise cloud effort valued at up to $9bn, to the end of this year, the Pentagon’s chief information officer said today. The original timeline laid out included awarding contracts in April, and then in November, DoD issued formal solicitations to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Oracle and Google.
“But as we’ve gotten into this and leaned into it with four vendors, we’ve recognized that our schedule was maybe a little too ahead of what we thought and that now we’re going to wrap up in the fall and we’re aiming to award in December,” John Sherman, DoD CIO, told reporters.
Despite the newly anticipated December time frame, Sherman said “everything is going very well” with JWCC. He added the Pentagon is doing “all the back and forth” with the vendors and evaluating proposals.
“It’s just going to take us a little bit longer than we thought and, from my CIO seat, I’ve told the team we’re going to make sure we do this right, take the time that they need so we can stick the landing on this given the imperative to what JWCC is for the Department of Defense,” he said.
Sherman added initial JWCC contracts will “be a three-year base with two one-year options and then at the conclusion of this, we’re going to be launching a full and open competition for a future multi-cloud acquisition.” The new timeline shifts the competition to early 2026 instead of 2025. Today was also the first time DoD unveiled the effort would have a potential ceiling value of $9bn.
The Pentagon envisions JWCC as its enterprise multi-vendor, multi-cloud follow up to the infamous, failed single-source Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, which was worth up to $10bn. The contract was canceled in July last year after years of legal battles.
RELATED: DoD Kills JEDI, Pivots To Multi-Cloud
“Nothing in the department meets this requirement at the current time… and it will be imperative for capabilities like Joint All Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, as well as the AI and Data Accelerator, or ADA, initiative and other key warfighting activities for the combatant commands and indeed all across the enterprise,” Sherman said.
Although JWCC won’t be mandated for all the services, as its utility is proven out DoD will “expect more and more of the service needs to transition to JWCC,” he added. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
31 Mar 22. Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability Award Planned for December. The award of the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability procurement is planned for December, DOD Chief Information Officer John Sherman said in Washington today. In July 2021, DOD officials said they expected the procurement would be ready in April 2022. The JWCC is a ground-breaking procurement, Sherman said, and it involves some of the biggest technology firms in the United States: Google, Oracle, Microsoft and Amazon Web Services.
These four “hyperscale” cloud service providers are working with DOD specialists to produce “a multi-cloud effort that will provide enterprise cloud capabilities for the Defense Department at all three security classifications: unclassified, secret and top secret all the way from the continental United States out to the tactical edge,” he said.
Once in place, it will service the Joint All-Domain Command and Control initiative as well as aiding in artificial intelligence applications and much more, he said.
The program plan is a three-year base contract with two, one-year options. At the conclusion of this possible five-year procurement, DOD will launch “a full and open competition for a future multi-cloud acquisition.”
Officials said the five-year contract ceiling is $9bn. Washington Headquarters Services is leading the procurement effort with assistance from the Defense Information Systems Agency.
Back in July, officials expected only two cloud service providers to qualify to bid on the procurement. The DOD was committed to conduct market research to determine which cloud service providers qualified to receive direct solicitations. Five were considered and four received the solicitations in November 2021. This complicated the assessment period immensely. Sherman praised the professionals at each of the four bidders for their expertise and willingness to cooperate. He said there has been “a lot of iterative dialogue, very robust, very good collaboration from all involved.
“But as we’ve gotten into this, … we’ve recognized that our schedule was maybe a little too ahead of what we thought and that now we’re going to wrap up in the fall, and we’re aiming to award in December,” he said.
The change to a December award date does not indicate anything is wrong with the procurement. Rather, it is ensuring the government does the due diligence that American taxpayers deserve. “It’s just the amount of workload going between four proposals,” Sherman said. “We’ve got a good team with all the right expertise on this but doing the due diligence . I think we just underestimated the amount of time this was going to take.” (Source: US DoD)
REST OF THE WORLD
31 Mar 22. Statement On PROJECT AIR 7003 Cancellation. From David R. Alexander, President of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI): “The Australian Department of Defence has advised of its decision to cancel Project Air 7003, after nearly a decade of efforts toward that acquisition program. Project Air 7003 was expected to provide the Australian Defence Force with a reliable and desperately needed capability: An armed, medium-altitude, long-endurance, remotely piloted aircraft system providing persistent airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, Electronic Warfare and precision strike capability for both land and maritime environments. The cancellation is disappointing for a number of reasons. Project Air 7003 offered a cost-effective, multi-domain capability that is deeply relevant to Australia’s future strategic environment. Equally disappointing, our many Team SkyGuardian Australia partner companies have invested in the start-up and future support for this capability in Australia and will lose considerable sovereign capability opportunities following this decision. Our MQ-9 aircraft maintain the highest mission-capable rates in the U.S. Air Force at nearly 90 percent and have logged more than 2 million total flight hours. The MQ-9B takes that experience further, providing greater flexibility, increased reliability, and the ability to operate safely and effectively within busy civilian airspace. It offers advantages no aircraft in its class can match. We remain committed to maintaining a focus on Australian defense and security opportunities and others across the INDOPAC region through our many RPA systems, including our recently announced range of short take-off and next-generation Mojave and Evolution series aircraft. If recent world events have shown us anything, it’s that such capabilities are crucial to the future of global defense and security. We look forward to continued work with the ADF to advance these capabilities for Australia.”
31 Mar 22. DSA 2022: Turkish Aerospace Industries offers Malaysia joint production role. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is offering Malaysia joint production on several front-line military aircraft, the company said at the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2022 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur.
TAI president and CEO Temel Kotil told journalists that the joint production commitment is supported through TAI’s investment in the Southeast Asian country. He said TAI has recently established a Malaysian engineering facility, which it wants to develop as an avionics hub.
Platforms that TAI is positioning for the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) include its Hürjet advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft and Anka medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
Kotil confirmed that TAI is also offering Malaysia partner status on the company’s programme to develop the Turkish Fighter Experimental (TF-X)/National Combat Aircraft (MMU).
Kotil added that TAI is offering Malaysia the opportunity to produce components for the company’s T625 Gökbey utility helicopter. TAI will commence deliveries of this helicopter to the Turkish Armed Forces in 2023, but the platform is also being offered to export customers. (Source: Janes)
31 Mar 22. Government invests in Aussie SME innovation to bolster defence capability. The Morrison government has unveiled three defence capability focus areas critical to Australia’s national security that will guide the government’s investment in the innovative ideas of Australian businesses.
From 1 July 2022, the government’s Defence Innovation Hub will seek submissions for innovations that will strengthen specific defence capabilities in the areas of guided weapons and explosive ordnance, integrated air and missile defence, and undersea warfare.
According to Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price, these changes are designed to leverage and ensure the very best innovation Australia has to offer and deliver a capability edge for Defence continues.
The key focus areas will be a high priority for investment and have been singled out to give industry more detailed information about specific capabilities, which will contribute to the stimulation of innovative ideas in those areas, which are of significant strategic importance to Defence.
Industry and research organisations will also be able to submit proposals across the domains outlined in the 2020 Force Structure Plan – Information and Cyber, Maritime, Air, Space, Land and enterprise wide enabling capabilities. Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the rapid pace of technological change and shifting geopolitical dynamics meant Defence’s innovation programs needed to be agile and responsive.
Minister Price added that the Morrison government remains committed to sustained investment in innovation and building a strong Australian defence industry.
“Our strategic environment has changed and the importance of a resilient and innovative Australian defence industry is more critical than ever,” Minister Price said.
“We are investing more than $800m in the Defence Innovation Hub through to 2030 and it is central to Defence’s response to current challenges.”
For more detailed information, visit the Defence Innovation Hub website. https://www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au/ (Source: Defence Connect)
30 Mar 22. Nigerian Air Force interested in Airbus aircraft. The Nigerian Air Force has expressed interest in acquiring new aircraft from Airbus and has held discussions with the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria on this and other matters.
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, said the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is looking to partner with the Spanish Government in the areas of aircraft acquisition, training, air operations, intelligence sharing and capacity development in imagery analysis, and is in discussions with Airbus.
Amao on 23 March hosted the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Juan Ignacio Sell, at NAF Headquarters in Abuja.
Amao said a partnership with a developed nation like Spain would enable the NAF take advantage of the numerous technological competencies available to address some of the technical challenges the service currently faces especially in intelligence gathering.
Amao stated that the NAF and Airbus of Spain were currently in talks to explore opportunities that could be available for the NAF to tap into, all with the hope of enhancing the NAF’s fleet. “If our interface with Airbus of Spain is anything to go by, I am hopeful that the outcome would go a long way in adding value to our current efforts in all our theatres of operation”, he said.
Sell said his country was willing to provide solutions that would support the various operations of the NAF. He also expressed Spain’s willingness to further deepen its partnership with the NAF by posting a Defence Attaché to the Spanish Embassy in Abuja.
As far back as 2016, Nigeria has expressed interest in acquiring C295W light transports from Airbus, with a delegation visiting Nigeria that October. In October 2019, then Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar hosted Airbus executives who were paying a courtesy visit to Nigeria – they discussed maintenance, training, and other matters. The Airbus executives provided presentations on Airbus aircraft.
Nigeria’s 2022 defence budget proposal includes funding for the procurement of a new transport aircraft and continued funding for JF-17 fighters and helicopters. Initial funding of N10.86bn ($26.4m) is listed in the budget to procure two new King Air 360 aircraft, spares and ground support equipment, partly to replace King Air 350 that crashed in February 2021.
The FY2022 budget also includes N833.23 m in balance payments for procurement of three JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft with targeting pods from Pakistan; N1.03 bn on balance payments for two AW109 Trekker helicopters from Leonardo and N2.93bn in part payment for reactivation of two H215s (formerly AS332 Super Puma BIs) from Airbus.
Other projects include the upgrade of three Mi-series rotorcraft; the periodic depot maintenance of three L-39ZA and once C-130 aircraft, and the overhaul of Gulfstream G550 and Falcon 7X VIP aircraft. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
29 Mar 22. DSA 2022: Damen updates Sigma 9113 design for Malaysian LMS requirement. Dutch shipbuilder Damen has disclosed an ‘improved’ design of its Sigma 9113 corvette/light frigate for Malaysia’s programme to procure additional littoral mission ships (LMSs).
At the Defence Services Asia 2022 (DSA 2022) exhibition in Kuala Lumpur on 29 March, Damen said that the updated design reflects the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) requirements for the LMS batch-two vessels.
A Damen representative said the Sigma 9113 vessel design it plans to offer to the RMN is similar to the Indonesian Navy’s four Damen-constructed Diponegoro-class corvettes, the last of which entered service in 2009.
However, the design Damen will offer to Malaysia features several enhancements, which include the integration of a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system, reduced cross-section features, the integration of a helicopter hangar, and modified onboard systems.
Damen said the design also provides for modular construction, which enables “technology transfers to Malaysia as well as the production of some of the modules in the Netherlands and some locally”. (Source: Janes)
29 Mar 22. Defence procurement rules revised to boost SME access. The federal government has moved to raise the threshold for SME participation in defence contracts.
Commonwealth Procurement Rules have been updated to enable Defence contracts valued up to $500,000 to be offered exclusively to SME suppliers, either on an individual basis or collectively via a tender process.
The amendment, set to take effect on 1 July 2022, represents a 150 per cent increase to the existing threshold of $200,000.
The amendments follow the completion of the Australian Standard for Defence Contracting and Defence Procurement Review.
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham noted the benefits of the revision for the local industry and in supporting the broader push to bolster sovereign industrial capability.
“We’re backing Australian small and medium businesses to get more work by giving them access to more defence procurement opportunities,” he said.
“We have already seen small and medium business participation in defence projects reach record levels through other changes to procurement rules that have cut red tape and reduced costs for small businesses within the market.
“This significant change will allow small and medium businesses to be directly engaged in more defence procurement, and that will help them grow their own operations and create more jobs.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price reflected on the benefits for competition.
“This is a great initiative for small and medium defence industry businesses because it will give them more opportunities to tender for Defence contracts,” Minister Price said.
“This supports a competitive Australian defence industry that will deliver Defence capability and value for money outcomes for Australian taxpayers.
“Defence will continue to engage with industry to ensure these businesses are able to maximise their participation in Defence procurements.”
Defence procurement projects over the 2021-22 financial year totalled approximately $37.4bn.
Changes to the procurement rules come amid the ‘In our own backyard’ media advertising campaign launched earlier this month, pushed out across television, radio and social media.
The campaign aims to showcase Australia’s manufacturing prowess throughout history in a bid to kindle interest in a career in the local defence industry. (Source: Defence Connect)
29 Mar 22. Defence Innovation Hub seeks logistics UAS submissions. The Adelaide-based Defence Innovation Hub, in collaboration with the Australian Army is seeking innovative Submissions from industry for a Special Notice relating to ‘Tactical Logistics Uncrewed Aerial Systems for the Land Force’. This will include exhibiting at Army Innovation Day 2022. Defence is seeking innovative Logistics Uncrewed Aerial Systems (LOG-UAS) that can undertake routine resupply, high risk combat resupply, or casualty evacuation missions.
Submissions close on Thursday 05 May 2022.
Submissions must be made through the Defence Innovation Hub portal available at: https://www.innovationhub.defence.gov.au/call-for-submissions/ [innovationhub.defence.gov.au]
Submissions are to be evaluated against set criteria as outlined in the Challenge Statement and Call for Submission Terms. Details are available on AUSTENDER, www.tenders.gov.au – please search for HUB-22-AID-001.
Army Innovation day 2022Australian ArmyDefence Innovation HubHUB-22-AID-001Tactical Logistics Uncrewed Aerial Systems for the Land Force (Source: Rumour Control)
28 Mar 22. Lockheed Martin takes big step toward winning Canada jet race. Canada has picked Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) as the preferred bidder to supply 88 new fighter jets, Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi said Monday, in a clear sign the U.S. company is set to win the multibillion-dollar contract.
The move indicates Canada – under pressure to boost defense spending as the war in Ukraine rages – is closer to making a decision that has dragged out for more than a decade.
“This announcement marks another important milestone in Canada’s competitive process to purchase modern fighter jets for the Royal Canadian Air Force,” Tassi said.
Canada has been trying unsuccessfully for more than a decade to replace its aging F-18 fighters. The former Conservative administration said in 2010 that it would buy 65 F-35 jets but later scrapped the decision, triggering years of delays and reviews.
“The F-35 is in operational use by NORAD and NATO partners in missions around the globe. It has proven to be a mature, capable and interoperable aircraft and that is why we are moving to the finalization phase of this procurement,” Defense Minister Anita Anand, speaking alongside Tassi, told reporters.
The federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will now only hold detailed talks with Lockheed Martin. Ottawa says it hopes to award the contract this year and take first deliveries in 2025.
Defense sources had long bet on the U.S. company, given Canada belongs to the consortium that developed its F-35 jet and the fact the plane is the military’s first choice. Ottawa says the contract could be worth up to C$19bn ($15.10bn).
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with Canadian industry to deliver and sustain the F-35 for the Royal Canadian Air Force,” Lockheed Martin Canada Chief Executive Lorraine Ben said in a statement.
If the negotiations for some reason fail, the government will turn to Sweden’s Saab (SAABb.ST), the other contender.
“While we maintain our position that Saab presented the best offer for the Future Fighter Capability Project, we respect the decision of the government of Canada,” the Swedish company said in a statement, adding that it would continue to collaborate with Canada in current and future programs.
Canada though has a long history of using U.S. military equipment and, unlike Sweden, belongs to both NATO and NORAD, the North American defense organization.
Trudeau came to power in 2015 vowing not to buy the F-35 as too expensive but has shifted his position. The obvious alternative would have been Boeing Co (BA.N) but it fell out of favor after taking trade action against Canadian rival Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) and was excluded from the competition last December. ($1 = 1.2586 Canadian dollars) (Source: Reuters)
28 Mar 22. DSA 2022: Nexter, ADS pursue CAESAR opportunity in Malaysia. Nexter and Malaysian firm Advanced Defence Systems (ADS) have completed the delivery of 105 mm LG1 light towed artillery systems to the Malaysian Army and are promoting collaboration on the French firm’s CAESAR 155 mm gun system. Company officials at the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2022 in Kuala Lumpur told Janes on 28 March that 18 105 LG1 Mk III Light Guns are operational in the Malaysian Army’s 1st Royal Artillery Regiment. The guns were assembled in Malaysia by ADS under a contract signed in 2018. The Malaysian Army took delivery of its first LG1 gun in early 2020, and the guns were declared fully operational in late 2021. ADS said that additional orders of the LG1 system were possible to fulfil another “two or three” Malaysian Army artillery regiments. The air-portable guns are expected to replace the Malaysian Army’s ageing Oto Melara Model 56 105 mm pack howitzers, 100 of which are thought to be operated by the service. (Source: Janes)
25 Mar 22. Defence issues new RFI in search for optimum T&E partnership. The Commonwealth government is looking to identify the best practices for engagement with local industry on the delivery of test and evaluation services for defence equipment.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price has announced the release of a new request for information (RFI) on AusTender for feedback from defence industry stakeholders on the best pathway for a test and evaluation (T&E) partnership.
- seeking feedback on the preferred models for engagement with industry and other stakeholders that will support the realisation of the T&E Strategy, and encourage innovation and co-operation between Defence and across industry;
- seeking feedback on industry’s current and developing sovereign T&E capability, capacity and willingness to participate in achieving the goals of the T&E Strategy; and
- identifying opportunities and understanding the actions and investments required to accelerate the establishment of a sovereign T&E capability, inclusive of indicative time frames.
Ultimately, the RFI aims to help Defence consolidate an enterprise view of the Australian Defence T&E environment by the end of 2022.
This is expected to serve as a basis for more substantial industry partnerships in the future.
“Our government will build true partnerships with Australian-owned and controlled businesses to deliver sovereign Test and Evaluation capability for the ADF,” Minister Price said.
“It is essential that we build this sovereign capability at home so that the equipment in the hands of our troops meets the highest possible standards and can be used to keep Australians safe.
(Source: Defence Connect)
25 Mar 22. Saab Australia relocates global Deployable Health Capability Centre of Excellence to Australia, formalises two JP 2060 partnerships. Relocated from Sweden to Australia, the Centre of Excellence will host bio-medical engineering, infrastructure and product research while supporting the company’s delivery of the JP 2060 Phase 3 – Deployable Health Capability project. Saab Australia has today (25 March 2022) completed the relocation of the company’s Deployable Health Capability Centre of Excellence from Sweden to Australia, with the centre set to host an array of research from bio-medical engineering to infrastructure and product development. The centre will also host Saab Australia’s integrated logistic support and training teams, while supporting the delivery of the JP 2060 Phase 3 – Deployable Health Capability project.
“Saab globally has been delivering expert deployable health capability for over 30 years. With the capability technology transfer from Europe to Australia, the CoE will bring together the best of industry partnerships to ensure export of world leading capability out of Australia, to the world,” Andy Keough, managing director of Saab Australia, said.
“Saab’s increased local development of deployable health solutions, in addition to the establishment of the CoE is a testament to our growing capability. This coupled with our local supplier engagement to foster innovation and product development, will further increase sovereign industry capability and supply chain resilience.”
It is hoped that the completion of the Centre of Excellence will support the development of Australian designed and developed deployable health solutions for military and humanitarian missions.
In attendance at the opening of the centre was the Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price, welcoming the centre as a nexus between “industry and academia”.
“This centre’s highly skilled team of Saab experts, combined with industry and academia partnerships, will allow for the development and export of exceptional deployable health solutions to military and humanitarian operations globally,” Minister Price said.
“It will help strengthen deployable health capability through continual improvements to technology and equipment, and access to emerging technologies.
“It will also help create supply chain resilience and aid the development of sovereign industry capability through engagement with local suppliers and partners.”
To coincide with the event, Saab Australia signed contracts with Australian companies Aspen Medical and Global Defence Solutions to support the delivery of the deployable health system.
Under the partnerships, it is agreed that Aspen Medical would provide “clinical and operational medical training” to members of the Australian Defence Force, while Global Defence Solutions would support the development of deployable infrastructure, including hard and soft shelters.
The contracts are valued at $6.7m and $38.4m, respectively.
“These are important milestones for Saab, Aspen Medical and Global Defence Solutions, both for the successful delivery of the Deployable Health Capability and for the cooperation of Australian defence industry,” Minister Price continued.
“Saab is a strategic and long-term partner for the ADF and the Centre of Excellence presents an opportunity for further engagement and innovation with the ADF and Australian industry.”
Mick Humphries, general manager – Asia Pacific at Aspen Medical, explained that the veteran owned company was excited to partner with Saab Australia’s JP 2060 Phase 3 team.
“Aspen Medical will use its vast experience in delivery of healthcare globally to provide training across a wide range of improved and new health technologies. We look forward to the challenge of helping prepare the Australian Defence Force for its future missions,” Humphries said.
Laurie Koster, chairman of GDS, welcomed the opportunity to support Australia’s warfighters.
“Off the back of our JP 2060 contract with Saab, GDS has doubled its local workforce and we look forward to continuing to grow as we further develop our relationship,” Koster said.
According to a release from the company, the contracts were initially struck in 2021. (Source: Defence Connect)
Since 1946, Industrial Electronic Engineers, IEE, has specialized in the design, test, support and fielding of display products for use in demanding military and aerospace applications throughout the world. IEE has developed an extensive product portfolio that today includes enhanced flat panel displays, smart displays and handheld devices.
From rapid prototyping of custom designs to full-scale production runs, IEE, produces displays with advanced features like low-latency video processing, high-bright and NVIS backlighting, and lightweight rugged enclosures. Their SWaP-C products employ the latest lightweight composite materials; low power, high performance integrated ARM processors; standard Ethernet and USB communication, in a low cost, highly producible design.
In-house California facilities include optical bonding, clean rooms for display assembly, a dark room for optical measurements and environmental chambers for pre-compliance and customer acceptance testing. On-site manufacturing includes PCB assembly and flow soldering. IEE has manufactured handheld, in-vehicle, airborne and naval LCD displays for all military branches as well as leading aerospace firms both domestically and internationally.
IEE is ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D certified.
- Direct control of critical process steps that reduce cost, decrease production lead times and improves life-cycle management
- Unique advantage to serve to both smaller quantity, highly custom displays needs as well as high volume production outputs
- Expert in delivering the best value in form and fit replacement by modifying existing COTS products to meet legacy requirements
- Leading the next generation avionics efficiencies by leveraging open architectures and common software standards
- Field-proven, pre-engineered displays minimize lead-time and non-recurring engineering costs.