UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
06 Apr 22. Reuters reported today that Britain, the United States and Australia on Tuesday agreed to cooperate on hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare capabilities, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said, following a call between leaders of the new defence alliance. The new AUKUS alliance, launched last September, prompted Australia to cancel a contract for a conventional French submarine in favour of a nuclear submarine program supported by the United States and Britain, damaging relations with French President Emmanuel Macron. read more In a joint statement, AUKUS leaders Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said they were pleased with the progress of the programme for conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines for Australia, and that the allies would co-operate in other areas too.
“We also committed today to commence new trilateral cooperation on hypersonics and counter-hypersonics, and electronic warfare capabilities,” the statement said.
The United States and Australia already have a hypersonic weapon programme called SCIFiRE, an acronym for Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment. British officials said that though Britain would not join that programme at this point, the three countries would work together on research and development in the area to expand their options.
Biden’s administration is investing in the research and development of hypersonic missiles, which travel at five times the speed of sound, as Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine has intensified concerns about European security. read more
“In light of Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified, and unlawful invasion of Ukraine, we reiterated our unwavering commitment to an international system that respects human rights, the rule of law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes free from coercion,” the leaders said, adding they also reaffirmed their commitment to a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.
Russia says it launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24 to demilitarize its neighbour. The Kremlin’s position is rejected by Ukraine and the West as a pretext for an unprovoked invasion.
Asked about the cooperation deal between Britain, the United States and Australia on hypersonic weapons, China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun on Tuesday warned against measures that could fuel a crisis like the Ukraine conflict in other parts of the world.
“Anyone who do not want to see the Ukrainian crisis should refrain from doing things which may lead the other parts of the world into a crisis like this,” Zhang told reporters. “As the Chinese saying goes: If you do not like it, do not impose it against the others.” (Source: Reuters)
04 Apr 22. A new national shipbuilding strategy unveiled by Boris Johnson less than a month ago has already run into controversy as industry executives fear that British shipyards could lose out on work to build supply vessels for the Royal Navy. Hailed by the prime minister as a boost for UK industry, the so-called “refresh” promises to deliver a pipeline of 150 new naval and commercial vessels over the next 30 years. It builds on a previous strategy by industrialist Sir John Parker, which recommended a steady pipeline of orders to end the industry’s decades-old boom-and-bust existence. Industry has welcomed parts of the revised strategy, in particular the decision to include commercial shipyards as well as a focus on how to support green maritime technology. The creation of the 30-year horizon of vessel procurement is a “genuinely important milestone”, said Sarah Kenny, chair of industry trade body Maritime UK. “The strategy also recognises that shipbuilding is not just about building and welding. It’s about the life cycle . . . what you do about design and support.” Despite this support, there are concerns from executives, unions and analysts over the government’s approach towards a key programme: the £1.5bn competition to build three Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships. The controversial tendering process has already seen the Ministry of Defence flip-flop over the classification of the vessels, while those involved said the government’s approach to the programme risks undermining stated ambitions to provide a steady stream of work at British yards. The MoD initially put the tender for the vessels, which will supply the Navy’s aircraft carriers with equipment, ammunition and food so that they can stay at sea for extended periods, out to international competition, in 2019. The ships were reclassified as warships last year, which should have meant that they would be built in the UK. However, last September, the government published the list of the four consortiums that had been awarded £5mn contracts to develop their bids. The list included businesses based in India and the Netherlands, alongside British defence heavyweights BAE Systems and Babcock, which are part of a consortium dubbed “Team UK”. Then, some of the members of the four consortiums were recently told that indicative proposals were “too high” and to “go back to the drawing board”, three people familiar with the situation confirmed. Formal bids are due to be submitted this summer with the contract awarded next spring. (Source: FT.com)
08 Apr 22. Updates on UK Heavy Lift Challenge. Speaking to Janes at the SMi Military Robotics and Autonomous Systems 2022 (SMi MRAS 2022) conference, London, James Gavin, head of the Future Capability Group (FCG) at Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), gave updates on the Heavy Lift Challenge. The Heavy Lift Challenge is a collaboration between DE&S FCG, the Royal Navy (RN) Office of the Chief Technology Officer, and 700X Naval Air Squadron. The RN envisages unmanned aerial systems (UAS), potentially providing autonomous light cargo transport between ships at sea and forces ashore. The challenge started when Brigadier Dan Cheeseman, chief technology officer for the RN, proposed a concept to replace helicopters for certain missions, Gavin said. The objective during the three-year period is to have a UAS that is capable of lifting a total of 300 kg, thereby performing most small maritime logistical tasks, Gavin added. (Source: Janes)
04 Apr 22. Royal Netherlands Navy Plans to Retire Two Walrus-class Diesel-electric Submarines. The Royal Netherlands Navy will retire two Walrus-class diesel-electric submarines, to enable the other two to remain in service into the mid-2030s, when the new boats are expected to start arriving. In mid-2021 it was indicated that a revised plan envisaged taking a replacement decision in 2022 and to have the first vessel in service by 2028, with the first two boats to be in service by 2031. However, in October 2021 it was reported that this timeline was no longer feasible. Instead, the Dutch Ministry of Defence signaled that the envisaged dates would have to be “substantially adjusted”, possibly incorporating a life extension refit for the existing Walrus-class boats. In November 2014, the Dutch Minister of Defence announced plans to replace the Walrus-class submarines in 2025. By 2017, there was still no political agreement on the quantity or type of new submarines to be ordered; nor the tasks they were expected to perform. The Minister of Defence, however, delayed the replacement by two years, until 2027. Roughly, there are two groups in the Dutch parliament – one in favor of replacing the Walrus-class by an equally capable class of large diesel-electric submarine, and the other in favor of choosing a cheaper solution of smaller diesel-electric, similar to Swedish and German submarines. The Walrus-class submarine is the only submarine currently in operation in the Royal Netherlands Navy. The boats have been in service since 1990 and are all named after sea mammals. The Walrus-class are unusual in that instead of a cross-shaped assembly of stern diving planes and rudders, they mount four combined rudders and diving planes in an “X” configuration. This tail configuration was first tested in 1960 on the U.S. Navy’s USS Albacore, and has since been used by the Walrus class, all Swedish Navy submarines since the Sjöormen class, the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins class, the German Navy Type 212A and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s S?ry? class. The two older boats, HNLMS Walrus (S802) and HNLMS Zeeleeuw (S803) will then be cannibalized for parts for the two younger boats. Zeeleeuw is a Walrus-class submarine of the Royal Netherlands Navy. She entered service in 1990 as the first submarine of the Walrus class, after the intended lead ship, HNLMS Walrus, was delayed for a long period following a serious fire during construction. Walrus was laid down on 11 October 1979 at the Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij yard in Rotterdam. She was launched on 28 October 1985, but on 14 August 1986 an electrical fire broke out on board causing damage costing ƒ225 m(€100 m) to repair. (Source: https://militaryleak.com/)
01 Apr 22. Turkey and Italy hint at return to SAMP/T air defense efforts. The SAMP/T air defense system takes a test shot in 2015. Statements by the leaders of Turkey and Italy last week raised the possibility of the former procuring the SAMP/T air defense system — an effort that has been frozen for some time now.
“We have decided to continue our efforts to revive the triple steps we took as Turkey-France-Italy. I hope we will start this new process vigorously after the elections [in France],” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters on a flight back from Brussels. France will hold a presidential election in April.
Erdogan made it clear that the most important issue in these trilateral talks will be the SAMP/T.
“Yes, Eurosam,” he said, referring to the Franco-Italian industrial organization charged with developing the system. “We discussed this issue with [Italian Prime Minister Mario] Draghi, just as we discussed it with [French President Emmanuel] Macron. Draghi also raised this issue in his meeting with Macron after me.”
Erdoğan added that he hopes talks with the U.S. for the purchase of new F-16 jets and modernization packages will soon yield results.
Draghi also addressed the content of his meeting with Erdoğan in statements to the Italian press while in Brussels.
“One of the cooperation forums that was created in recent years, but later interrupted, was the group between Turkey, France and Italy. We have decided to revive this group and will soon hold a meeting between the three countries,” he said.
In 2017, Turkey signed a declaration of intent with Italy and France to strengthen cooperation in the joint production of air and missile defense systems. Then, in January 2018, during Erdoğan’s visit to France, a contract with Eurosam was signed for the Long-Range Air and Missile Defense Project.
LORAMIDS is Turkey’s air defense procurement program, and SAMP/T was part of this overarching effort. Turkish industry partners Aselsan and Roketsan would also perform work under on the 18-month contract.
However, efforts ceased over political disagreements. According to Turkey’s top procurement official, Ismail Demir, France in January 2020 blocked progress over Turkish operations in Syria.
The Eurosam consortium consists of European missile maker MBDA — which is a joint venture between French firm Airbus, Italian company Leonardo and British business BAE Systems — and the French company Thales, whose main shareholders are the French government and the fighter jet manufacturer Dassault Aviation. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
07 Apr 22. DoD seeks $100m for ‘valley of death’ bridge fund. The Pentagon is asking Congress for another $100 m to help innovative small businesses get their cutting edge weapons into the hands of troops, its head of research and development said on Wednesday.
“The $100m I am asking for is to help multiple small companies, especially if they need to finish a prototype,” Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu told Defense News on Wednesday. She said the request is in the fiscal 2023 budget request; the Biden administration hasn’t yet released detailed budget tables.
For fiscal 2022, Congress included $100 m in procurement money for the “Mission Management Pilot Program,” as part of the $1.5 trillion federal spending package signed into law last month. According to FY22 defense policy law, the fund is for technologies that apply across the armed services.
Shyu spearheaded this tranche of funding, which she said would continue supporting promising recipients of Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grants that are not quite ready for Phase III, which is aimed at commercialization.
That FY22 pilot program is in the process of launching, she said.
“We just got it,” Shyu said of the funding, “so we just identified a leader internally who will lead the effort. We’re going to look across all the [armed] services to make sure the SBIR Phase II contractors with the most promising technology the services want [receives] this bridge funding.”
Shyu made the remarks after a Senate subcommittee hearing where lawmakers pressed her and the heads of DARPA and the Defense Innovation Unit to explain how they would better help innovative companies cross the so-called “valley of death” from inception to prototype to adoption.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has acknowledged the department in its tech race with China must improve tech transition efforts, and its FY23 budget proposes $130.1bn for research and development, an all-time high. (Source: glstrade.com/Defense News)
01 Apr 22. US Navy wants long-range missiles, more maintenance money in wish list. The U.S. Navy would not buy more ships if it were given more money in fiscal 2023. The Navy often uses its so-called unfunded priorities list sent to Congress to ask for another destroyer or connector vessel. But the service is standing firm in its belief that it doesn’t want a fleet any larger than what it can afford to keep ready — having enough sailors, funding for training, dollars and shipyard capacity for maintenance and modernization work, munitions to fill missile launchers, spares to fill stock rooms, and more.
Instead, the Navy is focused on readiness and future lethality in its annual wish list, a copy of which was obtained by Defense News.
The top item on the list is a relatively low-dollar one: $23 m in weapons maintenance funding to expand the number of combat-usable Standard Missile-6 weapons, clearing the backlog of 125 missiles that need upgraded to support Pacific operations.
Second on the list is $33m to buy 11 more AGM-158C-1 Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles to boost lethality.
Next comes $171m for “maritime spares outfitting” for surface ships, submarines, unmanned systems, IT systems and more to increase spares availability at the point of use. Then there’s $175 m to fund ship repair and spare parts to support greater operations in the Pacific theater as part of the Pacific Deterrence Initiative.
Next is $293 m for aviation spares so that carrier air wings are equipped with the maximum allowable spares.
This focus on readiness is in line with what Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday has repeatedly preached: After fully funding the all-important Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine program as part of the Defense Department’s nuclear triad, the Navy would prioritize its remaining money on readiness for today, lethality modernization for tomorrow and then “capacity at an affordable rate” with any leftover money.
That mentality shaped the formal FY23 budget request, which was released publicly March 28. In it, the Navy asked for nine new ships and 96 aircraft, which is one more ship but 11 fewer aircraft than the FY22 request.
The Navy used its FY22 wish list to ask for a second destroyer as its main request. That riled lawmakers, who said this second DDG should have been in the formal budget request rather than put in the unfunded priorities list with the hopes that lawmakers might add in funding for it.
The FY22 unfunded list included $5.6bn for 31 items. This year’s request, which includes 43 items that total $4bn, clearly prioritizes readiness.
Other readiness initiatives include, but are not limited to:
- $189m for public shipyard tools, test equipment and machinery, likely part of the overall Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program to modernize the four public shipyards.
- $57m for more flight hours to support the Pacific Deterrence Initiative.
- $160m for aircraft depot maintenance.
- $40m for landing craft air cushion sustainment.
- $13m for Mk 18 unmanned underwater vehicle sustainment.
- $145m for facilities sustainment and improvements.
In the lethality category, the Navy asked for:
- $101m for tactical data links and networks.
- $61m to develop the Hypersonic Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare Increment 2 weapon.
- $53m for range improvements of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile.
- $11m for mine countermeasures mission package capacity and wholeness.
- $67m for two ship sets of the Next Generation Jammer mid-band aircraft capability.
- Other spending items for improved sensors and munitions.
The capacity category is relatively thin in this year’s list. The Navy asks for $708m to buy six additional F-35C carrier variant Joint Strike Fighters, bringing the total buy from nine to 15. The Navy requested 20 in FY22 but just nine in FY23, with the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for budget, Rear Adm. John Gumbleton, telling reporters that the decrease in F-35C quantity reflected the tight budget environment rather than a decreased need for the jets.
It also asks for $400 m for two more E-2D Advanced Hawkeye planes, bringing the total request to seven.
The list also includes $26 m for 79 AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles; $446m for three KC-130J cargo aircraft for Navy Unique Fleet Essential Airlift Logistics; and $49m for MK-48 heavyweight torpedo procurement. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
01 Apr 22. Sikorsky and Boeing select new Defiant X component suppliers.
Sikorsky and Boeing’s Defiant X is a finalist for the US Army’s future long-range assault aircraft (FLRAA) competition.
Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky, and Boeing, have selected six new suppliers for the Defiant X helicopter.
The new suppliers will provide key components and technologies for the military helicopter.
Sikorsky and Boeing’s Defiant X is a finalist for the US Army’s future long-range assault aircraft (FLRAA) competition.
The newly selected suppliers are ATI Forged Products, Collins Aerospace, Elbit Systems of America, Parker Aerospace, Magnaghi Aeronautica, and Marotta Controls.
ATI Forged Products will provide gearbox forgings for the helicopter while Collins Aerospace will supply aircraft seats, and Perigon flight control system.
Elbit Systems of America, and Magnaghi Aeronautica will offer mission system computers and landing gear, respectively.
Parker Aerospace joined the Defiant X team to provide flight controls, hydraulic pumps, and modules while Marotta Controls will deliver electrical power system components.
Sikorsky president Paul Lemmo said: “Team Defiant is building a strong nationwide supply chain to provide the Army [with] a transformational aircraft.
“This team and its proven experience will ensure that Defiant X is a low-risk, reliable, and survivable aircraft for our soldiers and the Army’s long-range assault mission.”
Boeing Vertical Lift vice-president and general manager Mark Cherry said: “Defiant X is the right aircraft, made by the right team, for the Army’s FLRAA mission.
“Leveraging many existing supplier relationships, we’ve put together the best industry team to deliver a purpose-built, low-risk, and cost-effective next-generation aircraft that can operate across multiple theatres, well into the future.”
Earlier this year, Sikorsky and Boeing selected Honeywell as the engine provider for the Defiant X helicopter.
The FLRAA contract is expected to be awarded later this year.
The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant helicopter reached Nashville this week to provide the US Army Aviators with a first-hand look. (Source: army-technology.com)
REST OF THE WORLD
06 Apr 22. Navantia Australia proposes AWD boost for RAN. The shipbuilding prime has offered to expand Australia’s fleet of Hobart Class destroyers to help address a potential capability gap.
According to reports originally published in The Australian, Navantia Australia has proposed to develop three additional Hobart Class air warfare destroyers (AWDs) for the Royal Australian Navy by 2030.
The company has said the program would cost an estimated $6bn – $2bn for each vessel.
Navantia Australia managing director Israel Lozano Barragan told The Australian the additional vessels would help “bridge an important capability gap” ahead of the delivery of the RAN’s Hunter Class frigates under Project SEA 5000, set to replace the ageing Anzac Class fleet.
Barragan added the additional Hobart Class destroyers could be built locallyin Spain or via a “hybrid deacross both countries
This, he said, would depend on the capacity of South Australia’s Osborne shipyard.
“This flexibility is given to protect the Hunter Class frigates’ production program,” he added.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, responded to reports during an appearance before the Senate foreign affairs, defence, and trade legislation committee on Wednesday (6 April), but stressed no formal offer had been made to Defence.
“I currently have in place a very robust surface combat transition plan, which does not take into account any contemplation of additional air warfare destroyers,” he said.
“So, at this point in time, it is something that is being speculated within the media regarding advice or unsolicited advice being provided by Navantia.”
VADM Noonan added that he has not provided any advice to government regarding the potential acquisition of additional AWDs.
The SEA 4000 project achieved final operating capability (FOC) in August, with the last of three Hobart Class destroyers, HMAS Sydney, delivered to the RAN after passing test and evaluation trials off the coast of the US and Canada, which involved missile firings against low-altitude and supersonic targets.
Approximately 5,000 Australians are estimated to have worked on the air warfare destroyer program over the past decade, with over 2,700 unique suppliers supporting the development of HMAS Sydney.
HMAS Sydney has joined sister vessels HMA ships Hobart and Brisbane, in primarily providing air defence for accompanying ships, land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas.
Based upon the Spanish F100s, the Australian variants incorporate a number of modifications and Australian-specific structural/design and combat system modifications to provide a uniquely Australian surface combatant with international provenance.
The delivery was executed by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance – a co-operative comprising the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), ASC Shipbuilding, AWD Shipbuilding and Raytheon Australia.
The Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group contributed to risk mitigation activities, acceptance testing and planning for sea trials to demonstrate and quantify the level of capability achieved by the project.
(Source: Defence Connect)
05 Apr 22. Australia rejects criticism over SkyGuardian scrapping. The department has defended its move to reallocate funding from the AIR 7003 project to invest in enhanced cyber capability. Defence industry stakeholders and analysts have criticised the Commonwealth government’s decision to cancel the AIR 7003 Phase 1 project – a $1.3bn program to deliver General Atomics-built MQ-9B SkyGuardian armed medium altitude long endurance remotely piloted aircraft systems to the Royal Australian Air Force.
AIR 7003 Phase 1, which formed part of the Integrated Investment Program (IIP), aimed to deliver persistent airborne intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, electronic warfare and precision strike capability for the land and littoral environments.
A Defence spokesperson told Defence Connect that the SkyGuardian project was axed following advice from Defence officials, with government deciding to reallocate funds for Project REDSPICE (Resilience, Effects, Defence, Space, Intelligence, Cyber, and Enablers) – a $9.9bn investment over the next decade in the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD).
The department has now issued a statement defeing the move, claiming the REDSPICE investment aligns with measures outlined in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan.
“These documents outlined the requirement for force structure and capability adjustments focused on regional contingencies, and which were flexible enough to respond to grey-zone challenges that threaten our national interests – including the possibility of high-intensity conflict and domestic crises,” a spokesperson said.
“This includes developing capabilities such as longer-range strike weapons, cyber capabilities and area denial systems to hold adversary forces further from Australia and protect infrastructure at risk.”
Defence pointed to the changing nature of the modern warfare environment, noting cyber attacks are “now commonly preceding or deployed in concert with other forms of military intervention”.
“Defence’s REDSPICE project delivers a real increase in the potency and resilience of the Australian Signal Directorate to block sophisticated cyber attacks against our critical infrastructure, and strike back if needed,” the spokesperson added.
“It will also ensure Australia’s cyber and intelligence capabilities remain resilient to attack.”
The department went on to acknowledge the “excellent capability” offered by the MQ-9B SkyGuardian platform, but reiterated the project needed to be scrapped to “optimise the ADF force structure for the current strategic environment”.
Defence noted its continued commitment in a range of other strike and ISR capabilities, including the MQ-4C Triton and MC-55A Peregrine aircraft, Apache helicopters, and MQ28-A Ghost Bat.
“Defence regularly adjusts and reprioritises the Integrated Investment Program to accommodate new and emerging government priorities,” the spokesperson concluded. (Source: US DoD)
07 Apr 22. India to boost arms output, fearing shortfall from Russia. India on Thursday said it would ramp up its production of military equipment, including helicopters, tank engines, missiles and airborne early warning systems, to offset any potential shortfall from its main supplier Russia. India depends on Russia for nearly 60% of its defense equipment, and the war in Ukraine has added to doubts about future supplies.
Defence Ministry officials say India, with the world’s second-largest army, fourth-largest air force and seventh-largest navy, can’t sustain itself through imports. “Our objective is to develop India as a defense manufacturing hub,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Thursday while releasing a list of military equipment that will be produced domestically and no longer imported.
The ministry’s website said military orders worth 2.1trn rupees ($27.8bn) are likely to be placed with domestic state-run and private defense manufacturers in the next five years.
Retired Indian Army Lt. Gen. D.S. Hooda said that during a visit to India last year by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two sides decided to shift some manufacturing to India to meet its requirements. Imports of helicopters, corvettes, tank engines, missiles and airborne early warning systems will eventually be halted.
“The requirements of the Russian military itself, with the kind of losses that it is suffering, may mean some of those spares that we need will probably get diverted,” Hooda said.
To meet its short-term requirements, India may consider purchases from former Soviet republics and Warsaw pact countries, ministry officials said.
Bulgaria, Poland, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine could help India with spare supplies for the Russian fighter aircraft types Sukhoi and MiG-29 as well as with upgrading tanks and armored vehicles, as they have similar Soviet-origin platforms and spares, said a ministry official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity since he was not authorized to talk to reporters.
External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told his British counterpart Liz Truss during her visit to India last week that there is now an emphasis on “Made in India” — the Asian nation’s economic growth initiative — and that “the more collaborative we are, the possibilities of working together are more.”
The two sides discussed ways to strengthen Indo-British defense ties, apparently to reduce India’s strategic dependence on Russia.
India’s Defence Ministry has so far identified a “positive indigenization list” of more than 300 items with a timeline for banning imports to help local manufacturers meet the requirements of the armed forces in the coming years.
India’s Air Force has more than 410 Soviet-era and Russian fighters with a mix of imported and license-built platforms, including Su-30s, MiG-21s and MiG-29s. All require Russian spares and components. India also has Russian submarines, tanks, helicopters, frigates and missiles.
Sanctions on Moscow could jeopardize India’s recent $375m BrahMos cruise missile export order from the Philippines. Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia, which formed a joint venture with India’s government-run Defence Research and Development Organisation to design, upgrade and manufacture BrahMos, is responsible for providing the missile system’s engines and seekers.
Rahul Bedi, a defense analyst, said India is awaiting deliveries of Russian missile systems, frigates, an Akula-class nuclear-powered submarine and assault rifles.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is pushing for greater self-reliance, but India lacks a strong industrial base for military equipment.
The process of shifting manufacturing of spare parts to India has begun, but Hooda said it was unclear if it could quickly make up for any shortfalls of supplies. “I would say if you really want to see significant progress it will take at least five years,” he said.
India’s Defence Ministry has also signed nearly 60 offset contracts worth more than $13 billion by 2027 for purchases of fighter aircraft and weapons from the United States, France, Russia and Israel. The deals require 30-50% of the contract value to be returned to India as offsets or reinvestments.
An offset involves an obligation by a foreign supplier to buy a certain amount of goods from the importing country as part of the contract. India’s government wants part of that money to benefit its defense industry or to allow the country to gain in terms of technology. It involves setting up joint ventures with Indian companies to manufacture defense equipment.
The government announced in the 2022-2023 budget that 68% of all capital defense procurement would be for indigenous manufacturers.
Meanwhile, bilateral defense trade with the U.S. increased from near zero in 2008 to $15 billion in 2019. Major Indian purchases from the United States included long-range maritime patrol aircraft, C-130 transport aircraft, missiles and drones.
In 2020, India announced that foreign companies can invest up to 74% in its defense manufacturing units, up from 49%, without any government approval. The aim is to attract foreign companies with advanced technologies to set up factories in India in collaboration with local companies.
India fully opened its defense sector, previously confined to state-run companies, to the private sector in 2001. However, only 110 of the 330 private companies with industrial licenses for such manufacturing have begun production, according to the Defence Ministry.
Starting from scratch, the DRDO began trying to develop advanced defense technologies in 1958. It has worked on short-range and long-range Agni and Prithvi missiles, Tejas light combat aircraft, tanks, multi-barrel rocket launchers, air defense systems, and a wide range of radars and electronic warfare systems.
The Defence Ministry earmarked 10bn rupees for procurement from startups during the 2020-2021 time frame.
The government has established two defense industrial corridors, in northern Uttar Pradesh and southern Tamil Nadu state, with investments of 200bn rupees crores (about U.S. $2.7bn) by 2024 by state-run and private sector companies. (Source: Defense News)
04 Apr 22. Australia fast-tracks long-range missile procurement, announces GWEO partners. The government has unveiled a new $3.5bn plan to accelerate the delivery of long-range missiles and has selected major defence contractors to lead the $1bn sovereign guided weapons program.
Minister for Defence Peter Dutton has announced a $3.5bn investment in the accelerated delivery of new missile capabilities for the Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Australian Navy.
The plan involves the delivery of Lockheed Martin-built Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM-ER) and Kongsberg-built Naval Strike Missiles (NSM) by 2024.
This would mean the 900km range- JASSM-ERs, to be deployed by FA-18F Super Hornets and F-35 Lightning II aircraft, will be received three years ahead of the initial delivery date, while Hobart Class destroyers and Anzac Class frigates (replacing Harpoon anti-ship missiles) will receive NSMs five years ahead of schedule.
The RAN is also expected to acquire new maritime mines three years ahead of schedule, used to secure ports and maritime approaches.
“With Australia’s strategic environment becoming more complex and challenging, our ADF must be able to hold potential adversary forces and infrastructure at risk from a greater distance,” Minister Dutton said.
“These world-class strike weapon systems will equip our forces to better protect Australia’s maritime approaches and when necessary, contribute to Coalition operations in our region.”
Meanwhile, Raytheon Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia have been announced as strategic partners for the Commonwealth government’s $1bn sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise (GWEO).
The global prime contractors will be supported by local cooperatives, including the Australian Missile Corporation, the Sovereign Missile Alliance and Aurecon Advisory.
Minister Dutton confirmed their selection at the opening of a $96 m Navy Guided Weapons Maintenance Facility at the Orchard Hills Defence Establishment in Mulgoa, NSW this morning (Tuesday, 5 April).
“We will be working with them to rapidly increase our ability to maintain and manufacture guided weapons and their components in Australia,” he added.
“We know we need to work closely with our partners to bolster our self-reliance and this is another major step in delivering that sovereign capability here in Australia.”
The minister was joined by head of Land Systems Division, Major General Andrew Bottrell, CSC and representatives from Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.
Raytheon Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia will now be tasked with addressing gaps outlined in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update by working with local SMEs to create opportunities in advanced manufacturing.
The enterprise ecosystem is expected to support Defence’s inventory of guided weapons and explosive ordnance, while also including:
- education and training;
- test and evaluation;
- maintenance and repair;
- storage and distribution; and
Michael Ward, managing director of Raytheon Australia, welcomed the opportunity to lead the nation’s development of sovereign weapons capability alongside Lockheed Martin Australia.
“Raytheon Australia aims to contribute to this national security endeavour through our access to intellectual property and manufacturing know-how that will provide the foundation for this enterprise, while also growing a niche, local workforce – creating thousands of high-tech Australian jobs over the coming decade.
“Our parent company is the largest manufacturer of guided weapons in the world, and it is our intention to bring that unique capability to Australia.
“This is a great day – propelling our national security on a global scale and enabling Australia to build greater industrial self-reliance and resilience. I congratulate the government and Department of Defence for their efforts to prioritise this decision and acknowledge the critical capability that industry can bring to this enterprise.”
Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand chief executive Warren McDonald AO, CSC, described the GWEO announcement as a “watershed” moment for Australia’s self-reliance and resilience.
“Lockheed Martin Australia is proud to have been selected with Raytheon Australia as the strategic industry partners that will work with other industry enterprise participants to realise the Australian Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise,” he said.
“This is a strategically important and vital national undertaking, and we will respond to the Australian government’s expectations by growing a skilled local workforce and working with Australian small and medium enterprises to build resiliency in supply chains.
“We look forward to working with Raytheon Australia and partnering with the Australian Defence Force and defence industry to fulfil the sovereign defence capabilities that Australia needs to maintain a decisive advantage across all domains.”
James Heading, Lockheed Martin Australia’s business development senior manager, missiles and fire control, said the company would invest in designing, building and sustaining a world-class sovereign weapons capability.
“Together with our industry partners we are identifying Australian supply chain opportunities that further strengthen Australia’s sovereign defence industrial base,” he said.
“This decision will support advanced manufacturing, engineering and technology jobs and will provide significant opportunities for Australian small and medium enterprises.
“These programs will also provide opportunities for Australian innovation and technology contributions to future upgrades in areas such as sensors, warheads and extended missile ranges.” (Source: Defence Connect)
04 Apr 22. South Korea eyes four-engine aircraft for new transport project. South Korea is focusing on four-engined transport aircraft for a project intended for acquiring a new fleet of heavy cargo haulers by 2026. On 25 March, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced the “Large transporter secondary project”. An investment of KRW710bn (USD581.5m) is being made to procure the aircraft between 2022 and 2026.
The Defense Projects Promotion Committee approved the budget.
DAPA told Janes that the Lockheed-Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules, Airbus A400M Atlas, and the twin-engined Embraer C-390 Millennium “are expected to participate in this project”.
However, a Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) source told Janes that the required operational capability (ROC) of the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) limits participation in the project to aircraft with four engines. (Source: Janes)
31 Mar 22. DIMDEX 2022: Patria to export NEMO Navy to Europe and Southeast Asia. Finnish manufacturer Patria is in advanced negotiations with customers in Europe and Southeast Asia for its NEMO Navy (NEw MOrtar) missile system, a company spokesperson told Janes at the DIMDEX naval exhibition in Doha, Qatar, in late March. The NEMO Navy is a single-barrel remote-controlled 120 mm mortar system developed by Patria as an indirect support system and as a direct fire, self-defence weapon system against other vessels. It is fitted onboard the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ghannatha-class amphibious transport craft. NEMO Navy was unveiled in 2006. Development of the weapon as a complete integrated system within a standard 20 ft maritime container was announced by Patria in 2016 and on-the-move trials were conducted in 2018. The NEMO system consists of a loading device, weapon, turret, fire-control system, and ammunition storage. It weighs 1,900 kg and has a barrel length of 3,000 mm aligned with a 360° traverse and -3° to 85° elevation range. The ammunition load is carrier dependent, but typically can be up to 50–60 conventional 120 mm smoothbore mortar bombs. (Source: Janes)
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.