UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
19 Oct 22. £1m available for innovations to help the Commando Force safely get from ship to shore.
DASA’s new Themed Competition seeks innovations to help develop a novel craft to enable Commando Forces to safely and rapidly insert themselves into high-threat environments.
- DASA has launched a new Themed Competition: Novel Amphibious Craft
- Funded by the Defence Innovation Unit
- Up to £1m available for innovations to help develop capabilities that can deliver Commando Force Strike Teams and equipment to coastal access points, safely and rapidly
The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is pleased to launch a new Themed Competition, Novel Amphibious Craft. Run on behalf of the Defence Innovation Unit, this competition seeks innovative technologies which can feed into the development of a Novel Amphibious Craft concept to enable Commando Force to safely and rapidly insert themselves into high-threat environments. The future craft needs to:
- travel at sustained high speed over a long range
- provide the ability to deliver personnel and light vehicles to a coastal access point with limited or no impact on operational speed/capability
- relaunch from the coastal access point
- operate with low signature across all spectrums (thermal, radar, visual, acoustic, etc.) to reduce the probability of detection
Key dates and funding
£1m (Exc. VAT) funding is available for this Themed Competition. DASA expects to fund several proposals between £100K – 350K.
The deadline to submit a proposal is midday 10 January 2023 (GMT).
New capability requirements for amphibious assault
The Commando Force needs the ability to insert troops and equipment that are fit to fight into high-threat environments safely. However, advances in coastal defences mean that an amphibious assault relying on outdated technology and concepts can be deterred, disrupted, and defeated.
A bold new approach is required to overcome these modern threats. Innovative technologies will enable the Commando Force to reach further, move faster, and strike decisively without being detected.
This competition aims to investigate and accelerate innovative solutions that will help meet operational requirements and achieve mission success, including feeding into the development of a Novel Amphibious Craft. DASA is seeking to address the following challenges:
- how to reduce the signature across multiple spectrums (thermal, radar, visual, acoustic, etc.)
- how to deliver the Commando Force (Troops and Vehicles) across the water gap and minimise the requirement for wading
- how to routinely land onto/retract from an unprepared coastal access point
- how to sustain speeds of at least 25kts in the fully loaded condition, in Sea State 2
For a more detailed breakdown of the platform specifications and requirements, read the full competition document: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/novel-amphibious-craft
Novel Amphibious Craft: Themes
This competition has two themes. Innovators can apply for funding in either theme.
Theme 1: Priority Challenges
Theme 1 aims to address the following technical challenges faced by the capability:
- Theme 1a: How to reduce the signature across multiple spectrums (thermal, radar, visual, acoustic etc.)
- Theme 1b: How to deliver the Commando Force (troops and vehicles) across the water gap and minimise the requirement for wading
- Theme 1c: How to land onto/retract from an unprepared coastal access point
Theme 2: Capability Design
Theme 2 aims to design a craft capable of delivering the complete capability defined above. This is a lower Technology Readiness Level (TRL) theme up to TRL 4.
To learn more about the themes of the competition, read the full competition document.
This competition will feature a series of 20 minute one-to-one teleconference sessions, providing innovators the opportunity to ask competition organisers specific questions. Register below.
3 November 2022
8 November 2022
Submit a proposal
Do you have an innovation that will help contribute to the development of a novel amphibious craft, capable of delivering Commando Force Strike Teams and equipment to coastal access points?
Submit your idea and help enable the Commando Force to safely and rapidly insert themselves into high-threat environments.
Learn more and submit a proposal: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/novel-amphibious-craft
17 Oct 22. Major order for new Jackals for Supacat. A VTN has now been released and closed on 18 Oct for 75 new Jackals with a possibility of a further 165 over the next 18-months or so. This is great news for Supacat and its supplier base.
Type of document: Contract Notice
Country: United Kingdom
Publication Ref: (2022/S 000-028118/EN)
Nature of contract: Supply contract
Procedure: Negotiated without a call for competition
Type of bid required: Not applicable
Voluntary ex ante transparency notice
Section I: Contracting authority
I.1) Name and addresses
Official name: Ministry of Defence
Postal address: Vehicle Support Team, Cedar 1A #4110, MOD Abbey Wood South
Postal code: BS34 8JH
Country: United Kingdom
Contact Person: Ian Hamblin
Telephone: +44 3067988244
I.4) Type of the contracting authority
Ministry or any other national or federal authority, including their regional or local sub-divisions
I.5) Main activity
Section II: Object
II.1) Scope of the procurement
II.1.1) Title: Procurement of 75x High Mobility Truck Variant (HMTV) Platforms and associated support items
II.1.2) Main CPV code: 35410000
II.1.3) Type of contract Supplies
II.1.4) Short Description:
This contract will cover the procurement of additional High Mobility Tactical Vehicle (HMTV) platforms and associated support items to mitigate shortfalls against the current fleet as well as Future Soldier structures.
II.1.6) Information about lots
The contract is divided into lots: no
II.1.7) Total value of the procurement(excluding VAT)
II.2.3) Place of performance
Nuts code: Main site or place of performance: Supacat Limited
II.2.4) Description of the procurement
The Authority intends to award a contract to Supacat Limited for the procurement of additional HMTV Platforms and associated support items to mitigate shortfalls against the current fleet as well as Future Soldier structures. The Contract shall include options for additional quantities of platforms, noting that there is no obligation to invoke these. Estimated value excluding VAT: Range £60m and £250m Ex VAT covering the procurement of 75x platforms across FY22/23 and 23/24 and associated support items, such as Complete Equipment Schedule (CES) and Training Support. It is estimated that the initial contract for the 75x platforms and support will total between £60m – £100m Ex VAT. This may potentially increase by a further 165x platforms and therefore have a potential total value of £250m Ex VAT if contractual options are invoked, noting that the Authority has no obligation to do so, therefore increasing the Total Fleet Requirement to 240x platforms. Any future procurements would be subject to separate Business Case approval.
II.2.5) Award criteria
II.2.11) Information about options
Description of options:
The initial contract will be for a 2-year period and shall contain options for additional quantities of HMTV platforms. Options shall be included for the Authority to procure additional platform quantities, noting there is no obligation on the Authority to invoke these. This will also require separate financial approval.
II.2.13) Information about European Union funds
The procurement is related to a project and/or programme financed by European Union funds: no
II.2.14) Additional information:
Estimated value Ex VAT: Range £60m and £250m Ex VAT for procurement of 75 platforms in FY22/23 & 23/24. It is estimated that the initial contract for the 75 platforms and support will total between £60m-£100m Ex VAT. This may increase by 165 platforms and therefore have a potential total value of £250m Ex VAT if contractual options are invoked, noting that the Authority has no obligation to do so.
Section IV: Procedure
IV.1.1) Type of procedure
Negotiated procedure without publication of a contract notice(in accordance with Article 28 of Directive 2009/81/EU)
IV.1.8) Information about the Government Procurement Agreement(GPA)
The procurement is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement: no
IV.2) Administrative information
Section V: Award of contract/concession
Contract No: 705131450
Title: Procurement of 75x High Mobility Truck Variant (HMTV) Platforms and associated support items
V.2) Award of contract/concession
V.2.1) Date of conclusion of the contract/concession award decision:2022-10-06
V.2.2) Information about tenders
V.2.3) Name and address of the contractor
Official name: Supacat Limited
Postal address: The Airfield
Postal code: EX14 4LF
Country: United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 1404891777
The contractor is an SME: yes
V.2.4) Information on value of the contract/lot/concession(excluding VAT)
for framework agreements – total maximum value for this lot
for contracts based on framework agreements, if required – value of contract(s) for this lot not included in
previous contract award notices
V.2.5) Information about subcontracting
The contract/lot/concession is likely to be subcontracted
Value or proportion likely to be subcontracted to third parties
Section VI: Complementary informationVI.4) Procedures for review
VI.4.1) Review body
Official name: Anj Cooke DES LE VS-Comrcl-Exec
Postal address: Vehicle Support Team, Cedar 1A #4110, MOD Abbey Wood South
Postal code: BS34 8JH
Country: United Kingdom
VI.5) Date of dispatch of this notice:
Justification for the award of the contract without prior publication of a call for
competition in the Official Journal of the European Union
1.Justification for the choice of the negotiated procedure without publication of a call for competition in accordance with
Article 28 of Directive 2009/81/EU
The products involved are manufactured purely for the purpose of research, experiment,study or development under the conditions
stated in the directive(for services and supplies only)
The works, supplies or services can be provided only by a particular economic operator for the following reason:
absence of competition for technical reasons
Please explain in a clear and comprehensive manner why the award of the contract without prior publication in the Official Journal of the European Union
is lawful, by stating the relevant facts and, as appropriate, the conclusions of law in accordance with the directive:
The Vehicle Support Team (VST), as part of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), intends to place a contract with Supacat Limited for the procurement of additional HMTV platforms and associated support items such as CES and training support. In accordance with regulation 4 of The Defence and Security Public Contracts (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/697) this procurement falls to be regulated under the provisions of the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011 as amended (in particular by SI 2019/697 and SI 2020/1450). Prior publication of a contract notice in the Official Journal of the European Union is no longer appropriate. It is considered that the award of the contract without prior publication of a contract notice in the UK e-notification service (as required by the relevant legislation) is lawful in accordance with Regulation 16(1)(a)(ii) of the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011 for Technical Reasons. This is because procuring an alternative HMTV platform solution is not considered reasonable in this instance due to the significant additional technical and interoperability complexity that would be introduced, including but not limited to platform interoperability issues, including safe recovery procedures, safe transport procedures and safe integration with weapon systems, all of which are currently established for the current in-service Supacat Limited HMTV platforms and would introduce a level of risk that is not acceptable to the Authority. In addition, it would not meet the Authority’s requirement to introduce different platforms with different support solutions when deployed on contingent operations. Existing modifications and theatre specific role fits would not be compatible with an alternative platform without significant effort to integrate. Increased training burden associated with a mixed fleet of platforms which would include new training material to ensure safe operation of platforms does not meet the User’s requirement and set pre-deployment training activities. Supacat Limited are the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for the HMTV platform(s) and they are the sole manufacturer of the HMTV vehicles and owners of the IPR. The Authority does not own or have a right to obtain or provide to third parties the proprietary information and documentation regarding these platforms. Manufacture of these platforms by a third party is not considered possible without direct OEM support and access to the proprietary information Therefore, as the OEM, Supacat Limited are the only economic operator capable of manufacturing this capability and meeting this requirement. This vehicle is currently deployed on multiple Operations around the world and further procurement is required to mitigate shortfalls against the current fleet as well as Future Soldier structures. As such, procurement of anything other than the HMTV model from Supacat Limited would fail to meet the Authority’s requirement and would introduce a level of risk that is not acceptable to the Authority.
18 Oct 22. UK C-130Js listed for sale by MoD. The move to sell the 14-strong fixed-wing tactical airlift fleet had been on the cards for some time. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has added the Royal Air Force’s (Raf) C-130J fleet to its list of military equipment that will be made available for sale through the Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA) from 2023, which is slated to be the out-of-service date for the type.
Operated as a tactical airlift aircraft, the C-130J Super Hercules is in service with numerous military services around the world and has gained a notable reputation of reliability and ruggedness, able to operate from improvised landing strips. For these reasons, special forces in particular are known to utilise the platform to conduct clandestine operations.
The withdrawal of the 14-strong C-130J fleet for the Raf will be a blow to the service’s airlift capability, although the induction of the larger A400 Atlas is intended to offset the loss. According to a DESA brochure, added to the Defence Equipment and Support equipment sale list, the UK’s C-130J fleet will be made available for acquisition as they come out of service “between 2023 and 2025”.
UK-based company Marshall Aerospace was named as the “principal retail partner” for the sale of the C-130Js, and would provide entry into service, sustainment and capability enhancements where required.
The decision to cut the C-130Js from UK service was announced in the 2021 Defence Command Paper, which set out the latest in a long line of restructures of the country’s military. The move has been hotly debated ever since, with UK parliamentarians regularly bringing up the loss of the C-130Js as being detrimental to operational capability.
While the Atlas is intended to perform the roles the C-130J currently performs, it is still undergoing workup to qualify for specialist tasks. In September this year The British Army conducted its first para-drops from the A400, a function currently performed by the C-130J.
Atlas to the rescue
The Atlas platform also assists in the maritime patrol role, performing the task when on-station at RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands, and aids UK-based assets when required. On 15 October an Atlas A400M and a Poseidon P-8 maritime patrol aircraft combined to locate and aid in the rescue of a civilian yacht that had lost its mast in stormy seas, 700 nautical miles west of Ireland. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
17 Oct 22. £15m investment in satellite communications from UK Space Agency. Science Minister Nusrat Ghani has unveiled a new £15 m fund for UK businesses to revolutionise satellite communications technology.
Science Minister Nusrat Ghani has unveiled a new £15 m fund for UK businesses to revolutionise satellite communications technology.
The competition, running until next spring, is open to organisations developing ambitious technologies across the satellite communications ecosystem. It will prioritise customer needs, support sustainable growth and catalyse further investment into the UK space sector, which already employs 47,000 people.
Ideas can focus on creating entire new satellite constellations, ground systems, or delivering new services to customers, and will be funded through the UK Space Agency’s leading role in the European Space Agency (ESA) Advanced Research in Telecommunications Services (ARTES) programme.
This new funding package is announced as the Science Minister travels to Rome, Italy, in her first space-focused visit overseas to meet ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher.
The meeting comes ahead of the ESA Council of Ministers (CMIN22) next month where the UK and other member states will negotiate their future contributions to ESA for priority space projects and missions.
Science Minister Nusrat Ghani said: “I am proud to be representing the UK space sector as we discuss our ambitions ahead of the ESA Council of Ministers next month. There are a series of important programmes on the table and I want to harness opportunities in space to grow the UK economy, create jobs and inspire young people into STEM careers.
We’re also making new funding available now to strengthen the UK’s position as a world leader in the satellite communications market, and I look forward to seeing the results of the competition.”
The £15 m fund comes as a new report shows every £1 invested in ESA generates an overall return of £11.80 for the UK economy.
The Impact Evaluation of UK Investment in the European Space Agency also shows the UK is in the top three nations in terms of scientific output, with the USA and Germany. This is a measure of the publication rate per every £1 invested among key space-faring countries.
The UK’s role in ESA is an important part of delivering on the government’s ambitious National Space Strategy. The UK committed £374 m per year over five years to ESA in 2019 and this report looks at the impact of that investment in 2020 and 2021.
The ARTES programme is one of the UK Space Agency’s key commercial drivers for UK space sector growth and includes projects such as Eurostar Neo. UK involvement, which is expected to bring a 20:1 return on investment, will see new geostationary satellites developed by UK-based Airbus launched into space to provide better broadcast, internet and communications services around the world.
Dr Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said: Our ESA membership delivers huge advantages to the UK, by catalysing investment into the sector, backing innovative companies, and providing access to new missions and capabilities such as the James Webb Space Telescope.
As a founding member of ESA, UK space organisations benefit from access to world-class facilities in the UK and Europe, the expertise of ESA’s 3,000 staff, and close links to the wider international space community, including other space agencies like NASA.
This new report demonstrates how our participation in ESA translates into real results for the UK economy and continues to play an important role in meeting our national space ambitions. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
19 Oct 22. France joins Belgian-Dutch designs for naval de-mining tech. Three European nations have teamed up to develop new naval counter-mine capabilities, with France aligning itself with an existing Belgian-Dutch program. Defense officials from the three countries formalized an agreement Oct. 18 during the biennial Euronaval trade conference being held outside of Paris, according to the French Ministry of Defense. Most significantly, the pact brings two programs together – France’s SLAM-F (système de lutte anti-mines futur), or future anti-mine warfare system, and the Belgian-Dutch Mine Countermeasures (rMCM) system.
“France has notably confirmed its decision to launch the design of French mine warfare vessels on the basis of that of the vessels of the binational Belgian-Dutch rMCM program,” the ministry said in a press release. “Thus, the nations share the goals of maximizing design communities to create opportunities for specific joint in-service support and other joint activity related to mine warfare capabilities.”
The SLAM-F effort aims to replace Navy personnel with autonomous vessels for de-mining missions. It was developed under the Franco-British Maritime Mine Countermeasures (MMCM) program, launched in 2012 to develop a prototype underwater drone that could detect and neutralize sea mines and underwater improvised explosive devices. The industry team for the prototype program was led by Thales and BAE Systems, with co-partners including the United Kingdom’s Saab, ASV, and Wood & Douglas, and France’s ECA Group – which announced on Tuesday that it will now operate, together with longtime partner iXBlue, under the name Exail.
Thales delivered the first prototype SLAM-F system to the French navy in 2021. France plans to begin ordering its initial SLAM-F systems in 2023, with a delivery date currently in discussion, the ministry said. Officials have previously announced plans to order up to eight unmanned systems.
The Belgian and Dutch navies expect to begin deliveries of their respective rMCM systems in 2024. Naval Group and ECA Group formed a consortium dubbed Belgian Naval and Robotics in 2019 to lead the program. The rMCM program is expected to include 12 minehunter vessels and about 100 unmanned systems split between Belgium and the Netherlands, according to Naval Group.
This past April, Naval Group inaugurated a new MCM research-and-development (R&D) center in Brussels, alongside a lab dedicated to cyber technology.
The French navy’s top official has called for increased intergovernmental cooperation in the maritime domain to support interoperability and decrease the cost burden on allies. In a speech Monday in Paris ahead of the Euronaval conference, Adm. Pierre Vandier highlighted joint programs and interoperable capabilities as a critical element of France’s future navy. (Source: Defense News)
19 Oct 22. Still tiny, the design of France’s next aircraft carrier takes shape. The French Ministry of Defense and industry leaders presented a first look, in model form, at the nation’s next-generation, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier this week during the biennial Euronaval trade conference here.
The new carrier is expected to replace the French navy’s current aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, by 2038. Naval Group and Chantiers de l’Atlantique are building the ship together under the temporary joint venture MO Porte Avions, and Technic Atome will provide the two nuclear reactors to power the ship.
It will be a substantially larger vessel than its predecessor, expected to weigh over 82,000 tons and measure over 1,000 feet long and 279 feet at its widest point. By comparison, the Charles de Gaulle weighs in at about 42,000 tons and measures just under 900 feet long.
Senior defense officials, including Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu, French Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Pierre Vandier, and military-procurement director Emmanuel Chiva joined Naval Group president Pierre-Eric Pommelet outside the company’s booth on the conference’s first day to examine a scale model of the future ship, known currently as PA-NG, for the French porte-avion nouvelle-generation.
Preliminary studies for the program were launched in 2018. French President Emmanuel Macron’s 2020 decision to use nuclear power for the next aircraft carrier launched a preliminary design phase in March 2021, which is now due to be completed in March 2023, said program director Olivier de Saint Julien.
The scale model on display represents the current state of the industry team’s design and will evolve as the design period moves on, he told Defense News at the conference. While many details such as defensive systems and weapons remain to be decided, the carrier is expected to have room for about 30 aircraft on board, as well as a number of unmanned systems.
The final design is expected to be fixed by 2025, when the development phase will begin. Construction is set to take place at the shipyards of Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, on France’s West coast. The ship will then be transferred to Toulon for final assembly, per the French Ministry of Defense. Sea trials are scheduled for 2036, with delivery expected to the navy the following year and operational capability scheduled for 2038, when the Charles de Gaulle is expected to retire.
French lawmakers have previously mulled the prospect of having a second aircraft carrier built. De Saint Julien said that members of parliament had requested studies from industry partners to assess the feasibility of a second ship, but that so far, no decisions had been made on the matter.
“Yes, French industry is capable of building a second aircraft carrier, if that is asked of us,” he said. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
19 Oct 22. Moldova wants air defenses, as Russian missiles fly overhead. Moldova’s Defence Minister Anatolie Nosatîi has said that the country aims to buy new air defense systems following recent airspace violations by the Russian military.
Nosatîi said that in the past days a number of Russian missiles were fired from the Black Sea and subsequently flew over Moldova’s territory to strike targets in Ukraine.
“Under normal circumstances, in the event of an airspace violation, air defense forces enter a state of combat and measures are taken to intercept flying targets such as missiles or aircraft that violate a state’s national space,” the minister said, as quoted by local news agency IPN.
Moldova is landlocked, but the country’s southern part lies in proximity of the Ukrainian Black Sea coast.
Nosatîi said that the Moldovan authorities plan to pass legislation that will allow the country’s government to establish multi-year defense acquisition programs. As air defense systems are expensive, Moldova hopes that its Western partners will help purchase the weapons, according to the minister.
The official also stated that, under the country’s agreement with Germany, the Moldovan Armed Forces are to receive new drones and other military gear in the first months of 2023.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raised concern amid Moldovan officials that the country, whose constitution requires it to remain a neutral state, could be Moscow’s next target. Russia has long backed Transnistria, a breakaway republic in Moldova’s eastern part, and observers have speculated the Kremlin could use the statelet to facilitate its attacks on Ukraine, or even invade Moldova. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
19 Oct 22. Naviris-led consortium signs preliminary agreement for EPC programme. The agreement involves initial design development of the vessel over the next two years. A consortium led by Naviris, a 50-50 joint venture by Fincantieri and Naval Group, has signed a preliminary consortium agreement with Navantia for the European Patrol Corvette (EPC) programme. The deal was signed between the CEOs of the four companies during the Euronaval 2022 exhibition in France on 18 October.
The agreement involves the initial design development of the vessel. This two-year work will lay the foundation for common technological requirements, methodologies and standards for EPC development.
The EPC’s proposal was submitted by the consortium in December last year, in response to the European Defence Fund’s Modular and Multirole Patrol Corvette call.
The proposal aimed to establish maximum collaboration between the shipbuilding industry across Europe to support the development of an EPC vessel.
In July, this consortium’s proposal was selected by the European Commission. Apart from Fincantieri, Naval Group and Navantia, the EPC development will also involve the participation of 40 other industry partners from across 12 EU nations, to supply required maritime systems and equipment.
The EPC programme falls under the Permanent Structured Cooperation project, which comprises four naval countries’ forces – Italy, France, Spain and Greece.
Given that the steel industry is responsible for about 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, lowering the volumes of these emissions from manufacturing facilities is crucial for steelmakers as the global decarbonisation agenda continues to expand.
Companies acting now to enhance sustainability will benefit from environmental, social, and governance (ESG) indicators to gain a competitive edge and stay ahead of changing carbon legislation.
For decades, advances in technology and a move away from traditional blast furnaces (BFs) toward electric arc furnaces (EAFs) have greatly reduced energy use in steel…
Norway and Denmark’s national industry partners have also joined this project.
EPC is being constructed to address the joint requirement of a 110m-long second-rank surface combatant that can replace various patrol vessels and frigates currently in use with the four countries’ navies.
According to Naval Group, EPC is an innovative, smart, sustainable, flexible and interoperable ship that is being designed to fulfil modern mission requirements. This cost-effective vessel is based on disruptive technologies and is expected to strengthen the naval domain capabilities.
18 Oct 22. Industry cluster forms around European patrol corvette program. Shipbuilders from France, Italy and Spain have announced the creation of a consortium to ramp up design work on a new European corvette and coordinate cooperation on the program with dozens of firms around the continent. Touted as a poster child for European defense industry integration, the European Patrol Corvette program was handed €60 m ($59 m) for development by the European Defense Fund in July, with work led by Spain’s Navantia, France’s Naval Group, Italy’s Fincantieri and Naviris – the joint venture teaming the latter two firms.
On Tuesday, the CEOs from those companies signed their consortium into life at the Euronaval exhibit in Paris, claiming it would “develop the initial design of the vessel, maximizing innovations, synergies and collaboration among European shipbuilding industry.”
To date, 40 firms from 12 EU countries have signed up to work on the program, a statement released by the firms added.
With Italy, France, Spain and Greece as founding national partners, and Denmark and Norway joining them last year, companies including Kongsberg, Siemens, Rolls-Royce, MAN and MTU are also on board.
“This program will strongly contribute to European sovereignty in the naval domain by strengthening European industry, increasing cooperation, efficiency and lowering duplication in defense spending,” the statement said.
An Italian naval official told Defense News last month that the European Defense Fund will issue a “call” next year for participants to push on with the program with a EU grant of around €200 m ($197 m) to be available, leading to the production of the first prototype.
Up to 110 meters long and displacing around 3,000 tonnes, the European Patrol Corvette will be built in a full combat version by Italy and Spain, while France and Spain are opting to pursue a long-range variant. (Source: Defense News)
13 Oct 22. Fincantieri signs several MoUs for Greek corvette construction project. Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri has signed several memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with a number of selected potential Greek suppliers. The partnership deal between Fincantieri and new potential suppliers was inked at the Italian Embassy in Athens on 12 October. The signing aims to support the construction four naval vessels for the Hellenic Navy.
It also includes provision of providing the integrated logistic support (ILS) and in-service support (ISS) for the vessels.
The MoUs are as part of a ‘high-profile process’ followed by the Hellenic Ministry of National Defence for the construction of new corvettes.
According to Fincantieri, the latest deal will lay the foundation to strengthen the group’s cooperation with different Hellenic companies, as well as for determining potential business relationships for specific supplies.
The potential companies were identified and selected by Fincantieri after carrying out a series of scouting activities in Greece.
The selected companies will now work in collaboration with Fincantieri to support various existing as well as future naval programmes in Greece.
Fincantieri’s clients primarily include several international navies along with some of the major European defence companies, working within the supra-national programmes.
The company said that it is further aiming to expand its suppliers’ panel by establishing a supply chain that focuses on the naval domain related activities in Greece.
Since 2016, Fincantieri is also supporting Qatar’s programme for construction of two offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), four corvettes and one landing platform dock for the Qatari Emiri Navy (QEN).
The company recently delivered QEN’s first Al Zubarah-class multi-role corvette and first the OPV. (Source: naval-technology.com)
19 Oct 22. New Lockheed Office Seeks Partnerships With Mid-Size Firms. It’s the company’s latest move to provide militarized commercial tech to the Pentagon. Lockheed Martin has stood up an internal cell to create partnerships with mid-size defense, commercial, and space firms, the company’s CEO said Tuesday. It’s the latest move by the company to better position its business to deliver militarized commercial technology to the Pentagon.
Called LM Evolve, the group is meant to complement Lockheed’s venture capital arm, which primarily invests in startups. Earlier this year, LM Ventures doubled its fund from $200 m to $400 m. CFO Jay Malave will oversee LM Evolve, which “is just literally getting off the ground,” CEO Jim Taiclet said.
“What that’s meant to do is to go … a step higher and say: ‘How do we do joint ventures or commercial alliances with midsized companies?’” Taiclet said Tuesday on the company’s quarterly earnings call with Wall Street analysts.
LM Evolve gives Lockheed “the framework, the structure and the ability to engage in that [mid-sized] level of investment,” Taiclet said.
In recent months, Lockheed has partnered with telecom giant AT&T to pass secure information to a Black Hawk helicopter using a 5G network. It’s also partnered with Verizon for 5G technology demonstration.
Taiclet said Lockheed also plans to “acquire small and medium companies with technologies or critical supply chain components that are available.”
But the company’s last attempt to do just that was not successful. In January, the Biden administration sued to block Lockheed’s $4,4 bn acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne. The Federal Trade Commission said that the deal would harm other companies by giving Lockheed a corner on the market since Aerojet also supplies other defense firms. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense One)
18 Oct 22. United States, Japan agree to partner on advanced air mobility. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) agreed to partner on advanced air mobility certification and operations, the U.S. regulator said Tuesday.
The two countries in Tokyo were set to sign a declaration of cooperation to support future aircraft development and operation and formalizing ongoing discussions on certifying and validating new aircraft, production, airworthiness, operations, and personnel licensing.
The announcement comes as companies around the world are racing to develop and eventually win regulatory approval to deploy air taxis known electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL).
“The FAA and the JCAB have enjoyed a long and strong working relationship, and that will extend into this new era of aviation,” said Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen in a statement. “Close collaboration with our international partners is critical to successfully and safely integrating these new technologies.”
The announcement follows the FAA’s announced partnerships with the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in the National Aviation Authorities Network to harmonize certification and integration plans.
The low-altitude eVTOL urban air mobility aircraft has drawn a huge amount of interest around the world as numerous eVTOL companies have gone public.
Last week, Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) said it invested $60 m in air taxi startup Joby Aviation (JOBY.N) for a 2% equity stake, in a partnership that initially plans to offer passengers air taxi transport to and from airports in New York and Los Angeles.
Airlines and others are looking at developing transport services using battery-powered aircraft that can take off and land vertically to ferry travelers to airports or on short trips between cities, allowing them to beat traffic.
Joby in May received its Part 135 Air Carrier Certification from the FAA, but before it can begin service will need additional regulatory approvals for its eVTOL aircraft, as well as for building airport infrastructure and so-called “Vertiports” in neighborhoods for takeoffs and landings. It hopes to receive approval to begin commercial flights in 2024.
REST OF THE WORLD
19 Oct 22. Defexpo 2022: India, UK launch defence industry group. India and the United Kingdom (UK) have launched a forum to support enhanced co-operation between the two countries’ defence industrial bases.
The inaugural meeting of the new defence industry Joint Working Group was held on the side-lines of the DefExpo 2022 exhibition in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, on 18 October, said the British High Commission in a statement.
The High Commission said that the working group is linked to a commitment – contained in a ‘road map’ for bilateral collaboration agreed in 2021 – to significantly bolster defence industrial ties by 2030.
“This is another step in the growing defence relations between the two countries,” said Mark Goldsack, the director of UK Defence and Security Exports. “[India and the UK] are working to establish a portfolio of collaborative projects to support the development of new technologies and capabilities as agreed under the 2030 Roadmap.” (Source: Janes)
20 Oct 22. Peruvian Navy plans frigate upgrades in wake of other vessel retirements. The Peruvian Navy plans to upgrade four of the six frigates remaining in service as a stopgap measure until new frigates and offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) are acquired, according to navy sources. Along with general repairs and maintenance work, the frigates will receive new electronic support measures (ESM) systems and a new electro-optical surveillance and fire-control system. International tenders for such acquisitions are expected to be launched by early 2023, sources confirmed to Janes. Upgrades will be applied to the four frigates that received improvements during the past decade, Carvajal-class frigates Grau (FM 53) and Mariategui (FM 54), and Aguirre-class frigates Aguirre (FM 55) and Bolognesi (FM 57). The four are expected to stay in service until the early 2030s when new frigates and OPVs will replace them. The planned upgrades come in the wake of recent ship decommissions. In late September the Peruvian Navy decommissioned one frigate Villavicencio (FM-52), one OPV San Martin (PO-201), and one missile corvette Velarde. (Source: Janes)
18 Oct 22. UK to strengthen defence collaboration with India at DefExpo 2022. UK spearheads new defence industry joint working group to strengthen defence collaboration with India. Defence industry organisations from India and the UK have come together to create a new Defence Industry Joint Working Group for more effective cooperation. The initiative is supported by the UK Government. The inaugural meeting of the UK-India Defence Industry Joint Working Group was held on the side-lines of DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat today. DefExpo will see representation from 20 UK defence companies. UK industry is already integrating Indian defence suppliers into their global supply chain, manufacturing defence equipment not just for India but for the world.
The Joint Working Group is part of an ongoing initiative between the two countries to strengthen the defence and security partnership through industrial collaboration. The UK recently issued its first Open General Export License (OGEL) in the Indo-Pacific region to India, shortening delivery times for defence procurement.
The Royal Air Force (RAF) recently conducted a subject matter expertise exchange with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) during the visit of Eurofighter Typhoon, Voyager and A400 in New Delhi and also held joint-flying exercises with the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, said: “A stronger UK-India defence relationship is an essential element of the British and Indian governments’ Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The British Government and industry presence at DefExpo is further proof of this, as is our support for co-creation of next generation capabilities that will be fully owned by India. The UK supports Prime Minister Modi’s ambitions of Make in India, Make for the World.”
Mark Goldsack, Director, UK Defence and Security Exports, said: “This is another step in the growing defence relations between the two countries, who are working to establish a portfolio of collaborative projects to support the development of new technologies and capabilities as agreed under the 2030 Roadmap. The UK sees it is in its own interest that India becomes self-reliant in its defence needs. The UK is a world leader in critical defence technologies such as jet engine developments and electric propulsion technology. We are keen to share this expertise with India supported by our respective industries.”
The Open General Export Licence is available to read here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1089740/open-general-export-licence-military-goods-and-technology-India.pdf
In the April 2022 joint statement, the UK and India have welcomed the finalisation of the Letter of Arrangement between the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation.
The UK has offered advanced core technologies to India, capable of creating an indigenous, ITAR-free jet engine owned, manufactured and exported by India.
India and the UK have established an Electric Propulsion Capability Partnership. The Joint Working Group will establish a strong partnership between our respective navies for development of Electric Propulsion capability for India.
The UK India 2030 Roadmap commits to partnership on India’s indigenous combat air programmes, including LCA Mk-II and AMCA.
Rolls Royce have established packaging, installation, marketing and services support for Rolls-Royce MT30 marine engines in India through partnership with HAL.
Thales UK and BDL have signed an agreement to produce the next generation of VSHORAD missiles in India, supplying to both the UK and Indian Armies with a ‘Made in India’ Laser Beam Riding MANPAD System.
MBDA UK have established live build capability for the Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) in partnership with BDL. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
18 Oct 22. Indian MoD to procure 363 drones to strengthen armed forces. MoD issues RFP to buy 163 high-altitude and 200 medium-altitude logistic drones. The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued requests for proposals (RFP) to purchase a total of 363 drones to serve the armed forces in high and medium-altitude regions. The tenders are aimed at strengthening the Indian Army’s logistics chain as well as operational readiness along challenging border regions, reported PTI news agency.
The tenders have been issued under the Fast Track Procedure of Buy (Indian) category to facilitate emergency procurement. To meet the government’s ‘Make in India’ objective, the drones are required to comprise at least 60% of indigenous components. In this regard, the government has invited bids from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and authorised vendors. As per the RFP, the MoD plans to acquire 163 high-altitude logistic drones along with related accessories.
The document specifies the weight of the logistics drone’s payload to be not less than 15kg.
The MoD will also procure 200 medium-altitude drones. The document requires each medium-altitude logistic drone to weigh more than 100kg and can withstand strong winds.
Furthermore, the medium-altitude logistics drone is required to carry a minimum payload of over 20kg. According to officials, the two drone versions will offer a range of 10km for shifting payloads. The deadline to submit bids for the tenders is 11 November this year. Earlier this year, the MoD issued RFP to procure night sights (Image Intensifier) units for the Army’s assault rifles. It planned to purchase 29,762 night sights (II) with Autogating facilities for 7.62mm x 51mm assault rifles. (Source: army-technology.com)
14 Oct 22. Australia establishes new naval shipbuilding group.
A new group has been set up to lead the nation’s continuous naval shipbuilding and sustainment endeavour.
Chief of the Defence Force General Angus J. Campbell, AO, DSC and Secretary of Defence Greg Moriarty have established the Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment Group (NSSG).
The group is expected to lead the implementation of Commonwealth government policies prioritising the development of the continuous naval shipbuilding and sovereign sustainment industry.
The NSSG assumes responsibilities previously bestowed to the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), which had overseen the delivery, maintenance, and upgrade of Australia’s maritime capabilities.
The deputy secretary of Naval shipbuilding and sustainment, Tony Dalton, has been tasked with spearheading the NSSG.
“NSSG will work alongside CASG and share a common corporate backbone,” a Defence spokesperson said.
“The new group will remain closely aligned with CASG to ensure delivery of interoperable capability and ongoing continuity of corporate services and functional support.”
The establishment of the NSSG comes amid increased investment in the local production of key maritime capabilities for the Royal Australian Navy.
This includes the $44-45 bn Hunter Class frigate program and the future development of nuclear-powered submarines to replace the Collins Class submarines.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles has also said he is open to proceeding with the life-of-type extensions (LOTE) for the Collins Class fleet, promised by the former government.
The Collins Class LOTE program would involve rebuilding each submarine once it achieves 30 years of service, with each upgrade scheduled to take approximately two years.
The submarines would reportedly be rebuilt by ASC in Adelaide, with the work to be supported by Saab Kockums, the original co-builder of the fleet. (Source: Defence Connect)
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