UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
23 Nov 22. DASA seeks Advanced Materials innovations to shape the future of defence. DASA has launched a new Innovation Focus Area to find Advanced Materials innovations to support generation-after-next defence capabilities.
- DASA has launched a new Innovation Focus Area (IFA) called Advanced Materials for Defence
- Funding provided by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s (Dstl) Advanced Materials Programme
- This IFA seeks Advanced Materials innovations across 2 challenge areas
The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is pleased to launch a new Innovation Focus Area (IFA), Advanced Materials for Defence. Advanced Materials is identified in the Defence Technology Framework as a critical technology family to drive innovation across defence. This IFA aims to harness these strengths in the UK landscape to provide innovative solutions in Advanced Materials to support generation-after-next defence capabilities.
DASA seeks innovations across two challenge areas:
- Challenge 1: Intelligent materials and structures
- Challenge 2: Materials for enhanced thermal management
Key dates and funding
This Innovation Focus Area will run for at least two funding cycles of the Open Call.
DASA expects to fund several proposals between £100K – £300K.
Do you have a novel idea or concept? Read the full IFA document and submit a proposal.
Advanced Materials for Defence challenge areas
This IFA has 2 challenge areas.
Challenge 1: Intelligent materials and structures
This challenge is focused on materials and structures that can either sense changes in their environment, actuate a change under extreme environmental conditions, or a combination of both. This challenge is also concerned with the lifing and ageing of deployable or morphing structures.
For this challenge area, DASA seeks innovations that consider operating environments such as:
- Complex weapons: Smart / functional structural materials
- Air: Materials to reduce maintenance requirements
- Space: Techniques for assessing the ageing and degradation of materials used in deployable systems
- Land: New technologies for material condition, self-diagnosis and repair, and novel multi-functional materials to support survivability through improved concealment
- Maritime: Develop technologies to support the rapid build, modification and deployment of naval vessels across different operating environments
In addition to the operating environments listed above, this IFA is also interested in understanding emerging innovations in functional, animate and metamaterials under the FAME project. The FAME project focusses on the development of vital enabling materials knowledge, concepts and technologies for later exploitation into systems. FAME is a cross-cutting project that encompasses all operating environments.
Challenge 2: Materials for enhanced thermal management
This challenge is focused on materials and structures that can withstand extremes of temperatures.
For this challenge area, DASA seeks innovations that consider operating environments such as:
- Complex weapons: Materials to enable increased endurance, range or operating temperatures
- Air: Materials to help reduce mass, volume and cost of thermal management systems and enhance other areas of performance
- Land: Materials to enhance the survivability and sustainment of platforms and users
- Maritime: Materials to improve the effectiveness of thermal management systems for on-board systems, allowing more heat transfer to take place in the same space
For a more detailed breakdown this IFA’s challenge areas, read the full IFA document.
Submit a proposal
Do you have an Advanced Material innovation that will support generation-after-next defence capabilities?
Learn more and submit a proposal: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defence-and-security-accelerator-dasa-open-call-for-innovation/open-call-innovation-focus-areas#IFA038 (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
21 Nov 22. DASA seeks deployable anti-submarine warfare technologies.
DASA is seeking systems and technologies relevant to uncrewed, persistent, deployable anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability, to provide surveillance of underwater hostiles.
- DASA has launched a new Market Exploration: Project CHARYBDIS
- Launched on behalf of the Royal Navy
- This Market Exploration is seeking technical solutions to deliver persistent, deployable uncrewed maritime assets
The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is pleased to launch a new Market Exploration as a workstream of Project CHARYBDIS, which seeks systems and technologies that could deliver persistent, deployable uncrewed maritime assets.
This is one workstream of Project CHARYBDIS, which is being delivered by DASA & the Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) on behalf of the Royal Navy.
This Market Exploration is run on behalf of the Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA), and project CHARYBDIS is part of Navy Command’s ASW Spearhead Programme. In support of this the SDA have commissioned DASA to search for related innovative technologies and sub-systems. The SDA are separately commissioning concept studies from suppliers with expertise in overall integrated ASW systems, which is being advertised through the Defence Sourcing Portal.
If you don’t have a login you can still access this from the homepage:
- on the DSP homepage select ‘View DSP Opportunities’
- select the drop down arrow on ‘Enter Filter’
- select ‘Project Info’
- insert 705492450 into ‘Value’ section
Suppliers are welcome to participate in either or both workstreams.
Do you have an innovative solution? Read the full Market Exploration now and submit your idea.
Exploring underwater security systems and their capabilities
Our Market Exploration aims to identify, prototype, trial and deliver technologies that could support persistent deployable uncrewed capabilities to detect, classify, localise, and report underwater hostiles with a focus on wide areas of ocean.
We are looking for innovations (covering related technologies and systems) that could credibly result in an improvement to uncrewed anti-submarine warfare capability, focusing on the following areas:
- Sensors for underwater hostile threats, or their signature.
E.g. active acoustic, passive acoustic and non-acoustic.
- Platforms including uncrewed seabed, underwater, surface and air.
E.g. Overall structures, mobility options, tethering.
- Analysis including on-board uncrewed platforms, and off-board.
E.g. Data management, structuring and processing.
- Communication including in-water, above-water, through surface and tethered.
E.g. associated software, firmware, hardware and integration (e.g. standards).
- Launch & Recovery solutions across all domains and locations
E.g. Crewed and uncrewed options to deploy and recover systems
- Power sources spanning generation, storage and transfer.
E.g. Renewables and Non-renewables.
- Station-keeping and Propulsion, spanning related platforms
E.g. Tethering, Anchoring, Traditional rotary propulsion, Buoyancy systems, Biomimetics.
- Navigation, including internal and external.
- Data, including collection, processing, storage, management and wiping.
- Maintenance and sustainment options.
- Training, options including relevant simulations.
- Validation, options including test-targets.
This market exploration is currently open. The deadline to submit proposals is midday on 20th January 2023.
Submit your innovation
Your innovative solution could help support the Royal Navy in their endeavours to maximise their operational advantage over adversaries. Innovations with a particular focus on leveraging advances in autonomy, and exploring new solutions beyond the current mixture of fixed infrastructure, short-term sonobuoys and high-value crewed platforms, will ensure the Royal Navy maintains their battle-winning edge: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/market-exploration-project-charybdis (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
21 Nov 22. A £31m contract for highly specialised engineering support for the Future Combat Air Systems (FCAS) programme has been awarded to UK Defence firm – QinetiQ.
Under a three-year contract, the Aurora Engineering Delivery Partnership (EDP) led by QinetiQ, will provide technical support to FCAS and the Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) Catalyst delivery team, which is responsible for delivering the latest combat air capabilities to UK frontline commands.
The contract will support around 45 jobs based in Bristol, Boscombe Down, Farnborough, Malvern, Bath and Lincoln.
Alex Chalk, Minister for Defence Procurement said: “The Future Combat Air Systems programme continues to make good progress, as demonstrated by this latest engineering contract. I am delighted that highly skilled UK industry personnel will lend their support and expertise to the programme, as we work together to deliver a next-generation fighter jet for the future.”
The delivery will also include the EDP partners Atkins and BMT, along with a number of subcontractors in the EDP provider network.
Richard Berthon, Director Future Combat Air, added:
This contract with Aurora and QinetiQ is a demonstration of our commitment to working with the UK’s leading defence technology companies on FCAS. Their expertise will be vital to the programme as we work at pace to deliver a next-generation combat air capability by 2035.
Nic Anderson, Chief Executive UK Defence, QinetiQ said: “The Aurora Engineering Partnership with the UK MOD and DE&S continues to go from strength to strength, providing technical support to the most complex acquisition programmes. Our work with Catalyst DT will help accelerate new ways of working using digital engineering methodologies in supporting the next generation of combat air platforms.”
Work carried out by the Aurora Engineering Partnership led by QinetiQ will enable DE&S to deliver essential engineering strategies for future FCAS capabilities. The partnership will provide engineering support – initially focusing on Human Performance, Safety and Systems Engineering disciplines.
The FCAS programme currently employs around 2,500 highly skilled people across the UK including at combat air sector industrial hubs in Scotland, the north-west and south-west of England. The programme now employs 1,000 apprentices and graduates, offering attractive employment opportunities in STEM subjects such as industrial digitisation, artificial intelligence and data analytics.
Tempest, a highly advanced future fighter, is due to enter service in 2035, operating at the heart of a wider Future Combat Air System. Tempest was announced at the 2018 Farnborough International Air show and since then, has made significant progress with a flying demonstrator currently being built and the ‘Generation Tempest’ initiative being launched to create early careers job opportunities across the UK.
18 Nov 22. RN looks to explore uncrewed ASW surveillance under Project Charybdis. The UK Royal Navy (RN) has kicked off a programme to explore how its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability could be improved through the employment of future capabilities based on unmanned, persistent, deployable ASW surveillance systems. The initiative, known as Project Charybdis, seeks to leverage advances in autonomy, robotics, and machine learning to explore new solutions beyond the current mixture of fixed infrastructure, short-life sonobuoys, and high-value crewed platforms. One strand of activity, being managed through the Submarine Delivery Agency-Autonomy Unit (SDA-AU), is asking industry to share thinking on novel autonomous system concepts – a second market exploration workstream, under the UK’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), focused on relevant subsystem technologies. Forming part of the RN’s wider ASW Spearhead initiative, which is intended to maximise operational advantage in the anti-submarine domain, Project Charybdis is focused on delivering five capability-based outcomes: to deploy to a wide area of ocean and operate persistently; to detect hostile underwater forces (principally submarines); to classify triggers and distinguish hostiles; to localise hostiles and potentially track their movement; and report to friendly forces. (Source: Janes)
22 Nov 22. Awaiting F-16s, Bulgaria closes in on interim fighter potentially from Sweden or France.
“Sweden and France have responded favorably to our request,” a Bulgarian MoD spokesperson told Breaking Defense, though talks are in early stages.
The Bulgarian government looks to be edging closer to reaching an agreement for an interim fighter aircraft after holding talks with Sweden and France, while the southeastern European nation awaits American F-16s.
The potential acquisition of the jets was prompted by Lockheed Martin when it delayed delivery of F-16 Block 70 aircraft to Sofia from 2023 to 2025, following COVID-19 supplier issues, meaning they wouldn’t go operational until 2028 or so.
Thus, Bulgaria requires an “interim” type to replace an aging MiG-29 fleet that’s expected to be unserviceable due to maintenance issues from the end of 2023 onward, a Bulgarian Ministry of Defense (MoD) spokesperson told Breaking Defense in a statement.
“Until the F-16s reach full operational capability around 2028-2030, interim fighters will have to be used for the purpose of carrying out the Air Policing mission in the airspace of Bulgaria,” the spokesperson explained.
The interim fighter acquisition started out with Bulgaria sending letters to the United States, Sweden, France, Israel, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy, detailing the possibility of leasing second-hand aircraft. The Netherlands, Spain and Italy have all since confirmed they are unable to meet the request, according to the Bulgarian MoD spokesperson. The spokesperson didn’t say how the US responded, and a representative for the State Department said they don’t comment “on potential/pending arms transfers.”
“Sweden and France have responded favorably to our request,” the spokesperson said. “We have initiated talks with [both]… to explore the possibilities for [the] interim fighter acquisition. We have not received any offers yet.”
Sweden could offer Saab JAS 39 Gripen C/D aircraft with France in a position to either pitch its Mirage 2000 or Rafale jets. Both the Swedish and French governments have not responded to requests for comment.
In a bid to resolve the MiG-29 maintenance issues, Bulgaria also has held discussions with Poland, as the latter also operates the aircraft and could offer a way forward for Bulgaria to potentially service their fleet beyond 2023.
A first tranche of eight F-16 Block 70 fighter jets was agreed between Bulgaria and the United States in 2019 with a second tranche of eight approved by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in April 2022. Bulgaria’s National Assembly passed “stage 2” of the investment expenditure plan for the second tranche “earlier this November,” confirmed the MoD spokesperson. Last month the State Department said the F-16s “will provide Bulgaria with a fleet of modern multi-role combat aircraft, supporting Bulgaria’s capability to defend its airspace, bolstering regional security, and enhancing the Bulgarian Air Force’s interoperability with the United States and NATO.”
Lockheed originally disclosed COVID-19 supplier issues on the F-16 Block 70 program in November 2021, two years after Bulgaria ordered the jet, admitting that the main source of the disruption was linked to a “major subassembly of the aircraft,” without identifying the foreign supplier. Those problems now look to be behind the manufacturer however as it plans on “significantly” increasing production of the fighter jet throughout 2023, according to a Lockheed spokesperson.
Assembly of Bulgaria’s first F-16 Block 70 has started at Lockheed Martin’s Greenville, S.C., production facility, alongside other models on order for Bahrain and Slovakia, the spokesperson said. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
21 Nov 22. PA-Ng carrier design matures ahead of definition phase transition. The design of the French Navy’s next-generation nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN) is continuing to evolve, with the latest iteration revealing a series of refinements to the ship’s flight deck layout and island superstructure. The Porte-Avions Nouvelle Génération (PA-Ng) programme, intended to replace the French Navy’s current CVN Charles de Gaulle from 2038, was given the official go-ahead by President Emmanuel Macron in December 2020. The Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) and industrial prime contractor MO Porte-Avions (a joint venture of Naval Group and Chantiers de l’Atlantique) are undertaking systems/architecture design activity intended to mature the design baseline ahead of a transition into the definition phase in the first half of 2023. (Source: Janes)
20 Nov 22. Germany to offer Poland Patriot system after stray missile crash. Germany has offered Warsaw the Patriot missile defence system to help it to secure its airspace after a stray missile crashed in Poland last week, Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht told a newspaper on Sunday. The German government had already said it would offer its neighbour further help in air policing with German Eurofighters after the incident, which initially raised fears that the war in Ukraine could spill across the border.
“We have offered Poland support in securing airspace – with our Eurofighters and with Patriot air defence systems,” Lambrecht told the Rheinische Post and General Anzeiger.
The missile that hit Poland last week, killing two people, appeared to have been fired by Ukraine’s air defences rather than a Russian strike, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has said.
Ground-based air defence systems such as Raytheon’s (RTX.N) Patriot are built to intercept incoming missiles.
NATO has moved to strengthen air defences in eastern Europe since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. More than a dozen NATO allies led by Germany in October kicked off an initiative to jointly procure air defence systems for several layers of threats, including Patriot.
Germany had 36 Patriot units when it was NATO’s frontline state during the Cold War. German forces currently have 12 Patriot units, two of which are deployed to Slovakia. (Source: Reuters)
24 Nov 22. ZEUS scopes combat system retrofit for DDG 1000 destroyers. Plans are being developed by the US Navy (USN) that would see key parts of the combat suite equipping the three DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers swapped out for command and sensor systems common to other US surface combatants. The concept – dubbed the Zumwalt Enterprise Upgrade Solution (ZEUS) – is considering replacing a number of mission system components, including the ships’ combat system software and undersea warfare suite. A sources sought notice was released by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on 17 November, just days after first-of-class USS Zumwalt completed its maiden three-month deployment to the Western Pacific. The three DDG 1000 destroyers – USS Zumwalt, USS Michael Monsoor, and the future USS Lyndon B Johnson. (Source: Janes)
22 Nov 22. US MFR progresses with plan to acquire expeditionary small craft. The watercraft is being acquired to support the live-force experimentation and littoral water operations. The US Marine Forces Reserve (MFR) is working to acquire commercially available small expeditionary watercraft to support the service’s Force Design 2030 initiative.
The MFR is procuring the new watercraft in partnership with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, using a Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) solicitation process.
Through this competitive phased approach, the DIU and MFR will shortlist four potential watercraft by analysing vendors’ presentations and reviewing the materials.
DIU project manager Heather Ichord said: “The DIU team was introduced to MFR small-craft initiative through Marine Innovation Unit and from there we started with 34 vendors in August.
“Our evaluation team down-selected to 12, we heard 11 presentations, and then we were able to see, and get on water with four vendors.”
The entire acquisition process, including conceptual idea, research, pitches, decisions and upcoming small craft selection has taken place in about five months.
In the next phase, the US Marine Corps (USMC) will award contract to the chosen vendors and then perform concept and limited engineering experimentation over the next 18 to 24 months.
The selected small craft will also provide live-force experimentation and analysis opportunity in the field of littoral water operations, expeditionary advanced base operations, reconnaissance and counter reconnaissance missions and other management operations.
The latest rapid acquisition effort will coincide with the approval for MFR to retain and restructure 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion’s (AA Bn) two companies into Littoral Craft Companies to assume small watercraft mission.
Recently, 4th AA Bn leadership also hosted demonstration for four separate tactical watercraft vendors at the unit’s Reserve Training Center, Tampa, Florida. The USMC is also developing new expeditionary fuel dispensing system to increase fuel sustainment capability. (Source: naval-technology.com)
21 Nov 22. US Navy seeks installed C-UAS units to protect US Marine Corps facilities. The US Department of the Navy on 15 November 2022 issued a request for information (RFI) with a deadline of 13 January 2023 for installed C-UAS units to protect US Marine Corps facilities.
According to the tender:
“The Program Executive Officer Land Systems (PEO LS), Program Manager, Ground Based Air Defense (PM GBAD) is looking for interested parties to address the United States Marine Corps’ (USMC) force protection installation security capability gap for the detection, identification, tracking, and defeat of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) operating within the vicinity of specific missions sets associated with USC Title 10, Section 130i. This gap presents a significant vulnerability to the security, safety, and protection of personnel, facilities, and assets.
“The purpose of this RFI is to seek potential solutions and feedback from industry and gather information on candidate non-developmental systems that are currently available to support a potential acquisition under the I-CsUAS program. The USMC (Government) wants to assess industry’s ability to provide and sustain a materiel solution within an accelerated acquisition schedule at an affordable cost, and to determine the technical and manufacturing maturity of candidate systems that provide capabilities desired for I-CsUAS as described in paragraph 3. This RFI constitutes market research in accordance with FAR Part 10 and is not an RFP. USMC is issuing this RFI, in support of PEO LS, to determine if any potential sources in industry have the capability to provide the support described herein.
The Government is particularly interested in Industry recommendations and feedback to improve contract requirements, contract structure and type, performance metrics and incentives.
Respondents who are interested are requested to provide the information that identifies their capability to meet or exceed technical and support requirements.
A ‘non-kinetic’ defeat is defined as an electromagnetic, acoustic, or other signature disruption of an sUAS’ flight path short of using a kinetic defeat capability (such as drone-on-drone intercept, laser, or direct fire munition).
The system will be deployed on 20 Marine Corps installations within the Continental United States (CONUS) and 13 Marine Corps installations outside the Continental
For more information: https://sam.gov/opp/92bba4ab342f4d91999134fc297508f5/view (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
21 Nov 22. US Joint Counter small Unmanned Aircraft Systems seeks C-UAS detect and kinetic defeat white papers. The US Joint Counter small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-sUAS) Office (JCO) has issued a Request for White Papers (RFWP) for Detect and Kinetic Defeat of Group 3 sUAS Systems Demonstration.
The tender was published on November 18, 2022 with an Original Response Date of November 29, 2022.
According to a tender document published on the www.SAM.gov website:
“This Project Announcement (PA) is a four-phased project announcement. The JCO and Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) are seeking whitepapers to identify industry interest in demonstrating detect and kinetic defeat of Group 3 sUAS at distances equal to or greater than 2 kilometers (km) slant range. The purpose is to identify potential performers that may have promising technologies or approaches relative to the mission described below. Following government evaluation of the whitepaper submissions, the Offerors may then be asked to participate in the JCO Demonstration tentatively scheduled for January 2023. This demonstration may be used to inform security cooperation cases and may result in the award of competitively selected prototype projects. Vendors should only submit a White Paper for consideration if their system will be operationally ready for testing by 3 January 2023.
The government seeks Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6+ (https://acqnotes.com/acqnote/tasks/technology-readiness-level) solutions for the purpose of detect and defeat of Group 3 sUAS threats. The overarching government objective is to rapidly procure production representative, cost-effective detect, track, identify and defeat system(s) for Group 3 sUAS threats for the full threat flight envelope, including at a distance greater than or equal to 2 km in distance.
This is a competitive solicitation seeking innovative technologies that accelerate attainment of these critical technologies and may result in the award of prototype projects, which include not only commercially available technologies fueled by commercial or strategic investment, but also concept demonstrations, pilots, and agile development activities that can incrementally improve commercial technologies, existing government-owned capabilities, or concepts for defense application. Both large and small businesses, academic institutions are encouraged to respond. The information provided may be used by the Department of Defense (DoD) in developing its acquisition strategy, statement of work/performance work statements, and/or statement of objectives. Interested parties are responsible to adequately mark proprietary, restricted or competition sensitive information contained in their response accordingly. The government will NOT reimburse respondents for any cost associated with the submission of the information being requested. For more information: https://sam.gov/opp/1b686153308145e1841d190ea330201b/view (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
REST OF THE WORLD
25 Nov 22. Australian LAND 400 P3 call postponed, subject to review. The Commonwealth government has delayed the long-awaited decision on a procurement plan for the Army’s next-generation infantry fighting vehicles.
The Albanese government has announced it would postpone the selection of a preferred tender for the $18 to 27 billion LAND 400 Phase 3 project — aimed at procuring and supporting up to 450 next-generation infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs).
A final decision will now be subject to recommendations handed down by the Defence Strategic Review in March.
The government had previously committed to selecting a preferred tender before the end of 2022.
Two contenders remain, Rheinmetall Defence Australia (RDA) and Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA).
RDA, which has committed to basing its manufacturing operations in Queensland, is proposing its Lynx IFV.
HDA, which has formed a cross-state partnership with local firms in Victoria and Tasmania, is proposing its Redback IFV.
Both vehicles have completed a two-year Risk Mitigation Activity (RMA).
“I would like to thank Hanwha Defense Australia, Rheinmetall Defence Australia and the many other companies involved in this tender process for their understanding and professionalism,” Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said.
“The government remains focused on Australia’s future defence capability. We don’t want to pre-empt the findings of the Review, which is especially critical given the rapidly changing strategic circumstances facing our nation.”
Once delivered, the new vehicles will replace Army’s M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers, which have been in service since the mid-1960s.
The IFVs are expected to enable Army to sustain mounted close combat operations against emerging and future threats as part of a joint force.
(Source: Defence Connect)
BATTLESPACE Comment: Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that the Australian Army prefers the Hanwha Redback IFV due to reported concerns over the engine solution for Lynx which is believed to have caught fire, whist the Australian DoD prefers the Lynx due to the industrial participation strategy give the number of Rheinmetall products such as Boxer and trucks in current service.
24 Nov 22. The French Australian sub deal may be on the table again. According to French media, Emmanuel Macron is pulling the strings, attempting to sell submarines to Australia once more.
This morning, I came across an old song that I first heard many years ago, Never say never, which is perfect for today’s geopolitics. This could occur in the case of the French-Australian agreement on diesel-electric submarines. Even though it seemed impossible just a few months ago. In the words of Mark Twain, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it’s because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.”
According to French media, Emmanuel Macron is pulling the strings, attempting to sell submarines to Australia once more. This comes as no surprise. French presidents act like sales representatives for the French arms industry.
I recall former President François Hollande signing the sale of Rafale fight jets to India at the Elysée Palace a few years ago. This could be explained by a long history of close ties between the French state and large private corporations. Given Emmanuel Macron’s previous professional experience as a private banker dealing with high-profile clients, this is not surprising.
Meanwhile, during the G20 summit in Bali, where he met with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that the French offer to Australia for submarines remains on the table. Defending France’s position on exporting conventional submarines much sooner than the nuclear submarines that Canberra will probably receive one day under the AUKUS agreement with London and Washington.
French submarines may be in Australia regardless of the AUKUS deal
Australia is facing an increasingly complicated geopolitical situation in the Indo Pacific. Consider North Korea’s November 18, 2022, launch of a ballistic missile that, according to Japan, could even reach the US mainland, despite the 6,442 miles (10,367 km) separating the two countries.
This is much greater than the 4,532-mile distance between North Korea and Australia (7,293 km). The delivery time of the submarines is therefore critical for Australia’s national security. Furthermore, another French argument in the same direction is that Canberra could maintain its liberty and sovereignty for a period until the arrival of the Anglo-American nuclear submarines. Demonstrating, without a doubt, that governing entails making difficult decisions when necessary.
Especially on November 22, 2022, nearly nine months after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, ushering humanity into a new era in which large-scale military operations cannot be ruled out. Even though this was a taboo subject for decades, and the world power game was primarily based on diplomacy, public statements and public relations, psychology, soft power, military exercises, and tough negotiations in front and behind the curtain. As a result, preparing military forces for a full-scale war has become the new reality of the twenty-first century.
Another massive military operation may start sooner than we think
There is no geopolitical analyst in the world today, who can underestimate the possibility of another massive military operation starting at any time.
The international media is buzzing with talk about rising military budgets, hybrid threats, and the need for a fresh look at national defense issues, no matter the country. What a profound change after a long period of asymmetrical wars, mostly between nations and small groups trying not only to control territories in Africa and the Middle East, but also to spread their ideology and way of thinking abroad, undermining public authorities and value systems in the process. The current situation, however, appears to be heading back into the future. A 19th-century old-fashioned style conflict between a great power and a weaker neighbor based on historical style arguments and assumptions about lost territories, with the goal of redefining national identities. It probably shows that humanity hasn’t learned from the 75,000,000 deaths of WWII.
Last week people were holding their breath when a missile struck the village of Przewodow in Poland, close to the Ukrainian border killing two. I thought that, after all, WWIII wasn’t merely a fantasy scenario anymore, but something that was almost inevitable.
Consequently, I believe that this puts a lot of pressure on Australian decision-makers when it comes to deciding which submarines to prioritize. What if a major crisis in the Indo-Pacific begins while their country lacks modern, high-performance submarines?
Certainly politics is the art of compromise. Having said that, the dilemma between a short-term and a long-term strategy seems critical, with a sword of Damocles hanging over Canberra for the foreseeable future. (Source: News Now/https://neoskosmos.com/)
22 Nov 22. Canada seeks equipment in light of Ukraine conflict. Canada is seeking equipment for its forces in Latvia and to replace arms supplied to Ukraine, Director Armament Sustainment Program Management in the Canadian Department of National Defence, Colonel Yves Raymond, said the first day of SAE Media Group’s Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability 2022 conference held in London from 16 to 17 November. He told the conference that Canada had an urgent operational requirement (UOR) for anti-tank guided weapons and counter-unmanned aircraft systems for deployment to Latvia and was seeking to replace M777 towed howitzers transferred to Ukraine. He also spoke of a UOR for a ground-based air-defence system. (Source: Janes)
17 Nov 22. New Zealand releases utility vehicle RFP. The New Zealand Army is seeking to replace its fleet of utility vehicles with a proven, in-service design, according to a Request for Proposal (RFP) released on November 3. The acquisition is the final component of Tranche One of the Army’s Protected Capability Mobility Project (PMCP), through which the service is replacing the entirety of its operational vehicle fleet.
In total, New Zealand is seeking between 143 and 334 vehicles across two weight classes: light (UV-L), weighing less than six tonnes; and medium (UV-M), weighing in excess of six tonnes. Together, the two weight classes will replace both Unimog and Pinzgauer Light Operational Vehicles (LOV) across the NZDF.
Six variants are planned. General service and command/liaison for the UV-L, and general service, command and control, maintenance support, and medevac for the UV-M. Lockheed Martin New Zealand and L3 Harris Australia will serve as system integrators and logistics managers for the various vehicle types.
A core requirement of the RFP is the need for a proven, military or commercial off-the-shelf (MOTS/COTS), solution which has at least 1,000 vehicles in service with another customer. The UV-L and UV-M will ideally be derived from a common family of vehicles, helping to rationalise maintenance, operational and training costs.
Training for the vehicles will eventually be conducted in New Zealand, however, prior to delivery, the trainers will first be trained overseas. At this stage, the NZDF hasn’t committed to fielding a simulated training capability for the vehicles, however, it is seeking costed options as part of the RFP.
As the replacement for the New Zealand Army’s LOVs and Unimogs – which have been routinely deployed overseas – both the UV-L and UV-M have stringent strategic mobility requirements. Two of either type, or a combination of both, will need to be air transportable via the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF) future C-130J-30 (NZ) air lifters. At the very least, the vehicles will also require the capability to embark and deploy aboard HMNZS Canterbury, as well as commercial roll-on roll-off (RO-RO) ferries and, ideally, coalition (ABCANZ) amphibious vessels.
The RFP is slated to close in March 2023 after a series of industry briefings and consultations over the coming months. As of yet, no company has publicly indicated an intent to participate in the RFP. However, ADM has previously reported on SupaCat’s interest in the program though it’s unclear if the design’s common heritage with the HMT-E qualifies it for the competition. (Source: https://www.australiandefence.com.au/)
21 Nov 22. Indonesia’s planned purchase of F-15 jets in final stages, defence minister. Tplanned purchase of F-15 fighter jets is in advanced stages and awaiting final sign-off from the government, the Southeast Asian country’s defence minister said on Monday.
Speaking after meeting his U.S. counterpart Lloyd Austin in Jakarta, Prabowo Subianto said that Boeing had agreed to the financial offer proposed and he was confident the package was affordable.
“The decision now is with the Indonesian government… Negotiations have advanced very well,” he said.
In February, the U.S. State Department approved the potential sale of Boeing F-15ID aircraft and related equipment to Indonesia in a deal valued at up to $13.9bn, the Pentagon said.
Indonesia has been seeking to overhaul its ageing air fleet for some time, which currently includes U.S.-made F-16 and Russian Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30 jets.
“We certainly support the minister’s efforts to continue to modernise their defence systems and capabilities and we want to continue to be helpful in any way we can,” U.S. Defense Secretary Austin said.
“The acquisition of the F15 certainly increases interoperability,” he added.
Addressing tensions between major powers in the Indo-Pacific region, Prabowo, an ex-special forces general, said Indonesia was committed to its policy of non-alignment and was “honoured” to maintain good relations with both China and the United States.
Prabowo met with his Chinese counterpart Defence Minister Wei Fenghe in the city of Xi’an last Friday, where it was agreed that Indonesia and China would resume joint military training exercises and education, which had been paused during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, Indonesia and the United States also participated in the Super Garuda Shield exercise, a military partnership between the countries that is now one of the biggest joint, multinational exercises in the region.
Monday’s meeting between Austin and Prabowo comes as the U.S. works to strengthen its relations with countries in the region amid fears over Beijing’s growing military presence, and possible conflict over Taiwan.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris met Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in Manila on Monday, part of a three-day trip that has been billed as a chance to reset security ties.
After his Jakarta leg, Austin will travel to Cambodia to attend an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) defence ministerial meeting. (Source: Reuters)
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.
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