05 Dec 22. Spain to lend Airbus 2.14bn euros for military programmes. Spain will lend Airbus (AIR.PA) 2.14bn euros ($2.26bn) to help the company to develop its military drone and helicopter programmes in the country, Industry Minister Reyes Maroto said on Monday.
The two multi-year loans include 1.43bn euros for Airbus Defence and Space as part of the European Union’s military drone development programme, an Industry Ministry statement said. An additional 707m euros will be lent to Airbus Helicopters to help to modernise the Tiger helicopter fleets of Spain and France within a bilateral programme. The ministry said the EUROMALE RPAS drone development programme, which is scheduled to begin deliveries in 2028, is expected to generate 3,000 jobs a year in Spain over the next 15 years. ($1 = 0.9458 euros) (Source: Google/Reuters)
05 Dec 22. Sweden re-issues tender call for a national UTM system. Sweden’s air navigation service provider Luftfartsverket (LFV) has re-issued its “Call for Competition, UAS Traffic Management (UTM) solution for Sweden” (Reference number: Ä-2022-018144) with a new deadline data of 30 January 2023. The original tender was released at the start of October 2022 with a deadline of November 6 (https://www.unmannedairspace.info/uas-traffic-management-tenders/swedens-lfv-publishes-tender-for-national-utm-u-space-system/).
According to the text of the tender outlined in the European Union’s Tenders Electronic Daily on-line portal:
“The purpose of this procurement is to establish a Framework Agreement with 1 strong and dynamic Partner. The intended scope for LFV is to establish a reliable, robust and efficient UAS/UTM solution for LFV and its associated government authorities, customers and other stakeholders in a cost efficient manner. The UAS/UTM solutions consists of three sub services; U-Space Services, Common Information Services and and other services and interfaces related.
“The procurement documents are available for unrestricted and full direct access, free of charge, at: https://tendsign.com/doc.aspx?UniqueId=afngejagds&GoTo=Docs .Additional information can be obtained from the above mentioned address. Tenders or requests to participate must be submitted electronically via: https://tendsign.com/doc.aspx?UniqueId=afngejagds&GoTo=Tender”
For more information: https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:675500-2022:HTML:EN:HTML&tabId=1&tabLang=en (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
06 Dec 22. US Army to lay out communications gear needs for industry at TEM9. U.S. military leaders, acquisition officials and hundreds of companies and other defense industry players are gathering this week to discuss the future of Army communications and the cutting-edge gear soldiers will need to share information whenever and wherever needed.
The dialogue, at what’s known as Technical Exchange Meeting 9, or TEM9, is focused on Capability Sets 25 and 27, batches of near-term networking upgrades drafted with armor and automation in mind, as well as Indo-Pacific and European operations.
Network modernization is a priority for the Army as it pivots to multi-domain operations — the ability to deter and defeat an enemy, with help from others, in any location — and confronts communication environments jeopardized by technologically advanced adversaries such as China and Russia.
The capability set initiative launched in fiscal 2021, with compounding upgrades of off-the-shelf and specialized tech expected in 2023, 2025, 2027 and beyond. Army leaders in 2019 compared the incremental approach to Apple’s iPhone strategy, with newer, better hardware and software rolling out on the heels of the last release.
The Army finished fielding Capability Set 21, tailored for infantry, earlier this year. The service in April completed a critical design review for Capability Set 23, focused on Strykers, signifying the equipment was conceptually sound and cost effective. The passing grade also opened the door for procurement.
“To some level, we modernized and touched over 300 units in the Army, whether it was updating or upgrading their transport, mission command applications, fires applications,” Nicholaus Saacks, deputy program executive officer for command, control and communications-tactical, told C4ISRNET in October.
Work on Capability Sets 25 and 27 is underway. The technical exchange meeting is meant to generate research-and-development insights about those pursuits and provide industry face time with decision makers.
“With 23, we’re looking at capacity, looking at resiliency, and then we’re looking at convergence,” Maj. Gen. Jeth Rey, the director of the Army’s Network Cross-Functional Team, said in October. “When you’re thinking about Capability Set 25, we’re looking at getting that auto-PACE, and then we’re looking at how we’re protecting the network capabilities.”
PACE describes the order in which lines of communication will be tried until contact is established: primary, alternate, contingency and emergency. (Source: Defense News)
05 Dec 22. US Army makes largest helicopter award in 40 years.
Textron’s Bell has won the U.S. Army’s competition to build the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft, the service’s largest helicopter procurement decision in 40 years.
The deal for the next-generation helicopter is worth up to $1.3 bn and is set to replace roughly 2,000 Black Hawk utility helicopters and around 1,200 Apache attack helicopters around 2030. FLRAA will not serve as a one-for-one replacement for existing aircraft, but it will take over the roles of the Black Hawk, long the workhorse of the Army for getting troops to and around the battlefield, and the Apache, focused on attack missions.
The service wants FLRAA to be capable of traveling roughly 2,440 nautical miles (or 2,810 miles) without refueling, but also to be agile enough to maneuver troops into dangerous hot spots.
The engineering and manufacturing development and low-rate production phase could be worth roughly $7 bn. If the “full complement” of aircraft are purchased across the entire life of the fleet, the program could be worth in the range of $70 bn to include potential foreign military sales, the Army’s program executive officer for aviation, Maj. Gen. Rob Barrie, said during a Dec. 5 media roundtable.
Complicating the Army’s vertical lift modernization efforts, the Army is planning to develop and field a Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft nearly along the same timeline to perform the scout mission. That duty was left vacant when the Army decided to retire its Kiowa Warrior helicopters in 2013. Since then, the Army has filled that gap with teams of Apache helicopters and Shadow unmanned aircraft systems.
The contract represents a milestone for the service as the Army hasn’t procured two major helicopters since the 1980s and multiple efforts to buy other helicopters over the last several decades ended in failure. For instance, the service canceled the Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche helicopter program in 2004 after spending roughly $7 bn on its development.
The FLRAA competition pitted two aircraft head to head: Bell’s V-280 Valor, a tiltrotor aircraft, and Sikorsky and Boeing’s Defiant X, which features coaxial rotor blades. Both aircraft were designed to fit into the same footprint as a Black Hawk.
“This is our largest and most complex competitive procurement we have executed in the Army in the … history of Army aviation,” Barrie told Defense News earlier this year. “That system is going to be with us a long time; it goes without saying that we want to make sure everything is done correctly and in a disciplined manner.”
In a Dec. 5 statement, Scott Donnelly, Textron’s chief executive, said the company is “honored that the U.S. Army has selected the Bell V-280 Valor as its next-generation assault aircraft. We intend to honor that trust by building a truly remarkable and transformational weapon system to meet the Army’s mission requirements.”
The decision, which was expected earlier this year, was initially one of the most anticipated Army awards in 2022. While service acquisition chief Doug Bush told Defense News in October the award would come in weeks, he also noted an announcement would be “conditions-based.”
Major procurement programs are often protested, putting pressure on the military to ensure awards are “protest-proof.”
Bush said the source-selection board for this effort needed to take a very careful and deliberate approach.
“There’s a process that the source-selection board goes through to not just make the source selection but then, importantly, to kind of audit themselves and have others audit them to make sure it was done the right way,” he said. “It does take a while, but we want to make absolutely sure that we do this the right way and that we get what’s best for the Army.”
In a statement sent out after the Army announced the award to Bell, Sikorsky and Boeing said they “remain confident DEFIANT X is the transformational aircraft the U.S. Army requires to accomplish its complex missions today and well into the future. We will evaluate our next steps after reviewing feedback from the Army.”
Both FLRAA demonstrator aircraft spent several years logging test flights. They first flew in what the Army called a Joint Multi-Role, or JMR, technology demonstration, followed by two phases of a competitive development and risk-reduction effort.
While Valor’s first flight was right on schedule in December 2017, Sikorsky and Boeing ran into several issues leading up to their expected first flight, delaying it by more than a year.
First, in early August 2017, Sikorsky’s Raider aircraft, essentially a smaller version of Defiant the company built and flew, crashed at its test flight facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. That left Sikorsky with one Raider aircraft to continue in its internal test program for refining its X2 coaxial helicopter technology for both the FLRAA program and the Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft effort.
Then the company struggled to build Defiant’s rotor blades due to manufacturing issues, causing a delay.
The team had hoped to fly by the end of 2018, but while running the powertrain systems test bed, engineers discovered a series of issues that caused them to hit pause on testing. Defiant eventually flew for the first time in March 2019.
Once the JMR demonstration phase came to a close, the Army kept Valor and Defiant flying through another two phases of a competitive demonstration and risk-reduction effort, wrapping that up last year.
Before Bell retired its Valor flight demonstrator in June 2021, the V-280 flew more than 214 hours and showed off low-speed agility and long-range cruise capabilities, and reached a maximum 305-knot cruising speed.
Five Army experimental test pilots have flown the V-280 in 15 sorties, according to the company statement. Bell used feedback from Army pilots, mechanics and infantry squads to inform design plans.
Defiant flew a total of 63.9 hours, traveled as fast as 247 knots and demonstrated maneuverability at tree-top height at speeds greater than 200 knots, according to Sikorsky. The aircraft also tested greater than 60-degree banked turns, demonstrated confined area-landing operations and lifted a 5,300-pound Guided Multiple Launcher Rocket Storage Pod externally. The aircraft was also flown by multiple U.S. Army experimental test pilots.
FLRAA prototypes from Bell are due to the service by 2025. The initial contract obligation is $232m, with a ceiling of $1.3bn if options beyond the initial contract are exercised.
The initial phase allows the Army to continue preliminary design and then get to the design, development and delivery of virtual prototypes, according to Barrie.
FLRAA is expected to enter the fleet in 2030, around the same time as the Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft is planned for fielding. Bell and Lockheed Martin are competing to build the FARA.
The service plans to field FARA along with FLRAA around 2030. The two teams building prototypes are aiming to fly them by the end of 2023. Each team’s aircraft are almost entirely complete, and they are waiting for the Army’s new engine to be delivered under the Improved Turbine Engine Program. The ITEP engines went into the testing process ahead of delivering earlier this year after a delay due to the pandemic.
The Army recently said it would postpone delivering the ITEP engines for the aircraft from the end of 2022 to the spring of 2023 because of additional supply chain and technical issues.
05 Dec 22. Textron Inc (NYSE: TXT) announced today that Bell Textron Inc., a Textron company, has been awarded the development contract for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program. The award is based on Bell’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor that was developed and tested as part of the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR TD) program that began in 2013. The V-280 progressed through design, manufacturing, and more than three years of rigorous flight testing that provided extensive data validating the technical and operational advantages of the aircraft for the long-range assault mission.
“We are honored that the U.S. Army has selected the Bell V-280 Valor as its next-generation assault aircraft,” said Scott C. Donnelly, Textron’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We intend to honor that trust by building a truly remarkable and transformational weapon system to meet the Army’s mission requirements. We are excited to play an important role in the future of Army Aviation.”
“This is an exciting time for the U.S. Army, Bell, and Team Valor as we modernize the Army’s aviation capabilities for decades to come,” said Mitch Snyder, president and CEO of Bell. “Bell has a long history supporting Army Aviation and we are ready to equip Soldiers with the speed and range they need to compete and win using the most mature, reliable, and affordable high-performance long-range assault weapon system in the world.”
This award builds on a decade of the V-280 Valor’s progress through design, manufacturing, and thorough testing to demonstrate that this aircraft will deliver on the FLRAA program requirements. Bell and its industry partners have systematically validated the V-280 aircraft and their modular open systems approach in collaboration with the Army.
“For the past several years the Bell team demonstrated the exceptional operational capabilities, digital thread synergies, and platform affordability enhancements the V-280 provides,” said Keith Flail, executive vice president, Advanced Vertical Lift Systems at Bell. “Bell stands ready with our world-class manufacturing facilities to apply our nearly seven decades of tiltrotor expertise to deliver a modern FLRAA fleet to the Army.”
The initial contract refines the weapon system design, sustainment, digital enterprise, manufacturing, systems integration, flight-testing, and airworthiness qualification.
REST OF THE WORLD
08 Dec 22. Rafale M fighter edges out F/A-18 Super Hornet in equipping INS Vikrant. Dassault and Boeing demonstrated the capabilities of their aircraft to the navy at a shore-based test facility in Goa in January and June. The French Rafale M fighter has edged out the American F/A-18 Super Hornet in direct competition to equip the Indian Navy with 26 new deck-based fighters for the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The Rafale is manufactured by Dassault Aviation while the Super Hornet is a Boeing product.
Dassault and Boeing demonstrated the capabilities of their aircraft to the navy at a shore-based test facility in Goa in January and June, respectively. The navy has submitted the trial reports of the two fighters to the defence ministry, and it is now for the government to take a final call on the government-to-government deal to meet the navy’s requirements, said one of the officials cited above, asking not to be named.
“The Rafale M has been found to be a better fit for the navy’s requirements,” said a second official, also asking not to be named.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) operates two squadrons of the Rafale fighter, and if the navy also orders the maritime version of the same, there will be commonality of spares and maintenance, the officials said.
(Source: News Now/https://www.hindustantimes.com/)
06 Dec 22. NSW government invests in defence, aerospace R&D. Defence and aerospace networks have secured funding from the NSW government to further the development of new capability.
The NSW government has announced $15.2m in funding for research and development (R&D) programs via the NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN), the NSW Defence Innovation Network (DIN), and the NSW Space Research Network (SRN).
This includes extending the R&D networks by a further three years.
The latest round of funding includes a $3.2 m contribution from the Defence and Aerospace NSW towards the DIN and SRN.
The DIN is expected to provide $450,000 to support three defence innovation projects in its Pilot Project grant scheme, which include:
- The University of Wollongong, Western Sydney University and NSW companies BlueZone Group and Vyom Tech’s work developing a prototype system to assess military diver health.
- Western Sydney University, The University of Sydney and Australian company AU Cloud’s work examining how to fuse data sources and distribute data processing across a constellation of satellites.
- The University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney’s work delivering a system for monitoring the structural health of autonomous air vehicles.
Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology Alister Henskens said the government’s commitments would help build the state’s sovereign industrial capability.
“We are investing in our human capital to help our innovative researchers unlock their potential and turn their ideas into solutions that will grow the economy and secure a brighter future for the people of NSW,” Minister Henskens said. (Source: Defence Connect)
07 Dec 22. U.S. to boost Taiwan’s stretched air force with $428m in spare parts. The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of $428m in aircraft parts for Taiwan to help its air force, which is strained from repeatedly intercepting Chinese jets operating close to the island.
Taiwan’s air force is well-equipped but ageing, and is dwarfed by that of China’s. Beijing views the democratically governed island as its territory and during the past three years or so has been flying daily sorties near Taiwan.
Since early August, when China staged war games around Taiwan after the visit to Taipei by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China’s air force has also regularly crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, which had served as an unofficial boundary.
The Pentagon, in two statements late Tuesday, said the parts would support Taiwan’s F-16s, Indigenous Defence Fighter jets and all other aircraft and systems or subsystems of U.S. origin.
“The proposed sale will contribute to the sustainment of the recipient’s aerial fleet, enhancing its ability to meet current and future threats while providing defensive and transport capabilities critical to regional security,” it said.
Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said on Wednesday the sale was expected to “take effect” within one month, and offered its thanks.
With China trying to “normalise” its military activities near Taiwan and put pressure on its airspace and seas as well as ability to train and reaction, the sale will be of great assistance, the ministry added.
It will “help maintain the proper equipment and replenishment of our air force’s fighter jets, meet the needs of defence operations and combat readiness training, and ensure that our traditional combat power will not fall”, the statement said.
The United States is Taiwan’s most important international arms supplier, despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties.
Taiwan’s presidential office, noting this was the seventh arms sale approved by the Biden administration, said the latest approval would enhance Taiwan’s combat power.
“Taiwan will continue to firmly demonstrate its determination and ability to defend itself and to firmly defend its sovereignty and protect national security,” it said.
China has repeatedly demanded the United States stop selling weapons to Taiwan and has put sanctions on U.S. arms manufacturers. (Source: Reuters)
06 Dec 22. Thailand seeks full squadron of F-35s by 2034. Thailand has expressed an interest in having at least 12 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters in service by 2034.
A source in the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has told Janes that these numbers include an initial batch of two F-35As that the RTAF is hoping to acquire between 2026 and 2027. The source added that the RTAF has sent a letter to the US government asking for the procurement of this initial batch. “The letter was sent in September 2021,” the source said. Janes has learnt that the potential procurement has been divided into three phases. During Phase 2 of the acquisition, the RTAF said it seeks to acquire four F-35s. The RTAF hopes to acquire the final batch of six F-35s by 2032. (Source: Janes)
06 Dec 22. Billions of rands worth of SA defence exports on hold.
Defence exports worth R2.85bn are currently on hold to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Poland, the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) has revealed, as the South African defence industry continues to struggle to export its products to certain countries.
Ezra Jele, Head of Secretariat of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee, made this known on 24 November when he briefed the Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) on the NCACC’s third quarter report.
Jele said that between July and September 2022, a total of 152 munitions export permits were authorised to 41 countries with a value of R818m. A total of 43 export permits to 16 countries were approved, with a value of R137m. For the third quarter of 2022, 82 import permits were authorised from 17 countries, amounting to R25m.
In his presentation, Jele revealed that some exports were on hold, including three permits for Saudi Arabia (R505m); three permits for the United Arab Emirates (R1.45bn); three permits for Turkey (R20m); and one permit for Poland (R893m).
Some permits had been granted to these countries, including nine export permits worth R37m to Saudi Arabia, along with 59 permits worth R2.9bn to the United Arab Emirates, and 18 permits worth R2bn to Turkey. No export permits to Poland had been approved.
Jele gave no clear explanation why exports were on hold in spite of the fact there are no sanctions against Turkey, Poland etc. but did hint at the risk of diversion of destructive weapons, presumably to Ukraine.
Jele also did not mention other permits that are on hold, including for four German government-sponsored Puma M36 armoured ambulances for Burkina Faso, and body armour for Mali. It is assumed these permits have been paused due to the recent military coups, even though ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) has lifted economic sanctions.
The South African defence industry has long expressed frustration at the slow pace of export permit processing. In an earlier presentation to the JSCD on 3 November, the Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association (AMD) explained that its members were struggling because NCACC meetings do not taking place as per the monthly schedule, which slows the export process down. In response, Jele told the Committee on 24 November that although the NCACC does not sit in December or January, the Secretariat operates in those periods.
Other industry complaints are that the Directorate Conventional Arms Control seldom answers phones, does not follow normal working hours, does not tell industry when there is an error with paperwork (industry has to follow up), there is no higher authority than the DCACC to escalate matters to, there is retaliation (delayed permits) if complaints are made, and the permit process is paper-based and thus slow and cumbersome. A digital system is being put in place but has not gone live yet.
“We are aware that some of the challenges faced by industry may be perceived as small issues with no real or severe impact on our business. We wish to re-iterate that these challenges do have a severe impact on our business, job security, income and international relations and confidence,” the industry’s presentation to the JSCD on 3 November stated.
To avoid losing market share and contracts in a highly competitive environment, the industry would like to see high level political support, a speedy bureaucratic process, and support from all instruments of state, as is often the case with other countries.
If the export process is not speeded up, the industry has cautioned that 15 000 direct and 60 000 indirect jobs could be lost.
This is not the first time defence exports have been logjammed. In 2019 it emerged that the NCACC was insisting that it be allowed to inspect customer countries’ facilities to verify compliance and that they must sign end user certificates (EUCs) in which they pledge not to sell their weapons on to third parties. This caused a halt in export approvals to South Africa’s biggest military clients.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which account for at least a third of South Africa’s arms exports, rejected the inspections which they considered a violation of their sovereignty, whilst Oman and Algeria also refused inspections, and saw imports blocked.
Nearly two years later the impasse was broken and over R5.5bn worth of transactions were immediately unlocked thanks to an NCACC decision to allow exports, but R2 bn in opportunities were lost because of the impasse and delays emanating from the concerns Saudi Arabia and the UAE had.
AMD last month told the PCDMV that the DCAC/NCACC export permit delays are one of several internal industry challenges along with the declining local defence budget, delay in implementing the Aerospace and Defence Masterplan, lack of engagement between the security cluster and industry, the delayed Industry Lekgotla (now scheduled for early 2023), and lack of resources for the DCAC.
AMD did acknowledge that relations between the industry and NCACC have “improved tremendously” and in February the industry had a meeting with the NCACC chair to improve relations and processes.
On a positive note, AMD said there were opportunities with public/private partnerships for defence projects/acquisitions locally, while the Middle East continues to be interested in South African defence products, and there are opportunities in Europe and India. Africa remains the local industry’s key target market due to proximity and shifting political alliances – these present a unique opportunity to South Africa to take up the slack or fill the vacuum created by the changing geopolitical landscape. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
06 Dec 22. MITRE Australia opens Canberra office, signs four collaboration agreements. American not-for-profit R&D company MITRE has opened a headquarters office and advanced systems engineering centre in the Brindabella Business Park in Canberra. This will support growing engagement with Australian government, business, and research institutions, the company says. MITRE operates six of the US government’s 42 Federally Funded R&D Centres (FFRDC) and aims to work in the public interest without competing with industry.
Building on AUKUS and bi-lateral Australian–US accords, MITRE Australia has signed agreements with four new collaboration partners to foster development of whole-of-nation solutions that strengthen the defence of Australia, as well as security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
The new agreements include the Australian National University, University of New South Wales (UNSW), University of Adelaide, and Flinders University. Building on the goals of the AUKUS agreement, these technology collaborations focus on enhancing cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, maritime autonomy, quantum, and other technology innovations to advance whole-of-nation solutions.
“These partnerships accelerate Australia’s sovereign capabilities in defence, cybersecurity, and space as well as strengthen Australia’s technology leadership and coalition partnerships,” said Keoki Jackson, senior vice president and general manager, MITRE National Security Sector. “Australia plays a critical role in the Pacific. We are committed to help accelerate the implementation of the AUKUS agreement and promote stability, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Julie Bowen, MITRE’s senior vice president for operations and outreach, and chief legal officer, added, “MITRE has more than 60 years of history bridging government, industry, and academia to foster transformational innovation. We’re bringing that experience to the Australian government and partners to accelerate game-changing, real-world results. These whole-of-nation collaborations will catalyse solutions to some of the world’s most complex challenges.”
Vice Admiral Paul Maddison (ret’d), director of UNSW’s Defence Research Institute, said, “UNSW is thrilled to be partnering with MITRE and applauds the strategic vision behind the decision to incorporate in Australia. As a defence research and education intensive university with a decades-long formal relationship with the Department of Defence at the Australian Defence Force Academy, UNSW is committed to accelerating the defence concept to capability cycle, especially in the priority capability areas highlighted by the AUKUS agreement.”
Keith Nugent, deputy vice-chancellor, research & innovation, The Australian National University, said, “We … look forward to working together to forge new engagements with the US as partners under the AUKUS agreement. Through the ANU-MITRE MOU, the Australian National University will work with MITRE to increase our engagement with defence industries to ensure our nation’s security.”
Simon Lucey, director of the University of Adelaide’s Australian Institute for Machine Learning, said, “Building Australia’s sovereign capability in artificial intelligence is vital for our future security and prosperity. This new partnership between MITRE and the University of Adelaide’s Australian Institute for Machine Learning will see our leading AI research help support greater regional stability for Australia and its global allies.”
Flinders University’s Defence Partnerships Director Tony Kyraciou, said: “This new Flinders University and MITRE agreement will enable further development of our research strengths in marine autonomy, cybersecurity, and other scientific fields to ensure its effective application in Australia’s national security with our trusted US partners. We look forward to working with MITRE in accelerating our ground-breaking research initiatives in priority areas highlighted by the AUKUS agreement and engaging with defence industries supporting areas of mutual interest.”
MITRE also has a Sponsoring and Collaboration Agreement with the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) to serve as the conduit between Australia and partners to facilitate interoperability and the integration of joint forces and weapon systems. In addition, MITRE is an active member of the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre (AC3). In March 2022, MITRE established its first international applied research centre—The MITRE Centre for Information Integrity & Defence—within Lot Fourteen in Adelaide. (Source: Rumour Control)
05 Dec 22. Australia, Thales meet to remedy OneSKY-CMATS concerns.
Defence officials have held talks with Thales executives to address issues related to key capability procurements projects.
Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy has met with Thales Australia’s chief executive officer, Jeff Connolly, and senior Defence, Infrastructure and Airservices Australia officials at a Projects of Concern Summit in Canberra — the first since 2020.
Stakeholders discussed remediation issues associated with the Thales-led Civil-Military Air Traffic Management System (CMATS) project, which the Albanese government listed as a “project of concern” in October.
The project aims to replace existing air traffic management systems with an advanced, integrated management and control system for civilian and military aviation. However, the government identified “significant schedule, technical and cost challenges”.
The project has also reportedly experienced a two-year delay in forecasting initial and final operational capability.
During the summit, stakeholders agreed to an undisclosed set of principles for remediating the OneSKY-CMATS project.
Minister Conroy welcomed the opportunity to engage with industry to explore ways to address key issues.
“Top-level focus is essential to ensure we put this project on track to deliver a new civil and military air traffic management system for Australia,” he said.
“I thank Jeff Connolly and his senior leadership team for the spirit of cooperation and the constructive ideas they brought to the table today.
“The government is strongly committed to successful delivery of the CMATS project.”
Minister Conroy said he is confident Thales can address shortcomings.
“The measures we agreed today will strengthen the process and provide leadership of project delivery,” he said.
“I’m pleased to say there is a strong commitment from all parties to move forward on resolving and remediating these complex endeavours.”
CMATS is among a number of Defence projects flagged by the Albanese government.
Earlier this year, the government released data from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), which identified issues relating to a number of key Defence capability projects, valued at a combined $69bn.
At least 28 projects are behind schedule by a cumulative 97 years and at least 18 projects are over budget, with variations totalling at least $6.5bn.
Projects listed by the government in a statement to the media include:
- $44bn Hunter Class Frigate program — construction delayed by four years and expected cost is $15bn higher than initially anticipated;
- $1.4bn C-27J Spartan Battlefield Airlifters — delivered four-and-a-half years behind schedule and unable to be deployed into battlefields;
- $3.7bn offshore patrol vessel project — running one year behind schedule;
- $356m Evolved Cape Class patrol boats — running nearly a year behind schedule;
- $970m Battlefield Command System — three years behind schedule;
- Defence SATCOM projects worth $906m — running between two and four years behind schedule.
According to the Albanese government, these “significant and systemic issues” are the result of mismanagement from the former Morrison government. (Source: Defence Connect)
01 Dec 22. Navantia, Saudi MoD and GAMI sign MoU for RSNF’s new combat ships. The new warships will enhance the RSNF’s readiness to carry out maritime security missions in the region. Spanish shipbuilder Navantia has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build multi-mission combat ships for the Royal Saudi Naval Force (RSNF). The deal with the Spanish shipbuilding company was finalised by the Saudi Ministry of Defense (MoD) and General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) during a ceremony.
The MOU was signed between Navantia CEO and chairman Ricardo Domínguez García-Baquero, Executive Affairs Assistant Defence Minister Dr Khaled bin Hussein Al-Bayari and GAMI Governor of Authority Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Ohali.
The signing event was also attended by Saudi Arabia Defence Minister Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, along with other officials and dignitaries from Spain and Saudi Arabia.
According to García-Baquero, this MoU will see Navantia transferring the necessary technology to Saudi engineers to contribute to the country’s Vision 2030 endeavours.
The efforts aim to promote 100% localisation in terms of shipbuilding, technical capabilities, naval equipment and combat systems integration as well as ship maintenance.
The indigenous efforts will include design, engineering and development of the new combat vessels along with the integration of combat systems on the ships.
It also includes associated software development, prototyping, simulation, tests, systems verification, logistical support and training programme.
Khaled Al-Bayari said: “This event is of great importance to the MoD and a milestone in our cooperation with Navantia company, as it intends to boost the RSNF’s naval capabilities, improving joint operations among all security and military agencies, and developing a sustainable local military industries sector, while increasing transparency with spending efficiency.”
The new warships are being constructed to enhance the RSNF’s readiness to carry out maritime security missions in the region.
Navantia has also built five Avante 2200 corvettes for the RSNF.
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.