UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
26 Jul 23. UK Type 23 frigates refit period length increasing.
In an extreme example, HMS Iron Duke has been in refit for more than 50% of the time over the past 11 years and five months.
The growing difficulty in keeping the ageing Type 23 frigates in Royal Navy service and capable in carrying out assigned taskings in a domain that is increasingly competitive and dominated by next-generation technologies has been laid bare in data released by the UK Government.
Responding to the written parliamentary request, the data released by the UK shows an apparent incremental increase in the length of time it has taken for each Type 23 frigate undergoing a mid-life or life-extension (LIFEX) programme.
From 2011-2017 each of the 13 Type 23 frigates underwent a LIFEX or refit period, with the duration of each programme ranging from 12 months up to 36 months. From 2018 onwards the figures increase, with the first three vessels to undergo earlier work returned to the shipyards for between 37-49 months.
A range of factors will influence the duration of a LIFEX period such as new systems being integrated, the overall condition of the vessel at it enters drydock, and other factors such as industrial difficulties encountered during the Covid-19 pandemic.
HMS Iron Duke appears has spent the most amount of time undergoing refit of the entire class, with a total of 71 months from February 2012 to June 2023 in two separate periods. Put another way, in a period of 11 years and five months, the vessel was undergoing refit work for 5.9 years, or 51.8% of the time it was in service. It can also be seen that BAE Systems last performed a refit on a Type 23 frigate in 2017, at the conclusion of a 30-month work period on HMS Westminster. The data also reveals that while vessels were sent into refit in a steady drumbeat of two per year, the fluctuating nature of the time required to complete it saw some years with three frigates returning (2013) and others with none (2016 and 2019).
Type 23 planned OSD
In an attempt to offset the looming drop in surface combatant numbers, the Royal Navy is sending many of the remaining Type 23 frigates into service life-extension (LIFEX) programmes. Of the Type 23s in service, HMS Argyll underwent a LIFEX programme in 2022 in a bid to keep the vessel in the fleet until the 2027-2028 timeframe.
Although the Type 23 frigates were due to begin being decommissioned from the Royal Navy in 2023 on a drumbeat of one-per-year until 2035, HMS Monmouth was removed from service in 2021, five years ahead of schedule, while HMS Montrose departed in 2023, instead of its planned out-of-service-date of 2027.
However, it is understood that, in line with vessel class certification rules, the out-of-service date of warships can be extended for a maximum of six years following completion of each upkeep maintenance programme.
The cost to refit and maintain the ageing class is also a factor, with HMS Iron Duke’s recent refit costing more than £100m. (Source: naval-technology.com)
21 Jul 23. UK reaffirms NMH numbers after report of scaling back requirement. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has reaffirmed its commitment to the New Medium Helicopter (NMH) programmefollowing a report that it had scaled back the number of rotorcraft it was looking to procure. Answering questions in the House of Commons, Minister of State in the MoD James Cartlidge said the number of helicopters to be procured under the NMH requirement to replace the Airbus Puma HC2 and three other UK military rotorcraft types remains the same, despite the CEO of Airbus Helicopters UK, Lenny Brown, reportedly saying that industry had been informed that the requirement had been dramatically reduced. (Source: Janes)
26 Jul 23. Limited RoK Policy Finance Support Could Impede Major Export Deals with Poland. As markets are opening up for large-scale export deals, such as defense and nuclear power plants, concerns are growing that limited financial support from Korean export credit agencies (ECAs) could potentially hinder timely assistance to companies.
According to sources, Tuesday, Poland reportedly requested more than 20trn won ($15.6bn) in financial support from Korea for the terms of their second defense contract.
Countries ordering large-scale projects often request financial loans to cover insufficient funds, which makes the scale of financial support key to the finalization of contracts. However, due to the limited support capacity of Korean ECAs, this year’s negotiations are encountering difficulties.
The legal capital of the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank), one of the country’s leading ECAs, has remained unchanged at 15trn won for nine years. The bank structures its lending and investment based on its capital size. The larger the capital, the more funds they can offer. Eximbank has already utilized 14.8trn won, representing 98.5 percent of its legal capital, with a surge in both the volume and price of exports following the pandemic.
The Korea Trade Insurance Corp., another ECA, is also struggling with the same issue. Last year, the corporation provided trade insurance exceeding its 230 trillion won limit for the first time since its establishment.
Soldiers stand in formation during a ceremony to hand over Korean self-propelled K9 howitzers to the Polish Army in northern Poland in this December 2022 file photo. EPA-Yonhap
Korea’s Land Minister Won Hee-ryong, front left, and Poland’s Government Plenipotentiary for Polish-Ukrainian Development Cooperation Jadwiga Emilewicz, front right, shake hands after signing a memorandum of understanding on cooperation for Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction, in Warsaw, July 13. The signing ceremony was joined by President Yoon Suk Yeol and Polish President Andrzej Duda. Newsis
For this reason, market watchers call for a significant increase in the current cap to support Korean firms. Upcoming mega projects, such as reconstruction in Ukraine and Saudi Arabia’s NEOM mega-city project, are expected to require initial investments of at least tens of trillions of won.
“Eximbank’s financial support cap should be more than doubled to effectively encourage exports and support Korean firms entering the global market,” Rep. Yoon Young-seok of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) said. He recently motioned a revised bill that seeks to raise Eximbank’s financial limit to 30 trillion won.
“In the case of the defense industry, private financial companies have difficulties participating in projects. The revised bill should be passed as soon as possible to fully support the exports of relevant firms,” Rep. Yoon added.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy also raised the financial cap of the Korea Trade Insurance Corp. to 260 trillion won last year, up from 230 trillion won which had been its level for the previous seven years. The ministry said a further increase could be considered if the raised limit proves to be insufficient.
While the government and the ruling party are advocating improvements, the uncertainty surrounding the passage of the law presents a significant challenge. Even if the cap is increased, it would take time for the government to allocate from its budget. This could potentially lead to delays in providing timely support for export firms.
Relevant industries are urging the government to take a more proactive approach.
“Unlike low-credit countries, Poland is expected to reliably repay the funds if a contract is established,” an official from the defense industry said. “The government’s proactive financial support is desperately needed.” (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Korea Times)
21 Jul 23. Slovenia unveils transport aircraft, helicopter acquisition plans. A Colombian Navy’s Bell 412 helicopter takes off from a helipad in 2015. Slovenia, which also operates the type, wants to replace its fleet with new multipurpose helicopters by 2027, earmarking $217 m for the purchase. (LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images)
WARSAW, Poland — The Slovenian Ministry of Defence has amended its acquisition program for the years 2023 to 2026, declaring plans to buy six multipurpose helicopters and a C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraft for the country’s military.
The planned aircraft purchase is valued at about €159 m ($176.9 m). Manufactured by Italy’s Leonardo, the new C-27J Spartan will be the second aircraft of this type to be ordered by Slovenia. The forthcoming helo acquisition is estimated to be worth some €195.2 m ($217.2 m).
The requisite amendments for the two acquisition projects have been approved by the country’s government, the ministry said in a statement.
With the planned copter procurement, Ljubljana aims to replace its existing fleet of Bell 412 helicopters. “In the 2023-2027 period, the purchase of six multi-purpose helicopters is planned, and the purchase of additional helicopters is planned after 2028,” according to the statement.
“The goal of the project is to ensure a higher operability and availability of the Slovenian military’s helicopter fleet by developing its air transport capabilities with medium transport and light multi-purpose helicopters,” the defense ministry said.
Other major acquisition plans by the Slovenian ministry in the years 2023 to 2026 include buying new eight-wheel-drive vehicles for the country’s land forces, and purchasing the German-made IRIS-T medium-range air defense system, according to the statement. (Source: Defense News)
21 Jul 23. Poland launches Black Hawk helo tender. Poland has launched a tender for the procurement of Lockheed Martin S-70i Black Hawk helicopters, the Polish Armaments Agency (AA) said on 21 July.
The AA made its announcement weeks after Janes first reported Poland’s interest in acquiring domestically built armed Black Hawk helicopters on 7 June. “The procurement procedure for multirole S-70i Black Hawk helicopters for the Aeromobile forces has begun. An invitation to negotiate was sent today. The Black Hawk will be able to co-operate with the currently acquired from WSK PZL-Świdnik [Leonardo] AW149 and the [Boeing] AH-64E Apache planned to be acquired,” the AA said.
The announcement did not disclose prospective numbers, but Lockheed Martin told Janes and other media during a visit to the PZL Mielec facility in southern Poland that the country’s armed forces is looking at ordering approximately 32 helicopters. (Source: Janes)
27 Jul 23. Senate to extend Buy American laws for Navy ships. Senators unanimously agreed to legislation mandating that 100% of components for all Navy ships be manufactured in the U.S. by 2033.
The Senate passed the amendment from Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., by unanimous consent with little fanfare last week, tacking it onto the fiscal 2024 National Defense Authorization Act. Senators are still considering additional amendments to the NDAA, and a final vote is expected later this week.
“Wisconsin has a proud tradition of shipbuilding, producing world-class products made by American workers that defend our freedom at home and abroad,” Baldwin said in a statement after the amendment passed last week. “By strengthening Buy America requirements for our shipbuilding industry, we can ensure that taxpayer dollars are not only going toward keeping us safe, but also supporting American jobs, growing our economy, and maintaining a defense industrial base that is critical to our national security.”
Her bill would require that the 65% of components for all Navy ships are “manufactured substantially all from articles, materials or supplies mined, produced or manufactured” in the U.S. starting in 2026. That figure jumps to 75% in 2028 and 100% in 2033.
It would allow the defense secretary to wave those requirements under certain circumstances, including to expand production to Canada, Britain, Australia or New Zealand or if the Buy American requirements increase the total acquisition cost beyond 25%.
Baldwin is up for reelection next year in Wisconsin, a battleground state. Wisconsin is home to the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard as well as Fairbanks Morse, a manufacturing company that builds engines for naval vessels.
Under Baldwin’s Buy American provision, Naval ships that use engines from countries like South Korea, Japan, Finland, Germany and Italy would eventually need to be built with engines sourced in the U.S.
Proponents of Buy American laws argue that they strengthen the industrial base by ensuring a steady stream of work for U.S. suppliers. Still, the U.S. has struggled to keep apace with its shipbuilding goals amid significant labor shortages.
Colin Grabow, a senior fellow at the libertarian-leaning Cato institute, argued that Baldwin’s bill could further complicate an already constrained shipbuilding industrial base by eliminating foreign suppliers while inviting trade retaliation from U.S. allies.
‘Taking away options’
“This will make naval shipbuilding more difficult and expensive,” said Grabow. “We’re taking away options. We’re narrowing the choices and that just inevitably results in higher costs and extended options.”
He suggested the U.S. could go in the “opposite direction” and integrate more with U.S. allies on shipbuilding.
“Japan and South Korea are two of the biggest shipbuilder countries in the world, and the naval vessels they’re producing for their navies are a fraction of the cost of our own,” said Grabow. “Maybe there are some lessons to be learned there. Maybe we should use some of their shipyards.”
President Joe Biden signed a 2021 executive order during his first month in office to bolster Buy American requirements for federal contractors. The Pentagon is shielded from many of those requirements due to several exemptions, including defense trade agreements with 27 other countries.
Former President Donald Trump also emphasized Buy American policies as part of his “America First” agenda, signing his own executive actions in 2017. He toured Wisconsin’s Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard during his failed 2020 reelection campaign. (Source: Defense News)
24 Jul 23. US Army seeking tube-launched, anti-armour UAVs. On 7 July the US Army announced the May initiation of the Low Altitude Stalking and Strike Ordnance (LASSO) programme, intended to deliver a soldier-portable, tube-launched anti-tank unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to infantry brigades.
“The army is preparing to engage near-peer threats in a conventional conflict, [and] it was becoming evident that our Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs) are in need of an additional organic anti-tank capability,” Lieutenant Colonel Aaron Pearsall, the army’s product manager for soldier precision targeting devices, told Janes in a 21 July interview.
Although delivered to the IBCTs, Lt Col Pearsall said the army is “focused at giving that battalion commander the organic [LASSO] capability”, pushing the UAV’s use down to smaller units.
The army intends to field the UAVs in mid-to-late 2024, Lt Col Pearsall said. The first LASSOs are to be existing, off-the-shelf products. The army is assessing available options and will make further decisions following an as-yet-unscheduled industry day. (Source: Janes)
18 Jul 23. USAF C-UAS branch seeks industry information on small UAS common operating picture. The United States Air Force (USAF) Counter small-Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-sUAS) branch is requesting information regarding systems to provide a Common Operating Picture (COP) to track small-Unmanned Aircraft Systems (s-UAS). The system must integrate disparate sensors and command and control (C2) feeds in an urban geographic region to detect and track s-UAS to provide the COP. COP will be web based and need to be accessible simultaneously from multiple geographically separated locations via a Government URL, (e.g., central node). All software must be Government owned or Government Purpose rights.
According to the US government’s www.sam.gov website: “The COP should consist of the following main functions a User Interface (UI), Algorithm, and centralized data node. The UI will need to display track and detection data on a map while the algorithm is needed to correlate or fuse, and deconflict tracks/detections to declutter the UI. A centralized data node is needed to allow for the COP to be accessed by multiple users at separate locations (e.g., Cloud Server).
“The Government plans to field an initial capability with the scalability to meet future integration of additional sensor/C2 nodes. Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) is required for all system components (definition here) that allow for rapid integration of third-party sensors and software.”
Deadline for responses is August 16, 2023.
For more information: https://sam.gov/opp/cecb6073de004f8f9600294a15088c88/view (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
REST OF THE WORLD
27 Jul 23. New Taiwan weapons package to be announced soon – US officials. The United States is expected to announce as early as Friday that it will provide Taiwan with military assistance worth more than $300 million, two U.S. officials told Reuters, a move likely to anger China. Congress authorized up to $1bn worth of Presidential Drawdown Authority weapons aid for Taiwan in the 2023 budget. One official, speaking on the condition anonymity, said the package is expected to be worth around $330m. The White House declined to comment. The formal announcement is not expected to include a list of weapon systems being provided. In recent weeks, four sources said the package was expected to include four unarmed MQ-9A reconnaissance drones, but noted their inclusion could fall through as officials work through details on removing some of the advanced equipment from the drones that only the U.S. Air Force is allowed access to. Another issue was who would pay for the alterations to the drones, one of the people briefed on the matter said. Reuters could not determine if the drones were still part of the package. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Taiwan had previously agreed to purchase four, more advanced, MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones, made by General Atomics, which are slated for delivery in 2025.
China views democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory and has increased military pressure on the island over the past three years. It has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control. Taiwan strongly rejects Chinese sovereignty claims and says only Taiwanese people can decide their future.
Foreshadowing the upcoming aid, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on May 16 told a Senate panel: “And I’m pleased that the United States will soon provide significant additional security assistance to Taiwan through the Presidential Drawdown Authority that Congress authorized last year.”
Earlier this month, the top U.S. general said the United States and its allies need to speed up the delivery of weapons to Taiwan in the coming years to help the island defend itself.
Beijing has repeatedly demanded the United States, Taiwan’s most important arms supplier, halt the sale of weapons to the island.
U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had said Taiwan needed weapons like air defense systems and those that could target ships from land.
Taiwan has said its defense spending this year will focus on preparing weapons and equipment for a “total blockade” by China, including parts for F-16 fighters and replenishing weapons.
Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) has been used on an emergency basis to expedite security assistance to Ukraine by allowing the president to transfer articles and services from U.S. stockpiles. The Taiwan PDA, however, is a non-emergency authority approved by Congress last year.
Taiwan has complained of delays to U.S. weapon deliveries, such as Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, as shipments from U.S. stockpiles moved to Ukraine. (Source: Reuters)
27 Jul 23. Denel and Aselsan further collaborate on Rooivalk modernisation. Denel Aeronautics and Aselsan have signed an agreement covering future avionics modernisation of the Rooivalk attack helicopter, following an earlier memorandum of understanding announced at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition last year.
Denel said it signed a Certificate of Milestone Achievement with Aselsan on 27 July, establishing a workshare definition concerning avionics modernisation. The two companies have identified areas of cooperation for a potential upgrade of the helicopter, which is currently at Block 1F baseline.
At AAD in September 2022, Denel and Aselsan agreed to work towards integration of Aselsan’s MEROPS system on the Rooivalk and possibly on the Seeker 400 unmanned aerial vehicle. A MEROPS gimbal was displayed alongside the Rooivalk in the static area of the exhibition.
As the Rooivalk original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Denel Aeronautics is the helicopter’s Design Authority and has successfully integrated various avionics subsystems from multiple companies – it previously fitted a Hensoldt Optronics Argos II gimbal to the helicopter as a proof-of-concept, for example.
Denel’s interim Group Chief Executive Officer, Michael Kgobe, said Aselsan’s “expertise and capabilities make them the preferred technology partner for the South African Rooivalk modernisation programme and we are delighted that Aselsan continues to show commitment to our collaborative agreement, exceeding the objectives and scope of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in September 2022 within just six months.”
Aselsan upgrades to the Rooivalk’s avionics system would include an enhanced glass cockpit with larger screens, digital moving map, a new helmet-mounted display system and a modern flight management system. “These will be driven by two new mission computers that will control different aircraft management systems,” Denel said, along with a new weapon systems computer.
A new navigation system would incorporate an Inertial Navigation System (INS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) while a communication suite would be equipped with software-based V/UHF and HF radios, Mod-5/S capable identification friend or foe (IFF) transponder and a digital intercommunication system.
“The Rooivalk will be equipped with advanced targeting systems to engage ground targets effectively. This includes a long-range day/night sighting system, a thermal imaging sensor, low-light television, and a laser rangefinder/designator for accurate weapon delivery,” Denel said.
To enhance survivability, a modernised Rooivalk would integrate various defensive systems, including modern radar warning receivers (RWR), chaff and flare dispensers to counter incoming missiles, and infrared jammers to disrupt heat-seeking missiles.
“The advancements related to the modernisation of the attack helicopter are a key technology driver for the Denel Group and are poised as being a South African National Flagship programme, leveraging off institutional knowledge and public-private partnership for the advancement of national imperatives as well as the collective South African defence industry,” Denel said.
“The modernisation programme for the Rooivalk Combat Support Helicopter aims to enhance the operational capability and supportability of the existing fleet. This includes a strong emphasis on improving capability, reliability and addressing obsolescence issues. The Programme also considers changes in hardware and software, aligning with the requirements of the South African Air Force.”
For a number of years Denel, the South African Air Force (SAAF) and Armscor have been investigating the possibility of developing a Rooivalk Mk II helicopter, following a 2016 avionics and weapons obsolescence study for the current Rooivalk.
Little funding has been made available for upgrading the Rooivalk, but Denel sees potential in the aircraft, especially with international interest, and hopes to at least make incremental improvements to the aircraft.
The South African Air Force ordered 12 Rooivalks and the first entered into service in July 1999. Three Rooivalk were deployed to support the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) in 2013 and have remained in the combat support role there ever since.
While Aselsan is a Turkish company, it has a subsidiary (Aselsan South Africa) based in Pretoria. The local branch serves as a centre of excellence for the mother company in Turkey and not only provides design and development capabilities, but also acts as the hub for Aselsan’s business development strategy in markets in sub-Saharan Africa and the establishment of long-term relationships.
Aselsan SA has provided advanced camera systems to Denel’s OTR test range and other local customers, including the Institute of Maritime Technology, Paramount Technologies, and Reutech Radar Systems.
Aselsan as a global company operates in a wide range of disciplines, from communication and information technologies (ICT), micro-electronics, guidance and electro-optics to radar, electronic warfare, and defence systems technologies. It is also active in transportation, security, energy, and automation systems. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
27 Jul 23. Saudi Arabia Sparks New Debate in Germany’s Governing Coalition. On the basis of a Memorandum of Intent signed on March 9, 2018, BAE Systems is tirelessly negotiating a contract (code-named Al Salam 2) for the acquisition by Riyadh of 48 additional Typhoons (or possibly 72), which could be assembled in Saudi Arabia from knocked-down kits and with a strong dose of technical assistance, like the three previous contracts: Al Yamamah I in 1985 (48 Tornados IDS, 24 ADS), Al Yamamah II in 1993 (48 Tornado IDS) and Al Salam I in 2007 (48 Typhoon Tranche 2, 24 Tranche 3A).
As in 1985, 1993 and 2007, the path to Al Salam II has been neither easy nor straight for the British side. The discussions were first hampered by a negative decision (in June 2019) by the British Appeals Court, which was superseded on July 7, 2020 by a decision of the Government, then by the German embargo on arms exports to Saudi Arabia. Germany can veto such exports because it produces part of every Eurofighter, and it decreed the embargo first in 2015 due to Saudi participation in the war in Yemen, and then in November 2018, after the assassination of an American-Saudi citizen, Jamal Khashoggi, in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
The insistence of BAE Systems, supported by the British government (and certainly the Italian and Spanish governments as well) that Germany lift this major obstacle has been the spark which set fire to political circles in Berlin.
Here again, the political stage is divided in two distinct camps:
— On the one hand, the “realos,” gathered around the Chancellery, the Finance and the Defence departments. This bloc, represented by the Scholz/Lindner/Pistorius trio, favors solving the problem by lifting the embargo and allowing the sale to go through, for the same reason mentioned in other export or co-operative programs: the reliability of Germany as a partner. This bloc also holds that unlocking this sale will unlock all other pending sales, to the UAE, Qatar and others. It would also free the way of many other sales, to India, Indonesia and elsewhere.
— On the other hand, the left wing of the SPD and the Greens are still focused on the Gulf countries, believing that, even if their external “adventures” in Yemen, in Libya, in Somalia, or in Ethiopia, are suspended or terminated, the very nature of their regimes disqualifies them from receiving German weapons or military equipment. Beyond this case, like their opponents, they consider that this is the way to cut the Gordian knot once and for all. For them, it is a question of seriously limiting the liberalization of exports as outlined – without being denied by anyone – by Mr. Pistorius during his trip to Asia (Singapore, Indonesia and India). Finally, they point to the morally indefensible refusal to send Typhoons to Ukraine while agreeing to supply them to Saudi Arabia.
This issue comes at a key moment in the programming of major doctrines by the German coalition government: between the national security strategy whose confused and contradictory terms have not been very helpful in solving tensions, and the forthcoming publication of the export laws, probably in the autumn, with a debate in the Bundestag. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/)
26 Jul 23. SitaWare secures lucrative Army Battle Management System contract. The Capability Acquisition & Sustainment Group (CASG) has revealed that Systematic’s SitaWare software has been announced as the sole-source winner for Army’s new digital command and control battle management system.
The decision comes following the first pass approval of LAND 200 Phase 3 Battlefield Command Systems project in mid-July which is designed to improve the security and performance of Defence’s tactical communications network and battle management systems.
Defence said the implementation of this new battlefield command and control system “will increase the speed and quality of decision making, which is essential to success in military operations. The new system will also improve communication and coordination within Army and between the land, sea, air, space, and cyber elements of the Australian Defence Force”.
The SitaWare suite offers C4ISR solutions for battle management across the entire battlespace – on land, at sea, in the air, or in the joint domain. Systematic’s SitaWare suite of capabilities provides a combat proven, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software, delivering command-and-control capabilities and seamless interoperability, which will enable Defence to share information with coalition partners.
Defence will issue an open tender for an integration partner for the Battlefield Command Systems project in 2023. This open tender provides opportunities for Australian companies to fulfil this role.
This decision comes following the contentious scrapping of Elbit’s combat management system in service with the Australian Army in March 2021 following its failure to achieve stringent Defence’s ICT security standards. A second tranche of the project is scheduled to deliver enhancements to the tactical communications network and consider additional battle management systems. (Source: Defence Connect)
26 Jul 23. Russia Signed Over 150 Contracts with African Nations Since 2019 — Rosoboronexport. Russia signed over 150 contracts in the amount of $10bn with African countries since 2019, CEO of the Russian arms export agency Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheev told reporters.
“The Russia-Africa Summit gives the greatest incentive to strengthen comprehensive and equal cooperation between Russia and African countries in all its dimensions: politics, security, economy, science and technology, cultural and humanitarian spheres. For Rosoboronexport, the Summit is a unique event enabling us to find new growth points in cooperation with partners. Following the first summit, we saw an extremely high prolonged conversion from the talks in Sochi. Since 2019 to the present, we have signed over 150 contract documents with African partners and increased our order book by more than $10bn. During this time, we have expanded our presence adding five new countries on the continent,” Mikheev said.
The Russia-Africa Summit will help Rostec, Rosoboronexport and other Russian companies to maintain and strengthen ties with traditional partners, find reliable customers and start developing new market segments, the chief executive said.
“Rosoboronexport’s mission at the Second Russia-Africa Summit is to elaborate concepts of addressing the main challenges to the global African security architecture, together with delegations from more than 30 countries of the continent which have arrived in St. Petersburg. The Company will demonstrate tools developed and tested in Russia to counter terrorism, organized crime, cyber threats, protect the constitutional system and public order, provide border and critical facility security and surveillance,” Mikheev added. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/TASS)
26 Jul 23. Rosoboronexport to Offer a Broad Line-up of Russian Security Solutions at the Second Russia-Africa Summit. Rosoboronexport JSC (part of Rostec State Corporation) will take part in the Second Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum, which will be held on July 27-28, 2023 at the Expoforum Exhibition Center in St. Petersburg.
The Company will offer a wide range of tools and solutions to ensure the security of the state and society.
“The Russia-Africa Summit gives the greatest incentive to strengthen comprehensive and equal cooperation between Russia and African countries in all its dimensions: politics, security, economy, science and technology, cultural and humanitarian spheres. For Rosoboronexport, the Summit is a unique event enabling us to find new growth points in cooperation with partners. Following the first summit, we saw an extremely high prolonged conversion from the talks in Sochi. Since 2019 to the present, we have signed over 150 contract documents with African partners and increased our order book by more than $10bn. During this time, we have expanded our presence adding five new countries on the continent,” said Alexander Mikheev, Director General of Rosoboronexport.
The Russia-Africa Summit helps Rostec State Corporation, Rosoboronexport and other Russian companies to maintain and strengthen ties with traditional partners, find reliable customers and start developing new market segments.
“Rosoboronexport’s mission at the Second Russia-Africa Summit is to elaborate concepts of addressing the main challenges to the global African security architecture, together with delegations from more than 30 countries of the continent which have arrived in St. Petersburg. The Company will demonstrate tools developed and tested in Russia to counter terrorism, organized crime, cyber threats, protect the constitutional system and public order, provide border and critical facility security and surveillance,” Alexander Mikheev noted.
At the Summit, Rosoboronexport will offer the guests of the event the products of Russia’s companies exhibited in the Expoforum’s pavilion, as well as in an outdoor display area. The Company’s booth is divided into thematic zones dedicated to counterterrorism equipment and intelligent digital technologies.
Among counterterrorism equipment, the Company will present special small arms, combat gear, tactical optics, non-lethal weapons, screening and explosive detection equipment, perimeter security systems and satellite communication systems.
In the Intelligent Digital Technologies zone, Rosoboronexport will show IT solutions developed by Russian companies, tested in the domestic market and adapted for use in African countries. These include a comprehensive Smart City project, a national-level cyber security platform, as well as Internet monitoring, information protection and legal data interception systems.
In the outdoor exhibit, Rosoboronexport and a number of Russian companies will demonstrate military, dual-use and civilian products designed to counter various security threats that are most in demand on the African continent
The outdoor exhibit is also divided into thematic sections. In the UAV zone, the Orion reconnaissance/strike UAV, Orlan-10E and Orlan-30 reconnaissance UAVs, Kub-E loitering munition and other battle-proven UAV systems will be showcased. Counter-UAV systems, including RB-504P-E, Serp-VS5, Saphir and a number of others, are exhibited in close proximity to the drones. Spartak, Tiger-Raid and Strela MRAP vehicles are on display in the armored combat vehicles zone.
In the exhibition area of Russian Helicopters, a Rostec company, the guests will also be able to get acquainted with Russian helicopters having high export potential. The Mi-8MTV-1 in the medical version, Mi-171E and Mi-38 in VIP configuration, Ansat and the first Russian Mi-171A3 offshore helicopter will be on display at the Summit.
Rosoboronexport plans to implement a large-scale business program. Meetings are expected with most of the delegations, some of which are represented at the highest level. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Rosoboronexport)
25 Jul 23. France eyes new Qatar Rafale warplane deal – defence ministry source. Qatar has expressed its desire to press ahead with a new Rafale warplane deal after buying 36 jets since 2015, a French defence ministry source said on Tuesday, days after the minister visited Doha to cement military ties.
Qatar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The source declined to confirm a report from economic daily La Tribune newspaper on Tuesday that Doha wanted to buy 24 extra Dassault-made planes PA> and possibly upgrade its existing fleet with the latest technologies. La Tribune did not identify its sources.
The source said minister Sebastien Lecornu had the impression there was “a will to go further” after his talks with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, saying that could mean buying new planes and upgrading the existing fleet.
The two countries sealed an initial $7bn (6.34bn euros) Rafale deal in 2015 before Qatar ordered a further 12 in 2017.
In a statement on Friday, the French Defence Ministry said the discussions in Qatar had “focused on strengthening the Franco-Qatari strategic partnership, founded on diplomatic, operation and industrial cooperation”.
India last week approved the purchase of 26 Rafales, the latest in a string of contracts for Dassault, which 18 months ago received an order for 80 units from the United Arab Emirates. (1 euro = $1.1043) (Source: Google/Reuters)
23 Jul 23. Defence Trailblazer launches in Adelaide and Canberra. The $240m Defence Trailblazer program has been launched officially by Senator Anthony Chisholm, Assistant Minister for Education and Regional Development. It is a strategic partnership between the University of Adelaide and UNSW Sydney with support from the Australian Government’s Department of Education and also has more than 35 industry partners.
The program will focus on building defence workforce capabilities and co-designing multi-domain solutions for the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Key focus areas for the program are:
- quantum technologies
- defensive hypersonics and countermeasures
- robotics, autonomous systems and AI (RAS-AI)
- defence space technologies
- cyber and information warfare (IW).
“Defence Trailblazer is a once in a generation opportunity to help transform the defence innovation ecosystem, bringing together defence, industry and academic partners to accelerate the delivery of sovereign capabilities for the nation’s security and prosperity,” said Defence Trailblazer Executive Director, Dr Sanjay Mazumdar.
Among the first group of partners are industry leaders Boeing Defence Australia, CAE Australia, Cisco, Leidos Australia, Lockheed Martin Australia, Northrop Grumman Australia, Raytheon Australia, Saab Australia and Thales, along with a diverse mix of SMEs and start-up companies including Diraq, Elysium EPL, Geodrones, Greenroom Robotics, HB11, QuantX, Silentium Defence, Space Machines, SRC Aus and Viden.
“Working with industry partners to spearhead faster innovation cycles will be key to the success of the program in meeting the challenges of a rapidly evolving threat landscape,” said Dr Mazumdar
“Innovation is not a choice, but a strategic imperative for our industry to proactively address the evolving needs of defence and delivering at a point of need and time” said Matthew Sibree, Managing Director Indo-Pacific, CAE Defence & Security.
University of Adelaide’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Høj AC said that the Defence Trailblazer is an example of true collaboration.
“We are pleased to partner with an outstanding University such as UNSW. Not only will this program develop cutting-edge science and technology, but it will also equip the next generation of innovators with specialised knowledge and skills to meet the defence sector’s needs now, and in coming decades.”
“UNSW has a proud track record of commercialising research projects that develop into real-world outcomes,” said UNSW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Attila Brungs. “And we know that University-industry collaboration is imperative to ensure research is translated into outcomes that benefit all Australia.
“Like our friends at the University of Adelaide, UNSW has a long history of partnering with the defence sector and is a leader in defence research, with strengths in space, cyber, hypersonics, quantum and autonomy.” (Source: https://www.ex2.com.au/news/)
17 Jul 23. New Zealand faces procurement challenges, report finds. The New Zealand Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) annual Major Projects Report (MPR) has identified problems with completing some procurement programmes.
The MPR highlighted the progress of 12 procurement programmes under way during 2021–22. It found that the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on supply chains and ongoing staffing issues meant the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and the MoD experienced delays in securing ‘Operational Release’ for military equipment. Just three of the 12 projects in the MPR were reported as fully on schedule.
Sarah Minson, deputy secretary for capability delivery at the MoD, told Janes, “We need experienced NZDF personnel to help us introduce these capabilities into service and there are less of those people available than there have been in the past and that has an impact.”
Huntley Wright, assistant secretary for capability delivery, told Janes there is additional pressure because “demand spikes” for staff have increased because of the need to manage the Covid-19 response and support New Zealand’s contribution to supporting Ukraine.
24 Jul 23. Airbus Pitches A-400M Transport Aircraft for IAF’s Medium Transport Aircraft Contest (excerpt). Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has pitched its A400M transport aircraft in response to the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Request For Information (RFI) for a Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) with a carrying capacity of 18 to 30 tonnes.
The submission deadline for the RFI issued in December 2022 was extended till March 31, and it has two other contenders, the Lockheed Martin C-130 and Embraer C-390. The MTA is a potential replacement for the much smaller AN-32s in service, and could also replace the larger IL-76.
“Yes, we have responded to the RFI and offered the A-400. It is a value addition. The A-400 carries twice the payload to twice the range than the competitors. It is bigger than the others [in competition],” Jean-Brice Dumont, head of Military Air Systems, Airbus, said while speaking to a small group of visiting journalists from India, earlier this week. “It’s about showing how we bring value,” he said of the pitch.
Venkat Katkuri, head of Airbus Defence and Space in India said the contest is in the RFI stage and they had shared their intent with the IAF. To questions on a possible ‘Make in India’ component as part of the potential deal, on the lines of the C-295 transport aircraft, Mr. Katkuri said they were open to it, and to industrialising the A400, should the numbers be viable.
The RFI states that it is envisaged to commence deliveries of the platform within 36 months of the signing of the contract; the specific number of MTA required is not mentioned; vendors have been asked to provide a ‘Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) cost of aircraft and associated equipment’ for a batch of 40, 60, and 80 aircraft, respectively. (end of excerpt)
(Click here for the full story, on The Hindu website: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/airbus-pitches-a-400m-transport-aircraft-for-iafs-medium-transport-aircraft-contest/article67110259.ece)
(Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/The Hindu)
22 Jul 23. The Brazilian Navy published the Notice (RFP). The Brazilian Navy published the Notice of Public Call, in the Official Gazette (DOU) of July 18, 2023, for the launch of a request for proposal (Request for Proposal – RFP) of the Strategic Program Management System of the Blue Amazon (SisGAAz), Phase Rio de Janeiro, aiming at the construction of Coastal Surveillance Units in Brazil.
SisGAAz is a strategic program foreseen in the Strategic Plan of the Navy 2040, destined to continuously monitor and protect the Inland Waters, Brazilian Jurisdictional Waters and the international areas of responsibility for Rescue and Rescue operations, its living and non-living resources, ports, vessels and infrastructure, in the face of threats, emergencies, environmental disasters, hostilities or illegalities. Thus, it aims to contribute to the security and defense of the Blue Amazon and to national development.
According to what was published in the DOU, official communications will be carried out by e-mail and, after the authorization of the legal representatives of the interested companies, the delivery of the RFP will be scheduled.
20 Jul 23. India seeks 20 surveillance helicopters on lease. The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is seeking to lease 20 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters for the Indian Army.
In a request for information (RFI) issued on 19 July, the MoD described the period of the lease as being five years. According to the document, the lease will include ground support equipment and maintenance support. This includes performance-based logistics (PBL) and training of aircrew and maintenance crew during the term of the lease.
The RFI document stated that the helicopters should be capable of fulfilling several unique functions. These include reconnaissance and surveillance (including armed reconnaissance and aerial photography) and transporting small numbers of troops or quick-reaction teams for special missions. The helicopters must also be capable of providing directional information to artillery units. (Source: Janes)
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