02 Mar 16. India to approve multiple Israeli defence buys. India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is poised to approve the procurement of various Israeli military equipment worth an estimated USD3bn ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tel Aviv later this year.
A Barak-8 air defence missile is launched from a ship – the Israeli corvette INS Lahav – for the first time on 26 November 2015. Despite the five-year delay in its development, the system is a typical example of Indo-Israeli defence co-operation. (Israeli MoD)
Official sources said this includes two additional Ilyushin Il-76-based Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Phalcon airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft and four supplementary Rafael/IAI radar-equipped aerostats for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
In early 2011 the IAF inducted three similar Uzbek AEW&C platforms, upgraded by Russia with PS90 engines, which were acquired under a tripartite deal in 2004 for around USD2bn, while earlier in 2007-08 the IAF procured two IAI/Rafael aerostat-based radars for INR3.38bn (USD504m) to boost low-level air and sea surveillance. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Mar 16. Japan’s Mitsubishi may consider investment in Australia’s ASC. Japan’s biggest defence company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), would consider a move to invest in Australian naval shipbuilder ASC if it is successful in bidding for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) programme to construct future submarines under the SEA 1000 project.
MHI’s chairman Hideaki Omiya told Japan’s Nikkei business newspaper on 2 March that MHI would be flexible in meeting Australian requirements for the SEA 1000 programme even if that meant acquiring a stake in state-owned ASC. “[MHI] will listen to what the Australian government and other relevant parties have to say,” said Omiya, “[and] put in place the best framework, by making investments, for instance.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Mar 16. U.S. Navy’s ‘unfunded priorities’ list has Boeing, Lockheed fighters. The U.S. Navy included 14 Boeing Co F/A-18E/F Super Hornets valued at $1.5bn and two Lockheed Martin Corp F-35C jets worth $270m on a list of “unfunded priorities” that it prepared for Congress, according to U.S. defense officials.
The list, which often lays the groundwork for Congress to add funding to the official Pentagon budget request, also includes $433m in the final third tranche of funding for a DDG-51 destroyer, said one of the sources.
The ship will be built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc and General Dynamics Corp.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus first disclosed the addition of the 14 Boeing jets to the Navy’s wish list for fiscal year 2017 during a hearing of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee on Tuesday, but did not include the associated funding level.
Mabus said the additional jets would be needed to maintain the Boeing production line if a big foreign order was not finalized. He did not mention the buying country.
The Navy had requested two F/A-18 jets in its FY 2017 budget, and said it planned to buy a larger number of jets in FY 2018 with a foreign order expected to fill the gap in 2017.
Sources close to Boeing have said the company will need to invest several hundred million dollars to buy materials to start production of 28 F/A-18 fighters for Kuwait, a deal that was initially expected to be finalized last year but has stalled in the U.S. government approval process.
The Navy needs more Super Hornets since it is using its older model F/A-18 fighters more heavily than expected in the fight against Islamic State, and because the maintenance required on those jets is taking longer than expected. The Navy had planned to replace the older model F/A-18C/D model jets with F-35s, but that program is running behind its original schedule. The Navy is not expected to start using its first F-35C model jets, which take off and land on aircraft carriers, until late 2018 or early 2019. No comment was immediately available from the co