02 Feb 21. Turkey launches F-16 life-extension program amid lack of replacement aircraft. Turkey’s procurement and defense authorities have launched a program designed to increase the structural life of the country’s existing fleet of F-16 Block 30 jets from 8,000 flight hours to 12,000, the country’s top procurement official announced.
Ismail Demir, who leads the Presidency of Defence Industries, wrote in a Feb. 2 tweet that the comprehensive upgrade program would involve revisions, renewals, replacements and body reinforcement. “The upgrades will cover 1,200 to 1,500 parts per aircraft,” Demir said.
Caglar Kurc, a Turkish defense analyst, said the upgrade program indicates Turkey’s intention to keep the F-16s as its main aerial firepower until the country completes work on its planned indigenous fighter jet.
“In addition to the F-16s, [armed and unarmed] drones could be used to support, particularly, anti-terror missions,” Kurc said.
Turkey has been seeking options for a new-generation fighter after it was suspended from the American-led, multinational Joint Strike Fighter program that builds the F-35 Lightning II.
Turkish Aerospace Industries will perform the structural upgrades for the F-16s as part of an ongoing upgrade program. TAI is currently building 30 new F-16 Block 50+ aircraft for the Turkish Air Force and is running an upgrade program covering more than 160 F-16 Block 30/40/50 aircraft.
Turkey’s indigenous fighter program, dubbed TF-X (or MMU in its Turkish acronym), has been crawling over the past years due to technological failures and issues with know-how transfers. Turkish engineers must first select an engine for the planned aircraft before finalizing the design phase. TAI has been in talks with British engine-maker Rolls-Royce for engine know-how and co-production, but a final contract has yet to emerge. (Source: Defense News)
02 Feb 21. Right on Time: £800k for military logistics innovation. DASA seeks novel ideas from industry and academia to identify, develop and demonstrate efficient logistics technologies.
The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has today launched a competition that seeks innovative ideas from industry and academia that could provide efficiencies for military logistics.
Ideas are sought that identify, develop, and demonstrate to the military logistics community that they could deliver a step change in military logistics capability across the Maritime, Land and Air domains.
Right on Time: Automating Military Logistics, is focussed primarily on innovative ideas in autonomy and the potential automation of the logistics chain. The aim is for the developed technologies to inform future military user requirements across the domains (Maritime, Land and Air).
The competition will feed into the Deployed Military Logistics Hubs development thinking.
The scope of this competition, run on behalf of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) covers two areas of innovation:
- autonomy and automation
- additive manufacturing
Full details of scope can be found in the competition document. Proposals which are relevant to either or both of these areas are welcomed and we seek all ideas that could provide better solutions and efficiencies for any Deployed Military Logistics Hub.
A total of £800k is available for this competition to fund multiple proposals, with projects showcasing their innovation at a demonstration event to be held in the UK during September 2021.
We are interested in technologies which can be progressed towards Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 6 within this timescale.
We encourage collaboration between organisations for this competition.
To support this we have a short survey to collect details of those who wish to explore collaboration possibilities. If you are interested in a collaboration, please complete the survey and your details will be circulated among other potential suppliers who have completed the survey and are interested in collaborating.
It is likely that a larger number of lower-value proposals (for example £40k to £80k ex. VAT) will be funded than a small number of higher-value proposals.
This competition closes at midday GMT on Thursday 25th March 2021.
A dial-in session providing further detail on the problem space and a chance to ask questions in an open forum will take place on 11 February 2021. If you would like to participate, please register on the Eventbrite page.
A series of 15 minute one-to-one teleconference sessions, giving you the opportunity to ask specific questions will take place on 23rd February 2021. If you would like to participate, please register on the Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/right-on-time-1-to-1s-tuesday-23-february-tickets-137579543117 (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
01 Feb 21. US Navy’s USS Toledo submarine to undergo engineered overhaul. The US Navy’s USS Toledo (SSN-769) submarine has arrived at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) for a scheduled engineered overhaul.
The US Navy’s USS Toledo (SSN-769) submarine has arrived at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) for a scheduled engineered overhaul.
The vessel has arrived at the shipyard on 21 January.
It will undergo replacement, repair as well as overhaul of hardware and mechanical systems after an ‘early production period’ comprising advance planning, execution services and availability preparations for task.
The Naval Sea Systems Command estimated that around 437,000 workdays would be required for completion of the task.
The engineered overhaul of the submarine follows USS Newport News (SSN-750) and USS Albany (SSN-753).
Deputy Project Superintendent Chad Waldroup said: “With the Covid-19 pandemic, the project team worked through a plan to have a smaller team travel to the boat’s homeport in Groton, Connecticut and perform pre-arrival work to allow us to get into the major work quicker once the boat arrived.
“We have also worked with [NNSY’s Process Improvement division] Code 100PI on a number of Strategic Planning Session initiatives that will allow us to be successful.
“These initiatives range from buying new brows that improve the routing of services to looking at existing requirements to see if they can be improved upon. We also set up a weekly meeting cadence with the ship to ensure they are well prepared on expectations and knowledge about the shipyard.”
According to Naval Sea Systems Command, the Toledo will first be pierside for an ‘extended period’ before leaving to the dry dock as the dry dock is currently undergoing maintenance to upgrade its caisson, flood wall and piping. (Source: naval-technology.com)
01 Feb 21. Manila, Jakarta beef up tactical transport fleets. The Philippine Air Force has taken delivery of the first of two Lockheed Martin C-130H tactical transports provided under the US government’s Excess Defence Articles programme.
The air force took delivery of the former US military aircraft on 29 January at the Colonel Jesus Villamor air base, says the country’s defence department.
The first of two former USAF C-130Hs arrives in the Philippines
The two aircraft will be used in the tactical airlift role, and also for HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster response) mission.
According to the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency, the two aircraft were requested in 2019, with the US Air Force responsible for implementing the transfer. The value of the two aircraft is listed as $24m.
Cirium fleets data shows that prior to the arrival of the new aircraft, Manila had four C-130s in its inventory, with an average age of 43.8 years.
Separately, Indonesian Aerospace disclosed that it has delivered a locally-produced NC212I tactical transport the Indonesian air force, the first delivery from a 2017 order for nine aircraft.
Of the nine aircraft, four will be troop transports, four will perform aerial photography and cloud seeding, and one will to be used for navigation training.
Since the early 2010s, the Airbus Defence and Space C-212 has been produced exclusively by Indonesian Aerospace in Bandung. (Source: News Now/Flight Global)
29 Jan 21. NIOA approached to support AH-64E Apache delivery. The Queensland-based firm has signed an MOU with Boeing to support Defence’s ARH replacement program. Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NIOA to support the cannon and ammunition system for the AH-64E Apache Guardian, recently selected by Defence to replace the Airbus-built EC665 Tiger fleet. According to Boeing, the MoU, which formalises the business’ collaborative arrangement, forms part of the prime’s commitment to maximising sovereign support services to the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) replacement program.
“NIOA brings industry-leading, sovereign capability to our solution,” BDA’s director of supply chain management, Nick Gothard, said.
“BDA has a proven track record of increasing Australian industry capability on all its aircraft support programs, including the F/A-18F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, CH-47F Chinook and P-8A Poseidon through the contribution of highly capable industry partners like NIOA.”
NIOA CEO Robert Nioa welcomed the opportunity to work with Boeing to support Defence’s LAND 4503 program.
“We will be providing the next generation of ammunition to provide the optimal capability to the men and women of the Australian Defence Force,” Nioa said.
The Australian Army is planning to replace the current fleet of EC665 Tiger ARHs from the mid-2020s, as identified in the 2016 Defence White Paper.
LAND 4503’s program of delivery aims to support the Australian Army and is designed to contribute to the creation of the modernisation and development of a ‘networked and hardened’ Army. (Source: Defence Connect)