21 May 21. HENSOLDT Australia overhauls combat IFF system of HMAS Canberra. On-site maintenance equipment brings navy ships quickly back into service. The first of the Navy’s IFF system’s antenna and pedestals from Canberra Class vessels has been overhauled at HENSOLDT Australia’s new overhaul facilities and workshops in Canberra. This is the first of four antennas and pedestals that will undergo repair and deep level maintenance in Australia.
The HENSOLDT facility already supports the IFF interrogator for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) but was expanded to enable local test, overhaul and repair of this additional heavy equipment. This antenna equipment stands more than 2.4m high and 2.6m wide and weighs in at around 350kg and has required the implementation and installation of specialist lifting equipment, power and mechanical interfaces.
Now through this Australian team of technicians, together with the specialist equipment and an onsite store of parts, HENSOLDT Australia can repair, overhaul and commission this crucial Navy capability and bring it back into service more quickly and more cost effectively.
“When HENSOLDT Australia was contracted to update the interrogator on the HMAS Canberra, routine testing identified problems with the pedestals and antennas,” says Jon Wachman, Managing Director. “Investigations uncovered that the equipment was failing and impacting operational performance,” he said.
“After assessing with the Navy the overseas repair options and timeframe, and as experts in sensor solutions, we agreed to expand our Australian capability to support the complete antenna system on board the LHD, backed by a local supply chain and expertise.”
The first step in repair was to conduct a detailed assessment of the antenna and pedestal, then dismantle the systems and address the corrosion together with a heavy duty repaint in the new navy grey to further protect it from future damage in the marine environment. It was reassembled and mounted on a test stand in the warehouse, where HENSOLDT technicians tested it with the replicated control system that is used onboard the ships. This involved both electrical, mechanical and rotational testing of the antenna.
The antenna and pedestal is now re-installed on HMAS Canberra, and HENSOLDT has completed the on-board integration and testing, restoring the IFF system to full capability.
HENSOLDT Australia’s expanded overhaul capability is available for both naval and commercial testing and overhaul of a wide range of antenna and pedestal systems.
19 May 21. Air Force Can Retire KC-135, Transcom Commander Says. U.S. Transportation Command is responsible for moving people and materiel around the globe in support of the nation’s defense needs. It relies, in part, on the use of the Air Force’s aircraft to do that.
When the Air Force hoped to retire some aircraft within the KC-135 Stratotanker fleet in order to make way for the new refueling aircraft, the KC-46 Pegasus — which was delayed — Army Gen. Stephen R. Lyons, commander of Transcom, thought it inadvisable. But that is no longer the case.
significant,” Lyons told lawmakers yesterday before a hearing at the House Armed Services Committee. “Since that time, the United States Air Force has done some incredible work, first to make sure that Boeing is signed up to complete the work that they’re under contract to complete. Second, to work through some interim capability releases to allow us to use the KC-46 in operations.”
Lyons said that while the KC-46 refueling aircraft is not compatible now with every aircraft that might need to be refueled, it’s compatible “across a large portion” of them.
The Air Force has also delayed retirement of some KC-10 Extender aircraft, Lyons said. And this puts Transcom in a good position, Lyons added.
“I really appreciate the support of the Air Force,” Lyons said. “I’ve talked to the chief about this, I think we’re in a very good place. I do think it’s the right decision to allow the Air Force to retire the KC-135s that they requested to retire.”
Transcom is also responsible for the movement of household goods when service members make a permanent change of station. To better serve customers there, Lyons told lawmakers, improvements are underway to better assess how customers rate their experiences with the contract movers Transcom uses to move service members. Right now, less than a third of customers respond to post-move surveys.
“When we look at the survey information that comes in, our estimate is about 30% of the customers … respond on surveys,” Lyons said. “My guess is we get both extremes. But we could do better in that population. We have taken initiative and have put a company under contract to improve our survey process, and that’s underway at the moment … to make sure it’s more accurate, more thorough, easy, and the analytics on the backend are more meaningful to drive better business decisions. That’s one of many initiatives in the area of defense personal property reform.”
(Source: US DoD)
19 May 21. The COMBATT lithium-ion 6T NATO-standard batteries of Epsilor, a globally recognized manufacturer of smart batteries and chargers, were integrated into the “Jaguar” autonomous ground vehicle (AGV), which has been recently unveiled by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
The Jaguar military robot, which was developed by IAI’s ELTA Systems Division, will be deployed by the IDF around the Gaza border, and subsequently also near other borders and in IDF’s infantry and special units. Each such military autonomous vehicle is equipped with several 6T batteries providing it with over 16kWh of energy.
The Jaguar is a heavy duty highly maneuverable combat and combat support AGV. As such, it requires an extremely high energy capacity on board, to support traction in complex terrain, as well as a weapon station, communications and sensors which it carries onboard.
Epsilor COMBATT 6T batteries, which provide the highest energy density in the 6T category, are an ideal power source for AGVs, which have tight weight and volume constraints, and are required to maneuver quickly in rough terrain.
14 May 21. Taiwan awards F-16 missile maintenance contract. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) signed a TWD291m (USD10.4m) contract with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) for follow-on support and maintenance of US-made missiles used on the Republic of China Air Force’s (RoCAF’s) fleet of F-16 multirole fighter aircraft.
Work will be performed by US military personnel in Chiayi City and Hualien County, where the F-16s are based, and is expected to be completed by 31 December 2025, according to a notice posted on 12 May on the Taiwanese government’s procurement website. The RoCAF’s F-16s can currently be armed with AGM-88 High-speed Anti-radiation Missiles (HARM), AGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles, AGM-65 Maverick missiles, AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs), and AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder missiles. The announcement was made on the same day that Taiwanese daily Liberty Times revealed that two RoCAF F-16s successfully fired AMRAAMs during tests over the island for the first time, hitting the intended target drones. Previously, the United States had discouraged the firing of medium-range missiles over Taiwan for fear of provoking China and compromising the missile’s technical specifications by exposing it to potential Chinese electronic intelligence (ELINT) operations. (Source: Jane’s)