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09 Nov 23. Bulgarian parliament okays $1.5bn purchase of Stryker fighting vehicles from US. The Bulgarian parliament on Thursday approved a $1.5bn purchase of Stryker fighting vehicles from the United States to modernise the country’s army and bring it in line with NATO standards, the BTA news agency reported.
In September, the U.S. State Department approved the possible sale of Stryker vehicles to Bulgaria.
One hundred thirty-four deputies in the 240-seat parliament voted for the deal to buy 183 Stryker vehicles, which had been approved by the government in September, the report said.
The Stryker is a family of eight-wheeled armoured fighting vehicles produced by General Dynamic Land Systems (GD.N) in Canada for the United States military. In various configurations, it can transport infantry and use different weapons, engineering, and electronic systems.
A total of seven countries operate Stryker-based vehicles including the U.S. and Ukraine, which since March has received 189 of them.
Bulgaria, a former member of the Soviet bloc that later joined the EU and NATO, stepped up efforts to replace its obsolete Soviet-built weapons systems with modern ones following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Bulgaria, a Black Sea country, has a strategic position on NATO’s eastern flank and has donated weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. (Source: Reuters)
09 Nov 23. Italy’s Leonardo aims to enter Leopard tank programme.
Italy’s state-controlled defence and aerospace group Leonardo (LDOF.MI) is aiming to join the German next-generation Leopard 2 tank programme, CEO Roberto Cingolani said on Thursday.
The Leopard is jointly manufactured by German companies Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall (RHMG.DE).
“I confirm that we are working in this direction, actually the expectation is extremely good, the negotiation is doing very well, please allow me not to give more details at the moment,” Cingolani said in a post-results call with analysts.
The Italian government said in July it was planning to buy the German tanks, with a defence source telling Reuters the number would be around 125.
Cingolani also said Leonardo wants to renegotiate a fuselage supply deal for the Boeing (BA.N) 787 aircraft, with a view to securing higher prices reflecting inflation.
He said positive developments on this front may come “in the next 6-8 weeks or so”.
The company on Thursday posted rising core earnings, revenues and new orders and confirmed its full-year guidance. Profitability in the nine months to Sept. 30 was mainly supported by European electronics, aircraft and helicopters.
Earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (EBITA) stood at 214m euros ($229.15m) in the third quarter, matching a company-provided consensus estimate and up from 201m euros in July-Sept. 2022.
Over the same period, revenues rose to 3.375bn euros from 3.341bn, while new orders stood at 4.584bn euros against 4.4bn a year earlier and order backlogs rose to a record 40bn euros.
Net debt was just over 3.8bn euros as of Sept. 30, while free operating cash flow (FOCF) improved “significantly” in the nine months at -604m euros, compared to -894m euros in Jan-Sept. 2022.
Leonardo’s guidance for 2023 includes a forecast for new orders of around 17 bn euros, revenues in the 15-15.6-bn-euro range, EBITA at 1.26-1.31bn euros and group net debt of about 2.6bn euros.
The company confirmed it would unveil a new industrial plan in March 2024, which Cingolani previously said would focus heavily on cybersecurity and space as the two main pillars of innovation.
Cingolani told analysts in a slide presentation on Thursday he was working on “a leaner and stronger organisation”, announcing, among other things, “moderate” plans to sell assets and 400 job cuts at company headquarters through early retirement.
Like other defence groups, Leonardo has benefited from rising military spending in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and it is involved in the GCAP next-generation fighter jet programme undertaken by Italy, Britain and Japan.
The Italian government and Leonardo have been clamouring to have an equal partner role in the programme, and Cingolani said he is closely discussing the issue with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (7011.T) and Britain’s BAE Systems (BAES.L) .
Leonardo’s Milan-listed shares have risen by almost 77% since January, and have almost doubled in value year-on-year. On Thursday, they closed up 0.18% at 14.205 euros. ($1 = 0.9339 euros) (Source: Reuters)
09 Nov 23. Paramount and Jatunapas lead the 4×4 combat vehicle charge in Thailand. Paramount’s partnership with Thailand to produce the Mbombe 4 armoured vehicle in the Southeast Asian country is seeing tangible progress, with trials of the domestically built D-Lion carried out by the Thai Armed Forces.
At a Defence and Security 2022 exhibition ceremony in August last year, the domestically assembled D-Lion was officially handed over to the Royal Thai Armed Forces. Since then, the infantry combat vehicle (ICV) has undergone a series of vehicle and live-fire trials by the Thai Armed Forces and Thailand’s Defence Technology Institute (DTI).
Paramount partnered with the DTI, Thailand’s defence research and development (R&D) agency, and Jatunapas, one of Thailand’s leading defence and security companies, on the D-Lion project. Highlighting the close cooperation between these partners, Paramount is currently attending the Defence and Security 2023 exhibition in Bangkok from 6-9 November, where it is supporting Jatunapas.
Steve Griessel, Paramount’s Group Chief Executive Officer, said the project was a testament to the company’s belief in the capabilities of Jatunapas and its commitment to technology and skills transfer, fostering local production, and contributing to the creation of jobs.
“The impressive work undertaken by Jatunapas clearly reflects their commitment to advancing Thailand’s defence capabilities,” Griessel stated. “Jatunapas is known for their outstanding defence and security solutions. This partnership promises to set new benchmarks in defence innovation, and we are honoured to be part of this journey.”
The Mbombe family (4×4 Mbombe 4, 6×6 Mbombe 6, and 8×8 Mbombe 8) features a flat mine-protected floor, giving a lower and better stability than V-shaped armoured hulls, which were pioneered by South Africa. All three models share 80% common components to reduce through life costs and make training and logistics easier. A six-cylinder diesel gives a top speed of more than 110 km/h – the Mbombe 4 has a burst speed of some 140 km/h, making it one of the fastest armoured vehicles in the world.
The 16 tonnes Mbombe 4 provides a payload of nearly three tonnes, encapsulating weapon systems, ammunition, crew (of seven) and supplies. The vehicle has been designed to accommodate a wide range of payloads and turrets, including a 30 mm cannon. The onboard mission computer and interface system is able to integrate with both Western and Eastern-made weapon systems. The vehicle is further fitted with the latest generation navigational, crew comfort and security systems, with examples including a driver-assist camera system, winterisation kit, vehicle location and tracking systems, a NATO standard tow-hitch, radios and intercoms systems and a Central Tyre Inflation System (CTIS).
Since its launch in 2019, the Mbombe 4 has been ordered by six nations, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, United Arab Emirates, Togo, and India – Bharat Forge manufactures the Kalyani M4 domestic version for the Indian Army.
“The Mbombe 4’s continued expansion into the Asia-Pacific marketplace and beyond emphasises the success of the Paramount-pioneered portable manufacturing model,” the company said in a press release.
08 Nov 23. Norinco completes VT-4 deliveries to Thai army. China North Industries Group Corporation (Norinco) has disclosed that it has completed deliveries of all 60 VT-4 main battle tanks (MBTs) on order for the Royal Thai Army (RTA). A spokesperson for the company told Janes on 8 November at the Defense & Security 2023 exhibition in Bangkok that the last 12 tanks were delivered to the RTA’s 6th Cavalry Battalion in Khon Kaen, northeast Thailand, in October. The RTA’s 21st Cavalry Battalion in Roi Et, also in northeast Thailand, received five VT-4s in September. The Norinco spokesperson did not comment on opportunities for the company to add to its VT-4 sales in Thailand. The RTA is understood by Janes to require at least 100 more MBTs to replace a range of ageing US-produced tanks including M41s and M60s. The spokesperson said Norinco has implemented a comprehensive sustainment and maintenance programme for the RTA’s VT-4 fleet but did not provide details. (Source: Janes)
08 Nov 23. DTI, ST Engineering partner on light vehicle. Thailand’s Defence Technology Institute (DTI) and ST Engineering have teamed up to integrate a 4×4 light utility vehicle with the Singapore company’s 120 mm Ground Deployed Advanced Mortar System (GDAMS) and Adder Light remote weapon station (RWS). An official from ST Engineering told Janes on 8 November at the Defense & Security 2023 exhibition in Bangkok that the vehicle is newly developed, with testing scheduled to take place early in 2024. The RWS displayed on the vehicle at the exhibition is armed with 7.62 mm machine gun. The official said the vehicle chassis and engine used in the configuration is agnostic. He added that while the armament on the vehicle was built in Singapore, localisation is possible depending on the scale of any requirement. DTI and ST Engineering plan to propose the design to the Royal Thai Armed Forces. ST Engineering unveiled the GDAMS at DSEI 2023 in London in September. (Source: Janes)
07 Nov 23. China deploys new infantry fighting vehicles along Taiwan Strait. The Eastern Theater Command (ETC) of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has inducted a new type of 8×8 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) in an equipment awarding ceremony in eastern Guangdong. According to a video recently released by state-owned broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), the 145th Medium Combined Arms Brigade of the 73rd Group Army under the ETC inducted an unknown number of new IFVs – probably Type 19 (also designated as Type 22) – in the ceremony. The 73rd Group Army is headquartered in Xiamen – roughly 10 km from Taiwan’s Kinmen Islands in the Taiwan Strait – and is responsible for handling disputes that may arise in the stretch of water. The new vehicles – deployed for the first time with the PLA – feature a hull identical to the ZBL-09 (also known as Type 09) IFV in service with the PLA and a new turret. (Source: Janes)
07 Nov 23. Chaiseri launches 8×8 amphibious vehicle. Thai firm Chaiseri has unveiled its new 8×8 Armoured Wheeled Amphibious Vehicle (AWAV) at the Defense & Security exhibition in Bangkok. A company official told Janes that the AWAV on display at the exhibition is a prototype, but that Chaiseri has started producing seven vehicles for the Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC) under a contract awarded in August. Deliveries of these vehicles will start mid-2024. Janes reported in August that the contract is worth THB448m (USD12.6m). Chaiseri said it is also pursuing exports of the vehicle. According to Chaiseri, the AWAV measures 9.2 m in length, 3.1m in width, and 3m in height. Its approximate gross weight is 25.7 tonnes. Its 711hp engine provides a top speed of 105 km/h on land and 10km/h in water, and its combat range is 600km, said Chaiseri. (Source: Janes)
06 Nov 23. GE settles US claims it sold improperly inspected parts to Army, Navy. General Electric’s (GE.N) aerospace unit agreed on Monday to pay $9.4m to settle federal government claims that a Massachusetts plant sold parts to the U.S. Army and Navy that were not properly inspected or did not meet specifications.
The U.S. Department of Justice said GE Aerospace’s plant in Lynn, Massachusetts, skipped at least two inspections, did not consistently use functional gauges to inspect features on some parts, and sold engines that contained improper metal fragments.
Investigators said failing to conduct inspections and selling nonconforming parts could compromise military hardware and national security, and even endanger service personnel.
The settlement resolves claims that Evendale, Ohio-based GE Aerospace violated the federal False Claims Act, the government’s primary legal means to address alleged fraud it experiences, between July 2014 and December 2019.
GE Aerospace was credited in the settlement for its cooperation and remediation efforts, which the company said began more than five years ago. About $5.4m of the settlement constituted restitution.
“Safety is our top priority,” GE Aerospace said in a statement. “While these issues had no impact on the safety of the aircraft involved, we implemented significant corrective actions to ensure this does not occur again.”
GE, based in Boston, in 2021 announced plans to split into three companies focused on aviation, energy and healthcare.
It spun off the healthcare business in January, and plans to spin off the energy business in next year’s second quarter. GE would thereafter become a pure-play aviation company known as GE Aerospace. (Source: Google/Reuters)
06 Nov 23. Corvid Technologies teams with Jankel Tactical Systems to deliver results on US DoD SBIR seating program. Corvid Technologies, a US-based provider of end-to-end engineering solutions, has teamed with Jankel Tactical Systems, a world-leader in the design and manufacture of high-specification defense, security, and NGO protection systems, to deliver results on a US Department of Defense (DoD) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The SBIR program aims to develop new vehicle seating system technologies that provide protection from a variety of high-energy threats with dynamics that are multi-directional. The Corvid/Jankel solution combines proven Jankel seating technologies with new innovations produced using the computational analysis and design expertise of Corvid and its Velodyne high-fidelity computational physics solver.
The DoD customer has awarded Jankel and Corvid Phase I and Phase II SBIR funding to develop their protective seating system solution. In the successful execution of these contracts, the Jankel/Corvid team has leveraged the respective skills of both companies to deliver innovation, fresh thinking, and a science-led approach. While vehicle seating systems that protect against underbody blast threats are a matured technology and a core existing product group for Jankel, the threat environment for an armored vehicle consists of more than just underbody blast, and seating technologies must evolve to provide protection against a greater variety of threats, including those which come from multiple directions. This joint project will deliver a technology demonstrator seating system that protects against diverse and multi-directional threats. Due to the sensitivities involved, the team is unable to reveal any further technical details.
David Robinson, President and CEO at Corvid Technologies said: “We selected Jankel Tactical Systems as a partner given their established position in the Defense vehicle seating market. Jankel’s quick-response capabilities in combination with Corvid’s particular engineering analysis skillset allows our team to deliver prototype engineering solutions that are both innovative and compliant – exactly what a project like this requires. We are confident that the team we have formed here will be able to solve the unique challenges set by our customer.”
John Kyler, President at Jankel Tactical Systems said: “We’re really pleased to have teamed with Corvid Technologies on this SBIR project. Protected vehicle seating system technology is something that we’ve been successfully developing for many years and our seating systems are in service across multiple defense platforms, globally. Taking our existing protection systems and evolving them to meet emerging threats is an exciting proposition and adding our skill set to that of Corvid has created a project team that combines our respective strengths in exactly the right way. I’m looking forward to seeing the results!”
06 Nov 23. KNDS is Modernising Sweden’s Fleet of Main Battle Tanks.
The Swedish procurement agency (FMV) has commissioned Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG (KMW) with modernising its fleet of LEOPARD 2 main battle tanks. 44 vehicle systems will be retrofitted by the end of 2026.
The agreement, which was signed at the international arms fair AUSA in Washington also includes the option of modernising all of the Swedish army’s LEOPARD 2 main battle tanks. The order consists of an increase in firepower, a higher protection level and further digitalisation measures, as well as a logistics package.
(Source: ASD Network)
TEK Military Seating Limited
TEK Military Seating Limited is a UK based designer and manufacturer of ProTEK military vehicle seating which offer the highest standards of safety and protection. The ProTEK brand is well respected across the globe for its robust construction, innovative design, built in modularity and cost effectiveness. Our superior products are supported by our experienced team who endeavor to offer unrivalled service to our customers from enquiry, through design and acceptance, to through life support.
From its inception ProTEK seats have been designed around a family of innovative seat frames onto which tested and certified modules can be fitted to create a bespoke solution for the user. These include Blast protection to Stanag 4569 standards, vibration reduction, head and body protection, seat risers and turntables, fore & aft adjustment, and seat back rake along with viable seat dimensions without the need for additional tooling costs.
Contact: David Parkman