27 May 14. Indian MoD issues RFI to domestic companies for L/70 replacement. The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a request for information (RFI) to local defence companies for participation in the $1.7bn tender to replace the army’s ageing Bofors 40mm L/70 air-defence guns. The RFI, which was sent to Tata Power SED, Larsen & Toubro, Punj Lloyd, Bharat Forge and the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and Bharat Earth Movers, follows a failure to attract global tenders for the guns, Defense News reported. According to RFI terms, the guns will be acquired in the buy and make (Indian) category, which allows only local companies or their joint venture with foreign companies to compete, if 50% of the system’s components are domestically manufactured. An unnamed MoD official was quoted by the news agency as saying that the domestic companies would be required to join forces with overseas defence firms to manufacture the guns, as they lack experience in selling the weapons. However, an Indian Army official expressed uncertainty on whether local companies would be able to forge an alliance with overseas firms.
“We are already behind schedule in buying several priority purchase[s] for the defence forces, and we need to buy from the overseas market immediately and later rely on the domestic sector,” the official said. The two global tenders launched in 2007 and 2009, which covered the delivery of 428 air-defence guns, were cancelled due to single-vendor situations. In addition, the 2013 tender, submitted to Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Thales, Bumar, Rosoboronexport and BAE Systems, failed to generate any response, according to Defense News. The army is seeking guns of a calibre greater than 30mm that can fire 1000 rounds per minute, with the ability to engage air targets day and night using fire-control radars and electro-optical fire-control systems. Purchased along with ammunition, the new guns are expected to safeguard areas of tactical importance in the mountains, plains, desert and semi-desert terrain. (Source: army-technology.com)
28 May 14. Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston, announced Final Operational Capability (FOC) had been achieved for Project AIR 5418, the AGM-158A Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-Off Missile (JASSM). “The Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-Off Missile is now fully in service and is an extremely capable, long range missile that meets the future requirements of Air Force,” Senator Johnston said. “Successful JASSM integration forms a key piece of the strike capability and ensures that Air Force can meet future operational demands.” Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown AO, said the JASSM was designed to attack high-value, heavily defended targets such as hardened bunkers, or pinpoint objectives such as radar and communications sites. “This is a great achievement for Air Force and is a major milestone for our air combat capability,” Air Marshal Brown said. “This long range, highly accurate missile can be released far from enemy targets, keeping RAAF aircrew out of harm’s way without compromising mission objectives.” JASSM is a ‘military-off-the-shelf’ long range guided missile developed by the United States Air Force, with a 1000-pound penetrator/blast fragmentation conventional warhead, capable of precisely striking targets from over 300 kilometres away. The Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for JASSM was declared in 2011, following successful test firings at the Woomera Test Range in South Australia.
28 May 14. Norwegian Government submits bill to integrate JSM with F-35 Lightning II. The Norwegian Government has submitted a bill to Parliament seeking approval for further development of the joint strike missile (JSM), which will see its integration with the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The bill, if approved, will allow Kongsberg Gruppen to complete the product in 2017. Kongsberg Defence Systems president Harald Ånnestad said they are pleased that the gov