Sponsored by Lincad
23 Jan 19. Lincad, a leading UK developer and manufacturer of batteries, chargers and power management systems for defence, industrial, medical and commercial applications, is doubling the size of its UK Head Office facilities in Surrey. Responding to a consistent growth in demand for its products and expert services, Lincad is significantly increasing the capacity of its research, engineering and production functions and also increasing its staff by some 15%.
At the forefront of lithium-ion battery technology, Lincad is ISO 9001 and TickITplus certified with expertise in battery electrochemistry and systems, hardware and software engineering. In addition to product design and manufacture, the company offers a full life cycle product support service, including repairs and upgrades, from the point of introduction into service through to disposal at the end of a product’s lifetime. To augment this after-sales provision, Lincad recently opened a new Service and Maintenance Centre, thereby strengthening its ability to meet the increasing requirement for through life support.
Since 1986, Lincad has been providing military power management solutions for applications ranging in size from handheld soldier radios to explosive ordnance disposal remotely operated vehicles, primarily for the UK MOD and prime contractors in the defence industry. Impressed by the company’s long-established heritage in military markets, a number of industrial customers have also looked to Lincad for their power management requirements. Recent work has involved the development of a battery for a submersible autonomous inspection vehicle used in the offshore petrochemical industry.
Lincad also works with customers in the medical sector, providing power management solutions for specialist analytical medical equipment and supplying batteries to the NHS to support the vital work of doctors and nurses within the UK. With its long-established relationships with the world’s leading cell suppliers, Lincad is also able to supply customers with commercial off-the-shelf products covering a range of applications and different types of battery electrochemistry.
Janet Rowe, Lincad’s Joint Managing Director, commented: “Based in Surrey for more than 30 years and operating from our present site in Ash Vale since 2009, we have been constantly taking product performance to new limits, producing lighter, more powerful batteries with faster, more flexible charging solutions. It is particularly gratifying that the consistent demand from our customers has made necessary, and fully justified, this large expansion of our current facilities and the creation of a significant number of new jobs.”
23 Jan 19. Airbus chief Enders issues stern warning to UK on no-deal Brexit. Factories will not close immediately but group may be forced to ‘redirect’ investment. Airbus, the European aerospace group, has warned it would be forced to make “potentially very harmful decisions” for its operations in the UK if Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal. In a video message, Tom Enders, the Airbus chief executive, said the company — one of Britain’s largest manufacturers — “could be forced to redirect future investments” in the event of a no-deal Brexit. “Please don’t listen to the Brexiteers’ madness which asserts that, because we have huge plants here, we will not move and we will always be here. They are wrong,” said Mr Enders. “Of course, it is not possible to pick up and move our large UK factories to other parts of the world immediately,” he added. “However, aerospace is a long-term business and we could be forced to redirect future investments in the event of a no-deal Brexit.” Tom Enders © Reuters Airbus is one of Britain’s largest manufacturers and employs more than 14,000 people at 25 sites across the country. Its UK factories makes the wings for its aircraft. “Make no mistake there are plenty of countries out there who would love to make the wings for Airbus aircraft,” Mr Enders said. Mr Enders’ intervention comes just days before next week’s vote in parliament by MPs on Theresa May’s Brexit plan B as the prime minister seeks to overcome the historic 432-202 defeat the House of Commons inflicted on her deal. Time is running short before the UK’s scheduled March 29 exit from the EU. Airbus is understood to have informed Downing Street and the Department for Business on Wednesday afternoon of its intention to issue the warning, its starkest yet since it released a Brexit risk assessment last June. Airbus at the time estimated it could lose up to €1bn a week in sales if the UK quits the EU without agreeing on the terms of a trading relationship with Brussels. Recommended Brexit Sony to shift European domicile from UK on Brexit risk Mr Enders described as “a disgrace” that more than two years after the referendum in 2016, businesses were still unable to plan properly.
Airbus, he warned, was not dependent on the UK. The country’s aerospace sector, he added, stands “at a precipice” with Brexit threatening to destroy Britain’s century-long position at the forefront of global aviation. Britain’s aerospace sector, which relies heavily on “just in time” deliveries of parts and components has repeatedly warned of the consequences in the event of a no deal. In such an event the UK would fall back to World Trade Organization rules that would allow trade to continue but with additional tariffs. Although aircraft and aviation components are exempt from these tariffs, executives are worried about friction and delays at the borders. Mr Enders revealed earlier this month that Airbus had already spent “double-digit millions for contingency planning and preparations” for a no-deal Brexit, including the stockpiling of parts. This, however, would “probably be only a small fraction of what an unprepared, disorderly Brexit could cost us”, he told an audience at the company’s annual reception in London. Katherine Bennett, senior vice-president at Airbus in the UK, said: “We fear some MPs see ‘no deal’ as a genuine option and for this reason we’re speaking out louder than ever before because this is too important a moment to let pass without some truths being known.” (Source: FT.com)
23 Jan 19. German navy returns to treating the Baltic Sea as a potential theater of war. The German navy inaugurated its first-ever class of officers leading the multinational Baltic Maritime Component Command today, providing fresh evidence that military planners here take seriously the possibility of a military confrontation with Russia in Germany’s once-pacified back yard. Navy chief Vice Adm. Andreas Krause established the German Maritime Forces Staff in the northeastern German city of Rostock, where the BMCC headquarters are being built. The German officers, led by a navy captain, form the core of a small planning cell that will offer its services to the NATO military command structure once fully operational in 2025 or so.
The move, though still largely symbolic at this point, is something of an about-face for the German sea service which had focused its attention on low-intensity operations in more distant waters following the Soviet Union’s fall.
Relations with Russia have become icy once again, however, with Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and an aftermath of military posturing near the borders with NATO countries. Russia’s reported up-arming of its enclave Kaliningrad, which borders the Baltic Sea between alliance members Lithuania and Poland, has further increased tensions.
“The North Atlantic and the wider northern flank have returned to our attention as potential areas of operations,” Krause said at the ceremony in Rostock. “The Baltic Sea has grown to a never-seen strategic significance in the past years.”
During the Cold War, the German navy viewed the western part of the Baltic Sea as a barrier against Warsaw Pact ships seeking to break through to the North Sea to attack supply lines from the United States. Today, “the whole of the Baltic Sea is a vital lifeline, linking allies in Poland and the Baltic states as well as our close partners in Finland and Sweden with the rest of Europe,” Krause said.
For Germany, the Baltic Sea presents a unique challenge because nowhere else do homeland defense and the defense of allies so immediately overlap, said Sebastian Bruns, head of the Center for Maritime Strategy and Security at the University of Kiel. It is also an area where Germany, whose governments have preferred supporting roles – or none at all – in global crises, is truly on the hook. “The United States, the United Kingdom or France don’t appear to have a lot of interests there,” Bruns said.
The German navy’s acquisition pipeline already bears the imprint of a return to traditional naval warfare preparedness, industry executives and analysts have said.
For example, the service has plans to build four new corvettes optimized for “confined and shallow waters,” conditions found in the Baltic Sea, according to Bruns. Also on the wish list are at least four copies of the MKS-180 multipurpose combat ship, as well as a modernization of the country’s mine-warfare fleet. (Source: Defense News)
22 Jan 19. New Treaty Expands French-German Defense Ties. France and Germany have today reinforced their post-war partnership by signing a new ‘Treaty on Cooperation and Integration’ in Aachen, Germany, which updates and extends the Elysée Treaty, also signed on this date in 1963, and which laid out the road plan for their 60-year partnership. The treaty was signed today by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the German city of Aachen, known in France as Aix-la-Chapelle. It covers many aspects of bilateral cooperation, but this story concentrates on defense aspects. The new treaty notably extends the bilateral defense relationship, and has caused some other members of the European Union to express fears that, with Brexit disposing of the third European defense heavyweight, the French-German “couple” will come to dominate EU defense and security, and could absorb the lion’s share of the European Union’s growing R&D funds. Below are the treaty’s main defense provisions, selected and translated by D-A.com. It is of note that these aspects are covered in the fourth of the treaty’s 28 articles, thereby illustrating the primacy of defense and security issues. While generally supportive of the initiative, observers in France note that the treaty is being signed at a time when both nations’ leaders are weakened politically. It also is possible that some of its provisions will not be ratified by both parliaments, as required before the treaty comes into force.
Deployment of German troops on French combat missions, for example, is likely to be questioned by German opposition parties and public opinion, while the promise that both countries “will develop a common approach to arms exports with regard to joint projects” will raise many hackles, as German public opinion generally opposes arms exports.
In November, Berlin was forced to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, both involved in a regional war, under popular pressure after the murder of Saudi opponent Jamal Khashoggi, and measures to liberalize German export controls to accommodate France’s more liberal export policies are likely to inflame public opinion.
Exports of weapons jointly developed by France and Germany are governed by the Debré-Schimdt agreement, signed in 1971 by the two countries’ then defense ministers, Michel Debré and Helmut Schmidt, and which stipulates that each country will allow the other to export weapons developed in common.
“Under pressure from the Social Democrats (SPD), implementation of the agreement was lifted in the last legislative period. We need a new export agreement with France, otherwise there will be no joint arms projects. The SPD must show whether it really takes more Europe seriously,” Matthias Wachter, a department head at the Federation of German Industries (BDI) tweeted in reply to a question on the need for new export rules.
Finally, some observers in France question why the very existence of the treaty was kept secret until early January, when the full text was quietly released on the Elysée website, and this unusual lack of publicity gave free rein to opponents to expound various conspiracy theories that have gained traction in some opposition circles.
Opinion in Germany appears somewhat more supportive. “The Treaty of Aachen sends a strong signal: Cooperation between Germany and France must resume speed. Europe desperately needs this departure,” Joachim Lang, the Chief Executive of BDI, tweeted this morning.
Defense provisions: Article 4
— The two States, convinced that their security interests are inseparable, are increasingly converging their security and defense objectives and policies, thereby strengthening the collective security systems of which they are part.
— The two States pledge to further strengthen cooperation between their armed forces with a view to establishing a common culture and joint deployments. They are intensifying the development of common defense programs and expanding them to other partners. In so doing, they intend to promote the competitiveness and consolidation of the European defense industrial and technological base. They support the closest possible cooperation between their defense industries on the basis of mutual trust. Both States will develop a common approach to arms exports with regard to joint projects.
— The two states have instituted the Franco-German Defense and Security Council as the political body to steer these reciprocal commitments. The Council will meet at regular intervals at the highest level. (Source: defense-aerospace.com)
21 Jan 19. Launch of the New “Standard F4” for the Rafale Omnirole Combat Aircraft. On January 14, 2019, French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, announced the award of a contract for the development and integration of the so-called “Rafale F4”: the new Standard for the Rafale omnirole combat aircraft, which will be delivered to the warfighters in 2023 (first step) and in 2025 (last step).
The Rafale program is evolving through the development and the implementation of successive “Standards”, each of them bringing improved performances and additional capabilities to the Rafale omnirole combat aircraft, in order to match perfectly the evolution of the operational requirements from the warfighters.
The most recent Standard, called “Rafale F3-R”, was officially qualified on October 31, 2018, by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA). It contains important software and hardware evolutions and adds three new major and genuinely game-changing capabilities to the Rafale: the full integration of the Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) MBDA “Meteor”; the integration of the new-generation Thales “TALIOS” laser targeting pod; and the full integration of the Safran AASM “HAMMER” air-to-ground modular weapon in its laser terminal guidance version (NATO designation: SBU-54).
The new Standard officially launched on January 14, 2019, “Rafale F4”, is based on the four following pillars:
- Enhanced connectivity and associated networking modes:
Collaborative combat is now crucial for taking part in coalition operations, countering new types of threats and conducting sovereignty operations.
The Rafale F4 will be a genuine “connected aircraft”, implementing innovative connectivity solutions to optimize its operational effectiveness in networked/collaborative combat, with new satellite and intra-flight data-links, communication server and software-defined radio. Its ability to collect, analyze and share data will constitute a powerful force multiplier that will enhance all airborne, surface and ground-based assets in the battlespace.
- Enhanced survivability:
The sensors of the Rafale will be improved in order to maintain the aircraft’s operational capabilities and survivability against new and future threats. Improvements will mainly concern the RBE2 AESA (Active Electronically-Scanned Array) radar in the air-to-ground mode (noteworthy is the fact that the Rafale is the only European combat aircraft in operational service to incorporate today the cutting-edge “AESA” radar technology), the integrated advanced self-protection and countermeasures system (SPECTRA electronic warfare system) with new threat detection and jamming capabilities, and the multi-spectral Front Sector Optronics (FSO).
- Enhanced lethality and weapons capability
The Rafale F4 will mainly add:
— the air-to-air missile MBDA “MICA NG” (with an infrared seeker or a radio frequency seeker), which will be delivered from 2026 onwards;
— the Safran AASM “HAMMER” air-to-ground modular weapon with a 1,000 kg bomb body;
— the MLR (Mid-Life Refurbishment) version of the MBDA “SCALP” long-range cruise missile, which will be delivered from 2020 onwards.
- Enhanced operational readiness and in-service support
The Rafale F4 will include a new Prognosis and Diagnostic Aid System introducing predictive maintenance capabilities (the purpose of predictive maintenance is to anticipate failures before they occur). Other maintenance optimization features are scheduled, particularly with solutions based on Big Data and artificial intelligence. Lastly, the aircraft will be equipped with a new control unit for the Safran M88 engine.
Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces, said: “These F4 Standard improvements will bring the Rafale to the highest level of combat aircraft capability worldwide, and will allow our national forces to keep relevant their air dominance in more and more contested environments.”
Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, said: “The F4 Standard guarantees that Rafale will remain at world-class level so that our combat air forces can carry out all their missions with optimum efficiency, whether in coalition operations or completely independently.”
Patrice Caine, Chairman and CEO of Thales, said: “The Rafale F4 Standard’s sensors and communication systems will be a key driver of the shift towards collaborative combat.”
The Rafale is an extremely effective new-generation, combat proven (Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Central African Republic, Iraq, and Syria; more than 40,000 flying hours in combat operations have been completed so far by the Rafale fleet) omnirole tactical fighter, but development is continuing apace to exploit more and more of the aircraft’s tremendous capabilities, and to seamlessly add new ones.
- The Rafale will ultimately replace all the current types of legacy fighter aircraft in the inventory of the French Air Force and the French Navy.
- To date, 180 production aircraft have been ordered for the French Air Force (in two versions: the single-seater Rafale C and the two-seater Rafale B) and for the French Navy (the single-seater Rafale M). Since 2015, 96 Rafale aircraft have also been ordered for the Egyptian Air Force (24 aircraft), for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (36 aircraft) and for the Indian Air Force (36 aircraft).
- As of January 21, 2019, 152 production aircraft have been delivered to the French warfighters (46 Rafales M for the Navy; 48 Rafales C and 58 Rafales B for the Air Force) and 23 Rafales have been delivered to the Egyptian Air Force.
- Missions of the Rafale omnirole fighter:
The Rafale has been designed to perform the full spectrum of combat aircraft missions:
— air defense and air superiority;
— close air support;
— deep strike;
— anti-ship attack;
— nuclear strike;
— real time tactical and strategic reconnaissance (ground and naval targets);
— in-flight refuelling (“buddy-buddy” tanker capability).
(Source: defense-aerospace.com/French Defense Procurement Agency, DGA)
20 Jan 19. £80m RAF Tycoons among A Third of force’s planes unfit to fly. Frontline fighter-bombers are among a third of RAF planes unfit to fly, says the Ministry of Defence. Of 434 aircraft, 142 are sidelined, a Freedom of Information request shows. That includes £80m Typhoons – the 1,500mph jets which are the last line of the UK’s air defence against Russia and fly bombing missions attacking Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith said: “Conservative cuts have had a crippling effect on this country’s defences and our ability to respond to the range of threats that the UK faces.”
And Lib Dem defence spokesman Lord Ming Campbell added: “It is self-evident that aircraft have to be withdrawn from the front line in order for repairs and routine servicing to be carried out.
“These figures seem to go beyond what is necessary for repair or service.”
Military top brass revealed 55 of the 156 Typhoons are in the RAF’s “sustainment fleet” – planes which are either mothballed or undergoing major maintenance or upgrades – rather than the “forward fleet”, ready to be deployed on ops or with only minor repairs needed.
The figures are a major embarrassment for the air force, which marked its centenary last year. (Source: News Now/https://www.mirror.co.uk
19 Jan 19. Merkel eyes closer cooperation in EU defense systems. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday the European Union must deepen cooperation in defense and in particular weapons systems development, warning Germans that they may need to make compromises on strict export controls. In a bid to counter growing eurosceptic nationalism before elections to the European Parliament in May, Merkel has stressed the importance of close cooperation within the bloc. On Jan. 22 she signs an agreement with French President Emmanuel Macron that builds on a 1963 treaty of post-war reconciliation and is aimed at bolstering the EU.
In a speech to her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) in the northern city of Rostock, Merkel said: “It is good that after several decades we want to develop a common defense policy … We must develop weapons systems together,” adding Europe had many more systems than the United States.
Arguing that EU countries should not compete among themselves for new projects and fighter planes but develop products together, she said there would be a need to compromise on export rules.
“We have very strict export rules, others have less strict rules … But anyone who develops an airplane with us would also like to know whether they can sell the plane with us,” she said.
“We will have to make compromises, that is what we are talking about at the moment.”
Last year, France stopped short of Germany’s move to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In her weekly podcast, Merkel stressed the importance of the French-German partnership at the heart of the EU, saying the friendship was “far from a given after centuries of military conflict between our countries”.
“We want to give an impulse to European unity,” Merkel said.
Although the two countries, traditionally the EU’s main engine, differ on issues such as euro zone reform, the treaty envisages deeper cooperation in foreign and defense policy and in tackling terrorism as well as more cultural exchanges. (Source: glstrade.com/Reuters)
20 Jan 19. Rheinmetall plans to sue Germany over Saudi arms embargo – Spiegel. German weapons maker Rheinmetall (RHMG.DE) plans to sue the government over its decision to stop all arms exports to Saudi Arabia after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Spiegel Online reported on Sunday. Citing a letter to the Economy Ministry, Spiegel said Rheinmetall intends to sue the German government for loss of revenue if the export suspension continues. Berlin suspended approval of future export licences to Saudi Arabia in October and in November said it had worked with industry to halt shipments of arms sales that were already approved. No specific timetable was given at the time, but industry sources told Reuters an agreement had been struck to revisit the matter by mid-January.
Last week the economy ministry said the government still had no intention of approving arms exports to Saudi Arabia. Without citing sources, Spiegel said Rheinmetall believes it can claim for compensation because the government’s decision affected exports that had already been approved. The company’s management fears shareholders could sue Rheinmetall if the company does not demand compensation for the losses, Spiegel added.
“We cannot comment on individual decisions, possible revocations or individual measures,” the Economy Ministry said in an emailed statement.
A spokesman for Rheinmetall declined to comment on the report.
Spiegel said goods worth up to 2bn euros (£1.8bn) are affected by the export suspension, including four Cobra radar systems built by a consortium that includes France’s Thales (TCFP.PA), Airbus (AIR.PA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) of the United States. (Source: Reuters)
Lincad is a leading expert in the design and manufacture of batteries, chargers and associated products for a range of applications across a number of different sectors. With a heritage spanning more than three decades in the defence and security sectors, Lincad has particular expertise in the development of reliable, ruggedised products with high environmental, thermal and electromagnetic performance. With a dedicated team of engineers and production staff, all product is designed and manufactured in-house at Lincad’s facility in Ash Vale, Surrey. Lincad is ISO 9001 and TickITplus accredited and works closely with its customers to satisfy their power management requirements.
Lincad is also a member of the Joint Supply Chain Accreditation Register (JOSCAR), the accreditation system for the aerospace, defence and security sectors, and is certified with Cyber Essentials, the government-backed, industry supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber attacks. The majority of Lincad’s products contain high energy density lithium-ion technology, but the most suitable technology for each customer requirement is employed, based on Lincad’s extensive knowledge of available electrochemistries. Lincad offers full life cycle product support services that include repairs and upgrades from point of introduction into service, through to disposal at the end of a product’s life. From product inception, through to delivery and in-service product support, Lincad offers the high quality service that customers expect from a recognised British supplier.