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22 Aug 19. U.S. offer to sell Patriot system to Turkey ‘off the table’ – State Dept official. The U.S. offer to sell Raytheon Co’s Patriot missile defence system to Turkey is “off the table,” having expired following Ankara’s decision to accept Russian S-400 defensive systems, a State Department official said on Thursday.
Ankara and Washington have been at odds for years over Turkey’s interest in the S-400 systems, which the United States and NATO officials say are not compatible with NATO defences and pose a threat to Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets operated by the United States and other allies.
The United States began the process of removing Turkey as a partner on the multinational weapons program in April after Ankara said it would not back down from its S-400 purchase. Tensions deepened in July, when Turkey received its first shipment of the Russian equipment.
Washington has warned it would impose sanctions beyond removing Turkey from the F-35 program, though it has yet to do so. The State Department official said the United States had told Turkey repeatedly its offer would lapse if Ankara proceeded to buy the Russian system.
“We have consistently told Turkey that our latest offer of Patriot would be off the table if it took delivery of the S-400 system. Our Patriot offer has expired,” the official said.
U.S. arms sales generally set out specific terms that limit pricing and availability for a set amount of time. In this case, the terms expired around the time that Ankara took delivery of the initial components of the Russian S-400 system. A Raytheon spokesman declined to comment, saying it was a government-to-government matter. (Source: Reuters)
20 Aug 19. The F-35 Is Ancient History: Meet Europe’s New 6th Generation Fighter. The Tempest is coming. In respect of the FCAS he said: “Next-Generation Fighter (NGF) aircraft to fly in partnership with unmanned ‘wingmen’ – the combination of these two elements is known as Next-Generation Weapon System (NGWS). The Tempest sixth-generation fighter has moved a step closer to becoming a reality with the confirmation of a partnership deal with Sweden. The aircraft will replace the Royal Air Force (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon fleet, and will be deployed in the 2030s. According to Andrew Kennedy, strategic campaigns director at BAE Systems, one of four UK-based companies involved, the Tempest would be a “gamechanger” and “as iconic as the Spitfire”. The Spitfire was the legendary fighter plane which protected Britain from the Luftwaffe during World War II. John Sneller, head of aviation at Jane’s by IHS Markit, – agreed, suggesting the project would be “more than just an aircraft”, adding: “When operational, the hyper-advanced Tempest will boast capabilities far beyond any jet ever built so far.”
Mr Sneller has put together a side by side comparison between the Tempest and the Future Combat Air System (FCAS, the rival aircraft project being designed by Germany, France and Spain) for Express.co.uk, and while he was careful not to draw conclusions about which was superior, he emphasized once again that both will push the boundaries of existing technology.
He said: “The Tempest is envisaged as being a manned/optionally-manned fighter that will feature several key technologies, such as a flexible payload; an adaptable airframe; long-range sensing; advanced materials; hypersonic weapons; laser directed-energy weapons; intelligent maintenance; cyber protection, manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T); high-energy weaponry; and a future cockpit.
“Tempest will be part of a wider FCAS, which will include swarming UAVs (perhaps based on the Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft [LANCA] project) that according to the MoD will be ‘compatible with the UK’s aircraft carriers’.”
In respect of the FCAS he said: “Next-Generation Fighter (NGF) aircraft to fly in partnership with unmanned ‘wingmen’ – the combination of these two elements is known as Next-Generation Weapon System (NGWS).
“Key technologies for NGF is set to include advanced cyber capabilities, mass data (AI, big data, etc), radar developments in the field of passive and cognitive sensors, hypersonic weapons, high-energy weapons, unmanned and swarming technologies, quantum computing, advanced robotics, access to space, augmented reality, and 3D printing.
“Roles for the NGF will broadly mirror those already conducted by today’s combat aircraft. However, one additional capability is the need to be a ‘control ship’ for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
“Other elements of FCAS: Airbus-led European Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (MALE RPAS), an ultra-low observable (LO) unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV), future cruise missiles, and other legacy airborne platforms operating in the future battlespace.
“FCAS will be networked with all non-airborne assets, such as ground personnel and systems, naval ships and satellites.”
Mr Sneller’s analysis also sets out the timelines of both projects:
- In April 2018, Team Tempest was revealed to consist of BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA, and Rolls-Royce.
- In July 2018, BAE Systems and MoD revealed a full-scale mock-up of Tempest fighter at Farnborough Airshow.
- In early July 2018, the UK Mod awarded TIZARD, a 12-month contract to develop the Tempest as part of a wider FCAS.
- At the Air Power conference in London, the UK armed forces minister said Tempest will be aligned to UK carrier capability.
- In July 2018, Saab CEO Hakan Bushke disclosed that the company was evaluating options for joining Tempest.
- In November 2018, a Spanish Air Force official showed a briefing slide at IQPC International Fighter Conference in Berlin that indicated Saab to be part of the Tempest project.
- In February 2019, the UK government said it was looking to create a carrier-capable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as part of its wider efforts to develop the Tempest.
- In February 2019, the RAF selected SecureCloud+ to provide secure network capabilities for the Tempest programme.
- Entry-into-service slated for early 2030s, to replace Eurofighter Typhoons in the 2040s (Source: News Now/https://nationalinterest.org)
19 Aug 19. NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup uparmours in Latvia. NATO’s Canadian-led enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battlegroup in Latvia has received armour reinforcements from Italy and the United States in the last month, doubling the number of main battle tanks (MBTs) it possesses, albeit temporarily. The Latvian National Armed Forces announced on their website on 15 August that 70 soldiers and 12 M1A2 SEPv2 Abrams MBTs of the 2nd Battalion, 34th Regiment, 1st Brigade of the US Army’s 1st Infantry Division have arrived at Camp Ādaži as part of the current rotation of Operation ‘Atlantic Resolve’. The US armoured unit will stay in Latvia for about two months to train with the National Armed Forces and the eFP battlegroup.
In addition, the Italian army has deployed Ariete MBTs for the first time as part of its latest rotation, the eFP battlegroup public affairs office confirmed to Jane’s on 16 August. The Italian Ministry of Defence (MoD) website showed Ariete and Dardo infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) during Exercise ‘Reaper Prime’ in the Camp Ādaži training area at the beginning of August. The latest Italian eFP contingent is drawn from the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment, plus the 4th Armoured Regiment and other army units. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
16 Aug 19. UK and Norway Reinforce North Atlantic Security. The UK and Norway reinforced their commitment to joint anti-submarine operations in the North Atlantic at RAF Lossiemouth today. Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan hosted Norwegian State Secretary Tone Skogen to discuss NATO and the UK’s role in the North Atlantic. The UK is investing £3bn in nine new Boeing Poseidon P-8A maritime patrol aircraft, with Norway committing to a further five. The aircraft are sophisticated submarine-hunters designed to scout complex undersea threats. The aircraft will work together, and with NATO allies, to combat a range of intensifying threats in the North Atlantic, including increased hostile submarine activity.
Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “The UK’s maritime patrol aircraft programme demonstrates our ongoing commitment to working with international allies in the North Atlantic, strengthening our alliances with valued partners such as Norway. Our two nations share basing facilities, undergo cold weather training together and patrol the seas and skies side-by-side allowing us to successfully face down the growing threats from adversaries in the North Atlantic region.”
During the visit, the defence ministers experienced a demonstration flight in a US Navy Poseidon P-8A aircraft.
Norwegian State Secretary Tone Skogen said: “The UK and Norway have a long history of cooperation on maritime surveillance and operations. This close relationship will only improve now that we will operate the same type of MPA, the P-8 Poseidon. UK and Norwegian priorities are aligned in the North Atlantic, and we look forward to a close and integrated partnership in meeting common challenges within the realm of maritime security.”
The entire nine-strong UK Poseidon P-8A fleet will be based at RAF Lossiemouth. The first aircraft has been built and has just completed its first test flight. It will be handed over to the RAF in the United States later this year and arrive in Scotland early in 2020.
Last year, the station broke ground on construction of a £132m strategic facility for the new fleet, to be completed in 2020. The new facility is being constructed by Elgin-based Robertson Northern and will comprise a tactical operations centre, an operational conversion unit, squadron accommodation, training and simulation facilities and a three-bay aircraft hangar.
When all of these developments are complete there will be 470 additional service personnel based at RAF Lossiemouth, taking the total number of people employed there to 2,200. RAF Lossiemouth is one of the most important air stations in the UK: it is already home to four RAF Typhoon squadrons – half of the RAF Typhoon Force – which conducts air policing work to protect the UK’s airspace from unwanted intrusion, and also on behalf of NATO in Eastern Europe to reassure allies. The UK’s NATO commitments also include sending four RAF Typhoons to conduct air policing in Icelandic skies for the first time later this year. Such operations allow the RAF to develop valuable skills in new and challenging environments, as well as working closely with allies to protect Euro Atlantic security. Earlier this month, RAF Typhoons benefitted from a £350m contract with Rolls-Royce to support the maintenance of their EJ200 engines up to 2024. (Source: ASD Network)
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