01 Apr 16. Babcock and Oman Drydock Company’s MOU receives seal of approval. The UK’s Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP has visited the offices of the Special Economic Zone Authority Duqm (SEZAD) in Muscat, Oman to meet officials and endorse the ceremonial signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Oman Drydock Company (ODC) and Babcock International Group (Babcock).
The ODC and BIG have agreed a MOU as a commitment to bring together ODC’s wellestablished commercial shipyard in Duqm, Oman and Babcock’s international Naval support expertise within a joint venture capable of providing local and international Navies with worldclass engineering services in the strategic location.
Babcock, the UK’s leading engineering support services company, already provide direct support to most of the UK’s surface fleet and all of the submarine fleet.
Welcomed by H.E Yahya bin Said bin Abdullah Al Jabri, Chairman, Special Economic Zone of Duqm, the Secretary of State for Defence learned about the progress made since his last visit in
September 2015 and the UK’s role in supporting the joint development of a naval capability in Duqm between ODC and Babcock.
30 Mar 16. Israel looks to lift Ukrainian UAV sales embargo. In response to a governmental embargo on sales of unmanned air vehicles to Ukraine, Israeli manufacturers are trying to rekindle the market as they identify a need for their systems in the region.
The embargo was enforced to satisfy Russian demands but as a result, US manufacturers have succeeded in the market and Israeli companies want the restrictions reversed.
Shortly after the armed conflict between Russia and the Ukraine started, Ukraine expressed an urgent need for UAVs, specifically certain Israeli ones, but sales could not be made.
Negotiations have now begun with Israeli manufacturers and it is understood at least one has reached an advanced stage under the approval of the Israeli ministry of defence.
Last year the US government claimed it was going to authorise a contract for the delivery of the AeroVironment RQ-11B Raven UAV to Ukraine, which was followed by a Foreign Military Sales contract worth $9 million.
Sources said on 29 March that Ukraine has approached Israel to indicate its operational needs for some types of UAVs, but none of the manufacturers would elaborate.
They noted the removal of the embargo is an issue that “will have to be solved soon”.(Source: Defense News Early Bird/Flightglobal)
31 Mar 16. India’s Reliance and Antonov agree to co-produce transport aircraft. India’s Reliance Defence Limited (RDL), a subsidiary of the Reliance Group, has entered an agreement with Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer Antonov to co-operate on the development and production of twin-engine turboprop transport aircraft.
RDL said in a statement on 31 March that collaboration will focus, in part, on the production of a 50-80 seat passenger aircraft and related variants for military, maritime patrol, paramilitary, and commercial applications.
RDL said the collaboration could result in a joint venture (JV) that would target sales worth INR350bn (USD5.3 bn) and generate employment for around 7,000 people.
Highlighting potential sales in the military segment, RDL said that the Indian Air Force operates more than 100 Antonov An-32 turboprop transport aircraft and that, with these aircraft having completed “[their] last life cycle upgrade, [they] will be due for replacement”.(Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 Mar 16. Defexpo 2016: India reveals Kestrel AFV fitted with BMP-2 turret. India’s Tata Motors has developed a variant of the Kestrel 8×8 armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) fitted with the turret from a Russian BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), displaying it at India’s Defexpo 2016 exhibition, held in Goa from 28-31 March. The modified Kestrel features a basic BMP-2 turret armed with a 30 mm stabilised 2A42 automatic cannon, a coaxial 7.62 mm PKT machine gun, and six Tucha