22 Apr 16. Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) has been named the preferred tenderer for an integrated battlespace communication system for the Australian Defence Force. Harris was selected by the Commonwealth of Australia for the Land 2072 Phase 3 program, which is a critical part of the Australian Army’s Networked Digitisation Plan. The plan will modernize the Australian Army’s communications network – enhancing operational tempo and command and control. Under the program, Harris will provide an integrated tactical communications network for voice and data services to tactical forces over line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight applications. The solution will include tactical radios and other systems and technology from Harris and other partner companies.
“This agreement reinforces Harris’ status as a trusted partner and continues our long-standing commitment to providing the Australian Defence Force with secure communications and networking solutions,” said Alan Callaghan, president and managing director, Harris Defence Australia. “Harris is proud to be part of such a pivotal program and to support the Australian Army’s continued modernization efforts.”
22 Apr 16. Japan’s X-2 fifth-generation demonstrator makes maiden flight. The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) X-2 (formerly Advanced Technology Demonstrator – Experimental [ATD-X]) ‘Shinshin’ (Spirit) fifth-generation fighter technology demonstrator made its maiden flight on 22 April. The milestone, which took place a day later than scheduled because of poor weather, saw the experimental aircraft depart from Nagoya Airport before conducting a series of flight characteristics trials. It landed at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF’s) Gifu Air Base, some 50 km to the north.
“Control of the aircraft went exactly as in our simulated training sessions,” the test pilot is reported as saying.
As the co-ordinating company of the X-2 development project, MHI has been developing the aircraft’s airframe since 2009 with co-operation provided by 220 domestic companies and guidance from Japan’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA). (Source: IHS Jane’s)
22 Apr 16. In China’s shadow, SE Asia looks to replace ageing fighter jets. With an eye on China’s more muscular stance in the South China Sea, Southeast Asian governments are stepping up efforts to replace ageing fighter aircraft fleets, paving the way for multi-billion dollar deals in a boon for warplane makers.
Despite tight budgets across the region, sales executives say they are busier than ever after a five-year lull – and both industry and government sources say the next months could see several multi-billion dollar deals from Malaysia to Vietnam.
A trade conference held in Kuala Lumpur this week thronged with would-be buyers and salesmen from Russian, French, British, Chinese, Pakistani and American firms. Held every other year, attendees reported it was busier than ever.
A prime drawcard was one of the region’s biggest prizes: Malaysia, which is set to finally replace its Russian 1990s-era MiG-29 fighters after several years of delays. Industry sources say Kuala Lumpur could buy up to 18 jets, a deal potentially worth more than $2.5 billion.
Options include the Saab Gripen, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Russian Sukhoi Su-30, and the Sino-Pakistani JF-17. France is optimistic about winning an order for Dassault-built Rafales but other bidders are also hopeful.
“We are hoping to make Malaysia the ninth country to buy the Typhoon,” said John Brosnan, who heads the Asian business for BAE Systems, one of the partners in the Eurofighter consortium.
Malaysia’s defence ministry did not respond to requests for comment on the talks.
Vietnam, eyeing options beyond traditional supplier Russia, is among those next on the buyers list. It has had preliminary talks with Saab and France’s Dassault to purchase at least 12 fighter jets, industry sources and a separate source familiar with the government talks said.