31 Mar 17. $35bn Australian Future Frigate Tender. The $35bn Future Frigate project reached a significant milestone today with the release of the Request for Tender (RFT) to the three shortlisted designers; BAE, Fincantieri and Navantia. Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said the Future Frigate project is currently the largest frigate shipbuilding program of its kind in the world.
“Today’s announcement shows the Government is on track to begin construction of the Future Frigates in 2020 in Adelaide,” Minister Pyne said.
“The release of the RFT is an important part of the Competitive Evaluation Process which will lead to the Government announcing the successful designer for the Future Frigates in 2018.”
Minister Pyne said evaluation of the responses to the Future Frigate RFT would commence later this year.
“Three designers—BAE Systems with the Type 26 Frigate, Fincantieri with the FREMM Frigate, and Navantia with a redesigned F100, have been working with Defence since August 2015 to refine their designs.
“The three shortlisted designers must demonstrate and develop an Australian supply chain to support Australia’s future shipbuilding industry, and also how they will leverage their local suppliers into global supply chains.
“The Government is committed to maximising Australian industry opportunities and participation and this project will contribute to building a sustainable Australian shipbuilding workforce.”
The Future Frigates are the next generation of naval surface combatants and would conduct more challenging maritime warfare operations in our regions including delivering a greater impact on anti-submarine operations. The frigates will also be equipped with a range of offensive and self-protection systems. The nine Future Frigates are part of the Government’s $89 billion national shipbuilding endeavour which would see Australia develop a strong and sustainable naval shipbuilding industry. This critical investment will generate significant economic growth and sustain thousands of Australian jobs over decades. (Source: defence-aerospace.com/Australian Minister for Defence Industry)
31 Mar 17. Russia reveals Su-30SME export ‘Flanker’ details. Russia has revealed new details of the Su-30SME export variant of the Sukhoi ‘Flanker’ fighter that it launched in early 2016.
Speaking at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition in Malaysia, president of Irkut Corporation Oleg Demchenko revealed performance specifications for the twin-seat derivative of the Su-30SM that recently entered service with Russia and Kazakhstan (the Su-30SM is itself a development of the Su-30MKI sold to India).
The Su-30SME has a normal take-off weight of 26,090 kg, a maximum take-off weight of 34,000 kg, a speed of 1.75 Mach, and normal/maximum fuel weights of 5,270/9,300 kg respectively. It has operational range of 1,280 km at sea-level and at a speed of 800 km/h; of 3,000 km flying at a high altitude and at a speed of 900 km/h; and of 5,600 km with one air refuelling contact.
The Su-30SME is powered by two AL-31FP afterburner jet engines with thrust vectoring control. The powerplants have a combined thrust of 25,000 kg, and afford the fighter a combat payload of up to 8,000 kg mounted from its 12 hardpoints.
The avionics suite of the Su-30SME has been upgraded and the aircraft equipped for infrared and laser targeting pods for ground target acquisition and engagement. The new fire control radar can acquire and track 15 aerial targets simultaneously while being able to attack four at once. Other features include an integrated electro-optical targeting sensor coupled with a laser inertial navigation system, a helmet-mounted target designator, and satellite navigation system compatible with the GLONASS and NAVSTAR formats.
“The Su-30SME is an upgraded modern platform based on Russian equipment,” Demchenko said. “As the basic Russian Su-30SM version develops, the capabilities of the ex