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Latest reporting and analysis of the global defence industry
Janes provides a wide range of data, insight and news across the global defence industry. Here you will find a summary and curation of the most recent content derived from Janes Defence: News Module.
Australia reviews definition of local defence company
07th June: The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) is reviewing the definition of the term ‘Australian defence company' as part of wider efforts to strengthen the way it engages with local industry. The move is a reflection of local industry concerns about the continuing dominance of foreign-owned subsidiaries amid a military modernisation programme budgeted by the government at AUD270 billion (USD209 billion). A spokesperson from the DoD told Janes that the review of the definition is intended to enhance the country's defence industrial participation policy, the Australian Industry Capability (AIC) programme, and related moves to update defence contracting guidelines.
China passes ‘anti-sanctions' legislation
11th June: China's National People's Congress (NPC) has passed legislation to counter foreign sanctions including those recently introduced by Washington to stem the flow of US technologies and investments to the Chinese military-industrial complex. The move is the latest milestone in China's ‘decoupling' from the United States and its associated efforts to achieve self reliance in military technologies. The NPC said in a statement on 10 June that the new Anti Foreign Sanctions Law will “safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of citizens and organisations of our country”.
Japan looks to enhance scrutiny of defence FDI
23rd June: Japan is considering a move to further tighten regulations on foreign direct investment (FDI) in strategic-technology areas including defence. The potential move, which could be introduced within the next few months, is aimed at strengthening the protection of indigenous technologies. According to a government proposal, the new regulations would address loopholes in current FDI rules through which foreign investors can place technology-transfer demands on Japanese firms. Local news reports suggest that the proposal would enable the government to scrutinise any potential technology-transfer activity even after foreign firms have completed their investments. Countermeasures for non-compliance could include forcing foreign investors to sell off shares in Japanese companies.
Indonesia reveals USD125 billion military modernisation plan
01st June: A draft regulation from Indonesia’s presidential office has outlined the requirement for investment of USD125 billion in military modernisation through to the mid-2040s. The funding proposal is indicative of Indonesia’s military ambitions and its growing concerns about regional security. The draft regulation – entitled ‘Fulfilling the Defence and Security Equipment Needs of the Ministry of Defence and Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) 2020-24’ – was issued recently but requires various approvals from ministries and the House of Representatives before enactment. The investment plan also highlights Indonesia’s continuing dependency on foreign loans.
Japan, Ukraine move towards defence equipment agreement
03rd June: Japan and Ukraine are moving closer to finalising a defence equipment and technology agreement that will facilitate closer co-operation between the two countries, Janes understands. The potential alliance is regarded in Tokyo as part of wider efforts to expand defence industrial ties with a view to exports and joint research projects. Ukraine also views the arrangement as an export opportunity. The latest round of bilateral talks towards the defence agreement were held in Kiev on 1 June, led by Roman Mashovets, the deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office, and Takashi Kurai, Japan's ambassador to Ukraine.
China, Russia outspend US on defence, US general says
11th June: The US Department of Defense (DoD) and the US Intelligence Community (IC) have concluded that China and Russia collectively spend more on defence than the United States does, according to Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “At an unclassified level, I would tell you that combined, the Russian and Chinese budgets exceed our budgets if all the cards are put on the table,” said Gen Milley. “Both governments do not put all their cards on the table when it comes to their budget. It's a very difficult thing to discern that which is being spent on their defence versus other priorities.”
Thailand takes delivery of Norinco VN-16 AAVs
02nd June: The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has confirmed that it has taken delivery of an initial three Norinco-produced VN-16 amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs) from China. An RTN spokesperson confirmed the procurement on 1 June, stating that the three vehicles, which will be operated by the Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC), cost THB398.14 million (USD13 million). The spokesperson also said that the acquisition constituted the first phase of the RTMC's AAV procurement programme, indicating additional purchases of the VN-16.
Saab to integrate Varjo mixed-reality technology into Gripen E/F simulators
08th June: Saab's Head of Tactical Environment Simulation and Visualisation Stefan Furenbäck said in a statement, “We are finalising the basic functionalities in our own simulator so that we can use Varjo's XR-3 headsets in all our flight simulators. We've previously carried out smaller, independent prototype-like projects but now we're integrating them into our actual flight simulators.” A key aspect of this, according to Furenbäck, is that Varjo's technology had allowed pilots to be able to read text and see small details when using the technology, which had been a common concern with other simulator systems.
Japan reveals digital development plan for F-X fighter
21st June: The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) has outlined a commitment to apply digital engineering techniques and technologies in the development of the country's next-generation F-X fighter aircraft. The MoD told Janes that the move to introduce such digital methods is part of a wider effort on the F-X programme to achieve enhancement in quality and efficiency across the design, development, production, and sustainment of the aircraft. The MoD said the effort is also aligned with modern fighter aircraft practices in countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, from companies which are expected to be involved in the development of the F-X fighter.
Thales, Atos form JV for big data, AI
02nd June: French technology companies Atos and Thales have created a joint venture (JV) called Athea to provide big data and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to public and private sector clients in the defence, intelligence, and security communities, according to an Atos announcement. “The joint venture will pool the companies’ investments, expertise, and experience to respond quickly and efficiently to demand for innovation,” Atos said on 27 May. The JV will build on the work that Atos and Thales have done on the Artemis big data programme since 2017 for the French Ministry of Armed Forces. Applications already developed by Artemis perform tasks such as exploiting massive amounts of heterogeneous intelligence data and monitoring soldier health.
Chemring buys AI firm Cubica
04th June: UK-based Chemring Group has acquired artificial intelligence (AI) and data fusion company Cubica Technology, bolstering the capabilities of its Roke engineering business, Chemring announced on 3 June. Cubica “complements Roke's existing capabilities in cyber security, intelligence, and electronic warfare, offering customers a force multiplier for their missions”, Chemring said. Cubica's products include TensorGrid, which rapidly searches large amounts of imagery, and Omniscient, which fuses information from multiple sensors in real time. The small company mainly serves the defence and security sectors, and its clients include BAE Systems, Leonardo, and the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
CAE forms joint venture with Indian tribal firm
17th June: CAE USA, a subsidiary of Canada-based simulation and training provider CAE, has partnered with American Indian tribally owned company Potawatomi Training to pursue contracts from the US Department of Defense and other US federal agencies, according to a recent announcement. CAE USA and Potawatomi Training, which is owned by the Wisconsin-based Forest County Potawatomi tribe, will co-ordinate their activities through a new joint venture (JV) called PTC Solutions JV, the 25 May announcement says. Potawatomi Training's small-business status will allow the JV to compete for contracts set aside for small businesses.
Cobham spins off electronics unit
18th June: UK-based defence and aerospace company Cobham Group has turned its electronics business, Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions, into a standalone entity called CAES. “This new structure has empowered CAES's board and management team to implement a strategy to deliver improved operational performance and programme execution throughout the business,” CAES said on 17 June while announcing that former US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has joined its new board of directors. CAES (pronounced ‘Case‘) remains owned by US private equity firm Advent International, which acquired Cobham in January 2020.
Patria unveils reorganization
18th June: Patria Group is replacing five business units with four new ones to achieve efficiency and better serve its customers, the Finnish defence and aerospace company announced on17 June. Under the new structure, the Finland Division will focus on managing accounts for the Finnish Defence Forces, while the Global Division will do the same for non-Finland customers. The Operations unit will oversee the Air, Land, and System & Integration production lines. The Portfolio unit will be responsible for six product and service lines – C5ISTAR, Fleet Availability, Life Cycle Management, Mission Capability, New Products and Services, and Training & User Support.
Support in Japan grows for shift in defence budget strategy
26th May: Political support in Japan appears to be growing in favour of ramping up the country’s defence budget amid mounting concerns over China’s regional assertiveness and military modernisation. Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LPD) and Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi have given strong indications recently that they are prepared to support a shift in the country’s defence budget strategy. Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has also pledged a commitment to support enhancements in the country’s defence capability.
New Zealand’s defence budget returns to growth
24th May: New Zealand has announced a strong increase in its defence budget for 2021–22, reflecting the country’s robust economic recovery to the Covid-19 pandemic. Budgetary documents issued by the New Zealand Treasury on 20 May show that the total military expenditure for 2021–22 will be NZD5.18 billion (USD3.7 billion), a year-on-year increase of nearly 11% over the ‘estimated actual’ defence budget for 2020–21, which was NZD4.68 billion.
Australia on track with defence funding plans
13th May: Australia’s defence budget for fiscal year (FY) 2021/22 will climb year on year by more than 5% in nominal terms to AUD44.61 billion (USD34.5 billion), according to Janes analysis. The increase is broadly aligned with forecasts previously announced by Canberra and is indicative of the country’s strong economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Budgetary documents issued by the government on 11 May show that the 2021/22 defence expenditure includes capability acquisition funds of AUD15.76 billion, an increase of nearly 25% over the AUD12.65 billion allocation in 2020/21. Capability sustainment funding in 2021/22 climbs 6% to AUD12.95 billion and the workforce allocation increases 3% to AUD13.85 billion.
Exports and Offsets:
Australian defence exports fall amid Covid-19 challenges
25th May: The value of permits issued to Australian defence exporters declined sharply during the first half of financial year (FY) 2020–21: a trend almost certainly caused by challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Recently updated data published by the Australian Department of Defence’s (DoD’s) Defence Export Controls (DEC) branch shows that by the end of the first half of 2020–21 – or the end of calendar year 2020 – the estimated value of export permits was AUD1.33 billion (USD1 billion).
Japan looks to introduce finance system for defence exports
18th May: The government of Japan is reportedly looking into the possibility of supporting defence exports through the provision of low-interest loans. The plan would involve the state-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) providing credit to potential customers. Government sources cited by Japanese media said the loans would enable developing countries with a shortfall in funding to procure defence equipment from Japan.
Honeywell to pay USD13 million to settle alleged export violations
4th May: US-based Honeywell International has agreed to pay USD13 million to settle allegations that it illegally sent technical defence drawings to China, which is barred from receiving such sensitive information, according to the US State Department. The exported material “contained engineering prints showing dimensions, geometries, and layouts for manufacturing castings and finished parts for multiple aircraft, gas turbine engines, and military electronics”, the department said on 3 May. The drawings, whose transfer “harmed US national security”, showed engine parts for the F-22 and F-35 fighters, the B-1B bomber, and the CTS800 helicopter engine.
Boeing outlines offset commitment on Indian P-8I programme
7th May: Boeing has confirmed that its anticipated sale of additional Boeing P-8I Neptune maritime multimission aircraft (MMA) to India will be accompanied by an offset obligation worth 30% of the value of the sale. The P-8I sale was announced by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) in late April. The deal, which has been approved by the US State Department and will proceed through the US government’s Foreign Military Sale (FMS) mechanism, covers six aircraft, equipment, spares, and support for an estimated USD2.42 billion.
Indonesia looks to enhance enforcement of offsets
24th May: Indonesia has pledged to enhance the enforcement of defence-industrial co-operation guidelines, with the aim to strengthen local manufacturing and boost the country’s economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in Jakarta said that the requirement is also aligned with President Joko Widodo’s stated intention to ensure that the country’s “defence budget supports investment” in Indonesia.
Japan, Poland look to expand defence equipment ties
20th May: Japan and Poland have pledged to expand defence co-operation including potential joint work on defence equipment and technologies, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo has told Janes. A spokesperson said on 19 May that expanded co-operation will be framed around an ‘action plan’ for 2021–25 signed recently by the two governments that calls for deeper bilateral dialogue on defence. “Japan and Poland will make efforts to foster dialogue [between] high-level officials about matters of national security and defence co-operation, including defence equipment and technology,” said the spokesperson, adding that the action plan also provides a framework for the two countries to sign a formal defence co-operation accord. However, the spokesperson declined to comment on potential areas of co-operation on defence equipment and technologies.
Spanish companies join forces in missile systems initiative
12th May: Three Spanish companies are joining forces to work on developing missile systems and other high-performance guided munitions for home and export markets. The partnership, announced on 10 May, will involve Escribano Mechanical & Engineering and GMV linking up with Sener Aeroespacial, which created its own specialist missile division, SMS, earlier this year. “The combined capabilities of the three companies will result in a relevant industrial player in the missile systems sector that can address the needs of the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces, and represent national interests in international co-operation projects,” said Escribano in a statement.
Saudi Arabia revises Saudisation regulation
26th May: Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) has released a revised version of the Nitaqat, or Saudisation, regulations designed to increase the participation of Saudi nationals in the workforce. Under the newly revised regulations, the country is aiming to provide 340,000 more jobs by 2024. New features of the programme include merging some similar work activity types together to simplify navigation of the administration process; using a linear formula to calculate a company's obligation under the programme; and providing a clear and transparent vision for the next three years to assist in stabilising the country's private sector institutions.
China’s Chengdu Aircraft to build UAV industry park
10th May: China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) – a subsidiary of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) – has signed a deal with the provincial government of Sichuan to develop an industrial park in the region, dedicated to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). A statement by the Sichuan government said the new facility will be located in Zigong, in the centre of the province, and will focus on both military and commercial UAVs. “We will develop a world-class manufacturing industry cluster,” said the statement.
Leidos to finish buying ship design firm Gibbs & Cox in May
6th May: US-based government services provider Leidos expects to complete its acquisition of naval ship design business Gibbs & Cox later this month, now that the USD380 million deal has cleared the US anti-trust regulatory process, Leidos chairman and CEO Roger Krone confirmed on 4 May. Leidos had previously indicated that the transaction would close sometime in the April to early July fiscal quarter. It has said the purchase, disclosed in February, would enhance its existing maritime capabilities, position it to participate in the growing unmanned maritime market, and enable Gibbs & Cox to accelerate its expansion in the undersea domain.
Triumph finishes sale of three aircraft structure sites
11th May: US-based Triumph Group has completed its previously announced sale of three aircraft structure facilities to US private equity firm Arlington Capital Partners, Triumph announced on 10 May. The facilities in Red Oak, Texas; Milledgeville, Georgia; and Rayong, Thailand, cover 1.8 million sq ft (167,225 m 2 ) of factory space and employ about 900 people. Arlington has combined the three facilities into a new business called Qarbon Aerospace, which will be led by former Triumph executive vice-president Pete Wick.
Teledyne finishes buying FLIR Systems
18th May: Industrial conglomerate Teledyne Technologies has completed its previously announced acquisition of sensor manufacturer FLIR Systems for USD8.2 billion, according to the two US-based businesses. The 14 May closing came a day after the shareholders of both the companies endorsed the transaction. “We appreciate the support from our stockholders, and I am delighted to welcome FLIR to the Teledyne family,” said Robert Mehrabian, Teledyne’s executive chairman. The deal also received approval from anti-trust regulators in six countries: Canada, China, Germany, Poland, South Korea, and the United States.
29 Apr: Aerospace engineers from Indonesia could soon return to South Korea to recommence work on the development of the KF-21 fighter aircraft, Janes understands. More than 140 Indonesian personnel returned home in March 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic but their return to South Korea could soon be facilitated through government-level talks between the two countries, official sources confirmed to Janes.
KAI prepares smart factory for KF-21 fighter
23 Apr: Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is planning to develop a new ‘smart factory’ to support the production of its new KF-21 Boramae fighter aircraft. In a filing to the Korean stock exchange on 22 April, KAI said it will invest KRW98.5 billion (USD88 million) over the coming five years to set up a “smart manufacturing system based on 4th Industrial Revolution digital technologies” including artificial intelligence and big data analytics.
Details emerge on Eurofighter Typhoon offering to Finland
1 Apr: Further details have emerged on the industrial package being offered to Finland for the Eurofighter Typhoon, which is being led by the UK. During a press briefing on 31 March, the UK Minister of State for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin said that Finland had been invited to join in the development of the European Common Radar System Mark 2 (ECRS Mk2) Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.
Defence Industry Strategy:
QinetiQ reports ‘strong’ performance in Q4
15 Apr: QinetiQ Group had a “strong” operational performance in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021, the British defence technology company said on 14 April. For the full fiscal year, which ended on 31 March, QinetiQ generated “high single digit percentage revenue growth” from existing operations and “high teens percentage revenue growth” overall. It expects its underlying operating profit to total at least GBP147 million (USD202.5 million) for the year.
Turkey to give credit support for investments in defence sector
14 Apr: Turkey’s Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) will continue giving credit support for investments in the defence sector this year, according to a statement released by the procurement agency on its website on 10 April. The size of the credit support that has been given to companies and projects for investments and development activities carried out by the SSB and initiated in 2020 will reach TRY300 million (USD36.8 million).
BAE Systems plans no major revamp after US acquisitions
5 Apr: BAE Systems added 800 employees to its Electronic Systems sector through two recent acquisitions. However, it does not see a need to conduct a major restructuring of the unit, according to an executive at the UK-based defence contractor. “Those two acquisitions fit nice and neatly under the Electronic Systems portfolio,” said Tom Arseneault, the CEO of US subsidiary BAE Systems Inc, which includes the sector. “While there are some lower-level reorganisations that have happened, a little bit of consolidation, that’s the sort of thing we do all the time. At the sector level, no major reorganisation’s needed.”
US eyes distant contractor support for Afghan forces
23 Apr: The US military intends to withdraw its contractors from Afghanistan as part of its planned troop pullout. However, it is looking at how private sector personnel could continue to support Afghan forces from afar, said Marine Corps General Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, the commander of US Central Command, on 22 April. For example, there could be “a remote, televised way” for contractors to help Afghans perform aircraft maintenance, he added.
UK-India council pursues carrier opportunities
13 Apr: The UK-India Business Council (UKIBC) has stated an intention to support efforts towards bilateral co-operation on submarines and aircraft carriers with the aim to meet future capability requirements in the Indian Navy (IN). The UKIBC’s 2021 advocacy report – published on 12 April – said the council intends to collaborate with private-sector and state-owned defence shipyards in India during the coming year to pursue such opportunities.
US committee proposes co-ordinated exports controls on China
12 Apr: Leaders of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee have proposed legislation seeking to counter China’s efforts to develop advanced military technologies. Among a range of proposed diplomatic and strategic initiatives, the new law – entitled the Strategic Competition Act of 2021 – looks to impede China’s military-technology progression through greater co-operation between the US and its allies.
US adds Chinese supercomputing groups to its Entity List
12 Apr: The United States has added seven Chinese supercomputing enterprises to its trading blacklist over their alleged involvement in developing military systems for People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The move is the first by the Joe Biden administration to restrict China’s efforts to modernise its military through its military civil fusion (MCF) strategy.
US government widens probe of Raytheon pricing
28 Apr: The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has expanded its investigation into pricing practices at Raytheon Technologies Corporation’s Missiles & Defense (RMD) business, according to the US-based parent company. The DoJ, which has been looking into “defective pricing” for three contracts that RMD entered into from 2011 to 2013, recently widened its review to include a 2017 RMD contract, company officials said on 27 April.
Leonardo to buy stake in Hensoldt
27 Apr: Italian defence and aerospace company Leonardo has agreed to acquire a 25.1% stake in German defence sensor manufacturer Hensoldt, saying the transaction will enhance co-operation between the two companies. Leonardo will pay EUR606 million (USD732 million) in cash to become Hensoldt’s largest shareholder alongside German state-owned development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), which agreed in March to buy a 25.1% stake for EUR450 million. KfW and Leonardo will each get to propose two candidates to Hensoldt’s supervisory board.
Honeywell eyes more acquisitions
26 Apr: Honeywell International, which has purchased several companies recently, including two with defence applications, is not done with its shopping spree, the head of the US-based industrial conglomerate said on 23 April. While company valuations are “not exactly low”, sensible acquisition opportunities remain plentiful, said Darius Adamczyk, Honeywell’s chairman and CEO.
KDB agrees sale of Hanjin Heavy Industries
16 Apr: The Korea Development Bank (KDB) has reached a deal to sell off its controlling stake in Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC), one of the country’s most prominent naval shipbuilders. KDB said on 15 April that it will sell its 66.85% shareholding in HHIC to a consortium led by the Dongbu Corporation, a civil engineering and construction group. It did not reveal the value of the transaction.
Babcock to divest non-core businesses
14 Apr: Babcock International plans to streamline itself by divesting several businesses that are not central to its strategy, the UK-based engineering company announced on 13 April. Babcock said it expects to conduct the divestitures over the next year and generate net proceeds of at least GBP400 million (USD550 million). The company has already agreed to sell its oil and gas aviation business to offshore helicopter operator CHC Group.
22 Mar: The Communist Party of China (CPC) has outlined the requirement for deepened reforms in the country’s defence sector. The CPC said on 21 March through its official mouthpiece – the People’s Daily - that reforms during the 13th Five Year Plan (FYP), which ended in 2020, were successful in strengthening national defence but that such efforts needed to intensify during the new 14th FYP, which starts this year.
Thailand, China progress plan to establish joint MRO facility
18 Mar: Thailand and China are progressing plans to establish a maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility that would support the Royal Thai Armed Forces’ expanding inventories of Chinese-produced military equipment. The Thai government said in a statement that the plan was the subject of talks in Bangkok on 16 March between Thailand’s permanent defence secretary General Nat Intaracharoen and China’s military attache to Thailand Major General Wu Xiaoyi. It added that the proposed facility would be intended to provide “efficient and comprehensive maintenance support” for a range of military platforms in operation in Thailand.
Seoul reveals ‘Buy Korea Defense’ plan
12 Mar: South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has revealed plans to introduce a defence procurement policy that formally prioritises local sourcing over imports. DAPA said that the ‘Buy Korea Defense’ (BKD) scheme was consistent with the objectives of the recently introduced Defense Industry Development Act. Details of the BKD, it said, were presented at an 11 March meeting of a new DAPA council set up to push through reforms under the legislation.
Thailand, Pakistan sign defence MOU
09 Mar: Thailand and Pakistan have signed an agreement to support expanded collaboration on defence trade and related defence industrial activity. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) on defence co-operation was signed on 5 March in Bangkok by Gen Nat Intaracharoen, Thailand’s permanent secretary of defence, and Asim Iftikhar Ahmad, Pakistan’s ambassador to Thailand, who represented Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Australia launches enterprise initiative for OPV programme
08 Mar: Australia has launched initiatives to support enhanced industrial collaboration in the programme to build Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra said on 5 March that it had established an OPV Enterprise initiative and a related systems programme office at the Henderson maritime precinct in Western Australia, where the majority of the vessels were being constructed. The DoD said that the OPV Enterprise “brings together Commonwealth and defence industry teams under one roof, to build and sustain the RAN’s new Arafura-class OPVs”.
Malaysia prepares new defence industry policy
04 Mar: Malaysia is preparing to launch a national defence industry policy to boost efforts towards self-reliance, the country’s defence minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has stated. The new ‘National Defence and Security Industry Policy’ is currently being drawn up, he said, to position Malaysia as producer of military platforms, with the aim to reduce reliance on imports and spur the national economy. However, the minister indicated that the plan is reliant on partnerships with foreign industry, who would be expected to transfer technologies and knowhow.
UK signals tilt towards Asia-Pacific
02 Mar: The United Kingdom is aiming to further expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific over the coming few years by deepening its relationships with regional countries. The commitment is a response to growing Asian security concerns and is intended to support increased efforts to expand defence and security trade links in the region and related industrial collaboration activity. Such expansion is also being targeted on the back of recent growth in UK defence sales to the Asia-Pacific.
UK releases Defence and Security Industrial Strategy
23 Mar: The UK has published its Defence and Security Industrial Strategy DSIS, heralding the document as “an ambitious plan to re-energise defence and security sectors” by “establishing a more productive and strategic relationship between government and industry”. The review leading to the DSIS commenced in March 2020 and the document was published on 23 March.
Swedish defence exports remain robust in 2020
22 Mar: Swedish exports of military equipment totalled SEK16.3 billion (USD1.9 billion) in 2020, which was unchanged from the previous year but was still at a historically high level, according to Sweden’s Inspectorate for Strategic Products (ISP). The initial delivery of Saab GlobalEye surveillance planes to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) helped drive last year’s results, the ISP said on 18 March, according to a Google translation. Other major contributors included the sale of Saab Gripen fighters to Brazil, Saab’s collaboration with Boeing on the US Air Force’s new T-7A Red Hawk trainer jet, and the delivery of an airborne radar system to Pakistan.
UK Defence Command Paper: UK sheds light on industrial strategy objectives
22 Mar: The UK has cast more light on its future approach to defence and security procurement, industrial co-operation, exports and the defence of supply chains in the Defence Command Paper (Defence in a Competitive Age) of 22 March. The Ministry of Defence policy document outlined specific measures – ranging from programme decisions to force structures – following the publication of the UK government’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy on 16 March.
16 Mar: The United Kingdom will move away from a long-standing position of “open competition by default” when procuring defence and security materiel and will instead prioritise local solutions, the UK government announced in the long-awaited Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy published on 16 March. The strategy document – which aims to chart the course the UK intends to take in the world following its departure from the European Union at the start of 2020 and the completion of an exit transition period at the start of 2021 – states that the country will shift its approach to defence and security collaboration with foreign partners as well as its approach to acquisition and export.
US lawmakers to scrutinise threats to defence supply chain
11 Mar: The US House Armed Services Committee (HASC) has formed a special panel to identify threats to the US defence industry’s supply chain and recommend legislation to minimise those vulnerabilities. The creation of the bipartisan Defense Critical Supply Chain Task Force comes in response to congressional concerns that the US defence industry is too dependent on foreign countries, especially China, for key parts and materials. Those worries intensified early in the coronavirus pandemic last year, when the United States had trouble obtaining urgently needed Chinese-made medical supplies. Lawmakers fear another pandemic-like emergency, or a heated conflict with China could cut off vital supplies to the US defence industry.
19 Mar: Saab is eliminating its two service-oriented business areas and moving their activities into its four remaining business areas as part of a reorganisation that takes effect on 1 July, the Swedish defence and aerospace company announced on 18 March. The Industrial Products & Services (IPS) and Support & Services (S&S) business areas will be integrated into the Aeronautics, Dynamics, Kockums, and Surveillance business areas. Saab said the consolidation will simplify interaction with customers and remove barriers to internal collaboration.
15 Mar: Rolls-Royce is making progress on the potential sale of Spanish subsidiary Industria de Turbo Propulsores (ITP Aero), but has hit a snag with its proposed divestiture of Norway-based Bergen Engines, according to the British engine manufacturer. Rolls-Royce, which announced the Bergen sale in early February, said on 11 March that it has “temporarily paused” the transaction at the request of the Norwegian government, which is considering blocking the proposed EUR150 million (USD179.7 million) deal due to national security concerns.
Lumibird to buy Saab laser rangefinder unit
05 Mar: Power management company Eaton has agreed to acquire Cobham Group’s Cobham Mission Systems (CMS) business for USD2.8 billion, expanding its defence portfolio, Eaton announced on 1 February 2021. CMS makes air-to-air refuelling systems and has delivered more than 2,000 of them to defence customers for fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. Its other military products include actuation devices and environmental control systems.
05 Mar: BAE Systems has acquired electronics developer Pulse Power and Measurement Limited (PPM), whose technology could benefit military and security customers by increasing the speed and ease of sharing large volumes of data over networks, the two British companies said on 4 March. According to a joint BAE-PPM news release, PPM’s radio frequency technology converts data-carrying radio waves into light so they can be sent over fibre optics. This makes data immune to magnetic or radio interference and delivers stronger signals than transmissions over traditional cables, the release says.
Tethered drone firm Sky Sapience gets new owner
03 Mar: US-based communications technology business COMSovereign has acquired Israel’s Sky Sapience, which makes tethered unmanned rotorcraft for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, COMSovereign announced on 1 March. COMSovereign said that combining its 4G and 5G wireless communications technology with Sky Sapience’s HoverMast family of quadcopters will create a dual-purpose platform that can enable high-capacity, wireless communications networks in addition to performing ISR.
L3Harris to sell businesses to CAE, RENK for USD1.45 billion
02 Mar: US-based L3Harris Technologies has agreed to sell its Military Training business to Canadian simulation and training company CAE for USD1.05 billion, and its Combat Propulsion Systems (CPS) business and related entities to German transmission manufacturer RENK for USD400 million, L3Harris announced on 1 March. The divestitures are part of an effort to unload businesses that L3Harris does not deem a good fit for the company, which was formed through the merger of L3 Technologies and Harris Corporation in 2019.
Kratos explores ‘larger’ acquisitions
01 Mar: Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, whose acquisitions have tended to involve small businesses, is considering a “larger” purchase because of newly available opportunities, according to the US-based company’s president and CEO Eric DeMarco. In recent months, “a number of interesting potential acquisition opportunities have arisen that we believe could uniquely and significantly benefit us, which we're going to be investigating”, said DeMarco on 25 February. “I'm not sure if anything will come out of them, but we're going to be looking at them.”
IDEX 2021: Saudi Arabia targeting higher R&D, industry investment to 2030
22 Feb: Saudi Arabia is targeting a significant increase of its research and development (R&D) expenditure as procurement processes are being improved and streamlined, said Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Ohali, the governor of Saudi Arabia’s military procurement agency, the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) on 20 February. “Currently, we spend about 0.2% of our armaments budget on research and development. Our plan is to achieve about 4%, which is the global average, by 2030. It [will] take a lot of collaboration with the UAE, with [the] US, with Europe, in order to reach this level,” he said.
Turkey signs R&D projects to boost domestic production of critical technologies
22 Feb: Turkey’s Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) signed on 18 February six new Research and Development (R&D) projects with various local companies to further boost domestic capacity to produce critical defence technologies, said a statement posted on the SSB website on the same day. Ismail Demir, head of the SSB, said during a signing ceremony that the defence industry’s expenditures for R&D projects reached USD1.7 billion since 2002, [the year that the ruling Justice and Development Party came to power] representing a 34-fold increase, and comprising 15% of the total turnover of the defence sector.
Singapore announces budget increase for 2021
17 Feb: The government of Singapore announced on 16 February a 2021 defence budget of SGD15.36 billion (USD11.56 billion). The new allocation, which amounts to about 15% of total government outlay for the year, is a 12.7% increase over the revised 2020 defence budget of SGD13.63 billion but just a 1.8% increase compared to the original 2020 expenditure of SGD15.08 billion. The government made no reference to the cuts in the 2020 defence expenditure, but indicated they were linked with rising economic headwinds, specifically the Covid-19 pandemic.
Seoul outlines R&D priorities for 2021
16 Feb: South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has unveiled its plan to stimulate enhanced military research and development (R&D) activity over the coming year. DAPA said on 15 February that the 2021 Defence Science and Technology Promotion Plan, which is aimed at “shaping the direction” of defence R&D initiatives over the next 12 months, will be supported by record-high levels of R&D funding. According to DAPA, defence R&D funding in 2021 will reach KRW4.3 trillion (USD3.9 billion), an increase of 10% compared with the KRW3.9 trillion allocation allocated in 2020.
Analysis: India faces real-terms cut in defence funding
02 Feb: Amidst rising economic challenges and strategic concerns, India’s defence budget for 2021– 22 – announced on 1 February at INR4.78 trillion (USD65.5 billion) – represents a small nominal increase but a sharp real-term decline. The new expenditure amounts to a nominal 1.45% increase over the INR4.71 trillion defence budget in the previous fiscal year. However, when the budget is adjusted for inflation, Janes analysis suggests that the new defence budget amounts to a year-on-year decline of 7%. This fall reflects the deep coronavirus-linked recession that India is currently enduring, which has coincided with the country’s continuing military standoff with China in the Himalayas, which has served to highlight India’s military modernisation requirements.
Japan’s ATLA engages MHI on hypersonic missile projects
19 Feb: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is partnering with Japan’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) to develop hypersonic missile systems for the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), it has been confirmed to Janes. A spokesperson from ATLA – an agency under the Ministry of Defense (MoD) – said the collaborative projects are geared towards meeting technology development milestones by the mid-2020s. MHI’s Research & Innovation Center in Nagasaki operates a hypersonic wind tunnel, which is capable of simulating speeds beyond Mach 5. MHI has not commented on its related projects with ATLA, however.
UK urged to ban Chinese investments in defence supply chain
15 Feb: The UK House of Commons defence committee has called on the UK government to ban Chinese investment into the country’s defence supply chain. In a report published on 14 February, the committee identified several companies operating within the UK’s supply chain that have recently been acquired by Chinese investors. It expressed concern that such investments could jeopardise UK intellectual property. The report also noted similar concerns about Russia, although indicated that inward investments from China was much more expansive.
Airbus Helicopters, TAI sign sale and support deal
12 Feb: Airbus Helicopters has entered into an agreement with Thai Aviation Industries (TAI) to support the sale and supply of rotary-wing aircraft to Thai military and civilian customers. The agreement, which was signed on 11 February in Bangkok, positions state-owned TAI as Airbus Helicopters’ “prime contractor and completion centre for the sale and distribution of its helicopters” in Thailand, said a press release. The accord also expands the scope of the two firms’ existing partnership.
Rheinmetall announces organisational restructure
05 Feb: Germany’s Rheinmetall announced an organisational restructuring as part of the company’s strategic realignment on 5 February, in a move that will see the firm reduce its exposure to the automotive market and target greater defence sales. Under the new ONE Rheinmetall strategy, the company will merge the existing Automotive and Defence units and replace them with five business divisions: Weapon & Ammunition, Electronic Solutions, Vehicle Systems, Sensors & Actuators, and Materials & Trade.
Defence Industry Movements:
Raytheon raises ‘concerns’ about Lockheed Martin deal
18 Feb: Raytheon Technologies fears it could find itself at a competitive disadvantage if rival Lockheed Martin is permitted to buy propulsion provider Aerojet Rocketdyne, a Raytheon official said on 17 February. Raytheon worries that Lockheed Martin could make it difficult for its competitors to buy Aerojet Rocketdyne products. Most of Raytheon’s missiles, including the Standard Missile family, the workhorse Tomahawk cruise missile, and the proposed Next-Generation Interceptor, use Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion. “We, obviously, have some concerns about that acquisition,” Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes told the Barclays Industrial Select Conference. “We’re going to make our concerns known to US anti-trust regulators, and the US Department of Defense,” he added.
Serco to buy consulting firm WBB
17 Feb: UK-based government services provider Serco Group has agreed to purchase American consulting business Whitney, Bradley & Brown (WBB) for USD295 million to expand its presence in the large US defence market, Serco announced on 16 February. The deal will boost Serco’s annual North American defence revenue by 20% to USD1.1 billion, diversify its customer base, and bolster its expertise in such high-demand technology areas as advanced data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cybersecurity, modelling, precision navigation and timing, and wargaming. ”The acquisition will increase the scale, breadth, and capability of Serco’s North American defence business, and will give Serco a strong platform from which to address all major segments of the US defence services market,” Serco said.
Saab seeks to diversify naval business
12 Feb: Saab’s Kockums business area, which mainly designs and builds submarines and surface vessels for the Swedish Navy, is looking to diversify its workload to improve its financial performance, according to Micael Johansson, the president and CEO of the Swedish defence company. “In this part of Saab, you also have to have a combination of different types of contracts, not sort of one or two large mega-deals contracts with complicated developments,” said Johansson. “You need the support contracts, you need the upgrade contracts on the surface side, you need international contracts.”
Cobham to sell aerial refuelling business to Eaton
02 Feb: Power management company Eaton has agreed to acquire Cobham Group’s Cobham Mission Systems (CMS) business for USD2.8 billion, expanding its defence portfolio, Eaton announced on 1 February 2021. CMS makes air-to-air refuelling systems and has delivered more than 2,000 of them to defence customers for fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. Its other military products include actuation devices and environmental control systems.
Lockheed Martin names new UK chief
02 Feb: Paul Livingston, vice president and group managing director of Lockheed Martin’s UK Rotary and Mission Systems business, will become Lockheed Martin’s UK chief executive on 1 April 2021, according to the US-based defence contractor. Livingston will replace Peter Ruddock, who is retiring after five years in the position, Lockheed Martin said on 1 February. Lockheed Martin UK is based in London and has about 1,800 employees at 23 locations across the country. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the F-35 programme, which makes about 15% of each fighter jet in the UK.
27 Jan: Lockheed Martin’s revenue from the rapidly growing area of hypersonic weapons could double to USD3 billion a year by the middle of the decade, according to a company official. Lockheed Martin expects to have hypersonics sales of USD1.5 billion in 2021, up 25% from USD1.2 billion in 2020, said Kenneth Possenriede, the US defence contractor’s chief financial officer. Several Lockheed Martin programmes are poised to achieve key development milestones or ramp up production over the next few years, fuelling revenue increases.
Biden eyes more compliance with ‘Buy American’ rules
26 Jan: US President Joe Biden signed an executive order on 25 January directing US government agencies to increase their adherence to “Buy American” requirements. “With this order, President Biden is ensuring that when the federal government spends taxpayer dollars, they are spent on American-made goods by American workers, and with American-made component parts,” the White House said in a statement. While the existing federal law requires agencies to give preferences to American manufacturers when buying goods and services, those preferences “have not always been implemented consistently or effectively”, the statement said.
Lockheed Martin lands most US defence contracts in FY 2019
15 Jan: Lockheed Martin received USD45.6 billion in US defence contracts in fiscal year (FY) 2019, the most of any company by far, according to a new report by the US Department of Defense (DoD). Boeing was the second largest recipient at USD25.7 billion, followed by Northrop Grumman at USD19.5 billion, General Dynamics at USD18.6 billion, and Raytheon at USD15.7 billion. Rounding out the top 10 were United Technologies Corporation (UTC), USD10.3 billion; BAE Systems, USD7.3 billion; Huntington Ingalls Industries and Humana, both at USD6.7 billion; and L3 Technologies, USD4.9 billion.
Dassault aircraft deliveries fall
12 Jan: Dassault Aviation delivered 47 airplanes in 2020, down from 66 the year before, the French aerospace manufacturer announced on 6 January. Dassault said it delivered 13 Rafale multirole fighters to export customers last year, meeting expectations. That figure is half the number it delivered in 2019. The company also delivered 34 Falcon business jets in 2020, up four from an earlier forecast but down six from the previous year.
Turkish aerospace and defence exports decline 16.8% in 2020
08 Jan: Turkey’s total aerospace and defence exports declined by 16.8% in 2020 to USD2.27 billion, compared with 2019’s USD2.74 billion, according to figures disclosed by the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) on 5 January. Exports for December 2020 declined by 3.2% to USD279.51 million compared to USD288.64 million in December 2019. An unknown amount of the total defence and aviation exports for 2020 include exports in the civil aviation market, which has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The aerospace and defence industry’s share in the country’s total exports in 2020 was 1.3%.
Mergers, Acquisitions and Co-operation
Ukraine’s UkrOboronProm eyes more defence ties with Sweden, Turkey
01 Feb: UkrOboronProm is looking at expanding its relationships with Sweden and Turkey, according to the Ukrainian state-owned defence holding company. UkrOboronProm CEO Yuri Gusev met with Swedish Ambassador to Ukraine Tobias Tiberg on 27 January 2021 to discuss “deepening co-operation in the field of military-technical development, and co-operation between Ukrainian and Swedish special exporters”, the company said. At another recent meeting, Gusev and Turkish Ambassador to Ukraine Yagmur Ahmet Guldere discussed “a number of important projects”, including “deepening co-operation between the defence systems of Ukraine and Turkey”, UkrOboronProm said.
AeroVironment to buy Arcturus UAV
14 Jan: AeroVironment plans to expand its portfolio of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by acquiring fellow California-based business Arcturus UAV for USD405 million in cash and stock, AeroVironment announced on 13 January. AeroVironment said the purchase will extend its reach into the market for Group 2 and Group 3 UAVs, which are larger and have a greater growth potential than the Group 1 UAVs that AeroVironment focuses on. The deal will also create a one-stop shop for customers. D’Milo Hallerberg, the president and CEO of Arcturus, said that joining a larger business means his company “will have greater scale, expanded resources, cutting-edge technology, and superior capabilities to meet the growing global demand for our products and solutions”.
Teledyne moves to buy FLIR Systems after France blocks Photonis purchase
05 Jan: US industrial conglomerate Teledyne Technologies has agreed to acquire American sensor manufacturer FLIR Systems for USD8 billion in cash and stock, the two companies jointly announced on 4 January. Jim Cannon, FLIR’s president and CEO, said the combination will bring together complementary products, creating an “end-to-end portfolio of sensory technologies for all key domains and applications across a well-balanced, global customer base”. The two companies said they have little product and customer overlap, as their sensors are based on different semiconductor technologies for different wavelengths. In the infrared imaging market, for example, Teledyne focuses on astronomy and space, while FLIR concentrates on other domains, such as air and land.
EU, China sign investment treaty
04 Jan: The European Union and China have agreed in principle an accord to facilitate greater levels of EU investment in the Asian country. The treaty includes clauses relevant to national security and China’s efforts to develop military capability through advanced commercial technologies. The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) – announced on 30 December – took seven years of bilateral talks to conclude and, according to the EU, is intended to “significantly improve the market access conditions for EU companies in China”. The agreement will come into effect once formally approved and ratified by Beijing and Brussels.
Asia Defence Developments
China to boost protection of rare-earth elements
25 Jan: China aims to reinforce the protection of its rare-earth minerals through a new set of proposed rules issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in Beijing. According to the MIIT, the new draft rules – named the ‘Regulations on Rare Earth Management’ – are intended to enhance the “production and operation” of rare-earth minerals in China and the “rational development and utilisation” of related resources. The draft document, which is expected to be issued formally later this year, proposes new rules related to licences, regulatory responsibilities and approvals, quota levels, and related management, as well as measures to enhance the industrial chain and monitor illegal sales.
India urged to raise cap on defence FDI
19 Jan: The UK-India Business Council (UKIBC) has called on the government in New Delhi to raise the cap on foreign direct investment (FDI) in the defence sector. Such a move, it said, will boost investment in Indian defence industrial enterprises and strengthen strategic and defence ties between the two countries. The suggestion was included in a longer list of recommendations recently submitted to India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for consideration in the country’s budget, which will be announced in early February.
Indonesia outlines 2021 offset target
18 Jan: The Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has outlined an objective to enhance foreign engagement with in-country countertrade and offset requirements in 2021 to support the development of national industries. The MoD said in recently published targets for 2021 that during the year it aims to “enhance promotion of co-operation” between local firms and foreign contractors in the defence sector. The MoD said such co-operation will be geared towards “increasing industry capability” and will be channelled into three activities: countertrade, local content, and offsets.
Seoul outlines import substitution plans for 2021
07 Jan: South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced more plans to encourage the localised production of components and subsystems for major military platforms. DAPA said on 7 January that it would invest KWR88 billion (USD81 million) during 2021 on setting up and supporting a range of new initiatives aimed at reducing dependency on imports. DAPA said the new plans reflect its accelerated efforts to support defence-industry jobs and skills in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The initiatives are also aligned with a target to maximise local industry’s involvement in the modernisation of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces over the coming few years.
Japan looks to enhance F-X industrial efficiencies through incentives
06 Jan: The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) aims to implement its new “incentivised” contracting system in the country’s F-X programme to develop a next-generation fighter aircraft. The MoD told Janes that its Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) will collaborate with F-X prime contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in managing the programme’s anticipated expansive subcontracting engagements. It added that incentives will be integrated into the subcontracting system in line with wider contracting initiatives being rolled by the MoD and ATLA to achieve greater efficiencies in defence production. The incentive contracting system was introduced in 2020.
Aevum develops rocket-launching UAV for space missions
09 Dec: Aevum has developed an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed to deploy rockets for space launch missions every three hours at a price point of just under USD4,000 per payload kilogram. Jay Skylus, company founder and CEO, told Janes in a November interview embargoed until 3 December that the Ravn X is the world’s largest UAV by mass. The aircraft is 24 m long with a 18 m wingspan and is 5.5 m tall.
Russia unveils P-18-2 Prima mobile radar to track new target types
11 Dec: Russia’s Rosoboronexport, a subsidiary of state corporation Rostec, has introduced for export two new mobile radars capable of tracking targets such as stealth aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and hypersonic vehicles, according to the company. On 26 November Rosoboronexport presented the P-18-2 Prima radar based on an 8×8 heavy truck. “The highly maneuverable Prima radar is capable of detecting modern and advanced lowvisibility targets, including stealth aircraft,” said director general of Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheev.
Advances in supercomputing make DARPA confident about CRANE active flow control effort
14 Dec: Advances in supercomputing technology during the past 20 years are one of multiple reasons that the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is confident that it can succeed in its Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (CRANE) active flow control (AFC) programme. Alexander Walan, CRANE programme manager, told Janes on 4 December that computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes had improved in the past 10 years. This enables engineers to better leverage computers to verify designs and effects, and spot checks in wind tunnels. Engineers can now use high-powered computing to perform these tasks in a more economical fashion.
The dark art: Airborne electronic attack becomes ‘the new black’ for mission success
16 Dec: Modern multirole combat aircraft seek to incorporate the gamut of capability and performance attributes, but each generation has prioritised a particular trait to give it the qualitative edge over its competitors, be it in speed, stealth, manoeuvrability, or something else. With the advancement over recent years of ground-based air-defence (GBAD) systems and integrated air-defence systems (IADS) among countries and groups that would traditionally not have fielded such advanced capabilities, the feature of choice for today’s generation of combat aircraft designers is electronic warfare (EW) in general and electronic attack (EA) in particular.
Shells to quell: Artillery could get a new mission with RF jamming shells
16 Dec: Radio-frequency (RF) jamming shells exploit an elegantly simple principle – they are loaded and fired from a standard artillery system. When the shells impact the ground, they do not explode but rather will automatically deploy an antenna, activate their batteries, and start transmitting jamming waveforms. Historically, jamming shells have been designed to perform short-range, short-duration jamming of hostile radios and communications networks in very/ultra-high-frequency (V/UHF) wavebands of 30 MHz to 3 GHz.
Quick on the draw: Close-in gun systems evolve for ship self-defence
17 Dec: The close-in weapon system (CIWS) as a genre of weapons began to proliferate in the 1980s in response to growing anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) threats. In particular, losses incurred by the UK Royal Navy (RN) during the 1982 South Atlantic conflict underscored the vulnerability of surface ships to sea-skimming missiles arriving with little warning. The problem was that neither conventional naval gunnery nor the point defence missile systems of the era offered the performance required to defeat such attacks.
18 Dec: Small and medium-sized enterprises, led by Boeing’s Phantom Works, have formed a consortium to design and implement an end-to-end broadband communication and remote sensing capability in the Arctic for government customers seeking to extend influence in the region. The Integrated Remote Sensing for the Arctic (IRSA) Development Group (IDG) aims to provide broadband communications and enhance the situational awareness and command and control (C2) of armed forces, law enforcement, and search-and-rescue units operating in and around the Arctic Circle.
Global Defence Industry:
China launches technology incentive project
02 Dec: China has launched a project to provide financial incentives and subsidies to local industry in support of the development of military technologies. The project has been initiated through a new set of guidelines issued in late November by the State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) on behalf of the Chinese defence ministry. ‘Detailed rules for the implementation of special incentive subsidies to promote military technologies’ outlines both technology requirements and guidelines for local companies looking to take part in the project. Incentives available through the project are valued at CNY8 million (USD1.2 million).
Cobham sells stake in UK joint venture AirTanker
02 Dec: Cobham Group has sold its 13% stake in the AirTanker Ltd joint venture (JV), which maintains a fleet of Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft for the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF), Janes has learned. Although the other four JV participants – Airbus, Babcock International, Rolls-Royce, and Thales – were each eligible to buy part of Cobham’s share, only one, Babcock, has so far acknowledged making such a purchase. Babcock said on 25 November that it increased its stake in AirTanker to 15%, up from 13%.
South Korea increases defence budget for 2021
03 Dec: South Korea’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) has announced a 2021 defence budget of KWR52.84 trillion (USD48 billion). The proposed expenditure amounts to a 5.4% increase over the KRW50.15 trillion allocation in 2020.vThe new defence expenditure follows a year in which the South Korean economy fell into recession, due to the impact of Covid-19, but also subsequently responded strongly, reporting GDP growth in the most recent quarter. In a statement on 2 December the MND said that the 2021 defence budget includes KRW35.84 trillion for military operations and expenses, which it said is a 7.1% increase over 2020. Funding for force modernisation, including procurement and research and development (R&D), will receive KRW16.96 trillion in 2021, an increase of 1.9%.
Qatar advances R&D projects with Turkey
21 Dec: Qatar’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) has been awarded grants for two projects funded by a joint Qatari/Turkish research and development (R&D) initiative. Announced on 16 December, the HBKU projects will each receive funding from the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF)-TÜBİTAK Joint Funding Program to undertake three-year long research projects on smart cities. The first project, "Intelligent Public Safety Platform for Smart Cities,” will receive a grant of USD825,000 for the Qatar-based team of academics and USD592,000 for their partners at the Gebze Technical University and Ozyegin University in Turkey.
Lockheed Martin finishes buying i3 hypersonics portfolio
04 Dec: Lockheed Martin has completed its acquisition of the hypersonics portfolio of software and systems engineering company Integration Innovation Inc (i3), the two US companies disclosed on 25 November. “This acquisition expands Lockheed Martin’s capabilities to design, develop, and produce integrated hypersonic weapon systems for its customers,” Lockheed Martin said.
SOCOM plans new round of advanced ISR technology experiments
06 Dec: Research and development officials at US Special Operations Command are looking to industry to help the command develop a slew of advanced intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and exploitation technologies, to get those capabilities into the hands of the US armed forces’ most clandestine units. The technologies being sought and ultimately selected by command officials, which run the gamut from Android devices to exfil highly sensitive data from austere combat locations to new single man portable unmanned ground systems (UGS) for ISR missions, will be slated for live demonstrations during SOCOM’s upcoming Technical Experiment 21-2.
Covid-19: US arms sales rise despite pandemic
06 Dec: The coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has had little impact on the ability of the US defence industry to export its wares, US government officials said on 4 December. While Covid-19 has disrupted supply chains and created uncertainty about defence budgets, the US government has continued its oversight of arms exports and the US defence companies have continued to provide their equipment and services to foreign customers, said R Clarke Cooper, US assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs.
US expands list of ‘Communist Chinese military companies’
07 Dec: The US Department of Defense (DoD) has identified four additional Chinese corporations that it claims have links to China’s military. The companies’ inclusion on the list of ‘Communist Chinese military companies’ means that US investors will be prevented from buying stock in the firms from January 2021.
DroneShield partners Norwegian firm in pursuit of US military deal
08 Dec: Australian firm DroneShield – a specialist in counter-unmanned aerial systems (CUAS) – has partnered with Norwegian company Squarehead, which develops acoustic array systems, in pursuit of contracts with the US military. DroneShield said on 7 December that the partnership is focused on integrating Squarehead technologies into its existing C-UAS products and offerings.
US lists Chinese, Russian ‘military end-user’ firms
22 Dec: Some 58 Chinese companies – many of them aerospace firms – feature in a new ‘military end user’ (MEU) list compiled by the US Department of Commerce (DoC) aimed at preventing the identified enterprises from acquiring sensitive dual-use US technologies. The DoC said on 21 December that the MEU designation, which will be periodically reviewed and
updated, will require “exporters, re-exporters, and transferors” to obtain licences to sell items to the designated firms. It added that the MEU list, which also includes 45 Russian firms, will feature in amended Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
05 Nov: Japan and Indonesia have inched closer to signing a defence agreement that will facilitate Japanese military exports to the Southeast Asian country. The move follows Japan’s signing of a similar agreement with Vietnam in late October. Japanese defence minister Nobuo Kishi confirmed in a press conference on 4 November that he has reached an agreement with his Indonesian counterpart Prabowo Subianto to expand defence co-operation. Janes understands that this is reference to a proposed bilateral Defence Equipment and Technology Agreement that Tokyo requires to be in place before it can offer military equipment to a potential export customer.
13 Nov: Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) has announced a partnership with Kongsberg Defence Australia (KDA) in support of its bid to supply the Australian Army with K9 155 mm self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) and 15 K10 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles (AARVs). HDA said on 13 November that KDA will be responsible for integrating command, control, communications, and computing (C4) capability into the two platforms – to be known in Australia as the ‘Huntsman’ family of vehicles – which are expected to be acquired through the Protected Mobile Fires programme under Project Land 8116 Phase 1.
US bans investments in firms linked to China’s military
13 Nov: The US government has issued a directive to prohibit US investments into Chinese firms that are deemed to be owned or controlled by China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). An executive order by the White House on 12 November said the move is intended to address China’s ‘civil-military fusion’ strategy to leverage commercial technologies and investments for military gains. The executive order – applicable from January 2021 – bans purchases by US investors of publicly traded securities issued by Chinese companies linked to the PLA or China’s military-industrial complex. It also prohibits US investments in derivatives “designed to provide investment exposure to such securities” owned by such Chinese firms.
25 Nov: The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) is progressing its plan to procure the Indian-Russian developed BrahMos supersonic cruise-missile system, although funding for the programme remains a hurdle, the Philippines Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has said. In comments to the government-run Philippine News Agency (PNA) on 24 November, Lorenzana confirmed that the acquisition of the missile “is moving forward but the challenge now is funding”. He added that the schedule for the BrahMos procurement would be determined by available funding.
28 Oct: China has formally enacted legislation to strengthen controls of military exports. The ‘Export Control Law’ was approved recently at the 22nd session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress. The new law, which was released in draft versions in 2017 and 2019, replaces several sets of regulations that had governed China’s international military sales for several decades. The legislation, which will be effective from 1 December 2020, is also seen as a Chinese response to international criticism of its military export policy.
Turkish armed USV development breaks cover
30 Oct: Turkish companies Ares Shipyard and Meteksan Defence have unveiled the country’s first indigenous armed unmanned surface vehicle (USV) development in a joint press conference on 28 October. The ULAQ USV has been under development using private funding from both companies since 2018. The principal design studies and concept definition was completed in 2018 and 2019, respectively, with work on the prototype commencing in June.
China to deepen ‘civil-military fusion’ in 14th Five Year Plan
02 Nov: The Chinese government has outlined a commitment to accelerate military-technology development during the country’s next five-year plan from 2021 to 2025. A communique issued on 29 October by the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee said a key target during the 14th Five Year Plan (FYP) will be to “make major strides in the modernisation of national defence and the armed forces”.
Russia slated to field Sotnik soldier gear in 2025
04 Nov: Russia’s newest Sotnik (Centurion) soldier ensemble is to be developed from 2020-23 and in 2025 is set to begin replacing the Ratnik (Warrior) combat outfit, according to state corporation Rostec’s annual report for 2019, published in late October of this year. Rostec’s Executive Director for Science and Technologies and Chairman of the corporation’s scientific council, Yury Koptev, said the ensemble comprises eight subsystems, including communications devices, protection, weapons, an information system, food, and more.
New GEOINT fusion analysis tool could play role in ABMS, JADC2 systems
05 Nov: New geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) fusion analysis software, designed to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies in the management of multisourced big data streams, could find a role in a pair of the US armed forces’ premiere multidomain command-and-control initiatives. The new GXP Fusion software developed by BAE Systems is squarely focused on helping GEOINT analysts navigate the ever-increasing stream of raw data gathered by intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) satellites operating at geosynchronous orbit.
US Army puts disruptive technology prototypes to the test
12 Nov: The US Army has put several promising prototype command and control (C2) and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms through a series of intensive field experiments, in the hopes those technologies can be funnelled into the service’s key combat networking initiatives.
Between the seams: New DDU offers potential to burst A2/AD bubbles
17 Nov: In recent years many countries have increased their operational focus on and capability investment in special forces (SF), recognising the strategic value and operational flexibility that SF deliver. Consequently, companies are continuing to invest in new concepts, technologies, and capabilities for SF operations. One example is the VICTA Diver Delivery Unit (DDU) from the UK’s SubSea Craft. Currently, SF use long-range insertion craft (LRIC) for surface-based fast transit and insertion operations at distance. Swimmer delivery vehicles (SDVs), often submarine-based, are used for sub-surface insertion. For SubSea, VICTA brings a new concept, providing the combined capability to conduct long-range surface transit at speed before transitioning to DDU mode for sub-surface insertion.
MUM’s the word: The pairing of manned-unmanned platforms gathers pace
18 Nov: As the control systems that operate unmanned platforms advance, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in particular are increasingly being paired with manned vehicles across the air, land, and sea domains. Manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) has become a high priority for air forces across the globe due to the numerous advantages of providing a pilot-free component to aerial warfare.
UK to improve defence capabilities ‘across the board’
19 Nov: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to boost defence spending by GBP16.5 billion (USD21.8 billion) over the next four years and create new entities for artificial intelligence, cyber, and space to prepare the military to counter increasingly sophisticated threats, according to the British government. “The international situation is more perilous and more intensely competitive than at any time since the Cold War, and Britain must be true to our history and stand alongside our allies,” Johnson said in a press release. “To achieve this, we need to upgrade our capabilities across the board.”