Janes defence industry reporting

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. 


APAC in Focus:

China prioritises defence reforms

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. 


Defence Industry Strategy:

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.

UK Integrated Review: UK abandons ‘competition by default’ stance

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.


Defence Industry Movements:

Saab revamps business structure

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.

Rolls-Royce advances one potential divestiture, pauses another

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.

BAE buys electronics firm PPM

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.”

February 2021


Defence Budgets:

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.


Defence Technology: 

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.


January 2021

Market Performance:

Lockheed Martin eyes fast growth in hypersonics

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. 

December 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.

Arctic turn: Integrated remote sensing aims to bolster cold climate operations

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. 


US focus:

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).


November 2020

International Co-operation:

Japan, Indonesia move closer to defence-trade deal

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.

Hanwha selects Kongsberg for Australia’s ‘Huntsman’ project

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. 

Philippine BrahMos procurement faces funding hurdle

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. 

Country deep-dives:

China enacts new defence export legislation

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.” 


October 2020

International Co-operation:

Saudi Arabia calls for increased GCC defence industry collaboration

29 Sep: The leader of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI), Ahmad Al Ohali, has issued a call for improved collaboration in the defence industry within the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states. In a keynote address delivered at the Global Aerospace Summit on 28 September, Al Ohali recognised the long-standing relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and “the partnership, collaboration, and continuous communication on a range of important fronts.”

Vietnam, UK deepen defence ties

01 Oct: Vietnam and the United Kingdom have agreed to expand ties in areas including defence and maritime security. The agreement was announced on 30 September during talks in Hanoi between Vietnam’s foreign minister Pham Binh Minh and his visiting UK counterpart Dominic Raab. A joint declaration by the two governments said the new agreement is aimed at expanding a ‘strategic partnership’ that was signed by Vietnam and the UK in 2010. This accord established several defence forums and working groups between the two countries.

US progresses additional Taiwan defence sales

13 Oct: The United States government is preparing further defence sales to Taiwan as part of its new policy of dealing with military-capability requests from Taipei on a rolling basis. The new deals follow two other defence-sales announcements by President Donald Trump’s administration earlier this year. Janes understands that sales of three military systems are currently progressing through the US notification process. These include Lockheed Martin M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers, Boeing Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) missiles, and external sensor pods for Taiwan’s Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter aircraft.

Restrictions on Iran lifted

20 Oct: The UN arms embargo on Iran has expired as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement covering Iran’s nuclear programme that was signed in 2015. The agreement set an expiry for the arms embargo of 18 October 2020, five years after the adoption of the agreement. Other controls, such as travel and financial transaction restrictions, have also been automatically lifted as part of the agreement. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted on 18 October that the “normalisation of Iran’s defence cooperation with the world is a win for the cause of multilateralism and peace and security in our region.”

Country deep-dives:

Oman undergoing defence review

21 Sep: The UK defence attaché to Oman, Air Commodore Toby Casebury-Craig, said in a presentation to the Anglo-Omani Society on 14 September that the Omani government was undertaking a defence review. The review according to Casebury-Craig, “is probably needed and has been exacerbated by the economic pressures [of low oil prices] and Covid-19”.

Indian MoD urged to review offset implementation

24 Sep: India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has criticised the Indian Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) management of defence offsets and called for a review of the policy’s execution. In a report submitted to the Indian parliament on 23 September the CAG said that the objectives of the offset policy – to leverage defence procurement to support defence industrial development – “remain largely unachieved” and that the MoD “needs to review the policy and its implementation”. The MoD has not responded to the criticism.

India lines up public-private partnership for AMCA fighter project

05 Oct: India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has confirmed a plan to develop and build India’s proposed next-generation fighter aircraft – the Advance Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) – through a new joint venture (JV) firm with a private company.

The AMCA programme, which seeks to develop a replacement platform for the Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) SEPECAT Jaguar and Dassault Mirage 2000 fighters, has been in design and early development phases for more than a decade, with the aim to start production at the end of 2020s.

UK defence exports fall 21% in 2019

07 Oct: UK defence export orders totalled GBP11 billion (USD14.2 billion) in 2019, a 21% decrease from the previous year, reflecting volatility in the global defence export market, according to UK Defence & Security Exports (UKDSE), which is part of the Department for International Trade. Despite its decline, the UK accounted for 16% of the global defence export market last year, placing it behind only the US, which had a 47% share, and ahead of Russia’s 11% and France’s 10%, the UKDSE, formerly the Defence & Security Organisation (DSO), wrote in a report released on 6 October.

Pakistan reveals details of defence production restructuring

15 Oct: Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) has revealed more details about its restructuring programme aimed at spurring innovation and efficiencies in defence manufacturing. Senior officials from the MoDP told a hearing of the Pakistan Senate Standing Committee on Defence Production on 13 October that the ministry has established several new divisions and is pressing ahead with plans to upgrade and corporatise some of its defence-industrial assets. Developments recently finalised, said officials, included the establishment of executive offices within two departments – the Defence Export Promotion Organisation (DEPO) and Directorate General Research and Development Establishment (DGRDE) – to “market indigenous technology and develop partnerships [between state-run enterprises] and academia and the private sector”.

China enacts new defence export legislation

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.

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