Argentina increases defence and security spending for remainder of 2021

by Santiago Rivas

A first H225 helicopter was delivered to the Argentine Coast Guard in 2015. (Airbus Helicopters)

On 26 November the Argentine government issued ‘Decree 809/2021' that provided additional funding for the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Ministry of Security, adding about USD220 million for defence.

The Ministry of Security received an allocation of approximately USD17 million dollars for “offshore heavy helicopters”, which a coast guard source told Janes is for two H225s that are being negotiated with Airbus Helicopter. The deal includes modernising an extra Dauphin helicopter for the Argentine Coast Guard, and overhauling Ecureuil helicopters for that force and the Gendarmerie, and H145s for the Federal Police.

MoD funds are allocated to reopening ‘Petrel Base' in Antarctica, which is expected to become one of the main Argentine bases on that continent.

The extra budget for the armed forces includes a first payment of USD2 million for the recently purchased RBS-70NG missiles (for a total of about USD45 million), according to annexes in the decree.

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US Navy awards Newport News Shipbuilding CVN 79 warfare system contract modification

by Michael Fabey

The US Navy awarded contract modifications to Newport News Shipbuilding to help fund the single-phase delivery incorporation for the aircraft carrier John F Kennedy combat system. (Michael Fabey)

The US Navy (USN) has awarded the Newport News Shipbuilding unit of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) about USD90.5 million through two contract modifications “to definitise” the incorporation of the aircraft carrier USS John F Kennedy (CVN 79) warfare system, the Pentagon confirmed on 20 January.

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) awarded Newport News Shipbuilding one USD77.9 million fixed-price incentive (firm target) modification and another USD12.5 million cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-plus-incentive-fee modification for the work, which helps to transition the ship to a single-phase delivery model from the dual-phased delivery arrangement initially planned for the carrier.

The work is expected to be completed by June 2024, according to the contract announcement.

Under the initial dual-phase delivery plan, the shipyard would have delivered most of the ship, including core ship systems, in one phase, and then delivered the combat system and related equipment later in the second phase.

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Dutch navy to lease RoRo ship

by Guy Toremans

The Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a 10-year lease agreement with an unidentified shipping company for a medium Roll-on Roll-off (RoRo) ship.

The ship will be operated by the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) and used to secure strategic sea transport on a permanent basis. It will have the capability to transport up to 200 containers and 300 vehicles.

Under the agreement, signed on 14 January, the ship will be available by May.

The move to sign a long-term contract was prompted by the increasingly expensive and difficult process of leasing ships temporarily, which has been caused by an increasing scarcity on the commercial shipping market. The RoRo ship will enhance the RNLN's ability to meet its commitments to participate in NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), the EU Battlegroup (EUBG), as well as to support international exercises.

According to Dutch minister of defence Kajsa Ollongren , partner countries will also be permitted to use the ship, for a fee, through the Movement Coordination Centre Europe.

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Launch and recovery system for rMCM undertakes sea tests

by Richard Scott

The Inspector 125 USV in the LARS onboard VN Rebel. (Belgium Naval & Robotics)

The launch and recovery system (LARS) developed for the Belgium/Netherlands (BE/NL) replacement mine countermeasures (rMCM) programme has completed live testing with an Inspector 125 unmanned surface vehicle (USV) in the Mediterranean.

Belgium Naval & Robotics – a consortium of Naval Group and ECA Group – said the 13 January trials demonstrated “relevance and reliability in real conditions”. LARS testing from the chartered offshore support vessel VN Rebel was witnessed from representatives of both the Belgian and Netherlands navies.

Belgium Naval & Robotics was contracted in May 2019 by Belgian Defense Forces for the delivery of a next-generation stand-off BE/NL rMCM capability based on mother ships employing a ‘toolbox' of offboard MCM systems. The 10-year contract, valued at almost EUR2 billion (USD2.27 billion), covers the supply of 12 2,700-tonne displacement mother ship vessels (six for each navy) plus MCM toolboxes based on unmanned/autonomous systems drawn from ECA's own UMIS offboard MCM suite.

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On 26 November the Argentine government issued ‘Decree 809/2021' that provided additional funding fo...

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