Brazil receives last modernised Skyhawk jet

by Victor Barreira

The Brazilian Navy was operating two modernised Skyhawks by the end of May 2018. An AF-1B single-seat variant is shown here. (Embraer)

The Brazilian Navy is in the process of receiving its seventh and final modernised Skyhawk fighter jet.

The acceptance of the AF-1B jet, tail number N-1004, was initiated on 7 March and is expected to take three to four weeks, the navy told Janes on 21 March.

Five AF-1 single-seat and two AF-1A twin-seat aircraft from Squadron Falcão based at the Naval Air Base of São Pedro da Aldeia were modernised to the AF-1B and AF-1C standard, respectively, since 2015. One AF-1B crashed in July 2016.

Embraer was awarded a USD106 million contract in April 2009 to modernise nine AF-1 and three AF-1A aircraft (formerly Kuwait's A-4KU and TA-4KU fighters); however, the programme was later downsized.

Brazil's Skyhawk modernisation programme (sometimes called AF-1M) included overhauling the airframe and engine, as well as installing an AEL Sistemas glass cockpit, an ELTA Systems ELM-2032 radar, onboard oxygen-generation system, Rohde & Schwarz radios, navigation equipment, Elbit Systems radar warning receiver, and mission computer.

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South Korea launches new ‘localisation' plan

by Jon Grevatt

Funding allocated to DAPA's defence parts localisation programme has expanded sixfold in the past two years. (Janes)

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has launched the latest version of its plan to increase the domestic production of components and systems for defence platforms.

DAPA said the new ‘2023−27 parts localisation plan' outlines a requirement for local industry to put more emphasis on next-generation technologies, including materials such as alloys and carbon fibres.

Under the plan, DAPA said it will provide research and development funding for priority components; increase the efficiency of procuring such components from local industry; and encourage more companies from civilian sectors to take part in the programme.

DAPA said the plan is intended to bolster exports and reduce dependency on imports. Another aim of the programme is to fill gaps in international supply chains and ensure the supply of capability to the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces.

Data from DAPA provided to Janes earlier in 2022 shows that the South Korean government has stepped up its parts localisation programme in recent years, allocating a sixfold increase in related funding.

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Finland orders additional night-vision devices and laser sights from Senop

by Olivia Savage

Finland has signed a follow-on contract with Senop for its Soldier's Laser Sight and Tactical Laser Sight devices as well as the EVA 40 NVG. Pictured above is the NVG M40 monocular, which Finland previously bought as part of the wider contract. (Senop Oy)

Senop, part of the Patria Group, will supply new laser sights and image intensifiers to the Finnish Defence Forces.

The Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command has signed a follow-on agreement with Senop for its EVA 40 NVG (night-vision goggle) monocular image intensifiers, LUKE Soldier's Laser Sights, and LUKE Tactical Laser Sights, the company announced on 5 December.

Valued at EUR13 million (USD13.7 million), the systems will be delivered over the 2023–24 period, the company said.

This contract is part of a five-year EUR209 million agreement with the Finnish Defence Forces, signed in 2020, for the supply of image intensifiers, observation and surveillance systems, and laser aiming devices. The Finnish Defence Forces has exercised this agreement on several occasions.

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Japan sets defence budget target of 2% of GDP

by Jon Grevatt

Japan aims to achieve defence spending worth 2% of GDP by 2027. Janes Defence Budgets analysis suggests that while this effort might prove overambitious, even a limited increase in the proportion of funding allocated to defence will result in strong growth in expenditure. (Janes Defence Budgets)

Japan's Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada has confirmed a government plan to strongly increase defence spending over the next few years to support the “drastic strengthening of [Japan's] defence capabilities”.

Hamada said in a Ministry of Defense (MoD) press conference that the plan had been endorsed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who, on 28 November, directed his government to increase defence spending to 2% of national GDP by 2027.

“Towards the drastic strengthening of our defence capabilities, [the] prime minister has said it is necessary to urgently strengthen [the defence budget] within five years,” Hamada said in comments published by the MoD.

He added, “I have been instructed to decide on measures to secure financial resources for defence expenditure and revenue in an integrated manner. In response to the prime minister's instruction, the MoD will accelerate co-ordination with the Ministry of Finance and others.”

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