France, Germany, Sweden launch future transport aircraft
04 July 2022
by Gareth Jennings
Seen being displayed at ILA 2022, the C-130 in service with the Luftwaffe, the Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace, and the Swedish Air Force is one of the aircraft types earmarked for replacement by the FMTC project. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)
France, Germany, and Sweden have agreed development of a new fixed-wing medium-lift transport aircraft, it was announced on 30 June.
The French Ministère des Armées reported the agreement, saying that the three countries launched the Future Mid-Size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) programme during the Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace (AAE)-hosted French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (PFUE) European Wings event.
“It was during this event on 23 June that an agreement was signed for the Future Mid-Size Tactical Cargo (FMTC), a tactical transport aircraft project replacing, by 2040, the [Lockheed Martin] C-130 Hercules and Casa [Airbus Defence and Space (DS)] CN235 fleets. Supported by the European Defence Agency (EDA), this agreement allows the definition of the aircraft intended to operate in addition to the [Airbus DS] A400M fleet from 2040,” the AAE said.
Skynet 6A (pictured above), scheduled to be launched in 2025, will fill a capability gap while the MoD sets the requirements for the Skynet Enduring Capability. (Airbus)
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is seeking a Narrowband Satellite System (NSS) for the Skynet Enduring Capability (SKEC).
A Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ), published by the MoD on 10 August, outlined a requirement for a narrowband ultra-high frequency (UHF) geosynchronous (GEO) satellite and its control system for SKEC.
A deadline for expressions of interest has been set for 20 September. The satellite must also meet NATO STANAG 4681 Ed 2 and/or MIL-STD-188-100 standards.
The SKEC space segment comprises two separate procurements, the first of which involves the acquisition of a GEO NSS. The second one seeks multiple medium-sized GEO satellites with X and Mil Ka-band payloads, which will help meet a wideband requirement, the MoD detailed.
It is expected that SKEC will provide the MoD with a next-generation satellite communications (satcom) capability. It is anticipated that the satellites will be in service until at least 2040, the MoD disclosed. The MoD also hopes to have the capability to monitor and control the platforms.
UK launches next phase of UAS Heavy Lift challenge
10 August 2022
by Olivia Savage
The Royal Navy trialling Windracers Autonomous Systems' Ultra fixed-wing UAS (pictured) in the UASHLC. (Crown Copyright 2022)
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched Phase 2 of the Unmanned Aerial Systems Heavy Lift Capability (UASHLC) challenge.
According to the pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) published on 5 August, the MoD is seeking to “support and inform the development of maritime operating concepts and enable assessment, analysis, exploration, and evaluation of the use of UAS for beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) payload delivery and broader UAS capabilities”. The MoD is therefore seeking to accelerate the development of one or more suppliers' platforms, as well as the key technologies that will enhance UAS operational capabilities.
The closing date for suppliers to submit a PQQ is 5 September, with a contract expected to run from September 2022 to August 2027, the MoD said. Up to GBP95 million (USD116 million) is available for the programme, the MoD added.
The MoD was unable to provide further comment at the time of publication.
The Czech Republic is looking to buy three Heron 1 UAVs from Israel, with the deal expected to be concluded by the end of 2022. (IAI)
The Czech Republic is to buy three Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron 1 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as part of the country's wider Concept of Capability Construction of the Army of the Czech Republic plan.
The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the plan on 8 August, saying that negotiations for the procurement are to begin with the Israeli government shortly as it plans to acquire equipment seen “as crucial in conducting aerial reconnaissance and performing other tasks for direct combat support and protection of Czech army units”.
In this episode of The World of Intelligence we speak with Neil Spencer on the value of OSINT in the commercial sector.
Neil Spencer is the Director of Strategy and Partnerships for LifeRaft. He has more than twenty years of security indust...