Hungary to upgrade Gripens

by Gareth Jennings

Hungary is to bring its Gripen C/Ds up to the latest MS 20 Block 2 standard, under a deal announced on 12 January. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Hungary is to upgrade its Saab Gripen C/D combat aircraft to the latest MS20 Block 2 standard, the original equipment manufacturer announced on 12 January.

The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration has concluded negotiations with the Hungarian Government Commissioner Office for the upgrade, which will include a raft of enhancements to the Hungarian Air Force's fleet of 12 Gripen C and one Gripen D aircraft.

“The MS20 Block 2 upgrade brings a number of improvements,” Saab said. “It greatly increases both Gripen's combat and communication capabilities, as well as access to a wide range of weapons that can be integrated on Hungarian Air Force Gripen fighters.”

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US State Department official underscores industry involvement, data sharing for AUKUS

by Michael Fabey

Australia, the UK, and the US are looking for more streamlined processes to share submarine-building technology for AUKUS. (Janes/Michael Fabey)

Australia, the UK, and the US will need to depend on industry and more streamlined processes for sharing data and technology for their AUKUS agreement to succeed, according to US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins.

“There's no way we're going to do this without industry being involved,” Jenkins said during a 27 AUKUS discussion at the Atlantic Council.

As the countries work towards the AUKUS Pillar 1 milestones to help Australia develop a nuclear-powered submarine fleet, the industries involved in these efforts will have to develop ways to more quickly share information and technology, she acknowledged, including some legislative changes.

“We recognise we need to work on some of our export controls and find a way to share information in a more streamlined process, a safer process,” she said.

AUKUS would be breaking new ground in government-industry relations, requiring seamless transfers and sharing of information while protecting the data.

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Singapore Aster 30 achieves full operational capability

by Kapil Kajal

The Aster 30 missile (pictured above) is a two-stage kinetic kill effector fitted with an active seeker with an interception range of approximately 100 km against threats operating at altitudes up to 20,000 m. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) Aster 30 SAMP/T (Sol-Air Moyenne-Portée/Terrestre or surface-to-air medium range/land based) self-propelled surface-to-air missile (SAM) system has achieved full operational capability (FOC), the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said in a press release on 29 November.

According to MINDEF, the system has replaced the Raytheon MIM-23B Improved Homing All the Way Killer (I-HAWK) missile systems in the 163 Squadron of the RSAF.

Aster 30 is a part of Singapore's Island Air Defence (IAD) system and is integrated with other sensors, shooters, and command-and-control systems in the IAD system to provide a multilayered, networked, and alert air defence to the island, MINDEF said.

Major Graci Wong, commanding officer of 163 Squadron, said in a video footage shared by MINDEF with Janes, “My Squadron has been operating the Aster 30 system since 2020 and it is the final key component to be networked into the RSAF's Air Defence and Operations Command.”

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UK to equip Poseidon MRA1 with Sting Ray torpedo

by Gareth Jennings

The Sting Ray torpedo is to be integrated aboard the RAF's fleet of Poseidon MRA1 aircraft. (Crown Copyright)

The United Kingdom is to arm its fleet of Boeing P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime multimission aircraft (MMA) with the domestically developed Sting Ray torpedo.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the decision on 30 November, saying the British-built Sting Ray will be used alongside the US-built Mk 54 torpedo that was delivered as part of the US government's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) package.

“The programme to integrate Sting Ray Mod 1 onto Poseidon is now under way,” the MoD said. According to the ministry, the decision capitalises on investment already made in the torpedo.

“In-service with the Royal Navy, Sting Ray Mod 1 is capable of integration into surface and air platform mission systems. Sting Ray Mod 1 is an air-launched anti-submarine warfare lightweight torpedo launched from frigates, helicopters, and maritime patrol aircraft against submarine targets of all types,” the MoD said, noting that its acoustic homing system enables it to detect, classify, and attack targets autonomously.

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Hungary is to upgrade its Saab Gripen C/D combat aircraft to the latest MS20 Block 2 standard, the o...

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