Indonesia seeks more autonomy on CN235 production in offset talks for A400M
25 October 2021
by Ridzwan Rahmat
An Indonesian maritime patrol aircraft variant of the CN235 at the Singapore Airshow in 2016. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)
Indonesia is seeking greater autonomy from Airbus in the manufacturing process for the CN235 twin-turboprop aircraft.
Meeting documents provided to
indicate that Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials have included this objective as an offset condition should Jakarta decide to procure A400M multirole aircraft for the Indonesian Air Force.
The CN235 is a medium-range utility aircraft that was jointly developed by Construcciones Aeron´auticas SA (now part of Airbus) and Indonesian manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia – PTDI (earlier known as IPTN) in the 1980s.
Several variants of the aircraft have since been developed, with PTDI securing contracts for maritime patrol and transport versions of the airframe with customers like the Indonesian armed forces, the Nepal Army Air Wing, and the Senegalese Air Force since 1993.
Pictured are two nano satellites − Huygens and Birkeland − that are part of the MilSpace2 project, a collaborative R&D programme between the Dutch and Norwegian ministries of defence for the detection of radar signals. Continued co-operation on the programme is guaranteed for the coming years. (NanoAvionics)
The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD) has published its Defence Space Agenda, detailing the country's future military space investment priorities.
According to the agenda, published by the MoD on 25 November, the Netherlands is seeking to ensure strategic autonomy by developing and owning its own constellation of satellites, while also reducing its dependency on communication, navigation, observation, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities supplied by its strategic and commercial partners.
Between EUR25 million and EUR100 million (USD25.88 million and USD103.54 million) will be allocated from 2023 to 2027 to address these requirements. This is separate from the EUR25−100 million earmarked for military satellite communications (milsatcom), outlined in the 2022 Defense Memorandum.
Project Oberon will comprise a cluster of three SAR-based satellites as part of the ISTARI programme. (Airbus)
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) for Project Oberon, a programme that seeks high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites.
According to the PQQ released by the MoD on 24 November, the contract will involve a cluster of three satellites equipped with an active SAR payload and, at a lower priority, passive radio frequency (RF) functionality, which the supplier will be required to operate.
The main contract is expected to demand a “full end-to-end solution including inter alia; design, development, manufacture, assembly, integration, test, launch, commissioning, operations, and eventual disposal”, the PQQ stated.
Up to GBP70 million (USD84.7 million) has been earmarked for the 36-month contract.
A further contract option is expected as part of the project – this will require a supplier to deliver mission operations, training, and support (per year) for a further six years, as well as mission integration and implementation into the ground architecture of the multisatellite intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) ‘ISTARI' programme, the MoD detailed.
Autonomous UAV winch trialled at AWE for British Army
24 November 2022
by Olivia Savage
Sparrow (pictured), attached to a third-party UAV, which is lifting a 5 kg mock payload. (Janes/Olivia Savage)
A novel air-ground payload transfer device intended for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been trialled at the British Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) Sustain & Protect (S&P) programme at Portsmouth Naval Base.
During AWE on 22 November, BMT Global demonstrated Sparrow, a prototype robotic unit that enables the autonomous delivery and collection of payloads from a UAV.
Attached to a UAV, Sparrow can autonomously descend and ascend to deliver and collect payloads, it thereby allows the UAV to remain at a suitable height while avoiding the difficult urban terrain beneath, James Campbell, Sparrow project lead at BMT Global, told
Campbell said that the system is actually “best described as a suspended UAV”, this is because it has four fans like a quadcopter and is fully autonomous, able to manoeuvre itself, and identify objects on the ground. The key difference with Sparrow is that the fans are designed to counter wind and enable manoeuvrability, rather than for lift.