Philippine Navy's unmanned aerial reconnaissance squadron starts operating ScanEagle

by Oishee Majumdar

The Philippine Navy (PN) marked the first deployment of its Maritime Unmanned Aerial Reconnaissance Squadron 71 (MUARS71) by organising a “send-off ceremony” of the ScanEagle unmanned aerial system (UAS) acquired from the United States for the squadron in 2020.

The ceremony, highlighting MUARS71’s first deployment after the completion of the squadron’s “one year in-country training”, was conducted by the PN’s Naval Air Wing (NAW) at its headquarters in Naval Base Heracleo Alano, located in Cavite City, PN tweeted on 19 September.

“The ‘Alpha Flight’ of MUARS-71 is composed of five officers and nine maintenance crew,” NAW said.

The MUARS71 will be utilising the ScanEagle UAS “to conduct different missions like patrols and surveillance” for the PN, NAW said.

The ScanEagle UAS developed by Boeing’s Insitu Inc – worth USD14.79 million – was given to the PN by the US on 25 November 2020 to increase the maritime domain awareness and border security capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), according to a statement by the US embassy in Manila on the day of the handover.

The UAS comprises eight unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), two launchers, the SkyHook recovery system, and a ground control station.


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French Senate submits budget request for national future fighter effort

by Gareth Jennings

A model of the NGF manned fighter at the core of the FCAS/SCAF project. The French Senate has issued a budget amendment request to fund a feasibility study to develop a wholly national alternative should the project with Germany and Spain fail. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

French lawmakers have submitted a request to develop a wholly national future combat aircraft, with a Finance Bill for 2023 amendment posted in late November.

The budget request by the French Senate is to fund a EUR10 million (USD10.5 million) feasibility study to develop a future replacement for the country's Dassault Rafale. It came after repeated references by that company's CEO, Éric Trappier, to a “Plan B” should industrial agreements not be reached on the Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de combat aérien du futur (SCAF) project with Airbus of Germany and Indra of Spain.


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Partners sign FCAS/SCAF demonstrator deal

by Gareth Jennings

Phase 1B of the New Generation Fighter that sits at the core of FCAS/SCAF project will now go ahead, with Dassault as the lead partner. (Dassault)

The industrial partners heading up the trinational Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien du Futur (SCAF) have agreed to the demonstrator phase of the project.

Dassault announced the milestone on 1 December, saying that an agreement on Phase 1B of the New Generation Fighter (NGF) element of the FCAS/SCAF project had been reached with Airbus and Indra.

“Yes, today it is done. We have an agreement with Airbus,” Dassault CEO Éric Trappier said in an interview given to Le Figaro . “We'll now be able to move into the next phase of studies, known as [Phase] 1B, to prepare for the development of a demonstrator, which should fly around 2029… We have been confirmed in our role as prime contractor and architect of the aircraft, and we have obtained protection for our industrial know-how and technologies.”


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Netherlands MoD publishes Defence Space Agenda

by Olivia Savage

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.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/philippine-navys-unmanned-aerial-reconnaissance-squadron-starts-operating-scaneagle2

The Philippine Navy (PN) marked the first deployment of its Maritime Unmanned Aerial Reconnaissance ...

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