South Korea eyes four-engine aircraft for new transport project

by Akhil Kadidal

South Korea has announced a new project to acquire heavy-lift transport aircraft but with domestic industry involvement to augment the country‘s existing force of cargo aircraft. (Lockheed Martin)

South Korea is focusing on four-engined transport aircraft for a project intended for acquiring a new fleet of heavy cargo haulers by 2026.

On 25 March, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced the “Large transporter secondary project”. An investment of KRW710 billion (USD581.5 million) is being made to procure the aircraft between 2022 and 2026.

The Defense Projects Promotion Committee approved the budget.

DAPA told Janes that the Lockheed-Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules, Airbus A400M Atlas, and the twin-engined Embraer C-390 Millennium “are expected to participate in this project”.

However, a Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) source told Janes that the required operational capability (ROC) of the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) limits participation in the project to aircraft with four engines.

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DTDT 2022: Preferred bidders announced for systems and data roles for UK machine teaming project

by Olivia Savage

Two companies – Rowden and IBM – have been announced as the preferred bidders for two separate contracts under the broader British Army Human Machine Teaming (HMT) programme.

Speaking at the 2022 Disruptive Technology for Defence Transformation Conference (DTDT) in London, held from 27 to 29 September, a UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson announced that UK company Rowden has been downselected as the preferred bidder for the systems integrator role, while IBM is the preferred bidder for the data management aspect of the HMT programme.

IBM was selected partly because the company will act as a core supplier, bringing in other organisations to field specific needs as and when they arise, the spokesperson told Janes .

In March, Lieutenant Colonel Iain Lamont, SO1 Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) for the British Army, informed Janes that, as part of HMT, the MoD would launch a competition for the data management service and systems integrator roles.

The data management service role will help manage governance, regulation, curation, and the storage of data support, enabling RAS, Lt Col Lamont said. The chosen provider may be tasked with establishing a highly secure storage solution, Lt Col Lamont added.

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Spain launches national FCAS concept of use study

by Gareth Jennings

As one of the three national partners in the FCAS/SCAF programme, Spain has tasked its industrial participants with a concept of use study. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Spain has launched a concept of use study for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF) in national service, with contracts awarded to each of the country's major industrial participants.

The Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the milestone on 28 September, saying that the study relates specifically to the Next-Generation Weapon System (NGWS) of FCAS/SCAF, which comprises the New Generation Fighter (NGF), Remote Carrier (RC) loyal wingman, and Air Combat Cloud (ACC) network.

“The MoD has contracted the national companies belonging to the Future Combat Air System programme to collaborate in the development of the concept of operations (CONOPS), investigating possible evolutions of the challenges of national defence in the air force domain of responsibility, and detailing possible solutions to face them,” the MoD said.

The companies contracted to deliver the CONOPS study comprise national lead contractor Indra, as well as Airbus Spain, ITP Aero, and the SATNUS consortium of GMV, Sener, and Tecnobit.

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Ukraine conflict: Details of Iranian attack UAV released

by Jeremy Binnie

A composite of photographs from the report shows the locations of the Shahed-131's components. (Janes)

The Armed Forces of Ukraine's Strategic Communications service has released a technical report on an Iranian Shahed-131 one-way attack unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that explains how it was upgraded to resist jamming.

While mostly written in Cyrillic, the report appeared to be a translation of a US document as it makes extensive use of English abbreviations, including ‘MEPED', a probable reference to the US Military Equipment and Parametrics Engineering Database.

It used the ‘IRN-05' designation for the Shahed-131 that the US military has applied to an Iranian UAV type that comes in two sizes, with the smaller type used to attack Saudi Arabia's east-west oil pipeline in May 2019, and the larger one to attack a tanker in the Arabian Sea in July 2021.

The primary visual difference between the two is that the vertical stabilisers extend both up and down from the ends of the wings of the larger version, which has been identified as the Shahed-136, but only upwards on the smaller Shahed-131.

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