South Korea prioritises offsets on KF-21 programme

by Jon Grevatt

South Korea's KF-21 fighter aircraft (pictured above) made its first flight in July 2022. Mass production of the aircraft is expected to start in 2026. (Korea Aerospace Industries)

South Korea has added its domestically developed KF-21 (Boramae) fighter aircraft to its list of priority defence offset projects during the coming few years.

The aircraft's inclusion on the offset list underscores the high level of foreign involvement in the KF-21 development programme and also Seoul's determination to locally source replacements.

South Korea's list of priority defence offset projects is administered by the Defense Administration Program Administration (DAPA). The list identifies the technologies that DAPA wants local industry to gain access to through the defence offset programme.

A new priority offset list was issued by DAPA in mid-August, with the KF-21 included for the first time. The list covers priorities during 2022–24 and beyond, although offset requirements linked to the KF-21 programme are scheduled to be discharged during 2024–32.


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Indra to install satcom terminals for Norwegian military

by Olivia Savage

Indra to implement satcom antennas (pictured) to enable the Norwegian military to access the WGS constellation directly. (Indra)

Indra was awarded a contract by the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency to install satellite communication (satcom) ground segments as part of the Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) satellite constellation.

Indra plans to implement X- and Ka-band nodes (antennas), “which will act as a gateway between user terminals at various locations for the WGS constellation”, the company announced on 6 October.

These WGS-certified antennas will utilise the constellation to provide satcom services, the announcement added.

According to information disclosed by the company to Janes, the terminals will enable the Norwegian military to access the WGS constellation directly and facilitate the “sharing of satellite communication between military users”.

The company added that “these terminals are to be used by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, nevertheless, as they are WGS-certified, other end-users in the WGS constellation can acquire these terminals from Indra”.

They were unable to detail the value and delivery timeframes of the contract.


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SpearUAV unveils Viper micro-tactical loitering munition

by Robin Hughes

SpearUAV is developing a new, micro-tactical loitering munition with a precision-strike capability. (SpearUAV)

SpearUAV has detailed the development of an ultra-lightweight micro-tactical loitering munition (LM) for small tactical units − squad level and below − with a precision-strike capability against moving and stationary line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight targets.

A company spokesperson provided Janes with an update of this company-funded initiative that is the latest addition to its unmanned air system (UAS) capabilities, which include the Ninox 103 underwater submarine-launched and the Ninox 40 MT (micro-tactical) UASs.

The new Viper concept provides for a series of different calibre, lightweight, modular payloads, optionally recoverable, low acoustic/radar cross-section/thermal signature, folding quadcopter intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR)/LM systems housed in ruggedised, ready-to-deploy, hermetically sealed ‘smart' capsules. Each capsule is furnished with an integrated proprietary launch mechanism, and the capsule also acts as a wireless router between the encapsulated loitering system and the user command-and-control (C2)/ground station.


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US Navy fast-tracks contract for MQ-9 SkyTower II airborne network extension

by Richard Scott

An artist's rendering showing an MQ-9A Block 5-25 in VMU-1 colours. The SkyTower ANE pod is carried beneath the MQ-9A's left wing stores station. (NAVAIR)

The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has fast-tracked an order to provide US Marine Corps (USMC) MQ-9A Reaper unmanned air systems (UASs) with an improved airborne network extension (ANE) capability.

In a 3 October announcement, NAVAIR said it had awarded an USD8.4 million contract to multiple vendors for delivery of the SkyTower II (ST II) capability. ST II is a podded ANE solution designed to provide cross-domain communications and data relay capability for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Unmanned Aircraft System Expeditionary (MUX) MQ-9A Block 5-25 Reaper Medium Altitude Long-Endurance air vehicle.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/south-korea-prioritises-offsets-on-kf-21-programme

South Korea has added its domestically developed KF-21 (Boramae) fighter aircraft to its list of pri...

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