UK MoD issues PQQ for ISR space project

by Olivia Savage

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.

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Singapore Airshow 2024: ST Engineering debuts its DrN-35DH multirotor UAS

by Prasobh Narayanan

DrN-35DH hexacopter at the Singapore Airshow 2024. (Janes/Prasobh Narayanan)

Singapore's ST Engineering displayed its DrN-35DH unmanned aircraft system (UAS) at the Singapore Airshow 2024 held from 20 to 25 February.

The DrN-35DH is an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR)-capable hexacopter and is a larger derivative of the company's in-production DrN-15 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

According to the company, the DrN-35DH features improved safety and precise location-tracking capability compared with the DrN-15 enabling the UAS to operate in ‘high-risk' or densely populated environments.

The UAS features six arms primarily constructed of carbon fibre composite material. The propulsion system comprises six electric motors mounted at the end of each arm and each motor drives a two-bladed composite propeller.

The UAS has a maximum take-off weight of 37 kg, a maximum payload capacity of 5 kg, a maximum endurance of 37 minutes, and a maximum range of 15 km. The UAS can fly up to a maximum speed of 10 m/s and can sustain flying in windspeeds up to 10 m/s.

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Singapore Airshow 2024: Indonesia signs for three more CN235-220 transport aircraft

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A Nepalese Army CN235-220, seen here while it was about to depart Bandung for Nepal in 2019. The Indonesian Army is scheduled to receive three examples of the CN235-220 in a similar configuration. (PT Dirgantara Indonesia)

State-owned aerospace company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) has received a contract for three more CN235-220 aircraft from the country's Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The USD85 million contract was inked on 30 November 2023 and the aircraft will be delivered to the Indonesian Army's Aviation Centre in the troop transport configuration, said a representative from PTDI who spoke to Janes at Singapore Airshow 2024.

In the configuration ordered, the aircraft will be able to accommodate 49 fully equipped soldiers or up to 34 paratroopers for airborne insertion operations.

When not needed for paratrooper operations, the lateral seats in the aircraft's cabin can be raised to accommodate cargo transportation requirements or be quickly refitted for up to 18 stretchers for medical evacuation and disaster relief missions, said PTDI.

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Royal Marines, Japan acquires T-150 UAVs from Malloy Aeronautics

by Olivia Savage

Malloy Aeronautics T-150, flown during a live demonstration at the company's factory in Maidenhead in February 2024, is being acquired by the Royal Marines and Japan for experimentation and trials. (Crown Copyright)

The T-150 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufactured by UK-based company Malloy Aeronautics has been acquired by the Royal Marines and Japan, UK's Minister for Defence Procurement James Cartlidge announced to Janes and other media representatives on 22 February.

Speaking at the Defence Drone Strategy launch at Malloy Aeronautics factory, Cartlidge said that 22 T-150 quadcopters have been acquired by the Royal Marines and two by Japan for experimentation.

Cartlidge told Janes that the Royal Marines acquired the platforms under a direct acquisition.

Malloy Aeronautics' UAVs have participated in a number of competitions and trials, including UK initiatives ‘Uncrewed Air Systems Heavy Lift Capability' and ‘Multi-Domain Integrated Swarm' as well as the multinational annual Exercise ‘REPMUS' (Robotic Experimentation and Prototyping using Maritime Unmanned Systems). During ‘REPMUS', the company integrated an inert Sting Ray training variant torpedo on the T-600 heavy lift UAV.

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The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) for Project Ober...

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