India clears air force procurement of GSAT-7C satellite

by Jon Grevatt

India has approved the procurement of the GSAT-7C communications satellite for the Indian Air Force. The service's existing GSAT-7A satellite (pictured) was launched in December 2018. (ISRO)

India's Defence Acquisition Council, which is chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, approved on 23 November the procurement of a communications satellite system for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a press release that the acquisition of the GSAT-7C satellite and its associated ground hubs is budgeted at INR22.36 billion (USD300 million).

The approval was framed through the provision of an ‘acceptance of necessity'; however, no schedule for the contract signing was disclosed.

The MoD said the procurement of the satellite system will facilitate real-time connectivity of the IAF's software-defined radios.

The procurement will “enhance the ability of our armed forces to communicate beyond line-of-sight among one another in all circumstances in a secure mode”, it said.

The MoD added that it has designated the procurement as a ‘Make in India' project, which envisages the design, development, and launch of the satellite from within India.


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BigBear.ai nears becoming public company

by Marc Selinger

US information technology business BigBear.ai, which announced in June that it would become a publicly traded company, said on 3 December that it expects to complete the process within days.

BigBear.ai said its merger with a publicly held special-purpose acquisition company will be completed on or about 7 December and that the combined entity, which will adopt the BigBear.ai name, will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on 8 December. The company declined to say why it will be listed on the NYSE instead of the Nasdaq as originally planned.

BigBear.ai intends to use the USD330 million in proceeds from the transaction to fund product development, acquisitions, and expanded sales and marketing. The company provides artificial intelligence, cloud migration, cyber security, data analytics, software development, and other services to the US Department of Defense, the US Intelligence Community, other US federal agencies, and commercial customers.

BigBear.ai was formed by US private equity firm AE Industrial Partners in February by combining NuWave Solutions and PCI Strategic Management.


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Avon Protection nears unveiling results of body armour business review

by Marc Selinger

Avon Protection, which has been conducting a “strategic review” of its body armour business, plans to disclose the outcome of that review on 15 December, according to a spokesperson for the UK-based company.

The disclosure will coincide with Avon's release of its fiscal year (FY) 2021 financial results, the spokesperson told Janes on 2 December.

Avon announced in mid-November that it was launching the review after the body armour business experienced problems with products intended for two US customers.

During first article testing of body armour plates being developed for the US Army, a failure occurred, “which will significantly delay the likely approval timetable for this product”, Avon said.

Avon has also experienced delays in obtaining approval for body armour plates destined for the US Defense Logistics Agency. Approval for that product is expected in the January–March 2022 quarter.

In light of these setbacks, the body armour business' contribution to Avon's FY 2022 financial results and beyond will be “significantly reduced”, with the ultimate impact depending on the outcome of the review, the company said. Avon had expected to generate about USD40 million in body armour revenue in FY 2022.


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Brazilian Army merges AFV programmes in reorganisation

by Victor Barreira

The Brazilian Army is merging its principal wheeled and tracked armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) projects, Colonel Marcelo Yoshida of the Army High-Staff revealed at the 10th Conference of Systems and Military Technology, held in Brasília from 23 to 26 November.

The existing Army Strategic Program Guarani (Prg EE Guarani) and Army Strategic Subprogram Armoured Forces (SPrg F Bld) – part of the wider Army Strategic Program Obtaining Full Operational Capability (Prg EE OCOP) – will be merged into a single effort designated Army Strategic Program Armoured Forces (Prg EE F Bld) on 1 January 2022.


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India's Defence Acquisition Council, which is chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, approved on...

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