Making it big: Asia-Pacific's increasing focus on large and extra-large UUVs

by Oishee Majumdar & Nishant Kumar

This graphic shows some of the LUUVs and XLUUVs under various stages of development in the Asia-Pacific. (Janes)

Navies in the Asia-Pacific are increasingly deploying unmanned systems to overcome the challenge of limited resources in personnel. Technological advancement in digitisation and artificial intelligence (AI) has supported such efforts. This has led to the emergence of new concepts of operations (CONOPs) such as fully unmanned mine countermeasures (MCM) formations.

The growing military competition in the Asia-Pacific, the militarisation of certain regions such as the South China Sea, and operational challenges associated with underwater warfare are some of the factors contributing to defence forces' increased focus on naval unmanned systems such as unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).

A spokesperson for South Korea's Hanwha Systems, which is developing an anti-submarine warfare unmanned underwater vehicle (ASWUUV) for the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces, told Janes in late September that the company expects “the need for unmanned marine systems” to keep increasing and related markets to keep growing, given “escalating tensions” in the Asia-Pacific.

UUVs are ideal to perform underwater tasks that may be too dull, demanding, and dangerous for humans.


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Greece interested in surplus UK Hercules airlifters

by Gareth Jennings

Greece is expected to acquire at least one surplus Hercules airlifter when the type is retired from UK service in 2023. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Greece has shown interest in acquiring from the United Kingdom an undisclosed number of soon-to-be-retired Lockheed Martin C-130J/C-130J-30 Hercules airlifters.

The Greek Republic Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced in late November that it had held a teleconference with Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group to talk about the upcoming sale of one ‘short' C-130J (C5 in UK service) and 13 ‘stretched' C-130J-30 (C4) airframes that are to be retired from Royal Air Force (RAF) service in 2023.

“The purpose of the teleconference was to hold a discussion-update on the upcoming sale of the UK's C-130J aircraft, for which the Marshall company has been appointed as an external partner,” the MND said.

As noted by the ministry, the conference was attended by the UK defence attaché, Captain Alexander Bush, as well as representatives from the UK Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA), the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the UK government, and Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group.

News of the event came approximately 11 months after the MoD told Janes


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Japan to acquire two additional KC-46 tankers

by Akhil Kadidal

Japan's acquisition of two additional KC-46A tankers will enhance its capability for ‘expeditionary' operations. (Boeing)

Japan has ordered two additional KC-46A Pegasus tankers for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF).

According to Boeing, the order of these two additional KC-46As brings the total contract number to six. The US Department of Defense (DoD) said on 29 November that the value of the order is USD398.24 million. The DoD added that the aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by 30 June 2025.

Boeing said in a statement that it completed delivery of the first KC-46A for the JASDF in October 2021. This was followed by the second aircraft in February 2022.

“This additional KC-46A acquisition reinforces the US-Japan security alliance to support security and stability throughout the Pacific region,” said Will Shaffer, president of Boeing Japan.

The DoD said that the delivery order FA8609-18-F-0006 will be made under the FA8609-18-G-0002 basic ordering agreement contract vehicle. According to Boeing, the contract was awarded by the US Air Force through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process. The DoD added that the FMS funds are being obligated at the time of award.


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DRDO tests mounted gun system

by Kapil Kajal

India's DRDO showcased the 155 mm/52 calibre mounted gun system at Defence Expo 2022. The gun has a maximum firing range of 45 km. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)

Indiaʼs Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted trials of the indigenously developed 155 mm/52 calibre mounted gun system (MGS).

According to the DRDO, the MGS is a truck-mounted artillery gun system, deployable in desert, mountainous, and high-altitude terrains.

The MGS equips a 155 mm/52 calibre Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) on an eight-wheeled high-mobility vehicle (HMV) developed by Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML).

A DRDO official told Janes that the trials of the MGS have been going on for some time now.

“The mobility and performance trials of the MGS are completed. The standalone firing trials of the armoured cabin are also completed. The MGS is ready to undergo the strength of design trials,” the official said.

The official added that the DRDO is manufacturing the MGS as part of the Indian Army's requirement for gun-mounted wheeled platforms.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/c4isr-command-tech/latest/making-it-big-asia-pacifics-increasing-focus-on-large-and-extra-large-uuvs

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