Navy League 2023: BAE Systems to produce new F-35 EW system variant
06 April 2023
by Carlo Munoz
Four F-35Cs (F-35C / F-35) performed a flyby as they arrived at NAS Lemoore marking their historic arrival to join VFA-125 at the US Navy base. (Lockheed Martin)
BAE Systems has been awarded a USD491 million production deal to build the newest electronic warfare (EW) system variant for the F-35 Lighting II fighter, according to a company statement.
The Block 4 variant of the AN/ASQ-239 EW system for the F-35 “will include significantly upgraded hardware and software that improve sensing and signal-processing capabilities”, company officials said in a 3 April statement released during the annual Navy League's Sea-Air-Space conference in National Harbor, Maryland. The new Block 4 variant will also integrate a series of new “high-performance sensors” designed to detect low-observable threat signatures, as well as sense a larger number of air and ground threats simultaneously, according to the statement.
A C-GEM offboard active decoy is fired from an Israeli Sa'ar 6 corvette. Rafael has teamed with Hensoldt to offer the German Navy an ECM suite featuring both C-GEM and the Digital Shark onboard jammer. (Rafael)
German sensor house Hensoldt has teamed with Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to offer the German Navy a new electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite combining both onboard and offboard jamming components.
Announcing the co-operation agreement on 27 November, Hensoldt said the tie-up was initially aimed at providing the Deutsche Marine with “a solution to close the capability gap in the self-protection of its ships”. According to the company, the teaming seeks to blend knowledge derived from Hensoldt's own Kalaetron Attack jammer with Rafael's existing Digital Shark shipboard ECM system and C-GEM active offboard decoy.
Kalaetron is a fully digital electronic warfare product family developed by Hensoldt to meet a variety of airborne self-protection, electronic attack, and signals intelligence missions. As one part of this portfolio, the Kalaetron Attack escort jammer pod combines cognitive software elements (based on artificial intelligence algorithms) with a fully digitised broadband sensor and an electronically controlled/software-defined jammer.
Still facing hurdles for Pillar 1, AUKUS countries detail Pillar 2 ambitions
04 December 2023
by Michael Fabey
Despite concerns over submarine-building capacity to meet AUKUS Pillar 1 needs, AUKUS countries are moving ahead with Pillar 2 efforts. (Janes/Michael Fabey)
While questions remain about the ability of Australia, the UK, and the US (AUKUS) to meet submarine requirement commitments for their AUKUS Pillar 1 agreement, the trio of defence partners detailed more specific Pillar 2 ambitions on 1 December.
Defence and government officials underscored plans aimed to better develop technology related to autonomous operations, electronic warfare (EW), space sensing and hypersonic weaponry for Pillar 2 at a joint press conference by AUKUS at the Defense Innovation Unit headquarters in California.
Officials also cited continued bipartisan and overall support in their countries to continue with the agreement, even with political uncertainty and growing concern that the US will lack the capacity to meet both AUKUS submarine-building and its own submarine operational needs in the coming years.
British Army soldiers embed with Japanese army for first time
01 December 2023
by Nicholas Fiorenza
A Gurkha from 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles with an L85A3 5.56 mm assault rifle (right) next to a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force 1st Airborne Brigade paratrooper with a Howa Type 20 5.56 mm assault rifle (left) during Exercise ‘Vigilant Isles' in Somagahara Camp, Japan, on 15 November. (Crown copyright)
British Army soldiers embedded with the Japan Ground Self‐Defense Force (JGSDF) for the first time during Exercise ‘Vigilant Isles 23' in Japan from 15 to 26 November.
The Japanese embassy in London said on its website on 26 November that the exercise was the first time that the Japan-UK Reciprocal Access Agreement was applied. Around 400 JGSDF personnel and nearly 200 British Army soldiers were involved – the largest number of participants in a ‘Vigilant Isles' exercise. They conducted multiple training exercises such as infiltration and reconnaissance, combat shooting, and joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) to develop their tactical skills and deepen their mutual understanding, the embassy said.
Claire Chu, Janes senior China analyst joins Harry Kemsley and Sean Corbett to discuss how China's economic activity projects influence globally and what she learnt as part of the recent US Congressional staff delegation to China.