27 March 2023
by Gareth Jennings
With this new Belgian MOU, the NATO Multinational MRTT Unit will field 10 KC-30M tanker-transport aircraft by the time deliveries are complete in 2027. (Royal Netherlands Air Force)
Belgium has formalised the procurement of a second Airbus A330-200 Multirole Tanker Transport (MRTT) as its contribution to the NATO Multinational MRTT Unit (MMU).
Minister of Defence Ludivine Dedonder signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the additional aircraft on 24 March, bringing the Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) to 10 aircraft once deliveries are complete in 2027.
“On this occasion, Minister Dedonder confirmed Belgium's investment of EUR265 million [USD285 million] in the project,” the Belgian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced.
Located at Eindhoven Air Base in the Netherlands, the 10 KC-30M (the NATO designation for the A330 MRTT) will be tasked to deliver 10,000 flight hours per year to the participating countries of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, and Norway. With seven aircraftr delivered so far, the MMU declared initial operating capability the day prior to the Belgian announcement on 23 March. Full operating capability (FOC) is scheduled to coincide with the arrival of the ninth aircraft in 2024.
30 May 2023
by Carlo Munoz
Sailors stand watch in the Fleet Operations Center at the headquarters of US Fleet Cyber Command/US Tenth Fleet (FCC/C10F). (US Navy)
Potential cyber attacks by China and Russia against the United States and its allies continue to be one of the pre-eminent threat facing the US Department of Defense (DoD), according to the Pentagon's latest cyber strategy.
The classified version of the 2023 DoD Cyber Strategy was sent to US congressional lawmakers on 26 May, according to an unclassified fact sheet on the key aspects of the strategy issued by the Pentagon on the same day.
The new strategy supersedes the earlier version issued by the DoD in 2018, and many of the tenets within the new cyber strategy fall in line with the 2023 National Cybersecurity Strategy issued by the White House in March 2023. The Pentagon is expected to release an unclassified version of the strategy in the coming weeks, DoD officials wrote in the fact sheet.
29 May 2023
by Akhil Kadidal
Malaysia's requirement for new rotary-wing platforms has presented a major opportunity for helicopter manufacturers. Leonardo is promoting its AW149 helicopter as a replacement for Malaysia's grounded Nuri helicopter fleet. (Leonardo)
Leonardo is promoting its AW149 multirole medium helicopter to fill Malaysia's future rotary-wing requirements.
The Malaysian military, especially the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), has suffered a shortfall in helicopter assets since the retirement of the Sikorsky S-61A-4 Nuri fleet in 2020.
Speaking to Janes during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2023 in Malaysia, a Leonardo spokesperson said the AW149 is a “possible candidate” to replace Malaysia's existing helicopters. This also includes the company's AW139 helicopter that originally entered production in 2001.
“In Malaysia, we see the AW139 as a filler aircraft,” the spokesperson said. “The AW149, however, is a possible candidate to support Malaysia's future requirements. It is a modern platform that is more capable and more effective than the AW139.” The company added that AW149 is a military helicopter by design.
26 May 2023
by Christopher Petrov & Ben Burnett
The Czech MoD is aiming to participate in the Leopard 2A8 programme, which would represent a considerable leap in capability over the ageing T-72M4 CZ. (IMOD)
The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) will develop plans to address the approaching obsolescence of its main battle tank (MBT), the T-72M4 CZ, Colonel Jan Kerdik, head of Land Forces development division at the Czech Armed Forces, told SAE Media's Future Armoured Vehicles Central and Eastern Europe conference in Prague. The Czech army has now stated its ambition to join the Leopard 2A8 programme.
The Czech Armed Forces, which is estimated to have 30 T-72M4 CZ tanks in service, faces issues with obsolescence in particular components and a desire for modernisation that will push the T-72M4 CZ out of service in the coming years. Previous modernisation efforts announced in 2018 were aimed at delaying obsolescence-related issues only until 2025. Coupled with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, there is a strong desire to rearm Czech tank forces.
Belgium has formalised the procurement of a second Airbus A330-200 Multirole Tanker Transport (MRTT)...
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