Berlin Security Conference 2021: Lockheed Martin confident STH timeline for Germany can still be met

by Gareth Jennings

The CH-53K was displayed at the last ILA Berlin Airshow in 2018. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Lockheed Martin is confident that the Bundeswehr's latest schedule for its Schwere Transporthubschrauber (STH) heavy-lift helicopter programme can still be met, should the protest being heard in the German courts progress in a timely manner.

Speaking to Janes at the Berlin Security Conference (BSC) 2021, company officials said that the timeline of a contract signature in 2023 and deliveries beginning in about 2026 is still tenable should the High Court in Dusseldorf issue its written judgement in the coming weeks on Lockheed Martin's protest at the programme being cancelled in September 2020.

“The timeline depends on how the Bundeswehr moves forward, but a 2023 contract date is still realistic,” Director International CH-53K Programs, Elizabeth Parcella, said on 25 November. Sikorsky's International Business Development official, Christian Albrecht, added, “We would be able to support a transition [to the CH-53K King Stallion] from 2026 onwards, as we will have the production capacity at out Stratford site in Connecticut”.


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KAI advancing Heli-launched MUM-T project

by Akhil Kadidal

New concept imagery of KAI's MUM-T project shows the company's Light Attack Helicopter (LAH) teamed with at least three Air Launched Effects (ALE). The company has conceptualised this UAV as both a reconnaissance platform and a loitering munition. (Korean Aerospace Industries)

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has signed an agreement with a research body to bolster the development of its manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) system for combat helicopters.

On November 29, KAI announced that it had entered into an agreement with the Korea Research Institute for Defense Technology Planning and Advancement (KRIT)to develop technologies for the programme.

According to KAI, this includes the development of “manned and unmanned autonomous co-operation and decision support system technology for small armed helicopter manned and unmanned complex systems”.

The major components of the agreement include the development of a mission performance system for small combat helicopters to enable MUM-T.

KAI and KRIT will also seek to develop a “real-time composite battlefield information situation awareness technology. The two entities will also work to implement manned and unmanned combined operation decision support technology,” the company added.

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Russia-China moving towards closer bomber co-operation

by Akhil Kadidal

The joint Russia-China bomber flight conducted on 30 November is the fifth such event in the last three years. It prompted a major show of force from countries in the region. The US Air Force scrambled at least two Lockheed Martin F-22s to intercept the bomber force. (US Air Force)

In an unprecedented boost to interoperability, long-range Chinese and Russian bombers landed in each other's airbases for the first time, as part of a joint air patrol.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Defence (MoD), the drills began on the morning of 30 November. Two Chinese H-6K bombers were observed as they flew over the East China Sea.

“After passing through the Tsushima Strait, [the Chinese aircraft] advanced into the Sea of Japan [East Sea]. It was confirmed that it flew north towards the continent,” the MoD said in a statement.


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Israeli Sa'ar 6 corvette tests Barak LRAD air defence missile

by Yaakov Lappin

The Sa'ar 6 corvette INS Magen launches a Barak LRAD during the test. (Israeli Ministry of Defense)

The Israeli Navy and Israel Ministry of Defense (MoD) conducted the first live-fire trial of the LRAD variant of the Barak surface-to-air missile from one of the new Sa'ar 6 corvettes, the MoD announced on 30 November.

The MoD referred to the overarching naval air-defence system as Barak Magen, which was confusing as the test was conducted by INS Magen , the first of the four Sa'ar 6s.

“The Barak Magen system includes an advanced radar for detecting threats, a weapons system, and a long-range interceptor made by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI),” the MoD said. “During the trial, which forms a first proof of capability of its type from the sea, the Barak Magen system successfully completed a process of detection and interception in a challenging scenario, against a target that simulated an advanced cruise missile,” the MoD said.


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Lockheed Martin is confident that the Bundeswehr's latest schedule for its Schwere Transporthubschra...

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