Indo Pacific 2022: Australia to build new naval maintenance centre in Sydney

by Julian Kerr

Australia's new Regional Maintenance Centre in Sydney will support platforms including the RAN's Hobart-class air warfare destroyers. (Commonwealth of Australia)

A new AUD1 billion (USD692 million) naval Regional Maintenance Centre (RMC) is to be built at Sydney's Garden Island defence precinct, Australian Minister for Defence Peter Dutton announced on 11 May. The announcement was made to coincide with the Indo Pacific 2022 show in Sydney.

A tender for the industry role in the future ‘RMC East' was released on the same day by the Department of Defence (DoD) and will close on 16 September. The evaluations will be completed in the first quarter of 2023 and contract signature is anticipated in quarter three, the DoD said.

According to Plan Galileo, a programme announced in 2020 to provide naval shipbuilding and sustainment support across the country, the RMCs will be developed at strategic locations including Sydney (east), Cairns (northeast), Darwin (north), and Henderson (west).

The RMCs are described by the DoD as platform-agnostic, integrated government and industry maintenance enterprises that will nationally co-ordinate maintenance and deliver it as regional hubs utilising common systems, standards, and procedures.

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India test-flies Agni Prime ballistic missile

by Kapil Kajal & Rahul Udoshi

The DRDO and SFC have conducted the flight test of the nuclear-capable Agni Prime missile from Dr Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha, India. The above picture shows the first test launch of the missile in June 2021. (DRDO via Press Information Bureau)

India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Strategic Forces Command (SFC) have conducted the flight test of a new-generation ballistic missile known as Agni Prime on 7 June, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

According to a press release by the MoD on 8 June, the test was conducted from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the northeastern coast of Odisha. The flight test was conducted as part of user trials, the MoD said.

The MoD said the test was the first pre-induction night launch conducted by the users “after three successful developmental trials of the missile, validating the accuracy and reliability of the system”.

The test “has paved the way for induction of the system into the armed forces”, the MoD added.

Vipin Kumar Kaushik, director of the DRDO's Directorate of Public Interface, told Janes

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Azerbaijan signs for Spartan airlifter

by Gareth Jennings

Seen in Romanian service, the C-27J will now be operated by Azerbaijan. (Leonardo)

Azerbaijan has agreed a deal with Leonardo for the procurement of the C-27J Spartan airlifter, the manufacturer announced on 8 June.

The procurement is part of a wider modernisation plan for the Azerbaijan Air Force (AzAF) and Air Defence Force, and was agreed during a visit to the Caucasian country by an Italian delegation.

“The agreement is part of the extensive modernisation programme of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, which are increasingly looking to the products of Italian industry,” Leoanrdo said.

Leonardo told Janes that it was unable to divulge details as to the number of aircraft involved in the deal nor the delivery timeline. It did note that the aircraft will be the Next Generation (NG) standard, which was launched in March and is now the new baseline configuration for all new customers.

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Chinese-Russian air forces conduct major joint patrol with fighters, bombers

by Akhil Kadidal

Chinese and Russian bombers conducted a joint air patrol on 6 June. The Russian bombers subsequently landed at an unidentified airbase in China. (Japan MoD/Janes)

Russian and Chinese strategic bombers concluded a major joint patrol with fighter aircraft over the Sea of Japan (East Sea), the East China Sea, and the Philippine Sea.

According to information published by the Japan Ministry of Defense (MoD), several Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) fighter aircraft participated in the joint air patrol at various legs of the operation.

The joint patrol was split into two phases, according to the Japan MoD. Phase one of the patrol was conducted on 6 June. During this phase, two Xi'an Aircraft Company (XAC) H-6K bombers of the PLA rendezvoused with two Tupolev Tu-95MS bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) over the Sea of Japan (East Sea), the Japan MoD said.

However, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) placed the number of aircraft in the joint patrol as four Chinese and four Russian aircraft.

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A new AUD1 billion (USD692 million) naval Regional Maintenance Centre (RMC) is to be built at Sydney...

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