AUSA 2021: Japan seeking more military co-development work with US DoD

by Daniel Wasserbly

An SM-3 Block IA missile launches from JS Kirishima . (US Navy)

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) has asked the US Department of Defense (DoD) to consider areas for new co-development work, ranging from acquisition programmes to science and technology (S&T) projects, the Pentagon's chief technology officer said on 12 October.

“They're interested in hypersonics, they're interested in quantum; and out of the wide spectrum of their interests we agreed to have a follow-up meeting to try to flesh out, out of their multitude of interest areas, how shall we move forward in co-development,” Heidi Shyu, undersecretary of defence for research and engineering (OUSD(R&E)), told reporters at the annual Association of the United States Army conference in Washington, DC.

Shyu noted that Japan co-operates with the Pentagon on one development programme already, although she did not name the programme.

Japan has eight ballistic missile defence-capable destroyers with the Aegis combat system, and has co-operated with the United States in developing technologies for the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA interceptor, with Japan providing money and technology work via a co-operative research effort under a US-Japan memorandum of agreement signed in 1999.

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Submarine Arkansas reaches ‘pressure hull complete' milestone

by Michael Fabey

The US Navy is worried about Virginia-class submarine construction delivery rates. (Janes/Michael Fabey)

Virginia-class attack submarine Arkansas (SSN 800) is now “pressure hull complete” at HII's Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) in Virginia, HII confirmed on 27 September.

Pressure hull construction of the submarine was completed when all the hull sections were joined to form a single, watertight unit, HII noted in a statement.

“It's a visible sign that construction has progressed to the point where Arkansas really starts to take its final shape,” Jason Ward, NNS vice-president of Virginia-class submarine construction, said in a statement.

Arkansas is the US Navy's 27th Virginia-class fast-attack submarine.

The milestone comes in the wake of the 25 September Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, Navy Virginia-Class Submarine Program and AUKUS Submarine Proposal: Background and Issues for Congress

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US Army awards four contracts for RCV prototypes

by Meredith Roaten

Ripsaw M5 and M3. (Textron Systems)

The US Army has selected four companies that will build two prototypes each for the service's Robotic Combat Vehicle-Light (RCV-L) programme, officials announced on 20 September.

Textron Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems, McQ Inc, and Oshkosh Defense were awarded the contracts, which task them with delivering prototypes by August 2024. The companies will also go through a preliminary design review during the first phase, David Phillips, senior vice-president of Textron Systems' Land and Sea Systems, told Janes on 22 September.

The army will hold a competition between the first-phase awardees for the second-phase contracts, according to an army press release. A single winner will be selected in fiscal year (FY) 2025 to finalise system designs, build, and deliver up to nine full-system prototypes in FY 2026, the release said. Further testing will support a follow-on production decision in FY 2027, with first unit fielding planned for FY 2028.

“Human-machine integrated teams are the future of successful ground combat in the land domain,” said Brigadier General Geoffrey Norman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team.

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TADTE 2023: GEOSAT to manufacture Japanese C-UAV systems in Taiwan

by Kapil Kajal

DDD (Drone Detective & Disabilitating System), pictured above from TADTE 2023, can detect UAVs within a range of 25 km. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)

Taiwan's GEOSAT Aerospace & Technology signed a transfer of technology (ToT) agreement with Fortunio Japan to manufacture the latter's counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) known as ‘DDD (Drone Detective & Disabilitating System)' in Taiwan at the Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition 2023 (TADTE 2023) held in Taipei from 14 to 16 September.

A GEOSAT spokesperson told Janes at the showthat the system will be offered to the Republic of China (RoC) Armed Forces to meet the service's C-UAV requirements.

According to the company specifications, the DDD can detect UAVs within a range of 25 km.

The DDD comprises three units: detection head unit, tripod, and software and personal computer. The circular detection head unit is mounted on the tripod with an overall height and weight of 1,430 mm and 35 kg respectively.

The height, weight, and diameter of the head unit are 150 mm, 7 kg, and 375 mm respectively. The system can be mounted on a ship or a military vehicle, the spokesperson added.

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