FAVS 2023: Trophy APS production and delivery figures revealed

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Germany is procuring the Trophy APS for its Leopard 2 tanks. (KMW)

EuroTrophy managing director Dan Kalfus gave production and delivery figures for the Trophy active protection system (APS) on the first day of SAE Media Group's Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability (FAVS) 2023 conference held in London from 13 to 15 November.

Kalfus said 40 Trophy APSs and 500 countermeasures were being produced per month. In addition to being supplied to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the system is being delivered to Germany and Norway. One Trophy system has been supplied to Germany for integration tests on a Leopard 2A4 main battle tank (MBT), 23 have been qualified and have entered service on Bundeswehr Leopard 2A7A1s, and 23 and 54 of the systems, respectively, have been ordered for Leopard 2A8s being procured by Germany and Norway, according to Kalfus. Trophy is standard equipment for the Leopard 2A8.

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Latvia orders IRIS-T SLM air-defence system

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The Latvian MoD has signed a EUR600 million contract with Diehl for IRIS-T SLM air-defence systems. (Diehl)

The Latvian Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Diehl Defence have announced that they signed a contract on 30 November for the delivery of the IRIS-T SLM (Surface Launched Medium Range) air-defence system to Latvia. The EUR600 million (USD649 million) contract was signed by Latvian National Armaments Director Mārtiņš Paškēvičs and Torsten Cook, senior vice-president of Diehl Defence's ground-based air-defence business unit.

The order follows the signing of the framework contract by then Latvian Defence Minister Ināra Mūrniece and her Estonian counterpart, Hanno Pevkur, with Diehl on 11 September. The two ministers announced on 21 May that the two Baltic states were jointly procuring IRIS-T. Mūrniece and Pevkur said at the time that the joint purchase would create a new ‘Livonian shield' protecting their countries' airspace.

Diehl is scheduled to begin deliveries of the IRIS-T SLM to Latvia in 2026. In the meantime, Latvia will train its personnel and upgrade its infrastructure so the Latvian National Armed Forces can operate and maintain the IRIS-T SLM systems by the time they are delivered.

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Defence acquisition jumps ahead across Europe in 2022, but research lags

by Brooks Tigner & Rebecca Landriani

Total defence investment by EU countries, 2014–33. (Janes)

Total defence spending across the European Union (EU) in 2022 was EUR240 billion (USD260.6 billion) – a 6% increase compared to 2021 and a record high in absolute terms for the 27 countries, according to the European Defence Agency's (EDA's) new annual report Defence Data 2022: Key findings and analysis. However, that figure equalled only 1.5% of the countries' collective GDP and thus fell well short of the 2% of their GDP or EUR361 billion they should have spent on defence in 2022.

Despite the rising expenditure, “we have key capability gaps and continue to lag behind other global players in spending”, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said in a statement accompanying the report. “We must find extra value in our ability to co-operate and seize the opportunities to strengthen our armed forces through common planning, shared projects, and joint procurements.”

Observing that defence budgets across Europe continue to “evolve rapidly in response to Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine”, the 20-page report points above all to EU countries' rising investment in defence equipment and systems.

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Parting shot: PAF inducts JF-17 Block III aircraft

by Akhil Kadidal

The Block III version of the Pakistan-China-developed JF-17 fighter aircraft includes several improvements over earlier aircraft, according to the Pakistan Air Force. (Janes)

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has started to induct into service the latest version of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC)/Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) JF-17 ‘Thunder' fighter aircraft.

The PAF said in mid-November that the new Block III aircraft provides the PAF with several improved capabilities over the earlier Block II version. These include, it said, “superior manoeuvrability, extended range, and enhanced combat capabilities”.

Other enhancements include a reduction in the aircraft's radar cross-section, a result of greater use of composites, and improved avionics. State-run broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) said in September the aircraft has also been equipped with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

This radar system appears to be the Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Technology (NRIET) KLJ-7A X-band airborne 3D fire-control radar (FCR). The Block II version is equipped with the KLJ-7 V2.

According to the US Department of Defense (DoD), the KLJ-7 V2 radar can detect an aircraft with a radar cross-section of 3 m 2

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EuroTrophy managing director Dan Kalfus gave production and delivery figures for the Trophy active p...

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