Indonesia collaborates with Turkey on UAV-mounted air-to-surface missiles

by Ridzwan Rahmat

Indonesia's indigenously developed strike-capable UAV, Elang Hitam (Black Eagle), seen here during its unveiling ceremony in December 2019. (PT Dirgantara Indonesia)

Indonesia has formed a teaming arrangement with a Turkish defence research organisation to develop a new type of modular air-to-surface missile that can be deployed on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The teaming involves engineers from Indonesia's Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) and Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey's (TUBITAK's) Defence Industries Research and Development Institute (SAGE), according to presentation materials provided to Janes by a source close to the matter. The presentation was made at an industry webinar on 14 July.

According to the materials, BPPT and SAGE are working on a modular air-to-surface missile type that can be configured for various mission sets, from anti-ship operations to ground-attack missions. The sensors and payloads of the missile will be interchangeable, even on short notice.

The objective of the collaboration is to equip Indonesia's indigenously developed medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV with surface strike capabilities, the presentation materials added.

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GAO finds problems with F-35 costs and technology in new report

by Zach Rosenberg

A US triservice formation of the US Air Force F-35A (lead), the US Marine Corps F-35B, and the US Navy F-35C. (US Air Force)

On 30 May the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report about the Lockheed Martin F-35, finding that the programme has not adequately explained a cost increase of USD13.4 billion since 2019, that the upgraded Block 4 version has run into technical snags and a USD1 billion cost increase, and that the US Department of Defense (DoD) has not fully defined requirements for an engine cooling system upgrade.

The USD13.4 billion increase is because of greater acquisition costs, the GAO wrote. “The programme attributes the increased procurement cost to additional years of costs related to airframe and engine production, along with support costs for equipment, technical data, and training,” the GAO wrote. “According to programme officials, the programme is deferring the delivery of these 215 aircraft to later years at the request of the air force.” F-35 development costs have increased by a total of USD21.1 billion between 2012 and 2021, the GAO found. The programme's total 77-year lifespan cost now hovers around USD1.7 trillion.

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Update: Oshkosh to buy aviation ground equipment firm JBT AeroTech

by Marc Selinger

JBT AeroTech's products include the Halvorsen aircraft loader. (JBT AeroTech)

US-based truck manufacturer Oshkosh Corporation plans to expand its offering by acquiring JBT Corporation's AeroTech aircraft ground equipment business for USD800 million in cash, the buyer announced on 30 May.

Oshkosh said combining its portfolio with AeroTech's “will create significant opportunities for product innovation”. JBT said it is selling AeroTech to focus on providing equipment to the food and beverage industry.

AeroTech serves commercial and military customers, with defence accounting for about 10% of its business, an Oshkosh spokesperson told Janes. AeroTech's defence products include aircraft tow tractors, cargo loaders, de-icer trucks, and hangar air and power systems. Its customers include the US Air Force and US Navy, and its main facilities are in Orlando, Florida, and Ogden, Utah.

The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter (Q3) of 2023 after receiving regulatory approval. Oshkosh said it expects to realise about USD80 million in tax benefits from the transaction, which will reduce the cost of its purchase to about USD720 million. After the acquisition closes, AeroTech will become part of Oshkosh's Vocational segment.

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South Korea approves mass production of fourth batch of K2 MBTs

by Kapil Kajal

In service with the Republic of Korea Army, Hyundai Rotem's K2 main battle tank, pictured above, is replacing ageing inventories of M48 Patton tanks and older models of the K1 MBT. (Janes/Kelvin Wong)

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has approved the mass production of a fourth batch of the Hyundai Rotem K2 main battle tank (MBT) for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA).

DAPA said on 25 May that the project to build the batch-four MBTs has been allocated KRW1.94 trillion (USD1.46 billion) between 2024 and 2028. It said the additional K2s will contribute to the “improvement of the mobile corps' ability to perform offensive manoeuvres”.

DAPA did not disclose how many K2s would be built in the new batch.

According to Janes Land Warfare Platforms: Armoured Fighting Vehicles, the K2 is a third-generation MBT designed to provide the RoKA with modern heavy-armour capability.

The MBT is operated by a crew of three and has a length of 10.8 m and a width of 3.6 m. It weighs 56 tonnes and has a maximum onroad speed of 70 km/h.

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Indonesia has formed a teaming arrangement with a Turkish defence research organisation to develop a...

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