Kaman to buy Parker Hannifin's Aircraft Wheel & Brake division

by Marc Selinger

Parker Hannifin provides wheels and brakes for military aircraft, including the CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter that Sikorsky is building for the US Marine Corps. (US Marine Corps/Cpl Yuritzy Gomez)

US-based Parker Hannifin Corporation has agreed to sell its Aircraft Wheel & Brake business to US aircraft parts maker Kaman Corporation for USD440 million to address regulatory concerns about its proposed acquisition of the United Kingdom's Meggitt.

The 23 May announcement came about a month and a half after Parker disclosed it was in the process of finding a buyer for the business. The European Commission said in April that the divestiture is needed to preserve competition, as Parker and Meggitt are both “leading global suppliers of wheels and brakes for a range of aircraft types, including military helicopters and drones”.

The completion of the divestiture is contingent on Parker obtaining approval to acquire fellow motion and control system provider Meggitt, a Parker spokesperson said. The Meggitt purchase, which Parker plans to complete for GBP6.3 billion (USD7.9 billion) in the third quarter of 2022, is under review by UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng and the US Department of Justice.

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MADEX 2023: KAI to integrate Archerfish onto Surion MCH

by Chinmay Kohad

A model of the Surion MCH displayed at MADEX 2023. (Janes/Chinmay Kohad)

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and BAE Systems signed a contract agreement on 8 June to support delivery of the UK company's Archerfish Mine Neutralisation System (AMNS) for integration onto the KAI KUH-1 Surion mine-countermeasures helicopter (MCH).

The total number of AMNS units to be delivered to KAI under the agreement, which was signed at the MADEX 2023 exhibition held in Busan, is unknown. However, KAI intends to fit the MCH with four Archerfish systems and an associated launcher.

The AMNS will be integrated onto the Surion MCH alongside one Teledyne Gavia autonomous underwater vehicle for deep-sea mine detection and Northrop Grumman's Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) to detect floating mines and shallow-water mines. Agreements to integrate these systems onto the Surion MCH were finalised earlier in the first quarter of 2023.

Another capability to be integrated into the helicopter will be a chin-mounted electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) system.

In January 2022 South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration awarded KAI a KRW345 billion (USD264.9 million) contract to design the Surion MCH for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).

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Update: 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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TKMS, Mazagon Dock enter submarine partnership

by Jon Grevatt

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders are expected to offer the Indian Navy a version of the Type 214 submarine for the service's P-75I programme for six AIP-capable submarines. (Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft)

India's Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) and Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) have signed an agreement to support the construction in India of air-independent propulsion (AIP)-capable diesel-electric submarines (SSKs).

The deal is intended to position the two companies for the Indian Navy's stalled Project 75 (India) (P-75I) programme – estimated to be worth about INR400 billion (USD4.8 billion) – to procure six AIP-capable SSKs.

MDL said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange that its “non-binding non-financial” memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed with TKMS on 7 June during German Federal Minister of Defence Boris Pistorius' visit to MDL shipbuilding facilities in Mumbai.

TKMS said that under the agreement, TKMS would be responsible for SSK design, engineering, and consultancy, while MDL would handle construction and delivery to the Indian Navy. TKMS said that if the proposal is successful, the submarines would feature “significant” levels of local content.

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US-based Parker Hannifin Corporation has agreed to sell its Aircraft Wheel & Brake business to US ai...

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