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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Singapore Airshow 2024: Aero set to complete VPAF L-39NG deliveries

by Akhil Kadidal & Prasobh Narayanan

Aero Vodochody has completed deliveries of the first batch of L-39NGs to the Vietnam People's Air Force (VPAF). The company is also focusing on selling the aircraft to Thailand. (Aero Vodochody)

Aero Vodochody AS has delivered its first batch of L-39NG trainer and light-attack aircraft to the Vietnam People's Air Force (VPAF), with remaining deliveries expected to be completed in 2024.

Vietnam ordered 12 L-39NG aircraft in February 2021. Filip Gunnar Kulštrunk, executive vice-president and chief commercial officer of Aero, told Janes that deliveries began in the fourth quarter of 2023 and that “the first batch of aircraft is now in [Vietnam]. We're going to be following up through to the end of this year. Most of this year is filled up with these delivery schedules”.

Kulštrunk offered his comments during the 2024 Singapore Airshow, which is being held from 20 to 25 February.


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US CBO projects growing debt, interest payments over next decade

by Jeremiah Cushman

US Congressional Budget Office's 10-year projections for US defence spending, interest payments, and total deficit. (Congressional Budget Office/Janes)

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its regular 10-year budget and economic report on 7 February, projecting growing deficits, public debt, and costs attributable to an ageing population while revenue remains largely the same by 2034.

The CBO emphasised that its forecasts, based on legislation enacted through 3 January 2024 and economic data as of 5 December 2023, assume current laws on taxes and spending remain generally unchanged.

This budget deficit is anticipated to increase from USD1.6 trillion in fiscal year (FY) 2024 to USD2.6 trillion in FY 2034, or from 5.6% of GDP in FY 2024 to 6.1% of GDP in FY 2034, significantly larger than the 3.7% average over the past 50 years, the CBO said.

The deficit projections are smaller than in the CBO's May 2023 report due to a USD2.3 trillion reduction in discretionary spending over the 10-year period from the combination of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), which was signed into law on 3 June 2023, and the Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act of 2024.


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India's Arjun Mk 1A programme faces delay

by Kapil Kajal

An Arjun Mk 1A main battle tank. (Indian MoD/Janes)

The deliveries of Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO's) Arjun Mk 1A main battle tanks (MBTs) to the Indian Army will experience a delay because of an engine shortage, a DRDO official told Janes on 20 February.

The Indian Army ordered 118 Arjun Mk 1A MBTs worth INR75.23 billion (USD907 million) in September 2021, with deliveries of the initial batch scheduled for 2024 and the final batch in 2027.

However, because of a delay in the delivery of engines from German company MTU, the delivery of tanks to the Indian Army will be delayed as well, the DRDO official said.

The tanks were planned to be produced with German MTU MB 838 Ka-501 V10 liquid-cooled turbocharged diesel engines, but MTU requires at least four more years to initiate the production of the engines for Arjun tanks, the official added.

MTU had not responded to Janes request for comment regarding the reason for the delay in engine delivery at the time of publication.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/industry-headlines/latest/latvia-orders-iris-t-slm-air-defence-system

The Latvian Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Diehl Defence have announced that they signed a contract o...

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