Nigeria orders Turkish OPVs

by Cem Devrim Yaylali

A computer-generated image of the Dearsan OPV 76 offshore patrol vessel. (Dearsan Shipyard)

The Nigerian Navy signed a contract with the Turkish shipyard Dearsan covering the delivery of two new 76 m offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) on 3 November.

It released a video of the signing ceremony during which Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo said the order is a milestone in achieving the navy's 2021–2030 strategic plan. He described the OPVs as high-endurance vessels capable of maritime interdiction, surveillance, special forces operations, search and rescue, disaster relief, and providing fire support to land forces.

“Dearsan Shipyard was selected based on its track record and the conviction that the shipyard would be able to construct a platform that could be deployed as an OPV in peacetime, while having the capability and flexibility to be quickly outfitted with sensors and weapons to re-role the platform for warfare and maritime defence purposes at a cost-effective price,” he said.

The Nigerian media reported that both OPVs are expected to be delivered within 37 months.

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US backtracks on M1A2 tanks, sending older variant to Ukraine

by Meredith Roaten

After months of deliberations, top US Army officials have decided that sending the M1A1 Abrams tank to Ukraine is faster than sending the M1A2 as originally planned. (US Marine Corps)

The Pentagon announced on 21 March that the 31 Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs) promised to Ukraine will not be M1A2 model as initially planned.

In order to get platforms to Ukraine faster, the US will pull 31 M1A1 tanks from US Army stocks and spruce them up for battle, said Pentagon Press Secretary Brigadier General Pat Ryder on 21 March. The variant change will “significantly expedite delivery timelines” and will ensure that the tanks will arrive by “the fall timeframe”.

The funding for the assistance to Kyiv will come from Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI), which will enable the Pentagon to pay General Dynamics to modify the M1 tank hulls.

Scott Taylor, director of US business development at General Dynamics Land Systems, told Janes that the tanks will be refurbished according to the US Army's 10-20 mission capable standards.

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Update – DSEI Japan 2023: Aeralis, ShinMaywa sign contract to collaborate on digital engineering

by Oishee Majumdar

The latest concept art of the Aeralis modular aircraft, released to mark the signing of a contract with ShinMaywa at DSEI Japan 2023. (Aeralis)

The UK-based Aeralis signed a contract with Japanese company ShinMaywa to collaborate on the implementation of digital engineering processes for military aircraft design and manufacturing in Japan.

Using digital engineering, the UK firm has developed the Aeralis modular aircraft system that can perform a range of training and operational tasks, the company's business development director Richard Eastment told Janes at DSEI Japan 2023, held in Chiba from 15 to 17 March.

One modular aircraft such as the Aeralis, instead of different kinds of aircraft with their own supply chain and simulators, can reduce costs, training time, as well as design and certification time for the acquisition of newer variants of the aircraft because all variants will share 85% common parts, he said.

The Japanese Ministry of Defence (MoD) is highly interested in digital engineering because of its partnership with the UK and Italy on the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP). Digital engineering can be used to bridge the physical distance between the partners during this development, he added.

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CENTCOM commander warns of growing Chinese arms exports

by Jeremy Binnie

An Iranian sailor looks at the Chinese destroyer Nanning during an exercise in March that also involved the Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov . Nanning also visited Abu Dhabi during the IDEX defence show in February. (Mehr News Agency)

US Central Command (CENTCOM) commander General Michael Kurilla repeatedly warned that China has significantly increased its defence exports to countries in his area of responsibility (AOR) when he testified to the Senate Armed Services committee on 16 March.

Gen Kurilla said Chinese defence exports to his AOR have increased 80% over the last 10 years as US defence exports decreased 30%.

CENTCOM AOR includes the former Soviet republics of Central Asia as well as Southwest Asia and Egypt. Gen Kurilla indicated that Arab militaries in the Gulf region are now turning to Beijing for air-defence systems when he said Chinese equipment cannot be part of the integrated air and missile defence network CENTCOM is trying to build with local partners to counter Iranian missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

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The Nigerian Navy signed a contract with the Turkish shipyard Dearsan covering the delivery of two n...

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