South Korea's KF-21 passes ‘combat assessment' to accelerate production

by Jon Grevatt

The second KAI KF-21 prototype launches a mid-range air-to-air Meteor missile during the aircraft's armament trials in late March 2023. (Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA))

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KF-21 fighter aircraft has passed a “provisional combat suitability evaluation”, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said on 16 May.

DAPA said the milestone – achieved following two years of trials – is intended to accelerate aircraft manufacturing ahead of the initial KF-21 production phase in 2024.

KAI's first KF-21 prototype was rolled out in April 2021 and had its maiden flight in July 2022.

According to DAPA, the provisional combat suitability evaluation has assessed factors such as the KF-21's durability, structural integrity, manoeuvrability, and performance – including its speed, combat radius, and landing distance – in more than 200 ground and flight tests in the past two years.

The evaluation also assessed the performance of key systems onboard the aircraft including avionics, weapons, and its locally developed active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.


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OCCAR and MBDA sign HYDIS² concept phase contract

by Nicholas Fiorenza

OCCAR and MBDA have launched the HYDIS² concept phase. (MBDA)

The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) and MBDA announced on 15 May that they signed a European Defence Fund (EDF) grant agreement and a linked procurement contract to launch the three-year HYpersonic Defence Interceptor Study (HYDIS²) concept phase on the same day. MBDA signed the agreements on behalf of the 19 industrial partners in HYDIS². In its press release, OCCAR valued the programme at EUR140 million (USD152 million), EUR80 million of which is co-funded by the EDF.

The concept phase aims to mature critical technologies focusing on the operational requirements of participating countries France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, which will support the selection of a concept afterwards and will contribute to MBDA's Aquila counter-hypersonic interceptor concept. Another aim of the concept phase is to create an industrial network to develop future counter-hypersonic missile systems.

An MBDA spokesperson told Janes


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NAVSEA intends to award AS(X) submarine tender design development to NASSCO

by Richard Scott

NASSCO is in line to build a new class of AS(X) submarine tenders to replace ships such as USS Emory S Land pictured here. (Richard Scott/NAVYPIX)

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on 8 May advised its intention to award General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) a sole-source contract estimated at up to USD100 million for the AS(X) Submarine Tender Recapitalization Program design development. This is seen as the lead-in to a full detailed design and construction (DD&C) contract for the first AS(X) ship.

NASSCO has emerged as the sole acknowledged bidder for DD&C work on the AS(X).

A fleet of three AS(X)-class ships is planned to replace the USN's two ageing Emory S Land-class submarine tenders, both of which were commissioned in 1979.

NAVSEA in April 2022 awarded AS(X) concept refinement and preliminary design contracts to L3Harris Technologies, General Dynamics NASSCO, and HII under full and open competition. Under these awards, all three companies developed an AS(X) ship specification, interface specifications, ship cost estimates, and ship construction schedules to inform NAVSEA's follow-on acquisition effort.

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Leonardo launches new C-UAS planning tool

by Richard Scott

Leonardo's SkyTender C-UAS software aims to optimise the deployment of C-UAS. (Leonardo)

Leonardo Canada – Electronics has debuted a new counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) planning and assessment tool designed to enable rapid site evaluation and optimisation prior to equipment deployment.

Known as SkyTender, the software toolset has been evolved from the outputs of a Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) contract awarded to Leonardo in March 2022 under the Innovative Solutions Canada programme. The company has subsequently ‘productised' this functionality.

C-UASs using radio frequency (RF) sensors and effectors to defeat UAS threats are increasingly being deployed to protect both military installations and critical infrastructures such as airports, power stations, and ports. However, establishing the optimum positioning of system equipment has traditionally required expensive and time-consuming site surveys.

Hosted on a laptop, SkyTender is a planning application designed to support pre-mission planning and enable optimum placement of C-UAS equipment. The tool is able to evaluate spectral environments and topography and simulate threats, sensors, and platforms, thereby allowing operators to optimise the detect, track, and identify functions of their C-UAS solutions, and quantify the effectiveness of deployed C-UASs against defined threats.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/industry-headlines/latest/south-koreas-kf-21-passes-combat-assessment-to-accelerate-production

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KF-21 fighter aircraft has passed a “provisional combat suitability...

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