US Navy Columbia-class programme lead ship faces construction delays, GAO says
25 January 2023
by Michael Fabey
The US Government Accountability Office said that the Columbia-class lead submarine faces potential construction delays. (US Navy)
There are concerns about lead-ship construction delays of the new Columbia-class strategic ballistic-missile submarines, according to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO).
“After more than a year of full-scale construction on the lead Columbia submarine, the shipbuilders are facing delays because of challenges with design, materials, and quality,” the GAO said in its report,
Columbia Class Submarine Program Lacks Essential Schedule Insight amid Continuing Construction Challenges
, released 24 January.
“The shipbuilders are working to mitigate delays using additional shipyard resources, such as more staff to complete work more quickly,” the GAO reported.
US Navy officials have maintained, repeatedly, that the
lead submarine would be in operation on time for its first scheduled patrols.
Because of the Columbia-class programme's essential role in strategic deterrence, it has priority status over most national defence-related programmes, including the Virginia-class attack submarine programme, the GAO said.
The DGA ordered 3,000 multispectral camouflage nets from Saab Barracuda on 21 January. (DGA)
The Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA), France's defence procurement agency, announced on its website on 27 February that it had ordered 3,000 multispectral camouflage nets from Saab Barracuda on 21 January under its Filet écran radar-IR (Fenrir) procurement programme.
Under the EUR30 million (USD32.4 million) contract, the French Army and Air and Space Force will receive multispectral camouflage nets between 2024 and 2026, which the DGA expects to “significantly improve” the ability to conceal division, brigade, combined joint force, and vehicle command posts, masking their visible, infrared, and radar signatures so they blend more easily into the environment. They will be provided for four different environments: northern Europe, southern Europe, desert, and snow.
The camouflage nets were developed over two years by Saab and the Section Technique de l'Armée de Terre (STAT), the French Army's Technical Section, to meet French forces' requirements.
Saab has subcontracted the French small- and medium-sized enterprise Solarmtex in Vierzon to manufacture and assemble the camouflage nets in a new factory.
Elbit Systems receives USD600 million contract for Australian Redback IFVs
26 February 2024
by Kapil Kajal
The Redback IFV (pictured above) weighs 42 tonnes and has a length, a width, and a height of 7.9 m, 3.64 m, and 3.75 m respectively. It has a maximum onroad speed of 65 km/h with a seating capacity for a crew of three and up to eight troops. (Hanwha Aerospace)
Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) has awarded a contract worth USD600 million to Israel-based military technology company Elbit Systems to supply protection and fighting capabilities and sensors for Australian Redback infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), Elbit Systems said in a press release on 26 February.
The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) signed a USD2.4 billion contract with HDA in December 2023 to deliver 129 Redback IFVs to the Australian Army under the service's Land 400 Phase 3 programme.
HDA has partnered with various defence manufacturers including Elbit Land Systems to produce the Australian Redbacks.
Singapore Airshow 2024: Aero set to complete VPAF L-39NG deliveries
23 February 2024
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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