South Korea approves mass production of fourth batch of K2 MBTs

by Kapil Kajal

In service with the Republic of Korea Army, Hyundai Rotem's K2 main battle tank, pictured above, is replacing ageing inventories of M48 Patton tanks and older models of the K1 MBT. (Janes/Kelvin Wong)

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has approved the mass production of a fourth batch of the Hyundai Rotem K2 main battle tank (MBT) for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA).

DAPA said on 25 May that the project to build the batch-four MBTs has been allocated KRW1.94 trillion (USD1.46 billion) between 2024 and 2028. It said the additional K2s will contribute to the “improvement of the mobile corps' ability to perform offensive manoeuvres”.

DAPA did not disclose how many K2s would be built in the new batch.

According to Janes Land Warfare Platforms: Armoured Fighting Vehicles, the K2 is a third-generation MBT designed to provide the RoKA with modern heavy-armour capability.

The MBT is operated by a crew of three and has a length of 10.8 m and a width of 3.6 m. It weighs 56 tonnes and has a maximum onroad speed of 70 km/h.

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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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