DSEI 2021: SEA wins communications system upgrade for RNZN ANZAC frigates

by Richard Scott

HMNZS Te Kaha on post-refit trials. Te Kaha and sister ship HMNZS Te Mana are to receive a major communications upgrade. (RNZN)

SEA, a subsidiary of the UK-based technology group Cohort, has been contracted by the New Zealand Ministry of Defence as prime integrator for the first phase of a communications upgrade on the Royal New Zealand Navy's (RNZN's) two MEKO 200ANZ ANZAC frigates.

Valued at GBP4.6 million (USD6.3 million), this initial contract increment covers the design of the communication system to be implemented on HMNZS Te Kaha and HMNZS Te Mana under the Frigate Sustainment Phase 1 (FSP1) – Communications Project. The contract represents first of the two planned project phases, which will deliver new capability from 2024.

Last month, the New Zealand government approved the NZD21.2 million external communications upgrade, which covers the introduction of a new communications control system, and modern radios for data and voice communication. The upgrade is designed to ensure the ships can handle the increasing volume of data generated by modern communications systems, and operate with other New Zealand Defence Force capabilities and coalition partners.


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Swedish defence budget continues upward trajectory

by Ana-Roxana Popescu

Sweden's Finance Ministry submitted the country's 2022 budget bill to parliament on 20 September, allocating SEK76.77 billion (USD8.6 billion) to defence and crisis preparedness for 2022, a nominal increase of 7.6% or 6.2% in real terms compared with 2021. The defence budget reached 1.45% of GDP, the highest level since 2005, after fluctuating between 1.1% and 1.3% during the decade to 2020.

Sweden's defence budget has been on a steady upward trajectory since 2014, with growth most noticeable since 2018, when it was increased by a nominal 6%. This was followed by nominal increases of 11.6% in 2019, 7.9% in 2020, and 9.8% in 2021. The 2022 budget is almost 40% higher in real terms than that of 2017, which was just under USD6.2 billion.

This increase is partly driven by investment spending. Allocations for section 1:3 Anskaffning av materiel och anläggningar (Acquisition of equipment and facilities) increased from SEK10.4 billion in 2017 to SEK19.8 billion in 2022 and from 22–25% of the core budget in 2017–20 to 28% in 2022. They are set to increase further, reaching SEK27.5 billion and 32.5% of the core budget in 2024.


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Update: AFA 2021: Kendall supports continuing advanced engine development despite proposed budget cuts

by Pat Host

The US Air Force's (USAF's) new Secretary Frank Kendall endorses continuing the service's Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP) despite the USAF's fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget request calling for drastic cuts to the effort.

Kendall, who took on the role in July, told reporters on 20 September at the Air Force Association's (AFA's) annual conference that the programme has been successful as the fuel savings and the thrust increase potentially have a lot of value. He has had discussions with Carlos Del Toro, the US Navy (USN) secretary, about the sea service being part of the programme moving forward. The engines being developed for the AETP are envisioned for the USAF's next-generation combat aircraft and the USN's F/A-XX programme.

The USAF could request funding contributions from the USN to keep the AETP moving forward. A former Pentagon Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter programme official told Janes on 8 September that the AETP is solely funded by the USAF and that the US military services are not out to “give anyone a free lunch”.


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First steel cut on Type 31 frigate programme

by Richard Scott

First steel for the future HMS Venturer was cut at Babcock's Rosyth yard on 23 September. (Babcock)

Babcock has cut steel on the first of five new Type 31 Inspiration-class general-purpose frigates on order for the UK Royal Navy (RN).

A ceremonial cut for the first-of-class – to be named HMS Venturer – was performed at the company's Rosyth yard on 23 September. The event also saw the new assembly hall on site named as ‘The Venturer Building'.

Babcock was selected for the Type 31 programme in September 2019, with a GBP1.25 billion (USD1.71 billion) contract for five ships signed in November that year. The Type 31 is based on the Arrowhead 140 design, itself evolved from the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate previously developed by OMT for the Royal Danish Navy.

The symbolic first cut of steel for Venturer was conducted at Babcock's new advanced manufacturing facility, a key part of the company's digital transformation at Rosyth. This includes panel lines with robotic welding capability, as well as other semi-automated manufacturing machines.

Venturer


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/naval-weapons/latest/dsei-2021-sea-wins-communications-system-upgrade-for-rnzn-anzac-frigates

SEA, a subsidiary of the UK-based technology group Cohort, has been contracted by the New Zealand Mi...

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