New Zealand develops new maintenance facility

by Jon Grevatt

An artist's impression of the new military Maintenance Support Facility that the New Zealand government is developing at the Burnham Military Camp. (NZDF)

The New Zealand government has started development of a new facility to maintain and sustain military equipment. The proposed Maintenance Support Facility (MSF) is being constructed at the Burnham Military Camp near Christchurch on the South Island.

Marking the start of the MSF construction project, Defence Minister Andrew Little said, “This new state-of-art facility replaces Second World War-era buildings and will enable our defence force to better maintain and repair equipment.”

A spokesperson for the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) told Janes that the MSF will be operational by early 2026. “The facility will take approximately two years to complete and will be finished in the fourth quarter of 2025, with commissioning and interim operating release currently planned for the first quarter of 2026,” the spokesperson said.

The NZDF spokesperson said the MSF will be mainly focused on supporting New Zealand (NZ) Army equipment. “The New Zealand Army's equipment has become physically larger, with more technological components,” the spokesperson said.


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UK develops test and evaluation capability for autonomous systems

by Olivia Savage

A trial held at Radnor Range, Wales, in October demonstrated how a blend of live and synthetic environments can be used to assure artificial intelligence. (Crown Copyright)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 4 December that they have developed, alongside a consortium of companies, a new test and evaluation (T&E) capability for the assurance of autonomous systems under Project Zeus.

Led by Radnor Range, the new capability blends live and synthetic evaluation techniques to create a fast and more efficient approach to the T&E of autonomous systems. This involves using a synthetic, multilayered representation of a live range to generate evidence that is then tested and validated in live environments. This approach was successfully demonstrated on behalf of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) over a three-day period at Radnor Range, Wales.

This new agile approach can be used throughout the life cycle of a capability, from the very first concept through to acceptance in service and to end-of-life disposal. This should permit the latest autonomous technology to reach the hands of the military user faster, the MoD detailed.


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AUKUS leaders tout Pillar 1 submarine achievements and goals despite US submarine production lag

by Michael Fabey

More US attack submarines such as USS Asheville are planned to call in Australia under the AUKUS agreement. (US Navy)

US, UK, and Australian leaders noted their AUKUS agreement Pillar 1 milestones and plans on 1 December, even as the US struggles to reach its own desired submarine production rate.

“There has been an enormous amount of progress, particularly in respect of Australia acquiring a nuclear-powered submarine capability, with the help of the United States and United Kingdom under Pillar 1 of AUKUS,” Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles said on 1 December during a press conference to provide AUKUS updates.

“Since the AUKUS announcement in March, Australia has stood up the Australian Submarine Agency,” he noted.

“We have seen the commitment of infrastructure work, we have seen Australians undertake, both submariners and defence industry workers, here in United States, the nuclear power school, but also in the United Kingdom,” he added.

“We've seen the frequency, as we promised back in March, of visits of the United States nuclear-powered submarine happen to Australia,” he said. “In the last 12 months, we've seen the [attack submarine] USS Mississippi (SSN 782), the USS Asheville


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Taiwan initiates mass production of Sky Sword II air-defence system

by Kapil Kajal

A mock-up of the Sky Sword II missile – locally known as the TC-2 land-based missile – is pictured at TADTE 2023. The missile structure consists of the active radar seeker, followed by the electronics section, proximity fuze, warhead, and rocket motor, ending in the exhaust. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)

Taiwan's state-owned National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) has started the mass production of its land-based short-to-medium-range air-defence capability known as the Sky Sword II (locally termed Tien Chien II), a Republic of China Army (RoCA) officer told Janes on 27 November.

The mass production has begun in order to meet the RoCA requirement for six Sky Sword II systems, the officer said.

A Sky Sword II system comprises one CS/MYS-951 Battle Management Center (BMC), one CS/MPQ-951 radar unit (RU), and four to five missile firing units (MFUs), the officer added.

The MFU can carry up to four Sky Sword II missiles, and the RoCA procurement of six Sky Sword II systems comprises six BMCs, six RUs, 29 MFUs, and 246 missiles, according to the officer.


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The New Zealand government has started development of a new facility to maintain and sustain militar...

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