Struggles continue for US Navy to meet submarine-building requirements, commitments
30 October 2023
by Michael Fabey
Columbia-class submarine construction remains a Pentagon priority. (US Navy)
The US Navy (USN) has continued to face difficulties in delivering Virginia-class attack submarines (SSNs), maintaining existing vessels, and gearing up for the construction and delivery schedule for the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) meant to replace the Ohio-class boats for the US fleets.
Meeting the requirements for the trinational Australian, UK, and US (AUKUS) agreement to bolster the Australian submarine fleet will likely mean a dip in the US submarine fleet below its future goals and needs, according to a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
“There's a lot of talk around AUKUS, and obviously we're going to do everything we can to support our customer in that regard, but the fact is this supply chain still remains very fragile,” Jason Aiken, executive vice-president and chief financial officer for General Dynamics (GD), whose Electric Boat division is one of the two countries' two submarine builders for Virginias and Columbias, told investment analysts on 25 October during a quarterly earnings call.
Taiwan initiates mass production of Sky Sword II air-defence system
27 November 2023
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.
Taiwan Army orders additional Kestrel anti-tank weapon systems
08 November 2023
by Kapil Kajal
The Kestrel rockets are free-flight and fin-stabilised. In the above picture, a Kestrel rocket launcher is shown with the HEAT (on the left) and HESH (on the right) munitions. (Janes/Patrick Allen)
Taiwan's Republic of China Army (RoCA) has ordered an additional 5,962 Kestrel individual shoulder-launched anti-tank weapon systems (ATWSs) from state-owned National Chung‐Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), a RoCA officer told Janes on 7 November.
The new order of 5,962 brings the total number of Kestrels to be procured to 10,962, including 5,000 Kestrels ordered in late 2022, the officer said.
The systems will be delivered by November 2025, the officer added.
According to the officer, each Kestrel system costs around USD3,000 and the systems are intended to replace ageing 66 mm M72 (Type 1) light anti‐tank weapon systems in-service with the RoCA.
The system is “similar to [the] FGM-148 Javelin ATWS but it doesn't have a fire control subsystem, which makes it much lighter”, the officer said.
The RoCA has ordered Kestrel to train the troops on such systems, the officer added. “Kestrel lacks a target tracking mechanism, therefore, troops need to undergo extensive training to manually track targets.”
Claire Chu, Janes senior China analyst joins Harry Kemsley and Sean Corbett to discuss how China's economic activity projects influence globally and what she learnt as part of the recent US Congressional staff delegation to China.