US DoD official outlines changes to aid small business
24 February 2023
by Marc Selinger
An aerial view of the US Pentagon. (Getty Images)
Several recent or pending changes at the US Department of Defense (DoD) are intended to make it easier for small businesses to work with the large, complex organisation, according to a key DoD official.
Farooq Mitha, director of the DoD's Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP), during a National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) webinar on 21 February said that the department intends to revive funding for the Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF), which is supposed to help small businesses bridge the “valley of death”, or the gap between development and full-scale production. The RIF has not received funding since 2019, Mitha told the webinar audience.
The Mentor-Protégé Program, which is designed to help small businesses expand their involvement in the DoD supply chain, has lowered the threshold for mentor eligibility from USD100 million in annual defence contracts to USD25 million to expand participation.
“We want, I want more small companies to be mentors,” Mitha said. “In certain sectors, in certain industries, smaller companies can actually be better mentors to other small companies than large companies.”
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.