US eyes bigger role for allied contractors

by Marc Selinger

The FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the US Congress could make it easier for some allied defence contractors to compete for US defence work. (Getty Images)

A provision in the newly enacted fiscal year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) could make it easier for certain allied defence contractors to compete for US defence work, according to a Republican aide to the US Senate Armed Services Committee.

The provision, which originated in the Senate version of the NDAA, directs the US Department of Defense (DoD) to include defence contractors from Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom in industry days and requests for information (RFIs) “to the maximum extent practicable”.

DoD industry days have traditionally been “US-only as the default” and RFIs are typically the same, the aide told Janes . Even US subsidiaries of allied defence contractors might not have access to all of the information shared at industry days, according to a DoD spokesperson.

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Pyongyang indicates intention to lift suspension on nuclear and ICBM tests

by Jon Grevatt

North Korea has indicated it could soon lift a self-imposed moratorium on tests of nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which has been in place for nearly four years.

At a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), the committee agreed to “resume all temporarily suspended activities” in terms of the country's defence policy, the government's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on 20 January.

KCNA said that the politburo meeting, chaired by leader Kim Jong-un, “repositioned” North Korea's defence policies to “strengthen and develop more powerful physical means to firmly suppress hostile acts against [the country] … without delay”.

According to KCNA, “Instructions were sent to the relevant department to promptly review the issue of resuming all activities and resuming all temporarily suspended activities.”

KCNA said hostile acts against North Korea have been led by the US. It referenced US military exercises, weapons tests, the “movement of strategic weapons” across South Korea, and recent sanctions that were imposed by Washington earlier in January on several North Korean individuals.

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ReCAAP reports rise in number of sea robbery cases along Singapore Strait

by Ridzwan Rahmat

An intergovernmental piracy watchdog has reported a rise in the number of sea robbery incidents in the Singapore Strait for 2021.

According to figures released by the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) on 18 January, there were 49 sea robbery incidents along the waterway in 2021.

This is an increase of 44% year-on-year from the 34 incidents reported for 2020, and none of the perpetrators in the 2021 incidents have been arrested, said ReCAAP.

The organisation did not specify the state that has jurisdiction over waters where the incidents have occurred, but Janes has since verified that all cases took place in Indonesian territorial waters along the Singapore Strait.

A majority of the incidents took place off Tanjung Pergam in Bintan Island. Perpetrators largely operated in groups of between 4 and 10 men, during hours of darkness, and were usually armed with knives.

The most common types of vessels boarded in the sea robberies were bulk carriers and product tankers, according to further figures released by ReCAAP.

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Indra to equip latest electronic warfare systems onto Spanish Army's Chinooks

by Olivia Savage

Indra is to update the Spanish Army's Boeing Chinook CH-47F electronic warfare systems. (Indra)

Indra has signed a EUR35 million (USD39.8 million) contract with the Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) to integrate its latest electronic warfare (EW) systems onto the Spanish Army's Boeing CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters, the company announced on 18 January.

According to Indra, the helicopters will be integrated with the company's ALR-400FD radar alerter, InWarner sensor, and InShield directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system.

The ALR-400 is designed for fixed- and rotary-wing platforms and consists of multiple antenna assemblies and radar receivers together with an EW processor. Indra claims that the ALR-400 can detect and identify enemy platforms by simultaneously detecting pulsed and continuous wave radars. Alternatively, previous versions covered different bands through partial band scanning strategies.

The new InWarner sensor will also be integrated onto the aircraft. Equipped with a missile and laser alerter, it is designed to detect whether a platform has acquired the helicopter as a target. Indra states that the integration of both the sensor and the radar, “makes it possible to achieve full situational awareness and increases effectiveness in activating countermeasures to neutralise the attack”.

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A provision in the newly enacted fiscal year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) cou...

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