Industry news

Canada issues CASSAR request for proposal

By Pat Host 22 January 2021
Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND) issued a request for proposal (RFP) for its Cellular Airborne Sensor for Search and Rescue (CASSAR) programme on 8 January.  Canada seeks a mobile phone detection system for its Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) search-and-rescue (SAR) rotary- and fixed-wing platforms. The system will allow it to locate and communicate with operational mobile phones on persons in distress during missions. The device is intended for use on the Lockheed Martin CC-130H Hercules fixed-wing transport aircraft, Airbus Def...

Airbus touts European alignment on NATO Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability

By Gareth Jennings 22 January 2021
Airbus has touted a European alignment of effort in the development of a next-generation military medium-lift helicopter as a means of ensuring continued continental leadership in the global helicopter export market.  European NATO nations will have several medium-lift helicopter types that will be due for replacement from the mid-2030s, including the Leonardo Merlin pictured. Five nations have launched the NGRC project to satisfy this anticipated requirement. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  Speaking at the virtual Royal Aeronautical Society Next-Gen...

Upgrades in sight for French MQ-9 Reaper UAVs

By Emmanuel Huberdeau 22 January 2021
France is currently negotiating with the United States and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) for future upgrades of its 12 MQ-9 Reapers medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  A French Air and Space Force MQ-9 Block 1 Reaper UAV seen in Niamey, Niger. (Janes/Emmanuel Huberdeau)  Christophe Fontaine, regional director for GA-ASI in Europe, told the French association of defence journalists on 21 January that the French Air and Space Force-operated Reapers will be upgraded to extend their endurance....

Australian navy's unmanned MCM development picks up pace

By Kelvin Wong 22 January 2021
The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) efforts to operationalise a rapidly deployable mine-countermeasures (MCM) capability using robotic and autonomous systems under Project SEA 1778 is picking up pace with acceptance testing of key systems under way, an Australian Department of Defence (DoD) spokesperson told  Janes  on 20 January.   “Thales Australia, the prime systems integrator, [is] in the early stages of acceptance testing of the first of these systems,” the spokesperson said, noting that the current deployable MCM su...

USAF awards USD3.6bn BACN contract

By Gareth Jennings 22 January 2021
The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded Northrop Grumman USD3.6 billion for continued Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) operations, sustainment, and support.  The USAF fields three Bombardier Global 6000 regional jet-based E-11A (one of the original four was lost on operations in Afghanistan in 2020) and three Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft in the BACN role. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  Announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 21 January, the award “provides for research, development, test, and evaluation...

UK orders Dismounted Joint Fires Integrators from Elbit

By Samuel Cranny-Evans & Nicholas Fiorenza 22 January 2021
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded Elbit Systems UK (ESUK) a GBP102 million (USD139 million) contract for Dismounted Joint Fires Integrators (D-JFIs) for the British armed forces, the ministry and company announced on 21 January.  The UK MoD has awarded ESUK a contract for D-JFI for the British armed forces. The photo shows a forward observer using a handheld display to examine the footage relayed by the optical system. (Elbit)  The D-JFIs, which will be delivered over a five-year period, will be deployed by British joint terminal...

RMN confirms procurement priorities for next five years

By Marhalim bin Abas & Gabriel Dominguez 22 January 2021
The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has confirmed its procurement priorities for the next five years while adding vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to its list of requirements.  Speaking on 22 January, RMN chief Admira...

US Navy holds Lockheed Martin responsible for LCS Freedom gear repairs

By Michael Fabey 22 January 2021
The US Navy (USN) is holding ship prime contractor Lockheed Martin responsible for repairs after determining that a propulsion system combining gear-material defect on the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) was a latent defect-design issue,...

Indian Army signs deal to boost ‘spare-part indigenisation'

By Jon Grevatt 22 January 2021
The Indian Army signed an agreement with a local defence industry organisation on 21 January to support the “indigenisation of spare parts”, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in New Delhi has announced.  The MoD said the memorandum of understanding (MO...

US Army hosting ‘low collateral' C-sUAS demo

By Ashley Roque 22 January 2021
The US Army will evaluate counter-small unmanned aerial system (C-sUAS) technologies ideal for urban environments during an industry demonstration at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, in April.  In mid-January, the service released a request for information asking interested vendors to submit White Papers detailing technologies capable of downing group 1 and 2 UAS that weigh less than 25 kg, travel at speeds less than 250 kt, and operate at altitudes less than 1,066 m.  After reviewing the White Papers, the army will select up to 10 companies to...

Airbus pitches H175 as potential Puma replacement for UK

By Gareth Jennings 21 January 2021
Airbus is pitching its H175 as a potential replacement for the United Kingdom’s fleet of Royal Air Force (RAF) Westland-Aerospatiale SA 330E Puma HC2 medium-lift helicopters in the 2025 timeframe.  Airbus is pitching its H175 as a potential Puma HC2 replacement for the UK in the 2025 timeframe, noting industrial benefits for the country in developing a military variant of the helicopter. (Airbus Helicopters)  Speaking at the virtual Royal Aeronautical Society Next-Generation Rotorcraft Conference, Jerome Combe, Portfolio Policy & Strategy at...

US Air Force pilots could fly Agility Prime aircraft in 2021

By Pat Host 21 January 2021
US Air Force (USAF) pilots could fly as early as April or May the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that are being offered for the service’s Agility Prime programme, said Will Roper, who formally resigned on 20 January as assistant secretary for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (AT&L), on 19 January.    The service’s former acquisition executive told  Janes  that the service is in discussions to get USAF pilots into Agility Prime aircraft, and possibly have them flying these platforms no later than m...

Update: US Air Force's Roper says service should better sell modernisation technologies to Congress

By Pat Host 20 January 2021
The US Air Force (USAF) needs to explain more clearly to lawmakers how the service will benefit from technologies such as digital engineering to accomplish its modernisation goals, said Will Roper, the assistant secretary for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (AT&L), on 14 January.  According to the service’s outgoing acquisition chief, the USAF should stop arguing that it simply needs to retire older platforms without justifying its requests more fully. The USAF wants to divest legacy aircraft such as McDonnell Douglas KC-10A Extender a...

NS50 radars to equip BE/NL MCM mother ships

By Richard Scott 20 January 2021
Thales Nederland is to supply its NS50 dual-axis multibeam active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the Belgium/Netherlands future mine countermeasures (MCM) programme.  Under contract to Kership – a joint venture of Naval Group and Pir...

China to field more nuclear weapons that can target the United States, says report

By Gabriel Dominguez 20 January 2021
China’s missile force is expanding, with the number of nuclear warheads capable of reaching the United States on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) potentially increasing to “well over 200” within the next five years, according to a report by the US Air Force’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC).  Published on 11 January 2021, NASIC’s ‘2020 Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat’ report says that China, which “continues to have the most active and diverse ballistic missile development programme in the world”, has been ad...

US DOT&E reveals loss of 5GAT target prototype

By Richard Scott 20 January 2021
The first prototype Fifth-Generation Aerial Target (5GAT) built for the US Department of Defense (DoD) was destroyed during a flight test in October 2020, the Pentagon’s Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) has revealed in its annual report to Congress.  A full-scale, low-observable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sponsored by DOT&E, the 5GAT target is designed to enable platform and weapons test and evaluation (air-to-air and surface-to-air), pilot and ground-force training, and the development of tactics, techniques, and procedur...

USMC logs maiden fleet flight for CH-53K helo

By Gareth Jennings 20 January 2021
The US Marine Corps (USMC) flew the first fleet flight of the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter on 15 January.  Announced by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) on the same day, the milestone saw Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron One (VMX-1) fly the first non-developmental sortie from Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina.  The first fleet flight of a Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion was announced on 19 January. (NAVAIR)  “The aircraft now enters a new phase of testing to train marines as...

GA-ASI demos ASW capability for Reaper/SeaGuardian UASs

By Gareth Jennings 20 January 2021
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) has revealed a new anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability for its MQ-9A Reaper and MQ-9B SeaGuardian unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), with sonobuoy dispensing and remote sensing being demonstrated.  General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc recently completed development and test of the world’s first self-contained anti-submarine warfare capability for an unmanned aircraft system. (GA-ASI)  The demonstration, announced by the company on 19 January, saw an MQ-9A Reaper Block 5 unmanned aerial...

US Army prepares for incoming Biden appointees

By Ashley Roque 20 January 2021
The US Army is in the throes of modernising its weapon systems to better compete with Russian and Chinese forces, and incoming political appointees, both acting and Senate-confirmed, will have the opportunity to push the programmes forward or shake things up.  On 20 January at noon local time in Washington, DC, President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office and Trump administration appointees will step down. It will take weeks, and potentially months, for the Biden administration to vet candidates for top Pentagon and service slots, and...

First flight for Greek F-16V

By Gareth Jennings 20 January 2021
The first of 84 Hellenic Air Force (HAF) F-16C/D Fighting Falcon combat aircraft to be upgraded to the latest F-16V standard made its maiden flight on 17 January.  Greece is to upgrade 84 of its F-16C/D Fighting Falcons to the latest F-16V standard. (HAI)  The milestone, announced by Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) on the same day, saw HAI and Lockheed Martin evaluate the aircraft’s upgraded systems “with absolute success”.  “It is noted that these upgrade works were carried out within the planned schedule, without any deviation,” HAI said....
Loading animation

Request a free consultation to find out how in a world of fake news and ever growing conflict, Janes can provide you with unbiased, verified open-source intelligence.

Industry News List