Industry news

Ukraine conflict: General Atomics offers to donate two UAVs to Ukraine

By Marc Selinger 03 February 2023
An MQ-9A Reaper. (US Air Force)  US-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) has offered to transfer two company-owned MQ-9A Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a ground-control station, and related equipment to Ukraine for the symbolic price of USD1 to help the war-torn country improve its airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, according to GA-ASI's chief executive.  US and allied forces have used Reapers extensively in combat, and providing such aircraft to Ukraine would have an “immed...

Irish Naval Service opts to mothball Roisin-class OPVs due to manning issues

By Kate Tringham 03 February 2023
The Irish Naval Service has decided to place its two 1,700 tonne Róisín (PV 80)-class OPVs into operational reserve as a result of ongoing staffing shortages. (Irish Navy)  The Irish Naval Service (INS) has been forced to mothball its two Róisín (PV 80)-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) as a result of ongoing recruitment and retention issues.  An Irish Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson confirmed to Janes that LÉ Róisín (P 51) was placed into operational reserve with effect from 31 January and that LÉ Niamh (P 52) would be placed into opera...

DARPA selects General Atomics and Aurora Flight Sciences to design wing-in-ground effect lifters

By Zach Rosenberg 03 February 2023
Aurora Flight Sciences' Liberty Lifter concept. (Aurora Flight Sciences)  The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on 1 February selected two companies to design wing-in-ground effect (WIG) concepts for Phase 1 of the Liberty Lifter programme.  The 18-month contract is intended to advance designs from both General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) and Aurora Flight Sciences through preliminary design review (PDR), plus an additional three months for presentation and manufacturing planning.  The Liberty Lifter is intended...

Harland & Wolff signs subcontract with Navantia UK for FSS

By Kate Tringham 03 February 2023
While some of the building work for the new FSS vessels will take place at Navantia's shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, the majority of the blocks and modules will be built at Harland & Wolff's facilities in Belfast and Appledore. (Team Resolute)  Belfast-based shipbuilder Harland & Wolff has signed a manufacturing subcontract with Navantia UK for work to be delivered under the UK Royal Navy's (RN's) Fleet Solid Support Ship (FSS) programme.  The manufacturing subcontract, announced by Harland & Wolff on 1 February, is worth an estimated GBP700–800 m...

Danish ocean patrol vessel procurement programme expected this year

By Olivia Savage 03 February 2023
The Thetis-class patrol vessels completed their mid-life upgrade in 2017, extending the units' in-service date for another 10–15 years. (Maritime Photographic)  The Royal Danish Navy (Søværnet: SVN) is expected to announce the formal replacement of its ocean patrol vessels this year, a Danish Ministry of Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation (DALO) official said at the 2023 Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology conference held in London on 1 and 2 February.  Speaking to Janes, Commodore Claus Andersen, deputy national a...

Poland orders more Javelin missiles

By Nicholas Fiorenza 03 February 2023
Poland has ordered more Javelin anti-tank guided missiles, with which the WOT began training in 2021 (pictured). (Polish MND)  Poland has ordered 50 more Javelin Light Weight Command Launch Units and approximately 500 FGM-148F Javelin anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), the Polish Armaments Agency (AA) announced on its website on 31 January. Warsaw was exercising an option in a 2020 Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract with the United States for 60 Command Launch Units and 180 Javelin missiles worth USD54.5 million for the Polish Territorial...

Bell 360 Invictus awaiting engine for scheduled 2023 first flight

By Zach Rosenberg 02 February 2023
The Bell 360 Invictus demonstrator, pictured in July 2021 at the halfway mark of construction, is now past 95% completion. (Bell)  The Bell 360 Invictus demonstrator, Bell Helicopters' entry for the US Army's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) contest, is 95% complete, according to Keith Flail, Bell's director of future vertical lift.  The helicopter is scheduled to begin ground testing in March–May 2023, with first flight scheduled for later in the same year – pending delivery of its General Electric (GE) T901 engine from the US D...

Saudi navy opts for MBDA SAM for Multi-Mission Surface Combatants

By Jeremy Binnie & Richard Scott 02 February 2023
A CAMM is ejected from a modified Mk 41 launcher during a test. (MBDA)  The Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) has selected MBDA, rather than Raytheon, to provide the primary surface-to-air missile (SAM) for its new frigates, the US Department of Defense (DoD) confirmed on 31 January.  It announced that MBDA's US subsidiary had been awarded a USD118.7 million non-competitive contract to deliver its Common Anti-Air Module Missile (CAMM) for Saudi Arabia's Multi-Mission Surface Combatants (MSSCs), which are being built by Fincantieri Marinette Mar...

German Navy receives final Sea Lion helicopter

By Kate Tringham 02 February 2023
The 18th and final NH90 Sea Lion naval utility helicopter ‘79+51' arrives at the German Navy's airbase in Nordholz on 31 January 2023. (Bundeswehr/Julia Kelm)  The German Navy has received its final NH90 Sea Lion naval utility helicopter.  The delivery completes the contract for a total of 18 aircraft awarded by Germany's Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support of the German Armed Forces (BAAINBw) to NHIndustries in June 2015.  Germany selected the Sea Lion, which is based on the NH90 NATO Frigat...

US Space Force seeks battle-ready microchip prototypes

By Carlo Munoz 01 February 2023
The USAF's 45th Space Wing launches an advanced extremely high frequency satellite onboard an Atlas V launch vehicle, which is part of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle programme. (US Air Force)  Engineers at the US Department of Defense (DoD) and US Space Force (USSF) are looking to develop a new generation of microchips that can withstand the harsh radiation exposure associated with deep-space operations, while also employing cutting-edge micro-electronics (ME) technologies from the military and commercial sectors.  The Advanced Next Ge...

German Army receives Ziesel unmanned ground vehicles for testing

By Alexander Stronell 01 February 2023
Ziesel light UGV pictured at the Lehnin training ground near Berlin, in December 2022. (Janes/Alexander Stronell)  The German Army has procured two prototype Ziesel light unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) for testing and evaluation, Janes has learnt.  The German Army received the two systems in December 2022, and will conduct the testing for an undetermined period, according to spokespeople for the German Army and the system's manufacturer, Diehl Defence GmbH.  The Ziesel is a tracked UGV designed for close infantry support in roles including l...

New specialist UK MCM mother ship arrives in Plymouth for conversion

By Kate Tringham 01 February 2023
The OSV MV   Island Crown   sails into Plymouth on 30 January. Ahead of delivery to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, the ship will undergo a short period of modifications for its new role as an MCM mother ship, with a view to being operational during the second quarter of 2023.  (UK MoD/Crown Copyright)  The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has procured a second-hand Norwegian commercial offshore support vessel (OSV) that will be converted into a mother ship to host offboard autonomous minehunting systems.  The vessel, currently nam...

Work begins on first NSM fit on Type 23

By Richard Scott 31 January 2023
The MK 141 launcher structure being removed from HMS   Somerset   in preparation for the installation of NSM.  (HMS Somerset/Royal Navy)  The Type 23 frigate HMS Somerset is in line to become the first UK Royal Navy (RN) ship to receive the Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace Naval Strike Missile (NSM).  Replacing the ageing Harpoon Block 1C surface-to-surface guided weapon, which will be retired from service in December this year, NSM is being procured as part of the RN's Maritime Offensive Surface Strike programme....

New sea trials planned for Northrop Grumman EA prototype

By Carlo Munoz 31 January 2023
An artist's rendering of the SEWIP Block 3 EA subsystem installed on a DDG-51 destroyer. (Northrop Grumman)  Northrop Grumman is preparing to conduct a new round of sea trials of its prototype electronic attack (EA) system for the US Navy, building upon the lessons learned from the system's last live demonstration carried out during the sea service's Rim of the Pacific' (RIMPAC) exercises in the summer of 2022.  As part of thatramp up to the new sea trials, tentatively scheduled for the end of 2023, company officials are preparing to conduct...

Sweden orders 20 more Mjölner CV90 mortar variants

By Nicholas Fiorenza 31 January 2023
The FMV and BAE Systems have signed a contract for 20 more Grkpbv 90 mortar systems for the Swedish Army. (BAE Systems)  The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) and BAE Systems announced on 27 January that they had signed a contract modification for 20 more Granatkastarpansarbandvagn 90 (Grkpbv 90) self-propelled mortars for the Swedish Army. The FMV valued the contract at approximately SEK293.5 million (USD28 million) and expects deliveries to take place in 2025.  The contract was awarded to BAE Systems' Swedish joint venture Utvec...

First French FLOTLOG logistic support ship starts sea trials

By Kate Tringham 31 January 2023
The French Navy's first new BRF,   Jacques Chevallier  (A 725), started sea acceptance trials off the coast of Saint-Nazaire on 25 January.  (Naval Group)  The French Navy's first new batiments ravitailleurs de forces (BRF) logistic support ship (LSS), Jacques Chevallier (A 725), has started sea trials.  Laid down in December 2021 and launched on 29 April 2022, Jacques Chevallier is the first of four new BRFs being built for the French Navy by a consortium comprising Chantiers de l'Atlantiqueand prime contractor...

Ares Shipyard unveils new-generation interceptor

By Kate Tringham & Shaurav Gairola 30 January 2023
ARES 32 Predator  will be equipped with Cakir cruise missiles for longer-range targets.  (Ares Shipyard)  Turkey's Ares Shipyard has unveiled a new addition to its family of fast interception craft (FIC).    Based around a 32 m advanced composite hull, the new FIC comes in two variants, known as   ARES 32 Predator   and   ARES 32 Dagger  .   Both vessels are built to the same specifications, with a maximum speed of more than 45 kt, a range of 2,000 n miles, and the ability to operate in conditions up...

IAV 2023: Italy to procure VBA amphibious vehicles for army at end of decade

By Nicholas Fiorenza 30 January 2023
Italy's Directorate of Land Armaments signed a contract with IDV on 22 December 2022 for 36 VBA amphibious armoured vehicles for the Italian Navy. (IDV)  Italy will procure Veicoli Blindati Anfibi (VBA) 8×8 amphibious armoured vehicles for the Italian Army at the end of the decade, Janes learnt at Defence iQ's International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2023 conference, which was held in London from 23 to 26 January.  Italy's Directorate of Land Armaments signed a contract with Iveco Defence Vehicles (IDV) on 22 December 2022 for 36 VBA amphibious...

Northrop Grumman integrating M-Code into precision artillery

By Carlo Munoz 30 January 2023
Several US Army conventional 155 mm artillery projectiles outfitted with Northrop Grumman's Precision Guidance Kit. (US Army/Northrop Grumman)  US defence company Northrop Grumman will begin integrating Military Code (M-Code) global positioning system (GPS) capability into the company's precision guidance systems for medium- and long-range artillery systems.  CAES, a Northern Virginia-based company specialising in advanced radio frequency (RF) technologies, will carry out the M-Code GPS integration work into Northrop Grumman's Precision Guid...

IAV 2023: Brazil to procure new MBT, IFV, and SPH

By Nicholas Fiorenza 30 January 2023
The Brazilian Army plans to procure 98 Centauro II armoured vehicles (pictured at Eurosatory 2018). (Janes/Patrick Allen)  Brazil is to procure a new main battle tank (MBT), infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), and self-propelled howitzer(SPH), Janes learnt at Defence iQ's International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2023 conference held in London from 23 to 26 January. It is seeking 36 wheeled SPHs.  At the same time, Brazil plans to upgrade 52 of its Leopard 1A1 tanks starting in 2023, with a request for proposals to be made in June.  Brazil is also p...
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