Industry news

Philippines, Poland sign agreement to facilitate defence sales

By Gabriel Dominguez 14 April 2021
The Philippines and Poland have signed an agreement aimed at paving the way for government-to-government deals on defence equipment, including Manila’s planned acquisition of additional Polish-made Sikorsky Black Hawk multirole helicopters, accordi...

Naval Group-Airbus Helicopters expands VSR700 flight envelope ahead of sea demo

By Gareth Jennings 14 April 2021
Naval Group-Airbus Helicopters has expanded the flight envelope of the VSR700 unmanned helicopter demonstrator during recent trials on behalf of the French Navy.  An artist’s impression of Naval Group-Airbus Helicopters VSR700 shipborne UAV. (Naval Group-Airbus Helicopters)  Airbus announced on 13 April that the VSR700 vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) had achieved 60 kt, “entirely opening its flight envelope at low speed”.  In 2018 the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) French defence procurement agency c...

Bell begins AH-1Z build for Bahrain

By Gareth Jennings 14 April 2021
Bell has begun assembly of the first of 12 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters for Bahrain ahead of the commencement of customer deliveries later this year.  Bahrain Ambassador to United States, Shaikh Abdulla Al Khalifa, signs the first of 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters for the Royal Bahraini Air Force during a visit to Bell’s Amarillo production plant in Texas. (Bell)  The manufacturer announced the milestone on 12 April following a visit to the Amarillo, Texas, production facility by the Bahraini ambassador to the United States, Shaikh Abdulla Al...

IAI, Thales team up to offer Sea Serpent anti-ship missile for UK I-SSGW requirement

By Robin Hughes & Richard Scott 14 April 2021
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has teamed up with UK-based Thales to offer the Sea Serpent guided anti-ship/anti-surface weapon system as a potential low-risk military off-the-shelf solution for UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) ship-launched Interim Surface-to-Surface Guided Weapon (I-SSGW) requirement.  I-SSGW is intended to equip several UK Royal Navy (RN) Type 23 frigates to bridge the capability gap following the retirement of the service’s current GWS 60 Harpoon Block 1C system from the end of 2023.  In March 2019 the UK MoD’s Weapons...

New Zealand reviews military export controls

By Jon Grevatt 14 April 2021
The New Zealand government has launched a review of its export control regime for military and dual-use goods and technologies.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) said on 12 April that the “independent and comprehensive” evaluation...

Turkey to give credit support for investments in defence sector

By Lale Sariibrahimoglu 14 April 2021
Turkey’s Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) will continue giving credit support for investments in the defence sector this year, according to a statement released by the procurement agency on its website on 10 April.  The size of the credit s...

RotorX demonstrates Palledrone heavy-lift UAV at US Army AEWE

By Pat Host 14 April 2021
RotorX has developed a fully autonomous heavy-lift unmanned hexacopter called the Palledrone that participated in the last two US Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments (AEWEs).  The Palledrone is a 3.2 m diameter autonomous resupply aircraft in the prototyping stages that is designed to carry up to 45 kg of cargo 8 km, and loads under 4.5 kg as far as 34 km. The aircraft can lift a payload of 36 kg for five minutes, and can fly with a full 45 kg payload for five minutes.  RotorX’s Palledrone autonomous heavy-lift unmanned hexacopter. The com...

LMUK to cut jobs following WCSP cancellation

By Samuel Cranny-Evans 13 April 2021
Lockheed Martin UK (LMUK) has announced this will cut up to 158 jobs at its Ampthill facility: a move it attributed to the United Kingdom’s decision to cancel the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP).  The eliminations from the 900-stron...

Lockheed Martin to supply 12 MH-60R helicopters to South Korean navy

By Gabriel Dominguez 13 April 2021
Lockheed Martin has secured a USD447.2 million contract for the production of 12 MH-60R Seahawk multirole naval helicopters for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).  The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced on 12 April that work on the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract, which includes the delivery of the anti-submarine warfare (ASW)-capable rotorcraft, will be performed in Owego, New York (52%); Stratford, Connecticut (40%); and Troy, Alabama (8%), and is expected to be completed by December 2024.  US Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxe...

Taiwanese shipbuilder CSBC Corporation launches first locally built LPD for RoCN

By Gabriel Dominguez 13 April 2021
Taiwanese shipbuilder CSBC Corporation has launched the first of a planned class of four landing platform dock (LPD) vessels for the Republic of China Navy (RoCN).  Named Yu Shan (also spelled Yushan) (with pennant number 1401), the 153 m-long amphibious transport ship, construction of which began in May 2019, entered the water on 13 April in a ceremony held at the company’s facilities in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung and presided over by President Tsai Ing-wen.  A keel-laying ceremony for the vessel, which is being built under...

Indonesia receives first batch of Chinese-made AR-2 missiles for its CH-4 UAVs

By Ridzwan Rahmat 13 April 2021
The Indonesian military has received its first batch of Chinese-made AR-2 air-to-surface, precision-guided missiles.  A CH-5 UAV at Airshow China 2016, fitted with four AR-1 (blue) and four AR-2 (white) missiles. The Indonesian Air Force test-fired the AR-1 missiles from its CH-4 UAVs in 2019, and recently took delivery of an initial batch of of AR-2s. (Janes/Kelvin Wong)  Information and images provided to Janes indicate that the weapons, which will be deployed on the Indonesian Air Force’s (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Udara: TNI-A...

South Korea signs for MH-60R helos

By Gareth Jennings 13 April 2021
South Korea has signed for 12 Lockheed Martin MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters for USD447.2 million.  South Korea has signed for 12 MH-60R Seahawk ASW helicopters, having selected the type for its MOH Batch II requirement in December 2020. (US Navy)  Announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 12 April, the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract is for the second phase of South Korea’s maritime ASW helicopter procurement programme. All 12 helicopters will be delivered to the US Navy by December 2024, ahead of thei...

Saab selects partner for Australian production of Barracuda MCSs

By Gabriel Dominguez & Julian Kerr 13 April 2021
Saab announced on 6 April that it has selected New South Wales-based company Global Defence Solutions (GDS) as its Australian industry partner to locally manufacture the Swedish firm’s Barracuda Mobile Camouflage Systems (MCSs) and multispectral ca...

US Air Force seeks EO/IR sensor options for MQ-9

By Carlo Munoz 13 April 2021
US Air Force Material Command’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) directorate is gathering industry input for a slate of “alternative and improved” options for electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) sensors, designed for the air service’s MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial system (UAS) and other medium altitude UAS platforms.  “As a critical component of the current MQ-9 weapon system, the EO/IR sensor’s capabilities are integral to the combined ISR and Strike mission,” according to a 9 April request for information (RFI). “As such...

UK-India council pursues carrier opportunities

By Jon Grevatt 13 April 2021
The UK-India Business Council (UKIBC) has stated an intention to support efforts towards bilateral co-operation on submarines and aircraft carriers with the aim to meet future capability requirements in the Indian Navy (IN).  The UKIBC’s 2021 advocacy report – published on 12 April – said the council intends to collaborate with private-sector and state-owned defence shipyards in India during the coming year to pursue such opportunities.  The UK is pursuing an opportunity to collaborate with India on BAE Systems’ Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft...

USMC to acquire two Reaper UAVs

By Gareth Jennings 13 April 2021
The US Marine Corps (USMC) is to acquire a pair of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9A Reaper medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and related systems.  In a notification posted on the beta.sam....

Lockheed Martin contracts L3Harris for Viper Shield F-16V Block 70/72 electronic warfare system

By Pat Host 13 April 2021
Lockheed Martin in February sole-sourced L3Harris a cost-plus development contract to put its new AN/ALQ-254(V)1 Viper Shield electronic warfare (EW) system on the F-16V Block 70/72 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft.  The Viper Shield will have software-defined technology components that reveal digital radar threats and provide robust countermeasure capabilities in a fully-integrated, internally-mounted system, according to a company statement. The baseline version of the Viper Shield will be integrated into the aircraft’s fuselage, saving spac...

Barak ER development finalised and in production

By Robin Hughes 13 April 2021
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has finalised development, and is in production of, the Barak ER (Extended Range) variant surface-to-air interceptor, ahead of planned initial deliveries to an undisclosed customer in the third quarter of this year.  Optimised as an enhanced theatre ballistic missile (TBM) interceptor, the 150 km-range Barak ER will complement the 70 km-range Barak LRAD, and 35 km-range Barak MRAD interceptors in service with IAI’s Barak MX land and naval integrated air and missile defence system.  Developed with company int...

US Navy starts RFCM pod trials from P-8A Poseidon

By Richard Scott 12 April 2021
The US Navy (USN) has begun flight testing a new pod-mounted radio frequency countermeasure (RFCM) prototype developed for the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.  A member of the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 puts a pod-mounted radio frequency countermeasure system on a P-8A Poseidon. (US Navy)  A first airworthiness flight was completed by the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 20 (VX 20) on 12 March at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Atlantic Test Ranges. The pod has subsequently undertaken further test...

Leonardo to unveil UK New Medium Helicopter demonstrator

By Tim Ripley 12 April 2021
Leonardo is to unveil a demonstrator helicopter at its Yeovil plant in Somerset in May to spearhead its bid to win the UK’s recently announced New Medium Helicopter (NMH) competition with its AW149 helicopter.  Leonardo is competing for the UK’s NMH with its AW149 helicopter. (Leonardo)  The AW189 helicopter is currently being painted black at Yeovil to allow it to be used to brief UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) procurement officials, military personnel, government decision makers, and media representatives on the potential of the company’s sis...
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