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Textron partners with dual-use AI company for UGV demonstration

By Meredith Roaten 23 May 2024
A computer-generated imagery (CGI) impression of Ripsaw M5 RCVs on the battlefield. Developed by Textron Systems and Howe & Howe, the Ripsaw M5 is a contender to fulfil the US Army's RCV-M requirement. (Textron Systems)  One of defence vehicle manufacturer Textron's unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) will be equipped with dual-use artificial intelligence (AI) company Kodiak's autonomy stack for a new product, the companies announced on 20 May.    Although both companies have contracts on the UGV US Army programme Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV...

Royal Navy landing ship RFA Cardigan Bay to support international effort to build Gaza pier

By Kate Tringham 01 May 2024
RFA  Cardigan Bay  will support the US military personnel by providing temporary offshore accommodation as they build a new temporary pier to deliver aid directly into Gaza.  (UK MoD/Crown Copyright)    The UK Royal Navy's (RN's) Bay-class landing ship dock auxiliary (LSD(A)) vessel Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA)  Cardigan Bay  (L 3009) has been deployed to the coast of Gaza where it will provide support to US military building a new temporary floating pier that will facilitate the delivery of humanita...

New labour deal touted as possible pathway for national workforce model for naval ships

By Michael Fabey 01 May 2024
The US Navy has begun to improve its current public shipyards, such as the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, shown here. (US Navy)  A new labour agreement signed on 29 April that seeks to build a rotational workforce of skilled welders could eventually serve as template for a national workforce arrangement for work on naval ships, according to Edward L Bartlett Jr, founder and CEO of Bartlett Maritime Corporation (BMC) – the company that brokered the deal.  The impetus for the rotational welders was a plan to use such a workforce to work on naval sh...

NATO's inaugural Space Symposium kicks off in Toulouse

By Olivia Savage 30 April 2024
The inaugural NATO Space Symposium, held in Toulouse on 29 and 30 April 2024, aimed to bring key stakeholders together to stress the importance of the domain and highlight the key requirements among the alliance. (Armée de l'air et de l'espace)  NATO's inaugural Space Symposium has begun with senior NATO executives and space commanders from across the alliance as well as 44 companies in attendance to highlight the growing importance of space.    Held in Toulouse, France, on 29 and 30 April, the symposium aims to “bring all of the key pl...

HMS Diamond shoots down Houthi missile in Red Sea

By Kate Tringham 26 April 2024
HMS   Diamond   shoots down a missile fired by Iranian-backed Houthis from Yemen over the Gulf of Aden using its Sea Viper missile system – the first time a Royal Navy warship has intercepted a missile in combat since 1991.  (Royal Navy/Crown Copyright)  The UK Royal Navy's (RN's) Daring (Type 45)-class destroyer HMS Diamond (D 34) has successfully engaged an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) launched by Yemen-based Ansar Allah (commonly known as Houthi) rebels targeting a merchant ship in the Gulf of Aden, the s...

USN secretary calls for increased immigration to augment US shipbuilding labour

By Michael Fabey 24 April 2024
US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said the country needs more blue-collar workers to meet navy shipbuilding needs at yards like Newport News Shipbuilding, shown here. (Janes/Michael Fabey)  To address the shortage of workers needed to build the number of ships needed to meet US Navy (USN) fleet plans, the country should seek to bring in more legal immigrants from foreign shores, according to US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro.  While acknowledging the impact of Covid-related issues on USN shipbuilding schedules on 23 April during...

Two Royal Malaysian Navy helicopters collide mid-air

By Ridzwan Rahmat 23 April 2024
A file image of a Royal Malaysian Navy AW139 helicopter landing at Lumut. One of the airframes was involved in a 23 April 2024 accident that killed 10 personnel. (Royal Malaysian Navy)  Ten personnel are dead after two Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) helicopters collided during a rehearsal for the service's 90th anniversary parade, the service disclosed in a media statement on 23 April.  All personnel are from the two helicopters involved, namely a Leonardo AW139 medium-lift rotorcraft and an AS 555SN Fennec airframe, the statement added.  The ser...

Ukrainian ex-Royal Navy minehunters to be temporarily based in Portsmouth

By Kate Tringham 19 April 2024
Cherkasy,   one of the Ukrainian Navy's two newly acquired ex-Royal Navy Sandown-class MCMVs, is pictured entering Portsmouth Harbour on 11 April ahead of a series of multinational naval exercises.  (Crown copyright)  The Ukrainian Navy's two newly acquired ex-Royal Navy (RN) Sandown-class mine-countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) have been temporarily homeported at Portsmouth Naval Base, the RN has confirmed.    The two minehunters,   Chernihiv   (ex-HMS   Grimsby  ) and   Cherkasy  (ex-HMS...

Lockheed Martin snags multibillion-dollar NGI contract

By Meredith Roaten 16 April 2024
The Ground-Based Interceptor was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to simulate a combat launch from Fort Greely in Alaska. (Missile Defense Agency)  The Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) competition has come to an end as Lockheed Martin was selected as the prime to continue development of the weapon through critical design review (CDR), all-up round qualification, integration with the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, and flight testing, the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced on 15 April.  While no dolla...

Navy League 2024: Unmanned surface and aerial vehicles move from experimental to operational considerations

By Michael Fabey 16 April 2024
The V-Bat UAV, shown here during testing, is becoming the UAV of choice for US forces. (US Navy)  Military planners and operators are beginning to consider unmanned surface and aerial vehicles in a more operational light given recent successes in experiments and in the battlespace, according to defence analysts.  One case in point is the Long-Range Unmanned Surface Vessel (LRUSV) the US Marine Corps (USMC) plans to use as a semi-autonomous vessel for extended travel and transporting loitering munitions that accurately track and destroy target...

USMC plans to buy high-power ULTV variant

By Aaron Lin 11 April 2024
A marine programs a counter-unmanned aircraft system on a Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System (LMADIS) during a predeployment training exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California. (US Marine Corps)  The Ultra Light Tactical Vehicle (ULTV) programme – a US Marine Corps (USMC) replacement for the ageing Utility Task Vehicle (UTV) – will now include a variant with more exportable power, according to Janes analysis of budget documents.  The fiscal year (FY) 2025 budget request is the first time the ULTV-...

Danish frigate Iver Huitfeldt returns from Red Sea deployment

By Neil Dee 05 April 2024
The Royal Danish Navy (RDN) frigate HDMS   Iver Huitfeldt  (pictured in October 2021) has returned to Korsør from deployment in the Red Sea.  (Michael Nitz)    The Royal Danish Navy (RDN) frigate HDMS   Iver Huitfeldt  (F 361) returned to Naval Station Korsør, Denmark, on 4 April following its deployment in the US-led multinational task force Operation ‘Prosperity Guardian', Danish Defence Command has confirmed.   The frigate's return was originally scheduled for mid-April and comes amid contr...

Feature: Arctic formations taking shape in US Army

By Meredith Roaten 02 April 2024
A convoy of Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicles perform command-and-control operations for the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center training rotation in Fort Greely, Alaska. (Janes/Meredith Roaten)    Life in the Arctic can shift from -40ºF with 20 to 30 mph winds one week to the snow melting away as temperatures climb closer to 40ºF every day the next week. This kind of chaos makes the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center (JPMRC) 24-02 training rotation an excellent trial for new US Army equipment and operations in contest...

US Navy CNO cites importance of logistics, new weapons development

By Michael Fabey 29 March 2024
The USN CNO noted the need for the development of directed energy weapons, such as the laser system shown in this artist's rendition. (Lockheed Martin)  Recent US Navy (USN) operations in the Red Sea have underscored the importance of logistics, according to Admiral Lisa Franchetti, the USN chief of naval operations (CNO).  Adm Franchetti also noted the importance of developing new weapons and related capabilities to match emerging threats.  The CNO made the comments during a discussion for Defense One that was shown online on 27 March.  “I'v...

BAE Systems to partner with Australia's ASC for AUKUS submarines

By Michael Fabey & Ridzwan Rahmat 22 March 2024
BAE Systems was confirmed as the UK shipbuilding partner for AUKUS submarines, shown here as an artist rendition. (BAE Systems)  Britian's BAE Systems will partner with Australian shipbuilder ASC to build Canberra's nuclear-powered submarines for the trilateral AUKUS defence agreement, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed on 21 March.  The partnership deal follows “months of negotiations” and could be worth “billions of pounds”, theMoD said in a release.  First announced in September 2021, AUKUS calls for the three countries – Australia...

Milestone: Sweden joins NATO

By Nicholas Fiorenza & Andrew MacDonald 19 March 2024
The Swedish flag was raised at NATO headquarters in Brussels on 11 March to mark the country's accession to the alliance as its 32nd member on 7 March. (NATO)  NATO welcomed Sweden as its 32nd member on 7 March. The Scandinavian country had intended to join together with Finland, but Turkey and Hungary blocked Swedish accession until the Grand National Assembly of Turkey approved it on 23 January, followed by the Hungarian parliament on 26 February.Response to Russia  In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, Finland...

Bangladesh Army test-fires CS/AA3 anti-aircraft guns

By Kapil Kajal 18 March 2024
The CS/AA3 gun – pictured above in service with the Cameroonian Defence Forces – has a maximum slant range of 11 km, but its effective slant range is 4 km and effective altitude is 3 km. (Cameroon Ministry of Defence)  The Bangladesh Army's Adhoc 57 Air Defence (AD) Regiment Artillery test-fired two CS/AA3 twin-barrel anti-aircraft gun systems for the first time during a firing exercise held in mid-March at Inanistha AD Firing Range in Cox's Bazar.  According to a press release by Bangladesh Armed Forces' media and public relations wing Inter...

Beijing outlines aim to accelerate military modernisation

By Jon Grevatt 13 March 2024
Janes Defence Budgets forecasts that growth in China's total military spending, which includes its official defence budget, will start to slow down in the second half of this decade. (Janes)  China released its annual ‘work report' on 12 March, outlining a government commitment to accelerate military modernisation in line with its current five-year plan, which ends in 2025.  The work report was formally adopted one day earlier on the final day of the second session of the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing.  In the report, the g...

Japan considers additional defence export reforms to support GCAP

By Jon Grevatt 07 March 2024
A model of the GCAP fighter displayed at DSEI Japan 2023 in Chiba. (Janes/Jon Grevatt)  Japan is considering the implementation of further reforms to support military exports. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on 6 March that the additional reforms are necessary to allow future Japan sales of the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) aircraft to international customers.  Speaking at the House of Councillors budget committee, Kishida said that additional export reforms – to support GCAP sales – are required for three reasons: to reduce GCAP produ...

German frigate successfully intercepts Houthi attack UAVs in Red Sea

By Kate Tringham & Alex Pape 01 March 2024
Hessen  is pictured departing Wilhelmshaven naval base on 8 February to join the EU's new maritime security mission to protect commercial shipping in the Red Sea.  (Bundeswehr/Julia Kelm)    The German Navy's Type 124 Sachsen-class air-defence frigate FGS   Hessen   (F 221) successfully repelled two one-way attack unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the Red Sea launched by Yemen-based Ansar Allah (commonly known as the Houthis) militants on 27 February.   Briefing media at a German government press conference o...
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