Mar 30, 2014 18:00 UTC
Latest updates[?]: The Philippines have an FA-50 deal, and will field fighter jets again. Thank you, Xi!; Program timeline updates; Timing leaves ROKAF looking at rental stopgaps for its fighter fleets.
T-50 Golden Eagle
South Korea’s T-50 Golden Eagle family offers the global marketplace a set of high-end supersonic trainer and lightweight fighter aircraft. They’re hitting the international market at a good time: just as many of the world’s jet training fleets are reaching ages of 30 years or more, and high-end fighters are pricing themselves out of reach for many countries.
The ROK’s defense industry is advancing on all fronts these days. Its shipbuilding industry, one of the world’s busiest, is beginning to turn out its own LHDs, and even high-end KDX-III AEGIS destroyers. On the armored vehicle front, Korea’s XK2 tank and K9/K10 self propelled howitzer are beginning to win export orders, and its XK-21/KNIFV amphibious infantry fighting vehicle may not be too far behind. All fill key market niches, promising performance at a comparatively inexpensive price. Now its aerospace industry is in flight abroad with the KT-1 turboprop basic trainer, complemented by the T-50 jet trainer, TA-50 LIFT advanced trainer & attack variant, and FA-50 lightweight fighter.
The TA-50 and FA-50 are especially attractive as lightweight export fighters, and the ROKAF’s own F-5E/F Tiger II and F-4 Phantom fighters are more than due for replacement. The key question for the platform is whether it can find corresponding export sales.
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Mar 05, 2014 15:29 UTC
Latest updates[?]: Initial release to service, as flight control moves from the UTacS JV to the British Army; Opportunity in Poland?
Britain has given the green light to the Watchkeeper Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program. The initial August 2005 contract award to Thales UK’s joint venture was worth around GBP 700 million, and the program expected to create or sustain up to 2,100 high-quality manufacturing jobs in the UK. The Watchkeeper platform is based on Elbit Systems’ Hermes 450 UAV platform, which is serving as a contractor-operated interim solution on the front lines of battle.
Watchkeeper will be an important system, working as the likely medium-range mainstay within a complementary suite of manned (vid. ASTOR Sentinel R1) and unmanned (Buster, Desert Hawk, MQ-9 Reaper) aerial Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition Reconnaissance (ISTAR) systems. This will make it a core element of the UK Ministry of Defence’s Network-Enabled Capability strategy.
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Dec 11, 2013 20:13 UTC
Latest updates[?]: 2013 updates: Spectrum clash with China's Beidou looks unfixable; Early services will be a year late; EU looks for ways to force Europeans to buy Galileo services; 1st 3D position fix from Galileo; GGTO offset for GPS now live; Galileo FOC-1 completes thermal vacuum testing; Global SatNav augmentation systems draw closer together; Article reformatted for milestone clarity; Extensive research links updated & upgraded; Appendix with project history details revised and restored; Full 2003 - 2014 timeline added.
The USA’s Global Positioning System service remains free, but the European Union is spending billions to create an alternative under their own control. In addition to civilian GPS (the Open Service), services to be offered include a Safety of Life Service (SoL) for civil aviation and search and rescue, a paid Commercial Service with accuracy greater than 1 meter, plus a Public Regulated Service (PRS) for use by security authorities and governments. PRS/SoL aims to offer Open Service quality, with added robustness against jamming and the reliable detection of problems within 10 seconds.
Organizational issues and shortfalls in expected progress pushed the “Galileo” project back from its originally intended operational date of 2007 to 2014/15. After a public-private partnership model failed, the EU gained initial-stage approval for its plan to finance the program with tax dollars instead of the expected private investments. Political issues were overcome in 2007 by raiding other EU accounts for the billions required, but by 2011, it became clear that requests for billions more in public funds were on the way. Meanwhile, doubts persist in several quarters about Galileo’s touted economic model. Security concerns regarding China’s early involvement, and its potential Beidou-2/Compass projects, have been equally persistent, and there is good reason to expect that the constellation has a military purpose. On a European political and contractual level, however, Galileo is now irreversible.
This article offers background, players, developments, contracts, and in-depth research links for Galileo, as well as linked EU programs like GIOVE and EGNOS.
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Oct 07, 2013 14:29 UTC
Latest updates[?]: Full set of announced 2013 contracts.
Past base improvement efforts and other contracts related to the USA’s pacific territory of Guam include construction of an RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV complex for the Pacific Rim, and extensive base improvements/ expansion for Guam’s airfield and harbor. This article will shine a spotlight on contracts related to that territory from the beginning of FY 2007 onward. Military.com offers a broader article detailing the build up; it is useful as a frame for activities to date, and also as a context reference for our ongoing coverage (hyperlink below added to enhance context):
“The 2006 agreement between the United States and Japan to shift 8,000 U.S. Marines from bases in Japan to the island of Guam by 2014 is likely to have more far-reaching implications than just a change of address for some units of the Marine Corps’ III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF). The move is accelerating the return to prominence of Guam in the U.S. defense posture and fostering a higher level of cooperation among the U.S. armed forces in the Pacific region… Congress authorized $193 million in military construction funds for Guam in the fiscal year 2007 National Defense Authorization Act, a $31 million increase over 2006 funding. “Guam is likely to see between $400 million and $1 billion in military construction in military construction each year for a period of six to 10 years,” [Guam's representative in Congress, Madeleine Z. Bordallo] said.”
That has held true.
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