AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense Modifications (BMD): October 19/16: Aegis or THAAD? With the expectation that Tokyo will request additional money external link to fund missile defense upgrades to repel North Korean ballistic missiles, a study will be funded on whether to buy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system or Aegis Ashore. It’s believed that money will also be provided to improve their existing PAC-3 air defense system as well. However, any purchases or modernizations will take time to implement as North Korea continues with its escalation of missile tests.
MQ-8 Fire Scout helo UAVs: MQ-8C Fire Scout UAVs will be supplied with Leonardo's 2-panel Osprey AESA radar following the dismissal of a protest by rival bidderTelephonics. Five radars will be delivered to the US Naval Air Systems Command in the first financial quarter of 2017 and will be used for integration, test and evaluation on-board the Bell Helicopter 407-derived MQ-8C, and the USN holds an option to buy a larger quantity for operational use. The radar will provide only 260-degree field of view and will come equipped with air-to-air targeting mode.
Rapid Fire | Thursday, October 20, 2016, 00:58 UTC ()
A report published by the Center for New American Security has recommended the Pentagon acquire a mix of high and low assets in order to counter new threats. The authors of the document suggest that the next ten years should see the fighting branches increase their number of aircraft and vessels with a focus on giving greater priority to laser weapons and electromagnetic rail guns. The trade off? The Pentagon should cancel the Ford-class aircraft carrier and America-class amphibious assault ship programs.
Middle East & North Africa
The fourth C-130J “Samson” tactical transporter has been delivered to Israel. Operated by the Israeli air force’s “Elephants” squadron, the aircraft has already been tested during aerial refuelling missions with a Boeing 707 tanker, and is currently testing its low-level flight capabilities using some Israeli-developed systems. Two more will be delivered by the end of the year.
Turkey’s procurement agency SSM is looking into tank upgrades and further UAV research to counter multiple asymmetrical security threats. A massive $1 billion tank upgrade would see Turkish operated Leopard 2 and M60 main battle tanks with work likely to be carried out by Rheinmetall’s three-partner, Turkey-based venture, RBSS and by Israeli Military Industries (IMI) respectively. Ankara has also released two requests for information (RFI) to task industry with research on two new types of drones, a multicopter type strike drone and nano drone. Contenders must obtain the RFI document from SSM by October 24 and must reply by November 9.
Negotiations are underway between Poland and Ukraine to launch a joint production effort of helicopters that could be used by the militaries of Central and Eastern European allies. But while Poland is currently in the midst of two increasingly complicated helicopter tenders, Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said any joint effort would most likely be on a new model “based on the industrial potential of both countries. We know that the Ukrainians make excellent engines, produced by Motor Sich.” Based in southeastern Ukraine, Motor Sich has supplied engines for a variety of Ukrainian and Russian aircraft including the Antonov An-8 and An-10, the Yakovlev Yak-40 and Yak-42, and the Mil Mi-8MT, Mi-14 and Mi-171.
The design for a new intermediate frigate has been unveiled by the French defense minister at the Euronaval trade show. Known as the Frégate de Taille Intermédiaire (FTI), Paris has slated $4.2 billion to go toward the production of six vessels that will replace the French Navy fleet of Lafayette-class frigates starting in 2023. An export version, dubbed and spelled “Belh@rra”, was released by shipbuilder DCNS with a large model located at the show’s entrance.
North Korea could have an operational Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile by next year, according to experts. John Schilling, an aerospace engineer specializing in rocket propulsion, wrote on the 38 North website that Pyongyang’s aggressive testing schedule also points to its determination to have the weapon ready in the near future. The dictatorship’s latest test this month was tested far from its Musudan-ri test facility, instead moving to a roadside near Kusong. Schilling likened the move to “taking the training wheels off the bicycle, seeing if you really have mastered something new.”
An agreement has been made between Russia and India to extend the range of theBrahMos cruise missile. Accords between both governments were signed during a summit of BRIC member nations in Goa last week. Work carried out will eventually see the target range of the munition double to 600 km. India was previously prohibited from undertaking such work until it became a signatory of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June.
With its own spy satellite program facing delays, South Korea is contemplating leasing a surveillance satellite from Israel. Seoul is already heavily reliant on intelligence data provided by the US and military officials are keen to be able to independently obtain information on North Korea’s military activities. In addition, the military plans to purchase another 90 KEPD-350K air-launched cruise missiles from Germany to add to the 170 currently en route.
| Having joined the Missile Technology Control Regime this summer, India is forging ahead with plans to purchase Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron TP UAV. While Israel is not a member of the regime, which aims to restrict the proliferation of missile technology, it has agreed to export its strategic weapon systems only to member countries. While New Delhi has operated the Heron 1 and smaller Israeli UAVs, the Heron TP UAV has a 40h endurance, maximum take-off weight of 5,300kg (11,685lb), and carries a typical mission payload of 1,000kg. More »
| Aegis or THAAD? With the expectation that Tokyo will request additional money to fund missile defense upgrades to repel North Korean ballistic missiles, a study will be funded on whether to buy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system or Aegis Ashore. It's believed that money will also be provided to improve their existing PAC-3 air defense system as well. However, any purchases or modernizations will take time to implement as North Korea continues with its escalation of missile tests.
| Radar signal management technology made by a Taiwanese company will be used in Lockheed Martin's latest MIM-104F (PAC-3) air defense missile system upgrade. Developed by the state-owned National Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, the technology is also found in the indigenous Sky Bow III air defense system. So far, it has made $25.3 million in international orders. More »
| Bell Helicopters is keen to sell its AH-1Z attack helicopter as a solution to Japan's AH-X program. As part of preparations the company has teamed with engineers from Fuji Heavy Industries on modification work to the helicopter aimed at improving transmission performance. If selected, between 60-70 of the Bell 412EPI-based helicopters would be produced locally in Fuji with the first slated to deliver in 2022. Civilian variants would also be produced in Fuji in an effort to help the production line attain scale.
| Sikorsky has just delivered its 1000th H-60M Black Hawk helicopter to the US Army in a ceremony that saw the deliveries of the 792nd UH-60M and the 208th HH-60M. A Lockheed Martin subsidiary, the company delivered the first UH-60M to the service in 2007 and the first HH-60M Medevac helicopter in 2008. The "Mike" model helicopters represent the Army's third standard baseline H-60 Black Hawk aircraft version in the program's 38-year production history. More »
| Thales' new-generation TALIOS laser targeting pod has successfully completed a more than two-hour first flight on a Rafale fighter. Development of the pod has been carried out as part of a major development program for French Air Force and Navy Rafales. The company reported remarkable performances in pointing and telemetry from the pod with the system collecting high-quality images taken using the "day" channel. Adjustment and performance measurement tests with the pod and fighter will continue throughout 2017. More »