Army Launches T700 Competition | Elbit Gets $70M Contract for Hermes 900 UAV | GSL Looking for Partner to Share $5B Contract
- The Army has launched its T700 engine replacement competition, with the program set to deliver 3,000 new helicopter engines after production begins in 2019. Two companies will be awarded development contracts for the new engine design, with GE Aviation and a Honeywell/Pratt & Whitney team appearing as the most likely candidates, although Turbomeca could also participate in the competition.
- Israel’s Elbit Systems has been awarded a $70 million contract by an undisclosed Latin American buyer for the Hermes 900 UAV system. The company was awarded a similar contract in June 2011, also to an undisclosed customer in the region, with the Swiss parliament approving the $250 million acquisition of six Hermes 900 UAVs earlier this month.
- BAE Systems delivered the first serial production Archer artillery systems to the Swedish Armed Forces on Monday, following delivery of pre-serial systems in September 2013 and an initial batch of 24 Archers in 2007.
- Latvia will receive air defense radar systems through a $22.7 million contract awarded to ThalesRaytheonSystems. The Foreign Military Sales contract will see the company deliver its AN/MPQ-64F1 Improved Sentinel X-band, 3D radar systems, likely insurance against Russian attack helicopters recently based just across the border in Pskov. The country is also considering the procurement of man-portable Stinger MANPADS.
- A European Eurofighter operator has reportedly trialled the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Reccelite XR reconnaissance pod, unveiled in June. Airbus Defence & Space has also been marketing the Israeli company’s Litening 5 targeting pod, which is reported to have already been purchased by a European customer.
Asia & Pacific
- China could be constructing its first indigenous aircraft carrier, according to analysis released by Janes. The PLAN currently operates the Liaoning carrier, an ex-Ukrainian Navy Kuznetsov-class design. Satellite imagery appears to show a previously unknown hull under construction at the Dalian shipyard, where the Liaoning has previously undergone refits and maintenance work.
- US defense giants Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Textron have called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to simplify the Indian Defense Ministry’s acquisition process. The notoriously slow and unreliable nature of Indian defense procurement isn’t limited to US contractors, with negotiations over the sale of 36 Rafale fighters still underway despite a significant amount of political pressure to get a deal signed since the intergovernmental agreement in April. The Indian government’s offset and taxation policies are also proving a headache for foreign firms despite an increase last year to Foreign Direct Investment limits.
- Meanwhile, state-owned Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) is reportedly searching for an international company to partner with for the manufacture of a dozen mine countermeasures vessels for the Indian Navy. An Expression of Interest has been sent to several companies, including two Russian shipyards, Lockheed Martin, Thyssenkrupp Marine and Navantia. GSL was awarded the $5 billion contract by the country’s Defence Ministry in March, following the scrapping of a contract for eight vessels with South Korea’s Kangnam Corp. in December 2014. The company has also been sent an Expression of Interest, with the selected company slated to receive a contract valued at approximately $1 billion for the transfer of technology.
- French and US firms have also reportedly begun discussions with the Indian Defence Ministry over possible collaboration for the Indian Navy’s future fleet of six nuclear attack submarines, known as Project-75(I). The discussions are reported to have taken place in July, with the Indian Defence Ministry now in a position to select a NATO partner over Russian assistance in the project. The country’s government is also considering whether to lease another Akula-class boat from Russia, with the Indian Defence Acquisition Council approving the acquisition of six new submarines in October 2014.
- The 155mm Archer in action:
Categories: Daily Rapid Fire