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Aselsan Employees with Terrorist Ties Face Investigation | Navistar Nets $475M for Allied MRAPs | China Commissions J-20 into Service

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Americas * A House Armed Services subcommittee has heard from US Army leaders that the service is in critical need of increasing munition procurements. While it was maintained that the service has enough munitions to sustain normal requirements, it runs the risk of falling short in the event of a surge or additional contingency operations, according to Lt. Gen. Aundre F. Piggee. Munitions reported to be needed include Hellfire missiles, PAC-3 missiles, and Excalibur munitions fired from Howitzers. The branch sent unfunded requirements for fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018 to Congress in December with an additional request to improve short-range air defense capabilities. Middle East & North Africa * As many as 84 personnel at Aselsan, Turkey’s largest defense company, are under investigation by authorities for alleged membership in the FETO/PDY terrorist organization. Last Thursday saw 46 Aselsan employees detained; and of those, 30 are said by Police to be active duty officials, including “several engineers and specialists.” Said to be led by former Erdogan ally and Islamist preacher Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish authorities have purged more than 100,000 government officials and detained tens of thousands of others on charges of alleged links with the Gulen network following a failed […]
Americas

* A House Armed Services subcommittee has heard from US Army leaders that the service is in critical need of increasing munition procurements. While it was maintained that the service has enough munitions to sustain normal requirements, it runs the risk of falling short in the event of a surge or additional contingency operations, according to Lt. Gen. Aundre F. Piggee. Munitions reported to be needed include Hellfire missiles, PAC-3 missiles, and Excalibur munitions fired from Howitzers. The branch sent unfunded requirements for fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018 to Congress in December with an additional request to improve short-range air defense capabilities.

Middle East & North Africa

* As many as 84 personnel at Aselsan, Turkey’s largest defense company, are under investigation by authorities for alleged membership in the FETO/PDY terrorist organization. Last Thursday saw 46 Aselsan employees detained; and of those, 30 are said by Police to be active duty officials, including “several engineers and specialists.” Said to be led by former Erdogan ally and Islamist preacher Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish authorities have purged more than 100,000 government officials and detained tens of thousands of others on charges of alleged links with the Gulen network following a failed coup last summer, which Ankara claims was orchestrated by Gulen from his base in the US.

* Israel is currently working on two big procurement deals for fighters and helicopters for the IDF. The first involves the procurement of a squadron of upgraded F-15s that are more advanced than those previously sold to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, while the second will be for the replacement of Israel’s CH-53 helicopterfleet with either the new CH-53K or CH-47F. While the exact cost of the procurements remain to be properly calculated, it is expected that the funding will come out of the $3.33 billion of US military aid allocated for the F-35 projects and missile inventory.

* Navistar has been contracted more than $475 million by the US Contracting Command in order to produce and support 40 armored vehicles for Pakistan and to upgrade 1,085 armored vehicles for the United Arab Emirates. The vehicles destined for Pakistan later this year are the company’s MaxxPro Dash DXM Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle which features an armored wheeled vehicle with a V-shaped hull to deflect mine blasts. For the UAE, Navistar will provide the long wheel base MaxxPro MRAPs which are being acquired by the UAE under the US Excess Articles program and will be delivered in 2018.

Europe

* The Portuguese government is considering the procurement of Embraer KC-390 transport aircraft as a replacement for their fleet of C-130s. While no formal order is in place as of yet, the plan is to acquire up to six KC-390s to progressively replace the C-130 to conduct troop and cargo transport, firefighting, and air-to-air refuelling missions in the Portuguese Air Force. Several Portuguese companies, including OGMA-Indústria Aeronáutica de Portugal (partially owned by Embraer), Embraer Metálicas, Embraer Compósitos, and CEiiA, are participants in Embraer’s KC-390 program.

* Russia will commence a modernization program for the Su-34 in 2018 after it was announced that 16 more of the fighter-bombers will be delivered to Russia’s air force later this year. Moscow also announced that they intend to swap out the Granit cruise missiles aboard the Project 949A Antey nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines with the latest Kalibr cruise missile. At present, Russia has eight operational Antey submarines with each possessing a displacement of 24,000 tonnes and armed with 24 Granit cruise missile launchers and six torpedo tubes.

Asia Pacific

* India has successfully test-fired the extended range variant of the BrahMos Extended Range supersonic cruise missile. The missile boasts an extended range of 450km from the earlier 290km and was successfully launched from the integrated test range at Balasore off the Odisha coast on Saturday, March 11. New Delhi’s ability to upgrade the BrahMos’s range was enabled by their entry into the 34-nation Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) last June and development was aided by Russia.

* China has officially commissioned into service their new stealth fighter, the J-20. While the fighter’s induction is part of a concentrated effort by Beijing to match the capabilities of US platforms, questions remain as to whether the J-20 can match the radar-evading properties of the F-22 Raptor air-to-air combat jet, or the next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Chinese naval officials have said that there is a concentrated effort to overhaul their Navy into a “first class” force and that they are developing a marine corps.

Today’s Video

* South Korea’s indigenous M-SAM medium range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system:

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