The Czech Republic’s armed forces aren’t large enough to make large foreign commitments, but the country is a frequent participant in NATO missions abroad, and needs airlift capacity for use during domestic emergencies. It currently depends on Soviet-era AN-26 “Curl” aircraft, which are wearing out quickly, and will need to be replaced soon.
“Czech L-159s: Cheap to Good Home” explored one possibility, which involved a trade of the Czechs’ fine light trainer and attack aircraft, in exchange for EADS-CASA C-295M light transports to replace the AN-26s. That turned out to be the Czechs’ preferred option, and a contract for 3 planes was signed in 2009. The EU couldn’t be content to leave well enough alone, of course, and they began legal action around the deal. That went nowhere, but their efforts may not be the only legal action. Technical problems, and allegations of overpricing, have triggered an investigation within the Czech Republic. Even as the C-295Ms themselves remain undeployable.
In June 2012, France’s DGA began the 1st installment of its EUR 1.06 billion CONTACT(COmmunications Numeriques TACtiques et de Theatre) program, which will replace many of the French armed forces’ existing vehicle and personal radios. When it’s done, France will field an array of “software-defined” radios that offer much lower upgrade costs, as the backbone of its Army’s future tactical communications architecture.
Because ESSOR already includes France, Finland, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Sweden, radios created for CONTACT will have good export potential as replacements for existing radios. A defined equipment line will also help the ESSOR standard attract new customers, much as TETRA adoption has been driven well beyond Europe’s shores in the civil sphere.
South Korea intends to spend more than 2 billion dollars over the next 5 years on missiles according to Yonhap. The Chosunilbo reports that this sum will translate into 500+ Hyunmu-2 and Hyunmu-3 missiles. They’re also adding to their minesweeping capabilities.
As the 2007 Paris Air Show drew to a close, France and Germany confirmed the rumors and signed a joint declaration of intent to set up a heavy-lift helicopter program. The French DGA procurement agency’s announcement lists an intended in-service date of around 2020. The new machines would be designed to carry personnel, light armored vehicles, and/or cargo, with good performance under a wide range of conditions including hot weather and high altitudes (both of which reduce helicopter performance due to thinner air). The project is known as Helicoptère de Transport Lourd (HTL) in France, and Future Transport Helicopter (same FTH in Deutsch) in Germany.
In terms of future force structure, these helicopters would replace Germany’s aging CH-53G Mittlerer Transporthubschrauber, and offer France a heavy-lift helicopter option for its future force that would sit above its planned NH90s and/or AS 532 Cougars. Both countries would rely on the forthcoming Airbus A400M tactical cargo plane and its 35-tonne capacity for larger loads or longer distances.
Note that some reports have stated that the new helicopter would be “capable of carrying a 30-tonne load.” Unless they’re planning to use gyrodyne technology or something similarly revolutionary, this is very, very doubtful. Meanwhile, the program may be morphing into an off-the-shelf competition, complete with international contenders:
President Barack Obama’s June 22, 2011 address to the nation confirmed that the decision he made in 2009 to send an additional 33,000 troops into Afghanistan was by no means an open-ended commitment. Starting in July, the United States will begin removing 10,000 troops from Afghanistan, with a further commitment to bring home the additional 23,000 troops by next summer. Reflecting that the United States’ mission in Afghanistan will change from combat to support, troop withdrawals will progress at a steady place until 2014. It is anticipated that by this time Afghanistan will be responsible for its own security.
In his final budget testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee, outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates addresses the planned reductions in the size of the ground forces, reforms to the Tricare program and saving targets laid out by President Obama.
The UK Ministry of Defence denies reports in The Telegraph newspaper that it has finalized a $34 million deal to sell its Harrier jump-jets to the United States Marine Corps for spare parts.
Saab announces the publication of its Gripen Czech Offset Program annual performance report. The company reveals that it has delivered offset transactions worth almost $1.5 billion to the year ending 2010.
Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn thanks the Czech Republic for increasing their commitment in Afghanistan just as the United States abandons its plans to deploy a missile early warning center on Czech soil.
The Aerospace Industries Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) announces [PDF] the appointment of James Quick as the organization’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
The US Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) report [PDF] on policy options for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) estimates that DoD plans to acquire 730 UAS based on designs currently in operation, while also improving the unmanned aircraft already in service will cost $36.9 billion through 2020. The CBO also analyzed options that would cost from $3.7 billion less than the DoD’s plans through 2020 to $2.9 billion more.
An independent review of 40 major programs concludes that the Pentagon’s Operational Test & Evaluation teams are not the cause of delays in all the weapons programs. Instead the report revealed that delays in 37 programs were caused by problems discovered during testing.
Lockheed Martin will provide its Prepar3D visual simulation software to power the National Flight Academy’s (NFA) immersive aviation experience as part of the academy’s hands-on approach to teaching the principles of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Flight Global reports that Israel’s Aeronautics Defense Systems’ Orbiter Mini UAV and BlueBird’s SpyLite Multi Configuration Tactical UAS are two final contenders in the Finnish military’s unmanned air system contest.
Intelligent Software Solutions (ISS) wins a contract from the the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) for software that will use predictive reasoning and pattern-analysis to improve situational awareness for British warfighters and help determine the level of risk for various missions.
UAS Vision says the first meeting of the Netherlands’ new unmanned aerial sector (UAS) network attracted 70 individuals representing 40 different companies and organizations. One of the principal aims of the network is to advance the development and deployment of unmanned aircraft systems in the Netherlands.
India’s Home Ministry to evaluate unmanned aerial system (UAS) technologies for law enforcement purposes.
Cubic Global Tracking Solutions announces that it has received certification from Iridium Communications Inc. for its Global Sentinel System. The product tracks and monitors high-risk assets utilizing a variety of transmission links.
Wired’s Danger Room reports on the evidence that Russia may have revived the Soviet-era Falcon-Echelon laser project. Potential targets include U.S. satellites.
MDA, Ltd. and IAI’s Stark Aerospace announce the availability of Persist-INT, a turnkey unmanned airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) service, for NATO ISAF forces in Afghanistan. MDA already operates Heron UAVs for Canada and Australia in theater.
The French government and Thales agree to pay EUR 630 million in compensation for bribes related to a contract to supply 6 frigates to Taiwan.
DCS Corporation receives a contract award for Missile Defense Agency Engineering and Support Service (MiDAESS). The company will provide advisory and assistance services to the MDA’s Directorates of Engineering, Test, Advanced Technology, and Information Management and Technology Operations.
Poland issues a request for proposals to the manufacturers interested in competing for its 16 aircraft lead-in fighter trainer contract. The firms have until July 29th to submit their final offers, with Warsaw expected to sign off on the deal by late 2011 or early 2012.
The Danish Defense Acquisition and Logistics Organisation reports that Denmark’s forces operating in Libya are running out of bombs for their F-16 fighters. The Netherlands have been asked to replenish Danish stocks.
The latest companiesandmarkets.com report predicts that the global aerospace and defense sector will achieve revenues of $399 billion by 2015. While the United States will retain its position as the largest aerospace and defense market, the Asia-Pacific region will experience the fastest growth during the reporting period.
The head of the French Navy tells The Telegraph that he was ‘stunned’ by the Royal Navy’s decision to axe its aircraft carriers and Harrier jump jets.
Almost three months after RAFAEL’s ASPROA-/Trophy active protection system was used to intercept an anti-tank missile fired at an IDF tank in the Gaza Strip, reports suggest that the U.S. military is close to combining two active protection systems into a single defense for armored vehicles in Afghanistan.
Guest Article by Mike McNamara, Michael Zolandz, Peter Feldman & Jeffrey Krilla.
Among many sobering revelations coming out of the latest Wikileaks document dump – another quarter-million pages of classified documents posted – is that absolutely everyone is worried about Iran. The confidential cables reveal the extent to which government officials, analysts, diplomats and heads of state fear that containment of Iran’s nuclear ambitions has become an insoluble problem. For businesses engaged in foreign trade, and defense sector businesses in particular, the Iranian conundrum only heightens the need to comply with reinforced sanctions against doing business with the Islamic Republic.
In this article, members of the Public Policy & Regulatory practice at law firm SNR Denton take a deep dive into the political and enterprise risk management issues surrounding Iranian sanctions regimes. Non-compliance is no small matter, regardless of how tenuous or arm’s length a company’s connections with Iran. “As the nature of risk evolves, it is critical that the way companies monitor and evaluate risk adapts to the new landscape.” Welcome to the brave new world of global compliance, where the consequences of even an inadvertent failure can be especially heavy for defense sector firms…