Raytheon and its European partner EADS are hoping that the Army’s Future Cargo Aircraft program will be decided with an emphasis for cargo space – something their CN-235s and C-295s have in great abundance. Competitor L-3 Communications, along with its own European partner Alenia, is pushing its C-27J, a more powerful plane but one that is attached to a shorter cargo bay.
A recent article in The Sunday Telegraph illustrates some of the political tensions and procurement issues that must inevitably accompany these efforts. It highlights broader trends that will accompany these integration efforts throughout Europe.
The European Commission has issued a news release noting that a proposed transaction, in which German defense firm Rheinmetall will take over EHG Elektroholding’s 50% shareholding in AIM, has been approved under EU Merger Regulations.
Galileo Industries and the European Space Agency (ESA), both in charge of the global architecture of the EUR 3.2B ($4.2B) European Galileo satellite system, have chosen Thales’ advanced security expertise to specify and design the security policy for the EU’s Galileo satellite project. Security requirements include communications security, which entails protecting networks and signals; authentication and access control for each level of service; data confidentiality and integrity control; and attack prevention. Contract figures were not announced.
Intended for civilian and commercial users as well as government applications, Galileo must ensure optimum security at all levels to achieve complete and reliable service. The EU is hoping Galileo will provide an alternative to the Pentagon-controlled Global Positioning System (GPS), and also tap a growing worldwide demand for satellite communications that it believes may be worth as much as EUR 300 billion by 2020. See Thales release, and all DID coverage of the Galileo Program.
Nick Whitney, chief executive of the EU’s European Defense Agency, is calling for a radical overhaul of how member states spend their defense budgets, stressing interoperability and the need to avoid duplication. He believes there is a growing awareness by the 25 member states that their combined EUR 180 billion, or USD $218 billion annual defense expenditures could be used more efficiently. Strategic airlift, logistics, and communications are seen as particular weaknesses.
The Siemens Industrial Solutions and Services Group (I&S) is fitting two new Type-209MOD submarines for Portugal’s navy with the latest fuel cell propulsion equipment, which allows the non-nuclear attack submarines to have a quieter profile and run while submerged for far longer periods. The order is worth EUR 58 million, and the contract also includes a EUR 23 million option for the same equipment to be built into a third submarine. Handover of the submarines to the Portuguese navy is scheduled to begin in 2009 or 2010.
OCCAR (the Joint Armaments Cooperation Organisation) and Thales have announced the signing of a production contract worth EUR 236 million for 18 Eurocopter Tiger combat helicopter simulators. It calls for the supply of 9 full-flight mission simulators and 9 trainers, plus associated support systems and an option for a further 11 simulators.
Authorized by the U.S. Congress since 1980, the Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) program is administered by the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Advanced Systems and Concepts, in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics). The principal objective of the FCT program is to support the warfighter by with equipment from allied and other friendly nations that may satisfy U.S. defense requirements more quickly and economically. Given a first-rate foreign non-developmental item, U.S. user interest, a valid operational requirement and good procurement potential, the FCT program finds and fields world-class systems and equipment that would not be available otherwise.