Consultants hired by the German government confirmed that its defense procurement is messed up because of poor corporate management and weak institutional culture: Deutche Welle | Süddeutschen Zeitung [in German].
Germany will make a decision [Reuters] next year on whether they’ll continue to develop MEADS.
In 2006, the Turkish SSM procurement agency issued a request for information (RFI) for 4 more diesel-electric submarines. That RFI became an RFP for 6 diesel-electric submarines with air-independent propulsion systems, to replace older boats like Turkey’s U209-based Preveze and Atilay classes.
DID covers the competition, and adds some quick background re: the Turkish Navy’s existing fleet, where its rival Greece stands, and contract developments regarding their new “Cerbe Class”. Turkey has a signed multi-billion Euro contract for HDW’s U214 subs… and are about to add a revolutionary new weapon.
As the Netherlands struggled over proposed defense cuts in 2007, its Ministerie van Defensie signed an agreement with Germany, France and Belgium to create “European Air Transport Command” (EATC) as a coordination pool for their own military transports. The EU EDA also has a parallel program with much wider participation, the European Air Transport fleet (EATF). EATF offers a step short of EADC level integration, while laying the foundation for wider EADC membership in future. They’re farther away than they’d like to be, but probably closer than you think.
India’s Navy will be hard-pressed to keep an adequate submarine force afloat over the medium term. Its 6 “Project 75” Scorpene Class submarines won’t begin deploying before 2019, 2 of its 10 aging Kilo Class boats have been wrecked, and its 4 U209 submarines are quickly approaching the end of their useful lives.
Nevertheless, if submarine strength is to be maintained while waiting for the Scorpenes, it’s the U209s that are going to have to fill the numbers gap…
In November 2005, reports surfaced that that Germany would sell Israel 2 AIP-equipped Dolphin submarines, to join its existing fleet of 3 conventional diesel-electric Dolphin Class boats. In 2006, the deal for 2 Dolphin AIP boats was finalized at a total of $1.27 billion, with the German government picking up 1/3 of the cost. The new boats are built at the Howaldtswerke-Deutche Werft AG (HDW) shipyard, in the Baltic Sea coastal city of Kiel, with deliveries originally scheduled to begin in 2010. Those have been delayed, and have not begun as of yet.
Reports that an additional sale may be in the offing have now been confirmed, but just absorbing these 3 new boats will be no small challenge for Israel’s “3rd service”…
Reports out of Germany suggest that Rheinmetall Defense has signed a contract with Algeria for 980 Fuchs (Fox) 6×6 wheeled armored personnel carriers. They’re often used as NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) reconnaissance vehicles, but their blast-resistant features and good mobility make them perfectly appropriate as conventional APCs. The newest 1A8 variant adds substantially greater protection, including better resistance to landmines and IEDs, and includes an unmanned weapon station up top that can be controlled from within the vehicle.
The order would make the Fuchs Algeria’s largest single APC type.
The Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) program began in 1995, and it has taken a very long time. Its MoU was late, its contract will be both late and smaller in scope, and it won’t meet even a revised 2012 – 2014 fielding window. At long last, however, one can be assured that it will exist. This is DID’s in-depth FOCUS Article covering the AGS program, from its platforms to its program structure to its long-awaited contracts.
The original AGS plan involved an Airbus A321 counterpart to Northrop Grumman’s E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (J-STARS), a Boeing 707 derivative whose powerful ground-looking Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) offers American commanders combat-changing battlefield surveillance and communications. AGS would be a pooled NATO asset, adding 7 RQ-4B Global Hawk UAVs and dedicated ground stations to complement the manned planes. It has since been reduced to just 5 RQ-4 Block 40 Global Hawk UAVs and dedicated ground stations, but could expand again if countries decide to make some of their national surveillance assets part of the program.
Canadian Forces took some of the lessons re-learned during Operation Medusa in Afghanistan, directly to heart. Canada’s DND:
“The heavily protected direct fire capability of a main battle tank is an invaluable tool in the arsenal of any military. The intensity of recent conflicts in Central Asia and the Middle East has shown western militaries that tanks provide protection that cannot be matched by more lightly armored wheeled vehicles… [Canada’s existing Leopard C2/1A5] tanks have also provided the Canadian Forces (CF) with the capability to travel to locations that would otherwise be inaccessible to wheeled light armoured vehicles, including Taliban defensive positions.”
In October 2003, Canada was set to buy the Styker/LAV-III 105mm Mobile Gun System to replace its Leopard C2 tanks. By 2007, however, the lessons of war took Canada down a very different path – one that led them to renew the very tank fleet they were once intent on scrapping, while backing away from the wheeled vehicles that were once the cornerstone of the Canadian Army’s transformation plan. This updated article includes a full chronology for Canada’s new Leopard 2 tanks, adds information concerning DND’s exact plans and breakdowns for their new fleet, and discusses front-line experiences in Afghanistan.
In mid-2011 reports surfaced that Saudi Arabia was preparing to buy around 200 German Leopard 2A7+ main battle tanks. Those reports stirred serious controversy in Germany, and indirectly confirmed the existence of a sales request.
Saudi Arabia would hardly be the first recipient of new or refurbished German tanks; indeed, Germany has displayed a consistent policy of selling cheap used tanks to countries all around Europe, and far beyond. Saudi Arabia is a somewhat surprising customer, because of its traditional “dual buy” structure for its land forces equipment, but there are strong reasons for Germany to be very interested in closing a Saudi sale. At the same time, the concerns expressed by opposition members are not without foundation.
Europe has a number of military satellite programs underway at the moment, but cooperation has been mostly haphazard and bilateral. Hence the ideal of MUSIS, a Multinational Space-Based Imagery System that would bring future sets of optical and radar imaging satellites under a common ground infrastructure, combining national or bilateral programs with interoperability that would allow these nations to make better use of their limited space surveillance resources.
So far, MUSIS remains more of an aspiration, though satellite components have been contracted. If it works, the overall MUSIS constellation will replace a number of previous platforms: France’s Helios 2, Germany’s Sar-Lupe radar satellite; and the ORFEO cooperative program that includes both France’s dual-use Pleiades optical satellites, and Italy’s dual-use COSMO-SkyMed X-band radar observation satellites. Participants would include Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain.