Sep 23, 2009 07:30 UTC
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Defense was an issue in the 2007 Australian election. The center-left Labor Party attacked the center-right Liberal Party by citing mismanaged projects, and accusing the Howard government of making poor choices on key defense platforms like the F/A-18F Super Hornet and F-35A Joint Strike fighters. That sniping continued even after Labor won the election, and has been evident in more than a few Defence Ministry releases.
The new government made some program changes, such as canceling the SH-2G Seasprite contract. Yet it has been more notable for the programs it has not changed: problematic upgrades of Australia’s Oliver Hazard Perry frigates were continued, the late purchase of F/A-18F Super Hornets was ratified rather than canceled, and observers waited for the real shoe to drop: the government’s promised 2009 Defence White Paper, which would lay out Australia’s long-term strategic assessments, and procurement plans.
On May 2/09, Australia’s government released “Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030.” DID has reviewed that document, and the reaction to date including a new ASPI roundup of reactions from around Asia.
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Mar 10, 2009 18:19 UTC
Begun in 2001, IDEX in the United Arab Emirates has become the Middle East’s biggest defense show. The UAE is a significant buyer in its own right, as illustrated in “UAE Announces Deals at IDEX 2007,” which covered a range of deals for advanced aerial tankers, radios, mortars, mine-resistant vehicles, pistols,fast patrol boats, and more. During IDEX 209, the UAE made headlines again with multi-billion deals for C-17 and C-130J aerial transports, and major deals for new M346 advanced jet trainers and Dash-8 maritime patrol aircraft.
Defpro recently covered a number of IDEX 2009 deals that received less notice. The article below strips out the smallest deals, and adds a number of details and additional background:
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Dec 23, 2008 13:18 UTC
Seahawk fires Penguin
Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace recently announced a contract with the Brazilian navy for an unspecified number of Penguin Mk 2 MOD 7 anti-ship missiles and associated equipment, valued at about NOK 140 million/ $20 million. The missiles will be deployed on the Brazilian Navy’s maritime helicopters. Their “AH-11A” Super Lynx models are certified for the missile, but the official Dec 22/08 notice [PDF, Portuguese] refers to the Marinha do Brazil’s new S-70B Seahawks as the designated platform.
The Penguin Mark 2 Mod 7 is a relatively small anti-ship missile with a very distinctive profile. Its boost-sustain solid fuel rocket motor gives the 120 kg/ 260 pound sub-sonic missile a maximum range of 34 km/ 21 miles, using inertial navigation and a passive infrared seeker for no-warning guidance. It can take an oblique path to the target, turning up to 180 degrees around a waypoint; and also can perform random weaves before striking the target at the waterline, or popping up and diving into it. The Penguin Mark 2 Mod 7 is operational on helicopters of the Norwegian, US (AGM-119B), Australian, Greek, Turkish, and South Korean navies.
Apr 01, 2008 15:37 UTC
Seahawk fires Penguin
Kongsberg recently announced a signed contract from the Turkish Navy worth roughly NOK 210 million (about $41 million). In return, the Norwegian firm will provide an unspecified number of Penguin short-range anti-ship missiles for the Turkish Navy’s 17 new Sikorsky S-70 Seahawk helicopters. The contract is the culmination of negotiations on an option embodied in the Penguin missile contract signed with Turkey in 1999.
Jan 14, 2008 16:30 UTC
Russia’s Type 877 Kilo Class diesel-electric submarines have gained a reputation as extremely quiet boats, and are in service with Russia (24), China (2), India (8), Iran (3), Poland, Romania and Algeria. India’s Type 877EKM Sindhugosh Class submarines [S55-S62] began to travel to Russia for refits in 1997, with S58 INS Sindhuvir as the first candidate. A German-designed, Indian-built main battery has replaced the Russian batteries in all vessels, and India’s submarines have also received either a Russian upgrade package of missiles, sonar, and machinery & weapon control systems, or India’s indigenous Panchendriya package. The goal is to bring them closer to parity with the more advanced Type 636 Improved Kilo Class variant – S65 INS Sindhushastra, and possibly S63 INS Sindhurakshak, are already rumored to be at or close to that level.
Now a serious incident has put a brake on the refit program, as India has returned S62 INS Sindhuvijay to its Russian contractor, citing unacceptable performance with its new sub-launched Klub missiles. With the $1+ billion Admiral Gorshkov carrier refit already in trouble, and Russia making hostile foreign policy moves, the last thing the relationship needs is another problem – but that’s what it has.
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Jan 02, 2008 16:57 UTC
As part of its Defense Industrial Strategy, the UK looked at the missile sector in 2007 and concluded that a 50% reduction in “complex weapons” funding was expected over the next 5 years. In response, they set up a joint MOD-industry team, including MBDA (UK), Thales, BAES Underwater Systems Ltd and QinetiQ; and talked to lower tier suppliers such as Roxel, SELEX and Ultra. When the song and dance ended, Raytheon was left without a seat, as “Team Complex Weapons” (MBDA UK, Thales, Roxel, and QinetiQ) was set up to provide for the UK’s future needs. A GBP 500+ million contract for a Loitering Munition Demonstration and Manufacture program would follow, conditionally single-sourced to Team CW.
As a next step, Britain and France have launched a multi-million pound Innovation and Technology Partnership (ITP) focused on materials and components for missiles. The ITP will be jointly funded by the British and French governments and an industry and academic consortium led by arms company MBDA. Total funding is expected to be GBP 10.3 million (about $23.5 million): GBP 2.5 million from the UK MoD, GBP 2.65 million equivalent from the French DGA Armament Procurement Agency, plus matching contributions from industry over the ITP’s 3 year period. In the words of the UK MoD release:
“The ITP has been set up to fulfil joint research needs of UK and France for missile technology, identifying common capability and technology needs and examining emerging technologies for future equipment. The ITP aims to consolidate a future European guided weapon capability by building the technological base and allowing a better understanding of common future needs, and prepare for future cooperative programmes.”
Sep 20, 2007 16:05 UTC
UGM-84 Harpoon launch
Rockwell Collins announced that it has been awarded an $18 million contract by Raytheon Missile Systems to design, develop, and produce the Strike Common Weapon Data Link for the JSOW Block III precision glide bomb and the next generation of Harpoon anti-ship missiles. The Strike Common Weapon Data Link Program is ultimately sponsored by the U.S. Navy’s PMA-201 program management office.
The 2-way, anti-jam, dual waveform (UHF and Link 16) datalink will add the ability to provide target updates from the launcher to the weapon or vice-versa, retarget the weapon while in flight, abort if desired, and provide bomb hit indication (BHI). Because the data link is fully networked and available to other platforms, available options go well beyond conventional launch platform-to-weapon communications. This allows warfighters to destroy critical time-sensitive and moving targets in all weather conditions, expanding delivery options and target choices to near real-time.
For instance, a frigate launches a pair of Harpoon missiles, which travel ahead into contested territory and target an enemy corvette, flying a slightly indirect path to hit it from two sides. An F/A-18F is roaring through the area on the way to an airstrike, flying low to the water and staying 50 miles away from the enemy ship so it remains below the radar horizon. Suddenly, ts APG-79 AESA radar picks up a hostile diesel-electric submarine as it surfaces for air nearby. The pilots retarget one Harpoon missile to hit the submarine instead of the lower-priority surface ship, while the other missile continues on. The Harpoon’s datalink quickly confirms a hit on the sub, which is silently relayed to other units via Link 16. High above, an E-2D Hawkeye receives the information and switches a sub-launched Harpoon to join the frigate’s attack on the enemy corvette, since its own original target was destroyed and it still has some range left.
Aug 27, 2007 19:43 UTC
As part of the 1979 Camp David peace accords, the USA offered substantial long-term military aid packages to Israel and Egypt. Aside from the geopolitical considerations involved, these packages have been good for American industry because the dollars must be spent on American goods.
While Egypt did not and does not have a significant independent defense industry, Camp David’s aftermath saw a major shift away from Soviet weaponry and toward American alternatives on land, sea, and air. The recent $850 million request for Abrams tanks is a good example. In contrast, Israel has a globally competitive defense industry; because it can allocate American foreign assistance dollars to pay American firms, however, the country always finds itself balancing investment in domestic capabilities and spending against its pool of “free” American industry purchases. Or even investing in American plants and jobs to produce Israeli designs.
Amidst rumors of a planned attack by Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah in late 2007, Israel has made $1.1 billion worth of military purchase requests so far in August 2007. Almost all concern her air force, the Cheyl Ha’avir…
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Feb 02, 2007 03:16 UTC
NSM test launch
In a move that has been brewing since early 2005, Lockheed Martin and Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace just entered into a Joint Marketing Agreement to market an air-launched version of Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missile, which had a pair of successful tests in California recently. This “Joint Strike Missile (JSM)” is designed to be carried and launched internally from the F-35 Lightning II fighter’s internal bays (2 missiles), or external hardpoints. The 1,000-pound, stealth-enhanced NSM missiles are a generation beyond the USA’s GM-8 Harpoon, with a 130 nautical mile operational range. The missile uses Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) guidance plus an imaging infrared seeker, in-flight data link and an automatic target recognizer (ATR). Then it strikes ships or land targets with a titanium warhead and programmable fuze.
Kongsberg brings experience in anti-ship missiles, weapons integration, target recognition software and mission planning systems to the partnership. Lockheed Martin will bring its experience in air-launched missiles, target recognition software, mission planning systems, integration of weapons into fixed-wing aircraft like its F-16, F-35, F-22 et. al.; and of course, its marketing reach. A study for making adaptations to both the missile and the fighter craft is already in progress, funded jointly by Norway and Australia. It is expected that the adaptations will take 3 years to reach the technological maturity required for deployment on the F-35.
Lockheed has a similar land-attack product in its AGM-158 JASSM, and other competitors exist from MBDA’s Storm Shadow/Scalp to EADS/KEPD’s Taurus to Raytheon’s anti-ship and land attack SLAM-ER. Nevertheless, the partnership may help to tip Norway’s coming fighter choice toward the F-35. The prospect of stealth-enhancing internal carriage, plus out of the gate integration with the F-35 Lightning II, could also give the JSM an entry hook for F-35 customers; Kongsberg adds that the adaptation study is being funded Norway and Australia. Other potential JSF-linked buyers may include Denmark, The Netherlands, Turkey, et. al. Lockheed Martin release |Kongsberg release.
Read “Norwegian Contracts Launch NSM Missile” for updates and further coverage.
Aug 03, 2006 05:30 UTC
Harpoon in flight
Boeing subsidiary McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, MO received a $44.3 million modification to firm-fixed-price contract N00019-06-C-0027 for 28 Harpoon all-up-round (AUR) missiles. Work will be performed in St. Charles, MO (50.28%), McKinney, TX (14.12%), Toledo, OH (5.83%), the United Kingdom (5.18%), Huntsville, AL (3.72%), Clearwater, FL (3.61%), Galena, KS (2.29%), Elkton, MD (2.08%), Kirwood, MO (2.00%), Middletown, CT (1.78%), and other various locations throughout the United States (9.11%), and is expected to be complete in June 2007. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD issued the contract.
The sub-sonic, sea-skimming GM-84 Harpoon is the standard anti-shipping missile used by the US Navy, and it is in service with 27 navies around the world. These missiles and missile parts were purchased by several countries under the foreign military sales program:
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