Dassault named in Paradise Papers | Sweden selects Patriot for air defense | Malaysia eyes new supersonic LCA jets
- The US Navy has awarded a $22.4 million contract to BAE Systems to exercise options for post-shakedown availabilities (PSA) for the USS Little Rock and USS Sioux City littoral combat ships (LCS). Work will be carried out onboard USS Little Rock LCS-9 and USS Sioux City LCS-11 Freedom-class littoral combat ships at BAE’s facility in Jacksonville, Fla., with completion scheduled for February 2019. PSA activities are usually carried out to correct deficiencies found during the shakedown cruise or to accomplish other authorised improvements.
- General Dynamics received Monday a $8.8 million US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) contract to commence work on the first phase of the Low Power Laser Demonstrator. The award heralds the first step in equipping a high-altitude, long-endurance UAV with a high-energy laser capable of intercepting and shooting down intercontinental ballistic missiles. Work on the contract will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and Poway, Calif., with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2018.
Middle East & Africa
- The political crisis caused by the shock resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri invested hundreds of millions equipping and training the Lebanese military, while imposing sanctions on the financial activities of Hezbollah. In 2011, an arms embargo was imposed on Lebanon after telecoms tycoon Najib Mikati, backed by the Hezbollah-led coalition, was appointed as prime minister-designate in January of that year, when the Shiite group brought down the unity government of Hariri.
- Sweden’s Defense Materiel Administration (FMV) will commence discussions with Raytheon and the US government after the government in Stockholm okayed the procurement of the Patriot air defense missile system. The system once again won out against the Eurosam consortium’s SAMP/T, and the contract is expected to be worth $1.2 billion. Deliveries will begin in 2020 and the system is expected to be operational by 2025.
- Raimundas Karoblis, Lithuania’s defense minister, expects NATO to reach an agreement on establishing a Baltic air shield by next year. The plan would see the organization deploy anti-aircraft weapons in either the Baltics or Poland in order to plug gaps in the region’s air defenses from potential Russian attack. “Air defense is one of the issues which we need to address. We also need to look at other domains, like NATO command structure reform, we need to move forward on all on these aspects,” he added. Karoblis was speaking after meeting his counterparts from Northern Group countries, including the Nordic and Baltic states, the UK, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands. US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis was also in attendance.
- Joining Queen Elizabeth II, U2 frontman Bono, and Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamiliton, French defense giant Dassault Aviation has been identified in the latest round of leaks concerning alleged tax evasion schemes found in the “Paradise Papers”. The documents found that the firm had set up entities on the Isle of Man, a British crown dependency in the Irish Sea often criticised as being a tax haven. A Dassault statement released Tuesday acknowledged it had set up seven financial leasing entities on the Isle of Man between 2008-2012, adding it had done so “in order to meet the financing needs of clients during the context of the financial crisis.” It also said that it had respected its tax obligations.
- The Royal Malaysian Air Force is looking to procure a Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) capable of going supersonic while powered by a single engine. Speaking at the International Fighter Conference in Berlin, a service official said that the RMAF want a ‘low-end’ supersonic fighter that can augment its current fleets of single-seat BAE Systems Hawk and twin-engined Boeing F/A-18D Hornet and Sukhoi Su-30 ‘Flanker’ fighters. The official added that while Kuala Lumpur was considering all available options, Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50 Golden Eagle/FA-50 had been highlighted as a service favorite.
- Following a string of test failures, India’s state-owned Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully test-fired the indigenous Nirbhay sub-sonic cruise missile. Testing took place on November 7 at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, Odisha. Once operational, the Nirbhay will complement India’s supersonic cruising Brahmos with a sub-sonic solution, which is suitable for fixed targets. It comprises a domestically developed and produced Ring Laser Gyroscope (RLG) with a GPS-assisted MEMS-based Inertial Navigation System (INS), and is capable of delivering 24 different types of warheads depending on mission requirements.
- Royal Danish Air Force F-35 test support:
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