Feb 19, 2009 17:23 UTC
India’s domain-b business magazine reports that India and the Ukraine have agreed to frame an inter-governmental commission on military technical cooperation, after talks at AeroIndia 2009 in Bangalore. The result would be a broad set of umbrella agreements that would define key requirements like security, technology transfer, and support, opening the way to defense projects with Ukrainian firms. India already has a framework of this type in place with Russia, is reportedly negotiating one with France, and arguably needs one with the United States.
The Ukraine has a substantial defense industry left as a legacy from the Soviet Union, and some products like the BTR-3E1/3U have become export successes. India is certainly aware of the T-80UD “Al-Khalid” tank developed for Pakistan, whose rapid and successful fielding resulted in a rush effort to add T-90S tanks to the Indian Army’s fleet. The Ukraine needs more of those orders in order to modernize and maintain its defense industrial base, which is vital to the country’s continued security.
India has a different problem, which it shares with the Ukraine: sets of Soviet/Russian-made equipment that must be maintained and upgraded, despite poor cooperation from Russian firms. Reports indicate that Ukrainian expertise will be sought for programs aimed at modernizing Indian armor, MiG, Antonov, Tupolev and Ilyushin aircraft; and Mil and Kamov helicopters. Missiles, radars, and weapons cooperation are also reportedly under discussion.
It’s worthy of note that all of these potential areas are also areas of Israeli expertise, and Israeli cooperation with India has grown apace on that basis. What Israel lacks, and the Ukraine offers, is original manufacturing capabilities for Russian equipment designs, and for many of the associated parts that would be used as spares.
Feb 19, 2009 15:44 UTC
On Feb 19/09, the Australian Government formally opened an A$ 85 million Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) in Bendigo, Victoria, aimed at researching futuristic materials for the Defence industry. The DMTC is the first center to be established under the Defence Future Capability Technology Centre Program, and the project was announced in December 2007. It’s funded under a partnership arrangement, with the Australian Government provided A$ 30 million. Collaborating partners contribute a further A$ 52-55 million.
The center currently has 16 projects underway, grouped into 4 broad categories. A pair of joint US-Australian programs also look set to benefit directly: the JLTV program for blast-resistant patrol vehicles, and their joint research program into hypersonic flight. The categories include:
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Feb 19, 2009 10:52 UTC
BAE Systems announced a $45 million contract from General Dynamics Land Systems that will see them equip U.S. Army Stryker family wheeled APCs and and M1 Abrams family tanks with their “Check 6” infrared rear-view system. Deliveries are set to begin in April 2009, and BAE Systems expects to deliver more than 12,000 of these systems over the next decade.
The Check 6 system uses a thermal viewer derived from the company’s weapon sights, in order to provide all-water, all-hours visibility. It’s fitted into a tail light housing, and installs with no drilling or welding. The system allows the crew to “see” in a cone behind the vehicle, without leaving its armor protection.
More than a few civilian drivers could also benefit from this technology. These days, some do. Daylight videocameras mounted in the rear of civilian vehicles, and displayed on the rear view mirror or dashboard screen, are now available as options on a number of medium and high-end cars.