- Defense contractors are unhappy with the House Armed Services Committee’s defense acquisition reform bill, with an industry trade organization – the Professional Services Council – raising objections to the committee’s Chairman, Rep. Thornberry. Concerns principally revolve around the bill’s plan on centralizing decisions on when commercially-available products should be procured in lieu of defense-specific designs.
- Canada’s military will benefit from a $9.6 billion budget boost over the next ten years, with this increase increasing year-on-year to 2026.
- Colombia is putting the finishing touches to its acquisition program for eight new frigates. The state-run Science and Technology Corporation for the Development of Naval, Maritime, and Riverine Industries (COTECMAR) will develop and construct the 4,000-5,000 ton vessels over the next twenty years, with the frigates due to enter service in 2035. Colombia has seen substantial modernization of its military in recent years, with the country’s defense budget reported unlikely to fall, even if the ongoing peace negotiations with the FARC conclude successfully.
- Lockheed Martin appears to have made a profit on the F-35 program this year, with a Q1 operating margin of 14%, despite the Joint Project Office transitioning all of the company’s F-35 contracts from a cost-plus model to fixed-cost.
- Russia has revelated the vehicles it plans on displaying for its Victory Day parade next month. Interesting elements include the T-14 main battle tank and the Typhoon-K and new Bumerang personnel carriers.
- The German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday that the controversy-riddled G36 assault rifle – the standard issue weapon of the German armed forces – has “no future” in the German Army. Also on Wednesday, reports (German) detailed how former Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière was apparently aware of the significant deficiencies of the weapon as early as spring 2012, whilst the manufacturer Heckler & Koch has continually denied the weapon’s shortcomings.
- Finland is buying Israeli camouflage systems as part of a multi-year contract with Fibrotex. The multi-spectral systems are capable of shielding equipment and personnel from a variety of detection methods, including UV, visual, near-infrared, thermal, and radar-based sensors.
- The Netherlands’ Ministry of Defense and Thales have partnered on a long-term Early Warning Capability radar program, the latter announced Wednesday. The contract will see the firm service four SMART-L radars for the Royal Netherlands Navy and deliver and service another pair of ground-based variants for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The four naval, ballistic missile defense-capable radars are fitted to the Royal Netherlands Navy’s fleet of four De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates, whilst the two ground-based radars will replace existing Thomson-CSF ARES radars which have operated since the 1970s.
- The Philippines is reportedly seeking to acquire more military aid from the US, with the country’s Armed Forces Chief drafting a wish list of new equipment. This is expected to focus principally on maritime and amphibious capability. The two nations signed a ten-year security agreement last April, which has led to an increase in the number of US assets rotating through the country. This is reflected in the joint amphibious drills currently underway.
- Japan has selected Dassault’s Falcon 2000 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft for its Coast Guard. The company will partner with L-3 Platform Integration and Thales, with the number of aircraft ordered not specified. The Japanese Coast Guard currently operates four business jet-based aircraft.
- Photos posted online appear to show a developmental radar for the Chinese J-20, with canard-mounted radar visible on a Tupolev Tu-204 testbed aircraft. These latest photos follow similar ones from 2011, which appeared to show the J-20’s weapons bay. The first photos of the fighter emerged in 2010, with the number of prototype aircraft tripled in 2014 to six.
- RT footage of a Russian T-15 Armored Personnel Carrier: