France, Germany and Italy Pit Industry Champions Together For New UAV | Boeing: Ours Should Have Lasers | South Koreans Deny Lockheed Meetings Held on THAADMay 19, 2015 03:29 UTC
- Boeing Phantom Work’s President wants to put solid-state lasers on the company’s Phantom Eye developmental UAV. Darryl Davis stated that the UAV could operate at stratospheric heights with the lasers used for intelligence gathering and potentially missile defense. However, that would depend on significantly increased funding for the immature technology – something which doesn’t appear to be happening in the short term.
- On Monday, Raytheon was awarded a $7 million contract modification in support of the UAE’s Patriot systems, with this totaling 138 man-months of work. The GCC member state first procured the systems in 2008, with the country operating the PAC-3 variant.
- Raytheon announced on Monday the Small Diameter Bomb II has achieved Milestone C, with the SDB II now set for Low Rate Initial Production. The Milestone C achievement is the result of eleven flight tests, including two live-firings. The bomb’s System Verification Review slipped last year, a result of two failed tests, with the bomb initially scheduled to enter LRIP in January 2014 [p. 117].
- The Defense Ministers of three European states signed a Declaration of Intent on Monday for a two-year Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAV definition study. Germany, Italy and France are funding the collaborative work between Dassault, Airbus and Finmeccanica, which will form the basis of a decision in two years time on whether to begin development of the system. Airbus, Dassault and Alenia Aermacchi are likely to compete for production contracts if this green light is given.
- The European Defence Agency and the European Space Agency also announced on Monday that the launch of the DeSIRE II project, which is intended to use satellite communications to integrate remotely-piloted aircraft into civilian airspace. The $3 million contract with Telespazio is using a Piaggio Aero P.1HH Hammerhead UAV as a flying testbed, with a consortium of European firms working on the project,including Telespazio, e-GEOS, Selex ES, Piaggio Aero, ViaSat, Skyguide and Aedel Aerospace.
- Following the selection in April of the Airbus H225M Caracal by the Polish Defense Ministry for its tri-service helicopter modernization requirement, the helicopter is now confirmed to be undergoing evaluation and verification against Poland’s requirement set. Photos have emerged from Powidz 33rd Transport Aviation Base showing the helicopter undergoing testing to evaluate 32 requirements set by the Defense Ministry’s Armament Inspectorate.
- With rumors having circulated for some time now regarding the French-Russian Mistral issue, the French Ambassador to Russia reportedly announced on Monday that the two sides are engaged in discussions on how best to resolve the situation. The French are unlikely to go ahead with the deal, which would see two of the LHDs delivered to the Russian Navy, instead most likely seeking to repay what the Russians have invested in the contract. This will most likely be a disputed, messy affair forecast to last at least several weeks.
- Poland has released a tender for one million non-ricocheting bullets. The 5.56 x 45mm rounds are destined for GROM Special Forces units, with the tender scheduled to conclude between July and November.
- South Korea’s Defense Ministry has stated that the country is THAAD system, while US Secretary of State John Kerry again hinted at a possible deployment of US THAAD systems to the country. The issue of ballistic missile defense in South Korea has become increasingly politicized in recent weeks, with China vehemently opposing the stationing of THAAD in the country, despite the North recently conducting missile launch tests.
- Indian firms are pushing for a greater slice of the M777 contract pie awarded last week. The prospect of a much larger order than the 145-gun contract – potentially reaching around a thousand guns if the Indian Army replaces all its current legacy systems – would be boost to the Indian defense industry, with manufacturer BAE System likely to increase the Indian work share of a larger future contract.
- An Australian pilot has flown a Royal Australian Air Force F-35A for the first time, with the country a Tier 3 partner in the program.
- Airbus is reportedly talking with the South African Air Force regarding the firm’s C-296, A400M and A330MRTT aircraft. The SAAF C-130BZ fleet is currently highly inefficient, with around a third of its fleet operational at any given time. The country previously cancelled an order for eight A400M transporters in 2009. A joint procurement of A330 MRTT tankers is expected by three European states (Poland, Norway and the Netherlands) soon, to complement the aircraft’s six international customers.
- Small Diameter Bomb II, introduced by the Smithsonian…