Argentina and Israel Resume Kfir Block 60 Talks | Turkey’s Defense Procurement Gets $5.9B Boost | Production Backlog Delays Indonesia’s Su-35sMar 11, 2016 00:20 UTC
- After the breaking off of talks between Argentina and Israel over the sale of 14 Kfir Block 60 fighters, both parties are to resume negotiations. The deal had initially been called off in October, just before contracts were to be signed, as a result of elections in Argentina. The fighters had been previously used by the Israeli Air Force, but have been upgraded with the latest systems, including the Elta 2032 active electronically scanned array radar. They will also have an open architecture to allow the Argentinian air force to install other systems.
- The USAF’s Cycle Management Center announced that the infrared search and track (IRST) pod for the F-15C must have data sharing capability between 4th & 5th gen. fighters. In a sources-sought notice published on Tuesday, a key requirement for the pod is that it must talk to the F-22’s Intra-Flight Data Link (IFDL) and the F-35’s Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) via Link-16 and create a “Common Tactical Picture (CTP).”
Middle East North Africa
- The Defense Industry Executive Committee, Turkey’s top procurement panel, has approved nearly $5.9 billion in defense programs. Of that funding, $4.5 billion will be earmarked for the country’s own domestic development projects, as they move to increase their own indigenous technology within the armed forces, and for export. Alongside the funding announcement, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu praised Turkey’s efforts for indigenous programs, and said that the serial production of locally developed infantry rifles will take off this year. This follows the first flight of home made Anka UAV last month, and an increase in defense exports by 35% during the first two months of 2016.
- Airbus has announced that it is to continue operating Germany’s military satellite system for the next seven years. The European defense giant was awarded the $162 million contract by BAAINBw, the German Armed Forces procurement agency. Airbus has been operating the SATCOMBw secure satellite communications system for Germany since 2006, and includes the in-orbit operation of the military COMSATBw1 and COMSATBw 2 satellites, as well as the operation of their teleport and associated networks in Weilheim, Germany.
- The French Air Force has made urgent requests for more new munitions and satellite communications to keep up with operational requirements. Orders for BLU 111 and 126 low-collateral-damage bombs, albeit without guidance kits, have been made and will be adapted and certified for the Rafale and Mirage strike fighters. Other equipment needed include laser-targeting pods for the Rafale and Mirage, and a satellite communications system for the Rafale. The munition and system procurements have also been met with requests for an increase in trained mechanics to keep up with aircraft maintenance requirements.
- Indonesia will not see delivery of their first Su-35 before 2018. Large scale orders for both domestic and foreign exports has created a production backlog. The Russian military will receive 50 of the multi-purpose fighters, while China has ordered 24. With Jakarta expecting ten of their own, manufacturer Sukhoi said that Indonesia could expect their first two jets in 2018 in a best case scenario. When they eventually are delivered, the planes will go toward replacing the aging F-5 Tiger fleet.
- A lease for five TC-90 maritime patrol aircraft has been confirmed by Philippine President Benigno Aquino. The Japanese aircraft are part of government efforts to increase air surveillance capabilities, which include the purchase of two C-130 transport planes, the first of which is to arrive next week. The deals come as Aquino moves the country’s defensive focus away from domestic insurgencies and toward territorial security and monitoring which is seeing ongoing encroachment from China. The air force and navy have been allocated $1.77 billion until 2017 to help with modernization efforts.
- The Indian government has announced that all warship requirements for the Indian Navy are being met by domestic shipyards. Both private and state-owned companies have been undergoing modernization efforts to improve infrastructure, increase capabilities and construction speeds, as well as equipping yards with state of the art technology. Currently, the Indian Navy is building 48 warships at domestic shipyards, and by 2027, it plans to have 198 warships compared with its current fleet of 137.
- Col. Tom McCarthy talks on Air Superiority: