Turkey inducts UMTAS into service | Saudi shopping list revealed | France invited to Eurofighter successor programJun 13, 2017 05:00 UTC
- Austral is currently conducting final outfitting of the ninth Expeditionary Fast Transport (EFT) for the US Navy. The Spearhead-class vessel left an Austral shipyard earlier this month in Mobile, Alabama before moving to Bismark for final work. They feature a flight deck and an off-load ramp which allow quick access ports and quays. Littoral operations are made easier by the inclusion of 15-foot shallow draft, ability to interface with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and ease of access to austere and deteriorated piers.
Middle Easy & North Africa
- Turkey’s armed forces has officially inducted Rokesan’s UMTAS infrared guided anti-tank missile into service. OMTAS is a semi-active laser-homing ATGM with a range of 500-8,000 m that Ankara will use as the main weapon of the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) T129 attack helicopter, with Roketsan hoping to sell additional launchers and missiles to the Air Force and Navy as well. The system has also been tested on TAI’s Hürkus-C close air support and counterinsurgency attack aircraft and is being marketed for export to several governments including Pakistan.
- A White House document seen by media sources has fleshed out the Trump administration’s $110 billion-worth of arms deals with Saudi Arabia. Much touted by Trump after his first international tour as US President, experts had denounced the successful deals as speculative that still needed to be negotiated and cleared by Congress. Now, the shopping list that accounts for those billion and billions has emerged with items including seven THAAD missile defense batteries, over 100,000 air-to-ground munitions and billions of dollars’ worth of new aircraft. Also included are new vessels, artillery, land and fighting vehicles, helicopters Patriot system sustainment services, as well as two satellite communications & Space Based Early Warning Systems. See the full list and price breakdowns here.
- The head of Airbus has called on the French government to join German and Spanish efforts on a proposed new fighter to succeed the Eurofighter Typhoon. “I really hope that France will be involved,” says Fernando Alonso, speaking to reporters on 9 June at the company’s media day. “We have to do this in Europe. There’s no place to do two or three different systems.” While Paris had initially stayed out of the Eurofighter program—instead favoring to work with Dassault on the Rafale—there has been much talk of further integrated European defense research and procurement among EU members, and with the UK gearing up to leave the EU, France is being seen as a potential replacement partner in such joint programs. Last year, Germany and Spain partnered to draw up requirements for the New Generation Weapon System (NGWS), a proposed new fighter that would be developed under the Future Combat Air System effort, which includes other elements of air warfare technology, including unmanned air vehicles (UAV) and space-based capabilities.
- Finland has extended the service of an existing 2013 Foreign Military Sales agreement with the US for spare parts and support for F-18 Hornet aircraft. Valued at $97.1 million, the amendment covers software maintenance, spare parts for the aircraft, equipment, repair, transport and training services from 2018 to 2020. Additional information on the deal was not revealed.
- Saab has signed a framework agreement to provide maintenance and support of submarines and submarine rescue systems operated by the Swedish military. The deal will cover the period of 2017-2019 at an initial cost of $9.7 million. “The framework agreement encompasses maintaining and providing high operational availability of the Swedish Armed Forces submarines and submarine rescue systems by configuration management, maintenance, engineering support, and modifications,” Saab said in a press release.
- It’s been reported that South Korean artillery has been delivered to Pakistan, where the government there is believed to be trailing the weapons. A Hanwha Corporation KH179 155 mm towed howitzer and two Hanwha Corporation 40 mm auto grenade launchers (AGL) arrived in January and is one of several rival self-propelled howitzers (SPH) that has been tested by Islamabad over the years, and while no active competition is underway, it’s believed that Pakistan could spend as much as $844 million on SPH by 2024. If there is an active requirement, Hanwha will compete with Daudsons Armoury (DSA), which had displayed its own SPH during Pakistan’s biennial defence exhibition, IDEAS 2016.
- The Indian army will send a squadron of weaponized Dhruv helicopters to its border with China as part of moves to strengthen its deployments along its eastern borders. As many as ten helicopters will arrive in the town of Likabali, Assam provence, over the next three months. Weapons found on the helicopter include a turret gun in its nose area, air-to-air missiles, 70 mm rockets and 20 mm turret guns, while newer models come equipped with anti-tank guided missiles, infrared jammers and obstacle avoidance systems.
- Roketsan’s OMTAS: