GAO clears disputed CAS sale to Kenya | Canada mulls second-hand Hornets from Australia | Rafael looks to Spike eastern European IFV marketSep 08, 2017 05:00 UTC
- Canada is looking to Australia to aid it with its interim fighter requirement, as a dispute between the government and aerospace manufacturer Boeing continues. The row stemmed from a complaint made by Boeing against Canadian firm Bombardier over allegations of illegal subsidies and dumping that was filed in April with the US Department of Commerce. The matter is currently in front of the US International Trade Commission, with Boeing asking for tariffs to be imposed on Bombardier C Series planes sold in the United States. In response, the Canadian government came to Bombardier’s defense, putting its F/A-18 Super Hornet deal with Boeing on hold until the suit is dropped. Now, Ottawa is evaluating the option of buying second-hand F/A-18s from Australia. Meanwhile, ten top Canadian aerospace companies, in a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, urged the Liberal leader to abandon the Boeing dispute, arguing that they stand to lose from the government’s unwavering support for Bombardier.
Middle East & Africa
- The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found no wrong doing with a proposed foreign military sale to Kenya for close air support aircraft. North Carolina Congressman Ted Budd opposed the $418 million sale when it was initially cleared by the US State Department in January, which called for the delivery of up to 12 Air Tractor AT- 802L Longsword aircraft and two AT-504 trainer aircraft, with L-3 Communications serving as the prime contractor. Budd’s opposition to the L-3 deal comes after Air Tractor rival IOMAX—who are based in Budd’s district—called foul on the Kenya deal citing L-3’s lack of sales with the platform—IOMAX’s Archangel already flies with the UAE. Costing has also been raised; L-3 proposed a $365 million aircraft deal, not including ordnance, to Kenya while IOMAX quoted $234 million for the same number of Thrust-710-based Archangel aircraft. However, a GAO report did not find that Kenya improperly selected the Longsword, stating that Kenya’s request for a sole-source acquisition was motivated by specific interest in Air Tractor.
- Turkey’s timetable for its Altay main battle tank hopes to have a winner selected by mid-2018, with bids from BMC, Otokar and FNSS expected for this November. The initial phase of the indigenous Altay tank program aims to initially serial produce a batch of 250 units, with military officials hoping that the program would eventually reach 1,000 units. Earlier this year, Otokar’s Altay prototypes successfully completed qualification tests including mobility and endurance testing on rough terrain and climatic conditions, firing tests with various scenarios, and survivability testing. However in June, the government procurement agency SSM, citing an unsatisfactory offer from Otokar for the serial production of the tank, canceled the contract and decided to go for an open competition.
- Israeli aircraft conducted further airstrikes in Syria early Thursday, with a human rights organization claiming that the Syrian army site targeted was involved in the production of chemical weapons. The air strike killed two soldiers and caused damage near the town of Masyaf in Hama province and came the morning after UN investigators said the Damascus government was responsible for a sarin poison gas attack in April—one of at least 27 chemical attacks conducted by the regime since the start of the Syrian civil war. An Israeli army spokeswoman declined to discuss reports of a strike in Syria, however, it had been previously reported that Israel has hit arms convoys of the Syrian military and its Hezbollah allies nearly 100 times in the past five years.
- Rafael is hoping to increase its Spike LR guided missile sales to the Eastern European market. The Israeli firm wants to capitalize on the increase in acquisitions by governments in the region of new infantry fighting vehicles, and is looking to partner with vehicle manufacturers to arm them. So far, Rafael is installing its Samson Mk II weapon stations fitted with Spike launchers on 88 Boxer armored fighting vehicle ordered by Lithuania, with Slovenia, Romania, and Macedonia all at various stages of IFV platform acquisitions. Most recently, rival firm Elbit Systems won a Croatian contract to supply its UT30MK2 unmanned turrets fitted with a 30mm cannon and a 7.62x51mm gun for 126 Patria IFVs, subcontracting Rafael to supply Spike LR missile systems.
- Saab has teamed up with the Gdynia-based Nauta Shiprepair Yard with expectations that the collaboration could land a Polish government contract to produce three new submarines. The Polish shipyard has previously worked with Saab as a sub-contractor, assisting with portions of a $92 million deal with the Swedish navy to build a special purpose signals intelligence ship (SIGINT). Poland has earmarked about $2.8 billion for its submarine procurement program to replace its outdated Kobben-class subs. In addition to Saab, France’s DCNS is offering its Scorpene-class design and German ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems is entering its HDW-class sub into the competition.
- South Korea and the US military have completed the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system on the Korean peninsula amid violent anti-THAAD protests near the system’s deployment site. Located on a golf course—formally owned by South Korean chaebol Lotte Group—in the southern city of Seongju, as many as 8,000 police officers were deployed early Monday to break up a blockade of around 300 villagers and civic groups opposed to THAAD, and subsequent clashes resulted in 38 wounded although non fatal. Despite the protests, South Korea’s defense ministry has said the deployment is necessary due to the imminent threat from North Korea, which has launched numerous missiles since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office in early May.
- DARPA’s Flying Missile Rail (FMR):