According to Jane’s, operators of the Airbus C295 multirole aircraft will soon be presented with options into how existing airframes can be upgraded to the latest standards. The newspaper reports that Airbus is currently studying various upgrade and retrofit possibilities, given how several operators have already indicated interest in upgrade of their existing fleets. The Airbus C295 is a twin turboprop aircraft with a 25 m wingspan. It can be configured for a variety of roles, including maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare, airborne early warning, signals intelligence, close-air support, and military transport operations.
The Mexican Navy’s first POLA (Patrulla Oceánica de Largo Alcance) long-range ocean patrol vessel, ARM Reformador, was commissioned, the company announced. Reformador is based on the Damen Shipyards SIGMA 10514 light frigate design, displacing 2,570 tonnes, with a length of 105.1 m, a beam of 14 m, and a draft of 3.7 m. The ship was launched at the end of November 2018 and completed sea acceptance trials in December 2019. Construction was split between Mexico and the Netherlands. Four of the OPV’s six modular sections were built at the Mexican Navy’s ASTIMAR Salina Cruz shipyard in Oaxaca, and two were built by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding at its yard in Vlissingen.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli defense technology company Rafael Advanced Defence Systems is showcasing a new lightweight airborne EO/IR sensor for wide-area persistent surveillance (WAPS) operations at Singapore Air Show. The MicroLite sensor can be mounted on small airborne platforms including unmanned aerial vehicles, balloons, and manned aircraft to complete EO/IR intelligence, surveillance, targeting and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions. At the show, Rafael said it would showcase the system mounted on an Orbiter-4 UAV made by Rafael-owned Aeronautics. Rafael says the system uses high-resolution mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) and visual HD color sensors to enable persistent wide-area surveillance and can work in tandem with a laser designator to locate and designate possible targets.
Helicopter Flight Training Systems (HFTS),of which German defense company Rheinmetall is a part, has entered into an agreement to modernize flight simulators for the German Army Aviation Corps’ NH90 helicopters. A contract to this effect was signed at the end of December 2019. Awarded to HFTS, the complete contract encompasses operation, service and maintenance of the simulators through to 2027, with a contractually guaranteed availability rate of at least 98%. The modernization project involves upgrade of simulators to the latest helicopter standard called MR-1. This upgrade is accompanied by a renovation of the computer configurations, the replacement of the instructor station and the tactical situation animation software (CGF) and includes Level C certification with the European authority EASA.
According to Alert5, PT. Dirgantara Indonesia has been directed by the Indonesian government to embark on a program to reverse engineer missiles. Brig. Gen. Aribowo Teguh Santoso from the Directorate General for Defense Potential signed a contract on February 15. It is believed that the Indonesians intend to reverse engineer the C705 anti-ship missile that China had sold to the South East Asia country. These were ordered for the Indonesian Navy’s KCR-40 and KCR 60 warships. Some of those missiles were assembled locally.
Warships of the Royal Australian Navy left the port of Sydney on Monday to conduct ready-to-deploy exercises. The three-week-event is known as the sea phase of Fleet Certification Period 2020. It will verify the capabilities of participating vessels. The destroyers HMAS Hobart and HMAS Arunta, the frigate HMAS Stuart and the fleet replenishment vessel Sirius left Sydney for the Bass Straits, separating Australia from Tasmania, where they will meet five other warships and submarines. Military aircraft, including a Royal Australian Air Force P-8A, a United States Navy P-8, a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K and three Royal Australian Navy MH-60R helicopters, will also participate. Exercises include work by an Australian navy anti-mine unit on the Tasmanian coast.
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