Rheinmetall Secures $10.6M for African Combat Training Facility | MBDA to Support French/British Missile Defense Collaboration | SK Cleared for LAIRCM Buy
- Arms trafficker Viktor Bout will continue serving his 25-year stint in federal prison following the denial of a retrial by the US Circuit Court of Appeals. Convicted of conspiring to kill US soldiers by agreeing to sell arms to DEA informants posing as members of the FARC terrorist group, Bout maintained that he could not have been part of such a conspiracy as his business associate, Andrew Smulian, was already an informant for the US agency. The judge stated that the evidence suggested merely that the agency “saw Smulian as a way to get to Bout.”
- The Dutch Damen Shipyards Group is to provide two modernized Stan Patrol 4207 vessels to the Jamaican Defense Forces as part of the JDF’s renewal of its patrol boat fleet. Three decommissioned Damen-built Count-class offshore patrol vessels previously used by the JDF are being traded in as part of the deal. Delivery of the new boats is expected by the end of the year.
Middle East & North Africa
- Rheinmetall has secured a $10.6 million contract to modernize and expand a live combat training facility for a country in the region. The deal will see the company supply up-to-date hardware and software components for the customer’s Mobile Combat Training Center, which includes new laser engagement simulator to support combat vehicle and weapon systems training. A modernized Legatus combat simulation training system will also be provided to the customer and is already in use by the German military.
- Turkey’s quest for an air-defense system continued with Defence Minister Fikri Isik saying on Friday that they were in talks with Russia over purchasing the S-400. Other countries are also being contacted, but Isik maintained that the Russian stance on the issue has been positive. Ankara is also looking to develop its own indigenous system, but a foreign procurement would be ready for operational use in a much shorter time period.
- The US State Department has cleared the sale of 26 Predator B UAVs to the UK. Valued at $1 billion, the deal also includes 12 Advanced Ground Control Stations, 12 Multi-spectral Targeting Systems, 25 AN/APY-8 Lynx IIe Block 20A Synthetic Aperture Radars, and other communication and identification devices, as well as equipment spares. Having already operated the MQ-9 Reaper, it is expected that British forces will have no problems making the transition.
- Officials from the French and British governments have come to an agreement on further collaborative missile defense development. Franco-British missile manufacturer MBDA has been selected to support the project, which includes the establishment of new development centers in the company’s UK sites Stevenage and Bolton. The missile cooperation agreement comes shortly after officials announced the launch of the next phase of the $145 million joint Franco-British Maritime Mine Counter Measures program, which aims to improve naval defense technology.
- The Afghan military will be flying more American wares following the decision by the Pentagon to swap out Russian-made Mi-17s for the Sikorsky Black Hawk. Citing increased problems in maintaining the Mi-17 fleet due to sanctions caused by “Russian aggression,” a number of US lawmakers have been pushing for the switch. It’s believed that Washington will modernize 53 UH-60As by acquiring them from the Army before transferring to the Afghans.
- South Korea has been cleared to continue with their purchase of Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasure systems (LAIRCM). Developed by Northrop Grumman, the pods are designed to protect large aircraft from man-portable missiles. The $141 million sale will see four LAIRCM systems procured for Korean A-330 multirole tanker aircraft. South Korean F-16s are also slated for upgrade, following the awarding of a $1.2 billion contract by the Pentagon to Lockheed Martin.
Combat debut of the Tu-95MSM strategic bomber:
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