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StormBreaker Approved For F-15 Operational Flights | Indonesia And Austria To Discuss Eurofighter Sale | Japan To Sign Agreement For Arms Export To Vietnam

Defense Industry Daily - Thu, 15/10/2020 - 06:00
Americas

Longbow Ltd. won a $32.2 million contract modification for generic spare parts kits for AH-64E Apache helicopters. The AH-64 Apache is a multirole combat helicopter with integrated avionics and weapons, as well as advanced digital communications to enable real-time, secure transfer of battlefield information to air and ground forces. The E-model Apache Guardian features enhanced performance, joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding, and reduced operating and support costs, Boeing officials say. Work will take place in Orlando, Florida. Estimated completion date is April 30, 2024.

The US Air Force’s Air Combat Command has approved the GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II for F-15E operational flights. The press release from Eglin Air Force Base says the weapon is expected to be field on the F/A-18E/F later this year. The GBU-53B StormBreaker, which entered operational testing in 2018, is a small diameter bomb that features a multimode seeker to guide the weapon with infrared, millimeter-wave radar and semi-active lasers in addition to or with GPS and inertial system guide. The Air Force’s fielding decision means F-15E squadrons can now be equipped with the weapon. The Navy and Marines intend to use it on their versions of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Middle East & Africa

According to Israel Defense, Israel’s Phantom Technologies Ltd., a developer and manufacturer of diverse solutions in the field of electronic warfare, introduced a drone detection and blocking system called Phantom Dome 180 that includes radar, thermal cameras, and a system for jamming communications. Phantom Dome is reportedly aimed at protecting forces from hostile drones. The detection is based on radar developed exclusively by Phantom, along with thermal cameras. The system is connected, controlled and monitored by a controller. It combines the elements of detection by radar, detection by electro-optical/infrared camera, jamming of communications, and radio frequency detection.

Europe

Indonesia’s Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto will be in Austria on October 20 and he has requested to meet his European counterpart Klaudia Tanner to discuss the sale of 15 Eurofighters. The Jakarta Post had seen a letter dated Oct. 8 which was said to be from Prabowo to Tanner, thanking her for her reply to his first letter that he had sent in July. Tanner had said publicly last month that she had directed the General Staff to prepare for negotiations with Jakarta to sell the Eurofighters.

Jet aircraft embarked on aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth have been undergoing live weapons training in the North Sea. According to the British Royal Navy 617 Squadron, ‘The Dambusters’, and the US Marine Corps’ VMFA-211 jets, spent three days on exercise, dropping 500lb Paveway IV high explosive bombs onto a dedicated range off the coast of the UK. The range was Garvie Island, a barren and rocky outcrop the size of a ship. The island is used as a target for a range of training operations and is the only place in the Northern Hemisphere where NATO forces combine land, air and sea capabilities in deploying ordnance up to 1,000-pounds. The training proved HMS Queen Elizabeth’s ability to deliver F-35 strike mission sets from weapon prep through to execution.

Asia-Pacific

Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will be visiting Vietnam next week and he is expected to sign an agreement on the export of defense equipment and technology while there. Japan plans to sign an agreement with Vietnam to allow it to export defense equipment and technology to the country, part of a move to strengthen defense capabilities of Indo-Pacific nations to counter Chinese maritime advances. Japan ended a decades-old ban on overseas arms sales in 2014 to help beef up the nation’s military and lower the unit cost of home-built military equipment but has so far struggled to strike export deals for finished products.

Today’s Video

Watch: CHINA ADMITS U.S NAVY DESTROYER USS JOHN S.MCCAIN ENTERED WATERS CLAIMED BY IT WITHOUT PERMISSION !

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Eurofighter’s Rough Ride in Austria Continues

Defense Industry Daily - Thu, 15/10/2020 - 05:54

Austrian Typhoons
w. IRIS-T missiles
(click to view full)

In 2003, Austria signed a EUR 2 billion contract to receive 18 EADS Eurofighters plus required support (just over $2.5 billion, or about $140 million per plane). The aircraft were already under construction in Germany when the 2006 election results forced the leftist SPO party, whose campaign promises included canceling the fighter deal, into the Austrian government coalition.

That shift led to a fraught series of negotiations within Austria, and then with EADS. The 2 sides played a game of billion-dollar chicken, leading to a settlement in 2007. The Eurofighter’s rough ride in Austria seemed to be over with delivery of the 15th and final aircraft in 2009, but controversies continue.

Contracts and Key Events

Airborne.
(click to view full)

Grandiose statements from the SPO immediately after the 2006 election were followed by a quick crash back to reality, as the mathematics of the electoral results asserted themselves. Eventually, a grand coalition government was formed that pledged to resume negotiations with EADS, after a response from Eurofighter GmbH set Austria’s cost of cancellation at EUR 1.2 billion in return for zero aircraft.

While those negotiations continued, the first Austrian Eurofighter flew, #2 was rolled out, #3-6 were in final assembly, and the rest kept advancing into partial assembly.

Eventually, a EUR 1.63 billion compromise was set for 15 Tranche 1, Block 5 Eurofighter Typhoon fighters and support services. Germany is a key source of support and training, allowing the Austrians to use their infrastructure and facilities.

2020

October 15/20: Meeting With Indonesia Indonesia’s Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto will be in Austria on October 20 and he has requested to meet his European counterpart Klaudia Tanner to discuss the sale of 15 Eurofighters. The Jakarta Post had seen a letter dated Oct. 8 which was said to be from Prabowo to Tanner, thanking her for her reply to his first letter that he had sent in July. Tanner had said publicly last month that she had directed the General Staff to prepare for negotiations with Jakarta to sell the Eurofighters.

September 8/20: Discussions With Indonesia Austria’s Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner has officially responded to Indonesia’s request to buy 15 Eurofighters from her country. Tanner said she had directed the General Staff to prepare for negotiations with Jakarta. She said the “exit from the Eurofighter system” is the declared goal and the sale is in the best interest of taxpayers. Two options are available for the sale to proceed. First, the Eurofighter consortium will have to issue a end user certificate to Indonesia and Austria will sell the jets directly to Indonesia. Alternatively, Airbus will buy back the planes, upgrade them and sell them to the South East Asian nation instead.

July 21/20: Indonesia Wants Them Local media in Austria says Indonesia has written an official letter to buy 15 Eurofighters from Austria. The letter was from Indonesia’s Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto to his Austrian counterpart Klaudia Tanner. The Austria Defense Ministry has confirmed that the letter was received. The letter was dated July 10. Subianto has also stated in his letter that he understands the issue of the Eurofighter in Austria is sensitive due to a corruption probe into the purchase of the 15 aircraft. He added that the sale offers opportunities for both sides. Austria had previously said it wanted to retire those fighters starting from this year and replace them with another type of aircraft such as the Gripen or F-16. Back in 2017, Austria launched a probe into the purchase of the fighters, alleging that Airbus had paid brides during the competition. Indonesia is looking to replacing its F-5 with new fighters and had signaled that it intends to buy the Su-35. However, the deal to buy the Russian fighters has never been signed. The South East Asian nation had also indicated last year that it intends to buy two squadrons of F-16s this year.

May 26/20: Supersonic Flight Exercise Starting May 25, the Austrian army is conducting a large-scale flight exercise. Eurofighter jets will complete daily supersonic test flights for almost two weeks. From May 25th to June 5th, the Eurofighter pilots of the Austrian Armed Forces will train supersonic intercept maneuvers. Two supersonic flights per day are scheduled between 8am and 4pm, Monday through Friday. According to the army, the purpose of the training is „the close and time-critical coordination between military pilots, radar control officers and military and civil air traffic control. Furthermore, the pilots train under real physical stress, which cannot be simulated. The training is indispensable for a working Austrian airspace surveillance. It serves to continue to ensure safe flight operations in all cases.”

April 29/20: Investigation Stopped A court in Vienna has stopped an Austrian investigation into alleged fraud by Airbus and Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH in connection with a $2 billion Eurofighter jet purchase in 2003, it said on April 27. The investigation was linked to accusations brought by Austria’s defense ministry in 2017, and its closure does not affect a broader criminal investigation of suspected bribery in the same deal that has been going on since 2011, a court spokeswoman said. The ministry triggered a new probe into Airbus and the Eurofighter consortium – which also includes Britain’s BAE Systems and Italy’s Leonardo in February 2017, alleging that they had misled the state about the price, deliverability and equipment of the planes. Among other things, the ministry accused Airbus and the consortium of illegally charging nearly 10% of the purchase price for so-called offset deals, which involve work being given to local companies.

A380 escorts
(click to view full) 2019

May 22/19: Investigation halted again? The investigations into Austria’s Eurofighter purchase may come to an abrupt end once more as the coalition between the conservatives and the right-wing FPÖ collapsed on the weekend. The 2002 purchase of Austria’s Eurofighter Typhoons has been investigated due to a possible corruption scandal involving bribes in the amount of around $111.6 million. The current investigation committee is already the third on this matter. Investigation committees have to cease interrogations when the date of new elections is announced. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has announced a snap election on Saturday, after a video-scandal surrounding vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache forced him to end the coalition. However, a specific date for the new elections has not yet been declared. In 2017, the second investigation into the Eurofighter scandal has ended the same way, when snap elections were announced following the collapse of the coalition between the social-democratic SPÖ and the conservatives.

2018

December 10/18: What will it be? The Austrian government is currently debating the future of the country’s air force. Austrian newspaper Die Presse reports that the coalition government is split over whether to keep its fleet of Eurofighter Tranche 1 Block 5 fighter aircraft or replace them with new Saab Gripen jets. Austria is currently in a legal battle with the Eurofighter consortium, accusing them of fraud and wilful deception in connection with the $2 billion, 12 unit plane order signed in 2003. The conservatives prefer to keep the Eurofighters, whereas the Freedom Party prefers to replace the planes. Die Presse notes that both options would cost about the same, and adds that keeping the jets will also require various upgrades and new weapon systems. Austria’s MoD is currently plagued by a declining budget but needs to replace its ageing aircraft fleet, upcoming purchases may include new helicopters and Leonardo’s M-345.

2014

June 20/14: Going to broke. Austria continues to cut their defense budget, with planned reductions to 0.5% of GDP that may leave them with almost no air force. Austria’s Kurier pegs flight-hour costs for Austria’s Eurofighters at an astonishing EUR 70,000, and says that the budget will force the jets to cancel quick-reaction exercises, and operate the planes only from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.

In addition, agreements would be required with Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, in order to coordinate air policing by allowing other nations’ aircraft to overfly Austria. The question is whether they will be interested, given their own tight budgets. Hungary already has an agreement with Slovenia, but they only have 14 jets. The Czech air force isn’t any bigger, and Slovakia can’t help. Switzerland’s own air force can’t operate around the clock, and recently had to depend on the French and Italians to deal with a highjacked jet that landed in their country. The failure of their recent fighter referendum leaves them in a position where they need to conserve remaining flight hours in their F/A-18C/D Hornets.

If the de facto result of this policy is to partially cede Austrian air sovereignty to Germany, is that really a politically wise move? A second-loop question might also ask whether picking a fighter known to have high operating expenses was a good idea for Austria in the first place. Sources: Austria Kurier, “Ungarische Gripen sollen Wien sichern”.

May 15/14: Going to broke. SPO Party Defence Minister Gerald Klug admits that the army “is no longer financially viable” at a total budget of EUR 1.948 billion, which includes EUR 1.3 billion in personnel costs. Vehicles are being impounded, helicopters are running into trouble, and even deployments to flooded areas are being delayed as the Army looks to rent civilian vehicles.

Meanwhile, the air force has only 12 pilots for its 15 Eurofighters. The problem is that they have to maintain flying qualifications, and there are only enough flight hours to keep 12 pilots qualified. Others have reportedly been redeployed into the Army as simulator instructors. sources: Austria’s The Local, “Austrian army ‘going broke'” and “Only 12 pilots for 15 Eurofighter jets”.

2009 – 2013

 

Coming and Going
(click to view full)

Oct 23/13: Upgrades. Eurofighter GmbH announces that Austria’s Eurofighter Typhoons “now have the latest capability standard for Tranche 1 aircraft,” but it isn’t clear what that means.

The Typhoon’s Phase 1 Enhancements include full integration of the LITENING III surveillance & targeting pod, the ability to use dual-mode GPS/laser guided smart bombs, IFF mode 5, and the ability to use the HMSS helmet-mounted display for ground attack. On the other hand, it won’t be ready for customers before the end of 2013, and and requires Tranche 2 fighters. Austria is already done with their upgrade. Eurofighter gave meaningless details, which amount to “some new hardware and software were installed.” Sources: Eurofighter GmbH, “Austrian Eurofighters equipped with latest capability standard for Tranche 1 aircraft” and “Increased operational capabilities for Eurofighter Typhoon”.

Sept 19/13: Investigation. Format magazine reports that in July 2013, Austrian police searched the Voelklermarkt offices of US-based automotive supplier Dana Holding Corp, as part of Austria’s investigation of EADS over the Eurofighter sale. German prosecutors say EADS paid at least EUR 50 million (around $67 million) in bribes to Austrian officials, but they’re going to have to prove that. Sources: Reuters, “Austrian police search Dana offices in Eurofighter investigation: report”.

Nov 12/12: Corruption scandal. Austrian police have raided the home of Frank Walter P., whose companies were involved in the Eurofighter deal under the aegis of industrial offsets. Many are in fact just shell companies, and there is now suspicion that the firms were a vector for bribes to Austrian politicians. The allegation on the warrant translates as “collective bribery in coincidence with aggravated breach of trust,” in connection with up to EUR 113.5 million in funds placed with a variety of firms.

The arrangement began to unravel when Italian police arrested Gianfranco Lande for a Ponzi scheme that scammed the Calabrian mafia. He wouldn’t discuss the mafia, but he needed protection, so he told investigators that he had created a complex web of companies for a large corporation in Germany, with (now defunct) London-based Vector Aerospace LLP at its center. Lande also named individuals at EADS. One question involves how far the scandal will reach into EADS, and whether it will trigger the resignation of CEO Tom Enders.

Appendix A-8 of the classified agreement reportedly contains the terms that revolve around Article 304 of the Austrian Criminal Code, which prohibits bribes paid directly or by 3rd parties. Would proven bribes invalidate the contract? If so, the planes could be returned to EADS, and Austria’s payment could be refunded. It’s very likely that the government would prefer some sort of re-negotiation, anyway, instead of removing all of Austria’s fighters and being forced to start deal negotiations again. Der Spiegel.

Bribery scandal

Feb 17/10: The Austrian Bundesheer responds to a range of allegations, including allegations that its Eurofighter force suffers from low availability. The key question appears to revolve around the meaning of “einsatzbereit,” which could translate as “mission ready”, but seems here to mean “ready for launch.”

What the Bundesheer says is that it doesn’t make military or economic sense to keep all 15 Eurofighters “einsatzarbeit”, as air policing duties require just 2 planes plus a replacement fighter at the ready. The release cites the World Economic Forum in Davos, which had 2 aircraft in the air at all times, and involved 10 Eurofighters “ständig einsatzbereit.” OK, fine. But what’s the readiness rate if the others are called upon? Austrian Bundesheer [in German].

Feb 16/10: Fender bender. An Austrian Eurofighter has a minor mishap on landing, which is expected to cost EUR 15,000. The plane was coming in for an emergency landing, when its landing gear finally deployed. That was the good news. The bad news is that the rear arrester hook was extended as part of the emergency landing process, and slammed back into the fuselage after it hit the runway. Krone | Aviation Week.

Sept 24/09: Eurofighter delivers the 15th and final aircraft ordered by the Austrian Armed Forces, as the aircraft is rolled out from the EADS Defence & Security Manching assembly line, located close to Munich, Germany.

Logistics and training support under the 2003 contract helped the Austrian Air Force begin operational air policing missions by June 2008 – just 11 months after delivery of the first Eurofighter. Since the first Typhoon entered service, Eurofighter GmbH says that the aircraft have flown more than 1,100 flying hours from the Air Surveillance Wing’s home base in Zeltweg, Austria. Eurofighter GmbH.

All 15 delivered

July 21/09: Eurofighter Typhoons in service with the Air Surveillance Wing of Osterreichische Luftstreitkrafte, Austria’s Joint Armed Forces Command, have reached the 1,000 flying hours milestone. The Uberwachungsgeschwader (overwatch squadron) has received 12 aircraft to date, and delivery of the remaining 3 is planned during the coming months. Eurofighter GmbH.

2007 – 2008

 

Under construction
(click to view full)

July 1/08: Austrian Eurofighter Typhoons formally take over the protection of Austrian airspace under the leadership of the Joint Armed Forces Command, Graz, and the Air Surveillance Command, Wals, of the Austrian military. The fighters have been active before this date, most notably patrolling the skies over the Austrian host stadiums during the Euro 2008 soccer championships. Eurofighter GmbH.

Sept 13/07: The 2nd Austrian Eurofighter is delivered and arrives at Zeltweg Air Base. Eurofighter GmbH.

July 12/07: The first Eurofighter Typhoon is delivered to the Osterreichische Luftstreitkrafte at its new home base at Zeltweg air base, Austria. AS001 is the 125th Eurofighter Typhoon to be delivered to all customers.

Meanwhile, the first flight of Typhoon AS002 took place at EADS Military Air Systems at Manching on 09 July 2007, while aircraft AS003 – AS006 are in final assembly at EADS in Manching, Germany. Eurofighter GmbH.

June 26/07: The Eurofighter consortium of of Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems, EADS CASA and EADS Deutschland reaches agreement with the Government of Austria. Instead of 18 aircraft, Austria will receive 15 Eurofighters with latest capability standard of Tranche 1. There will also be “a price reduction on the negotiated in-service Support Contract that has not been signed yet,” probably coupled with training cutbacks to reduce the need for service.

The price reduction on the contract is EUR 370 million, leaving the contract at about EUR 1.63 billion. Eurofighter GmbH announcement.

Note that most recent Eurofighter version is Tranche 2, scheduled for delivery beginning in 2008. Tranche 1 jets are mostly air superiority fighters, unless additional equipment is added or retrofitted. Eurofighter GmbH’s reference to “equipment standard strictly meeting the requirement for air surveillance” seems to imply that these upgrades will not be present, thus restricting Austria’s Eurofighters to combat air patrol until/unless the political dynamic changes and modifications are made in a future contract.

Austrian settlement

May 6/07: Austria’s Defence Minister says that Eurofighter GmbH has broken off talks, and threatens unilateral cancellation. EADS says it merely canceled the next negotiating session, after a parliamentary inquiry panel indicated it wanted to complete its investigation before further talks were held. Lots of sturm und drang. Not a lot of substance. See translated and annotated release at defence-aerospace.

AS001 rollout
(click to view full)

March 21/07: Eurofighter GmbH announces a successful flight for the first production Austrian Eurofighter. AS001, Austrian Air Force designation 7L+WA, is a Block 5 standard aircraft, representing the last build standard of Tranche 1 (Block 5). Austria is supported in the acceptance process by the German Ministry of Defence, which flies the Eurofighter and is handling all acceptance testing and related process. Eurofighter adds this update re: program status, which bears directly on contract cancellation expenses:

“The second aircraft for Austria, AS002, was rolled out only a few days earlier and is now undergoing final checks before engine runs and the addition of Air Force colour scheme to the aircraft. First flight is scheduled for April 2007. AS003 through to AS006 are in Final assembly, while the major components for AS007 through to AS018 are in production. The training simulator has been installed at Zeltweg, the Main Operating Base (MOB) of the Austrian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons, and first flights in the simulator have been achieved. This training device is currently undergoing an upgrade to the software, allowing for a greater capability in aircrew training.”

Under the terms of the contract, Austria will receive 18 aircraft, and deliveries are scheduled to be completed in 2009. Eurofighter GmbH CEO, Aloysius Rauen, adds:

“The flight of AS001 as the first Austrian Eurofighter Typhoon and the first export Eurofighter Typhoon [DID: beyond the 4 partner countries], is a major milestone in the programme.”

1st flight

Jan 24/07: Eurofighter GmbH launches a German language web site promoting the Austrian Eurofighter purchase.

Jan 8/07: The socialist SPO and the center-right OVP agree to form a grand coalition. Together with the OVP a “very comprehensive working programme” of about 180 pages had been developed for the next four years, said SPO leader Alfred Gusenbauer. The announcement adds that “The negotiations on the Eurofighter military jets are to be resumed to reach a more cost-favourable solution.”

Given that there is a contract in place, and EADS has made its position on cancellation clear, it will be interesting to see if that phrase ends up meaning much beyond “we tried.”

2006

 

Austrian F-5Es & Draken
(click to view full)

Nov 6/06: Defense Aerospace translates a Ministry of Defence release issued in German-Austrian. In response to an Austrian request for an analysis of options relating to a possible cancellation of the contract, Eurofighter GmbH quoted a figure of EUR 1.2 billion (about $1.53 billion), in return for which Austria would receive no aircraft.

“In the letter, Eurofighter GmbH stated that, to large extent, it has already attained the major production milestones. In addition, approximately 400 subcontractors would be affected by a termination of contract.”

This looks like an opening negotiation bid to us, but the fact that it’s backed by a signed contract makes it a fairly strong one.

Oct 30/06: The socialist SPO party has assembled a majority for a committee of inquiry on the Eurofighter deal, by adding the Green + FPO parties. In response, the conservative OVP party has suspended talks to form a coalition.

Austrian reader Robert Toegel adds that: “Our last committee of inquiry on jets was working over a 4-year-period and the second batch of Saab 105Oe jets is still flying.”

Earlier in October 2006, Austria’s SPO had this to say:

“A committee of inquiry should clarify the political responsibility for the senseless procurement of this unbelievably expensive war machine,” Josef Cap, the Social Democrats’ floor leader, told Vienna’s Der Standard newspaper. “We don’t need the Eurofighter. It is not an ideological, but a financial issue. I’ve got nothing against these planes as such. But they cost an awful lot of money. I always believed that there were much better things to be done with that money.”

Odds are, those things don’t involve alternative fighter choices; Austria’s Luftabteilung recently retired its 1960s-era Draken fighters, and now flies rented 1970s-era Swiss F-5Es. At any rate, the translated Deutsche Welle article has a couple of errors (South Korea and Singapore made firm decisions and bought F-15s instead, and Greece canceled its 60-plane order), but is reasonably good at explaining the Austrian situation.

DID Local Reader Commentary

Not again.

Austrian reader Robert Toegel writes from Vienna:

“The Socialist Party SPO [DID: O = Oesterreich, or Austria], which won the last election has promised to stop the Eurofighter deal. Now, the only potential partner for a coalition is the conservative party OVP, which signed the contract. The socialist party is on the way to “modify” their position to form a new government. Mr. Caps statement is a preparation for this negotiations. The conservative party will probably not even start negotiations when the socialists really insist on a committee of inquiry.

In Austria fighter deals are very unpopular – we had the same problems when we introduced the Drakens. The socialists have no alternative for air policing tasks and would fight against any plane. As long the conservatives will be part of the government, as long the contract will not be canceled.

Both parties will start negotiations shortly. The SPO got the official note to start with negotiations from the President. I predict many Eurofighter press statements in the next months with many personal opinions without relevance.”

An accurate description, it seems, of any statement or analysis that doesn’t include the political coalition dynamics involved. The politics of the situation make cancellation very unlikely, and would be the same even if both party’s political positions were reversed. Toegel later adds:

“I forgot to note, that the Austrian Air Force has just started the first ground crew training course in Kaufbeuren (GER). From 10.09.06 to 05.04.07 there will be 6 courses for 6 to 14 crewmembers. 72 crewmembers will be trained in Germany (Source: Luftwaffe.de).”

Additional Readings

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

USS Wyoming Returned To Fleet | Hellenic Aerospace Might Lose C-130, F-16 Work | Portuguese Super Lynx Delivery Pushed Back To January

Defense Industry Daily - Tue, 13/10/2020 - 06:00
Americas

The wings and engines of the KC-130J that crash landed on a field in Thermal on September 29 have been removed last week. According to NBC, the wings were removed on October 9 and the engines were taken off a day earlier. The aerial refueling cargo plane had a mid-air collision with a F-35B which forced the crew to make an emergency landing on the field after failing to divert to an airport.

The ballistic missile submarine USS Wyoming returned to the fleet after a 27-month overhaul in Norfolk, Virginia, the Naval Sea Systems Command announced. The Ohio Class, nuclear-powered submarine was commissioned in 1996 and is normally homeported at Kings Bay, Ga. It underwent an engineered refueling overhaul, a standard Navy refurbishment program for midlife vessels. The overhaul at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard involved the replacement of expended nuclear fuel with new fuel and a general maintenance renovation, including technological improvements and new berthing spaces for enlisted women.

Middle East & Africa

Abu Dhabi has invited Israeli arms and defense companies to take part in the upcoming International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) set to take place in the United Arab Emirate’s capital in February 2021. Less than a month after Israel signed an agreement to establish full diplomatic relations with both the UAE and Bahrain, Israel’s defense sector companies have been invited to openly participate in the upcoming International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) set to take place in Abu Dhabi in February 2021. IDEX is a biennial arms and defense technology sales exhibition and the largest of its kind in the Middle East.

Europe

Lockheed Martin is said to be considering having a new supplier to take over from Hellenic Aerospace Industry to produce parts for the C-130 and F-16. The aerospace company is said to be behind schedule in producing the parts due to a shortage of specialized staff and management issues. Employees have gone on strikes due to reduced benefits and the company does not have an managing director. The upgrade of 84 F-16s from the Greek air force to the V-model could be affected as well.

The delivery of the first modernized Super Lynx Mk 95A helicopter to the Portuguese Navy has been pushed back to early January 2021. Leonardo won a $76.45 million contract in July 2016 to modernize the Portuguese Navy’s five Super Lynx Mk 95 aircraft. Under current scheduling, delivery of all five is expected to be completed in 2021. The first modernized helicopter completed its maiden flight on February 14 at Leonardo Helicopters’ facility in Yeovil, United Kingdom. Evaluation of the helicopter is scheduled for December as part of the certification of the type. Pilots are due to finalize their training in early December.

Asia-Pacific

According to Kyodo News, the Japan Ministry of Defense had considered making the F-X fighter an unmanned aircraft. This was to save cost as having an unmanned aircraft will result in a smaller aircraft without the need to have a human control it. However, the approach was abandoned after the Aegis Ashore program was shelved as the Ministry needs to concentrate on finding a new solution to replace the Aegis Ashore program.

Today’s Video

Watch: Here’s Why the C-130 Hercules Might Fly for 80 Years

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

DoD Awards Contracts For 5G Testing | DoS Approves F-35 And Super Hornet Sales To Finland | South Korea To Replace UH-60Ps

Defense Industry Daily - Mon, 12/10/2020 - 06:00
Americas

A new active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar from Raytheon that will be installed on the B-52H bomber might allow the US Air Force to reduce the number of people operating the bomber from five to four. Maj. Gen. Andrew Gebara, director of strategic plans, programs, and requirements for Air Force Global Strike Command, said the decision in not “imminent.” Replacing the AN/APQ-166 radar will also lead to a new radome. And the new one might forgo the AN/ASQ-151 Electro-Optical Viewing System (EVS), which consisted of a low light level television (LLLTV) and a forward looking infrared (FLIR) system mounted in blisters under the nose. Its capability is currently surpass by Litening and Sniper pods carried on the bomber.

The Defense Department announced it has awarded $600 million in contracts to several companies for testing of 5G communications technology at five US military sites. The testing will be performed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Naval Base San Diego, Calif.; Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Ga.; Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and Hill Air Force Base, Utah, the Pentagon said. The Defense Department will include in the testing a pilot of 5G-enabled augmented and virtual reality for mission planning and training, testing 5G-enabled “smart warehouses,” and evaluating 5G technologies to enhanced distributed command and control. 5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, and the project is designed to explore potential military applications of the system.

Middle East & Africa

Turkey is preparing live-fire exercises in the Aegean Sea, angering Greece, and has transported its Russian-made S-400 air defense system to the Black Sea. Turkey, whose military buildup and claims of sovereignty in the Mediterranean Sea have angered Greece, announced it will stage exercises in the Aegean Sea from Oct. 26 to Oct. 28, in Turkish-held and international waters. The announcement was made Friday in navigational telexes from its naval station in Smyrna, Turkey.

Europe

The US State Department approved a $12.5 billion purchase on Friday by Finland for 64 F-35 fighter planes and associated munitions and equipment. The approval, a statutory notification to Congress, follows an April request by the Finnish Defense Ministry to buy the planes through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the US Defense Department agency responsible for foreign military sales. Although Finland is aligned with western military powers and not with its neighbor, Russia, it is not a NATO member.

The DoS not only approved a potential F-35 sale, but also the sale of the F/A-18EF Super Hornet. The Super Hornet package, which is worth an estimated $14.7 billion, includes 50 single-seat F/A-18E jets, eight double-seated F/A-18Fs and 14 EA-18G Growlers, which is the electronic attack variant. The package also includes 166 F414-GE-400 engines for the dual-engine fighter, Sniper targeting pods, AN/APG-79 radars, AN/ALR-67(V)3 electric warfare countermeasures receiving sets, and Next Generation Jammer Midband and advanced electronic attack kits for the EA-18G. The potential sales paved the way for the nation to purchase American jets should either Boeing or Lockheed Martin win its ongoing fighter competition.

Asia-Pacific

South Korea is planning to replace 103 of its UH-60P utility helicopters with the local-made KUH-1 helicopter, a lawmaker disclosed. Rep. Han Ki-ho of the main opposition People Power Party said the government ditched the project to upgrade the UH-60 and will be spending more than five times the amount of money to produce the KUH-1. A retired Maj. General, Han said the KUH-1 has reduced range and carry two fewer troops compared to the Black Hawk.

Today’s Video

Watch: U.K SHIFTS GEARS – R.A.F AGGRESSIVELY FINDING VULNERABILITIES IN S-400 TO HELP NATO | RUSSIA WORRIED

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Finland – F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft with Air-to-Air Missiles and Air-to-Ground Precision Guided Munitions

Globalsecurity.org - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 05:54
The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Finland of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft with air-to-air missiles and air-to-ground precision guided munitions and related equipment for an estimated cost of $12.5 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Finland – F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Aircraft and Weapons

Globalsecurity.org - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 05:52
The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Finland of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft and weapons and related equipment for an estimated cost of $14.7 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Satellite Images Allegedly Depict New Chinese PLA Barracks Near India-Nepal-China Trijunction

Globalsecurity.org - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 05:50
As India's ties with Nepal deteriorate over the latter issuing a map claiming territories contested by New Delhi, the Indian and Chinese armies continue to face-off in Ladakh, the heart of the heightened tensions. China has reportedly been amassing troops and heavy artillery in the area since a mid-June clash that left 20 Indian soldiers dead.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Ex-Lebanese PM Hariri Accuses Hezbollah of Disrupting Formation of New Government

Globalsecurity.org - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 05:50
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has accused the Shia Islamist political parties, Hezbollah and Amal Movement, of frustrating the French initiative to get the country out of the political and economic crisis by forming a new government.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Protests More Effective in Cambodia Than Politically Influenced Trials: Rights Group, Lawyers

Globalsecurity.org - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 05:49
Cambodians take to the streets in protest because their country's justice system lacks independence from the government, according a rights group and defense lawyers, despite claims by officials that the demonstrations are illegal attempts at "putting pressure on the courts."
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Serbian Officials Double Down On Ethnic Insult, Stoking Tensions With Albanians

Globalsecurity.org - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 05:49
Serbia and its neighbors Kosovo and Albania have descended into a bitter diplomatic ruckus after officials in Belgrade invoked a slur against ethnic Albanians and spoke degradingly of efforts to find the remains of victims of internecine Balkan conflict two decades ago.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

In Unprecedented Lawsuits, Former Uzbek Political Prisoners Seek Compensation From Tashkent

Globalsecurity.org - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 05:49
Two former political prisoners in Uzbekistan are demanding financial compensation from the government over "unjust convictions" and the suffering they endured in the country's notorious Jaslyk Prison.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Turkmen President Replaces Several Officials, Regional Judges, Prosecutors

Globalsecurity.org - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 05:48
Turkmenistan's authoritarian President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has replaced several officials, regional judges, and prosecutors.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Chinese Military Accuses US Destroyer of Approaching Paracel Islands Without Beijing's Consent

Globalsecurity.org - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 05:48
Beijing recently accused the US of being the main factor leading to the militarisation of the South China Sea – something that has also been condemned by Washington. Chinese authorities have argued that the US military's activities in the area undermine regional efforts to resolve territorial disputes.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

PLA urges US to stop provocations after US ship's 'voyage hegemony' in South China Sea

Globalsecurity.org - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 05:48
The USS John S. McCain entered waters of China's Xisha Islands in the South China Sea on Friday without China's approval, and was warned and told to leave by the People's Liberation Army Southern Theater Command, said Senior Colonel Zhang Nandong, a spokesperson for the command on Friday.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

China urges US military to stop provocations in South China Sea

Globalsecurity.org - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 05:48
China urges the United States to immediately stop provocations, strictly manage and control its maritime and air military operations so as to avoid any eventuality, said Senior Colonel Zhang Nandong, spokesperson for the Southern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), in a written statement on Friday.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

NATO refuses to commit to withdrawal from Afghanistan

Globalsecurity.org - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 05:47
NATO has dismissed US President Donald Trump's surprise announcement to pull out all of US forces from Afghanistan by the end of the year, saying that members of the military alliance will decide together on when to withdraw forces from the war-ravaged country.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Joint Statement on Afghanistan – Turkmenistan – United States of America Trilateral Meeting

Globalsecurity.org - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 05:47
The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan on the occasion of the inaugural Afghanistan – Turkmenistan – United States of America Trilateral Meeting.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Attack on a UN World Food Program Convoy in South Sudan

Globalsecurity.org - Sat, 10/10/2020 - 05:47
The United States is deeply concerned by the attack on a United Nations World Food Program (WFP) humanitarian cargo convoy in South Sudan this week.
Categories: Defence`s Feeds

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