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Defense`s Feeds

BAE Systems Tapped For APKWS Full Rate Production | Boeing Wins P-8A Support Deal | DynCorp International Tapped For Taiwan Aviation Field Maintenance

Defense Industry Daily - Fri, 09/27/2019 - 06:00
Americas

BAE Systems won a $2.7 billion firm-fixed-price contract to procure the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) II full rate production Lots 8-12. The deal procures WGU-59/B units to upgrade the current 2.75-inch rocket system to a semi-active laser guided precision weapon to support the US Navy, Army, Air Force, and Foreign Military Sales requirements to include the governments of Iraq, Lebanon, Netherlands, Jordan, Afghanistan, United Kingdom, Tunisia, Philippines and Australia. The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System is a combat-proven, laser-guided 70mm rocket system designed and manufactured by BAE Systems in collaboration with the US Government. The lethal weapon system can be launched from rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft and unmanned platforms to strike ground-, air- and sea-based targets, and also supports close air support operations. APKWS uses semi-active laser guidance technology to strike soft and lightly armored targets in confined areas, it has provided the US Marine Corps with a 93 percent hit rate. BAE Systems will perform work in Hudson, New Hampshire and Austin, Texas. Estimated completion will be in December 2025.

EMS Development Corp. won a $10.3 million deal for supplies relating to the maintenance and repair of the Advanced Degaussing Systems onboard T-AKE Lewis and Clark Class vessels. The ships, which are not armed and are classified as non-combatant ships, are capable of operating independently for extended periods at sea while providing underway replenishment services and contribute to the US Navy’s ability to maintain a forward presence. The ships provide services with logistic lift from sources of supply in port or at sea and the transfer of cargo including ammunition, food, fuel, spares, potable water and expendable supplies and materiel to battle groups, station ships, shuttle ships and other naval ships at sea. Work under the contract will take place in Yapbank, New York and is expected to be complete by September 2024.

Middle East & Africa

DynCorp International won a $10 million Foreign Military Sales contract to Iraq for technical services, logistics, maintenance training and repairs. DynCorp International is a leading global service provider. According to the Department of Defense, one bid for the contract was solicited via the internet with one bid received. The company will perform work in Fort Worth, Texas with an estimated completion date of September 25, 2020.

Europe

The Strategic Systems Program awarded BAE Systems a $50.4 million contract modification to provide services for the US as well as the United Kingdom Trident II D5 strategic weapon system programs, US SSGN (guided missile submarine) attack weapon systems, nuclear weapon surety, and future concepts. The Trident II D5 SLBM is a three-stage, solid-fuel, inertially-guided missile with a range of 4,000 nautical miles capable of carrying multiple W76-Mk4/Mk4A or W88-Mk5 reentry bodies. The missile is launched by the pressure of expanding gas within the launch tube. When the missile broaches the waterline, it enters the boost phase, expending its first, second, and third-stage rocket motors. Following third-stage motor separation, the missile deploys the reentry bodies. The Trident II (D5) strategic weapon system, originally designed with a life span to 2024, recently underwent a life extension that will keep it operational through the late 2040s. The life-extended missiles will serve for the remaining service life of US Ohio Class and United Kingdom Vanguard Class SSBNs, and as the initial loadout for the US Columbia Class and UK Dreadnought Class SSBNs. Estimated completion date is September 30, 2020.

Boeing won a $16.1 million modification that provides for the Lots 6-8 retrofit of optical sensor capability A-kits, aircraft updates, remote interface unit wiring and the Dry Bay Fire Protection System as well as the Lots 9-10 production and delivery of the optical sensor capability and the Dry Bay Fire Protection System for the Navy and the governments of Australia, the United Kingdom and Norway in support of P-8A aircraft retrofits and production. The P-8, based on Boeing’s 737-800 airframe, conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction, and also carries electronic support measures, torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and other weapons. The first P-8A Poseidon for the UK took its inaugural flight on July 12, 2019. Estimated completion will be in February 2024.

Asia-Pacific

The US Army Contracting Command awarded Dyncrop International a $18.9 million Foreign Military Sales contract to Taiwan for aviation field maintenance services. The company provides aviation, logistics, training, intelligence and operational solutions. According to the DoD, bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work will take place in Germany, Honduras, and Kuwait. Estimated completion date is December 31 this year. Fiscal 2010 and 2019 Foreign Military Sales; and operations and maintenance, Army funds in the combined amount of $18,881,501 were obligated at the time of the award.

Today’s Video

Watch: Indian Defence Updates : MBDA Offers Sea Ceptor,Anti-Drone System,Malabar 2019 Begins,ICGS Varaha

Categories: Defense`s Feeds

Cooperative Financial Mechanism (CFM) ready for signing

EDA News - Thu, 09/26/2019 - 14:05

The Cooperative Financial Mechanism (CFM), an innovative programme initiated by EDA with a view to facilitating the financing of collaborative defence capability and research projects – for instance if unsynchronised defence budgets in participating Member States hinder or impede the launch of such projects – is now in the starting blocks. The final version of the CFM’s Programme Arrangement (PA), negotiated over the past two years, has been sent out this week to Member States for signing.

Ten Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain) have already declared their firm willingness to sign and to join the CFM in the near future. Six more countries might join the programme in the coming weeks. The CFM will enter into force when the last country having declared its intention to join will have signed the PA. 

Developed as a so-called ‘Category A’ programme of the Agency, the CFM is entirely voluntary. Member States can freely decide if they wish to participate, contribute and support projects.

The CFM will be structured in two pillars:

  • the first pillar foresees the European Investment Bank (EIB) as the sole lender through the conclusion of bilateral framework loan agreements between EIB and the interested Member State. To obtain the EIB’s financial support, projects submitted must respect the eligibility requirements set by the Bank lending policy, while the volume of the lending facility and the interest rate applied are negotiated on a case-by-case basis by the EIB and the interested MS and set out under each individual Framework Loan Agreement. The EIB involvement is supported and facilitated by the EDA which will act as the ‘Facility Agent’ on behalf of EIB under its instructions and responsibility, serving as a primary point of contact between the EIB and the beneficiary country in the technical assessment of the feasibility of each project;
  • the second pillar provides for a State-to-State support facility, structured as a system of reimbursable advances and deferred payments. It can be used to support any defence related project, in full compliance with national and European law. The facility is structured as a set of individual bank accounts which are opened and managed by the EDA under the control of the CFM participating Member States. Within that pillar, any CFM Member can submit a request for financial support to the CFM programme. While the Programme Arrangement provides the overarching legal framework setting the general requirements and conditions for State-to-State support, the specific conditions of each advance will be set out in separate agreements to be concluded between the supporting CFM Member State, the beneficiary country and the EDA, as facilitator.
    The administrative and operational costs of the CFM will be covered by existing EDA resources meaning CFM members will not have to bear additional costs for the management of the mechanism. Notwithstanding any financial support granted under the CFM, projects or programmes subject to such financial support will remain at all times governed and managed according to their own rules.

 More information:  

Boeing Tapped For F15 Eagle Warning System Training | Honeywell Gets FMS For AGT1500 | India Launches Tender For Kamorta SRSAM

Defense Industry Daily - Thu, 09/26/2019 - 06:00
Americas

Woodward HRT Inc. won a $20.6 million delivery order for the repair of 402 hydraulic drive units in support of the V-22 aircraft. The Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey is the first production aircraft in the world utilizing tilt-rotor technology. The tilt-rotor allows the V-22 to takeoff and land vertically, much like a helicopter, and once airborne, transition into horizontal high-speed, high-altitude flight by tilting the wing-tip mounted engine nacelles forward 90 degrees so that the rotors function as conventional propellers. Woodward will perform work under the hydraulic drive unit delivery order in Santa Clarita, California. Estimated completion will be in November 2020.

The US Air Force awarded Boeing a $22.7 million modification for F-15C and F-15E Mission Training Center. The contract modification is for the implementation of Suite 9.1/Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS) into F-15C and F-15E MTCs in order to update F-15 MTCs with Suite 9.1 and add EPAWSS capabilities to the F-15E MTC simulators. The Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System provides the US Air Force F-15 fleet with advanced electronic warfare technology to maximize mission effectiveness and survivability. The F-15 is an all-weather, day and night, tactical fighter aircraft designed to gain and maintain control over the battlefield. The F-15C aircraft perform air-to-air missions and are part of the Air Superiority portfolio. The purpose of the Air Superiority portfolio is to gain and maintain air dominance across all military operations and threat environments. The F-15 electronic warfare system used 1970s technology which has limited capability to detect, locate, deny, degrade, and disrupt modern and advanced enemy threats. Using the F-15C aircraft without Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System will limit the warfighter’s ability to detect and identify air and ground threats, employ counter-measures, and jam enemy radar signals. Boeing will perform work at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Mountain Home Air Force Base and Nellis Air Force Base as well as Bases in the UK and Japan. Work will be finished by September 23, 2021.

Middle East & Africa

Honeywell International won $21.2 million FMS contract for engine parts for the Advanced Gas Turbine-1500 tank engine rebuild in support of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The Honeywell AGT1500 is the main powerplant of the M1 Abrams series of tanks. Engine output peaks at 1,500 hp (1,120 kW), with 2,750 lb-ft (3,754 N-m) of torque at that peak, which occurs at 3,000 rpm. For the deal, one bid was solicited with one bid received. Honeywell will perform work in Phoenix, Arizona and estimated completion is on February 28, 2022.

Europe

Airbus Defence and Space (DS) has performed the first air-to-air refueling (AAR) contacts between the A400M tanker-transport aircraft and a helicopter, the company announced in a press release. The tests, which occurred over four flights, saw 51 ‘dry‘, which means no fuel passed, contacts between an A400M tanker and an Airbus Helicopter H225M Caracal helicopter over southern France. The contacts were made between 1,000 ft and 10,000 ft altitude and at speeds as low as 105 kt. The tests also included the first proximity trials between the A400M and an Airbus Helicopters H160 helicopter. The A400M is certified to be quickly configured as a tanker, not requiring a dedicated aircraft version. The A400M carries up to 111,600 lb of fuel in its wings and center wing box, without compromising any cargo hold area.

Asia-Pacific

Japan’s air defense systems failed to track some of North Korea’s new ballistic missile launches in recent months, according to a local news report. Most of those missiles flew below 60km in altitude and had irregular trajectories. To counter the problem, Tokyo may deploy more Aegis destroyers to cover the lower regions of airspace and improve the coverage of existing radars. „Japan’s inability to detect missiles that could land in the country at an early stage would make it difficult to intercept them and to take necessary steps swiftly enough such as issuing evacuation warnings“, the report says. In missile launches from May to September, North Korea reportedly fired off projectiles with different shapes and capabilities from previous ones on 10 occasions. Some of them flew below an altitude of 60 kilometers, which is lower than that of usual missiles.

The Indian Navy has launched a global tender to buy short-range air defense missiles for its Kamorta Class corvettes. Bidders have until October 17 to submit their bids to supply around 150 missiles. Foreign companies, including European defense major MBDA and Swedish firm SAAB, are set to submit their proposals to the Indian Navy. Each SRSAM system will have a command and control system, a fire control system, a command link radar and a launcher for a particular number of missiles. The Kamorta Class corvettes or Project 28 are a class of anti-submarine warfare corvettes currently in service with the Indian Navy.

Today’s Video

Watch: Indian Defence Updates : AMCA With France,MWF Critical By 2023,INS Vikrant Drives Encrypted,Pak FATF

Categories: Defense`s Feeds

Northrop Grumman Tapped For MQ-4C Support | Germany Will Decide On Tornado Replacement Next Year | France Ordered UGVs For Scorpion Program

Defense Industry Daily - Wed, 09/25/2019 - 06:00
Americas

Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems won a $500.6 million contract modification in order to perform research and development support for the Army Navy Transportable Radar Surveillance Control Model-2 and Sea-Based X-Band radar. Raytheon’s nine-story-high X-band Radar is the world’s largest X-band radar. The sea-based X-band platform that it sits on stands more than 250 feet high and displaces more than 50,000 tons. It consists of a semi-submersible oil production platform topped with the XBR. The AN/TPY-2 is a missile defense radar that can detect, classify and track ballistic missiles. It operates in the X-band of the electromagnetic spectrum, which enables it to see targets more clearly, and it has two modes – one to detect ballistic missiles as they rise, and another that can guide interceptors toward a descending warhead. The modification also includes continued product improvement, warfighter support, engineering services, Ballistic Missile Defense System test subject matter experts support, modeling and simulation SME support, and cybersecurity. Work will take place in Woburn, Massachusetts. Period of performance is from November 1, 2017 through October 31, 2022.

Northrop Grumman won a $375.8 million firm-fixed-price delivery order for Multi Function Active Sensor Radar Systems for the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System. The MQ-4C Triton is an autonomously operated system that provides a persistent maritime ISR capability using multiple maritime sensors. The MQ-4C Triton air vehicle is based upon the United States Air Force RQ-4B Global Hawk, while its sensors are based upon components of already fielded in the DoD inventory. In May, the Government Accountability Office said that Triton UAV development cost has grown by 2% from last year. Northrop Grumman will perform work in California. Estimated completion date is December 31, 2025.

Middle East & Africa

Science and Engineering Services won a $54.9 million contract modification to an Afghanistan Foreign Military Sale. The deal is for maintenance on UH-60 helicopters. The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-blade, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. The US has been transitioning Afghanistan’s Air Force from a fleet of Soviet-era Mi-17 helicopters to the US-made UH-60 Black Hawks since 2017. The Black Hawk shipments are part of the Afghan Air Force’s modernization initiative. Work will take place in Kandahar, Afghanistan with an estimated completion date of December 31, 2020.

Europe

Germany’s new Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has said that she will decide on the aircraft to replace the country’s Tornado fighter as soon as possible next year, Reuters reports. She also explained to US Defense Secretary Mark Esper why the F-35 was dropped out from the competition, which now has the Eurofighter and F/A-18 in the running. However neither the F/A-18 nor the Eurofighter is currently certified to carry US nuclear weapons, as required under Germany’s obligations to NATO. Germany is asking Washington to spell out what it will take to get those aircraft certified.

The French Armed Forces Ministry ordered 56 Nerva and Caméléon Unmanned Ground Vehicles from Nexter, associated with ECA, on August 26, 2019 for the Army’s Scorpion program, the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) – the French armament procurement agency – announced. The agency said the light UGVs would contribute to the protection of dismounted soldiers in all kinds of environments, allowing them to counter potential threats at greater ranges. Equipped with different mission modules, the UGVs will allow engineers and infantry to gather intelligence regularly, the DGA added. The order is for three types of UGVs, all equipped with day/night cameras and a microphone: the 3 kg Nerva S reconnaissance, 5 kg Nerva LG extended reconnaissance, and 12 kg Nerva XX/Caméléon LG engineering UGV.

Asia-Pacific

The US Navy awarded Robertson Fuel Systems a $31.1 million contract to manufacture and deliver eight V-22 mission auxiliary tank systems for extended range of flight requirements in support of V-22 aircraft for the US Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force as well as the government of Japan. The V-22 Osprey is a joint service multirole combat aircraft utilizing tiltrotor technology to combine the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. Japan ordered the first five Ospreys for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force in July 2015 for $332 million. Work will take place in Tempe, Arizona and expected completion date will be in November 2021.

Today’s Video

Watch: HIGH TENSION: U.S. ARMY ACTIVATES NEW ARTILLERY M270 MULTIPLE ROCKET (MLRS) FOR MISSION IN EUROPE

Categories: Defense`s Feeds

Raytheon Tapped For MK 15 CIWS Sensor Kits | Boeing Wins F-15SA FMS | Northrop Grumman Receives P-8 Support Order

Defense Industry Daily - Tue, 09/24/2019 - 06:00
Americas

Communications & Power Industries won a $20.5 million contract for the procurement of evaluations, repairs, rebuilds, and production of the Simplified Driver Traveling Wave Tubes (SDR TWTs). According to the Department of Defense, Communications & Power Industries is the only known source, which has the capability to evaluate, produce, repair, and rebuild the SDR TWT within the required schedule. SDR TWTs are microwave tubes installed in the AN/SPY-1D(V) Radar System on board the DDG 51 Class AEGIS destroyers, AEGIS Ashore, and Foreign Military Sales DDG ships. The SPY-1 radar is a key component of the Aegis Weapon System, the heart of the Aegis Combat System. Arleigh Burke destroyers are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. Destroyers can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups. The ships use the Aegis Combat System and the SPY-1D multifunction radar array. The procurement is in support of Navy new ship construction, AEGIS Ashore, Navy ship sustainment, and FMS cases. Work will take place in Palo Alto, California. Estimated completion will be in June 2025.

Raytheon Missile Systems won a $13.6 million contract modification to exercise options for Mk 15 Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) sensor kits. CIWS is a fast-reaction terminal defense against low- and high-flying, high-speed maneuvering anti-ship missile threats that have penetrated all other defenses. CIWS are a shipboard necessity for detecting and engaging missiles and aircraft at short range. The CIWS is an integral element of the Fleet Defense In-Depth concept and the Ship Self-Defense Program. Operating either autonomously or integrated with a combat system, it is an automatic terminal defense weapon system designed to detect, track, engage and destroy anti-ship missile threats penetrating outer defense envelopes. CIWS consists of three variants: Phalanx, which utilizes a six barrel Gatling gun; Land-based Phalanx Weapon System (LPWS) and SeaRAM, which replaces the gun with an 11-round Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) guide. The Phalanx CIWS is a close-in weapon system for defense against airborne threats such as anti-ship missiles and helicopters. It was designed and manufactured by the General Dynamics Corporation. Raytheon will perform work under the CIWS contract in El Segundo, California and expected completion will be by December 2022.

Middle East & Africa

Marvin Engineering won a $42.4 million firm-fixed-price contract for 770 F/A-18E/F LAU-127 E/A guided missile launchers for the US Navy as well as the governments of Kuwait and Switzerland. The Marvin LAU-127 missile rail launcher enables the F/A-18 carrier-based strike fighter to carry and launch the radar-guided AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) and the AIM-9X Sidewinder heat-seeking missile. Navy officials are ordering 567 LAU-127 launchers for the Navy and 185 for the government of Kuwait. This contract involves LAU-127E/A, which has a slight weight variation from the Marvin LAU-127A/A, LAU-127B/A, LAU-127C/A, LAU-127D/A, and LAU-127F/A versions. The LAU-127 provides the electrical and mechanical interface between the AMRAAM and AIM-9X air-to-air missile systems and the F/A-18 aircraft, as well as the two-way data transfer between the missile and the aircraft’s cockpit controls and displays. Work will be performed in Inglewood, California, and is expected to be completed in May 2024.

Boeing won a $156.9 million contract modification for the Foreign Military Sales Royal Saudi Air Force F-15SA Original Equipment Manufacturer Training Program. Saudi Arabia’s F-15SA Advanced Eagle includes Raytheon’s APG-63(V)3 AESA radar, fly-by-wire control systems and two additional underwing weapons stations, bringing the total to 11. It also features upgraded avionics, more powerful engines, and the BAE Systems Digital Electronic Warfare System/Common Missile Warning System (DEWS/CMWS). The first of the Kingdom’s 152 new and remanufactured F-15SA aircraft arrived at King Khalid Air Base in December 2016. Work will take place at King Khalid Air Base, Khamis Mushayt; King Faisal Air Base, Tabuk; and King Abdul Aziz Air Base, Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2021.

Europe

BAE System Technology Solution and Services won a $19.9 million modification to provide logistics engineering and integration support of the US Ohio Class and UK Vanguard Class Strategic Weapon System (SWS) platforms, including support of future concepts. The Vanguard class is a class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) in service with the UK Royal Navy. The Ohio class of nuclear-powered subs is the sole class of SSBNs currently in service with the USN. Work will take place within the US and estimated complete date is September 30, 2020. UK funds in the amount of $3,652,728, are being obligated on this award.

Asia-Pacific

Northrop Grumman won a $11 million firm-fixed-priced delivery order for electronic surveillance in support of the P-8 aircraft program. Based at RAAF Base Edinburgh, the P-8A Poseidon is an important part of Australia’s future maritime patrol and response strategy. The P-8A Poseidon has advanced sensors and mission systems, including a state-of-the-art multi-role radar, high definition cameras, and an acoustic system with four times the processing capacity of the AP-3C Orions. Location of performance is Maryland, with a December 1, 2021, performance completion date.

Today’s Video

Watch: Philippines received last batch of KAAV 7A1 amphibious assault vehicles from South Korea

Categories: Defense`s Feeds

Boeing Tapped For F/A-18 ACMC | Lockheed Delivers Super Hercules To France | Finland Gives Green Light For Squadron 2020

Defense Industry Daily - Mon, 09/23/2019 - 06:00
Americas

Boeing won a $51.6 million contract to procure 136 Advanced Capability Mission Computers in support of the F/A-18 aircraft. The Advanced Capability Mission Computer is an integrated information processing system, providing complete hardware and software solutions. It is built on a well-defined open systems architecture allowing for rapid insertion of emerging technologies. The ACMC is a set of digital computer hardware and software that performs general purpose, I/O, video, voice, and graphics processing. The F/A-18 Hornet is a single- and two-seat, twin engine, multi-mission fighter/attack aircraft that can operate from either aircraft carriers or land bases. The F/A-18 fills a variety of roles: air superiority, fighter escort, suppression of enemy air defenses, reconnaissance, forward air control, close and deep air support, and day and night strike missions. The F/A-18 Hornet replaced the F-4 Phantom II fighter and A-7 Corsair II light attack jet, and also replaced the A-6 Intruder as these aircraft were retired during the 1990s. Work will take place in St. Louis, Missouri. Estimated completion will be in February 2022.

The US Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $24.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to develop the first production unit fabrication and qualification of the TB-37X Multi-Function Towed Array (MFTA) System. The legacy TB-37/U MFTA is an integral part of the AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 Undersea Warfare Combat System Improvement Program for the Arleigh Burke Class guided missile destroyers (DDG-51), Ticonderoga Class missile cruisers (CG-47) and Zumwalt Class destroyers. The TB-37X MFTA shall incorporate next-generation telemetry to mitigate reliability and obsolescence issues experienced with the legacy TB-37/U MFTA. The TB-37X will be deployed on additional platforms, including Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and Next Generation Guided Missile Frigates (FFG(X)). Lockheed will perform work in Liverpool, New York; Millersville, Maryland; Marion, Massachusetts; Cleveland, Ohio; and Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is expected to be completed by October 2026.

Middle East & Africa

General Dynamics won a $36 million contract for 21 forging sets and 660 warhead housings to support the production of guided missile warhead sections for the weapon system for the government of Saudi Arabia. The AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER is an advanced stand off precision-guided, air-launched cruise missile produced by Boeing Defense, Space and Security for the US Armed Forces and their allies. The SLAM-ER can be remotely controlled while in flight, and it can be redirected to another target after launch if the original target has already been destroyed, or is no longer considered to be dangerous (command guidance). The SLAM-ER is a very accurate weapon; as of 2009 it had the best circular error probable of any missile used by the US Navy. Work will take place in Anniston, Alabama, and is expected to be completed in March 2028.

Europe

Lockheed Martin announced that it delivered the first of two KC-130J Super Hercules aerial refuelers to representatives from France’s Armée de l’Air’s 62st Transport Wing at Orléans-Bricy Air Base. France will receive a total of four Super Hercules aircraft — two C-130J-30 combat delivery airlifters and two KC-130J aerial refuelers — through a Foreign Military Sale with the US government. The two C-130J-30 airlifters were delivered in 2017 and 2018, and a second KC-130J will deliver in 2020. All of these Super Hercules are operated in conjunction with France’s existing C-130H fleet. “The KC-130J provides Armée de l’Air crews with a proven solution that delivers much-needed fuel in any environment, at any time,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. France is the 17th country to choose the C-130J for its airlift needs. The C-130J Super Hercules is the most advanced tactical airlifter in operation today, offering superior performance and enhanced capabilities with the range and versatility for every theater of operations and evolving requirements.

The Finnish government has approved long-delayed contract awards to Rauma Marine Constructions Oy and Saab for the delivery of the Finnish Navy’s $1.5 billion Squadron 2020 corvette program. Squadron 2020 covers the procurement of four new Pohjanmaa Class corvettes, capable of operating in ice conditions, to replace the seven existing surface combatants in Finnish Navy service. RMC will build the new ships at its shipyard in Rauma, while Saab will take responsibility for the supply and integration of the combat system, plus the integration of government-furnished weapons and equipment. The decision was made at the outset of the Squadron 2020 program to build the new corvettes in Finland to assure security of supply and sustain national shipbuilding capability. A letter of intent and design contract was awarded to RMC in 2016.

Asia-Pacific

India’s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) has delivered another license-built Kalvari or Scorpène Class diesel-electric submarine to the Indian Navy. The vessel, which will be in service as INS Khanderi once commissioned, was handed over on September 19 at a delivery ceremony in Mumbai. Khanderi is the second of six boats ordered under an $3.2 billion contract signed with Naval Group (then known as DCNS) in October 2005 under India’s Project 75 submarine program. The program’s first-of-class, INS Kalvari , was commissioned in December 2017.

Today’s Video

Watch: 100 ORDER JLTV OSHKOSH LATEST LIGHTWEIGHT TACTICAL ARRIVE AT 3RD MARINE DIVISION IN OKINAWA JAPAN

Categories: Defense`s Feeds

Boeing Tapped For P-8A Support | Saudi Arabia Presents Evidence It Says Proves Iran Responsible For Attacks | IAF To Get First Rafale on October 8

Defense Industry Daily - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 06:00
Americas

Boeing won a $30.8 million contract to establish organic depot and intermediate level maintenance repair capability of the Consolidated Automated Support System Operational Test Program Sets for Stores Management System components in support of the P-8A Poseidon Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft. The Navy’s Consolidated Automated Support System (CASS) Family of Testers, managed by the Naval Air Systems Command is the Navy’s standard ATE for support of electronic systems and is also a Department of Defense designated ATS Family. The P-8A Poseidon is the US Navy’s multi-mission maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. It efficiently conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and humanitarian response. The P-8A Poseidon incorporates the 737-800 air frame, -900 wings, a weapons bay and pylons, and operates with a smaller crew. Boeing will perform work in St. Louis, Missouri, and Cedar Rapids, Michigan. Estimated completion will be in September 2024.

The US Navy awarded Raytheon a $25.5 million contract for critical design review of the Tomahawk Weapons System Military Code to include studies, analysis, design, development, integration and test of hardware and software solutions. Additionally, the contract provides for the identification of the kit bill of materials, fabrication, assembly, integration, test and documentation of an AGR5 kit. The Tomahawk is a mature missile weapons system with Block II and III, C and D versions in fleet use. These two variants of Tomahawk cruise missile are distinguished by their warhead; TLAM-C has a conventional unitary warhead, and TLAM-D has a conventional submunitions (dispense bomblets) warhead. Raytheon will perform work in California and Arizona and expected completion will be in March 2021.

Middle East & Africa

Saudi Arabia’s government on Wednesday presented what it called “material evidence” it says proves Iran was responsible for coordinated attacks at two Saudi oil-producing areas last weekend, putting on display the burned remains of mechanical drones and cruise missiles. Saudi Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki said 25 drones and missiles were used to hit the Khurais oil field and an oil processing plant in Abqaiq on Saturday. They included delta wing drones and Ya Ali cruise missiles, which he said are both built in Iran and used by its Revolutionary Guard Corps. The spokesman, however said it is still unknown precisely where the actual strikes originated. The Saudi ambassador to Britain said earlier Wednesday he was nearly certain Tehran was responsible.

Europe

The UK Chief of Defense Intelligence is looking to open-source intelligence (OSINT) to transform how his organization operates, Jane’s reports. Publicly available data will be the backbone of the UK military’s situational awareness in future conflicts and crises, according to the country’s Chief of Defense Intelligence (CDI), Lieutenant-General James Hockenhull. The civilian Deputy Chief of Defense Intelligence is responsible for Defense Intelligence analysis and production. “Publicly available data is the future backbone of situational awareness,” said Hockenhull at the DSEI conference on September 11, describing data as crucial to understanding what is happening in an increasingly confused and fast-moving world.

Asia-Pacific

Dassault will hand over to India its first Rafale fighter on October 8. The new chief of the Indian Air Force is expected to be at the hand-over ceremony in Merignac. Rajnath Singh will travel to Merignac in France along with senior Air Force officials for the induction ceremony. The ceremony was supposed to take place on September 19 but it was deferred due to last-minute changes in the program. India ordered 36 Rafale jets from France in a deal worth $8.2 billion in September 2016. While the formal induction will happen on October 8, the first batch of four Rafale jets will fly to their home base in India only next April-May. All 36 fighter planes will arrive by September 2022.

An Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole air superiority fighter has test fired the country’s first domestically designed and developed beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM), designated Astra, as part of ongoing user trials off the coast of Odisha in eastern India on September 16. According to the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD), the missile successfully destroyed its test target. “The live aerial target was engaged accurately demonstrating the capability of first indigenous air-to-air missile,” the MoD said in a press release. The Astra BVRAAM is expected to be officially inducted by the end of 2019. Limited serial production of the Astra BVRAAM began already in 2017.

Today’s Video

Watch: DSEI 2019 Naval Coverage Day 3: Type 31e, Babcock, Thales, SEA, GDMS, Nexter

Categories: Defense`s Feeds

Ad Astra: India’s Indigenous Air-to-Air Missile

Defense Industry Daily - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 05:54

R-77/AA-12 on MiG-29
(click to view full)

Pakistan’s November 2006 purchase of 500 AIM-120C AMRAAM missiles created counter-pressure on the subcontinent, and reportedly had India looking for 120km BVRAAMs (Beyond Visual Range Air-Air Missiles). Missiles with this notional head-on range would far outstrip the 60km of the AIM-120C, and even the 60-90km (36-54 miles) reported for the Russian AA-12/R-77 ‘AMRAAMski’ that India already deploys. Indeed, this figure would be closer to the ramjet-powered Meteor under development via MBDA.

“There are moves also to start indigenous development of such long-range missiles by DRDO with possible foreign collaboration,” a DRDO source reportedly said.

As it happens, India has elected to pursue a wholly indigenous, and less ambitious project, called ‘Astra’…

Contracts & Key Events

SU-30MKI
(click to view full)

The Astra Mk.2 missile is currently envisaged as having a head-on intercept range of 80 km/ 50 miles, and 20 km/ 12.5 miles in tail-chase mode. Those figures are comparable to American AMRAAMs, and Russia’s R-77/AA-12. The external look is similar to the previous generation MBDA Super 530, which equips its current Mirage 2000 fleet. Russia’s Agat, who supplies the R-77’s radar seeker, is reportedly assisting with India’s seeker development.

India says it eventually wants to deploy the Astra on its Su-30 MKIs, upgraded MiG-29s, and Tejas Light Combat Aircraft. At present, however, the IAF’s Russian-designed planes use R-77 missiles, while the Tejas will be fielded with RAFAEL’s Derby. If an upgrade contract is signed, its Mirage 2000s will carry MBDA’s Mica. If the Astra doesn’t live up to its promise, therefore, it can be discarded without affecting the IAF. If it does succeed, it can begin to provide a fleet standard missile option that offers greater inventory flexibility, and lower support costs.

September 20/19: Test-Fire An Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole air superiority fighter has test fired the country’s first domestically designed and developed beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM), designated Astra, as part of ongoing user trials off the coast of Odisha in eastern India on September 16. According to the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD), the missile successfully destroyed its test target. “The live aerial target was engaged accurately demonstrating the capability of first indigenous air-to-air missile,” the MoD said in a press release. The Astra BVRAAM is expected to be officially inducted by the end of 2019. Limited serial production of the Astra BVRAAM began already in 2017.

November 9/15: India’s Astra air-to-air missiles could be fielded next year, according to Indian press reports. The recent testing of the indigenous missile on Su-30MKI fighters tested the propulsion and aircraft integration capabilities of the missile; further testing of the Astra’s sensors and other sub-systems is planned for coming months.

May 21/11: India conducts 2 successful Astra tests. The missile is currently envisaged as having a head-on intercept range of 80 km/ 50 miles, and 20 km/ 12.5 miles in tail-chase mode. Times of India.

Aug 9/10: Defence Minister Shri AK Antony updates the status of various missile programs, in a Parliamentary reply to Shri SB Wankhede and Shri AP Shivaji:

“Astra – It is Air-to-Air Missile system for beyond visual range, designated to be a missile for Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). Its two guided flight trials from ground launcher have been undertaken during July 2010.”

Sept 13/08: The Hindustan Times reports that India’s indigenously developed, beyond visual range (BVR) ‘Astra’ air-to-air missile is successfully test-fired from the integrated test range at Chandipur in Orissa. To date, the missile’s navigation, control, air frame, and propulsion have been validated, but more testing will be required, The report also gives an interesting set of performance figures for the single-stage, solid-fueled missile:

“Though the exact range of Saturday’s trial has not been disclosed, scientists are working to ensure that ‘Astra’ performs effectively at different altitudes – one cruising at an altitude of 15 km with 90 to 110 km range, another at an altitude up to 30,000 ft, having a range of 44 km and the third at sea level altitude with a range of 30 km… The missile is 3.6 meters long, 7 inches in diameter and has launch weight of about 154 kg, thus it is the smallest weapon of the DRDO’s guided missile development programme in terms of size and weight. It is capable of carrying 15 kg war head.”

March 26/07: Or, India could be moving to push ahead with its own design and less range. “After a gap of nearly four years, India’s indigenously developed Astra air-to-air missile [DID: link added], the sleek beyond visual range missile has been launched from the launch complex-II of Integrated Test Range (ITR), at Chandipur near Balasore… The missile has a range of 80 km and its launch speed was estimated to be 0.6 to 2.2 mach, the sources said. Astra has a length of 3570 mm and a diameter of 178 mm.” did Indian government news link | India Defence report.

March 19/06: DRDL scientists say they will sign a pact with MBDA to develop a dedicated active seeker-head system for the indigenous Astra beyond-visual-range missile, which is being developed in Hyderabad.

DID Analysis: India’s Options – and their Potential Effects (February 2007)

Meteor BVRAAM

Indian defense procurement is full of announcements and ‘confirmed’ purchases that end up wildly late, or lost in limbo; but the effect on the global defense market could be very significant, depending on India’s choices. India has specified no foreign partners at this stage. Nor has it specified a development platform. Unless they wish to develop a missile from scratch, however, the global market gives them only 4 realistic options:

The Meteor from MBDA et. al. has the required performance built in, as it was designed specifically to help aircraft defeat opponents with R-77 or AMRAAM level missiles. It is currently in the late developmental/ testing stage. The problem is that it would require considerable time and effort to integrate it with every single one of India’s fighter aircraft. The only possible exceptions would be if India chose the Eurofighter Typhoon, JAS-39 Gripen, or Rafale in its current MRCA medium fighter competition, in which case it would have one compatible aircraft. Even this is currently considered to be unlikely.

RAFAEL’s Derby 4 is already headed for Indian service via the SPYDER air defense system, the Derby 4 is already in service on India’s Sea Harriers, and the Python 4 missile on which the Derby is based is reportedly in service with other IAF aircraft. Israeli avionics and DASH targeting helmets in a number of India’s planes may make Derby integration easier for India, and a ramjet “Derby 5” with more than 50km range might be very attractive to the Israelis; they would finally be able to give it a niche of its own beyond the AIM-120 AMRAAM, and might also be interested in the large export potential.

India also has a strong defense relationship with Israel. As such, a deal would depend on 3 factors: integration obstacles, how much the Israelis were prepared to commit in time and resources, and confidence in a lack of interference from the USA via technical export pretexts.

F/A-18F & AMRAAM

Raytheon’s AMRAAM is catching up the AA-12’s presently reported range via the new AIM-120D, which is said to have a range in the 75-90km band plus better seeker and ECCM (electronic counter-countermeasures) capabilities – but that would not be enough. In addition for the need to develop a ramjet version, AMRAAM suffers from many of the same disadvantages as the Meteor because it would also require integration on many existing IAF platforms. Israeli and Western avionics in some of India’s modernized fighters may help here, or they may not – if not, integration with Russian aircraft would be a major stumbling block.

Choosing the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet or F-16 E/F Block 70 for the MRCA competition would remove part of the integration burden, and the USA might be interested in picking up a large R&D share for the missile given the potential threat represented by the alternative… on which more below.

PJ-10 BrahMos
(click to view full)

Last, we come to the The AA-12/R-77, which already is deployed on India’s SU-30MKIs and even the MiG-21 BiS aircraft that caused US aircraft so much trouble at COPE India 2004 & 2005. Reports of a longer-range, ramjet-powered R-77M that might satisfy India’s range requirements have persisted for years, but they remain sketchy and the missiles do not appear to have been fielded… yet.

The R-77 would also be compatible with the MiG-29Ks being purchased for use from its aircraft carrier, and with the MiG-29OVT/MiG-35 if it wins some or all of the orders under the MRCA competition. This makes it a very logical base from which to develop a longer-range BVRAAM for India. When one considers Russia’s past R-77M ramjet efforts, the successful recent collaboration between India and Russia to produce the PJ-10 BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, and the recent extension of the technical defense collaboration framework between India and Russia, the Russians would appear to have a very strong position if India is serious.

The bottom line? A partnership with India could well put the R-77M ‘RAMRAAMski’ over the top into finished development and active military service… and into the global export market.

SU-30, armed
(click to view full)

This would leave all of the countries who have depended on America’s AMRAAM badly outranged by any opponent who could couple the new ‘RAMRAAMski’ with an aircraft like the widely-exported SU-27/30 family, whose radars are powerful enough to operate effectively at long range.

If so, AMRAAM customers would quickly find the air-air balance tilting against them – absent either a strong stealth advantage, supersonic cruise speeds to extend missile range, and/or longer-range missiles to replace their AMRAAMs. It would also add a new dimension to the threats faced by critical tanker and AWACS aircraft, who depend on distance to give friendly aircraft a chance to intercept whatever may threaten them.

Until compatible counters could me made available, the damage would extend beyond American aircraft and missile sales, and into the realm of American influence.

India may or may not be serious enough to push a 120 km BVRAAM missile through to successful project completion. If they are, however, it could be a game-changing move.

Additional Readings

  • Bharat Rakshak – Astra

  • Aviation Week (July 19/10) – Astra Fireworks.

  • India Defence (Feb 18/07) – Air Force Looks For Long Range (120Kms) BVR Missiles. “There are moves also to start indigenous development of such long-range missiles by DRDO with possible foreign collaboration,” a DRDO source said. This likely means a boost for collaboration on the Russian R-77/AA-12 ramjet version, given the PJ-10 BrahMos missiles’ success… though a Raytheon partnership toward similar ends is not ruled out at this stage.

Categories: Defense`s Feeds

Continuous commitment towards sustainable energy for the defence and security sector

EDA News - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 11:47

Defence is a central public sector which consumes a significant amount of energy. Increasing energy efficiency and boosting renewable energy can bring significant advantages to the sector and help with the protection of critical energy infrastructure. In addition, these efforts can contribute to the EU’s climate-neutrality objective for 2050. The importance of these policies for the defence sector was highlighted by the launch in Brussels on 19 September of the third phase of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS III). Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, and Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA), gave the green light for the Phase III of the Forum to start as of 1st October 2019. 

EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq welcomed the welcomed the launch of phase III, stressing that “the Consultation Forum enabled several Ministries of Defence to develop national defence energy strategies, implement Energy Management Systems and launch projects related to energy performance. Particularly, the forum facilitated the elaboration of 18 defence-energy project proposals, in addition to numerous project ideas. EDA expects that the realisation of these projects can act as an enabler of military operational capabilities and support the Ministries to address common energy challenges at multi-national level.” 

Phase III of the Forum, which will last for four years, will continue to address the implementation of the EU legal framework on energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy security in the defence and security sector in. It will also aim at preparing the defence sector for new technologies such as digitalisation, artificial intelligence, e-mobility and other innovative energy systems.  

Phase III will also see the organisation of a series of important events, from high-level conferences to thematic workshops and table-top exercises. Another focus will be put on bringing closer the energy and defence communities and facilitate the dialogue between experts from the Ministries of Defence, Energy and Interior to create synergies and effective solutions. To this end, the EDA and the European Commission’s Directorate for Energy intend to organise a Joint Defence Energy Conference.
 

More information:

BAE Systems Tapped For Arleigh Burke Class EDSRA | Saudi Arabia To Get SLAM-ER | Schiebel Completes S-100 Demonstration

Defense Industry Daily - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 06:00
Americas

BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair won two contracts with a combined worth of $170.7 million for the execution of two Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers extended dry-docking selected restricted availability (EDSRA). The first contract is for the USS Decatur or DDG 73 and is valued at $86.1 million. The second contract is worth $84.6 million and is for the USS Stethem or DDG 63. The availabilities will include a combination of maintenance, modernization and repair. Both are Chief of Naval Operations scheduled EDSRA. The purpose is to maintain, modernize and repair the destroyers. Both deals are “long-term” availabilities and were solicited on a coast-wide (West-Coast) basis without limiting the place of performance to the vessel’s homeport. BAE will provide the facilities and human resources capable of completing, coordinating, and integrating multiple areas of ship maintenance, repair and modernization for USS Decatur. Work under both contracts will take place in San Diego, California. Estimated completion will be in October next year.

General Dynamics won a $21.2 million delivery order for a selected restricted availability on USS Stockdale or DDG 106. The Stockdale is an Arleigh Burke Class missile destroyer. Stockdale was christened on May 10, 2008 by Admiral Stockdale’s widow, Sybil, and delivered to the Navy on September 30, 2008. The deal is to execute depot-level maintenance, alterations and modifications that will update and improve the ship’s military and technical capabilities. The Arleigh Burke Class of destroyers is built around the Aegis Combat System. Work will take place in San Diego, California. Estimated completion will be in May 2020.

Middle East & Africa

The US Navy awarded Boeing an $11.4 million contract modification, which exercises an option for Phase I design maturity, analysis and test planning for the Stand-off Land Attack Missile – Expanded Response production for the government of Saudi Arabia under a Foreign Military Sale. The AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER is an advanced stand off precision-guided, air-launched cruise missile produced by Boeing Defense, Space & Security for the United States Armed Forces and their allies. SLAM-ER is capable of attacking land and sea targets medium to long range (155 nautical miles/270 km maximum). The SLAM-ER relies on GPS and infrared imaging for its navigation and control, and it can strike both moving and stationary targets. Boeing will perform work within the US and estimated completion date is in October this year.

United States Marine Inc won a $9.5 million contract modification for eight 11 meter Naval Special Warfare rigid-hull inflatable boats, eight forward looking infrared systems, ship spare parts and other technical assistance for the Egyptian Navy. The deal is in support of the government of Egypt. United States Marine Inc. will perform work in Gulfport, Mississippi and expected completion is by December 2020.

Europe

Schiebel has completed a five-day maritime surveillance demonstration of its Camcopter S-100 vertical takeoff and landing Unmanned Air System (UAS) from the Finnish Border Guard offshore patrol ship Turva. Conducted in the Gulf of Finland in late August, the flight trials saw the Camcopter S-100 UAS execute a series of vignettes including search, location, and recognition of objects, as well as surveillance for situational awareness. Missions were flown from Turva during both day and night. The Camcopter S-100 was selected for the shipboard trials because of its outstanding reputation as a proven and reliable UAS for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The S-100, a compact unmanned helicopter, offers a high degree of versatility and is well known to accommodate a wide variety of innovative and market-leading payloads, tailored to meet customers’ specific requirements.

Asia-Pacific

Gulfstream Aerospace won a $31.9 million task order for the Gulfstream aircraft order and contractor logistic support (CLS) for the Philippines Air Force. This order is for the purchase of one Gulfstream aircraft, parts, tooling and two years of CLS for sustainment of the aircraft. Gulfstream, a subsidiary of General Dynamics has produced more than 2,000 aircraft since 1958. Gulfstream’s current range consists of the G280, G350, G450, G500, G550, G600, and G650, G650ER. Gulfstream Aerospace will perform work under the task order in Manila, Philippines and is expecting completion by May 31, 2022.

Today’s Video

Watch: U.S. ARMY BEGINS TESTING BLADE OF THE LATEST COUNTER DRONE SIMTEM (MRAP)VEHICLE

Categories: Defense`s Feeds

Russia’s Naval Strategy in the Mediterranean

Russian Military Reform - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 15:32

One more in the series of policy briefs on Russian strategic culture and leadership decision-making, written for a collaborative project organized by the Marshall Center with support from the Russia Strategy Initiative. This one is on Russian naval strategy in the Mediterranean, written in June but only recently published. As with the last one, I am posting the full text here with permission from the Marshall Center. Please go to the Marshall Center website if you would prefer to read a PDF version.

Executive Summary
  • Over the last decade, Russia has expanded its military footprint in the Mediterranean. Since establishing its Mediterranean Squadron in 2013, it has largely maintained a permanent naval presence in the region, based primarily on ships from the Black Sea Fleet, with support from ships and submarines of the Northern and Baltic Fleets.
  • Russia’s strategy uses the Mediterranean’s geography to protect Russia’s southern flanks while seeking to challenge the naval supremacy of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United States in the eastern Mediterranean. Russia depends on maintaining and gradually expanding its naval presence in the Mediterranean while also securing expanded access to ports and bases, with the possibility of eventually contesting NATO’s dominance in the central Mediterranean as well.
  • Although the Russian Navy’s missions in the Mediterranean are primarily related to coastal defense and protection of territorial waters, conventional deterrence has come to play an increasingly important role since the development of a ship-based cruise missile capability. The Russian Navy has sought to establish credible maritime conventional deterrence versus NATO through the combination of air defenses and cruise missile–equipped ships, which work together to signal that any use of NATO naval forces against Russian ships and facilities would be highly costly for the adversary.
Russia’s Strategic Goals

Russia’s strategy in the Mediterranean is focused on three key goals: taking advantage of the Mediterranean’s geographical position to improve Russia’s security, using Russia’s position in the Mediterranean to increase Russia’s status as an alternative world power to the United States, and providing support for the Syrian regime. The strategy has three key elements. The first element is the positioning of a credible military force in the Mediterranean. A permanent force in the region is important for several Russian objectives, including protecting Russian approaches and reducing Russia’s vulnerability to surprise.

This force also affords Russia more flexibility and capability in countering Western activities in the Mediterranean, grants Russia more-ready access to the world’s oceans, reduces the time needed to shuttle forces and platforms to the region in case of a conflict, and gives Russia a constant presence for spreading influence in the surrounding countries.

The second element of the strategy consists of an effort to secure allies and partners in the region with the goal of increasing port access for Russia’s naval squadron. Although Syria remains the critical ally for Russia, efforts to enhance cooperation with Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, and other states have been successful to a greater or lesser extent.

The third element of the strategy builds on the second and focuses on establishing naval bases in the region—an effort successful only in Syria, so far. A base in the central Mediterranean, such as in Libya, would be particularly important from a strategic point of view, allowing Russia to expand its naval footprint beyond the eastern Mediterranean.

Without access granted by allies in the Mediterranean, a standing military presence, and regional basing, Moscow would likely find it more difficult to conduct operations in pursuit of its overarching strategic goals in the region. Were the three elements achieved, the Russian military would be in a much more favorable position in the event of hostilities or conflict in the Mediterranean.

Russia’s Naval Capabilities in the Mediterranean

In 2013, Russia reestablished a permanent naval presence in the Mediterranean Sea with its Mediterranean Squadron. The Black Sea Fleet (BSF) has been the primary supplier of ships and logistics for the squadron. Since 2014, the BSF has acquired six new attack submarines, three frigates, and several patrol ships and small missile ships. In conjunction with these acquisitions, Russia has begun major overhauls of some of its Soviet-era ships. Russia has moved air defense batteries into Crimea, where these batteries provide further cover for Russian platforms operating in the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean. The introduction of multiple platforms armed with long-range cruise missiles, and the addition of air defense batteries in Crimea, has fundamentally changed the way the Black Sea Fleet operates. Armed with Kalibr missile systems, which have a demonstrated range of 1,500–2,000 km, the fleet’s newest ships can strike distant targets from well-protected zones near Russia’s coastline in Crimea and Novorossiysk.

Since the addition of six Varshavyanka-class submarines to the BSF in 2017, Russia has stationed two such vessels in Tartus, Syria. Surface ships and submarines from Russia’s other fleets, mainly the Northern and Baltic, have participated in squadron operations at various times as well. The force has actively contributed to Russia’s military operations in Syria. In addition to delivering troops, BSF vessels have fired Kalibr missiles at ground targets throughout Syria. Russian ships have also shadowed U.S. ships in the eastern Mediterranean, and Russian submarines deployed to the Mediterranean have tracked U.S. and NATO platforms there as well. The squadron has also facilitated Russian naval diplomacy efforts, as ships from the squadron have called at ports at Cyprus, Egypt, and Malta.

The BSF will continue to acquire new ships during the next ten years, allowing Russia to increase the number of ships potentially able to deploy for operations in the Mediterranean. In addition, Russia has strengthened its air and air defense forces in the Mediterranean, positioning a range of tactical combat aircraft at its air base in Syria and having demonstrated the ability to surge long-range aviation into the Mediterranean from bases in Russian territory. Russian defenses can control the entire Black Sea from Crimea, including all approaches to Russian coastal areas. Russia has been deploying similar protective capabilities in the eastern Mediterranean, including placing S-400 and S-300 air defense systems, Bastion and Bal coastal defense systems, and Pantsir point-defense systems together with air force and naval units. Although the political geography of the region and the more-limited nature of Russian forces there mean that Moscow does not have the same kind of defensive control as it does in the Black Sea, its forces in the Mediterranean are strong enough to present a potent challenge to U.S. and NATO naval dominance in the region.

The Missions of the Russian Navy

Strategic deterrence remains the most important mission for the Russian Navy globally, but coastal defense and control of territorial waters are a close second and are paramount concerns in the Black Sea and Mediterranean. Russia has traditionally considered coastal defense to mean simply keeping foreign navies away from the Russian coast; since 2015, however, the coastal-defense mission has come to encompass protection of Russian forces in Syria as well. Furthermore, over the last decade, the Russian Navy has increasingly focused on improving its ability to work closely with Russian ground forces and the Russian air force in joint operations. This coordination was on display as early as 2014, when all of the services worked closely together to move forces to Crimea as part of the operation that resulted in Russia’s annexation of that region. Since that time, Russia has repeatedly focused its military exercises on joint operations. The positive effects of that focus have been evident in Russian naval operations in and near Syria, where Russian naval forces have coordinated closely with Russian air and ground forces both in striking targets on shore and in transporting personnel and equipment for Russian operations.

Russia is achieving its coastal-defense mission primarily through capability development rather than platform acquisition. This is why the Russian Navy is not as concerned as some Western analysts think it should be about the difficulties and delays it has faced in building large surface ships. Instead, it has built a large number of smaller patrol ships and corvettes that are highly capable in anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) operations. The idea is that the Russian Navy can use these ships to create maritime zones that are difficult for enemy forces to penetrate. These “A2/AD bubbles” in the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean form a set of layered defenses and multiple vectors of attack through the combination of long-range sea-, air-, and ground-launched missiles used to deny access, with shorter-range coastal and air defense systems focused on area denial. As part of the coastal-defense mission, the Russian Navy will seek to establish credible maritime conventional deterrence against NATO through the combination of air defenses and cruise missile–equipped ships, which will work together to highlight that any use of NATO naval forces against Russian ships and facilities would be highly costly for the adversary.

In contrast, the Russian Navy has a relatively limited focus on traditional power projection and expeditionary warfare in the Mediterranean. Russia’s largest naval surface ships are Soviet legacy vessels that are becoming less reliable over time. Most of the new surface ships being built are relatively small and are unlikely to deploy far beyond Russia’s naval outposts in the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean. As a result, power projection will be largely based on the new generation of advanced Kilo-class diesel submarines and the regular presence of one or two cruise missile–carrying nuclear submarines deployed to the Mediterranean from the Northern Fleet. Russia’s legacy fleet of Soviet-era surface ships will continue to focus on status projection, carrying out port visits and similar activities to project the image of a great power. The Russian Navy also has a fairly limited expeditionary capability. Its small number of aging landing ships have reached the limit of their operational capacity in supporting Russia’s operations in Syria.

Constraints on Russian Naval Operations in the Mediterranean

The Russian Navy’s future plans in the Mediterranean face several constraints. On the financing side, Moscow invested heavily in naval procurement as part of the 2011-2020 State Armament Program. It was not willing to maintain such a high level of spending for the next ten years, especially given the constraints on overall military spending resulting from a relatively stagnant economic situation. As a result, the Russian Navy appears likely to be the biggest loser in the 2027 State Armament Program.

On the shipbuilding side, most Russian naval construction projects have faced significant delays. This is due to the combination of a long-term decline in naval research and development that is only starting to be reversed, an inability to modernize its shipbuilding industry, budgetary constraints that have forced the government to make tradeoffs about which construction and modernization programs to fund, and the end of defense cooperation with Ukrainian and Western suppliers in the aftermath of the 2014 conflict with Ukraine.

In terms of industrial capacity, most of Russia’s shipyards are not in the best shape. The Sevmash and Admiralty shipyards are exceptions and reveal the importance attached to submarine construction over surface ships. Russia’s other shipyards have generally been very slow in building ships. The situation has not been helped by the disruption of supply chains as a result of Western sanctions. Until the advent of Western sanctions in 2014, many key components were purchased from abroad. Although this disruption has been most evident in the cases of gas turbines and diesel engines, Moscow has also experienced problems with the acquisition of various electronic components and precision machine tools. For several years, therefore, the acquisition and development of advanced components were the biggest constraint on the construction of new ships with modern systems. However, most of these issues are now being resolved through the development of domestic alternatives, so faster naval construction is likely in the future.

Russia also faces operational challenges in naval operations in the Mediterranean. The primary challenge is one of logistics and bringing platforms to the fight. The Turkish Straits would likely be a severe hindrance to sending reinforcements and to Russia’s ability to redeploy back to the Black Sea in the event of a conflict involving NATO, especially if Turkey continues to follow the strictures of the Montreux Convention. Additionally, Russian intermediate-range bombers would likely face challenges transiting from Russia to the airspace over Syria.

Because of these challenges, Russian leadership would, prior to any outbreak in the eastern Mediterranean, have to choose whether to fight in the Mediterranean or attempt to bring forces back to the Black Sea to defend Russia’s southern borders. Should Russian forces stay in the Mediterranean, they would pose a serious threat to U.S. and NATO forces by creating an increasingly dense missile and electronic-warfare environment farther into the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Russia would have to expect that it would lose these forces to an ultimately numerically and qualitatively superior enemy force, albeit after exacting a potentially high cost on its adversary.

Russia’s Future Naval Role in the Mediterranean

In the future, the BSF is expected to support an even larger Mediterranean squadron, with a constant presence of one to two multipurpose submarines from the Northern Fleet and 10–15 surface ships (primarily from the BSF). Russia’s efforts to expand its presence in the Mediterranean would also require the establishment of more and bigger bases in the region. Such bases would not just provide an opportunity for refueling and repair of ships: They could also house coastal defensive systems that would protect the squadron.

In the near to medium term, the Russian Navy’s role will be to serve primarily as a deterrence force to constrain U.S. and NATO operations in the eastern Mediterranean and to provide forward defense for approaches to the Russian homeland through the Black Sea. It will have some power projection through its ability to hold opponents’ territory at risk with its cruise

missile capability, rather than through traditional naval strike groups. Out-of-area deployment capability will increasingly shift to smaller patrol ships and to submarines as Russia’s remaining Soviet-era large surface ships become increasingly less reliable.

Over the last decade, there has been a transition in the Russian Navy’s future planning from unattainable blue-water aspirations to establishing a fairly capable green-water force. Its overall focus remains defensive in the near term, with the possibility of greater emphasis on power projection in the medium term as more Yasen-class nuclear attack submarines come online and older Soviet submarines are armed with Kalibr cruise missiles as part of ongoing modernization plans.

This future force has the potential to threaten the naval forces of the United States and its allies with land-attack and antiship cruise missiles based on small ships in enclosed seas that are highly protected from attack and with difficult-to-detect modern submarines. The result will be a Russian Navy that, compared with the past, has much greater firepower and offensive range despite its dependence on relatively small platforms. This capability will make the Russian Navy a far more potent regional threat by the mid-2020s than it has been for several decades.

The Mediterranean will play a key role in Russian naval strategy because of its strategic significance as an access point to southern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. For Russia, the Mediterranean symbolizes the larger competition between Moscow and Washington. By building up its naval forces, Russia is hoping to circumscribe NATO access to the region, protect Russia’s southern flank, and assist its current and potential future client states in the region. At the same time, maintaining forces in the eastern Mediterranean is less of a priority for Russian strategy than defending the homeland. Maintaining naval presence in the Mediterranean is a far more effective strategy for the Russian Navy than pursuing a globally active blue-water navy because Russia has neither the resources nor the global ambitions to challenge U.S. naval supremacy around the world. Moscow’s focus on developing and augmenting the Mediterranean squadron is thus a far more achievable limited objective that is well-aligned with Russia’s foreign policy objectives in the region.

EDA Chief Executive in Slovenia for talks on EU defence cooperation

EDA News - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 12:24

EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq travelled to Ljubljana today for talks with Slovenian Minister of Defence Karl Erjavec, State Secretary Miloš Bizjak, as well as other high-level military and industry representatives.

The main topics discussed during the bilateral meetings included the state of play and way forward of the various EU defence initiatives (CARD, PESCO, European Defence Fund) and the implementation of the 2018 EU Capability Development Priorities (CDP). Particular emphasis was put on the need to ensure coherence among the EU defence initiatives and a steady focus on the agreed CDP priorities.

The meetings also focused on Slovenia’s participation in EDA projects and programmes. Minister Erjavec and Mr Domecq for example exchanged views on the next steps regarding the RES-HUB (Defence RESilience Hub Network in Europe) project, an innovative Slovenian project proposal on building a renewable energy harvesting and hydrogen (H2) energy storage capability within the EU. The project was elaborated in the context of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS) with the support of EDA.

“Slovenia offers our continuous support to the Agency’s role as the forum for prioritisation, project support and interface towards wider EU policies. Of special importance, we see the Agency’s interactions with the European Commission in regard to its role in establishing the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) and European Defence Fund. We also believe that EDA as a part of the PESCO secretariat has been crucial in the development of projects, establishing dialogue between Member States and providing coherence between different defence and security initiatives on the EU level.

A project which we will try to facilitate through the EDA format is the project RES-HUB. Further development of this project is essential for us in view of decreasing the carbon footprint in the defence sector. We see this project as a possibility to highlight our efforts during our Presidency in the second half of 2021”, Minister Erjavec said during the meeting.

“It is very important for the European Defence Agency to have a clear idea of what the Slovenian authorities expect from the Agency in this crucial moment of EU defence cooperation. After the successful launch of the different EU defence initiatives, the emphasis is now on the implementation of PESCO and CARD as well as the European Defence Fund. At the same time I welcome Slovenia’s RES-HUB initiative as the project has the potential to contribute to more energy resilient European armed forces, said Mr Domecq.

During his visit, the EDA Chief Executive also welcomed the possibility to exchange with the Slovenian defence industry on matters of EU defence cooperation.

Bell Boeing Tapped For V-22 Fleet Sustainment | MDH To Ship 6 MD 530Fs To Kenya | EU Establishes Directorate For European Defense Industry

Defense Industry Daily - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 06:00
Americas

Hydroid won a $52.3 million contract modification for production support for the MK 18 family of Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Systems. The MK18 program supports UUV systems. Dubbed Mk 18 Mod 1 and Mod 2 Kingfish within the US Navy service, Hydroid’s Remus 100 and 600 UUVs feature a modular design which enables the Navy to easily reconfigure their sensors for mission specifics. The biggest Remus 600 has a mission endurance of nearly 70 hours with speeds up to 5 knots at depths up to 600 meters. The Kingfish uses side scan sonar to search and discover objects of interest. Developed since 2003, the Remus 600 has a range of 286 nautical miles with its increased payload. Hydroid will perform work in Pocasset, Massachusetts and estimated completion will be in April 2024.

The US Navy awarded Bell Boeing Joint Program Office a $14.5 million modification, which exercises an option to procure support to implement capability defect packages and problem reports in accordance with work package task lists in support of V-22 fleet sustainment efforts. The V-22 Osprey is a joint service multirole combat aircraft and the world’s first production tiltrotor aircraft blending the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. The V-22 has entered service with the US Marine Corps and US Air Force, and is set to join the US Navy in the early 2020s. The company said the Osprey “has proven to be a survivable and transformational platform in the most challenging environments on the planet.” The V-22 is built jointly by Bell Helicopter Textron and Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Work will take place at Ridley Park, Pennsylvania and Fort Worth, Texas. Estimated completion will be in June 2021.

Middle East & Africa

MD Helicopters announced that it will ship six of its MD 530F light attack helicopters to Kenya by the end of the year. The company made the revelation in a press release regarding the award of a logistic support contract for those helicopters. “We are pleased MD Helicopters was selected to provide mentorship, maintenance expertise, and Pilot and Maintainer training to the Kenya Defence Forces,” said Lynn Tilton, MD Helicopters, Inc. Chief Executive Officer. Kenya had ordered the six helicopters to re-equip the army’s 50th Air Cavalry Battalion. Once fielded, they will be flown against al-Shabaab and in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). According to MDHI’s contract notification for Kenya, the helicopters will be fitted with the FN Herstal Weapons Management System; the DillonAero Mission Configurable Armament System (MCAS); the DillonAero fixed-forward sighting system; 62 mm ballistic armor protection; FN Herstal 12.7 mm HMP 400 machine gun pods; and M260 seven-shot pods for 70 mm rockets. They will also feature an enhanced communication system that includes the Harris RF-7850A and the Rockwell Collins HF-9000D radios.

Europe

The EU has established a new agency within the European Commission to deal with Europe’s fragmented defense industry, Defense News reports. It will have France’s former defense minister in charge. Sylvie Goulard is expected to be nominated in a European Parliament hearing, and then lead the directorate starting in November. The development of the agency is seen by some as a signal that Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming European Commission President and former German defense minister, seeks to have Europe take more responsibility for its own defense. However, the appointment has fueled concerns that ever closer EU integration on defense could trigger renewed turf wars between member states, NATO and the United States.

Asia-Pacific

Northrop Grumman won a $16.2 million contract modification that provides non-recurring engineering to incorporate Phase II of the Multifunctional Information Distribution System/Joint Tactical Radio System on the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. The modification is in support of the government of Japan. The Japanese Ministry of Defense selected the E-2D in 2014 to enhance the JASDF’s AEW&C capabilities and to supplement the service’s aging fleet of 13 E-2C Hawkeye AEW aircraft, as well as the four Boeing E-767 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft currently deployed by the JASDF.The Advanced Hawkeye is a twin-turboprop, carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning aircraft. In June 2019, Japan took delivery of its first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Northrop will perform work in Florida, Virginia, and other locations within the US as well as Japan. Estimated completion will be in December 2021.

South Korea is planning to showcase F-35A stealth fighters to the public for the first time during the Armed Forces Day ceremony next month to officially mark their introduction into the country, local media reports. So far, the country has brought in eight F-35As, beginning with two in late March, under a plan to deploy a total of 40 fifth-generation jets through 2021. Officials said that the Armed Forces Day ceremony, to be held on October 1, will take place at the Air Force’s 11th Fighter Wing base in the southeastern city of Daegu, and F-35s could be mobilized for the ceremony that would include ceremonial flyby and the display of key military assets. The F-35A is the conventional take-off and landing model of the F-35 Lightning II.

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Watch:SIDEWINDER PHILIPPINE AIR FORCE DELIVERY COMPLETE

Categories: Defense`s Feeds

EDA and EATC further deepen cooperation

EDA News - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 17:29

The European Defence Agency (EDA) and the European Air Transport Command (EATC) today established a new cooperation framework - through an exchange of letters - that will further strengthen the ties between the two organisations. 

The exchange of letters, which took place at the EDA premises in the presence of EATC Commander Major General Laurent Marboeuf and EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq, builds on the already existing, good cooperation between the two following the trilateral Letter of Intent concluded between EDA, EATC and OCCAR-EA in January 2018 and which focused on the joint optimisation and development of the A400M capability within the remit of EATC.  

The letters exchanged today identify new areas for enhanced cooperation between the EDA and EATC, inter alia: 

  • Air Mobility (including airlift,  air-to-air refuelling, aeromedical evacuation, air dropping activity and  logistical and technical supporting functions)
  • Fixed-wing training cooperation in the domains listed above
  • Military Aviation (including in the context of the Military Airworthiness Authorities Forum and the progressive introduction of a Total System Approach to Military Aviation)
  • Military Mobility in the framework of the EU action plan (including ground handling and dangerous goods activities)
  • Other cross-cutting activities subject to interactions.

The new cooperation framework will allow EDA and EATC to make the best use of available resources to achieve common objectives within their respective scopes of competence. The EDA Chief Executive and the EATC Commander will meet on an annual basis to discuss the implementation of this cooperation. 

EDA Chief Executive Jorge Domecq welcomed the enhanced cooperation with EATC. “I am confident that, through our cooperation, EDA and the EATC can bring added value to our respective Member States by reducing administrative burden, improving exchange of expertise and facilitating common action thereby avoiding unnecessary duplication and making the best use of our respective resources”, Mr Domecq stated. 

EATC Commander Major General Laurent Marboeuf stated: “I welcome this deeper cooperation with EDA which, through the pooling of expertise of two main European defence organisations, will ease the multinational military operations and support our Participating Nations / Member States in the aviation and Air Mobility domains”.
 

Background

The Eindhoven-based European Air Transport Command (EATC) was established by the Technical Arrangement of EATC on 1 September 2010. The Mission of the European Air Transport Command is to enhance the combined operational capabilities of Participating Nations and improve the effectiveness and efficiency in conducting air transport, air-to-air refuelling, and aeromedical evacuation missions. This multinational headquarter integrates transferred national responsibilities and resources to ensure efficient operational control, to facilitate harmonization and thus to increase interoperability.
 

More information: 

Northrop Grumman Tapped For JCREW I1B1 Production | IAI Unveiled POPSTAR | SubSea Craft Unveiled VICTA-Class DDU

Defense Industry Daily - Tue, 09/17/2019 - 06:00
Americas

Northrop Grumman Systems won a $57.5 million contract modification for engineering support services for the Joint Counter Radio—Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare Increment One Block One Systems full-rate production. The deal is in support of the Expeditionary Warfare program office. The JCREW I1B1, formerly known as JCREW 3.3, is the first-generation system that develops a common open architecture across all three capabilities and provides protection for worldwide military operations, officials say. The integrated design for RF jammers makes the most of commonality across all capabilities, reduces life cycle costs, and provides increased protection against worldwide threats, Navy officials say. It is for the US Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, and is under supervision of Naval Sea Systems Command. The current option exercise is for Engineering Support Services for JCREW to introduce new technologies; address diminishing material and depot repairs to keep JCREW systems viable for future production as well as maintain operational readiness for the field. Work will take place in San Diego, California and estimated completion will be in September next year.

VAW-120 now has an aerial refueling capable E-2D when the first such aircraft arrived at NAS Norfolk on September 9. Besides VAW-120, two operational fleet squadrons will be transitioned to aerial refueling capable E-2Ds by 2020. The aerial refueling capable E-2D joined the “Greyhawks” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120. VAW-120 is a Fleet Replacement Squadron. “This is an important day for naval aviation as we continue to increase our capabilities and maintain our competitive edge in the skies,” said Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, Rear Adm. Roy Kelley. “This capability will extend the endurance of Hawkeyes, increasing the Navy’s battlespace awareness and integrated fire control – both from the air and the sea.”

Middle East & Africa

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unveiled a new electro-optical system called POPSTAR, which is capable of detecting small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, at the DSEI 2019. The defense show was held in London from September 10-13. The POPSTAR is a member of IAI’s Plug-in Optronic Payload (POP) family. The system is designed for both military uses, such as border surveillance and protecting civilian sites such as airports. It consists of an electro-optical system that can be mounted on a tripod or vehicle and rotates to scan an assigned sector to detect and then track flying objects.

Europe

UK-based SubSea Craft unveiled its new VICTA-class diver delivery unit (DDU) at the 2019 Defense exhibition DSEI 2019 in London. The DDU, which is based around a monohull design constructed of carbon fiber and Diab core, combines the features of a long-range insertion craft with those of a swimmer delivery vehicle to provide the capability to travel on the surface at high speed before diving to covertly approach a target. Specifically designed around the operator, its 30 kt+ speed, 250 nm endurance and 2-minute transition between surface and sub-surface, enables delivery of 8 operators and their equipment to their objective mission-ready before recovering them.

Steller Systems and Thales have launched their design for TX Ship, a ground-breaking vessel that will help Navies transition to unmanned operations. The design, which was officially unveiled at DSEI 2019, is designed to operate unmanned, but with the intention of operating as a lean-manned vessel with 15 crew in the first instance.  Successful and continued operation of TX Ship will give forward thinking Navies a clear route to gain confidence in, and to move towards, fully unmanned autonomous naval operations in a cost-effective manner. TX Ship is a fully sensorized multi-role trimaran, capable of operating at reach, alone or as part of a task group. The ship possesses an unusual high capacity, fully-automated mission bay capable of hosting and deploying a large number, and multiple types, of manned or unmanned mission packages.

Asia-Pacific

Last week, China and Thailand signed a new shipbuilding pact. The agreement put the focus on ongoing efforts by the two countries to further boost the defense aspect of their wider bilateral relationship despite the issues they continue to face in doing so. In a signing ceremony held in China’s capital Beijing on Monday, the Royal Thai Navy signed a shipbuilding agreement with state-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation for a Type 071E amphibious transport dock. The Type 071E is an export variant of the Type 071, or Yuzhao LPD, currently in service with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy. The PLAN has six Type 071s in service, with two more being built at the company’s Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai.

Today’s Video

Watch: DSEI 2019 Turkish defense industry SSB defense military equipment innovations exhibition London UK

Categories: Defense`s Feeds

Bell Helicopter Tapped For H-1 Tail Rotor Blades | Rafael Acquired 50% Stake in Kanfit | RAF Puts BAe 146s Up For Sale

Defense Industry Daily - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 06:00
Americas

Walsh Federal LLC won a $49.8 million contract for the construction of P426 Littoral Combat Ship Logistics Facility at Naval Station Mayport. Work under the deal will provide for construction of a new four story, Phase II building, and renovations to the existing Phase I building.  The two buildings will house the ashore component of administrative functions for deployed and in-port LCSs, as well as a portion of the training component. According to the DoD, the project also includes improvements to Bailey Avenue that will connect P426 to a new parking deck to be designed and constructed under a separate contract. The Littoral Combat Ship is a set of two classes of relatively small surface vessels designed for operations near shore by the USN. Work will take place in Jacksonville, Florida, and is expected to be finished by August 2021.

The Defense Logistics Agency Aviation awarded Bell Helicopter a maximum $8.9 million delivery order. The deal is for the H-1 aircraft tail rotor blades. More than 16,000 UH-1 Huey utility helicopters have been produced by Bell since service entry in 1958. The UH-1N entered service with the US Marine Corps in 1971. The UH-1Y utility helicopter is fully marinized and capable of shipboard operations worldwide, including take-off, landing, refueling and rearming. The helicopter is securable for deck movement up to Sea State 5. Missions include airborne command and control, aeromedical evacuation, troop transport, transport of supplies and equipment and search and rescue. Under the US Marine Corps H-1 program, 100 UH-1N Huey utility helicopters were remanufactured by Bell Helicopter to the UH-1Y grade and 180 AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters to AH-1Z grade. The UH-1Y and AH-1Z have a very high level of commonality which reduces the manufacturing and procurement costs. The helicopters have a common four-bladed, composite, hingeless, bearingless main rotor system and tail rotor, engine, avionics, software, controls and displays. Bell Helicopters will perform work under the new delivery order in Texas. Estimated completion will be in January 2023.

Middle East & Africa

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has acquired a 50% stake in Israeli aerospace engineering company Kanfit, local media reports. The deal is valued at tens of millions of shekels. Kanfit will now become a subsidiary of Rafael. Founded in 1986, Kanfit is considered a leading global supplier for UAV components. The company manufactures primary and detailed parts, subassemblies, and ready-to-fly assemblies across the entire production chain. Kanfit’s owners Shai and Shula Fine will keep a 50% stake in the company following the deal. Earlier this month, Rafael and its partner, Israeli businessman Avihai Stolero, completed the acquisition of drone-maker Aeronautics, leading the latter to delist from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The deal, valued at approximately $243.5 million, leaves each partner with a 50 percent stake in Aeronautics.

Europe

The UK Royal Air Force reportedly wants to sell off its four BAe 146 jet transports. Two of these are currently configured specifically for VIP missions, including flying around members of the country’s Royal Family, as well as senior government and military officials, while the remaining pair are set up as small airlifters. Over the years, the four-engine jet aircraft, which have excellent short takeoff and landing capabilities and rough field performance, have flown missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Exclusively operated out of RAF Northolt by 32 (The Royal) Squadron, the BAe 146 is primarily tasked in the Command Support Air Transport role. Two 146 variants are operational, the VIP-configured CC.Mk 2 and the Quick Change (QC) C.Mk 3, which can be rapidly converted between passenger and cargo configurations.

Asia-Pacific

Taiwan is working quickly to clear the hurdles for the purchase of 66 F-16s from the United States, Bloomberg reports. Local lawmakers are expected to approve a draft bill to create a special budget for the purchase. The bill is likely to be cleared by end of next month. The department on August 20 formally notified the US Congress that it approved the F-16 sale, which includes munitions, defensive electronics and a top-of-the line fire-control radar that would allow precision-guided missiles and bombs to be launched from greater distances. Once the deal is approved by Congress — and there has been no sign it will be blocked — Taiwan must submit a formal Letter of Offer and Acceptance that would be translated into a signed contract with delivery dates.

India’s Defense Research and Development Organization or DRDO reportedly successfully test fired its new Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile System. It was reportedly the third successful test of the indigenous anti-tank guided missile. The test firing took place at a firing range in Kurnool located in the state of Andhra Pradesh in southeastern India. “The missile was launched from a man portable Tripod launcher and the target was mimicking a functional tank,” a statement says. “The missile hit the target in top attack mode and destroyed it with precision.” According to DRDO, all the mission objectives were met. Previous test launches took place in September 2018 at the Ahmednagar test range in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. The MPATGM, a third-generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), has been under development by DRDO in partnership with Indian defense contractor VEM Technologies Ltd. for the past four years.

Today’s Video

Watch: ARMOR UPGRADE FOR THE PHILIPPINES

Categories: Defense`s Feeds

Royal Pain Relief: Britain’s RAF Adding BAe-146 Jets

Defense Industry Daily - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 05:54

BAe-146 CC2
(click to view full)

The BAe-146 is an elegant 4-engine regional jetliner, optimized for short haul or regional routes, and able to handle even short take-off or unimproved runways. It has a reputation for quiet operation, and a range of about 1,800 miles/ 2,900 km under good conditions. Almost 400 of these planes were built from 1983-2002, but it’s probably best known as the Royal Family’s “CC2” VIP jet. The RAF will soon be ferrying troops and cargo with it as well; its 2 CC2s will be joined by a pair of converted BAe-146-200QCs, whose mission brief will include trips into Afghanistan.

Britain’s Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) buy was prompted by pressure on its transport fleet. The RAF’s 7-plane C-130K Hercules fleet will be retired from use by the end of 2012. Bad timing, that, as Britain needs to remove its troops and equipment from Afghanistan. Worse, the RAF’s first Airbus A400M transports aren’t even scheduled for delivery until 2014, let alone operational use in combat zones. Enter the BAe-146M solution, which the firm began promoting at DSEi 2009…

BAE’s 146QC Jets

RAF BAe-146-200
(click to view full)

The RAF’s BAe 146C Mk.3 aircraft have been fitted with unspecified defensive systems “at least equivalent to other aircraft operating in Afghanistan”, including a Directed Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) system against portable heat-seeking missiles. Other protective additions include an armored flight deck, fuel tank inertion, and a fire protection system in the luggage bay. In the cockpit, military HF and UHF radio communications systems, and a SATCOM system, improve communication.

The converted planes have a large 131″ wide x 76″ high (3.33m x 1.93m) upward-opening rear freight door, and are to carry up to 23,500 lbs (10.6 tonnes) of freight, moved on board using a built-in freight loading system which allows fast installation of either palletised freight or up to 94 passenger seats. For troops and other passengers, the aircraft is changed by installing passenger seating fixed to pallets, creating a layout to full commercial aircraft standards that includes carpeting, toilet, galleys, and luggage storage within and underneath the cabin.

In commercial operations the new planes are capable of carrying up to 96 passengers, but the weight of troops’ equipment, and “hot and high” conditions in Afghanistan, mean that the RAF plans to max out at fewer troops per trip.

BAE has also sourced and received Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approval for new cabin baggage platforms and containers with an alternative layout of 54 seats, and forklift-compatible containers & cargo pallets from VRR of The Netherlands. The usual BAe-146QC “freight igloos” work, but it’s easier to transfer more standardized loads between aircraft.

Contracts & Key Events

BAe-146C Mk.3 takeoff
(click to view full)

September 16/19: For Sale The UK Royal Air Force reportedly wants to sell off its four BAe 146 jet transports. Two of these are currently configured specifically for VIP missions, including flying around members of the country’s Royal Family, as well as senior government and military officials, while the remaining pair are set up as small airlifters. Over the years, the four-engine jet aircraft, which have excellent short takeoff and landing capabilities and rough field performance, have flown missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Exclusively operated out of RAF Northolt by 32 (The Royal) Squadron, the BAe 146 is primarily tasked in the Command Support Air Transport role. Two 146 variants are operational, the VIP-configured CC.Mk 2 and the Quick Change (QC) C.Mk 3, which can be rapidly converted between passenger and cargo configurations.

April 18/13: Into service. BAE announces that both “BAe-146C Mk.3s” have now been released to service in the RAF, after a period of familiarization and operational trials.

Feb 18/13: The RAF has reportedly accepted its new BAe-146M jets, which will test their DIRCM jammers and flare systems over the Donna Nook weapons range in Lincolnshire. The planes will then be assigned to 32 Sqn, for deployment to Afghanistan some time in spring 2013. When not deployed, they’ll be based with the RAF’s BAe-146-100 CC2 VIP jets at RAFB Northolt, near London.

Figures released by the NAO suggest that the entire conversion program cost the UK around GBP 47 million (currently $71.6 million). Flight International.

June 21/12: Contract. A GBP 15.5 million contract covers conversion of 2 BAe 146 jets to BAe-146M configuration for the RAF. That doesn’t include buying the 2 BAe-146-200QT freighters, as the government has already purchased those from TNT Airways S.A of Belgium, and delivered from Belgium to Broughton, UK. The UK MoD’s contract expects delivery of the converted jets by March 2013.

BAE Systems Regional Aircraft at Prestwick will manage the conversion program, including overall design, managing the supply chain, and integrating the military equipment supplied by the RAF. That equipment will include things like communications gear, and defensive warning and decoy systems “at least equivalent to other UK aircraft operating in Afghanistan.” Most of the hands-on conversion work will be carried out under sub-contract, by the same firm that handled the Royal Family’s BAe-146-100 VIP conversions: Hawker Beechcraft Services facility at Broughton, North Wales.

BAE systems hopes that successful use by the RAF will prompt other militaries with aging transport fleets to look at similar “BAe-146M/ Avro RJM” conversion programs as a useful supplement and stopgap. BAE release.

Additional Readings

Categories: Defense`s Feeds

Marine Corps Completes Successful Naval Exercise | DoS Approves FMS Contracts To Morocco | Boeing Wins P-8A Delivery Order

Defense Industry Daily - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 06:00
Americas

The Marine Corps announced a successful naval exercise in the Philippine and East China seas and in Okinawa, Japan, on Wednesday. According to a release, the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Amphibious Squadron 11 conducted a large-scale series of operations in a naval expeditionary combined-arms maneuver, involving Wasp Amphibious Ready Group ships to shore in action conducted between August 9 and August 19, a Marine Corps statement said. Prior to seizing the airfield at Ie Shima Training Facility, Reconnaissance Marines with the 31st MEU’s Amphibious Reconnaissance Platoon conducted a high altitude low opening parachute jump onto the island to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance of the area. After the reconnaissance team finished surveilling the airfield, Marines with Echo Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion,1st Marines, vertically inserted via MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft from the USS Wasp more than 250 miles away, rapidly seizing the objective in just over one hour.

KPMG LLP won three contracts with a combined worth of $24.5 million for US Marine Corps audit support services. Each contract calls for financial improvement and audit readiness support services to the Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps, with an estimated completion date in September 2020. The work will be concentrated on the Marine Corps’ “Acquire to Retire,” “Plan to Stock,” “Procure to Pay” and “Order to Cash” business mission areas, with the contract later moving to the Marine Corps Installations Command Headquarters. The first of the three contracts announced Tuesday, for $8.57 million, calls for audit support services largely at Arlington, Virginia, where the Marine Corps has several administrative facilities. The second deal is for $7.97 million and the third is worth $7.9 million.

Middle East & Africa

The US Department of State approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Morocco of various TOW-2A missiles. The deal is valued at $776 million. Morocco had requested a possible sale of 2,401 TOW 2A, Radio Frequency Missiles (BGM-71-4B-RF); and 28 TOW 2A, Radio Frequency Missiles (BGM-71-4B-RF), Fly-to-Buy missiles for lot acceptance testing; and 400 M220A2 TOW Launchers and/or 400 M41 Improved Target Acquisition System (ITAS) Launchers. Also included are missile support equipment; Government furnished equipment; technical manuals/publications; spare parts; tool and test equipment; training; US Government technical and logistical support, contractor technical support, and other associated equipment and services. The BGM-71 TOW (Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) is an American anti-tank missile. The TOW 2 is an upgraded version of the TOW. This weapon system is composed of new and more capable BGM-71D missile, new reusable launcher, missile guidance set, and sight system.

The State Department also approved another possible Foreign Military Sale to Morocco of additional F-16 ammunition for an estimated cost of $209 million. The Government of Morocco had requested a possible sale of 5,810 MK82-1 Bombs; 300 MK84-4 Bombs; 105 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) KMU-572F/B Tail Kits; 180 MXU-651B/B Air Foil Groups (AFG), GBU-10; 4,125 MXU-650C/B AFGs, GBU-12; 4,305 MAU-169L/B Computer Control Groups (CCG), GBU-10,-12,-16; and 5,178 FMU-152 Fuzes. Also included are flares M-206, Flares MJU-7A/B, Impulse Cartridges BBU-36, Impulse Cartridges BBU-35/B, Bomb Sensor DSU-33C/B, chaff, bomb components, spares, repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, engineering technical and support services, and other related elements of logistics, transportation, and program support.

Europe

The DoS approved a possible FMS to Poland F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft with support. The deal ist worth $6.5 billion. Poland had requested to buy 32 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) Aircraft and 33 Pratt & Whitney F-135 Engines. While Congress can still act to block the sale, it’s expected to run smoothly through Capitol Hill. Poland formally sent its request for the F-35 in May with the goal of replacing its legacy MiG-29 and Su-22 fleets. Procuring the F-35 is part of a broader defense modernization effort from Warsaw, which will see the country spend $47 billion by 2026 on new equipment. Poland is one of only a handful of NATO members that spends the NATO recommended 2% of GDP on defense. It also meets the other NATO target of spending more than 20% of its defense budget on equipment.

Asia-Pacific

Boeing won a $45.8 million delivery order to procure P-8A aircrew trainings system production concurrency upgrades for the US Navy and the government of Australia. Boeing’s P-8A is an aircraft designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, maritime surveillance and reconnaissance missions, capable of broad-area maritime and littoral operations. It is also effective at search and rescue missions. Majority of the work related to this deal will take place in St. Louis, Missouri, and Jacksonville, Florida. Estimated completion will be in December 2022.

Today’s Video

Watch: DSEI 2019 Naval Coverage Day 2: Naval Platforms and New Ship Designs

Categories: Defense`s Feeds

Saab Presented Gripen E To Brazilian Air Force | Elbit Systems Introduced ReDrone | China To Give 9 Wing Loong UAVs To Serbia

Defense Industry Daily - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 06:00
Americas

GE Aviation doing business as Dowty Propellers won a $20.9 million delivery order. The deal provides for Option I quantities of R391 propellers and spares to support the C-130J aircraft, in conjunction with the commercial Rolls Royce AE2100D3 engine managed by Warner Robins, Air Logistics Center, Tactical Airlift Division. The Lockheed Martin C-130 is the US Air Force’s principal tactical cargo and personnel transport aircraft. The C-130J Hercules is the latest model, featuring a glass cockpit, digital avionics and a new propulsion system with a six-bladed propeller. The C-130J is equipped with four Allison AE2100D3 turboprop engines, each rated at 4,591 shaft horsepower. Work will take place in Sterling, Virginia. Estimated completion date is May 29, 2023.

Saab announced that it presented the first Gripen E to the Brazilian Air Force. However, the new fighter, part of an order for 36 units, will only move to Brazil at the end of 2020. Deliveries will actually start in 2021. Saab held a Gripen E fighter presentation ceremony for Brazil, which is expected to be the sixth country to use the Swedish aircraft from 2021. The first of 36 planes from the $4 billion order was completed weeks ago and made its maiden flight on August 26. It was this fighter that attended the event in Linköping this Tuesday with the presence of several authorities of the Brazilian Air Force as well as representatives of the companies involved in the project. „Gripen increases the operational capacity of the Brazilian Air Force and boosts a partnership that ensures transfer of technology to Brazil, fosters research and industrial development in both countries,” says Fernando Azevedo e Silva, Brazilian Minister for Defense.

Middle East & Africa

Elbit Systems introduced what it calls ReDrone Vehicular Tactical System — a vehicular configuration of its operational antidrone protection and neutralization system — at DSEI 2019 this week in London. According to a press release by the company, the ReDrone Vehicular Tactical System detects, identifies, and neutralizes all types of Unmanned Aerial Systems at any radio frequency within a radius of several kilometers. The protection works while the military/paramilitary vehicle is moving or stationary, during daylight or at night, and in any weather condition. ReDrone Vehicular Tactical System works automatically or manually, with no setup or operator control required for the entire process. Its open architecture enables a full data flow to the vehicular control system and an effective interface with command and control centers.

Serbia is getting nine Wing Loong Unmanned Air Vehicles from China, local media reports. The drones will be delivered within the next six months and there is a possibility of a follow-on order for 15 more. Serbian officials said China has agreed to the sale of armed drones, marking the first export of Chinese remotely piloted aircraft to a European country. Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin said the delivery expected in the coming months “will greatly strengthen the Serbian military, which will gain capabilities it has not had in the past.” Beijing has become increasingly economically engaged in Serbia and elsewhere in southeastern Europe as part of its global Belt and Road campaign, particularly in infrastructure projects such as roads, railways and ports.

Europe

Italy has joined the UK project to develop the ‘sixth-generation’ Tempest fighter as part of a wider combat aviation system-of-systems. The country’s defense minister, Guerini Lorenzo, announced the agreement to partner on the project on September 10 following the signing of a statement of intent (SOI) by Sir Simon Bollom, CEO of Defense Equipment and Support, and Lieutenant General Nicolò Falsaperna, Italian Secretary General of Defense, at the DSEI 2019 defense exhibition in London. In signing-up for the Tempest program, Italy joins Sweden as the first two international partners on the project after the Scandinavian nation signed a memorandum of understanding in June to work alongside Team Tempest to develop the future technologies associated with the platform. However, while Sweden has not yet formally joined the program and is instead co-operating on the UK’s wider Combat Air Strategy that includes the Tempest, Italy’s commitment to the next-generation fighter appears to be more concrete at this stage.

Asia-Pacific

VSE Corp. won a $10.1 million contract for the delivery of counterterrorism and intelligence equipment, and in-country training in support of the Azerbaijan Maritime Security Program for the Caspian Sea under the Foreign Military Sales Building Partner Capacity program. The equipment is needed for counterterrorism and intelligence. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov had visited Washington in June, where he met with US National Security Adviser John Bolton. The two top officials discussed bilateral economic ties, the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and opportunities for further diversification of gas supplies to Europe, according to Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry. Work under the contract will take place in Alexandria, Virginia as well as Azerbaijan. Estimated completion is in September next year.

Today’s Video

Watch: Defence Updates #706 – IAF MiG-21 Watch, DRDO Astra Army Variant, Indian Army & Air Force War Games

Categories: Defense`s Feeds

Strategic Russian Strategic Decision-Making in a Nordic Crisis

Russian Military Reform - Wed, 09/11/2019 - 13:59

Here’s the second in a series of policy briefs on Russian strategic culture and leadership decision-making, written for a collaborative project organized by the Marshall Center with support from the Russia Strategy Initiative. This one is on Russian strategic goals in a Nordic crisis. With permission from the Marshall Center, I am posting the full text here, though please go to the Marshall Center website if you would prefer to read a PDF version. The first of these briefs, focusing on the Baltics, was posted last April.

Executive Summary
  • This policy brief examines how Russian strategic culture operates in the distinct geographic and geopolitical environment of the Nordic region. This analysis is based on a model of Russian decision-making in crisis situations that describes Russian leaders as prospect theory players who take greater risks to prevent anticipated defeats than they do to pursue potential opportunities. They seek to prevent foreign policy defeats that could translate into a loss of power in the region, a loss of great power status, or, in some cases, political defeats at home.
  • Russia’s strategic objectives in the Nordic region are thus focused primarily on maintaining the status quo rather than changing the strategic environment or expanding Russian influence in a significant way. The primary objective is simply to maintain Russian influence in the region. Russia is also working to prevent the formal admission of Sweden and Finland to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and to deter Sweden and Finland from joining NATO in fighting against Russia in the event of a conflict.
  • We can expect Russia to act cautiously in the Nordic region because it is not facing a loss situation. Russian leaders will tend to pursue their goals through nonmilitary means and will be careful to avoid unintended escalation. The one exception to their preference for nonescalation would occur in the event of an attack on Russian territory, which would create a loss situation for Russia and therefore allow for a robust defense and/or counterattack.
Introduction

 This policy brief, the second in a series that addresses how Russian strategic culture can explain Russian foreign policy behavior, examines how Russian strategic culture operates in the distinct geographic and geopolitical environment of the Nordic region. The Nordic region is presented as a case study to generate conclusions with regard to the drivers of Russian strategic behavior, especially the factors that incentivize or constrain risk-taking.

Overview of Russian Strategic Decision-Making

This analysis is based on a model of crisis decision-making developed by the Russian analysis team at CNA. As an abbreviated version of this model has already been presented in a previous article in this series, what follows is a brief summary. The model presents Russia as a prospect theory player on the international scene that takes greater risks to prevent anticipated defeats than it does to pursue potential opportunities.

Russian strategic objectives are rooted in and derived from the following three principal Russian foreign policy motivations:

  • Maximizing security, which results in the pursuit of extended defense and has been the main driver for Russian aggression in its near abroad and Russia’s military modernization at home.
  • Russia’s desire for a privileged sphere of influence as an effort to achieve regional hegemony based on the goal of maximizing its overall power.
  • Maintaining great power status in the international system by ending U.S. primacy and thereby upending the unipolar nature of power distribution in the international system in favor of a multipolar one. However, this motivation does not necessarily mean that Russia wants to challenge the United States directly, given the power disparity.

Russian leaders prefer to achieve their political goals through coercion and threats of violence, rather than actual violence. Russian strategy in a conflict seeks to establish escalation dominance over potential adversaries by convincing them that Russia is able and willing to use force in pursuit of its objectives. When pressed to use force, Russia tends to use the minimum amount of force required to achieve its objectives in order to minimize losses and costs. This approach also allows Russia to maintain the threat of bringing in additional force if the adversary does not accept Russian objectives. Russia is happy to use force multipliers, such as local militias and mercenaries, to absorb the bulk of combat losses. Ambiguity is used to maintain plausible deniability and thereby slow adversary decision-making. Finally, Russia seeks to deter external actors from interfering in a conflict in order to prevent escalation.

Russia’s Strategic Assessment of the Nordic Region

Russia’s strategic calculus suggests that in the event of a crisis in the Nordic region, Russia will focus on the geographic and political environment in the region in determining its strategic objectives and minimum and maximum goals for the situation.

The geography of the Baltic Sea would play a particularly important role in Russia’s assessment of a potential maritime conflict scenario. The geography of the Baltic Sea in many ways mirrors that of the Black Sea, except that the geography favors NATO and its partners, rather than Russia. Like the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea is enclosed, with passage restricted by the Danish Straits. Although the Oresund and Fehmarn Belt are considered international straits, as governed by the Copenhagen Convention of 1857, they could easily be closed by NATO forces in the event of a conflict, effectively preventing Russia from bringing naval reinforcements to the Baltic Sea from the Northern Fleet or the Mediterranean. In addition, a series of islands can provide effective control over the sea itself. Bornholm (controlled by Denmark), Gotland (Sweden) and the Aland Islands (Finland), can be used to control the sea lanes in the Baltic Sea as well as the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia. These islands thus can play the same role in the Baltic as Crimea does in the Black Sea. Furthermore, Estonia and Finland effectively control entrance to the Gulf of Finland and therefore to St. Petersburg.

Although Western analysts often paint Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave as a militarized territory that threatens the security of the NATO member states in the region, Russian planners view the region as a vulnerable outpost surrounded by potentially well-armed NATO states. As a result of these factors, Russia feels that the region’s geography is relatively negatively set up for Russian forces to act in the event of a conflict with NATO and its partners.

Russia’s political assessment also emphasizes the potential challenges of a military conflict in the region. Although Sweden and Finland are ostensibly neutral, Russian leaders fully expect them to be involved on the side of NATO in any conflict between NATO and Russia. They point to statements that the two countries have made, such as the European Union (EU) solidarity clause and the EU Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) effort joined by Sweden and Finland in 2017, that strongly imply such a scenario. They also note that the two countries have been strengthening their military forces in recent years and have increasingly integrated these forces with NATO. Both Sweden and Finland have increased their frequency of participation in NATO exercises. These developments are seen in Russia as clear signals that neither country will stay out of the fight in the event of a conflict.

On the other side, Swedish planners fear that Russia might preemptively attack Gotland in a conflict in order to take control of the middle section of the Baltic Sea. They have responded by placing troops on the island for the first time in over a decade. Although the force is only the size of a regiment, it is meant as a symbol of Swedish intent in combination with the reintroduction of military conscription. Russia has decried this move as a step toward the further militarization of the region.

Finland’s history of relations with Russia makes its leaders cautious about exacerbating tensions with Moscow. They point to their losses in previous wars with the Soviet Union in the 1930s and 1940s, which resulted in the policy of “Finlandization” that effectively meant that Finland did not have full control over its foreign policy orientation until the end of the Cold War, a period of over 40 years. As a result, Finnish leaders have generally avoided hostile rhetoric against Russia while retaining more contacts with Moscow than other countries in the region. Furthermore, most of the Finnish population remains opposed to their country joining NATO. Although Finland has supported EU sanctions against Russia in the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis, it has retained significant trade relations and has a sizable expatriate Russian population in Helsinki. Russia has proved adept at using trade links and expatriate Russian populations in other European countries to undermine anti-Russian policies. Similar tactics could be used in the Nordic region.

Russia’s Strategic Objectives

Russia’s strategic objectives in the Nordic region are thus focused primarily on maintaining the status quo rather than changing the strategic environment or expanding Russian influence in a significant way. The primary objective is simply to maintain Russian influence in the region. To this end, Russia has undertaken a propaganda effort to show the citizens of these countries that Russia does not threaten them. Russia has pursued political influence operations to prevent the growth of negative political attitudes toward Russia. To this end, there are concerns that it has used the Russian expatriate population and other pro-Russian activists in the region, especially in Finland, as a supportive element. It has also provided support to political parties and societal organizations critical of the EU and especially of NATO as a way of limiting the trend toward closer cooperation between NATO and the two nonmember Nordic states. Russia has also sought to maintain and enhance economic linkages with Nordic states, most notably through the strategic use of its role as an energy supplier to Finland. It is estimated that forty percent of Finland’s energy comes from Russia, and Russia has taken steps in recent years to make the import of electricity cheaper for Finland in order to maintain that connection.

In regard to military issues, Russia has worked to prevent the formal admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO. To this end, it has used a classic carrot-and-stick approach. Russian media has highlighted popular opposition to NATO membership within these countries, noting the likelihood of negative political consequences for any government that chooses to pursue NATO membership. Russian officials have threatened political, economic, and military consequences for Sweden and Finland should they choose to formally join NATO. The implicit threat is that not only would cheap energy supplies end and trade be negatively affected, but Russia could use tactics it has pursued elsewhere, such as cyberattacks and funding of antigovernment groups, to undermine political stability in these countries. Russian media have also suggested the possibility that Russia might offer inducements to Sweden and Finland for remaining neutral or at least not joining NATO formally.

In the event of a regional crisis, Russian leaders would seek to deter Sweden and Finland from joining NATO in fighting against Russia. They would seek to preempt the threat by neutralizing Nordic militaries through a Russian military buildup in the region combined with the threat that Russia would target these countries’ territories should fighting break out. Russia’s minimum goal in a Nordic crisis is thus to maintain and exacerbate existing divisions in the Nordic states that prevent them from seeking to join NATO and to inhibit further integration of their military forces with NATO forces short of membership. Russia’s maximum goal is to reverse the existing close integration of the military forces of the Nordic states with those of the United States and NATO and ideally to have these states recommit to neutrality in deed as well as in word.

Russia’s Vulnerabilities

Russia’s vulnerabilities in a Nordic crisis are to a large extent the same as its vulnerabilities in other regions, though there are some aspects particular to this region. The Russian military has relatively few forces in northwestern Russia because its main focus in recent years has been on securing the Caucasus, reinforcing its border with Ukraine, and building up forces in the Arctic and the Far North. Russian forces in northwestern Russia are not equipped for a short-notice conventional conflict, with relatively few mechanized units and a command structure not set up to fight a war in this region. As noted above, the geography of the region makes a maritime conflict relatively complicated for Russia, though that disadvantage may be mitigated in a broader engagement due to the Nordic region’s proximity to Russia and the relatively long border with Finland.

Russia is hampered by its lack of allies in the European theater. Although Belarus is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and a Russian military partner, it would be unlikely to actively participate in a Russian military campaign. It might, however, reluctantly allow Russia to use its territory as a staging area in a conflict with NATO. Recent political tensions about the extent to which Belarus can be expected to integrate with Russia have highlighted the limits of the relationship between Moscow and Minsk. Other allies are even less likely to get involved. Neither Russia’s other CSTO allies nor China will want to get involved in a fight with NATO and (with the exception of China) would not be able to contribute significantly to the effort.

As with any conflict with a powerful but distant adversary, Russian leaders would be concerned that the overall force balance between Russia and NATO would become highly unfavorable in a longer-term conflict. For this reason, they would want to keep the conflict short and ensure that any conflict in the region would not result in horizontal escalation, which could expose Russian territory to defeat by the much larger and stronger U.S. military in a regional or even global conflict. They would be particularly concerned about the possibility that the conflict could spread to other theaters, especially the Mediterranean, which would cause Russia’s forces to be stretched thin in a fight on multiple fronts.

Finally, Russian leaders may be concerned about the impact of any kind of extended or costly intervention on Russian domestic politics. They will want to make sure that they avoid costly and long-lasting entanglements that might result in the Russian public turning against the intervention. Such a situation would be especially likely if Western states pursued strong economic countermeasures that had a direct negative effect on the Russian economy or on Russians’ ability to travel to Europe. In particular, this scenario would be a problem in a conflict that the Russian public might see as a war of choice rather than of necessity, especially one that becomes costly in either financial or human terms. For this reason, Russian leaders will seek to avoid both defeat and long-term entanglement in a Nordic conflict, as these circumstances would increase the likelihood of a strong negative effect at the domestic level.

Red Lines and (De-)Escalation Drivers

As in the Baltics, Russian leaders would view a crisis in the Nordic region primarily as a potential opportunity to realize strategic gains rather than as a threat to Russia’s vital interests. As a result, they would consider the stakes to be relatively low in most situations. This assessment would lead to a strategy of managing the crisis carefully in order to keep costs low and avoid triggering a vigorous response by NATO. Although it is important for Russia to keep Sweden and Finland out of NATO, Russia would not be likely to mount a military response if the two Nordic states take steps toward that goal. Concerns about the vulnerabilities described above, especially the danger of horizontal escalation to other theaters and the risk of loss of popularity at home due to high casualties or serious financial impact from a conflict, would encourage Russian leaders to de-escalate hostilities in the event of a crisis in the Nordic region.

The one exception to this calculus would occur in the event of a NATO attack on Russian territory. Such an attack would lead to escalation as it would pose a direct threat to the homeland and regime survival while uniting the Russian population in defense of their homeland. The Russian people have shown repeatedly that they are far more likely to accept sacrifices to defend the country than to engage in a war of choice, so Russia should be expected to escalate any conflict where control of its own territory is at stake.

Conclusion

Russia’s main peacetime goals in the Nordic region involve preventing further military integration of the Nordic states with NATO. The primary means to carry out these goals are political and cyber in nature, rather than military. In a conflict, Russia’s main goals would be similar: to keep the Nordic states out of any conflict with NATO or to keep NATO out of any conflict with a Nordic state. Escalation poses serious risks to Russia, so Russian leaders would be unlikely to initiate a conflict in the region. Russia would be much more willing to defend itself if threatened or attacked but otherwise would limit itself to using indirect means to weaken the Nordic states and to undermine their unity with their NATO partners.

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