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Global wrap-up: India pursuing next-gen Russian tanks, US future recon chopper program kicks off

India is pursuing 1770 T-14 Armata Russian designed Main Battle Tanks (MBT) to replace their ageing T-72 (Source Wikicommons)

This global wrap-up provides key updates of industry developments across the globe, including new procurement deals, capability introductions and key announcements.

Asia-Pacific:

  • The Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) helicopter carrier Kaga travelled to Sri Lanka in a flying the flag operation, which saw the ship tailed by several People's Liberation Army-Navy frigates in the South China Sea and participated in naval exercises with the Philippines and Indonesia.
  • India is in discussions with Russia to procure 1,770 multi-purpose future ready combat vehicles to replace ageing T-72 tanks. The Russian T-14 Armata tank is a key contender in the deal expected to be worth over US$4.5 billion.
  • India and France have signed a US$8.9 billion deal for 36 Rafale fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force. France will invest 30 per cent of the total contract into India's military aerospace research program and 20 per cent into local production of key Rafale components. 
  • China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) has begun construction of a S26T diesel-electric submarine for the Royal Thai Navy worth US $411 million 
  • The Singaporean Navy officially commissioned RSS Justice and RSS Indomitable Littoral Mission Vessels (LMV), the two ships will join the existing Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) to protect the waters of Singapore.
  • US Navy and PLAN ships have had a close encounter in the South China Sea, the Arleigh Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyer, USS Decatur (DDG 73) came within in 41 metres of the Chinese Type 052C Luyang Class Guided Missile Destroyer as the tensions between the US and China in the region heat up. 

Middle East:

  • Iraq has secured a Foreign Military Sale worth US$82.5 million to provide five Bell 407GX helicopters configured with M240 7.62mm Machine Guns, five GAU-19 .50 calibre Machine Guns, five M3P .50 calibre Machine Guns, five M260 Rocket Launchers and night vision compatible lighting systems, aircraft intercommunications systems (ICS), cockpit and seat armor kits, and bifurcated exhaust infrared suppressor systems, operating manuals, spare parts, maintenance and operator training for radio systems, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support.
  • Bahrain will purchase 120 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) M31 Unitary Rocket Pods, six rockets per pod for a total of 720, and 110 Army Tactical Missiles System (ATACMS) M57 T2K Unitary missiles. Also included are publications, personnel training and training equipment, software development, US government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The overall total estimated value is US$300 million.
  • In a US$30 million deal, Boeing will provide aircrew and maintenance courses for the Qatari Air Force F-15QA. Qatar successfully secured 72 F-15QA in November 2016 worth US$21.1 billion, with another contract for 36 more aircraft signed in December 2017 worth US$6.1 billion. 

Europe:

  • Elbit Systems UK has been awarded a contract by the UK MoD to provide the Morpheus Battle Management Application worth between £10 million (about $18.4 million) and £40 million, over an initial three-year period. Under the contract, Elbit Systems UK will provide the British Army with an operationally proven battle management application for both headquarters and tactical units based on TORC2H, Elbit Systems’ command and control platform that has been delivered to many customers worldwide, including to the Australian Defence Force as part of its LAND 200 Tranche 2 battle management system.
  • The UK MoD has announced that the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 Class frigate will be named HMS Birmingham. The Type 26 serves as the basis for Australia’s $35 billion SEA 5000 Hunter Class frigate program.
  • Finnish and Estonian navies started the Baltic Shield 2018 joint-naval exercise, which will be carried out in the Archipelago Sea and Gulf of Finland until 11 October.
  • The UK MoD has announced its interest in procuring the Boeing E-7A Wedgetail AEWC aircraft to replace the RAF's ageing E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft, the E-7A is currently in service with the Royal Australian Air Force, Republic of Korea Air Force and Turkish Air Force. 
  • Sweden and Saab have offered eight Gripen MS20 fighter aircraft to Bulgaria. The training of pilots and technicians is included in the offer, with a full QRA capability to be achieved within the budget framework.
  • The Airbus H225M helicopter successfully flew past 100,000 air hours. The 11-tonne H225M has proven its reliability and durability in combat conditions and crisis areas including Afghanistan, Chad, the Ivory Coast, the Central African Republic and Mali, while also supporting NATO-led operations in Libya.
  • The Russian United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) is gearing up to secure a construction contract for the 10,000-tonne Leader Class nuclear powered guided missile destroyers. The Leader Class vessels will replace Sovremenny and Udaloy Class destroyers and can be armed with Kalibr and Onix missiles as well as shipborne S-500 air and missile defence systems. 

North America:

  • Raytheon secured a US$482.2 million contract with the US Navy to perform upgrades on the MK 15 Phalanx Close-in Weapon System (CIWS).
  • Lockheed Martin locked in a US$315.7 million contract with the US Navy to procure support equipment for the F-35C under the Lot Order 11.
  • Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems will provide engineering services and support for the US Navy under a US$13.5 million program support Link 16 system modernisation, optimisation and remapping capability for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft.    
  • Canada has signed a Foreign Military Sale with the US worth US$300 million for three King Air 350 ER intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft. Technical data; mission equipment, communication and navigation equipment, special tools and test equipment, ground support equipment, airframe and engine spare parts, publications, MWO/ECPs, technical assistance, repair and return, training, and transportation of aircraft, and other related elements of logistics and program support are also included. 
  • The US Army is formally soliciting proposals for the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program to replace the OH-58 Kiowa returning some AH-64D/E Apache Longbows to their close air support role. 
  • Boeing and Saab won a US$9.2 billion contract to supply the US Air Force with the next-generation pilot training program with the T-X trainer aircraft.   

Australia:

 

 

Global wrap-up: India pursuing next-gen Russian tanks, US future recon chopper program kicks off
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