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Global wrap-up: Two new destroyers for Chinese Navy; New Apaches for Qatar

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

Asia-Pacific:

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  • The People's Liberation Army - Navy (PLAN) has commissioned two Type 052D guided missile destroyers – the two vessels are the 19th and 20th ships of the class. The domestically developed Type 052D destroyer saw significant upgrades on its predecessor, the Type 052C. It is equipped with weapons and equipment, including advanced active electronically scanned array radar systems and 64 vertical launch missile cell.
  • China's pursuit of a competitive aircraft carrier fleet is one-step closer to reality, with satellite imagery revealing extensive progress on the next-generation Type 002 conventional aircraft carrier at the Jiangnan Shipyard at the mouth of the Yangtze River. The Type 002 carrier, expected to be commissioned in 2023, will be a traditional, CATOBAR-based vessel, weighing in at 80-85,000 tonnes.
  • The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) has successfully completed a series of new test flights for its Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighter from an air base in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province. 
  • The Royal Thai Army has signed a deal with US$80 million to acquire 37 refurbished Stryker armoured vehicles from the United States. The deal also includes a donation of 23 more vehicles bringing the total number to 60 - additionally the package includes communication systems as well as weapons, the hangar, practice field development, auto-parts and maintenance.
  • The Indonesian Army signed a US$80 million contract with PT Pindad to provide the first 22 Pandur II 8x8 infantry fighting vehicles - the deal requires the vehicles to be delivered to the Army within three years. The vehicles will reportedly be equipped with the Israeli remote-controlled uninhabited combat module Elbit Systems U30MK.II, which Ares will supply with a Northrop Grumman Bushmaster Mk.44 30mm automatic gun and two 7.62mm machine guns.
  • The Indian Air Force has officially taken delivery of the first of 22 Boeing AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian attack helicopters at a ceremony in Arizona. The IAF ordered the Apache rotorcraft in September 2015 in a deal worth US$2.02 billion. 
  • The Indian Navy has successfully launched its fourth P75 Scorpene Class submarine from the state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders, which entered into a contract for the construction and technology transfer for six vessels with Naval Group. The P75 program is the key element of the strategic partnership built in the domain of submarine building over the last decades between India and France.

Middle East:

  • Qatar has secured a foreign military sale (FMS) worth US$3 billion for 24 Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters Qatar previously reached a deal to procure 24 of these helicopters for use by the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF). The first of the initial batch of 24 helicopters was delivered in March.
  • The Israeli Air Force is preparing to induct its second F-35I 'Adir' squadron - called the 'Defenders of the South' 14 F-35I stealth aircraft have already been delivered. A total of 50 'Adir' aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2024 to equip two full squadrons.
  • The Egyptian Navy has launched the second domestically-built Gowind Class Corvette. The corvette frigate is part of a deal worth US$1.12 billion to provide four naval frigates for the Egyptian naval forces.
  • Bahrain has been cleared for a FMS worth US$2.5 billion to supply 60 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missiles, 36 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles with canisters, nine M903 launchers, two AN/MPQ-65 radar sets, control stations and other associated equipment.
  • The Turkish Air Force is continuing its operational test and evaluation (OT&E) work on the new Turkish Aerospace Hurkus B trainer aircraft. The TAF is expected to fund a light-attack Hurkus C variant.

Europe: 

  • The Czech Republic has secured a FMS worth US$1 billion to provide a fleet of 12 UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters - the deal includes 12 M261 Rocket Launchers, 114 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) rocket guidance systems, 24 M240H machine guns and other equipment, weapons and ammunition, along with training, spares, and support. The FMS also includes the acquisition of four AH-1Z attack helicopters and includes 14 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, M197 20mm machine guns and other equipment, along with training, spares, and support.
  • The German Air Force has successfully modified its A400M tactical airlift aircraft to into a air ambulance that enables the evacuation of seriously wounded service members from war zones while receiving a high level of critical care.
  • Russia is set to export the Sukhoi Su-57E an export variant of the Su-57 to India. The Indian Air Force is looking to procure over 100 new fighter aircraft and is expected to issue a request for proposals (RFP) in the coming months. Lockheed Martin and Boeing, in addition to Swedish aircraft maker Saab, French defence firm Dassault Aviation, the Eurofighter consortium, and Russia’s United Aircraft Cooperation are expected to participate in the tender.  
  • Saab has launched a new signals intelligence (SIGINT) vessel for the Royal Swedish Navy Saab was awarded the contract to design and build the vessel by the Swedish Material Defence Administration (FMV) in 2017. The new ship is 74 metres long with a displacement of 2,200 tonnes.
  • Fincantieri has delivered the latest FREMM Class frigate Antonio Marceglia to the Italian Navy – the vessel is the eighth in a series of 10 vessels in the FREMM program. FREMM frigates measure 144 metres in length, with a displacement at full load of approximately 6,700 tonnes. These vessels have been designed to reach a maximum speed of 27 knots and to provide accommodation for 200 people.

 North America: 

  • Northrop Grumman was awarded a US$13.5 million contract modification to expand the analysis and design of the Next Generation Jammer Low Band (NGJ LB) controller, receiver, exciter, and power generation subsystems. In addition, this modification provides for NGJ LB technique development, incorporation of updated goals documents, and environmental testing of the transmitter group. 
  • Raytheon Missile Systems was awarded a US$101.3 million contract modification to procure Tactically-Launched Optically-Tracked Wireless-Guided missiles for the US Army. 
  • Boeing Defense has secured a US$11.2 million contract modification to support the sustainment and engineering services for F-15. This contract provides for post-production support tasks/services unique to the original equipment manufacturer as required to maintain an adequate level of continuous sustaining engineering and logistics support for the Air Force and FMS F-15 fleets.
  • QinetiQ has been awarded a C$51 million contract to deliver unmanned aircraft systems that will drive enhanced situational awareness for the Canadian Armed Forces.

Australia:

  • Australia quietly opened a trade and defence office in West Jerusalem in March, with no official government announcement and no officials attending the opening.
  • In a major milestone for the development of a fifth-generation Royal Australian Air Force, Australia’s fleet of EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft have successfully achieved IOC.
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a plan to invest up to $1 billion in Western Australia’s naval shipbuilding capabilities with the commitment to build three new naval vessels for the Royal Australian Navy.
  • The head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Alastair MacGibbon has announced his resignation for 28 May to return to the private sector.
  • Northrop Grumman has been selected by the RAAF to continue providing through-life support to the Commonwealth’s VIP special purpose aircraft fleet.
  • No. 3 Squadron F-35 Joint Strike Fighters based at RAAF Base Williamtown will conduct the first round of training for the fifth-generation aircraft over the Salt Ash Air Weapons Range (SAAWR).
Global wrap-up: Two new destroyers for Chinese Navy; New Apaches for Qatar
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