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Global wrap-up: $2bn Abrams deal for Taiwan; German Navy commissions new frigate

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


  • Taiwan has successfully lobbied the United States for a US$2.2 billion deal for more than 100 M1-A2 Abrams main battle tanks as part of the modernisation of the island nation's ageing armoured fleet - the deal also includes 14 M-88A2 tank-recovery vehicles, 16 M-1070A1 Heavy Equipment Transporters plus 250 Stinger Block I-92F shoulder-fired anti-air missiles.
  • The Republic of Korea Navy has received the latest of its upgraded Chang Bogo I Class diesel electric attack submarine - built by South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). 
  • The Philippine Navy (PN) has decommissioned the PCE 827 Class corvette Sultan Kudarat (22) in preparation for the arrival of a Pohang Class vessel that has been donated by South Korea.
  • The PN has commissioned two Leonardo AQ159 Lynx Wildcat helicopters and four South Korean Amphibious Assault Vehicles (KAAV) as part of a US$101 million contract signed between the Philippines and Leonardo, and the Philippines and a US$47.2 million contract with Korean giant Hanwha Techwin
  • Indonesia has inked a US$1.2 billion deal with South Korean company Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) to provide three additional Type 209-1400 submarines as part of the nation's minimum essential force (MEF) program. 
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) is pursuing the acquisition of an additional 18 Sukhoi Su-30MKI multi-role fighter aircraft from Russia. The additional platforms will supplement the 13 squadrons totalling 272 Su-30MKIs that the IAF intends to operate by 2020-21, thus taking to 14 the number of squadrons with this fighter type.


  • The German Navy has officially commissioned the first of the new F125 Class frigates, the Baden-Wurttemberg - the German Navy can use the F125 Class ships for defence duties, conflict prevention, crisis management and intervention and stabilisation operations in the international arena.
  • The German Air Force has successfully deployed a modified Airbus A400M Atlas tanker aircraft to support allied air operations against the Islamic State in the Middle East. 
  • The French Army has accepted the first of its Griffon multi-role vehicles (VBMR) - the standard Griffon will be an APC able to carry 11 personnel, while other variants will include ambulance, command post and artillery observation vehicles. The consortium had expected to build as many as 1,722 Griffons to replace the army's wheeled VAB multi-role vehicle, however, in May 2018 French DGA procurement agency officials said that under the new Military Planning Law that covers 2019 to 2025 the requirement would be raised to 1,872.
  • The Polish Army has taken delivery of KRAB 155mm self propelled howitzers - the KRAB is a 155mm self-propelled howitzer designed and manufactured in Poland by the defence company HSW (Huta Stalowa Wola) in co-operation with BAE Systems and Obrum. 
  • The UK Ministry of Defence has announced a US$160 million investment into the development of new directed energy weapons with a focus on naval systems including the new naval anti-drone laser system, dubbed Dragonfire, which will begin shipboard testing later this year. Dragonfire's concept is comparable to LaWS, the US Navy's 30 kW prototype laser weapon. But the MoD is now looking to the UK defence industry to develop additional weapons to be fitted to warships, aircraft, helicopters and armoured vehicles.
  • The Royal Navy's new flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth has returned to port at Portsmouth following the discovery of a leak during a series of live-fire weapons system testing ahead of planned maintenance - the HMS Queen Elizabeth has a length of 200 metres weighing 65,000 tonnes and a capacity to hold 60 aircraft. 
  • Commander-in-Chief of the Russian NavyAdmirial Nikolai Yevmenov, has announced that the resurgent power is in the planning stages for developing an 80,000-90,000 ton nuclear powered aircraft carrier - this would mark the first time Russia has built and operated a nuclear powered aircraft carrier.  
  • The Russian Navy is also expected to receive the upgraded nuclear-powered missile cruiser Admiral Nakhimov in 2022 following a range of repairs and upgrades at the Sevmash Shipyard

North America:

  • The US Army is asking Congress to shift US$24 million in FY2018 funding to help pay for a demonstration of a hit-to-kill munition critical to its long-range cannon program.
  • The US Army has issued a full-material release for the new standard issue sidearm, the Sig Sauer M17 and M18 series handguns. The official approval came from the US Army's Pitcatinny Arsenal - the US Marine Corps adopted the new pistol in June. 
  • Fincantieri, a major bidder in the US Navy's FFG(X) program, has been required to up-armour the proposed FREMM design adding 300 tonnes of steel to the design to satisfy US Navy concerns about the survivability of the design.
  • The US Navy has deployed the USS Ronald Regan, USS McCampbell and USS Chancellorsville in conjunction with a US Marine Corps forces and a US Air Force detachment including F-22 Raptors, B-52H Stratofortress and a number of other assets as part of the Talisman Sabre 2019 exercise in North Queensland. 


  • Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has welcomed news that a South Australian business is the latest Australian company selected to supply into the multibillion-dollar UK Type 26 program, currently building three Global Combat Ships in Glasgow, Scotland, for the UK Royal Navy.
  • Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) has farewelled Air Vice-Marshal Cath Roberts from her position as Head Aerospace Systems Division, as she moves into her new role as Head of Air Force Capability in Air Force Headquarters.
  • Beca has been awarded a contract for the continued management of Seaworthiness Materiel Assessments (SwMA) within the Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet Engineering Directorate (FED).
  • Community members, leaders, organisational representatives and Defence community partners of the Hunter region had the chance to take an in-depth look at the F-35 program when RAAF Base Williamtown hosted an F-35A Community Day last week.
  • WA Minister for Defence Issues Paul Papalia welcomed the news that master planning for the development of the Henderson shipbuilding precinct has kicked off, which would help boost defence investment in the state. 
Global wrap-up: $2bn Abrams deal for Taiwan; German Navy commissions new frigate
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