22 Juni 2017

Singapore Army Acquires Spike SR to Replace Saab Carl-Gustaf

22 Juni 2017

Rafael Spike SR anti-armour missile system (photo : Kementah)

Singapore Army acquires Rafael Spike SR anti-armour missile system

The Singapore Army has acquired the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Spike Short Range (SR) manportable missile system as its next generation guided anti-armour weapon for its infantry and guards forces, Jane's has learnt at its Army Open House 2017 event that was held in late May.

Jane's understands that the Spike SR has replaced the Saab Bofors Dynamics 84 mm Carl-Gustaf M2 recoilless rifle in army service.

"Soldiers will be trained in the Spike SR system from June 2017," the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) revealed to Jane's in an emailed statement on 18 June.

The Spike SR is the latest and most compact member of Rafael's Spike fire-and-forget missile family. Specifications released by the army describe the system as a disposable, day and night-capable weapon that is 970 mm long with an overall weight of 9.8 kg inclusive of the missile, control launch unit (CLU), and battery.

Singapore Army with Carl Gustaf (photo : Army Recognition)

Unlike the gimballed seeker installed in the Spike MR/LR/ER (medium-, long-, and extended range) missiles, the Spike SR incorporates an uncooled and fixed day/night-capable electro-optical (EO) seeker and tracker. According to company literature, the SR has a short activation-to-launch cycle of less than 6 seconds.

The baseline Spike SR configuration features a tandem high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead designed to hit static and moving armoured vehicle targets. However, Jane's earlier reported in 2016 that Rafael has introduced a new penetration blast fragmentation (PBF) warhead - employing the warhead technology developed jointly by the Singapore Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and the company's Dynamit Nobel Defence subsidiary for the 90 mm MATADOR (Man-portable Anti-Tank, Anti-DOoR) light support weapon - to provide troops operating in urban environments with a tactical anti-structure capability.


HMAS Anzac Completes MRH90 Multi-Role Helicopter Trials

22 Juni 2017

RAN MRH-90 (photo : Richard Goodman)

Multi-role helicopter support to the Royal Australian Navy Fleet has been enhanced by trials recently completed off the east coast of Australia. 

In a joint activity conducted during the months of May and June HMAS Anzac embarked an MRH90 flight from 808 Squadron for a trial designed to expand the capability of Anzac class frigates to include day and night flight deck operations in a range of weather conditions.

An Aviation Medical Officer, a meteorologist and a Flight Deck Marshaller also joined Anzac for the period.

Until now, the helicopter has only conducted utility evolutions such as vertical replenishment and light winch transfers to Anzac frigates. 

The test aircraft – callsign Cobra 22 – undertook landings and take-offs in a variety of conditions while at its maximum embarked operating weight of 10,600 kilograms. 

Commanding Officer Anzac Commander Michael Devine said his team was energised by their part in the successful trials.

“It was a professionally rewarding experience to have participated in trials that will inform the development of significant capability that will have an immediate and enduring benefit to the Fleet,” he said.

Anzac received a night vision lighting upgrade in 2016 which allowed the test team to safely perform landings in even the darkest conditions. 

HMAS Anzac 150 (photo : RAN)

Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit Test Director Lieutenant Commander Andrew Rohrsheim said he was impressed with the aircraft’s performance and features which were well suited to the frigate flight deck.

“The MRH90 is a wonderful aircraft to fly and the helmet-mounted sight and display provides great situational awareness for the aircrew in night and day conditions.” 

The aircraft remained on the flight deck for the period of the flight trial and was exposed to the elements day and night. Nevertheless Cobra 22 still achieved excellent reliability and availability which is a testament to the care and attention provided by the team from the 808 Squadron. 

Flight Senior Maintenance Sailor Chief Petty Officer Aviation Technician Aircraft Paul Wilson said it was a busy time for his team.

“Moving the aircraft, stores and support equipment from HMAS Canberra to Anzac for the short trial was hard work, but we were pleased to see MRH90 performing so well in a new environment and proud that we helped make it happen.”

To ensure the aircraft was exposed to a wide range of environmental conditions, the embarked meteorologist Lieutenant Tim Forge worked closely with the ship’s navigator to position the ship correctly in preparation for each flying serial.

As a result, the ship operated as far north as Cooktown to find warm weather, then repositioned hundreds of nautical miles away the next day to find the required environmental conditions. Four weeks were necessary to explore the full spectrum of weather conditions. 

As a result of the trial, MRH90s will soon be available to perform the full spectrum of helicopter logistics support to the Anzac class.As a multi-role helicopter, the MRH90 can undertake personnel transport, search and rescue and replenishment activities.


Hanwha Techwin to Build Aircraft Engine Parts Factory in Vietnam

22 Juni 2017

Hanwha Techwin is produce engine parts from GE, Pratt & Whitney (P&W) and Rolls-Royce.(photo : theinvestor)

Hanwha Techwin has selected about 100,000 square meters of land near Hanoi, Vietnam to construct a plant to manufacture aircraft engine parts and is requesting the approval of its investment from the Vietnamese government. If approved, the company will start the construction of a plant in August and operate the plant beginning in the second half of 2018. The plant size is about 60,000㎡, which is about eight times the size of a regular football field.

Hanwha Techwin is planning to expand its sales of civilian aircraft engine parts to about 1 trillion won (US$900 million), which is the top level in the aircraft parts processing industry, by 2025 by expanding its engine parts production capacity through the establishment of overseas plants.

Hanwha Techwin is growing the volume of its engine parts business by winning large-scale parts orders from world-class aircraft engine manufacturers such as GE, Pratt & Whitney (P&W) and Rolls-Royce.

As a result, Hanwha Techwin selected Vietnam as a production base with a nice logistics environment and high cost competitiveness among many candidate regions by strategically studying the feasibility of a plan for the establishment of an overseas engine parts manufacturing factory,

"Aircraft engine parts makers such as Dynamic Precision, Barns and Magellan are also expanding their production capacity by constructing manufacturing factories at home and abroad," said an official of Hanwha Techwin. "In the future, based on its technological capabilities, Changwon Factory will serve as a production base for high-value-added products, providing technical support to the factory in Vietnam. The Vietnamese base will take charge of production of products that require price competitiveness by utilizing Changwon Factory’s superior technology capabilities and business experience."

(Business Korea)

21 Juni 2017

Safran and Thai Aviation Industries to Support Royal Thai Armed Forces Helicopter Engines

21 Juni 2017

H225M of the Royal Thai Air Force (photo : wwc234)

Safran Helicopter Engines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Thai Aviation Industries (TAI) during International Paris Air Show to support helicopter engines operated by Royal Thai Armed Forces.

Royal Tai Armed Forces are operating Makila-powered H225M and Arriel-powered fleet of H125M, H145M, AS365N3+ and H155 in operation within the Royal Thai Air Force, Army, Navy, Police and Survey Department.

This MOU marks a new milestone between Safran and TAI after the signature earlier this year of a Global Support Package (GSP) to support Makila 2A1 engines operated by the Royal Thai Air Force. 

Safran aims to deliver world-class services to guarantee engine availability; thus demonstrating that the GSP model is particularly well-suited to supporting the engine fleets of modern air forces.

H145M of the Royal Thai Navy (photo : Airbus Helicopters)

This long-term agreement will be executed through TAI, the main aircraft repair and maintenance service provider in Thailand for the Royal Tai Armed Forces and Police. TAI, in partnership with Safran, will provide helicopter engine line maintenance, depot repair, inventory management and technical support expertise to ensure availability of the Safran Helicopter Engines' fleet in operation.

The Safran GSP contract optimizes turboshaft availability and enables military and parapublic operators to focus on their core activities. It guarantees availability at a fixed price per engine flying hour and provides the customer with high levels of autonomy and budget control.     

Safran Helicopter Engines supports its 243 customers in Southeast Asia and Indian subcontinent through its Singapore-based subsidiary Safran Helicopter Engines Asia.


NAVANTIA Begins Construction of the First AOR for the Australian Navy

20 Juni 2017

First cut steel for first AOR (photo : Navantia)

First cut of steel sees a major milestone achieved

The first cut of the steel being used to build the Royal Australian Navy’s auxiliary oiler and replenishment ships (AORs) has been undertaken on 19th. June, following the successful completion of the critical design review. 

Navantia was awarded the contract to construct the ships which will replace the Navy’s current supply ships HMA Ships Success and Sirius. The new AORs are scheduled to be delivered by 2019 and 2020. 

Managing Director of Navantia Australia Francisco Baron said today marks an important milestone in the SEA1654 project. 

"Today we have reached the first major milestone in the delivery of this key enabling capability to Navy”.

 “Navantia understands the importance of meeting targets at the initial design and build stages to deliver a capability on time and on budget and that’s why the importance of cutting steel today, on schedule, is so important”, Mr Baron concluded. 

Australian industry will play a key role in the build of the AORs with a minimum $120million of investment into Australian products, skills and expertise. As part of this, 4500 tonnes of the steel has been sourced from BlueScope. 

Navantia Australia Board Member Warren King says Navantia’s engagement with Australian Industry to build the AORs highlights the capability and capacity of local businesses which has been further demonstrated in the build of the Navantia designed Hobart Class destroyers. 

“We have a world class supply chain right here in Australia – it’s a combination of the right skills, right people and right attitude – that’s something Navantia Australia has come to know over the years engaged with the Australian supply chain. 

Mr King says Navantia’s understanding of the Australian supply chain makes Navantia confident that their bid for the SEA5000 Future Frigates project will provide the best opportunities for Australian industry. 

“Navantia sees our local industry as critical to the build of the Future Frigates and critical to the future success of a sovereign shipbuilding industry. It’s a relationship we at Navantia have invested in and will continue to develop to grow Navantia in Australia and to grow Australian industry. 

In addition to BlueScope’s steel the AORs Integrated Platform Management System – the system that controls and monitors all the platform systems – will be built in Australia by NSAG, Navantia’s joint venture with Adelaide based SAGE Automation’s Hobart’s Taylor Bros will supply a range of services including hospital, laundry  and galley fitouts while SAAB Australia will supply the combat management systems and Raytheon Australia will supply the communications systems.  

Navantia as full responsible for the sustainment of both ships for their first five years of operation is already working in the sustainment arrangements for the future ships which will imply a bigger presence in Sydney and the opening of an office in Western Australia to support and maintain both ships.


Embraer Declared as ‘Lowest Calculated Bidder’ for Close Air Support Aircraft Project

21 Juni 2017

Embraer A-29A Super Tucano (EMB-314) (photo : Flying Dutchman)

The Department of National Defense (DND) confirmed to Update Philippines that Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer was declared as the lowest calculated bidder in the ongoing Close Air Support Aircraft Acquisition Project for the Philippine Air Force.

“Embraer was determined as the lowest calculated bidder for the Close Air Support Project, but they still have to undergo and pass the post-qualification inspection to be awarded the contract,” DND told Update Philippines.

Post-qualification inspection includes the checking of manufacturer’s facilities and the aircraft offered.

The said project will acquire six close air support aircraft to replace/complement the Air Force’s Rockwell OV-10 “Bronco” turboprop attack planes.

Embraer offered the Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano also referred to as A-29.


20 Juni 2017

$500 Million for Enhanced Satellite Capability

20 Juni 2017

Artist's impression of WorldView-4 satellite (image : Aus DoD)

The Turnbull Government has announced a $500 million investment to improve Australia’s space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, to support ADF operations around the world and at home to secure our borders.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP and Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne today committed $500 million to improve Defence’s access to commercial satellites to provide information to government agencies.

This information will be used to support Australia’s defence priorities including defence operations, border protection and humanitarian missions.

Minister Payne said that Defence Project 799 was introduced in the 2016 Defence White Paper to enhance Australia’s geospatial-intelligence capabilities.

Phase 1 of the project will provide Australia with direct and more timely access to commercial imaging satellites to support a wide range of Defence and national security activities.

“Defence’s enhanced access to these satellites will increase Australia’s capacity to maintain surveillance and improve situational awareness for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and other national security agencies through the provision of high-quality imagery,” Minister Payne said.  

“This means imagery from high-end commercial satellites, now in orbit, will be integrated directly into the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation’s imagery dissemination systems, reducing the time it will take for satellite imagery to get to a member of the ADF or the officers of Australia’s national security agencies.”

Minister Pyne said these contracting arrangements will provide improved value for money for the Australian Government when accessing commercial imagery.

The investment will immediately create 22 new jobs in Defence and industry across Australia in direct support of the establishment and maintenance of the capability, with many others created in the supply chain as the project matures.  

“The Turnbull Government is committed to maximising Australian Industry content, with this project forecasting over $144 million to be spent in Australia, creating jobs and generating economic growth.” 

“Australian industry will benefit with around $14 million spent locally to build the ground infrastructure to collect imagery from commercial satellites”, Minister Pyne said.

A total of $130 million will be spent on support contracts over the 13 year life of the project providing commercial opportunities for Australian companies - including in the Northern Territory and South Australia.  

This investment will also create opportunities for Australian companies interested in satellite technology and imagery analysis.

(Aus DoD)