Janes news RSShttps://www.janes.com/Janes news RSS feed. urn:uuid:ccda211c-10f3-4854-8c6d-d38d2a6f0d7ehttps://www.janes.com/defence-news/taiwan-aiming-to-complete-upgrade-of-22-f-16ab-fighters-by-end-of-2020 Taiwan aiming to complete upgrade of 22 F-16A/B fighters by end of 2020Taiwan’s plan to complete the upgrade of 22 Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) F-16A/B multirole fighter aircraft to the latest F-16V configuration by the end of 2020...Mon, 07 Dec 2020 15:20:19 Z<p>Taiwan’s plan to complete the upgrade of 22 Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) F-16A/B multirole fighter aircraft to the latest F-16V configuration by the end of 2020 remains on schedule, Taiwanese media have reported referring to a RoCAF report submitted to the island’s Legislative Yuan.</p> <p>Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) reported on 6 December that 19 of the 22 F-16 upgrades planned for this year under the RoCAF’s Peace Phoenix Rising programme have already been completed, with three more aircraft set to complete the upgrade later this month. These 22 platforms will add to the 15 that have been upgraded over the past two years, according to the CNA.</p> <p>Under the Peace Phoenix Rising programme, which was launched in 2016 and is being carried out by Lockheed Martin and Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC), about 140 F-16A/Bs are to be upgraded to the F-16V configuration by the end of 2023. </p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]76738311-fb93-4c90-adb0-09465a571183?sfvrsn=84e0cf02_2" alt="Taiwan’s plan to upgrade 22 RoCAF F-16A/B fighter aircraft to the latest F-16V configuration (seen here) this year remains on track, according to the RoCAF. (Lockheed Martin)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">Taiwan’s plan to upgrade 22 RoCAF F-16A/B fighter aircraft to the latest F-16V configuration (seen here) this year remains on track, according to the RoCAF. (Lockheed Martin)</p></div> <p>According to the media outlet, Taiwan plans to upgrade 35 more F-16A/Bs in 2021, an equal number of aircraft the following year, and the remaining 32 aircraft by 2023. </p> <p>The latest developments come after the Pentagon announced on 5 November that Lockheed Martin had been awarded a USD53.2 million contract modification to provide miscellaneous support for 50 F-16 “retrofit” fighter aircraft under the programme.</p> <p>The US Department of Defense said the modification “provides for contractor over and above support, and acquisition of legacy aircraft hardware and equipment”, adding that work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas; and Taiwan, and is expected to be completed by 31 December 2023.</p> urn:uuid:72b1c6d6-b962-446c-902a-f3a84e43ec16https://www.janes.com/defence-news/usaf-to-field-interim-ervs-solution-for-kc-46a-tanker USAF to field interim ERVS solution for KC-46A tankerThe US Air Force (USAF) is to field interim enhancements to the problematic Remote Vision System (RVS) for its Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker-transport aircraft.Mon, 07 Dec 2020 15:17:57 Z<p>The US Air Force (USAF) is to field interim enhancements to the problematic Remote Vision System (RVS) for its Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker-transport aircraft.</p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]78f973c8-c371-406f-b5cb-4b2d17ed371c?sfvrsn=f08833bb_2" alt="A pair of Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft prior to delivery to the USAF. The service is to filed an interim solution for its remote vision system problem, to be known as ERVS. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">A pair of Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft prior to delivery to the USAF. The service is to filed an interim solution for its remote vision system problem, to be known as ERVS. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)</p></div> <p>The Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) announced the move on 2 December, saying that demonstration flights conducted over the summer (third quarter) had validated the Enhanced Remote Vision System (ERVS) as a stopgap measure until RVS 2.0 is rolled out in late 2023. RVS 2.0 is the agreed final solution to resolve Category 1 deficiencies associated with the current RVS.</p> <p>“The implementation of ERVS will provide some benefit to our ‘Total Force’ boom operators in the near-term, but most importantly will not delay the fielding of RVS 2.0,” General Jacqueline Van Ovost, commander of Air Mobility Command (AMC), was quoted as saying.</p> <p>While boom operators have traditionally been located at the back of the aircraft to manually ‘fly’ the boom onto the receiver aircraft, in the KC-46A the boom operator has been moved into the cockpit from where he or she interacts with the receiver aircraft via multiple 3D cameras and large screens. This RVS set-up has been experiencing problems with sun glare and other issues that have resulted in unintended boom contacts with receiver aircraft.</p> <p>As noted by the AFMC, “the ERVS updates to try and solve these issues in the interim will include software-only improvements to help fix image distortion issues and tailor the display for each user’s specific vision characteristics on the fielded RVS on KC-46A aircraft. These updates are expected to be completed in late 2021.”</p> urn:uuid:07f30bf4-0cee-4d31-b0c0-cef20d0ea1d0https://www.janes.com/defence-news/us-expands-list-of-communist-chinese-military-companies US expands list of ‘Communist Chinese military companies'The US Department of Defense (DoD) has identified four additional Chinese corporations that it claims have links to China’s military. The companies’ inclusion on the...Mon, 07 Dec 2020 10:40:16 Z<p>The US Department of Defense (DoD) has identified four additional Chinese corporations that it claims have links to China’s military. The companies’ inclusion on the list of ‘Communist Chinese military companies’ means that US investors will be prevented from buying stock in the firms from January 2021.</p> <p>The new list, which takes the number of blacklisted Chinese companies to 35, features corporations that are known primarily for operations in commercial domains. They include the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), China Construction Technology Company (CCTC), China International Engineering Consulting Corporation (CIECC), and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).</p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]892d022e-0a99-45d7-b6f9-33e8c0a11f9b?sfvrsn=b0b44762_2" alt="The US DoD has identified additional Chinese corporations that it says are linked to the Chinese military. The identification means US investors will be barred from purchasing stock in the firms. (Getty Images)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">The US DoD has identified additional Chinese corporations that it says are linked to the Chinese military. The identification means US investors will be barred from purchasing stock in the firms. (Getty Images)</p></div> <p>The DoD said these firms’ inclusion on the list is aligned with US efforts to tackle China’s military-civil fusion (MCF) strategy, which seeks to adopt advanced commercial technologies for military gains.</p> <p>It said, “The [DoD] is determined to highlight and counter the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) military-civil fusion development strategy, which supports the modernisation goals of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) by ensuring its access to advanced technologies and expertise acquired and developed by even those PRC companies, universities, and research programs that appear to be civilian entities.”</p> <p>The DoD added that the list of Chinese companies will continue to be updated “with additional entities as appropriate”.</p> <p>In response to the listing, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson said on 4 December that the move constituted a “groundless suppression”. </p> urn:uuid:48cbeee2-763a-42ce-970a-245ab89f72d6https://www.janes.com/defence-news/socom-plans-new-round-of-advanced-isr-technology-experiments SOCOM plans new round of advanced ISR technology experimentsResearch and development officials at US Special Operations Command are looking to industry to help the command develop a slew of advanced intelligence, surveillance,...Mon, 07 Dec 2020 09:17:27 Z<p>Research and development officials at US Special Operations Command are looking to industry to help the command develop a slew of advanced intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and exploitation technologies, to get those capabilities into the hands of the US armed forces’ most clandestine units. </p> <p>The technologies being sought and ultimately selected by command officials, which run the gamut from Android devices to exfil highly sensitive data from austere combat locations to new single man portable unmanned ground systems (UGS) for ISR missions, will be slated for live demonstrations during SOCOM’s upcoming Technical Experiment 21-2. </p> <p>Set for March 2021 at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, and Jefferson Proving Ground in Indiana, the advanced ISR technologies on display will “provide participants with the opportunity to gain Special Operations Forces (SOF) insight [and] perspective on . . . emerging technologies, technical applications, and their potential to provide solutions for future SOF capabilities,” the 3 December request for information (RFI) stated. </p> <p>As part of the slate of ISR technologies SOCOM is seeking input from industry on its development of advanced software defined radios, digital receivers, and antennas for secure data transmission during expeditionary operations, the RFI stated. On the radios and digital receivers, command officials are seeking remotely reprogrammable and reconfigurable systems, capable of secure unattended operations and “full [radio frequency] spectrum capabilities and processing against all known signals of interest,” the solicitation states. The advanced radios must also include data infiltration and exfiltration capabilities to support payload information transport, it added. </p> <div class="container"><img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]bf0652f9-da14-4dad-b92f-efcd35d25160?sfvrsn=8a121f34_2" alt="Members of Naval Special Warfare Group 11 (NSWG-11) conduct small boat operations. (US Navy )"></div>urn:uuid:f37244da-db2c-4a6c-8dbd-54f73fd45b24https://www.janes.com/defence-news/asia-pacific-to-overtake-north-america-as-highest-regional-defence-spender-says-janes Asia Pacific to overtake North America as highest regional defence spender, says JanesFast rates of growth in the Asia-Pacific region in the past 10 years mean that it will overtake North America as the highest regional defence spender by 2029, according to the latest data from Janes.Mon, 07 Dec 2020 00:01:01 Z<p><em>Fast rates of growth in the Asia-Pacific region in the past 10 years mean that it will overtake North America as the highest regional defence spender by 2029, according to the latest data from the trusted global agency for open-source defence intelligence.&nbsp;</em></p><p><strong>SINGAPORE</strong>&ndash; Intelligence from <a href="[f669d9a7-009d-4d83-ddaa-000000000002]66596796-06F0-417D-9966-5A04DF5B8CEC">Janes </a>highlights that governments in the Asia-Pacific region allocated more than USD505 billion to defence in 2020 &ndash; a 4.3% increase in real terms. The trusted global agency for open-source defence intelligence data anticipates that the Asia-Pacific region will overtake North America as the region with the highest defence spend in the world.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;It is safe to say that the impact of the pandemic won&rsquo;t jeopardise Asia&rsquo;s status as the world&rsquo;s second-largest regional defence market,&rdquo; said Andrew MacDonald, Principal Analyst at Janes. &ldquo;The region now accounts for almost 28% of total global spending, up from 20% a decade ago. It&rsquo;s now forecast to spend as much as North America before the end of the decade.&rdquo;</p><p>Janes <a href="https://hubs.ly/H0zS8YS0" data-sf-ec-immutable="">notes </a>that although 2020&rsquo;s annual expansion of Asian budgets marked a slight slowdown from that of 2019, it remains slightly above the average for the past five years.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;In 2021 we&rsquo;re expecting a notable fall in this growth rate, to just over 3% year on year, as some of the delayed effects of Covid-19 are felt in the region&rsquo;s fiscal environment,&rdquo; MacDonald said. &ldquo;From 2022 onwards we&rsquo;re forecasting a relatively swift recovery back to normal rates of around 4% per year.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>About Janes Defence Industry Intelligence (<a href="[f669d9a7-009d-4d83-ddaa-000000000002]B0352D1D-46C1-4C09-A39A-D877F8303F38">www.janes.com/industryintel</a>)</strong></p><p>Janes defence industry intelligence empowers customers to make critical decisions in a dynamic and complex industry. By navigating seamlessly from mission and market insights to opportunity identification and capture tactics, customers get better insights into the drivers of demand and supply in their environment. The connectivity between Janes data sets including market forecasts, companies, budgets, programmes, country risk, inventories and equipment, provides the actionable intelligence needed to deliver the mission.</p><div><em>Not a subscriber? <a href="https://hubs.ly/H0zS8YS0" data-sf-ec-immutable="">Watch 'The Reshaping of Asia-Pacific Defence Markets' here.</a></em></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div>urn:uuid:c1eea50a-042c-411f-bddc-bdef9aa8a4c8https://www.janes.com/defence-news/us-congress-moves-to-block-troop-withdrawals-from-afghanistan-and-germany US Congress moves to block troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and GermanyUS lawmakers are throwing up legislative roadblocks to prevent the outgoing US administration from reducing troop levels in Afghanistan and Germany before...Fri, 04 Dec 2020 17:06:19 Z<p>US lawmakers are throwing up legislative roadblocks to prevent the outgoing US administration from reducing troop levels in Afghanistan and Germany before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on 20 January 2021.</p> <p>House and Senate conferees have hashed out the mutual terms for the proposed fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, and are set to vote on and approve the measure in before sending it to President Donald Trump’s desk. Included are two provisions designed to hamstring the Pentagon from following through with troop reductions abroad.</p> <p>When it comes to Afghanistan, in November Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller announced plans to slash US troop levels from about 4,500 down to 2,500 by mid-January 2021. The bill, however, prevents the department from reducing troop levels below 4,000 – or the total number left when the legislation is enacted – until the Pentagon, State Department, and the director of national intelligence detail how a drawdown affects threats to the United States, the counterterrorism mission against the Islamic State, and more.</p> <p>“The conferees note the South Asia strategy emphasizes the importance of a conditions-based United States presence in Afghanistan in support of ongoing diplomatic efforts to secure a peaceful, negotiated solution to the conflict,” lawmakers wrote. “The conferees further note that any decision to reduce the armed forces of the United States in Afghanistan should be done in an orderly manner and in coordination with United States allies and partners and the government of Afghanistan.”</p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]805adb96-e6c7-493d-acab-b3cb696a157d?sfvrsn=d59d92d6_2" alt="Afghan security forces inspect the scene of a car bomb explosion in Kabul on 27 October that resulted in at least three people being killed and 13 others wounded. US lawmakers have included provisions in the final version of the fiscal year 2021 defense autorisation bill to prevent troop reductions in Afghanistan and Germany. (Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)"> </div>urn:uuid:c54b8761-a58d-4407-bc3a-666a6fb4fee4https://www.janes.com/defence-news/upgrade-funding-accelerated-procurement-drives-usaf-hh-60w-cost-growth Upgrade funding, accelerated procurement drives USAF HH-60W cost growthCapability upgrades identified in 2019 and accelerated aircraft procurement of the US Air Force (USAF) Sikorsky HH-60W Jolly Green II combat search-and-rescue (CSAR)...Fri, 04 Dec 2020 16:39:23 Z<p>Capability upgrades identified in 2019 and accelerated aircraft procurement of the US Air Force (USAF) Sikorsky HH-60W Jolly Green II combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) helicopter are responsible for programme cost growth, according to the Pentagon.</p> <p>The HH-60W’s programme costs increased by USD933 million, or 10.2%, from USD9.2 billion to 10.1 billion, as reported in the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) Selected Acquisition Reports (SARs) released in November 2020. This information, for the December 2019 reporting period, is based on the SARs through the first quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2020, as updated by the FY 2021 budget request submitted on 26 May 2020.</p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]981e0a54-44a8-416f-b071-22fb1a1690dd?sfvrsn=feb64be6_2" alt="The HH-60W on display on 27 February at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium. Capability upgrades identified in 2019 and accelerated aircraft procurement are responsible for programme cost growth, according to the Pentagon. (Janes/Pat Host)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">The HH-60W on display on 27 February at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium. Capability upgrades identified in 2019 and accelerated aircraft procurement are responsible for programme cost growth, according to the Pentagon. (Janes/Pat Host)</p></div> <p>USAF spokesman Captain Joshua Benedetti said on 23 November that the FY 2021 budget request accelerates aircraft procurement and increases initial spares funding to account for the HH-60W unique spares requirement not previously captured in the original acquisition programme baseline (APB). The Future Years Defense Program (FYDP), which projects Pentagon funding, manpower, and force structure needed over a five-year period, includes an additional three aircraft in FY 2021, seven more aircraft in FY 2022, eight additional platforms in FY 2023, and five more HH-60Ws in FY 2024.</p> <p>Funding is available for a total procurement of 108 platforms, including 10 test aircraft, within the 113 platform limit of the current contract.</p> <p>The requirements for the HH-60W programme were set in 2012 and approved at Milestone B in 2014. Capt Benedetti said that the mission needs and threats have evolved since the original contract award.</p> urn:uuid:c817fa98-fd3e-43f7-aad6-f9e163e8441fhttps://www.janes.com/defence-news/military-use-of-social-media-accounts-widens Military use of social media accounts widensThe proliferation of open-source intelligence (OSINT) in the 2010s has enabled professionals and amateurs to exploit a wealth of freely available information that can...Fri, 04 Dec 2020 16:39:00 Z<p>The proliferation of open-source intelligence (OSINT) in the 2010s has enabled professionals and amateurs to exploit a wealth of freely available information that can provide a picture of global events. Powerful tools have become more readily available that can track military assets, including the Automatic Identification System (AIS) on many maritime vessels, automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) and other systems for tracking aircraft via their transponders, commercial electro-optical and synthetic aperture radar satellite imagery at various degrees of resolution, and many tools for exploiting the ubiquity of geolocation software in smartphones.</p> <p>As recently as 2005, and notably before Twitter’s creation, it would have been impossible to track many military assets such as navy vessels on deployment to various theatres. However, the arrival of Twitter in 2006 – and with it, the creation of networks of experienced analysts using the ever-increasing range of OSINT tools – has democratised access to such knowledge. Twitter’s 100 million users were posting 340 million tweets a day by 2012. This social media platform, more than any other, became one of the most-used resources for gathering OSINT data.</p> <p>Moreover, although amateurs initially tended to use social media for information-gathering due to ease and availability, social media soon attracted the attention of national intelligence communities for collection, and some agencies created dedicated OSINT departments. However, official government and military social media accounts were less adept at posting information, to the extent that, at the time of writing, official accounts either did not exist or lacked information. This would often be because agencies aware of their own collection against adversaries on social media would reasonably assess that such targeting was taking place in reverse.</p> <h2>Alternative facts</h2> <div class="container"><img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]3002bdcc-fc59-4991-add0-40b00e839645?sfvrsn=8c5bf418_2" alt=" Russian Ministry of Defence footage, originally released on 7 October 2020 and widely recirculated online, shows the missile sequence of the reported test of a 3M-22 Tsirkon hypersonic anti-ship missile by the Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov -class guided missile frigate (FFGHM). At launch from the vertical launch system (VLS), the weather is good with only high and thin cloud cover, but the next sequence shows thick cloud into which the missile disappears. Such anomalies call the whole video into question. (Source withheld)"></div>urn:uuid:51f37f02-d0fc-4470-97b9-9e0fe6405e80https://www.janes.com/defence-news/us-army-deploying-45-sfab-soldiers-to-honduras US Army deploying 45 SFAB soldiers to HondurasThe US Army is sending approximately 45 Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) soldiers to Honduras in early 2021 for a seven-month stint to work with the Central...Fri, 04 Dec 2020 13:49:57 Z<p> The US Army is sending approximately 45 Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) soldiers to Honduras in early 2021 for a seven-month stint to work with the Central American nation’s military, the service told <em>Janes</em> . </p> <p>In late November United States Army South (USARSOUTH) issued a solicitation for contracted meal services to support SFAB troops in Olancho, Honduras, from 4 January 2021 until 31 July 2021, and a public affairs officer for the 1st SFAB from Fort Benning, Georgia confirmed the deployment.</p> <p> Their mission will be to “provide Honduran partners assistance based on their operational and institutional needs to achieve shared strategic objectives through our co-operative relationship,” Major Chris Webb told <em>Janes</em> on 3 December. He noted that these troops will only be working with Honduran forces during this time and will not fan out into other countries. </p> <p>In October 1st SFAB Commander Colonel Thomas Hough said that this mission was on the horizon.</p> <p>“I think our next opportunity in [the region] to partner is going to be in Honduras [and] that will probably happen over the next couple months,” Col Hough told reporters at the time.</p> <p>This forthcoming deployment marks the second time that SFAB soldiers will deploy to the US Southern Command area of responsibility. The first time occurred earlier this year when the army sent a 45-member task force into Colombia to support the nation’s military with counter-narcotics operations in an ‘advise and assist’ capacity.</p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]2e7b331c-73da-4a29-8a49-4825de3efd72?sfvrsn=15a17947_2" alt="Sergeant First Class Jeremiah Velez, left, an advisor with 3rd Squadron, 1st SFAB, works with a simulated foreign partner during a field training exercise in October 2019 at Fort Benning, Georgia. Soldiers from the 1st SFAB will head to Honduras in January 2021. (US Army)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">Sergeant First Class Jeremiah Velez, left, an advisor with 3rd Squadron, 1st SFAB, works with a simulated foreign partner during a field training exercise in October 2019 at Fort Benning, Georgia. Soldiers from the 1st SFAB will head to Honduras in January 2021. (US Army)</p></div> urn:uuid:3c89b18d-41f9-48b0-8652-9eb1f6d197b5https://www.janes.com/defence-news/germany-delays-tlvs-once-again Germany delays TLVS once againGermany has again delayed its Taktische Luftverteidigungssystem (TLVS) ground-based air-defence programme, with a contract no longer expected in 2021.Fri, 04 Dec 2020 12:44:08 Z<p>Germany has again delayed its Taktische Luftverteidigungssystem (TLVS) ground-based air-defence programme, with a contract no longer expected in 2021.</p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]41f1044b-9891-4e19-8c02-8901b48aa1b9?sfvrsn=50604aeb_2" alt="The components that make a MEADS battery displayed at a recent ILA Berlin Airshow. Germany has again delayed its TLVS air-defence project for which MEADS was selected, with no new contract in 2021 as previously expected. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">The components that make a MEADS battery displayed at a recent ILA Berlin Airshow. Germany has again delayed its TLVS air-defence project for which MEADS was selected, with no new contract in 2021 as previously expected. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)</p></div> <p>MBDA Deutschland, which along with Lockheed Martin has been working on the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) to fulfil the Luftwaffe’s TLVS requirement since the early 2000s, issued a statement on 3 December saying that inadequate funding has been committed to the programme in the federal budget and that consequently there would be no contract award in the short or medium term.</p> <p>“After the clean-up meeting on 26 November, the TLVS is only provided with a very small base amount in the federal budget. A contract to implement TLVS is no longer planned for 2021,” MBDA Deutschland said.</p> <p>As noted by the MBDA Deutschland consortium that comprises Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%), and Leonardo (25%), rather than award a contract, the Federal Defence Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, announced that she instead wants to examine and evaluate the country’s air-defence requirement in its entirety. A result of the assessment should be available in the first few months of 2021.</p> urn:uuid:5eb9392e-c3e7-4e64-99f1-6cfa0059ab56https://www.janes.com/defence-news/malian-air-force-orders-second-c295w Malian Air Force orders second C295WThe Malian Air Force has ordered a second Airbus C295W transport aircraft, the company announced on 2 December.Fri, 04 Dec 2020 12:33:07 Z<p>The Malian Air Force has ordered a second Airbus C295W transport aircraft, the company announced on 2 December.</p><div class="container"><img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]9c0a8026-7314-46f4-a88d-a3862a4706cd?sfvrsn=4c1ec61f_2" alt="Mali needs a second C295 to maintain an airlink with isolated garrisons in the north of the country. (Airbus Defence)"><p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">Mali needs a second C295 to maintain an airlink with isolated garrisons in the north of the country. (Airbus Defence)</p></div><p>The aircraft is slated for delivery in 2021 and will join the C295W that entered Malian service in 2016. Airbus said the first has already accumulated 1,770 flying hours and transported 38,000 passengers and 900 tonnes of cargo.</p><p>An integrated logistics support package has been included in the new contract that covers spare parts for both C295Ws, as well as training for their crews and mechanics.</p><p>&ldquo;This acquisition is in response to the urgent need of the authorities of the Republic of Mali to have [a] permanent air transport capacity within a very short timeframe, providing a vital link supporting operations and actions for the development of isolated areas in the northern regions of the country,&rdquo; Airbus said.</p><p>Based at Air Base 101 at Bamako-S&eacute;nou, the Malian Air Force&rsquo;s transport fleet also includes two Harbin Y-12s and a Bassler 67. </p><p>&nbsp;</p>urn:uuid:eb66c763-fd20-4961-9f27-008e9f15fda8https://www.janes.com/defence-news/airbus-vsr700-completes-first-autonomous-flight-from-a-moving-deck Airbus VSR700 completes first autonomous flight from a moving deckAirbus Helicopters announced on 30 November that it successfully performed autonomous take-off and landing (ATOL) from a moving deck using its Vertivision Surveillance...Fri, 04 Dec 2020 12:32:38 Z<p>Airbus Helicopters announced on 30 November that it successfully performed autonomous take-off and landing (ATOL) from a moving deck using its Vertivision Surveillance Rotorcraft 700 (VSR700) optionally piloted vehicle (OPV). </p> <p>The milestone was achieved using the Deck Finder local positioning sensor system and the DeckMotion Simulator supplied by Airbus Defence and Space.</p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]7ee7a291-0544-4d26-a9a3-3f09c1a1f4fc?sfvrsn=44a3ef4b_2" alt="The VSR700 OPV demonstrated its ability to take off and land autonomously on a moving platform. (Airbus Helicopters)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">The VSR700 OPV demonstrated its ability to take off and land autonomously on a moving platform. (Airbus Helicopters)</p></div> <p>The VSR700 OPV is being developed as a multimission naval UAS under a joint venture between Airbus Helicopters and Hélicoptères Guimbal in response to the French Navy’s Système de Drones Aériens de la Marine (SDAM) requirement announced in 2016. </p> <p>The effort also involves French naval shipbuilder DCNS, which is responsible for integration of the VSR700 into ship-based operations. </p> <p>The VSR700 OPV is based on the Cabri G2 light helicopter developed by Hélicoptères Guimbal and incorporates autonomous technologies already tested by Airbus Helicopters. According to company specifications the OPV uses guidance in conjunction with compact ground control station (GCS) options and the GCS can be integrated into the ship’s command management system for deployment from corvettes and larger naval platforms. </p> <p>The OPV is comparable with the US Navy’s Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout, weighing 700 kg and measuring 6.2 m in length and 2.28 m in height. It is powered by a 155 hp Continental CD-155 heavy fuel piston engine. </p> urn:uuid:4f8600c1-c6e8-4376-84b2-274c832f3659https://www.janes.com/defence-news/pentagon-seeks-to-improve-training-opportunities-in-japan Pentagon seeks to improve training opportunities in JapanThe Pentagon is looking for ways to better utilise existing training opportunities in Japan to improve deterrence in the region, according to a key officer.Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:31:09 Z<p>The Pentagon is looking for ways to better utilise existing training opportunities in Japan to improve deterrence in the region, according to a key officer.</p> <p>Lieutenant General Kevin Schneider, US Forces Japan commander and chief of 5th Air Force, Pacific Air Forces, Yokota Air Base, Japan, said on 1 December that most of the United States’ high-end training for ground and air forces stationed in Japan take place outside the nation. This is because the Pentagon does not have the training ranges, air space, and freedom of manoeuvre or flexibility that Lt Gen Schneider wants for US forces to maintain their highest level of readiness.</p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]735dfa9d-03aa-4818-b75e-1316ae95953c?sfvrsn=63f7b2b9_2" alt="The Pentagon performs CV-22 low altitude training at Camp Fuji in Japan. The US wants to better utilise training opportunities in Japan to improve deterrence in the region, but this requires ‘local understanding’, which a top Pentagon official said can be a tough conversation. (Boeing)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">The Pentagon performs CV-22 low altitude training at Camp Fuji in Japan. The US wants to better utilise training opportunities in Japan to improve deterrence in the region, but this requires ‘local understanding’, which a top Pentagon official said can be a tough conversation. (Boeing)</p></div> <p>Lt Gen Schneider said that US Air Force (USAF) and Japan Air Self-Defense Forces (JASDF) must train at Red Flag in Nevada to perform high-end training such as all-altitude and all-spectrum. This includes electronic warfare (EW) and using live munitions.</p> <p>“I believe it chips away at our deterrent value if we are having to take the show on the road and go somewhere else to train,” Lt Gen Schneider said during an Air Force Association (AFA) event. “I think there is a lot we can do with reveal and conceal if we are able to do that here in Japan all the time, or to a greater extent than we do right now.”</p> urn:uuid:31b6519a-a1e4-413e-a981-031fa4eec4a5https://www.janes.com/defence-news/south-korea-increases-defence-budget-for-2021_14039 South Korea increases defence budget for 2021South Korea’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) has announced a 2021 defence budget of KWR52.84 trillion (USD48 billion).Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:30:17 Z<p>South Korea’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) has announced a 2021 defence budget of KWR52.84 trillion (USD48 billion). </p> <p>The proposed expenditure amounts to a 5.4% increase over the KRW50.15 trillion allocation in 2020.</p> <p>The new defence expenditure follows a year in which the South Korean economy fell into recession, due to the impact of Covid-19, but also subsequently responded strongly, reporting GDP growth in the most recent quarter.</p> <p>In a statement on 2 December the MND said that the 2021 defence budget includes KRW35.84 trillion for military operations and expenses, which it said is a 7.1% increase over 2020. Funding for force modernisation, including procurement and research and development (R&D), will receive KRW16.96 trillion in 2021, an increase of 1.9%.</p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]e312394c-35f2-4001-9386-2df7f4f194e5?sfvrsn=fbe079a8_2" alt="South Korea has announced a 7.1% increase in its defence budget for 2021, with some of the funding allocated to programmes including the procurement of Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter aircraft. (DAPA)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">South Korea has announced a 7.1% increase in its defence budget for 2021, with some of the funding allocated to programmes including the procurement of Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter aircraft. (DAPA)</p></div> <p>The MND said that funding for operations and expenses would be focused on supporting defence operations, education and training, improving personnel welfare, and reinforcing the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces’ responses to non-traditional threats including infectious diseases and terrorism.</p> <p>It added that the allocation for force modernisation grew only modestly compared with the increase in 2020, which was 8.5%, because some “large-scale procurement projects – such as the F-35 – entered their final stages”. The MND agreed to procure 40 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter aircraft in September 2014 for a cost of USD7 billion. First deliveries took place in March 2019.</p> urn:uuid:6ed4861f-14d5-4313-bb07-d9d61be40cbahttps://www.janes.com/defence-news/singapore-army-unveils-next-generation-personal-equipment Singapore Army unveils next-generation personal equipmentThe Singapore Army on 2 December launched a new set of personal equipment comprising a new lightweight and modular ballistic helmet and tactical load-bearing system...Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:29:35 Z<p>The Singapore Army on 2 December launched a new set of personal equipment comprising a new lightweight and modular ballistic helmet and tactical load-bearing system (LBS) designed to boost soldier performance with enhanced ergonomics and heat dissipation. </p> <p>The new ballistic helmet is replacing the incumbent set, which is essentially a localised derivative of the Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT) helmet developed in the United States from the 1980s, and adopts a high-cut shell that enhances integration with other soldier equipment, such as ear mufflers, tactical communication devices, and night vision sights. </p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]9842b7dd-bf4f-491b-bdcc-91c31671dd18?sfvrsn=b60dfede_2" alt="The new load-bearing system comprises the standard and enhanced variants. The enhanced variant, which is being issued to combat units, is seen along with the new high-cut ballistic helmet in this image. (Janes/Kelvin Wong)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">The new load-bearing system comprises the standard and enhanced variants. The enhanced variant, which is being issued to combat units, is seen along with the new high-cut ballistic helmet in this image. (Janes/Kelvin Wong)</p></div> <p>The new helmet is also designed to provide an improved fit for local physiques and weighs approximately 10% lighter than its predecessor, with adjustable padding that can be customised to ensure a precise and comfortable fit for individual soldiers. The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said in a statement that conscripts enlisted from October 2019 have been issued the new helmet.</p> <p>The army is also replacing its current integrated load bearing vests (iLBVs) that were introduced from 2009 with the new LBS. Unlike the common iLBV, the new kit is being offered in two variants – LBS (Standard) or LBS (Enhanced) – depending on their specific training requirements and mission profiles.</p> <p>Lieutenant Colonel Ho Chee Leong, head of the Singapore Army’s Centre of Excellence for Soldier Performance (CESP), told media during a 20 November demonstration at Selarang Camp, that combat units such as the infantry, guards, and commandos will be equipped with the LBS (Enhanced) while personnel who undertake “less physically demanding” operations will receive the LBS (Standard).</p> urn:uuid:fc28554b-ee4b-4a63-9a90-ca3771bd3e8dhttps://www.janes.com/defence-news/sac-to-decide-on-extending-heavy-airlift-wing-adding-new-aircraft-and-members SAC to decide on extending Heavy Airlift Wing, adding new aircraft and membersThe NATO supported Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) is to decide in the coming months whether or not to extend the current 30-year memorandum of understanding (MoU)...Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:28:48 Z<p>The NATO supported Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) is to decide in the coming months whether or not to extend the current 30-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) that is currently due to expire in 2038, with potentially additional aircraft and new members also being added.</p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]b0380fa1-e7bc-45fc-abc5-7baf0c53d149?sfvrsn=2c844a14_2" alt="The SAC programme will look at potentially extending the MoU it has in place with 12 nations to operate three C-17 transport aircraft out of Pápa Airbase in Hungary, with additional aircraft types and new members also a possibility. (NATO)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">The SAC programme will look at potentially extending the MoU it has in place with 12 nations to operate three C-17 transport aircraft out of Pápa Airbase in Hungary, with additional aircraft types and new members also a possibility. (NATO)</p></div> <p>Speaking at the virtual SMi Military Airlift and Air-to-Air Refuelling 2020 conference, the commander of the SAC’s Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW), US Air Force (USAF) Colonel James Sparrow, said that with the capability’s three Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft now set to remain in USAF service for a lot longer than originally anticipated, consideration is being given to extending the programme at the same time as potentially adding new airframe types and members.</p> <p>“The MoU is a 30-year agreement that started in 2008. This timeline was based on the original lifespan of the aircraft, but as it will now be around a lot longer than that – the USAF is talking about operating it through into the 2080s – in the next year the 12 participating nations will start a discussion on whether to extend the MoU beyond 2038,” Col Sparrow said on 2 December, adding, “When the MoU extension comes up, that will be the perfect time to maybe add more nations.”</p> urn:uuid:d9dd7bf0-eed8-4fd2-b731-69af07489696https://www.janes.com/defence-news/ukraine-upgrades-bts-4-armoured-recovery-vehicle Ukraine upgrades BTS-4 armoured recovery vehicleThe Lviv Armored Plant, part of Ukraine’s state-owned UkrOboronProm (UOP), has upgraded and delivered an improved version of the BTS-4 armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) to...Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:27:39 Z<p>The Lviv Armored Plant, part of Ukraine&rsquo;s state-owned UkrOboronProm (UOP), has upgraded and delivered an improved version of the BTS-4 armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) to the Ukrainian armed forces, according to a 26 November UOP statement.</p><p>The new ARV is based on the hull of a T-54 or T-55 tank and retains the large snorkel carried on the roof of the vehicle that makes the original BTS-4 so distinctive. However, it has been upgraded through the addition of a hydraulic crane, dozer blade, a pair of winches, and a new engine.</p><div class="container"><img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]cf30026c-5686-433f-9a2f-015cc0706430?sfvrsn=98b64163_2" alt="The upgraded BTS-4 armoured recovery vehicle based on a T-55 hull. (UkrOboronProm)"><p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">The upgraded BTS-4 armoured recovery vehicle based on a T-55 hull. (UkrOboronProm)</p></div><p>UOP said the upgraded crane, installed at the front left of the hull, has a lift capacity of 12 tonnes. This enables the vehicle to lift and dismantle armoured vehicle components such as engines, turrets, and transmissions. There appears to be a small space on the roof of the vehicle, beneath the snorkel, to carry a spare engine or other components, as ARVs are often required to do.</p><p>A traction winch with 200 m of cable and a payload of 100 tonnes is installed, and the main winch is supported by an additional winch, which is used to help issue the main winch&rsquo;s cable, UOP explained. It is understood that the winch can only be used over the rear of the vehicle, as was the case for the original BTS-4. However, a large dozer blade installed at the front of the hull gives the vehicle the ability to clear debris and other obstacles to vehicle recovery, which was not available on the original.</p>urn:uuid:40b39cf0-579e-4cbf-89e2-2ee7a52d457ehttps://www.janes.com/defence-news/avic-announces-maiden-flight-of-ar-500b-shipborne-vtol-uav AVIC announces maiden flight of AR-500B shipborne VTOL UAVThe Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) announced on 2 December that it had conducted the first flight of its shipborne AR-500B vertical take-off and landing...Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:26:17 Z<p>The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) announced on 2 December that it had conducted the first flight of its shipborne AR-500B vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).</p> <p>The company’s China Helicopter Research and Development Institute (CHRDI) said in a statement that a production-ready example was successfully launched and recovered at its test facility in Poyang, northeastern Jiangxi Province, on 27 November.</p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]b7a4af51-5ce1-4387-bbde-029bd66a047c?sfvrsn=e945ecaa_2" alt="AVIC officials and engineering staff seen commemorating the AR-500B VTOL UAV’s maiden flight at the CHRDI test facility in Poyang. (AVIC)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">AVIC officials and engineering staff seen commemorating the AR-500B VTOL UAV’s maiden flight at the CHRDI test facility in Poyang. (AVIC)</p></div> <p>According to AVIC, the air vehicle was launched at 1500 h local time and completed several flight test evolutions including stationary hover and manual take-off and landing during its 30-minute flight.</p> <p>Official specifications released by CHRDI noted that the AR-500B has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 500 kg including a 70 kg payload. Control radius and endurance were quoted as 100 km and up to four hours of operation, with the air vehicle capable of attaining stated cruise and maximum level flight speeds of 120 km/h and 140 km/h, respectively, and a service ceiling of 13,123 ft (4,000 m). </p> <p>The type’s primary missions include maritime wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) and ship identification/acquisition. CHRDI explained that the AR-500B had been optimised to address the challenges of shipboard operations and featured several modifications to the baseline model.</p> urn:uuid:d8c0b2cb-96f1-492f-9b74-4b2076f2a922https://www.janes.com/defence-news/north-korea-showcases-worlds-largest-mobile-icbm North Korea showcases world's largest mobile ICBMNorth Korea displayed its latest mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on 10 October 2020 at the parade in Pyongyang to mark the 75th anniversary of the...Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:25:08 Z<p>North Korea displayed its latest mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on 10 October 2020 at the parade in Pyongyang to mark the 75th anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea. The ICBM system – the largest mobile ICBM system ever built – has not been officially named, but it is widely referred to by researchers and analysts as the ‘Hwaseong-16’. </p> <p>Four of the missiles were shown at the end of the parade and the enthusiastic reactions of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his highest-ranking generals shown in the official footage suggested that these missiles were very popular with the North Korean leadership. As of mid-November 2020, the parade was the only public appearance of the Hwaseong-16. </p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]b6a64638-38ca-4f39-81b1-52725989c23f?sfvrsn=dc6c093e_2" alt="The Hwaseong-16 is shown on a television news broadcast at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, of a military parade commemorating the 75th anniversary of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party held in Pyongyang on 10 October 2020. The new missile is likely to have an impact on the US’s ‘nuclear umbrella’ in the region. (Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">The Hwaseong-16 is shown on a television news broadcast at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, of a military parade commemorating the 75th anniversary of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party held in Pyongyang on 10 October 2020. The new missile is likely to have an impact on the US’s ‘nuclear umbrella’ in the region. (Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images)</p></div> <p>The development of a new North Korean ICBM has implications for North Korea’s neighbours and the United States. North Korea is already capable of targeting its neighbours with an array of shorter-range nuclear-capable missiles. However, if tests of either the Hwaseong-15 or -16 ICBMs are successful and North Korea deploys either or both systems, they are highly likely to have an impact on the nuclear umbrella that the US has maintained in the region for many decades. The upcoming change of US administration will also in the short term have an unsettling effect on these countries. </p> <h2>Long-term intent</h2> urn:uuid:bd67f06a-e4e7-4cbc-8625-c504ce1a8474https://www.janes.com/defence-news/chinese-defence-giants-sign-partnership-deal Chinese defence giants sign partnership dealTwo of China’s biggest defence industrial enterprises – the China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSC) and the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) – have...Fri, 04 Dec 2020 11:23:50 Z<p>Two of China’s biggest defence industrial enterprises – the China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSC) and the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) – have agreed to expand collaboration on military programmes, the groups have announced.</p> <p>A statement on 2 December said that the ‘strategic co-operation agreement’, which was signed on the previous day in Beijing, will pave the way for closer defence industrial and technology ties between the two state-owned enterprises that between them employ 500,000 people. </p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]d3bf72f8-311a-42f8-899f-12ef9f056477?sfvrsn=f0a53077_2" alt="The China Shipbuilding Corporation, constructor of PLAN assets including the Liaoning aircraft carrier (pictured), has entered a strategic partnership with weapons and C4ISR specialist CASIC. (China Daily)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">The China Shipbuilding Corporation, constructor of PLAN assets including the Liaoning aircraft carrier (pictured), has entered a strategic partnership with weapons and C4ISR specialist CASIC. (China Daily)</p></div> <p>Although not confirmed in the statement, it is expected that this collaboration will be focused on C4ISR and missile technologies for naval applications. CSC leads all of China’s major shipbuilding programmes, while CASIC’s focus is on capabilities including advanced weaponry, aerospace technologies, unmanned systems, and military space systems.</p> <p>According to the statement, the CSC-CASIC partnership will feature “expanding co-operation in new fields of technology and the promotion of improvements in quality and efficiencies”, with the latter a reference to the two corporations’ existing ties.</p> <p>It added that under the new agreement, CSC and CASIC will “carry out mutually beneficial co-operation in the fields of aerospace-defence, technological innovation, information-technology application, industrial internet technologies, and supporting equipment”. The statement also said that the two corporations would expand collaboration on pursuing defence exports.</p> <p>The statement said, “The two sides will take this opportunity to … work together to create a world-class military, maritime power, aerospace power, and manufacturing power.” These are direct references to the Chinese government’s stated intentions to support the development of a world-leading military and a world-leading defence industrial base over the coming decades.</p> urn:uuid:24081de8-0c99-41d8-a2ab-65afc4ba3304https://www.janes.com/defence-news/indonesia-in-talks-with-naval-group-for-variant-of-riachuelo-class-submarine Indonesia in talks with Naval Group for variant of Riachuelo-class submarineOfficials from Indonesia’s defence ministry are in discussions with a consortium led by French shipbuilder Naval Group for a possible order of the Riachuelo (Modified...Thu, 03 Dec 2020 09:17:01 Z<p> Officials from Indonesia’s defence ministry are in discussions with a consortium led by French shipbuilder Naval Group for a possible order of the Riachuelo (Modified Scorpene)-class submarine, separate industry sources close to the talks have confirmed with <em>Janes</em> . </p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]b53909aa-8047-4564-96f2-72021117f601?sfvrsn=477e4ccf_2" alt="Brazil’s first Riachuelo-class submarine, seen here prior to its launch in 2018. Indonesia is studying a variant of the class for its naval requirements. (Naval Group)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">Brazil’s first Riachuelo-class submarine, seen here prior to its launch in 2018. Indonesia is studying a variant of the class for its naval requirements. (Naval Group)</p></div> <p>The discussion is the latest development in what has been a series of sporadic talks between Indonesian defence planners and Naval Group since 2016, when Jakarta first indicated its interest in the Scorpene 1000 vessel type for its naval requirements.</p> <p>Due diligence specifically for the Riachuelo class began after a variant of the submarine type was suggested by Naval Group as being suitable for Indonesia’s requirements, said one of the industry sources. </p> <p>Besides technical discussions, the talks with Naval Group and its consortium also touched upon financing options and opportunities for technology transfer agreements between French and Indonesian defence companies, the source added. </p> <p>The Riachuelo class is a 1,800-tonne submarine type, four of which were ordered for the Brazilian Navy in 2009. The first-of-class was launched by Naval Group in December 2018, while the final boat is scheduled to enter the water in 2022. </p> <p>The submarine has an overall length of 75 m, an overall beam of 6.2 m, and can accommodate a crew of 31, including six officers. It is capable of deploying F21 heavyweight torpedoes and MBDA Exocet SM39 Block 2 Mod 2 missiles via 533 mm tubes, and is capable of diving up to 350 m. </p> urn:uuid:69d2a7ef-6948-480a-8fde-0ac8a1c68a65https://www.janes.com/defence-news/boeing-begins-t-7a-red-hawk-ground-based-training-system-production Boeing begins T-7A Red Hawk ground-based training system productionBoeing has started production of the ground-based training system (GBTS) it is developing for its US Air Force (USAF) T-7A Red Hawk advanced jet trainer, according to a...Thu, 03 Dec 2020 09:16:25 Z<p>Boeing has started production of the ground-based training system (GBTS) it is developing for its US Air Force (USAF) T-7A Red Hawk advanced jet trainer, according to a company statement.</p> <p>Boeing started assembling the first two weapons systems trainers (WSTs) and an operational flight trainer (OFT) at the company’s site in St. Louis, Missouri in the fourth quarter of 2020 . These simulators can connect to an actual T-7A cockpit and enable live virtual, constructive, and embedded training scenarios.</p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]56463006-955c-4097-ad30-da10f4a0ff87?sfvrsn=191a7016_2" alt="A Boeing test pilot operating the company’s T-7A representative operational flight trainer (OFT). The OFT has a five-channel projection system with a 300° field-of-view. (Boeing)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">A Boeing test pilot operating the company’s T-7A representative operational flight trainer (OFT). The OFT has a five-channel projection system with a 300° field-of-view. (Boeing)</p></div> <p>Boeing spokesman Zeyad Maasarani said on 1 December that the WST is designed for the mission crew and focuses on weapon deployment while the OFT is for the pilots and focuses on teaching students how to fly aircraft. The WST has a six-channel projection system with a 360° field-of-view. The OFT has five channels and a 300° field-of-view.</p> <p>Maasarani said the integrated live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) capability allows students in a WST or an OFT to participate in training scenarios with one or more actual T-7A aircraft. The live aircraft, he said, will be represented in the simulator environment, and both the live aircraft and simulators will participate in a common shared embedded training scenario.</p> <p>Maasarani said this will allow the USAF to add participants in its training scenarios without using additional aircraft. The ground-based OFT and WST participants can act as any role, such as an aggressor. The student pilot in the air will receive more benefit as well, he said, flying with, or against, the OFT or WST’s human pilots, rather than against a computer-generated entity.</p> urn:uuid:e1694352-b1b5-4817-927f-1199dca2d084https://www.janes.com/defence-news/new-plan-hospital-ship-deploys-to-the-south-china-sea New PLAN hospital ship deploys to the South China SeaChina’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) commissioned a new 4,000-tonne hospital ship on 30 November for service in the South China Sea, state-owned broadcaster...Thu, 03 Dec 2020 09:15:14 Z<p>China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) commissioned a new 4,000-tonne hospital ship on 30 November for service in the South China Sea, state-owned broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported the following day.</p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]876d401c-18b9-440c-934a-aff1de7fd3bc?sfvrsn=30d404ac_2" alt="Nanyi 13 , the PLAN’s latest hospital ship, was commissioned on 30 November. It is the second ship of what the ONI has referred to as the Anshen class. (CCTV)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">Nanyi 13 , the PLAN’s latest hospital ship, was commissioned on 30 November. It is the second ship of what the ONI has referred to as the Anshen class. (CCTV)</p></div> <p> Named <em>Nanyi 13</em> , it is one of two vessels of a new class built at the Rongcheng Shidao shipyard near Weihai on the Yellow Sea coast. <em>Nanyi 12</em> was launched in November 2017 and <em>Nanyi 13</em> in March 2018. </p> <p> Although no announcement has been made about <em>Nanyi 12</em> , it seems likely that, if this has not already entered service, it will do so very soon. In October 2019, a US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) publication referred to these ships as the Anshen class. </p> <p>The ships are 109 m long, with a beam of 17 m, and are equipped with a flight deck that is likely to be suitable for operating a Z-8 helicopter. The PLAN operates several of these rotorcraft configured for medical evacuation, although the hospital ship is not expected to normally embark an aircraft as it has no hangar.</p> <p>According to the CCTV report, the ship has more than 100 beds, three operating theatres, and is equipped with a wide range of diagnostic equipment, including a computerised tomography (CT) scanner. Medical personnel are drawn from the staff of the Southern Theatre Command’s First Naval Hospital in Zhanjiang.</p> <p> The report stated that the <em>Nanyi 13</em></p>urn:uuid:32691322-6638-4b63-922c-d5e3d2a8d2a3https://www.janes.com/defence-news/us-state-department-approves-potential-sale-of-latest-phalanx-ciws-version-for-rokns-first-kdx-iii-batch-ii-destroyer US State Department approves potential sale of latest Phalanx CIWS version for RoKN's first KDX III Batch II destroyerThe US Department of State has approved a potential USD39 million Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of two MK 15 MOD 25 Phalanx close-in weapon systems (CIWSs) for fitment...Wed, 02 Dec 2020 15:50:17 Z<p>The US Department of State has approved a potential USD39 million Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of two MK 15 MOD 25 Phalanx close-in weapon systems (CIWSs) for fitment onto the first of a second batch of three Sejong Daewang (KDX III)-class guided-missile destroyers for the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).</p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]767caccd-9d4a-43cd-aa0c-978e1541939b?sfvrsn=7c36ef9b_2" alt="An artist’s impression of the first ship of the second batch of KDX III-class guided-missile destroyers for the RoKN. (HHI)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">An artist’s impression of the first ship of the second batch of KDX III-class guided-missile destroyers for the RoKN. (HHI)</p></div> <p>The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 1 December that the South Korean government had requested to buy two Phalanx Block 1B Baseline 2 (IB2) systems along with 4,000 20 mm armour-piercing incendiary (API) rounds.</p> <p>Also included in the proposed deal, which still needs to be approved by the US Congress, are spare parts, other support equipment, ammunition, books and other publications, software, training, engineering technical assistance and other technical assistance, and other related elements of programme and logistical support.</p> <p>The agency said the potential sale is aimed at improving South Korea’s capability to “meet current and future threats”, adding that the first KDX III (also spelled KDX 3) Batch II destroyer will use these systems “to provide it with effective means of detecting and defending itself against incoming airborne threats”.</p> <p>The principal contractor will be Raytheon Missile and Defense in Louisville, Kentucky. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale, according to the DSCA.</p> <p>The latest developments come after South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) announced in October 2019 that it had secured a KRW676.6 billion (USD613 million) contract for the “detailed design” and construction of the first KDX III Batch II vessel.</p> urn:uuid:b83bc041-8b00-4501-92d3-5da994daaeebhttps://www.janes.com/defence-news/rolls-royce-mt30-gas-turbine-selected-for-rokns-ffx-iii-class-frigates Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine selected for RoKN's FFX III-class frigatesThe Rolls-Royce MT30 marine gas turbine has been selected to power the Republic of Korea Navy’s (RoKN’s) six FFX III- (also known as Ulsan Batch III)-class...Wed, 02 Dec 2020 14:27:49 Z<p>The Rolls-Royce MT30 marine gas turbine has been selected to power the Republic of Korea Navy’s (RoKN’s) six FFX III- (also known as Ulsan Batch III)-class guided-missile frigates set to be constructed by South Korean shipbuilders Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). </p> <div class="container"> <img src="[images%7COpenAccessDataProvider]3a62bd13-9eff-4f56-93ee-f6faf2fe6286?sfvrsn=529df2c3_2" alt="Computer-generated imagery of an FFX III-class frigate. (Hyundai Heavy Industries)"> <p class="text-body text-sm-center text-muted small">Computer-generated imagery of an FFX III-class frigate. (Hyundai Heavy Industries)</p></div> <p>The MT30 already powers the RoKN’s FFX II- (Daegu)-class frigates, with Rolls-Royce saying in a 2 December statement that “the use of the MT30 across the [FFX] Batch II and Batch III frigates will deliver commonality benefits to the customer, such as spare parts, support infrastructure and training”. </p> <p> As the UK-based company pointed out, each Daegu-class frigate is powered by a single MT30 and electric propulsion motors powered by four Rolls-Royce MTU diesel generators. Of the eight FFX II frigates planned only one – ROKS <em>Daegu</em> – has entered service so far. </p> <p>For the FFX III-class programme Rolls-Royce said it will also supply the Engine Health Management (EHM) capability. “Supporting leaner naval forces, EHM technology delivers through-life benefits, such as reduced manpower and maintenance costs, by enabling the collection of reliable engine data and analysis to maximise asset availability and optimise on-board maintenance,” said the company.</p> <p>It also said that as part of Rolls-Royce’s ongoing design collaboration with HHI for the specialised integrated enclosure for the MT30, HHI-EMD [Engine Machinery Division] will continue to be responsible for the manufacture of the engineering enclosure and all ancillaries in-country, and continue to provide in-service support.</p> <p>HHI announced in March that it had secured a KRW400 billion (USD363 million) contract from South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) to design and build the first of six 3,500-tonne FFX III frigates for the RoKN.</p>