World Defense update: Part 1

Northrop Grumman presses ahead with LHA 6
Northrop Grumman is to receive USD2.4 billion to press ahead with detailed design and construction of the US Navy’s (USN’s) latest amphibious assault ship. LHA 6 is a slightly larger variant, optimised for aviation operations, of the Wasp-class assault ship Makin Island (LHD 8) currently being built by the company
RNLN eyes long-range guided munitions
The Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) is considering acquiring long-range guided munitions after the Dutch government scrapped plans to equip its ships with Tomahawk cruise missiles. There is special interest among senior officers in the guided Vulcano munition developed by Oto Melara, a source told Jane’s

UK MoD turns to Atlas-led team for unmanned minesweep vehicle
An industry team led by Atlas Elektronik UK has won a research contract to deliver a mine countermeasures (MCM) unmanned surface vehicle (USV) demonstrator system for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). The two-year Technology Readiness Demonstrator (TRD) programme, known as Flexible Agile Sweeping Technology (FAST), is intended to demonstrate the technical maturity of a projected new USV-based influence minesweeping capability for the UK Royal Navy (RN)
Minister reiterates call for consolidation of UK submarine industry

The government minister responsible for crafting and implementing the UK’s Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS) has reiterated the need for submarine design, build and support to be consolidated within a single contracting vehicle. Speaking at the rollout of HMS Astute at BAE Systems Submarine Solutions’ Barrow-in-Furness facility on 8 June, Minister of State for Defence Equipment and Support Lord Drayson said he wanted to see companies “working together to deliver capability from our..

Brunei weighs options for selling on BAE Systems OPVs
The Brunei government is considering options to offload three new 95 m offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) after settling a long-running contractual dispute with builders BAE Systems. With no prospect of the ships entering service with the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN), German shipbuilder Lürssen Werft has been approached to act as a broker for the onward sale or lease of the ships
US Navy bolsters lasting presence in Gulf of Guinea
The US Navy plans to send an amphibious ship to the Gulf of Guinea as a ‘floating school house’ for regional navies as a pathfinder effort to establish a lasting maritime presence off the western coast of Africa. The deployment – which will run from the third quarter of 2007 until mid-2008 – overlaps with the creation of US African Command (AFRICOM), which is supposed to achieve an initial operating capability on 1 October
RAF’s Mighty Hunter upgrade stumbles
The multirole BAE Systems Nimrod MRA.4 is destined to replace the primarily maritime-patrol Nimrod MR.2, becoming one of the UK’s most important air assets. It is the UK’s last large manned aircraft programme and the most expensive aircraft to be purchased by the Royal Air Force (RAF), with a unit cost of around GBP95 million (USD189 million)

US GAO reports on FCS APS trade study
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has questioned the timing of the trade study on best concept for the Future Combat System’s (FCS’) Active Protection System (APS) developer and described the US Army’s estimated date for vertical-launch technology testing as “optimistic”.

Australian government rejects calls for DoD procurement audit
The Australian Defence Minister Brendan Nelson has rejected calls from the opposition to introduce an annual audit of the Department of Defence’s (DoD’s) top 30 procurement projects. The audit, proposed to be carried out by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), would cost AUD1.5 million (USD1.2 million) per year under a plan originally touted by the Australian Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit in December last year

Source: Jane’s Defense Journal

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