Global military update

Germany orders four new F125 frigates

The German Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) has awarded the ARGE F125 consortium, led by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, a contract to build four new multipurpose frigates for the German Navy. The programme, estimated to be valued around EUR2 billion (GBP1.35 billion), will from December 2014 deliver four of the new 6,800-ton frigates specifically designed to support multinational crisis reaction and stabilisation operations such as those conducted by German F122 (Bremen-class) and F123 (Brandenburg-class) frigates in the Eastern Mediterranean off Lebanon’s coast.

F-35 carrier variant has shed more weight, says Lockheed Martin vice-president
When Lockheed Martin announced on 27 June that its F-35C Lightning II carrier variant for the US Navy (USN) had passed its critical design review, the news came with an interesting side note: the airframe had shed 90 kg in the last seven months. In an exclusive interview with Jane’s on 3 July, Lockheed Martin’s vice-president for air vehicle development, Bobby Williams, said the platform shed weight in part due to Lockheed Martin’s decision in late 2006 to switch the F-35C’s forward and aft wing spars from aluminum to titanium

Congress vies to retain missile defence funds
The US Congress is looking to revive a missile defence caucus to fight for boost, mid-course and terminal phase defences threatened by budget cuts. Representatives Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican, Jim Marshall, a Georgia Democrat, and about 30 other congressional members announced the caucus’ formation on 28 June
Turkey combats terrorism with professionalism
Turkey is to set up a commando brigade of professional specialised sergeants to replace conscripts in the fight against the country’s outlawed PKK insurgents. General Ilker Basbug, Commander of the Turkish Land Forces Command (TLFC), announced on 27 June that the brigade would be set up in mid-May 2008The creation of an all-professional commando brigade will be completed by the end of 2009, Gen Basbug said during a press conference held jointly with General Yasar Buyukanit, Turkey’s Chief of General Staff
Italian-led EU battlegroup prepares to take over
Exercise ‘European Wind 2007’, staged in north-eastern Italy in early June, saw the formal validation of a new European Union Battle Group (EU BG) that is due to be on standby from 1 July until 31 December 2007. The framework battalion for this multinational battlegroup is the Italian Army’s 8th Alpini Regiment
Indian MoD says RfP for 126 MRCA is imminent

India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that a Request for Proposals (RfP) for the procurement of 126 multirole combat aircraft (MRCA) is likely to be issued “in the near future” following the Defence Acquisition Council’s (DAC’s) approval of the purchase on 29 June. The key contenders in the USD10 billion deal are Boeing’s F/A-18E/F; Dassault’s Rafale; Eurofighter’s Typhoon; Lockheed Martin’s F-16; the Russian Aircraft Corporation’s (RSK’s) MiG-35K; and Saab’s JAS 39 Gripen

BAE subsidiary urges UK to produce more aerospace engineers

The UK needs to produce a greater number of aerospace engineers in the face of growing aerospace capability from the world’s two most populous countries, China and India, according to Nigel Whitehead, group managing director of Military Air Solutions at BAE Systems. Speaking at a preview of the 16,000 m2 AirSpace exhibition at the UK’s Imperial War Museum (IWM) Duxford, England, Whitehead pointed out that the two countries produced 20 times as many engineering students annually as the UK produced in the past decade

Aegis destroyer-launched SM-3 destroys separating target

A Raytheon Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IA round launched from the US Navy (USN) destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) successfully intercepted a ballistic missile target in the midcourse phase of flight on 22 June 2007. The test involved a target whose warhead had separated from its booster rocket
Turkey tests indigenous laser-homing rocket
The Turkish company Roketsan is developing a semi-active laser (SAL) guided 70 mm rocket, writes Michal Zdobinsky. Development of the Cirit started in 2004 and is fully financed by the Turkish Ministry of Defence, which will be the launch customer

Source: Jane’s Defence Journal

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