World Defence Update

Australia’s 20-year defence White Paper covers most of the bases The Australian government published its defence White Paper on 2 May, outlining military procurement plans over the next 20 years worth more than AUD70 billion (USD52.1 billion). Major purchases include the procurement of 100 Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft, 12 submarines and eight ‘Future Frigates’ Oil


Russian submarine sale to Vietnam


An expected deal between Vietnam and Russia over the former’s procurement of six ‘Kilo’-class submarines – announced on 27 April by Russia’s state news agency – is likely to be founded on debt, oil and a Moscow commitment to help modernise Vietnam’s shipbuilding industries, Jane’s understands. Carl Thayer, a specialist in the Vietnamese military and a professor of politics at the University of New South Wales’ Australian Defence Force Academy, added that the deal – reportedly worth USD1.8 billion – had been under negotiation for many years



Canada seeks to revive submarine patrol capability


The Canadian Navy’s only operational submarine, HMCS Corner Brook, will enter an extended docking work period (EDWP) in 2011, Canada’s Department of National Defense (DND) has confirmed. A DND spokesman told Jane’s on 20 April: “In addition to normal maintenance requirements, Corner Brook’s maintenance periods include some deep maintenance and inspection activities to support extended operations beyond the normal EDWP cycle


Submerged gliders support Persian Gulf MCM effort


Long-endurance unmanned underwater gliders have been operationally deployed by the US Navy (USN) into the Persian Gulf for the first time, providing over-the-horizon rapid environmental assessment (REA) to support mine hunting operations undertaken as part of Exercise ‘Arabian Gauntlet 09’ in April. Deployed from the Avenger-class mine countermeasure vessel USS Gladiator for a nine-day period, the two Slocum Glider craft were remote piloted by the US Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) from the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi using Iridium satellite links


Navantia seeks to resolve Scorpene dispute with DCNS


Navantia began talks with DCNS in early May to try and avert legal action from its French partner, which has accused the Spanish shipbuilder of copying elements of their joint Scorpene submarine project for its own S-80A design for the Spanish Navy. The state-owned Spanish shipbuilder said on 6 May it is confident of “resolving these problems”, after acknowledging the legal proceedings started by DCNS in October 2008



ASMAR launches Icelandic Coast Guard OPV


The first Icelandic Coast Guard multipurpose offshore patrol vessel (OPV), Thor , was launched at the ASMAR shipyard in Talcahuano, Chile, on 29 April, the company announced. Built to a Rolls-Royce Ulstein UT 512L design it measures 93.6 m long and displaces about 4,000 tons


US companies will ‘duel to the death’ for contracts


The United States defence contract bidding arena is no longer a “gentleman’s club” and contractors will find themselves “duelling to the death” for the remains of a shrinking US defence budget, a leading aerospace and defence industry consultant has warned. Speaking to Jane’s on 1 May, Tom Captain, vice chairman and global and US aerospace and defence (A&D) leader at consultancy firm Deloitte LLP, stated that a contracting US defence procurement budget (including funding for research, technology and development) and the US’ ‘best-value’ ethos, combined with an expected reduction in US programmes, would lead to much stiffer competition among contractors than previously seen


Seychelles contributes to anti-piracy efforts


The Seychelles has become the first East African nation to actively participate in the co-operative effort to deter piracy off Somalia’s coast after another 11 suspected pirates were arrested on 6 May. The suspected pirates were detained following a co-operative effort by the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF) and the Seychelles Police, local media reported


Russia announces construction of naval pilot training facility


Russia will begin construction of a naval pilot training facility in 2010 amid uncertainty regarding its use of the Nitka centre in Ukraine. According to state news reports, the navy said the centre was necessary to guarantee the consistent training of pilots based on board the Admiral Kuznetsov : Russia’s sole aircraft carrier


Australia launches landing craft project


The Australian government has given initial approval to procure a number of amphibious landing craft to complement the two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious ships that are currently being built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) by BAE Systems Australia. Announcing the first pass approval on 7 May, defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon said in a statement that the Department of Defence (DoD) will seek offers from Navantia – the Spanish shipbuilder that designed the LHDs – to construct and deliver its LCM-1E amphibious landing craft



Chinese SY400 GRWS awaits launch customer


China’s National Precision Machinery Import & Export Corporation has completed development of the SY400 guided rocket weapon system (GRWS) and is now offering it for sale on the export market. While some Chinese multiple rocket launchers are based on Russian designs, recent systems have clearly been developed in China without foreign assistance



Russia plans new chassis for S-400 Triumf


Russia’s S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile (SAM) system is to be mounted on new wheeled vehicles developed by the BAZ (Bryanskiy Avtomobilniy Zavod) in Bryansk. This conforms to the Russian policy that all modernised or new air-defence systems should be based on vehicles of Russian manufacture



Source: Jane’s Defence Journal

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