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INDIA GREEN-LIGHTS DEFENSE PROGRAMS WORTH $2.5 BILLION
Thursday, February 15, 2018
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Source: Govenment of India


Source: Govenment of India


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NEW DELHI -- The Indian Ministry of Defense has launched a slew of new procurement programs aimed at outfitting the country's Army with light machine guns, assault rifles and sniper rifles, as well as advanced torpedo decoy systems for the Navy's warships. The MoD particularly seeks to fast-track the acquisition of light machine guns under a procedure estimated at $285 million.

The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC), which sits atop the military procurement hierarchy, gave its approval for the procurement of 740,000 assault rifles. These are to be produced by the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and private defense companies under the Buy & Make (India) procurement category focusing on domestic design and production. This procurement is estimated at $1.91 billion.

The purchase of 5,719 sniper rifles for both the Army and Air Force is estimated at $153.43 million. India is looking outside its own domestic sector at an off-the-shelf solution via foreign vendors such as the U.S. firm Colt, Beretta of Italy, Czeska Zbrojovka of the Czech Republic, Rosoboronexport of Russia, and Israel Weapons Industries (IWI) from Israel.

The crucial acquisition in all of these is for new assault rifles. The Indian Army utilizes the homemade INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) 5.56mm rifle, the Russian Kalashnikov 7.62mm AK-47, and the IWI 5.56mm Tavor. The Indian Army is seeking new rifles of 7.62x51mm caliber.

Source:  Defense News
Associated URL: https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2018/02/14/india-launches-defense-programs-worth-248-billion/
Source Date: February 15, 2018
Posted: 02/16/2018

 
 
WATERVLIET ARSENAL BEGINS WORK ON FOREIGN MILITARY SALES CONTRACT FOR INDIA
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
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Get 'em while their hot: M776 155mm tube under construction

Source: US Army


Get 'em while their hot: M776 155mm tube under construction

Source: US Army


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WATERVLIET ARSENAL, N.Y. -- The Watervliet Arsenal has initiated work on a $50 million foreign military sales contract to manufacture 145 howitzer cannon systems that will support the Indian army.

When this contract was announced in January 2017, it was the largest sales contract the Arsenal had signed in at least 30 years.

Under the contract, the Arsenal will manufacture M776 155-mm barrels and associated parts that will become an integral part of the M777A2 lightweight howitzer that BAE Systems will provide to India as part of a foreign military sales contract that it (BAE) had received from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Despite the great fanfare when the Indian order was announced, it took a year to line up outside vendors to provide the specialized materials that would go into the production line, said George Roach, the Arsenal’s program manager for this order.

Nevertheless, the year of additional planning and gathering of critical resources was factored into the contract and the Arsenal is on track to meeting tight production delivery schedules that will have the first cannon systems shipped out later this year, Roach said.

"To now seeing the first parts come off of the production line, especially after having worked on this contract for the last seven years, gives me a tremendous sense of pride," Roach said. "But having been in this line of work for many years, I know that this is just a start, as we will soon begin work on the larger and more difficult components of the order."

Foreman Scott Huber said that although his team has waited a long time to have everything fall into place, he is excited to begin work on an order that will keep many of his machinists and machine tool operators fully employed for the next two years.

"Although there is no one here who has ever worked on an order of this size, we aren’t intimidated by the magnitude of this order," Huber said. "At the end of the day, we know that this is great work because the order will have us exercise all critical manufacturing skills that we can then leverage for U.S. production requirements."

Huber said he does not see any significant problems meeting the tight delivery schedules for this order because many of the parts are the same parts that his team had worked on before or are currently in production for U.S. orders.

"Not only had we previously made this cannon system for U.S., Canadian, and Australian forces, we are now in production of similar parts for a self-propelled 155-mm system," Huber said. "Therefore, there are many here who have a history of machining the parts that will be required for the India order."

When this order was announced, many here believed that there might be some follow-on orders, if all went well. But the Army's program manager for this order says not so fast.

"The requirement has not grown since January 2017, because the joint team (program manager and Arsenal staff) did an outstanding job in identifying the program requirements that led to the largest flow of funding to the Arsenal in quite some time," said Chris Ayoub, an engineer with the Army's Program Manager for Towed Artillery Systems. "But having said that, in the coming months we expect a request to come in that will ask the Arsenal to provide quality assurance training."

Despite the great progress made with this order, many believe it is not yet time to do "high fives."

"There is definitely a sense of accomplishment as the M777 India case was in development for a long time, but the program entails a very aggressive delivery schedule," Ayoub said. "As a result, there is no time to rest on our laurels as the Army's Program Manager for Towed Artillery Systems is working closely with the Arsenal team to ensure not only the on-time delivery of cannon assemblies, but also that the team is able to meet or exceed all of the customer’s expectations."

The Arsenal will begin shipping howitzer components this fiscal year and cannon barrels by fiscal year 2019. The fiscal year begins on October 1.

The Watervliet Arsenal is an Army-owned-and-operated manufacturing facility located in Watervliet, New York. The Arsenal is the oldest, continuously active arsenal in the United States, having begun operations during the War of 1812. The Arsenal is a subordinate command to the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command and the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

The U.S. State Department manages the foreign military sales program and works closely with the Department of Defense to resource the requirements. These proposed sales will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of the nation’s allies.

According to BAE, the M777 howitzer is highly portable by land, sea and air, and the system features a minimal logistical footprint alongside maximum reliability. This means that it can be frequently moved and re-deployed, maximizing survivability, without encountering the IED risks that self-propelled systems face. The weapon can strike over extended distances, regardless of terrain and obstacles. It is compatible with all standard ammo types, as well as advanced rounds such as BONUS and EXCALIBUR.

Its strengths have been proven in battle, particularly in Afghanistan where it has been in service since 2006. Over 40,000 rounds fired have proven its simple, dependable operation, even in harsh desert climates. The maximum range unassisted is 24.7 km and maximum assisted range is 30+ km.

Source:  U.S. Army
Source Date: February 13, 2018
Posted: 02/15/2018

 
 
AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY PROVES WORLD BEATER, SMASHING $1B MILESTONE FOR F-35
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
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RAAF F-35A at Luke AFB, Ariz., May 14, 2015

Source: US Air Force


RAAF F-35A at Luke AFB, Ariz., May 14, 2015

Source: US Air Force


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CANBERRA -- The Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne MP, announced that Australian industry has been collectively awarded over $1 billion in production for the F-35 fighter program.

The strength of Australia’s defense industry has made it a significant and crucial contributor to the program which will support up to 5000 Australian jobs by 2023.

"More than 50 Australian companies directly shared in the production contracts to date, with many more indirectly benefiting through supply chain work," Minister Pyne said.

"Australian industry continues to prove its global competitiveness by performing better than initial forecasts, with Australian industry involvement expected to exceed $2 billion by 2023."

"The journey of Australian industry’s involvement in the global F-35 Program has been one of great success and long-term economic opportunity for Australia.

In 2016 the Joint Strike Fighter program supported more than 2,400 jobs across Australia, which is set to grow to 5000 by 2023.

"Further opportunities are expected for Australian companies to increase production contract values over the next four years as F-35 production rates more than double.

"Australian industry is manufacturing parts that will be fitted to every F-35 aircraft in production across the globe.

"Australian success in the Joint Strike Fighter program isn’t limited to manufacturing parts. Australian industry has also been chosen as the maintenance hub for the engines, airframes and 64 of 65 components which have been assigned by the Joint Project Office.

"When I travel to the U.S. in April I will be arguing for more work for Australia, we have the capability and we deserve the work," Minister Pyne said.

In a major milestone for the Australian F-35A Project, the first Australian-made Vertical Tail - produced by Victorian-based company Marand - was fitted to Australia’s third F-35A aircraft as it neared completion at Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, in August 2017.

The first two Australian F-35A aircraft are scheduled to arrive for permanent basing at RAAF Base Williamtown, New South Wales, in December.

By the time of Final Operating Capability, expected in December 2023, Australia will have a training squadron and three operational squadrons comprising 72 aircraft.

Source:  Australian DoD
Associated URL: defence.gov.au
Source Date: February 13, 2018
Posted: 02/13/2018

 

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