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AUSTRIA ORDERS AW169 TO REPLACE LEGACY ALOUETTE III HELICOPTERS
Sunday, September 20, 2020
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.Source: Leonardo


Source: Leonardo


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VIENNA -- The Austrian Ministry of Defense has tapped the Leonardo AW169M as its preferred helicopter platform to replace its legacy fleet of SA-316 Alouette III light liaison and transport helicopters that have been in service since 1967. The acquisition will involve a procurement of 18 AW169Ms at the cost of around EUR300 million ($354 million), per Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner's announcement on September 21.

A Request for Information (RFI) regarding an Alouette III successor platform was sent to manufacturers on August 21, 2017. Among the vendors issued the RFI were Leonardo, Bell-Textron (Bell 429) and Airbus Helicopters for either its H135M or H145M.

Ultimately the Austrian MoD opted against a competitive tender, viewing the process as difficult for forming cooperative arrangements with a manufacturer. These arrangements include joint use of simulators, optimized storage, and modifications in the life cycle of the platform, as per the MoD press release. The 18 AW169M units will be operated thusly: 12 units deployed for rescue and emergency missions in Aigen/Ensstal, with the other six units stationed in Langenlebarn and used for training purposes.

Delivery of the first new AW169M unit is expected in mid-2022 on the basis of concluding contract negotiations within six months.

Source:  Kronen Zeitung
Associated URL: Click here to visit
Source Language: German

 
ECA GROUP REACHES MILESTONE BELGIAN NAVY AND ROYAL NETHERLANDS NAVY MINE WARFARE CONTRACT
Monday, September 21, 2020
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Inspector 125

.Source: ECA Group


Inspector 125

Source: ECA Group


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PARIS -- ECA Robotics has signed a contract worth several hundred million euros. This contract comprises the outsourcing to its Belgian subsidiary ECA Robotics Belgium of the manufacturing and delivery of unmanned vehicles dedicated to the underwater mine counter measures as part of the renewal of the mine countermeasures capacity.

Belgium and the Netherlands have awarded the renewal program to the consortium Belgium Naval & Robotics, set up by Naval Group and ECA Group. This program consists of 12 new generation vessels (six for the Belgian Navy and six for the Royal Netherlands Navy) and containerized systems.

It is the first program that applies the stand-off concept by using a Toolbox. This Toolbox is comprised of several unmanned vehicles that operators can command and deploy from a safe distance in order to carry out autonomous mine clearance missions.

The contract that ECA Robotics France awards to ECA Robotics Belgium involves the manufacturing, supplying and delivery of the following products:

-- The USV INSPECTOR 125-M: surface drone capable of deploying all of the Toolbox elements in a specific zone

-- The USV INSPECTOR 125-S: surface drone able to tow a sweep system for mine clearance

-- The sweep system which will be equipped with magnetic and acoustic modules

-- The AUV A18-M: underwater drone integrating the synthetic aperture sonar UMISAS used for mine detection

-- Towed sonar T18-M: sonar towed by the USV and which also detects mines

-- MIDS system (Mine Identification and Disposal System) consisting of the SEASCAN MK2 and the K-STER C. These two components respectively ensure the identification and the clearance of the mines

-- Transfer and integration of the UMISOFT software for the management of the mission and data analysis

-- Supply of UAV V200 Skeldar aerial drones with integrated payloads (LiDAR, optronics pod) for the detection and identification of surface mines, and communication relay

-- Acceptance tests and trials for the systems

-- Training

-- Program management.

The unmanned vehicles will be manufactured in a new, very modern plant to be built in Ostend, Belgium. Building will start early 2021 so that production can commence in 2022.

ECA Robotics Belgium will recruit about 70 people in Belgium to achieve the production for the contract that will take circa 10 years to complete. In addition, ECA Robotics Belgium will be able to perform maintenance on drones at the plant upon delivery of the first drones.

Source:  ECA Group
Associated URL: Click here to visit

 
RUSSIA PLANNING ALMOST 10 TRILLION RUBLES IN DEFENSE EXPENDITURES IN UPCOMING THREE YEARS
Monday, September 21, 2020
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.Source: CIA


Source: CIA


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MOSCOW -- The Russian government will spend close to 10 trillion rubles ($131 billion) on defense from 2021 to 2023.

According to draft budget documentation, the Russian government plans to allocate 9.4 trillion rubles to defense-related matters in the next three years. RUB3.1 trillion will be spent on defense in 2021, followed by RUB3.2 trillion in 2022 and RUB3.1 trillion in 2023. The planned expenditures for 2021 and 2023 are slight cuts from previous budget government forecasts, while the 2022 plan is slightly higher.

At the current dollar exchange rate, the 2021 budget will be about $40.6 billion. However, as Russia spends primarily within its own domestic market to fill its defense requirements -- importing mostly only components, rather than finished platforms -- the effect of its spending is much greater than the absolute dollar value suggests.

The budget figures confirm a trend towards stagnation in the Russian defense budget, which previously saw dramatic increases in line with major modernization pushes over the last few years. The collapse of energy prices beginning in 2014 has put downward pressure on the defense budget.

Russian media highlighted the development of the Black Sea Fleet as a key priority for the upcoming period. Russia's Black Sea Fleet is based out of Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014 after a contested independence referendum. The Russian Navy has worked to beef up the Black Sea Fleet in recent years to enjoy superiority over other littoral states, and a number of the fleet's ships have also rotated into the Navy's detachment in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, where competing claims to gas rights have caused a spike in tension between a number of countries and Turkey.

Strategically, relations with the West, in particular, are the key security factor in the defense budget. In comments on September 19, Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed to the U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002 as the impetus for the creation of a range of new Russian nuclear weapons systems, particularly hypersonic technology which the Kremlin expects will be able to penetrate any enemy air-defense network.

Russian officials have been pessimistic on reaching new agreements with the U.S. on mutual arms control. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov commented on Monday that the "chances of extending the New START [treaty] are minuscule." The START series of treaties between the U.S. and Russia have capped the number of nuclear warheads and delivery systems that the parties may have in active service. New START is set to expire in 2021, but to date Moscow and Washington have not made much progress in reaching a deal to extend the restrictions. The U.S. has pushed for the inclusion of China in the treaties as a condition of extending them.

Source:  VPK Novosti
Associated URL: Click here to visit
Source Language: Russian

 

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