May 12, 2021
US approves $1.7 billion Aegis missile defense sale to Canada, Elettronica to equip Italian submarines with EW suite, Prize catch: Gremlins testing puts air-recoverable UAVs within reach, Rolls Royce Defense to supply mtu naval generator for US Navy Constellation-class frigates.
HERE ARE THE TOP INDUSTRY AND WORLD STORIES
US approves $1.7 billion Aegis missile defense sale to Canada (Defense News)
• The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale to NATO member and ally Canada of four Lockheed Martin-made Aegis missile defense systems valued at up to $1.7 billion, the Pentagon announced Monday.
• The Pentagon said the Aegis Combat Systems, AN/SPY-7 radars and other related equipment would help Ottawa deliver its first Aegis-capable Canadian Surface Combatant. That in turn would “significantly improve” Canada’s network-centric warfare capability for U.S. forces operating globally alongside Canada’s, the Pentagon said.
• The radars on Canada’s next-generation frigate, selected for the surface combatant program, are expected to allow it to shoot at targets sensed and relayed by U.S. Navy assets. The ships will also be loaded with a 32-cell vertical launching system as well as deck-mounted launchers for Kongsberg and Raytheon Technologies’ Naval Strike Missile and launchers for torpedoes.
• The potential deal is for four sets of the Aegis Combat System, four sets of AN/SPY-7 radars, three sets of the MK 41 Vertical Launching System, equipment, spare parts and technical support, the Pentagon said.
• The prime contractor would be be Lockheed Martin’s Rotary and Mission Systems unit in Moorestown, New Jersey.
Elettronica to equip Italian submarines with EW suite (Shephard News)
• Elettronica has announced a supply contract with Fincantieri for the EW suite in the new U212 NFS submarines for the Italian Navy.
• The agreement comes under the framework of the U212 NFS programme managed by OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement).
• The contract covers the provision of two suites for the first batch of platforms and two additional suites as an option for future batches.
• The software-defined EW suite for the Italian Navy U212 submarines is designed to perform self-protection, surveillance and intelligence tasks granting excellent performances on the whole electromagnetic spectrum, from communication to radar bands.
• The suite has an integrated RESM/CESM antenna that is capable of performing while also maintaining its compact size and stealth capabilities.
• Two further antennas are also part of the system; the first manages surveillance and detection tasks in the radar band, while the latter acts as a warning antenna.
• The suite will be equipped with an EW management unit to collect and manage information to enhance tactical and strategic awareness.
Prize catch: Gremlins testing puts air-recoverable UAVs within reach (Janes)
• In late 2020, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) revealed that an industry team led by Dynetics (a subsidiary of Leidos) had come just short of recovering small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to a C-130 Hercules aircraft while in flight. During a third series of flight testing in airspace above the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, the three X-61A Gremlins Air Vehicles (GAVs) made a series of attempts to engage with a docking mechanism extending from the rear ramp of the C-130.
• The Gremlins came within inches of connection on each attempt, according to Scott Wierzbanowski, programme manager for Gremlins in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, but, ultimately, “it just wasn’t close enough to engage the recovery system”. Wierzbanowski has previously likened the concept to “aircraft carriers in the sky”, a comparison that goes some way to explaining the challenges inherent to the mid-air recovery of an unmanned vehicle.
• Tim Keeter, programme manager for Dynetics’ Gremlins team, told Janes that the November test “demonstrates that airborne recovery is a realisable technology”, adding, “It’s no longer a matter of ‘if we recover’, but rather ‘when we recover’”.
Rolls Royce Defense to supply mtu naval generator for US Navy Constellation-class frigates (Navy Recognition)
• Rolls Royce Defense has announced on May 11, 2021, that the company has been selected to supply its mtu naval generator sets for phase one of the U.S. Navy’s Constellation (FFG-62) class frigate program, previously known as the FFG(X) program. Rolls-Royce has received a contract for the first shipset to provide four mtu naval generator sets, each rated at 3,000 kWe at 1,800 rpm.
• The Navy Constellation (FFG-62) Class Frigate is a multi-mission warship designed for operation in littoral and blue water environments to conduct air, anti-submarine, surface and electronic warfare, in addition to information operations. The generator sets are based on the mtu 20V 4000 M53B engine and provide a total power output of 12 MW for propulsion and on-board power supply.
• Adam Wood, Director, Government Sales North America at Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems, said: “We’re very proud that Fincantieri Marinette Marine has placed its trust in our mtu naval generator sets for this important program. We have a legacy of strong support for our partners in both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard, and we are honored to be selected for FFG-62. There is no doubt that our systems will perform to the high expectations and unique demands of the U.S. Navy Constellation Class.”
• The flexible design engineering of the frigate’s CODLAG propulsion system will allow for energy-efficient diesel power generation for propulsion at normal cruising speeds with extended range, while enhancing anti-submarine capability in its extremely quiet diesel-electric configuration. When completed, the lead ship will be nearly 500 feet in length, accommodating up to 200 Sailors and be capable of sustained speeds of more than 26 knots.
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WE’RE KEEPING AN EYE ON
No more tax rises if economic boom provides £20bn windfall (Times)
• Britain’s booming economic recovery will remove any need for further tax rises this parliament as Rishi Sunak is given a £20 billion growth windfall, according to an analysis of the Bank of England’s upgraded forecasts.
• With the government facing a series of uncosted spending pressures on welfare, health and other departments, the chancellor is likely to use the headroom in full to meet the Tory pledge to “end austerity” and avoid having to impose a wealth tax.
• Andrew Goodwin, chief UK economist at Oxford Economics, which carried out the analysis, said: “The prospect of better growth has given him more flexibility. Tax hikes should be off the table, certainly new tax hikes.”
• The Bank’s latest forecasts, published last week, are more optimistic than those in March from the Office for Budget Responsibility, the government’s spending watchdog.
• The Bank expects growth of 7.25 per cent this year, 5.75 per cent next year and 1.25 per cent in 2023. The OBR has pencilled in 4 per cent, 7.3 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively. Across the three years, the economy grow would grow by 1.3 per cent more under the Bank’s forecasts than those of the OBR.
DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS?
UN warns of full-scale war as Hamas and Israel trade blows (Forbes)
• Israel bombarded Gaza with dozens of airstrikes this morning and Hamas continued to fire rockets at Tel Aviv as the most severe outbreak of violence since the 50-day war in 2014 led to the United Nation’s warning of “full-scale war”.
• The death toll in Gaza rose to 35 Palestinians, including 12 children and three women, with some 233 people wounded, according to the territory’s Health Ministry. Five Israelis, including three women and a child, were killed by rocket fire yesterday and early this morning, and dozens of people were wounded.
• Tor Wennesland, the UN’s Special Envoy to the Middle East Peace Process, wrote on Twitter: “Stop the fire immediately. We’re escalating towards a full-scale war. Leaders on all sides have to take the responsibility of de-escalation.” The UN is working with Qatar and Egypt to deliver a cease-fire. All three serve as mediators between Israel and Hamas.
• The Israeli military said militants have fired more 1,050 rockets since the conflict began, with 200 of them falling short and landing inside Gaza.
• Most of the rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defences but at least two of them exploded in the suburbs of Rishon LeZion and Holon, killing a 50-year old woman and wounding four bus passengers. Air-raid sirens sounded around the city and the skies were lit up by streaks of multiple interceptor missiles launched towards the incoming rockets. Pedestrians ran for shelter and diners streamed out of Tel Aviv restaurants while others flattened themselves on the pavements.
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