April’s top news stories

8 May 2018 (Last Updated May 9th, 2018 10:49)

Germany seeks a $2.5bn sale of MQ-4C Triton UAS from the US and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace signed a €124m contract for the supply of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) to the Royal Malaysian Navy. Naval-Technology.com wraps up key stories from April 2018.

Germany seeks $2.5bn sale of MQ-4C Triton UAS from US

The Government of Germany requested the sale of four MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) from the US for an estimated cost of $2.5bn.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) subsequently notified Congress of the possible foreign military sale (FMS), which has also been approved by the State Department.

Germany has proposed the purchase of one mission control station (MCS) under the deal, which comprises a main operating base (MOB) (MD-3A) and one forward operating base (FOB) (MD-3B), as well as ten Kearfott inertial navigation system / global positioning system (INS / GPS) units and ten LN-251 INS / GPS units.


ASC notifies Australian Government of workforce reduction

Shipbuilding company Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) notified the Australian Government of a significant cut down of its workforce.

ASC noted that the reduction in personnel is due to the nearing completion of work on the Air Warfare Destroyers (AWDs).

In addition, the lessening workload is said to be a direct consequence of the Australian Labor Party’s failure to commission a single Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ship from a domestic yard, which affected both shipbuilding jobs across the country and the RAN’s capabilities.


UK Ministry of Defence launches Submarine Delivery Agency

The UK Ministry of Defence launched the Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) for the Royal Navy’s new nuclear submarines, thereby demonstrating the country’s commitment to developing a continuous-at-sea deterrent.

The new SDA will be responsible for the procurement, in-service support, decommissioning and disposal of all UK nuclear submarines.

It is also set to manage the construction of future Royal Navy submarines, as well as oversee the Dreadnought and Astute class nuclear submarine programmes.


Kongsberg wins €124m contract to supply missiles for Malaysian Navy

Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace signed a €124m contract for the supply of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) to the Royal Malaysian Navy.

The company did not disclosed the number of missiles that are slated for delivery under the deal, which is a follow-on to an agreement for NSM shipboard equipment that was originally announced in 2015.

Kongsberg previously received a Letter of Award from Boustead Naval Shipyard for the equipment in April 2015.


UK Defence Secretary launches Poseidon aircraft facility

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson launched a £132m facility to accommodate nine new submarine-hunting Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) at RAF Lossiemouth.

The latest fleet of MPAs is expected to be used to protect the British Royal Navy’s submarine-deployed nuclear deterrent, as well as its two new aircraft carriers.

MPA aircraft are also able to deploy missiles capable of destroying enemy submarines beneath the sea.

The new Poseidon fleet is slated to work alongside the Royal Navy’s eight new Type 26 frigates.


GMB urges UK Government to award RFA contracts to local companies

A new investigation carried out by shipbuilding workers’ union GMB revealed that overseas shipyards are interested in competing for the major £1bn defence contract for the British Royal Navy’s three new Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships.

The new Fleet Solid Support vessels will be required to service the Royal Navy’s £6.3bn Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and their strike force of new F-35 Lightning II fighter jets.

The UK Ministry of Defence sent the order out to full international tender on 30 April.


US Navy completes developmental testing of Raytheon’s JSOW C missile

The US Navy completed the final developmental test for the integration of the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) C on-board the US Navy’s F-35 C Lightning II aircraft as part of a collaboration with Raytheon.

The successful completion of the test is expected to help keep the low-cost, air-to-ground JSOW missile on track for full deployment next year.

Raytheon’s JSOW glide weapon features a global positioning system (GPS) inertial navigation system with an imaging infrared seeker that can assist in autonomously identifying and tracking targets.


US Navy to buy 17 VH-92 presidential production helicopters

The US Navy is considering a proposal to purchase a full fleet of the new VH-92 presidential production helicopters, Marine Corps VH-92 programme manager Colonel Eric J Ropella has announced.

Ropella said: “The proposal that we have is for a total of 17 aircraft to be purchased in three years.”

Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky is currently developing a total of six S-92 test aircraft under a $1.24bn fixed-price incentive engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract, which was originally awarded by the US Navy in May 2014.