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November 19, 2021 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

Contracts for November 18, 2021

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  • U.S. Navy’s Aircraft Launch Rail Gun Revealed

    February 11, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Naval

    U.S. Navy’s Aircraft Launch Rail Gun Revealed

    Guy Norris Details of the U.S. Navy’s new generation, electrically powered aircraft launch and recovery system, currently under test for the first time on the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) carrier, are visible in a large-scale model at the Singapore Airshow.  The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) is in development to replace the traditional steam piston catapult launch system on current carriers. The new configuration also includes the electrically powered Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), which replaces the hydraulic arresting gear in use on the Navy’s 10 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. The EMALS catapult, which is powered by a linear induction motor, is designed to accelerate aircraft more gradually than the steam system and put less stress on the aircraft. The system is also lighter and more flexible than the current design and is capable of launching a wider range of aircraft weights. The AAG is also designed for a broader range of aircraft, including UAVs. The large-scale cutaway model shows the linear induction motors of the EMALs as well as the banks of rotary engines incorporated in the AAG. Fine control of the arresting forces is provided by a large induction motor, which is coupled to energy-absorbing water turbines. Tests on the Ford, the eponymous lead ship of navy’s first new class of carriers since the 1970s, are part of efforts to assess the performance of the technology for launch and landing operations. The system has proved more challenging to develop than expected, and improvements are underway to boost reliability for the required sortie generation rate. The service is evaluating aircraft compatibility before the scheduled deployment of the Ford in 2022.

  • France’s Naval Group eyes Brazil as hub for its regional submarine business

    December 18, 2018 | International, Naval

    France’s Naval Group eyes Brazil as hub for its regional submarine business

    By: Sebastian Sprenger RIO DE JANEIRO – The Brazilian navy launched its first domestically produced attack submarine on Friday, a move that French boat designer Naval Group hopes will lead to additional sales in the region. The new vessel, named the Riachuelo, is a copy of Naval Group’s Scorpene-class submarine, though slightly bigger, at 1,870 tons, to enable more crew and longer range. The submarine program’s objective is protecting the vast resource-rich waters all along the country’s coastline, dubbed the Blue Amazon, outgoing Brazilian President Michel Temer told an audience at the launch ceremony at Itaguai naval base outside Rio de Janeiro. Defense News attended the launch and accepted airfare and accommodations from Naval Group. The Riachuelo, considered roughly 80 percent complete at this point, is the first product of the Brazilian navy's $8.9 billion Prosub program. She is scheduled to begin sea trials next summer. Three identical, diesel-propelled boats are slated to follow by 2023, based on a technology-transfer contract with the French shipbuilder. A joint venture between Naval Group and local construction conglomerate Odebrecht, named ICN, assembles the boats at the new Itaguai submarine shipyard built for the program. The real prize for the Brazilian navy, however, will only come afterwards. Beginning in the mid-2020s, the country’s military wants to start building what Naval Group chief HervéGuillou calls the “ultimate ambition” – a program of nuclear-powered submarines. Design work for the first nuclear submarine is already underway, with the French shipbuilder providing “assistance,” as a company brochure puts it, and the Brazilian navy in a more prominent role. The sea service here will manage all aspects of the power plant development, for example. “Brazil is absolutely critical for Naval Group and other European players to be present here,” Guillou told reporters at Naval Group’s Rio de Janeiro office. That’s because European countries, even those spending two percent of GDP on defense, a NATO-wide objective, are unable to match the growth rate of South America’s expected military spending, he said. The foray into Brazil and other emerging markets offers the opportunity for “critical mass” to help bridge dips in demand at home, according to Guillou. The French shipbuilder already has its eyes on another target, Poland, which the CEO said he wants to similarly develop into a submarine hub for regional navies. European rival shipyards Saab and Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems are also in the running for that country’s program, however, each with local work-share ambitions of their own. Friday's launch ceremony ended with Temer and his successor, far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, jointly pressing a large red button initiating the machinery for lowering the Riachuelo into the water. “Brazil has a vocation for peace and is building its submarine not to threaten anyone or unsettle the calm of international waters,” Temer was quoted as saying in a local Reuters report. “Brazil is building submarines because a nation with more than 7,000 kilometers of coastline cannot do without tools to defend its sovereignty and it marine riches,” he said. Bolsonaro had no speaking part in the ceremony.

  • US appears to confirm expanded F-15QA buy for Qatar

    July 6, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    US appears to confirm expanded F-15QA buy for Qatar

    by Gareth Jennings   The United States appears to have confirmed an expanded procurement by Qatar of the Boeing F-15QA Advanced Eagle combat aircraft, with recent Department of Defense (DoD) articles and notifications referring to a larger number than officially contracted. The Gulf state is currently contracted to receive 36 of the latest-generation multirole fighters, with a deal signed in December 2017. However, since at least late-May the DoD has issued no fewer than three official statements in which it has referred to a buy of 48 aircraft. The US State Department initially cleared Qatar to buy 72 aircraft, so this expanded procurement would be in line with current Congressional approvals. On 23 May the DoD disclosed that the US Army Corps of Engineers had contracted Doha-based company BAH-ICM JV to build facilities for the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s (QEAF’s) new fleet. In the notification, the department said; “The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) purchase of forty-eight (48) F-15QA aircraft improves the State of Qatar's capability to meet current and future enemy air-to-air and air-to-ground threats”. Janes noted this discrepancy in the numbers at the time, but as it was the first such occurrence this suggested that it may have been in error.

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