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November 20, 2018 | International, Land

Romania pursues replacement MBT

Romania is seeking a replacement for its existing TR-85 M1 main battle tank (MBT), Lieutenant Colonel Valentin Torcica, chief of the Romanian Ministry of Defence's Armoured Office, announced on the last day of the Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability conference in London on 13-15 November.

The TR-85 M1 has been service in 1997.

The main requirements for the future Romanian MBT is to have a day/night all-weather hunter-killer capability, a 120 mm smoothbore main gun, and modern command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence mission systems. Other requirements include three or four crew members, a secondary armament with an elevation up to 70°, high survivability, and good sustainability.

https://www.janes.com/article/84690/romania-pursues-replacement-mbt

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  • KC-46, P-8 production to stop as Boeing temporarily shuts down facilities

    March 24, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    KC-46, P-8 production to stop as Boeing temporarily shuts down facilities

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — Production of the Air Force's KC-46 refueling tanker and the Navy's P-8 maritime surveillance plane will stop as Boeing shuts down all facilities in the Seattle area amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Boeing plans to begin reducing production activity today and projects the suspension of such operations to begin on Wednesday, March 25, at sites across the Puget Sound area,” the company said in a statement on Monday. A Boeing spokesman confirmed that the impacted area includes the facilities in Everett and Renton, where the KC-46 and P-8 are made, respectively. “We plan to temporarily suspend all production operations, including those relating to P-8 and KC-46A, in the Puget Sound region,” the spokesman said. “We're actively engaged with our defense customers to minimize any impacts on their missions. Certain non-production work for all commercial derivative aircraft programs, including for the KC-46 remote vision system enhancements, will continue being done by employees working remotely.” The company is urging employees to telework if they can, but work on classified projects cannot be done on laptops, which could impact more sensitive elements of defense programs. The production stoppage itself is perhaps an even more urgent challenge. Boeing's Puget Sound facilities are best known for commercial airliner production, but the commercial-derivative aircraft it makes for the military —like the KC-46 and P-8 — are built on the same lines. Any pause in commercial production could put Boeing behind in delivering aircraft to the Air Force and Navy. However, Boeing's defense business will likely be able to make a quick recovery as long as the pause in production is not protracted, said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with the Teal Group. “P-8, KC-46 and other Boeing defense production in the Puget Sound area is mostly low-volume, like around 1-2 per month,” he said. “So they should be able to recover over the course of the year, assuming the factory deep clean is successful and the pandemic threat turns a corner.” Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun characterized the temporary plant closures as a “necessary step” to protect employees in the wake of a state of emergency in Washington state. "We continue to work closely with public health officials, and we're in contact with our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders who are affected by this temporary suspension,” he said. “We regret the difficulty this will cause them, as well as our employees, but it's vital to maintain health and safety for all those who support our products and services, and to assist in the national effort to combat the spread of COVID-19.” The company will also continue to monitor U.S. government guidance on COVID-19 and conduct a deep cleaning of impacted sites during the two-week pause, Boeing said. https://www.defensenews.com/coronavirus/2020/03/23/kc-46-p-8-production-to-stop-as-boeing-temporarily-shuts-down-production-in-puget-sound-area/

  • Elta Systems, Hensoldt partner on system to consolidate submarine capabilities

    October 22, 2020 | International, Naval, C4ISR

    Elta Systems, Hensoldt partner on system to consolidate submarine capabilities

    Seth J. Frantzman JERUSALEM — Israeli company Elta Systems has partnered with German firm Hensoldt to develop a single piece of technology for submarine masts that combines optics, communications and other sensors. The Integrated Communication and Surveillance, or ICS, system combines Hensoldt's optical surveillance optronics mast OMS 150 with Elta's expertise in signals intelligence and satellite communications payloads. Elta, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, said the product will address the need to combine operational possibilities on one mast while maintaining the submarine's stealth capability. “The collaboration is part of Elta's new strategy, leveraging our advanced technological experience and know-how accumulated over decades of defense operations. This collaboration will bring value to our customers by offering a unique, cost-effective, compact and high-utility solution,” Elta CEO Yoav Tourgeman said. The ICS system combines optics, radar warning, and monitoring of GPS and communications with other vessels and units. “The data gathered in real time can provide the submarine's crew vital information regarding the enemy's exact location and current situation. It is equipped with a SATCOM and Laser system for secure communications,” according to an Elta statement. The system is being rolled out as part of the European maritime trade show Euronaval, which is being held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Brent Sadler, a senior fellow for naval warfare and advanced technology at the Heritage Foundation think tank, said submarine forces are likely to grow in the coming years, which means "the market for periscopes is growing faster than in the recent past.” “So the trend is to reduce the number of masts you stick out of the water,” he added, "so if you have a periscope and need to do radio communications or listen for hostile radar, better to have that on one mast.” According to two sources involved with developing the ICS system at Elta, the new integration seeks to provide submariners with additional capabilities that complement a naval task force. The demand for submarines is increasing, and as they performing less missions strictly alone, the subsurface boats need more sensors and communications tools to work with other vessels as well as airborne and ground assets. Sadler points out that one of the challenges here is not only miniaturizing add-on payloads but also cooling the thermals because these additions and sensors add heat that can be detected. The traditional dilemma for submariners is performing missions successfully while reamining stealthy, according to Elta naval systems expert and retired Israeli Navy commander Shlomi Dor. “You need a communication mast, and adding an ISR capability with SATCOM on the same periscope — it's the only mast that keeps safety for submarine[s] ... and communicate[s] to task force and headquarters, whoever you need to be in touch with. This mast is a very robust solution that I think will contribute a lot for mission's sake all over the world.” The integration of the ICS system on the mast can be done in a refit without changes to existing submarine infrastructure, according to Elta. Michael Sela of Elta told Defense News that the system builds on mature and field-proven sensors, and uses the company's expertise in phased array SATCOM antennas and other technology. It is expected to be operational in the near future. Developments in periscope design, among other technological trends, will impact submarine designs, perhaps making them smaller with taller periscopes, Sadler said. An uptick in submarine purchases means increasing economies of scale that lead to the research and development behind new designs. But Sadler raised concerns about Elta's parent company, IAI, cooperating with China on civil aviation projects. The West, in particular the United States, has raised the alarm over China's involvement in the defense industrial base. That is also true for potential customers in Asia and Europe, where partnerships with China are being questioned more, he said. “The capability has a niche and fills market demand, [but] make sure that the China connection [is] addressed.” https://www.c4isrnet.com/industry/techwatch/2020/10/21/elta-systems-hensoldt-partner-on-system-to-consolidate-submarine-capabilities/

  • Boeing partners with U.S. govt to boost SAF development in APEC countries | Reuters

    November 16, 2023 | International, Aerospace

    Boeing partners with U.S. govt to boost SAF development in APEC countries | Reuters

    Boeing Co said on Thursday it will partner with the U.S. government in a project aimed at addressing challenges faced by Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member countries in developing and scaling use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

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