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February 12, 2024 | International, Security

Shoring up national security preparedness: Rheinmetall to build new ammunition plant – German Chancellor and Prime Minister of Denmark take part in groundbreaking ceremony

This company-financed project represents investment volume in the €300 million range. Rheinmetall is therefore shouldering the entire cost of constructing the factory, with no government involvement

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  • Post-Brexit Defense Review Challenged By Costs And Coronavirus

    March 24, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Post-Brexit Defense Review Challenged By Costs And Coronavirus

    Tony Osborne Post-Brexit Britain is taking its first steps toward understanding its place in the world and the military capabilities it may need to ensure it can hold onto that status. A review, described by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the most extensive of its kind since the end of the Cold War, is examining the UK's foreign, defense, security and development policies. And it is proceeding despite the challenges and costs surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it will examine the work of several government departments—notably the Foreign Office, the Defense Ministry and the Department for International Development—considerable focus is likely to be on defense. It has the largest budget of those under the microscope and an oft-criticized procurement process that some in government are eager to overhaul. The process will run in parallel with the government's comprehensive spending review. That assessment decides UK government spending for the next three years and will deliver its findings potentially as early as this summer. Some critics argue that is simply too soon for a thorough analysis of Britain's future defense needs. “If you are to have a strategy that is worth the name, you must address ends, ways and means together. . . . If you do not do the whole package, including the money, together, then you do not have a strategic review,” Jock Stirrup, a former chief of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and UK Defense Staff, told parliamentary defense committee hearings on March 17. The 2020 review represents a break from the traditional defense-led Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR) usually held every five years. Some analysts contend the 2020 edition could shape defense capabilities for decades to come. Jack Watling, Land Warfare research fellow at the London-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) says the review would have to make “hard choices” but that these would “determine the trajectory of the UK's defense capabilities for a generation.” He notes that for a post-Brexit Britain looking to expand its trading and security partners, future conflicts may be difficult to avoid. “Security and trade partnerships are closely intertwined. . . . If ‘Global Britain' means diversifying our economic partnerships, it will be necessary to build meaningful security ties as well,” Watling says. The UK must look at its role in the Euro-Atlantic alliance and in the Great Power competition, in addition to other global issues and homeland security, Defense Minister Ben Wallace told Parliament. The review will also “place prosperity and manufacturing at its heart,” he added. The assessment comes at a challenging time for Britain's defense and its equipment-procurement plans. The National Audit Office recently warned that for a third consecutive year there will be shortfalls in the budget. The ministry's plans call for the spending of £183.6 billion ($214 billion) over the next 10 years, equivalent to 42% of the ministry budget during that period. Auditors say the Defense Ministry has a shortfall of at least £2.9 billion over that period, but this could be as high as £13 billion. Although the UK is expanding its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities with the upcoming arrival of the General Atomics Protector unmanned aircraft system and deliveries of the Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patroller—two of which have already arrived—capability gaps in the ISR mission are imminent. The planned retirement of the RAF's long-suffering Boeing E-3D Sentry fleet has been pushed to December 2022. But the Boeing E-7 Wedgetail, the 737-based platform planned as its replacement, is not due to enter service until the end of 2023, potentially leaving a yearlong capability gap. The RAF also plans to retire its Raytheon Sentinel radar-reconnaissance platform in March 2021. It got several reprieves after its Afghanistan duties ended, but its departure would leave the UK without a standoff ground-moving-target-indicator and synthetic aperture radar platform. Several commitments made in the 2015 SDSR, such as the UK's decision to commit all 138 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters across the lifetime of the program, have also not been budgeted, auditors note. Current plans forecast only the costs of the first 48 aircraft. The government says that “decisions on future numbers and aircraft variants will be taken at the relevant time,” but it is unclear whether this will be considered in the review. The British government is aiming to maintain the target of 2% of GDP set by NATO for all allies. Defense ministers have said they will fight to meet that share, and more if needed, although the UK has a history of not fully funding post-review defense portfolios. “It is not a ​review designed to cut costs,” says Jeremy Quin, minister for defense procurement. “It is a review designed to ensure we know what we are doing in the world and that [this is achieved] through really effective equipment.” Along with defining capabilities required for land, sea and air, the review is also likely to conclude that the UK should make additional investment in both the cyber and space domains.

  • BAE Systems Receives Order for LRASM’s Advanced Seeker

    December 9, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    BAE Systems Receives Order for LRASM’s Advanced Seeker

    Posted on December 8, 2020 by Seapower Staff NASHUA, N.H. — BAE Systems has received a $60 million contract from Lockheed Martin to manufacture and deliver additional advanced missile seekers for the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), BAE Systems announced in a Dec. 8 release. The seeker comprises long-range sensors and targeting technology that help the stealthy missile find and engage protected maritime targets in challenging electromagnetic environments. “Our warfighters need resilient, long-range precision strike capabilities to compete with modern adversaries,” said Bruce Konigsberg, Radio Frequency Sensors product area director at BAE Systems. “We're proud to partner with Lockheed Martin in delivering this distinct competitive advantage to U.S. warfighters.” LRASM combines extended range with increased survivability and lethality to deliver long-range precision strike capabilities. LRASM is designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships by employing advanced technologies that reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, network links, and GPS navigation in contested environments. This LRASM seeker contract continues the transition of the program from Accelerated Acquisition to Low-Rate Production. BAE Systems has delivered more than 50 systems to date that have demonstrated excellent technical performance over multiple test events. The company also is working to make the seeker system smaller, more capable, and more efficient to produce. The LRASM is being Deployed on Air Force B-1B bombers and Navy F/A-18E/F strike fighters. BAE Systems' LRASM seeker technology builds on the company's decades of experience designing and producing state-of-the-art electronic warfare technology, and its expertise in small form factor design, signal processing, target detection, and identification. Work on the LRASM sensor will be conducted at BAE Systems' facilities in Wayne, New Jersey; Greenlawn, New York; and Nashua, New Hampshire.

  • Argentina buys P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft from Norway

    September 10, 2023 | International, Land

    Argentina buys P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft from Norway

    Three are fitted for maritime surveillance, anti-submarine and anti-surface missions, and one is designed for search and rescue operations.

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