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January 2, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

UK: Magazine of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S): desider: issue 126, January 2019

desider is the monthly corporate magazine for Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). It is aimed at readers across the wider MOD, armed forces and industry, and covers stories and features about support to operations, equipment acquisition and support. It also covers the work of people in DE&S and its partners in industry, and other corporate news and information.

Published 1 January 2019

On the same subject

  • China’s industry reaps the benefits of political connections, international trade

    August 17, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    China’s industry reaps the benefits of political connections, international trade

    By: Mike Yeo MELBOURNE, Australia — China's defense companies continue their strong showing in the Defense News Top 100 list, with two of its companies in this year's top 10. The Aviation Industry Corporation of China, or AVIC (landing in 6th place), and China North Industries Group Corporation Limited, also known as NORINCO (8th place), reported defense-related revenue figures of $25.07 billion and $14.77 billion respectively. A third Chinese company in last years top 10, China Aerospace and Science Industry Corporation, or CASIC, dropped one place to 11th in this year's list. Overall, eight Chinese state-owned defense companies made it into this year's Top 100 ranking of defense companies around the world, including China's two largest shipbuilding conglomerates — China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation and China State Shipbuilding Corporation — which merged in November 2019 to create China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited, or CSSC. Signs of growth China's industrial base has been the beneficiary of the country's economic reform efforts and globalization since the 1970s. The state of Chinese industry took a quantum leap with the end of the Cold War; the Asian economic powerhouse reaped the benefit of an exposure to advanced technology and modern manufacturing methods. These advances have transferred over to its defense industry, partly as a result of the transfer of civilian technologies, which are not restricted by Western sanctions on arms sales, implemented in response to China's human rights record, or obtained from countries that are not a party to those sanctions, like Russia and Ukraine. As a result, China's defense industry is today virtually unrecognizable from its early days when it mostly made both licensed and unlicensed copies of Soviet-era equipment. The most obvious of this is the continuing acquisition by China of the Russian Sukhoi Flanker family of fighter jets, which has subsequently seen the Asian country churn out increasingly capable analogs of their Russian counterparts. Beginning in the early 1990s with the acquisition and license production of the Su-27 interceptor, which has since morphed into the Shenyang J-11B equipped with indigenous avionics and weapons, China has subsequently imported the multirole Su-30 and Su-35 interceptors. The former has formed the basis of the Shenyang J-16, and it is likely both Russian types may form the technological basis for continued upgrades to the J-11 design. The unprecedented modernization of the People's Liberation Army over the past two decades in lockstep with China's economic development has also meant that the defense industry has been lavishly funded to equip a captive home market. Meia Nouwens, research fellow for Chinese defense policy and military modernization at the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies, which helped Defense News compile the Top 100 data for Chinese defense companies, noted that President Xi Jinping is prioritizing defense at a national level as part of an effort to simultaneously pursue geostrategic goals and economic development. The national leadership's political will to transform China into a global power “should not be overlooked,” she said. She added that China's defense industry is capable of producing high-quality, high-tech defense products, although companies “still seeks to cooperate with international counterparts in academia and industry to gain access to cutting-edge know-how, skills and technology.” This has taken place alongside a large investment in domestic research and development, which Nouwens said has led to breakthroughs, specifically in the development of China's air-to-air missiles and quantum technology. For his part, Xi has promoted “the slimming down of large conglomerates, increased coordination with the [People's Liberation Army], enhanced effectiveness and sought to reduce the duplication of efforts,” she added. Export potential China's ongoing military modernization efforts means the local defense industry doesn't need to rely on the export market to sustain itself. Nevertheless, Nouwens said, Chinese defense conglomerates may be encouraged to increase exports given that Xi wants them to become increasingly self-sufficient and globally competitive. She added that the trend of defense exports and transfers being a cornerstone of Chinese diplomacy is likely to continue. The most obvious manifestation of this is China's continued export of materiel to Pakistan as well as the assistance Beijing has provided to developing the South Asian country's own defense industrial base. A side effect of this support included wedging China's geostrategic rival India, who is also frequently at odds with Pakistan. Nouwens also touched on the two-tier policy when it comes to China's defense exports, with its top-of-the-line equipment unavailable for export. However, she noted, China has improved the capabilities of defense articles available for export, including submarine technology, more modern frigates and collaboration with Pakistan in developing the JF-17 fighter jet. The latter has also been exported to Myanmar and Nigeria. One of China's most prominent exports remains its unmanned aircraft, with Nouwens noting that this market segment provided China with a “perfect combination of a capability that addressed a certain gap at a cost significantly cheaper than competitors on the market.” The window of opportunity has narrowed, however, with the U.S. having relaxed its own UAV export regulations. Countries like Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which have all acquired Chinese unmanned aircraft, may now turn to American designs instead; Jordan has already put up its Chinese-built CH-4 drones for sale. Despite reforms, Nouwens said, China's defense industry is bloated and, in some cases, requires further streamlining, with several of the industry's conglomerates involved in sectors as varied as hospitals and schools.

  • Lockheed Martin Receives First F-16 For Depot Sustainment Program

    March 17, 2021 | International, Aerospace

    Lockheed Martin Receives First F-16 For Depot Sustainment Program

    Lockheed Martin received its first F-16 from the U.S. Air Force as part of the $900 million IDIQ contract to provide sustainment support and depot-overflow services for F-16 aircraft.

  • Rolls-Royce develops world-first electrical technology for next-generation Tempest programme

    January 16, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    Rolls-Royce develops world-first electrical technology for next-generation Tempest programme

    Over the last five years Rolls-Royce has been pioneering world-first technology that will contribute to the UK's next-generation Tempest programme. In an aim to be more electric, more intelligent and to harness more power, Rolls-Royce recognised that any future fighter aircraft will have unprecedented levels of electrical power demand and thermal load; all needing to be managed within the context of a stealthy aircraft. Before the launch of the Tempest programme, Rolls-Royce had already started to address the demands of the future. Back in 2014, the company took on the challenge of designing an electrical starter generator that was fully embedded in the core of a gas turbine engine, now known as the Embedded Electrical Starter Generator or E2SG demonstrator programme. Conrad Banks, Chief Engineer for Future Programmes at Rolls-Royce said: "The electrical embedded starter-generator will save space and provide the large amount of electrical power required by future fighters. Existing aircraft engines generate power through a gearbox underneath the engine, which drives a generator. In addition to adding moving parts and complexity, the space required outside the engine for the gearbox and generator makes the airframe larger, which is undesirable in a stealthy platform." Phase two of this programme has now been adopted as part of Rolls-Royce's contribution to the Tempest programme. As part of this journey, the company has been continuously developing its capabilities in the aerospace market, from gas turbine technologies through to integrated power and propulsion systems. The goal being to provide not only the thrust that propels an aircraft through the sky, but also the electrical power required for all the systems on board as well as managing all the resulting thermal loads. Rolls-Royce is adapting to the reality that all future vehicles, whether on land, in the air or at sea will have significantly increased levels of electrification to power sensors, communications systems weapons, actuation systems and accessories, as well as the usual array of avionics. The launch of phase one of the E2SG programme saw significant investment in the development of an integrated electrical facility – a unique test house where gas turbine engines can be physically connected to a DC electrical network. The launch of the second phase of the project in 2017 saw the inclusion of a second electrical generator connected to the other spool of the engine. It also included an energy storage system in the electrical network and the ability to intelligently manage the supply of power between all these systems. The two-spool mounted electrical machines allows, by combination of operation as either a motor or a generator, the production of a series of functional effects on the engine, including the transfer of power electrically between the two spools. As part of the E2SG programme, Rolls-Royce is investigating the feasibility of using dual spool generation to influence the operability, responsiveness and efficiency of the engine. Another key technology under development is the Power Manager intelligent control system, which uses algorithms to make real time intelligent decisions about how to supply the current aircraft electrical demand while optimising other factors including engine efficiency to reduce fuel burn or engine temperature to extend component life. Throughout the Tempest programme, Rolls-Royce will be continuing to mature the electrical technologies demonstrated by the E2SG programme, with a third phase of testing likely to include a novel thermal management system being integrated with the overall system, as well as more electric engine accessories. The company also intends to showcase a full-scale demonstrator of an advanced power and propulsion system. There will be new technologies in all parts of the gas turbine, including twin spool embedded generation to higher power levels, an advanced thermal management system, an energy storage system tailored to the expected duty cycle of the future fighter and an intelligent power management system which will be able to optimise the performance of both the gas turbine and the power and thermal management system. Press release issued by Rolls-Royce plc Defence Aerospace on January 9, 2020

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