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  • UK Ministry of Defence orders more than 500 Boxers in €2.6 billion contract

    8 novembre 2019 | International, Terrestre

    UK Ministry of Defence orders more than 500 Boxers in €2.6 billion contract

    November 8, 2019 - The Artec consortium, led by Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), has signed a contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to produce more than 500 Boxer 8x8-wheeled armoured vehicles for the British Army. The total current value of the order is approximately €2.6 billion (£2.3 billion). The contract has been awarded to Artec via the European procurement agency Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR). The contract awarded to Artec falls under the UK's Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) procurement programme and includes more than 500 vehicles. Artec will each sub-contract 50% of the order volume to Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. The total number of Boxer vehicles already delivered by Artec or currently on order now exceeds 1,400 vehicles. The Boxer vehicles ordered by the British Army will be supplied in several different configurations, including an armoured personnel carrier, command vehicle, specialist carrier and field ambulance. Delivery of the vehicles is expected to start from 2023. Most of the production will take place in the UK, ¬safeguarding and creating a substantial number of British jobs. Full-scale production will begin in Germany, but 90% of the Boxer vehicles destined for the British Army will be produced in the UK, principally at plants operated by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) and KMW's subsidiary WFEL. This order marks the return of the UK to a European defence programme having taken part in the Boxer project when it was still in its infancy. Boxer is now on its way to becoming one of NATO's standard vehicles. A modular vehicle – versatile, tried and tested The Boxer is a highly protective 8x8-wheeled armoured vehicle. Its modular architecture enables more operational configurations than any other vehicle system. At present, some 700 vehicles in twelve different versions are on order from three different NATO nations: Germany, the Netherlands and Lithuania. Australia has also ordered 211 Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) in seven variants, the first of which was recently delivered. Artec GmbH was established in 1999. It is a joint venture of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG, Rheinmetall Military Vehicles GmbH, and Rheinmetall Defence Nederland B.V.. The company coordinates serial production of the Boxer and serves as the point of contact for export enquiries. View source version on Rheinmetall Military Vehicles GmbH: https://www.rheinmetall.com/en/rheinmetall_ag/press/news/latest_news/index_18880.php

  • With F-16 buy, Slovakia ‘cutting off’ Russian hardware

    19 novembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    With F-16 buy, Slovakia ‘cutting off’ Russian hardware

    HALIFAX, Canada — NATO member Slovakia is on track to purchase 14 Lockheed Martin F-16V fighters to replace its MiG-29 jets in a wider effort to break from Russia, the Slovak Ministry of Defence's No. 2 official said Saturday. In an interview on the sidelines of the Halifax International Security Forum, MoD State Secretary Róbert Ondrejcsák said of the Russian defense industrial relationship: “We are cutting off as quickly as we can. “The most important connection with Russia is still the MiG-29, which is still Russian manufactured, and it's what we are cutting now with the decision about the F-16s,” Ondrejcsák said. “There several are other smaller systems.” In the same vein, Slovakia also expects to receive five more Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, which completes its planned purchase of nine. (Long-term plans call for at least 18 multi-role helicopters to replace Soviet-designed Mi-17 rotorcraft, though no platform has been selected as yet.) “By replacing them, we are also cutting those ties with Russia,” Ondrejcsák said, adding that Slovakia will fly the UH-60 and Mi-17 for several years while the UH-60 is phased in. Slovakia was a part of the Soviet bloc during the Cold War but joined the European Union and the NATO military alliance in 2004. Slovakian officials understand the purchase of American hardware strengthens their strategic relationship, but Ondrejcsák emphasized — on the anniversary of Czechoslovakia's velvet revolution in 1989 — the partnership is based on faith in liberal democratic values. “We want to see America as a leader in the free world, as they did for 70 years,” Ondrejcsák said. “We hear a lot here [at Halifax] about the values-based international order, but it's very real for us.” Beyond the U.S., leaders of Slovakia and the Czech Republic announced in September the two countries will cooperate on joint purchases of weapons and military equipment. Both have moved to increase their respective defense budgets following Russia's alleged military intervention in Ukraine's eastern part and its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. As to the F-16s, Ondrejcsák said the intent is for his government to finalize the legislative vehicle and contract in the coming months to ensure timely delivery of the first F-16s in 2022 or 2023. In part driven by maintenance costs, Slovakia decided to make a switch from the MiG-29 and ultimately chose the F-16V over the Saab Gripen based on price and internal analysis, according to Ondrejcsák. The announcement came in July after U.S. State Department in April approved the potential sale of 14 Block 70/72 F-16Vs for Slovakia. Otherwise, negotiations are also underway for the U.S. to further improve Slovakian air fields in Sliač, which is in central Slovakia and in Malacky, which is in in Western Slovakia. “We take it as a win-win situation because they are investing in infrastructure, which will be crucial for us too,” Ondrejcsák said of the U.S. military. “Of course its good for them (the U.S. military) because in case of potential operations, they (the airfields) are available.” The U.S. Air Force has ramped up investments that would enable it to deploy to allied bases in Eastern Europe and operate close to Russia's western flank. U.S. air field improvements have already included partner air bases in Hungary, Estonia and elsewhere. As Slovakia upgrades its heavy mechanized units, it is also exploring the modernization of its existing fleet of T-72 main battle tanks, Ondrejcsák said, rather than wait for the next generation of MBT to be developed. No platform has been selected. “We will upgrade them to the highest possible standards which will allow them to operate in the framework of the mechanized brigade,” he said. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/11/18/with-f-16-buy-slovakia-cutting-off-russian-hardware

  • DoD official wants ‘safe space’ for defense-industrial base cooperation

    6 septembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    DoD official wants ‘safe space’ for defense-industrial base cooperation

    By: Joe Gould WASHINGTON — A Trump administration official wants to create a “safe space” for international defense-industrial base cooperation. As China's military modernization strategy bridges its civil-military divide and the U.S. National Defense Strategy emphasizes the American industrial base, the Pentagon must protect and encourage America's international partnerships, according to Eric Chewning, the Pentagon's deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy. “As China articulates a civil-military fusion doctrine where they are intentionally blurring the lines between their developments on the military side and the commercial side, we need to work with our allies to create a safe space where we can work collaboratively to do that,” Chewning said Wednesday at the Defense News Conference. Chewning's comments came as the Trump administration's defense-industrial base review has been delayed for months, but after the administration has streamlined conventional arms and drone export policies, in part to boost the American defense sector. The Pentagon's acquisitions and sustainment arm maintains bilateral conversations with 35 nations on industrial collaboration, providing a forum to work together in the context of the U.S. strategy's emphasis on great power competition with Russia and China. The Pentagon could scale up a handful of pilot programs tied to the 2017 expansion of the national technology and industrial base to include the U.K. and Australia, Chewning said. But the challenge is to create other avenues for countries outside that core group, like Israel. “We have different constructs that apply to different allies, and we're trying to figure out what the right tools is,” Chewning added. Sharing information and technology is easier said than done. As the U.S. pursues space and cyber capabilities, classification levels are trending higher, potentially hindering the effort, the Danish Embassy's minister-counselor for defense, Peter Michael Nielsen, told conference attendees. “We do need to see a need to continue sharing technology and information,” Nielsen said. “We also have problems in defense, to get the meetings, to get the information.” The Trump administration's “America First” emphasis is creating questions and concerns among allies, in that it also emphasizes “Buy America” provisions that penalize them, panelists said. “We have a strong concern. We are exempted, and if that changed it would be huge," Nielsen said. Full article: https://www.defensenews.com/smr/defense-news-conference/2018/09/05/trump-dod-official-wants-safe-space-for-defense-industrial-base-cooperation

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