30 octobre 2023 | International, Aérospatial

Jordan asks US to deploy Patriot air defense systems

Jordan's military has also responded to allegations that U.S. aircraft were using local air bases to supply Israel with equipment and ammunition.


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  • Airbus and Saab consider challenge to Boeing Wedgetail for UK

    9 juillet 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Airbus and Saab consider challenge to Boeing Wedgetail for UK

    By: Andrew Chuter and Beth Stevenson LONDON -- Two of Europe's top aerospace defense companies are discussing combining their airborne early warning capabilities in an attempt to head off a possible sole-source British purchase of the Boeing Wedgetail. The talks are centered on a potential collaboration bringing together an Airbus-built platform with a version of Saab's Erieye radar, said two sources familiar with the discussions. But a third source though sought to dampen expectations of a deal saying the talks were not exclusive and both companies were also talking to various other potential partners. The British are considering replacing their venerable, and increasingly unreliable, Boeing Sentry E-3D fleet with a new airborne early warning aircraft for the Royal Air Force. The Sentry's are currently due to stay in service with the RAF until 2035, subject to a capability sustainment program to extend their service life. News that the two companies are discussing a potential tie-up comes just three days after UK Parliamentary defence committee chairman Julian Lewis wrote an open letter to British defense procurement minister Guto Bebb urging the MoD to ensure that any tender for a new surveillance aircraft must be open to fair competition, and not awarded sole-source to the Wedgetail. The letter said that it would be “particularly inappropriate for a competition to be foregone in favour of Boeing following their involvement in the imposition of punitive tariffs against Bombardier last year [over regional jet subsidies].” The fight with Boeing threatened Bombardier manufacturing facilities in Northern Ireland with substantial job losses. Airbus didn't confirm that talks were taking place with Saab. But in a statement, it unsurprisingly supported the calls for an open competition -- and gave a clue as to what it sees as potential platforms for a possible British requirement. “As the biggest supplier of large aircraft to the Royal Air Force, Airbus would welcome a competition to present a market leading and cost-effective solution for the RAF's future AWACS requirements,” said an Airbus spokesman. “Building on our successful experience in converting commercial aircraft into the world's market-leading tanker, Airbus is working on further opportunities to use the A330 and A320 as the basis for new mission aircraft,” said the spokesman. To the same effect, Saab also welcomed an open competition from the government to replace the Sentry fleet, although it did not go into specifics regarding the exact offering it would expect to pitch should a competition be held. “Saab, as the one of the world's leading suppliers of airborne surveillance and air battle management systems, would enthusiastically pursue an open competition to replace the UK's aging E-3D fleet, should the UK MoD choose to issue a requirement,” a company spokesman said. Potential signing Late last month, The Times newspaper reported the MoD was heading for a possible sole source buy of between four and six Wedgetail aircraft at a cost of up to £3 billion to replace the Sentry fleet. The NATO summit in Brussels, the Royal International Air Tattoo, or the Farnborough air show later this month, have been touted as possible venues for an announcement. The MoD declined to comment on whether a Wedgetail deal was likely or imminent. ‘Any decision on the way forward for the Sentry capability will be taken in the best interests of national security in the face of intensifying threats, and only after full consideration. We tender contracts competitively wherever appropriate. It is too early to comment further at this time,' said an MoD spokesman. An Australian air force Wedgetail is scheduled to appear at the RIAT show starting July 13 at Fairford, southern England. The 737-based jet has also been sold to Turkey and South Korea. The letter raised the committee's concerns over the state of the RAF's Sentry fleet, saying it was in a poor state of maintenance and often only a single aircraft in the six strong fleet was available at any one time. A statement accompanying the letter said reports have emerged that as part of the Modernising Defence Programme review being conducted by the MoD it is considering cancelling the sustainment program and replacing the Sentry fleet with a new aircraft. The letter from the lawmakers reflects increasing concern on the committee about the award of non-competitive contracts with overseas companies for major defense equipment requirements. The most recent of those was the MoD decision to buy Artec-built Boxer mechanized infantry vehicles from Germany without a competition, but the U.S. industry has also benefited from several sole-source deals in recent times. Boeing has particularly rankled competitors after winning two major UK contracts in 2016 without a competition: the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and the AH-64E Apache attack rotorcraft, the selection of which were announced at that year's Farnborough air show. Lewis said in the letter that the committee had “in the light of convincing evidence of at least one credible alternative to Wedgetail,” it can see “absolutely no reason why, yet again, to dispense with open competition.” It's not known exactly who the committee is referring to, but an Airbus/Saab combination would appear to qualify as being highly credible. Saab's well regarded Erieye radar has sold widely around the world on turboprop and regional jet platforms with countries like Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Greece and Sweden operating the capability. Most recently it secured a deal with the United Arab Emirates for the delivery of five of the new GlobalEye early warning and control aircraft which uses the Bombardier 6000 business jet as a platform and boasts a new extended range version of Erieye. Saab executives at the roll-out of the GlobalEye in February said they had briefed the British on the aircraft's capabilities, but their view was the RAF still wanted a larger cabin than a business jet could provide. One option to meet that requirement is the possible use of almost new A330 tanker aircraft available under the AirTanker private finance initiative arrangement to provide inflight refuelling capacity to the RAF. Fourteen A330s were built for AirTanker, in which Airbus is a shareholder, with nine aircraft being available constantly for the RAF and the remainder of the airframes leased out to other users, but available for immediate return to air refueling duties in a crisis. The wings of Airbus' commercial airliners are manufactured in the UK, and uncertainty surrounding the terms of the nation's impending exit from the European Union has caused the company to issue a strong warning to the government that it may move the work elsewhere if Brexit does not favor movement of parts, or the certification of the wings in line with European standards. CEO Tom Enders has been vocal on his views regarding the situation, but opening up other areas of work in which companies like Airbus may participate - such as an open competition for the AWACS replacement – could help companies like Airbus who feel the government has overlooked their interests in the UK. Other executive though wonder whether Brexit supporting Government ministers in Britain are in any mood to do Airbus any favors in sectors like defense procurement. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/07/06/airbus-and-saab-consider-challenge-to-boeing-wedgetail-for-uk/

  • French firm makes moves to fund cybersecurity expansion

    3 juillet 2018 | International, C4ISR

    French firm makes moves to fund cybersecurity expansion

    By: Pierre Tran Communications & Systèmes, a specialist in mission critical systems, launched July 2 a capital increase to raise €10.2 million (U.S. $11.9 million) and finance an announced expansion in European defense and security. The rights issue is intended to raise finance for a mergers and acquisition plan, dubbed Plan Ambition 2021, and follows the approval June 26 by a CS shareholders meeting for the acquisition of Novidy's, a cybersecurity company. “I am rather delighted. This is a step forward,” CS CEO Eric Blanc-Garin told Fifth Domain July 2. “The capital increase will enlarge the shareholder base, bring in more institutional investors and improve the stock liquidity.” The main aim is to fund the company's expansion by mergers and acquisition. “We have targets; we are in active discussion,” he said, when asked if CS has a list of companies in its M&A plan. An issue of new stock is intended to raise €10.2 million, which could rise to €11.5 million if the offer meets demand from the stock market. The new stock will be priced at €5.90 per share, a 22.2 percent discount on the closing price June 28. Current shareholders are offered two new shares for every 25 shares held. A core shareholder, Sopra Steria Group, has committed to subscribe to the stock issue. Sopra Steria holds 10.36 percent of CS and has pledged to inject €1.1 million into the company by exercising its preferential rights. “This capital increase will allow CS to have the means necessary to realize other operations of external growth with priority in Europe in the growth sectors of defense and civil security, space and cybersecurity,” the company said in a statement. Current shareholders will have a preferential right for subscribing to the stock issue. The shareholders meeting approved the capital increase, which had been announced as a second step in the Plan Ambition 2010 and follows the agreed offer for Novidy's. The acquisition of Novidy's boosts CS's annual sales in cybersecurity to €40 million, with the sector accounting for 20 percent of the company's total revenue, the company said in a June 26 statement. “We are delighted that our shareholders have unanimously approved this acquisition, which allows CS to mark a new stage in its development,” Blanc-Garin said in the statement. “This is the first significant step in our strategic plan, Ambition 2021.” https://www.fifthdomain.com/industry/2018/07/02/french-firm-makes-moves-to-fund-cybersecurity-expansion/

  • Airbus’s First Wide-Body Deal Since March Is for Sole Tanker-Jet

    29 septembre 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Airbus’s First Wide-Body Deal Since March Is for Sole Tanker-Jet

    Charlotte Ryan Airbus SE announced its first wide-body order in almost six months -- for a single aerial refueling and transport aircraft based on an old model of its A330 jet. The A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport or MRTT was ordered by Europe's multinational procurement body on behalf of NATO and will be available to the air forces of six nations, Airbus said in a statement Monday. The military purchase highlights the collapse in sales to airlines and leasing firms that traditionally dominate orders as the coronavirus crisis shatters travel demand. In normal times, Airbus and Boeing Co. would expect to have racked up dozens of orders for hundreds of planes over the summer. Airbus's last twin-aisle deal, for 10 A350-900 jets, was secured on March 31. Since then, the pandemic has compelled the Toulouse, France-based company to focus more on protecting existing orders by allowing its struggling customers to defer deliveries rather than targeting up new business. The tanker purchase comes after Luxembourg agreed to maximize participation in the shared program and means all three options for additional MRTT planes have been exercised, taking the total fleet to nine. In addition to air-to-air refueling, the jets can carry troops, cargo and be used for medical evacuation. Airbus will announce full order and delivery figures for September next week. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-28/airbus-s-first-wide-body-deal-since-march-is-for-sole-tanker-jet

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