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  • Canada Needs New Aircraft, Could The F-35 Fit The Bill?

    21 février 2020 | Local, Aérospatial

    Canada Needs New Aircraft, Could The F-35 Fit The Bill?

    As part of its commitment to NATO, Canada also must be prepared for high-tech warfare in Europe. by David Axe Follow @daxe on TwitterL Key point: Canada, like Switzerland, likely can't afford to fail again to buy new planes. Canada for the third time in a decade is trying to replace its aging F/A-18A/B Hornet fighter jets. With every year the acquisition effort drags on, the condition of the Royal Canadian Air Force's fast-jet fleet grows direr. “The politically-charged competition to replace Canada's aging fleet of fighter jets will rocket forward at the end of May [2019] as the federal government releases a long-anticipated, full-fledged tender call,” Murray Brewster reported for CBC News. Four companies are vying for the multibillion-dollar contract for as many as 88 fighters that would replace the RCAF's 1980s-vintage Hornets, which in Canadian service are designated “CF-18.” Saab, Airbus, Boeing and Lockheed Martin all are in the running, respectively offering the Gripen, Eurofighter, F/A-18E/F and F-35A. The manufacturers will have until the end of 2019 to submit bids, CBC News reported. But the RCAF hardly can wait. The RCAF acquired 138 F/A-18A/Bs from McDonnell Douglas starting in 1982. In early 2019, 85 of the original Hornets, all more than 30 years old, comprise Canada's entire fighter fleet. The Canadian Hornets are unreliable and lack modern systems. In 2010, Canada's Conservative Party government announced plans to acquire 65 new F-35 stealth fighters by 2020. But the government never fairly compared the F-35 to rival fighter types such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Auditor General of Canada concluded in a 2018 report. "National Defense did not manage the process to replace the CF-18 fleet with due diligence." In 2015, Liberal Party candidate Justin Trudeau made the F-35 a major issue in his campaign for prime minister. Trudeau won. And in 2017, Ottawa backed off its proposal to purchase F-35s and, instead, launched a new competition to acquire 88 fighters. The aircraft would enter service in 2032, meaning the old Hornets would have to continue flying 12 years longer than the government originally planned. Ottawa briefly considered acquiring 18 F/A-18E/Fs from Boeing in order to bolster the early-model Hornets, but the government canceled the plan during a U.S.-Canada trade dispute in 2017. Canada was left with its original Hornets. In December 2017, the government announced it would spend around $500 million buying up to 25 1980s-vintage F/A-18s that Australia was declared surplus as it acquired its own fleet of new F-35s. The RCAF would add some of the Australian Hornets to the operational fleet and use others as sources of spare parts. But the government has no plan to keep its Hornets combat-ready as they enter their fourth and even fifth decade of service." We found that the CF-18 had not been significantly upgraded for combat since 2008, in part because [the Department of] National Defense expected a replacement fleet to be in place by 2020," the government auditors found. "Without these upgrades, according to the department, the CF-18 will become more vulnerable as advanced combat aircraft and air-defense systems continue to be developed and used by other nations." Against this backdrop, Brewster assessed the current fighter contenders, in particular, the Swedish Gripen and the American F-35. “There has been a rigorous political and academic debate about whether Canada should choose a legacy design from the 1990s, such as the Gripen, or the recently-introduced Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter,” Brewster wrote. “The Swedish air force is about the same size as the Royal Canadian Air Force,” Brewster pointed out, adding that Sweden and Canada also share geographic concerns. “The Gripen is intended for operations in rugged environments, such as Sweden's Arctic region,” Brewster wrote. “Canada's CF-18s occasionally operate from forward bases in the north, but those deployments are infrequent compared with the routine activity of the Swedes.” As part of its commitment to NATO, Canada also must be prepared for high-tech warfare in Europe. The Gripen lacks the radar-evading stealth features that in theory allow the F-35 to penetrate the most dangerous Russian-made air-defenses. But Brewster cited a March 2019 Swedish study that claimed Russian defenses are less fearsome than many observers believe. “Besides uncritically taking Russian data at face value, the three cardinal sins have been: confusing the maximal nominal range of missiles with the effective range of the systems; disregarding the inherent problems of seeing and hitting a moving target at a distance, especially targets below the horizon; and underestimating the potential for countermeasures against [anti-access area-denial]-systems,” Robert Dalsjo, Christopher Berglund and Michael Jonsson explain in their report "Bursting the Bubble." The stakes are high. If Canada fails a third time to buy a new fighter, it might find itself in the same unfortunate situation in which Switzerland has found itself. In April 2019 the Swiss air force is down to just 10 ready fighters with full-time pilots. The crisis is the result of the Swiss public's decision in a 2014 referendum to reject the air force's proposal to buy 22 new fighters to begin replacing 40-year-old F-5 Tigers. The Swiss air force in 2019 plans to remove from service 27 Tigers. The 26 Tigers that remain will perform limited duties. With the F-5 force shrinking and flying part-time, the Swiss air force increasingly relies on its 30 F/A-18C/Ds. To last that long, the F/A-18s need structural upgrades. The upgrade work has sidelined more than half of the Hornet fleet. Switzerland like Canada has relaunched its fighter competition. The same companies and designs that are competing in Canada, plus Dassault with the Rafale, are in the running in Switzerland. Intensive flight testing began in April 2019. Canada like Switzerland likely can't afford to fail again to buy new planes. The old Canadian Hornets probably won't last much longer. "The CF-18 will be disadvantaged against many potential adversaries, and its combat capability will further erode through the 2020s and into the 2030s," Ottawa's auditors warned. David Axe serves as Defense Editor of the National Interest. He is the author of the graphic novels War Fix, War Is Boring and Machete Squad. (This first appeared last year.) https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/canada-needs-new-aircraft-could-f-35-fit-bill-125556

  • New armoured vehicle fleet faces more problems – civilian vehicle hit near Petawawa

    21 février 2020 | Local, Terrestre

    New armoured vehicle fleet faces more problems – civilian vehicle hit near Petawawa

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN The Canadian military is investigating potential problems with brakes on its new armoured vehicle fleet which may have contributed to a number of incidents, including where one of the 18-tonne vehicles hit a car near Petawawa. There have been eight reported incidents involving problems with stopping or issues with brakes affecting the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicles, or TAPVs. A formal safety advisory was issued Feb. 12 to the army units using the $600-million TAPV fleet. But the use of the vehicles is not being restricted at this time. The brake issues started being reported in January 2018 and the intermittent problem has only occurred at speeds in the range of five to 15 kilometres an hour, according to the Canadian Forces. “We are working with experts to try and determine if there is a problem with the vehicles braking performance at low-speed, and if the problem is isolated to a few vehicles or the result of something that may affect the wider fleet,” noted army spokesman Lt.-Col. Doug MacNair. So far, the Canadian Forces and Department of National Defence has been unable to replicate the reported problem, nor have inspections uncovered any obvious causes. There have been no injuries as a result of the incidents. Among the eight incidents is a Feb. 3 accident during which a TAPV rolled through a red light and hit a civilian vehicle near Canadian Forces Base Petawawa. No injuries were reported, and Ontario Provincial Police issued a ticket to the TAPV driver for failing to stop at a red light. Driver error was the “apparent problem” according to the Canadian Forces. But sources point out the driver in question reported problems with the TAPV brakes. During a change of command parade in Halifax in November 2019 a TAPV hit a wall causing minor damage after the brakes failed to stop the vehicle. A soldier near the vehicle had to “take evasive action to avoid being struck,” according to the Canadian Forces. In one case the brakes on a TAPV caught fire. In the aftermath of several other incidents involving brake failure large amounts of ice were found in the brake drums. In another case a TAPV hit the side of a bridge during training. “Following each of these incidents, technicians were unable to locate a problem with the brakes after they conducted technical inspections,” the Canadian Forces added. In 2016 the TAPV fleet had brake issues. At that time it was determined the anti-lock braking system on the vehicles was engaging erratically at higher speeds. A retrofit was introduced across the entire fleet to deal with that problem. The military says there is no evidence to suggest a connection between the 2016 braking issues and these latest incidents. Last year this newspaper reported on a series of rollovers and fires affecting the TAPV fleet. Between April 2014 and January 2019 there had been 10 incidents when Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicles have tipped on to their sides, six where they have rolled over completely, and four where they have caught fire. Pat Finn, then the assistant deputy minister in charge of procurement at the Department of National Defence, said at the time there have been no serious injuries as a result of the incidents. Finn suggested the rollovers might be caused because of the high centre of gravity the vehicles have. Training was improved to deal with the issue of rollovers. No explanation was provided at the time for the cause behind the fires. The TAPVs have also faced other problems, according to DND documents obtained by this newspaper using the Access to Information law. The TAPV program has “experienced a number of significant technical issues, particularly affecting vehicle mobility,” then-Conservative defence minister Rob Nicholson was told in August 2014. There have been problems with the suspension, steering and other items on the vehicle, according to the briefing document for Nicholson. The technical issues significantly delayed the test program for the vehicles, the document added. The Conservative government announced the TAPV contract in 2012 as part of its re-equipping of the Canadian Army. Canada bought 500 TAPVs from Textron, a U.S. defence firm, at a cost of $603 million. The TAPV is a wheeled combat vehicle that will conduct reconnaissance and surveillance, security, command and control, and armoured transport of personnel and equipment. The TAPV project cost taxpayers a total of $1.2 billion, which not only includes the vehicles but also includes the building of infrastructure to house them, as well as the purchase of ammunition and service support for the equipment. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/new-armoured-vehicle-fleet-faces-more-problems-civilian-vehicle-hit-near-petawawa

  • Main contractor Damen and more than a hundred companies contribute to combat support ship

    21 février 2020 | International, Naval

    Main contractor Damen and more than a hundred companies contribute to combat support ship

    February 19, 2020 - With the contract signing for construction for the new supply ship HNLMS Den Helder, more than a hundred, mainly Dutch companies receive work. The contract was signed today in Den Helder by the Director of Defence Material Organization (DMO), Vice Admiral Arie Jan de Waard and Arnout Damen, the new CEO of the family business Damen Shipyards Group. Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) will supervise the project, together with DMO, as the main contractor. Damen will not do this alone; more than a hundred companies from the Dutch naval construction sector are involved in this ship. This means that a large part of the sector will be deployed to participate in this innovative new ship. With HNLMS Den Helder, the maritime supply capacity of the Royal Netherlands Navy will be restored. The ship will operate alongside the Joint Support Ship HNLMS Karel Doorman. This vessel also forms the basis for the design of this Combat Support Ship. The new ship can be used worldwide and can operate under high threat, protected by frigates. In addition, she can be used in the fight against drug trafficking, controlling refugee flows and providing emergency aid. The supply ship, which is almost 200 metres long, will receive a 75-person crew and can also take 75 extra people on board. There is room for several helicopters and around 20 containers. The design explicitly looked at fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The combination of diesel engines, hull shape and propeller design reduces fuel consumption by around 6 % compared to HNLMS Karel Doorman. The building contract is not contracted out elsewhere in Europe. DMO wishes to keep the knowledge and skills of designing and building naval ships in the Netherlands. The armed forces thus invoked Article 346 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It states that Member States may protect essential security interests. This also relates to the production of defence equipment. Completion is scheduled for the second quarter of 2024. A year later, in the second quarter of 2025, the Combat Support Ship must be operable. The size of the total project budget is 375 million euros. View source version on Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) : https://www.damen.com/en/news/2020/02/main_contractor_damen_and_more_than_a_hundred_companies_contribute_to_css

  • Virtual Training becomes reality for Royal Netherlands Navy

    21 février 2020 | International, Naval

    Virtual Training becomes reality for Royal Netherlands Navy

    February 20, 2020 - Technical students from the Royal Netherlands Navy can now make virtual acquaintance with naval ships. They do this with a Virtual Reality (VR) programme that Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS), Thales Nederland and the maritime innovation cluster Extended Reality developed for them. The programme was commissioned by the Royal Dutch Navy last Wednesday, prior to the signing of the contract for a new supply vessel. The so-called Intro-TD-OPV experience was created for students of the Royal Navy Technical Training. Supported by game techniques and a narrative, the student moves over the HNLMS Holland, a patrol ship of the Holland class and learns, playfully, the functional design of the ship and the location of the systems on board. The idea is that VR technology, game technology and gamification contribute to innovative education. With this, the Royal Netherlands Navy tries to fascinate and bind the technical target group. After all, the defence sector in general, and the Royal Navy in particular, nowadays need all the tools to recruit and retain suitable personnel. The VR programme was developed in close collaboration with the maritime innovation cluster Extended Reality. This cluster is largely run by naval personnel from the Simulation Center Maritime (SimCenMar). Here experiments are performed with all kinds of possibilities of extended reality. For the realisation of this VR project, DSNS worked closely with students from the Media Designer course at Scalda in Vlissingen. They participated in the course 3D models and graphics. To date, more than ten trainees have been involved in DSNS's ever-growing VR/AR department. View source version on Damen: https://www.damen.com/en/news/2020/02/virtual_training_becomes_reality_for_royal_netherlands_navy

  • Lockheed Martin and Guardtime Federal Join Forces to Thwart Software Cyber Threats

    21 février 2020 | International, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Lockheed Martin and Guardtime Federal Join Forces to Thwart Software Cyber Threats

    Forth Worth, Texas, February 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Guardtime Federal are working together to mitigate cyber threats across Lockheed Martin Aeronautics' software supply chain by integrating immutable digital integrity into architecture supporting research, design, development, manufacturing, integration and sustainment of its advanced products and services. Through the long-term agreement, the team envisions integrating the aerospace community's first mathematically verifiable end-to-end integrity check from the external software supply chain, through the development process and all the way to verification on delivered military systems. This digital transformation initiative will mitigate cyber threats across the software supply chain using KSI® blockchain signatures. "Lockheed Martin is committed to continuous Agile development of secure software," said Ron Bessire, vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. "This collaboration with Guardtime Federal assures the highest level of digital security and enhances the integrity of our aircraft, further enabling pilots to achieve mission success in hostile cyber environments." Beyond the software development supply chain, the agreement also enables KSI® integration into the architecture of large-scale digitally directed manufacturing equipment to deter and detect any unauthorized residuals from third party routine maintenance actions. The desired end state is an advanced high integrity aerospace digital supply chain. "Whether the operation is land, sea, air, space, or cyber space, the control flow of digital data and processes is key to mission success," said David Hamilton, president of Guardtime Federal. "Our collaboration with Lockheed Martin is delivering a mathematically provable process for data integrity to the customer to assure that the software envisioned, developed, tested and certified is what makes it onto the platform every time." About Lockheed Martin Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 110,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. For more information, visit lockheedmartin.com. About Guardtime Federal Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, Guardtime Federal is a U.S. chartered business that delivers mathematically verifiable data integrity for defense and aerospace. Guardtime Federal integrates Guardtime KSI® industrial blockchain technology with U.S.-developed high-end tamper resistant hardware for data and process integrity with digital provenance for cross boundary, embedded, and private networked environments to protect design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. CONTACT: Alyssa Campbell, +1 817-655-8118; alyssa.k.campbell@lmco.com SOURCE Lockheed Martin Aeronautics View source version on PR NewsWire: https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2020-02-20-Lockheed-Martin-and-Guardtime-Federal-Join-Forces-to-Thwart-Software-Cyber-Threats

  • The Federal Aviation Administration selects Thales Secondary Radar Technology for the Mode S Beacon Replacement System Contract

    21 février 2020 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    The Federal Aviation Administration selects Thales Secondary Radar Technology for the Mode S Beacon Replacement System Contract

    February 19, 2020 - The FAA selected Thales secondary radar technology to support the Mode S Beacon Replacement System contract, being delivered with Leidos. Under the contract, Thales will supply up to 142 secondary surveillance radars to support Air Traffic Control management. The number of aircraft flying is on track to double by 2036, which is leading to an increase in complexity. Reliable, strong performing radars, capable of detecting, measuring precisely the position of an aircraft and allowing rapid and secure exchange of data is crucial. The Thales secondary surveillance radar is capable of providing surveillance and specific aircraft information necessary to support Air Traffic Control (ATC) automation in all traffic environments. The modern Mode S radar system will help the FAA increase operational availability and performance of the system, support common and consistent interface requirements, and provide a modern system that complies with current FAA Security Standards. Relying on Thales's expertise in air surveillance, with 700 Air Traffic Control (ATC) radars in more than 70 countries worldwide, the FAA will deploy a state-of-the-art radar meeting strict technical requirements. Under the MSBRS contract, Leidos and Thales will perform program management, systems engineering, design and development, system test and evaluation, training, production and site implementation. “Thales has been a great collaborator and we are thrilled to execute the FAA's MSBRS Program alongside their team,” said Fran Hill, Senior Vice-President and Operations Manager of Transportation Solutions with Leidos. “Leidos and Thales have formed an outstanding working relationship, and we look forward to building upon that relationship and delivering the latest technology to the FAA.” “This award is the result of strong team dedication and involvement between Leidos and Thales in the US and France. With our trusted and reliable solution, the FAA will benefit from secondary radar adapted to its critical needs.” Serge Adrian, Senior Vice-President Surface Radars, Thales. Documents • PR_20200220_The Federal Aviation Administration selects Thales Secondary Radar Technology for the Mode S Beacon Replacement System contract • CP_200220_La FAA sélectionne les radars secondaires de Thales pour amélio Contact Maria Mellouli, Media relations, Defence and Civil Aerospace Tel.:+33(0)1 57 77 84 57 maria.mellouli@thalesgroup.com View source version on Thales: https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/group/journalist/press-release/federal-aviation-administration-selects-thales-secondary-radar

  • Opinion: Defense Budget’s Resilience Rests On Shaky Foundation

    21 février 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Opinion: Defense Budget’s Resilience Rests On Shaky Foundation

    Byron Callan Some of the main talking points on the fiscal 2021 defense budget request and the plan that accompanies it through 2025 are that it aligns resources with the National Defense Strategy and that this year's budget theme is about all-domain operations. The Pentagon called out priorities to sustain readiness and prepare for future challenges with investment in hypersonics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence. Given a flat top line, the Defense Department had to make tough choices by making program cuts that have been well-documented and are well-covered by this publication. The outlines of structural changes in how the Pentagon is preparing for the future are indeed visible in the budget request and plan, but it is unrealistic to expect this budget to have completely framed out all that will be done. Increases in research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) spending both in absolute terms and compared to last year's plan for 2021-24 underscore shifts that are underway. It may take at least 2-3 more years to see how some of these RDT&E efforts translate into new programs and will inform how the U.S. will fight in future conflicts. Much as defense contractor management, analysts and planners will focus on the details in the defense budget, it is important also to factor in some of the assumptions that underpin the budget—the foundation upon which it rests. Here there are questions worth considering. The first is the real GDP forecast for 2021-29. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) forecast depends on stable 3% annual real growth every year, which is well above consensus estimates. The U.S. is now in its longest economic expansion ever. Can this be extended into 2021 or beyond? Possibly. Has the U.S. somehow eliminated the risk of recession from a rapid increase in interest rates, another energy shock, a pandemic or a severe economic crisis in other parts of the world? Very likely not. Another questionable factor is the new budget and plan's interest-rate assumptions, as there was a big change from prior projections. The OMB and Congressional Budget Office (CBO) do not disclose how they expect the composition of federal debt by debt maturity to change over forecast periods. They usually provide projections only on three-month Treasury bill interest rates and on the 10-year Treasury note. The U.S. Treasury shows that as of Jan. 31, of the $17.2 trillion in federal debt held by the public, 14% was in Treasury bills with an average interest rate of 1.7%, and 58% was in notes with maturities of 2-10 years at an average rate of 2.1%. Net interest outlays are a mix of the interest the federal government pays to public holders of that debt and the interest it pays to itself on debt held in federal trust funds. One way to think about the debt burden and the interest expense associated with it is to take the net interest outlay projections and divide them by the total debt the OMB or CBO estimates. One of the changes the OMB made in its budget projections was to lower interest rate estimates. In recent years, these projections were too high compared to prevailing market levels, as the OMB and CBO both projected rates would return to “normal” levels. In the OMB's mid-session review from this past summer, the implied interest rate (net interest outlays divided by total debt) was 2.3% in 2019 and rose to 3.0% by 2022 and 3.3% by 2025. In the latest budget and plan, the implied rate is flat—at 2.1% in 2020, creeping up to 2.3% by 2025. This is another questionable factor that could weigh on the foundation of the defense spending plans. If rates do move to higher levels, then outlays will compete with other forms of federal spending. If rates fall further than projected, it may be due to a far weaker economy, which in turn weighs on federal deficits. A final questionable factor is the deficit projections themselves. The Trump administration again plans reductions in non-defense discretionary spending, which Congress has not supported in the last three budget requests. The share of non-defense discretionary outlays as a percent of total outlays drops to 12% in 2024 from 15% in 2019. For defense contractor management, planners, analysts and investors, foundations on which the budget plans are based imply that the structural and programmatic changes in the 2021 budget could be accelerated if deficits and interest rates are higher than the plan presumes. Like a high-rise building built to code in an earthquake zone, the Pentagon's structural and spending changes may make defense better able to withstand future macroeconomic tremors and shifts. https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/opinion-defense-budgets-resilience-rests-shaky-foundation

  • How many users were affected by the DISA breach?

    21 février 2020 | International, C4ISR, Sécurité

    How many users were affected by the DISA breach?

    Andrew Eversden A breach of a system hosted by the Defense Information Systems Agency, the Department of Defense's primary IT support agency, affected “approximately 200,000” users after a malicious actor may have gained access to names and Social Security numbers, according to a Pentagon spokesman. Chuck Prichard, a DoD spokesman, said there is “no evidence to suggest that any of the potentially compromised [personally identifiable information] was misused.” DISA is sending letters notifying potentially affected users, in line with agency policy. He added that affected individuals “will subsequently receive additional correspondence with information about actions that can be taken to mitigate possible negative impacts.” The news of the breach was first reported by Reuters. Prichard said the breach was discovered during summer 2019. According to Reuters, which viewed a copy of the letter sent out to DISA officials, the breach occurred between May and July 2019. Affected users will also receive free credit monitoring, Prichard said. Prichard declined to specify what network was breached, only that it was hosted by DISA. He also declined to comment on how long the actor was in the network. “DoD and DISA take the security of our people, information (or data) and operations very seriously and actively monitor potential threats," Prichard said. “For operational security reasons, the department does not comment on the actions taken to mitigate risks or vulnerabilities.” He did add that “DISA ... conducted a thorough investigation of this incident and taken appropriate measures to secure the network.” According to its website, DISA employs over 8,000 military and civilian employees. The agency's mission includes protecting the Department of Defense Information Network, a global DoD network used for sharing and storing information. DISA runs a variety of other systems, including combat support, DoD enterprise email and other communication networks. https://www.fifthdomain.com/dod/2020/02/20/how-many-users-were-affected-by-the-disa-breach/

  • India clears $2.12 billion purchase of Hellfire-equipped naval helicopters

    21 février 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval

    India clears $2.12 billion purchase of Hellfire-equipped naval helicopters

    By: Vivek Raghuvanshi NEW DELHI — India on Wednesday cleared the purchase of 24 Sikorsky MH-60R naval multirole helicopters through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program, according to a Ministry of Defence official. The acquisition, which is worth about $2.12 billion, was approved by India's top defense clearance body, the Cabinet Committee on Security, which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The MoD had approved funds for the purchase in August 2018. The clearance comes ahead of a two-day visit to India by U.S. President Donald Trump beginning Feb. 24. The MoD official said a formal government-to-government contract for the MH-60R helicopters will be signed once cost negotiations are finalized. No timeline has been set, but delivery will take place three years after the contract is inked, he added. A previous attempt to buy naval multirole helos failed when the MoD canceled the planned purchase of 16 S-70B Seahawks from Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin subsidiary, in June 2017 following expiry of the $1 billion price tag offer. The 2009 tender for 16 helos was sent to Sikorsky, NHIndustries, Airbus Helicopters and Russian Helicopters. The S-70B was selected over NHIndustries' NH90 helicopter in 2011; the other potential contenders did not participate. The cost of weapons was not included in the original program, but the recently approved deal for 24 MH-60Rs does include a weapons package, according to an Indian Navy official. The helicopters are to be armed with multi-mode radar, Hellfire missiles, Mark 54 torpedoes and precision-kill rockets. The Navy plans to use the helicopters for its front-line warships to replace its outdated British Sea King Mark 42 helicopters. They are also to be used in limited intelligence gathering roles, for surveillance missions, and in search and rescue efforts, the Navy official said, adding that the procurement of the helicopters is the top-most priority for the service. The helicopters are also expected to have the capability for conducting amphibious assault and anti-submarine warfare missions. https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/02/20/india-clears-212-billion-purchase-of-hellfire-equipped-naval-helicopters/

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