More delays for new U.S. trainer

The Government Accountability has highlighted more issues with the U.S. Air Force’s planned procurement of new T-7A Red Hawk advanced jet trainers being developed by Boeing and Saab. It cites safety issues, scheduling and testing delays and the potential for further slippage in a program already a decade later than the USAF had expected. [node:read-more:link]

USAF dislikes monopoly procurement

In what it says is an attempt to avoid mistakes in programs such as the Lockheed Martin F-35, the U.S. Air Force plans to ensure it has access to all the follow-on data it needs from contractors as it works on its Next Generation Air Dominance platform. Otherwise, says Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, “what that basically does is create a perpetual monopoly […] so we’re not going to do that with NGAD.” [node:read-more:link]

Australian ship selection lacked transparency`

Australia’s national auditor has delivered a highly critical report on the selection of the country’s newest warship, the Type 26 Global Combat Ship. It says “management of this procurement and related advisory processes […] lacked a value for money focus” and transparency in choosing the BAE Systems design over two competitors. [node:read-more:link]

RCAF transports delayed

The RCAF says delivery of two Airbus A-330 transports, purchased for US$102 million from Kuwait Airways, has been delayed. They were expected last winter but one recently was still operating from Kuwait. The delay is likely due to supply chain issues such as repainting the aircraft, which will be done in France. [node:read-more:link]

Defence front-and-centre in Turkey

As Turkey prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections May 14, the NATO member’s indigenous defence industry has taken centre stage in a polarized campaign. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the islamist incumbent, hoping to capitalize on the industry’s impact on a fragile economy, has accused opponents of planning to undo two decades of nationalization. [node:read-more:link]

South Africa arms exports reviewed

Accusations by the U.S. ambassador that South Africa has supplied arms to Russia despite its professed neutrality in the war in Ukraine have prompted an inquiry headed by a retired judge. Reuben Brigety said a Russian ship was loaded with weapons and ammunition in Cape Town last December and while President Cyril Ramaphosa’s confirmed the inquiry, it says Brigety offered no evidence to support his claim. [node:read-more:link]

Fighter costs: sound familiar?

The CEO of Turkish Aerospace Industries expects the unit cost of the country’s homegrown TF-X Kaan (Ruler) fighter “could be a little bit higher” than the $US100 million he estimated a year ago. Temel Kotin offered no explanation for the change. The aircraft’s maiden flight is currently scheduled for 2026. [node:read-more:link]

Airbus helicopters sale cancelled

The United Arab Emirates has cancelled a nearly €800-million contract to buy 12 Airbus H225 Caracal multirole helicopters. “The company lacked the serious motivation to respond to our demands in order to meet the pressing requirements of the government,” a UAE official explained. “Failure to achieve in-country value goals was another factor.” [node:read-more:link]

Aussies upgrading regional security

A new Australian budget tabled today includes nearly AU$52.6 billion or 2.04 per cent of GDP in defence spending designed to enhance defence of Australia’s interests in the Indo-Pacific theatre. U.S. munitions, including long-range missiles, figure prominently in the government’s five-year plan. [node:read-more:link]

Support for bigger defence budget

Results of a national April 30 to May 3 Nanos Research poll of 1,800 Canadians indicated that 64 per cent of Canadians support increased defence spending to hit NATO target of two per cent of GDP. Published today, the results also show that 21 per cent favour current spending levels, seven per cent want less and eight per cent were unsure. [node:read-more:link]

Tankers still a drain on Boeing

Its U.S. Air Force KC-46A Pegasus tanker program saw Boeing Defense Space & Security resulted in a $245-million first-quarter 2023 charge, driving a $211-million overall loss for the division. Cumulative charges for the fixed-price contract are now more than $7 billion. [node:read-more:link]

Saab optimistic about NATO

Saab CEO and President Micael Johansson saying that his company’s “ecosystem” must be expanded if Sweden is to capitalize further on its potential NATO membership. “We have secured quite a lot of material, explosives, powder and semiconductors for the foreseeable future: he says. “But to take the next step of doubling capacity that we’re doing now, we need more investment.” [node:read-more:link]

New U.S-European defence pact

The U.S. Defense Department and the European Defence Agency have signed new accord they expect will be a framework for cooperation on, among other things, supply chains, military mobility and information exchanges. [node:read-more:link]


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