May’s top stories: US-Saudi Arabia sign $110bn deal, Manchester Arena attack

US President Donald J. Trump and King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia signed a $110bn arms deal, a suicide bomb blast at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester killed 22 people and the US THAAD advanced missile defence system became operational in South Korea. Army-technology.com wraps up key headlines from May.


US and Saudi Arabia sign $110bn arms deal

US President Donald J. Trump and King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia signed a $110bn arms deal, which is expected to support the Middle East nation’s defence needs.

The defence capabilities deal covers a package of equipment and services to support the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of malign Iranian influence and Iranian related threats, The White House stated.

During the meeting, Trump and Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud also signed a Joint Strategic Vision Statement to strengthen relations between the countries.


US THAAD advanced missile defence system becomes operational in South Korea

The Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, deployed to South Korea to counter missile threats from North Korea, became operational, according to the US military.

The advanced missile defence system entered service days after the US military started moving THAAD equipment to the designated South Korean site, according to media sources.

US Forces Korea spokesman colonel Rob Manning was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying: "US Forces Korea confirms the THAAD system is operational and has the ability to intercept North Korean missiles and defend the Republic of Korea.”


Suicide bomb blast at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester kills 22 people

A suicide bomb blast in the city of Manchester, England, killed at least 22 people and injured more than 50.

The explosion occurred on Monday night at Manchester Arena after a performance by US pop singer Ariana Grande.

A suicide bomber attacked the indoor arena as concert-goers, including children and teens, were leaving the concert.

The blast is believed to be a terror attack by the Greater Manchester Police, according to media sources.


UAE requests $2bn sale of PAC-3 and GEM-T missiles from US

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a potential $2bn foreign military sale of Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) and Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical (GEM-T) missiles to the UAE.

Under the sale, the UAE seeks to receive 60 PAC-3 missiles with canisters and 100 GEM-T missiles.

The sale also covers canisters, tools and test equipment, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, spare and repair parts.


US Army failed to track $1bn arms transfer to Iraq and Kuwait, claims Amnesty International

The US Army failed to monitor the transfer of arms and other military equipment worth more than $1bn to Iraq and Kuwait, Amnesty International reported citing a 2016 US Department of Defense (DoD) audit.

The declassified DoD audit was obtained by the human rights agency following freedom of information requests.

Amnesty International arms control and human rights researcher Patrick Wilcken said:  “This audit provides a worrying insight into the US Army’s flawed – and potentially dangerous – system for controlling millions of dollars’ worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region.”


L&T wins $701.2m Indian MoD contract to supply K9 VAJRA-T guns

India's Ministry of Defence (MoD) contracted Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to deliver artillery guns for the Indian Army.

The Rs45bn ($701.2m) contract will see company supply 100 units of 155mm, 52-calibre tracked self-propelled gun systems.

The deal is said to be the largest of its type awarded by the MoD to a private Indian company to date.

L&T has qualified as the sole bidder based on the performance of its K9 VAJRA-T gun for the ‘Buy Global’ acquisition programme, which was announced by the MoD in 2011.


US approves $253m sale of MD 530 aircraft to Kenya

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a potential $253m foreign military sale of MD 530 aircraft to Kenya.

Under the sale, Kenya requested 12 MD 530F Cayuse Warrior weaponised aircraft to replace the aging the fleet of MD500, which is the current reconnaissance platform supporting the nation's ground forces.

The sale also covers 24 heavy machine-gun pod systems, 24 M260 rocket launchers, 4,032 M151 rockets, 1,536 2.75in M274 smoke signature warhead rockets, and 400,000 rounds of .50-calibre ammunition.


Australia to send more troops to support Nato mission in Afghanistan

The Australian Government is to deploy additional soldiers to support the Nato-led Resolute Support training mission in Afghanistan.

An additional 30 Australian Defence Force soldiers will be sent to train, advise and assist the mission in Afghanistan. The move will increase the total number of Australian troops in Afghanistan from 270 to approximately 300.

Additional personnel will provide crucial extra support and expertise to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in their fight against terrorism.


Rockwell wins new contract with Canadian Army

Rockwell Collins has won a new contract with the Canadian Army for the adaptation of an Android-based tablet for a military communications solution.

The company also plans to showcase its latest Canadian-made communications and networking solutions at the event, CANSEC 2017, which will be conducted between 31 May and 1 June at the E.Y. Centre in Ottawa, Canada.

Rockwell Collins Canada managing director Lee Obst said: “In Canada, we are focused on providing our customers with complete communications solutions with content produced in country."


DALO receives first Piranha wheeled armoured vehicle from GDELS

The Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO) taken delivery of the first Piranha wheeled armoured vehicle from General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS).

The Piranha was selected by DALO for its armoured personnel carrier (APC) replacement programme in 2015.

GDELS was contracted to deliver 309 Piranha APCs in command, infantry, ambulance, engineer, mortar and repair variants.