2018: The year’s biggest Army Technology stories

8 January 2019 (Last Updated June 1st, 2020 09:43)

Harris and L3 Technologies agreed to merge to establish a $33.5bn global defence technology conglomerate, General Dynamics acquired federal information technology services provider CSRA in a $9.7bn deal. Army-technology.com wraps up key headlines from 2018.

2018: The year’s biggest Army Technology stories
Harris will merge with L3 Technologies to own 54% of the new military defence company. Credit: © 2018 Harris Corporation.

Harris and L3 agree to merge as $33.5bn military technology company

American technology firm Harris and aerospace and defence company L3 Technologies agreed to merge in an all-stock deal to establish a $33.5bn global defence technology conglomerate.

Named L3 Harris Technologies, the combined military technology company will be focused on developing differentiated and mission-critical solutions for military customers worldwide.

With the completion of the merger, Harris will own 54% shares and L3 Technologies will have a 46% stake in the conglomerate on a fully diluted basis.

General Dynamics buys CSRA for $9.7bn

General Dynamics acquired federal information technology services provider CSRA in a $9.7bn all-cash deal.

CSRA will become a part of General Dynamics Information Technology, intending to create a premier high-tech IT provider for the government market.

According to GD, the transaction is expected to add to GAAP earnings per share and to free cash flow per share next year.

Australian Defence Force to procure 211 new Boxer CRVs for $4.09bn

The Australian Government is set to invest a total of A$5.2bn ($4.09bn) to acquire a fleet of 211 new combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRVs) that would strengthen mobility and firepower of its defence force.

The new vehicles will be constructed and delivered domestically to the Australian Defence Force’s fleet.

Germany-based automotive parts supplier and military technology group Rheinmetall signed a contract to carry out the project.

US Army selects Raytheon for $2.4bn training support services contract

The US Army Contracting Command Orlando (ACC-ORL) awarded a contract to Raytheon for the delivery of training support services to the military arm.

Raytheon is one of the contractors for the Enterprise Training Services Contract (ETSC).

With a maximum ceiling value of $2.4bn, the multi-award indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contract will continue for five years.

Ukrainian Army conducts final testing of Vilkha missile

The Ukrainian Army conducted the final test firing of Ukroboronprom’s Vilkha missile complex in the country’s Kherson region.

Several Ukroboronprom enterprises and other Ukranian defence companies were engaged in the production of the missile complex.

Successful testing of Vilkha allows the high-precision weaponry to help significantly enhance the efficiency of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).

Saudi Arabia requests $1.31bn sale of howitzer systems from US

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale of 155mm M109A5 / A6 medium self-propelled howitzer structures to Saudi Arabia for conversion to M109A6 Paladin howitzer systems.

The possible $1.31bn sale was requested by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and approved by the US State Department.

Under the deal, Saudi Arabia proposed the acquisition of 180 155mm M109A5 / A6 howitzer structures for conversion to 177 units of 155mm M109A6 Paladin medium self-propelled howitzer systems.

Thales to deliver FZ90 rockets for Spanish and German Tiger helicopters

Thales was awarded a contract to deliver FZ90 rockets for Tiger helicopter fleets operated by the Spanish Army, Aviation Fuerzas Aeromóviles del Ejército de Tierra (FAMET) and Bundeswehr, the German Armed Forces.

Currently deployed in Mali, the Tiger helicopters of the two nations have so far been involved in several United Nations peacekeeping missions.

The contracts were awarded by the Logistic Support Command of the Army (MALE) of Spain and Germany’s Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support.

DARPA to invest $2bn to accelerate third wave of AI programmes

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is set to invest more than $2bn in new and existing artificial intelligence (AI) programmes.

Called the ‘AI Next’ campaign, the multi-year strategy focuses on contextual reasoning in AI systems in order to develop more trusting collaborations between humans and machines.

Defined as the third wave of technological advance, the next-generation of AI intends to explore new theories and applications that would enable the machines to adapt to changing situations.

Oshkosh Defense wins US Army delivery order for 6,107 JLTVs

The US Army awarded a $1.69bn contract to Oshkosh Defense for the supply of 6,107 units of joint light tactical vehicles (JLTVs).

Under the agreement, the company will also be committed to providing the army with associated installed and packaged kits.

In August 2015, the company was awarded a $6.7bn contract for production of the JLTVs. The latest order marks the tenth award under the contract.

US President signs Fiscal 2019 NDAA to support armed forces

US President Donald Trump signed the Fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) during a ceremony at Fort Drum, New York, US.

With a national defence budget of $716bn, the NDAA will help support the US Department of Defense’s goal in strengthening the readiness and capabilities of the country’s armed forces.

Trump said: “I’m here today to sign the new defence bill into law, and to pay tribute to the greatest soldiers in the history of the world, the US Army. The NDAA is the most significant investment in our military, in our warfighters, in modern history.”