Raytheon merger deal with United Technologies to rock defence industry

Raytheon agreed to a merger deal with United Technologies (UT) to create a company serving the aerospace and defence industries.

The all-stock merger will create a premier systems provider with expanded technology, research and development (R&D) capabilities to deliver innovative and cost-effective solutions.

The new company, which will be known as Raytheon Technologies, is expected to offer all-platform aerospace and defence technologies with a focus on high-growth segments.

US GAO rejects ATEC’s protest against ITEP contract award to GE

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) dismissed Advanced Turbine Engine Company’s (ATEC) protest against the contract awarded to GE Aviation to supply solutions for the US Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP).

GE Aviation secured a $517m contract in February for the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the ITEP programme.

The company will provide its T901-GE-900 turboshaft engine for the army’s Boeing AH-64 Apaches and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks.

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New Zealand to withdraw military troops from Iraq

The Government of New Zealand announced plans to pull its troops from Iraq in a phased manner to complete withdrawal by next June.

New Zealand deployed its forces in 2015 as part of a joint mission with Australia to train Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The training is designed to prepare the ISF to fight the Islamic State (ISIS).

The non-combat Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji is set to conclude in June next year.

Interserve receives UK MoD infrastructure support contract extension

The UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) awarded a contract extension worth up to £500m to Interserve Group.

The contract extension will give the opportunity for Interserve to continue providing infrastructure support for the British Armed Forces’ four strategic international bases in the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Cyprus and Ascension Island.

Awarded on behalf of the Joint Forces Command (JFC), the contract will see Interserve continue to perform planned and reactive work to maintain the sites.

US signs deal to increase military presence in Poland

A defence agreement was signed to deploy an additional 1,000 US troops in Poland on a rotational basis.

Signed by US President Donald Trump and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, the agreement is the culmination of year-long negotiations between the two countries.

As a result of the new deal, the US will have additional defence infrastructure in Poland, as well as increased presence.

Safran wins helicopter engine support contract extension with UK MoD

Safran Helicopter Engines secured a contract extension to continue supporting the British Royal Navy Merlin and British Army Apache AH Mk1 helicopters.

Under the three-year contract extension, Safran will continue to provide an end-to-end availability service for the RTM322 engines fitted to these helicopters.

Awarded by the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Equipment and Support agency (DE&S), the contract involves support for a fleet of more than 400 engines.

US Army tests AH64E Version 6 Apache enhanced capabilities

The US Army performed an operation test of an upgraded AH64E Apache helicopter at West Fort Hood, Texas, to test its enhanced capabilities.

During the test, the AH64E Version 6 (AH-64Ev6) Apache helicopter flew alongside an unmanned aerial system and combat ground forces to test the upgraded version’s improved target acquisition and joint interoperability.

Tests provided an opportunity for the participating Apache pilots to witness the modernised helicopter’s increased lethality and survivability on the battlefield.

L3 Technologies and Saudi Arabian Military Industries enter JV

L3 Technologies and Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) entered a joint venture (JV) agreement during the Paris Air Show.

Through the JV, L3 and SAMI will team up on projects related to electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) and special mission systems in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

The agreement followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the JV between the companies in February.

Singapore Army inducts fully digitalised Hunter armoured fighting vehicle

The Singapore Ministry of Defence commissioned the new Hunter armoured fighting vehicle that will provide improved firepower, mobility, and protection.

The induction of the Hunter armoured fighting vehicle is a key component of the country’s efforts to create the next-generation army.

Set to replace the existing Ultra M113 armoured personnel carriers, the new vehicles are expected to make the Singapore Army a ‘stronger, faster, smarter and more lethal advanced fighting force’.

German Army conducts SPIKE weapon system firing campaign

The German Army performed a firing campaign using Rafael-developed SPIKE long-range (LR) anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) under adverse weather conditions.

During the campaign, German Army gunners fired 54 live SPIKE LR ATGM missiles from the new SPIKE integrated control launch unit (ICLU) launchers. The ICLU launchers incorporate a new digital user interface.

The campaign involved complex firing scenarios, including engagements in beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS), retargeting mid-flight scenarios, and firing in total darkness in infrared mode.

Finland receives first Protolab 6×6 armoured vehicle

The Finnish Defence Forces (FDF) received the first 6×6 protected multi-purpose vehicle (PMPV) from Protolab.

The Finnish company was awarded a contract last year to supply four PMPV vehicles. The effort is part of a wider modernisation programme to upgrade and enhance the armoured vehicle fleet of the Armed Forces of Finland.

PMPV vehicles are currently undergoing operational testing in field conditions. The trials will allow the FDF to assess the performance of the Protolab vehicles.