May’s top news stories

1 June 2019 (Last Updated June 10th, 2020 13:55)

Trump to withdraw US status as signatory of Arms Trade Treaty, the UK seeks greater push for international elimination of chemical weapons and NCI Agency to release €1.4bn in business opportunities. Army-Technology.com wraps up key stories from May 2019.

May’s top news stories
The first production-representative engagement operations center for the IBCS. Credit: Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Trump to withdraw US status as signatory of Arms Trade Treaty

US President Donald Trump declared that the country will withdraw its status as a signatory of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

Signed by Trump’s Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, the treaty was enforced in December 2014 and aims to regulate the sale of weapons between countries. It has a total of 101 states-parties and 135 signatory states.

Trump further added that he would ask the US Senate not to ratify the pact.


UK seeks greater push for international elimination of chemical weapons

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) highlighted the need for the global community to step up efforts to support the international elimination of chemical weapons.

Addressing the 22nd annual Chemical Weapon Demilitarisation Conference in London, UK, Defence Minister Lord Howe stated that the country will do all it takes to uphold the international norm against the use of chemical weapons.

Howe said: “This conference plays a unique role in bringing together international experts so that they can work together to solve problems relating to the destruction of chemical weapons. Their scientific and technical expertise is fundamental to meeting our objective of a world free of chemical weapons.”


NCI Agency to release €1.4bn in business opportunities

The Nato Communications and Information (NCI) Agency announced plans to release €1.4bn in business opportunities over the next 18 months.

During this period, the agency plans to issue bids or award contracts in areas such as cybersecurity, satellite communications and joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR).

The NCI Agency will award €189m worth of contracts in satellite communications transmission services for space, ground and control resources to support Nato operations from 2020 to 2034.


US approves possible sale of Patriot missile system to key gulf allies

The US State Department approved a potential sale of Patriot missile system and related support and equipment to two gulf allies, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Under the possible foreign military sale, the UAE has requested 452 Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) Missiles Segment Enhanced (MSE) and related equipment. This deal has an estimated value of $2.728bn.

Valued at $2.478bn, Bahrain will receive 60 PAC-3 MSE missiles and 36 Patriot MIM-104E guidance enhanced missiles (GEM-T).


France advances launch of helicopter replacement programme to 2021

The French Ministry of the Armed Forces advanced the launch of the Joint Light Helicopter (Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger, HIL) programme by one year to 2021.

Airbus Helicopters’ H160 was announced as the choice for France’s HIL programme in March 2017. The programme was originally scheduled for launch in 2022.

The revised schedule will help advance the delivery of the first H160M helicopters to the French Armed Forces to 2026.


Raytheon completes testing of advanced warhead for DeepStrike missile

Raytheon Company completed the testing of an advanced warhead for the DeepStrike surface-to-surface missile.

The test moved the weapon closer to its first flight test planned for later this year.

Raytheon noted that the DeepStrike missile is its offering for the US Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) programme, which will replace the army tactical missile system.


UK MoD announces funding for new army cyber operations centres

The UK MoD announced £22m in funding to support the establishment of British Army cyber operations centres across the country.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt made the announcement to provide funding at the Nato Cyber Defence Pledge conference in London.

Speaking at the conference, Mordaunt highlighted the need for the UK and Nato member states to recognise offensive cyber as pivotal to modern warfare.


Pentagon to transfer $1.5bn from defence programmes for border wall

Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan granted approval for transfer of $1.5bn by the Pentagon for the construction of more than 130km of wall along the border with Mexico.

US President Donald Trump said that $5.7bn will be required to fund the wall, aimed at preventing people from crossing into the US and stopping the flow of drugs from Mexico.

The money transfer included shifting around $604m from funds for the Afghan security forces, the next nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) programme Minuteman III, and from the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) programme.


US Army receives first operations centre from Northrop Grumman

The US Army received the first production-representative engagement operations centre (EOC) for the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) from Northrop Grumman.

Prior to the delivery, the IBCS EOC completed all functional configuration audits for major configuration items and system verification review. It has been designed to work with future anti-aircraft, counter-drone and missile defence systems.

The US Army Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal in Alabama manages the IBCS.


India to create new Armed Forces Special Operation division

The Government of India reportedly started the process for the formation of the Indian Armed Forces Special Operation division, which will include commands from all three services.

Major general AK Dhingra was appointed as the first general officer commanding the new division.

The move followed the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approval of the formation of the unit last year.