US President signed Fiscal 2019 $717bn 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.

With a national defence budget of $716bn, the NDAA will help support the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) 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.”

US Army awarded $3.9bn contract to GD for CHS-5 programme

The US Army awarded a $3.9bn contract to General Dynamics (GD) Missions Systems for the Common Hardware Systems-5 (CHS-5) programme.

The contract, which comes after General Dynamics previously secured the contract for the CHS-4 programme, involves three base years, with an additional two one-year options.

As part of the contract, the company provided next-generation computers, printers, displays, power supplies, and network and communications equipment.

Rheinmetall won $2.41bn contract to deliver Boxer CRVs to Australia

The Australian Government signed a contract worth $2.41bn with Rheinmetall for the delivery of 211 Boxer wheeled armoured combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRVs).

Designed to replace the more-than-20-years-old Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAVs), the Boxer vehicles will help offer increased mobility, lethality and protection capability to the Australian Army.

Rheinmetall chief executive Armin Papperger said: “This demonstrates, in no uncertain terms, the continued successful cooperation between Rheinmetall and the Government and Armed Forces of Australia.”

Latvia to purchase UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters from US for €175m

The Ministry of Defence of Latvia made plans to acquire four new UH-60M Black Hawk medium-lift utility helicopters from the US for a total value of approximately €175m.

If purchased, the new Black Hawk helicopters will replace the existing helicopter fleet while strengthening the Latvian forces’ combat capabilities.

Latvia Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis said: “Replacement of helicopters is crucial. Rotorcraft will not only be used for different military purposes, it will also be utilised during civilian operations, serving the public needs.”

RADA to deliver multi-mission Drone Dome radars to British Army

The British Army is set to receive its new multi-mission hemispheric radars (MHRs) from Israel-based defence electronics contractor RADA Electronic Industries.

To be delivered over the coming months, the multi-mission radars are currently embedded in the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Drone Dome counter-drone solution.

Once deployed with the UK Army, the new and advanced Drone Dome system will be used to safeguard the sensitive facilities and sites of the British armed forces from hostile airborne drones.

Sweden to procure Lockheed’s PAC-3 MSE missiles

The Swedish Government formalised an agreement with the US to acquire the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles and related support equipment.

Built by Lockheed Martin, PAC-3 is an advanced, capable and powerful theatre air defence missile that uses ‘hit-to-kill’ technology that engages threats through kinetic energy through body-to-body contact.

The company serves as the prime contractor on the PAC-3 MSE upgrade to the Patriot air defence system.

BAAINBw issued second RFP to MBDA and Lockheed for TLVS IAMD system

The German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) issued a second Request for Proposal (RFP) for the development of ground-based tactical air defence system, TLVS.

The RFP for the future integrated air and missile defence (IAMD) system has been received by the TLVS bidders consortium, which is a joint venture (JV) between MBDA Deutschland and Lockheed Martin.

TLVS JV managing director Dietmar Thelen said: “This second RFP is based on the first RFP. It addresses the results of our negotiations and aligns the TLVS offering with Germany’s new approach to acquisition reform, called Agenda Rüstung, focusing on military capabilities, transparency and risk management to ensure a successful contract.”

Cubic to provide Canadian Army with new UOTS

The Canadian Government awarded a contract to Cubic Global Defense for the delivery of an urban operations training system (UOTS) into the Canadian Weapon Effects Simulation (CWES) environment.

Valued at more than $27m, the task authorisation was awarded by the Public Service and Procurement Canada (PSPC) on behalf of the country’s Department of National Defence.

Under the deal, the company will be responsible for integrating the urban operations sites at the Canadian Forces Base Gagetown (CFB Gagetown) and the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre (CMTC) Wainwright with training capability.

Rostec demonstrated operative passive exoskeletons for Russian Army

Rostec demonstrated its new operative passive exoskeletons for the first time to be used for the Russian Army’s new-generation of Ratnik combat suit.

The Russian Army already trialled the exoskeletons in combat environment conditions.

Rostec Armament Cluster industrial director Sergey Abramov said: “This prototype has already been tested during real military operations.

“The exoskeleton was tested by special detachments of the Russian Ministry of Defense and Internal Affairs bodies in years 2017-2018.

India released draft Defence Production Policy

The Indian Government released a draft Defence Production Policy that is focused on promoting domestic development of defence design and production capabilities.

The draft policy comes after the government made a proposal in this year’s budget to create an industry-friendly policy framework that encourages public sector, private sector and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to produce defence equipment and technologies in the country.

It is now in the public domain and the government has asked all relevant stakeholders to present their views.