UAE is ready to take thousands of used MRAP vehicles

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The Puma armoured infantry fighting vehicle making its Paris debut following successful desert trials

June 12, 2014 by · Comment
Filed under: Germany, Syndicated Industry News, UAE 

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Injazat to highlight cutting-edge Managed Security Services at 6th ISNR Abu Dhabi 2014 — Press Release

April 1, 2014

Injazat Data Systems, the industry-recognized market leader in the Middle East for secure and business-aligned information technology (IT) services, throws the spotlight on its innovative Managed Security Services at the International Exhibition for Security and National Resilience (ISNR Abu Dhabi 2014), which is held from April 1 to 3, 2014 at Abu Dhabi National
Exhibition Center (ADNEC). The company will be showcasing its industry-leading security compliant solutions at the stand hosted by Mubadala, investment and development arm of the Abu Dhabi government.

The company’s Managed Security Services are smarter, more responsive and designed to keep pace with the constantly evolving threat landscape. It utilizes the latest technologies and skilled resources to design, deploy and configure customized security solutions for enterprises to secure round-the-clock information assets, enhancing their operational efficiency.

Ibrahim Mohamed Lari, Chief Executive Officer, Injazat Data Systems, said: “ISNR Abu Dhabi 2014 is the largest and most comprehensive edition so far–providing us with a highly influential platform to showcase our latest managed security solutions to a large global audience. We understand that security is a dynamic process, which periodically requires need fresh
updates, latest upgrades and new features. Rapidly changing threats and vulnerabilities makes enterprise IT security highly complex and requires services of experienced managed security services provider such as Injazat. We are confident that our fresh technologies and cutting-edge solutions will receive an overwhelming audience response.”

ISNR Abu Dhabi 2014 is the region’s foremost platform dedicated to homeland security, safety and national resilience. Organized by the UAE Ministry of Interior and Reed Exhibitions, the 6th edition of this biennial exhibition will host more than 400 exhibitors from nearly 40 countries who will display their products and solutions over 27,000 sqm of exhibition space. In addition, 15,000 local and regional experts and decision makers from private and public sectors as well as 150 government buyers and delegation member will also be present at the 3-day show. For more information, log on to: <http://www.isnrabudhabi.com> http://www.isnrabudhabi.com.

Injazat Data Systems provides support to the regional IT industry by regularly sponsoring related forums and learning events. Moreover, it forms and maintains strategic partnerships with major information and communications technology (ICT) solutions providers from around the world to strengthen and boost the ICT capabilities of the region. The company delivers a complete range of consultancy, project management, system integration, transformation, applications, cloud and managed services.

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Cyber Intelligence Report

March 4, 2014 by · Comment
Filed under: Israel, Syndicated Industry News, UAE 

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UAE Drone Maker Plans to Convert Russian Superlight Choppers into UCAVs

September 2, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Russia, Syndicated Industry News, UAE 

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Russia to buy Drones from the UAE

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Piaggio Aero Unveils Hammerhead P-11HH Unmanned MALE Aircraft

June 18, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Italy, Syndicated Industry News, UAE 

Piaggio Aero P-11HH Hammerhead unmanned aircraft. Artist concept: Piaggio AeroPiaggio Aero Industries unveiled at the 2013 Paris Air Show today, the Piaggio Aero P.1HH “HammerHead”- Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). The P.1HH HammerHead technological demonstrator was designed and built in less than one year and it has already...

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Piaggio Aero Unveils Hammerhead P-11HH Unmanned MALE Aircraft

June 18, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Italy, Syndicated Industry News, UAE 

Piaggio Aero P-11HH Hammerhead unmanned aircraft. Artist concept: Piaggio AeroPiaggio Aero Industries unveiled at the 2013 Paris Air Show today, the Piaggio Aero P.1HH “HammerHead”- Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). The P.1HH HammerHead technological demonstrator was designed and built in less than one year and it has already...

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Massive Rocket Launcher for the UAE

May 13, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Syndicated Industry News, UAE 

The MCL demonstrated at the recent IDEX show.The UAE is getting ready to face the Iranian threat. Jobaria Defense Systems (JDS) Multiple Cradle Launcher MCL has unveiled its Multiple Cradle 122mm Rocket launcher system at the recent IDEX defense expo in the UAE. i-hls reports. The MCL is A 10...

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F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Foreign Intrigues Continue

The F-35 “Lightning II” Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) will be used not only by the U.S. military to replace its aging F-16, A/V-8, F/A-18 and A-10 aircraft but also by many other NATO countries and allies. It is being purchased as a F-16 replacement by many of these and like the successful F-16 program will have manufacturing and parts co-share agreements with different international partners.

The delays and cost increases to the program have been well documented and these have caused some early planned users to question the financial sense of continuing the program. Many of these countries, though, have already contributed through development funds as well as already had their aerospace contractors sign contracts and agreements with Lockheed Martin (LMT) to produce parts for the aircraft which continues in its Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP).

Canada, the Netherlands and Australia have had and continue to have debates about their purchase of the advanced aircraft rather then existing systems like the F/A-18, Eurofighter, Rafael, SAAB Gripens and Russian alternatives. In Canada they are reviewing the whole cost analysis that had led to the decision to continue the purchase which could technically end it and look at other aircraft. That leads to editorials and articles like this one, “The Case for the Super Hornet As The RCAF’s New Fighter” from Canada or analysis in Australia such as this: “Politics first as white paper fails on big issues”.

At the same time the U.S. has been successful in adding Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of the aircraft most notably to Israel and Japan. There has also been interested expressed by other U.S. allies like the U.A.E.

The commitment of the foreign partners is somewhat critical to the whole program as a reduction in buy quantity will have a ripple effect on the whole program. Less purchased in total and annually will cause a cost increase for each aircraft and the whole program. The F-35 PEO, Lt Gen Bogdan, identified this risk in Congressional testimony in April. If somebody drops out the price the others pay will go up putting more pressure on their budgets and perhaps cause them to drop out too. This would then become a spiral causing issues for the U.S. and all of the other nations involved in the program.

Despite the issues with the aircraft over the last decade the U.S. remains committed to the program. Over 100 are on order and there is discussion to award a new 2 year production contract this summer for a further 60-70. Training is underway for both aircrew and maintainers of the U.S.A.F., Navy, Marines and allies. The big questions remain though about completing development, how many will be built, and who ultimately will operate the aircraft.

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Bundling Israel Paves Way for Pentagon Sale of Strike Weapons to Saudi-Arabia, UAE

JSOW-f16300A multi-billion arms deal offered by the US to key Middle-East allies bundles advanced fighter planes, strike weapons, radars and special mission aircraft, sold separately to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Convinces the UAE to increase the number...

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Oshkosh to Build MRAP Vehicles for the UAE

Air shows and exhibitions are often times when new contracts are announced. At the Paris or Farnborough shows Boeing (BA) and Airbus take it in turns to say who bought what aircraft. There are also military contracts. At the recent IDEX 2013 in Dubai the UAE government continued its practice of doing this with some major contract awards.

One of these was reportedly for 750 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles from the U.S. company, Oshkosh (OSK). Oshkosh has made trucks for the U.S. military for some time even though its primary markets are construction and emergency vehicles.

Due to the mine and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) threat in Iraq and Afghanistan the U.S. military and some of its allies invested heavily in Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles from a variety of suppliers. These were heavily armored trucks designed to resist mines and were used for troop transport and route clearance. They were not primarily tactical vehicles.

In 2008 Oshkosh won a contract to build a lighter, more maneuverable MRAP for use in Afghanistan called the MRAP-AT After building several thousand of these the contract is basically over as the U.S. reached its acquisition goal. This means that Oshkosh needed to look to other customers for this product.

The announcement of the UAE deal worth over $350 million is a major sale for the company. Often times with these programs the first sale is the hardest and once others start using a system it becomes easier to sell. As with any vehicle contract Oshkosh stands to make further revenue off of spares, engineering support and maintenance services.

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Boeing, ADASI sign UAS teaming agreement

February 18, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Boeing, Insitu, Syndicated Industry News, UAE 
Boeing and Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments Company (ADASI) have signed a teaming agreement pursuing opportunities for marketing unmanned systems in the Middle East. The teaming agreement expands on a previous agreement between ADASI and Insitu, a wholly owned Boeing subsidiary that makes the ScanEagle and Integrator. That collaboration allowed for support and [...]

Injazat Signs Major Manpower Agreement with Cubic Defense Applications — Press Release

Abu Dhabi, February 18, 2013 – Injazat Data Systems has signed a major agreement with US-based defense training and simulation company Cubic Defense Applications. Under the terms of the manpower support agreement between the two parties, Injazat will send skilled personnel to assist in the operation and maintenance of Cubic’s computer-based training simulation systems in the UAE. The deal reflects Injazat’s growing role in the local defense industry as the company provides business, consultancy and technology-related services to several entities in the sector.

The announcement by Injazat, a Mubadala group company, took place during the International Defense Exhibition (IDEX) 2013 which takes place 17th – 21st February.

Cubic’s EST 2000 marksmanship system, the only virtual skills training system validated by the US Army, is currently part of the Indoor Training Systems program for several UAE government institutions. Injazat’s experience in the IT and defense industries will help Cubic deploy advanced training solutions.

“As an internationally-acclaimed defense specialist, Cubic is an ideal partner for extending our regional market reach and connecting our information and communication technology (ICT) services with Cubic’s rich defense heritage. Defense is an important aspect of national development, which is why Injazat has been building up its capabilities in this field.” said Ibrahim Lari, Chief Executive Officer, Injazat Data Systems.

Cubic Corporation is a US contractor with over 50 years of experience supplying equipment and solutions to over 35 nations. Its expertise includes fare collection systems courtesy of its Cubic Transportation Systems subsidiary, and defense training via Cubic Defense Applications. Cubic has recently established a regional office in Abu Dhabi, collocated with Injazat.

Peter Turpie, Managing Director of Cubic Middle East, said: “Cubic’s vision is to establish an effective local presence from which we will leverage our world-class capabilities to best support the UAE’s needs. Injazat shares this vision and we very much look forward to a successful, wide ranging and long-term partnership with them.”

Human capital development is a key function in many of Abu Dhabi’s and the UAE’s companies and organizations. “Developing the right ICT skills and competencies among Emirati nationals is a priority for Injazat. Our partnership with Cubic allows our employees to collaborate on world-class training systems that will further expand their defense and technology skill sets, which will help us support the UAE’s defense initiatives in the long term,” said Lari.

Injazat and Cubic have also signed up to jointly pursue potential areas of collaboration in the UAE, Qatar, Oman and other markets in the Middle East. Both parties will collaborate on the formalized recruitment, development, training and employment of UAE Nationals to support key defense and government organizations in the UAE and promote collaborative Injazat-Cubic products and services across the Middle East.

Injazat Data Systems is an industry-recognized market leader in the region for Information Technology, Data Center and IT Managed Services. Injazat combines its local expertise and presence with an extensive global technology partnership network. Injazat continues to develop market-leading IT services to meet dynamic customer needs in areas covering consultancy, project management, system integration, transformation, applications, data center and cloud services, and a wide range of managed services aimed at making businesses more secure and agile.

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ARINC integrates security solution at Doha International Airport — Press Release

The selection of ARINC EMEA as leader of the consortium to design and build the New Doha International Airport (NDIA) reinforces the company’s position as the provider of choice in the Middle East for integrated airport security solutions. The contract for the 40 sq.km site covers more than 100 buildings which will have the capacity to cater for an annual 45 million passengers. ARINC, which has a growing presence in the region, will be participating next week at the leading security show, Intersec, Dubai at The Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre during 15-17th January – Hall S3, Stand 315 P.

“ARINC was chosen to lead the NDIA project consortium because of its clear understanding of the project environment, solution design, and proven delivery of enterprise level integrated system solutions which include multiple security systems and a number of command and control rooms,” commented Stephen Horner, Business Development Director, Security Solutions.

ARINC is a world leader in managing large airport projects

With an unrivalled 80-plus years at the cutting edge of aviation technology, ARINC is a world leader in managing large airport projects. Its disciplined approach to systems integration delivers fully-managed, end-to-end solutions on time, in scope and within budget.

The company’s integrated physical security offering is centred on its Advanced Information Management (AIM) solution, a flexible command and control integration platform that provides versatile, scalable, fully integrated solutions for single and multi-site facilities.

AIM already provides protection for millions of passengers daily who use public transit systems and airports throughout the US. A market leader in nuclear power industry integrated security systems, AIM secures a number of US government, military, chemical, transportation and petrochemical installations, including seaports and airports. It is also one of the largest providers of integrated command and control solutions to US railways.

Sophisticated monitoring of all activities

ARINC’s AIM solutions can integrate an entire site’s video surveillance, access control, vehicle ID management, perimeter security, detection devices, public address, notification digital signage and converged network technology into a single interoperable user platform. Integral voice and notification systems connect emergency and security personnel with on-site staff.

The command-and-control application provides sophisticated monitoring of all subsystem activities and alarms, and presents operators with a common operational picture of their facility. Its capabilities can also be extended to hand-held devices and small-footprint tablet PCs, enabling first responders to receive video and data for real-time decision making on the front line.

AIM has built-in redundancy for servers, peripheral equipment and field I/O devices and is a high-availability system. This unique resiliency feature enables stand-alone automated operation of critical functions if the main system server fails or communication with the host server is lost.

“It’s the gold standard of security solutions, providing real-time situational awareness for the safety and security of personnel, passengers and facilities, plus enhanced decision support capabilities for security personnel,” said Steven Horner.

ARINC EMEA is targeting AIM for major infrastructure projects in the Middle East, such as new airports and highways, ports, rail, petrochemical and utilities. “Our powerful offering, combined with our regional presence, puts us in a strong position to pursue significant opportunities in the Middle East where there is currently significant investment in such projects,” Steven Horner said.

Designed to meet specific customer requirements

AIM is based on industry standards, open architectures and certified interfaces, enabling a wide range of security technologies and functions to be incorporated into fully managed, cost-effective solutions.

It also provides extensive flexibility in terms of site-specific requirements. All project systems are designed individually to suit the needs and requirements of the applications, sites and client, as well as mandatory compliances.

Horner points out: “ARINC is able to modify its AIM platform to meet customer specifications which is something most providers aren’t prepared to do.” In addition it has a flexibility that can easily integrate legacy devices, software, and networks. This is a welcome compromise for cost-conscious security managers seeking fully integrated systems to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of disparate legacy equipment, provide certified interfaces to advanced technologies, and keep implementation and operating costs within budget.

ARINC’s regional presence provides strong support

ARINC EMEA’s technical offering is supported by a strong regional presence, headquartered in Dubai, which was established to project manage major system integration contracts at three of the largest airport construction projects in the Middle East – Doha, Cairo and Dubai.

“In many parts of the world ARINC has long been the go-to provider for security integration solutions for airports, seaports, utilities, transportation, defence and borders,” said Horner.

As a master systems integrator, ARINC is used to achieving the smooth assimilation of a diverse range of information, communications and other systems. The company has the expertise to specify, install and integrate a full range of airport systems, while maximising the use of existing resources and enabling cost-sharing common use equipment. All systems are designed to achieve the highest levels of operational efficiency and reliability whether an entire infrastructure is being engineered or legacy equipment is being incorporated into a new architecture. And all comply with government security requirements for both commercial and government installations.

Identity Management System (idMS)

ARINC’s Identity Management System (idMS) provides the enrolment and verification technology for the first privately managed registered traveller program now operating at 10 airports. Using biographical and biometric information, IdMS is ideal for airlines and airports – helping create fast-lanes for pre-registered passengers, and providing invaluable checks on employees and crew members.

IdMS also provides a comprehensive solution for government agencies responsible for border control, hazardous material management, and securing other high-risk facilities.

Visit ARINC at Intersec, Dubai in Hall S3 at Stand 315 P

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ADAC to showcase leading aviation security solutions at ISNR Abu Dhabi 2012 — Press Release

Advanced security measures needed for USD 90 billion worth of GCC airport projects

March 20, 2012

Aviation security has emerged as a high-priority concern for the Middle East, as the region is expected to handle over 400 million passengers by 2020 based on projections by Airports Council International and the International Air Transportation Association. The GCC alone has an estimated USD 90 billion worth of airport projects lined up, including the new USD 11 billion Doha International Airport, the USD 10 billion Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International, and the multi billion Dollars expansion of Abu Dhabi Airport’s Midfield Terminal Complex. Such major investments need to be complemented by robust threat detection, prevention and response mechanisms.

Given the constant threat of terrorism and the spate of social unrest that recently swept the world, governments and airport authorities are seeking more advanced security measures to better protect their aviation assets, personnel, and passengers as well as aircraft and facilities serving civil aviation. The UAE, the Middle East’s largest international transit hub, has been leading regional efforts to improve screening procedures, deploy the latest detection, prevention and intervention equipments, and enhance communication to prevent security gaps and achieve high safety standards.

The 2012 International Security and National Resilience (ISNR) Abu Dhabi Exhibition and Conference to be held from March 19 to 21, 2012 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre will bring in some of the world’s leading aviation security companies to help address the security concerns of the Arab World’s rapidly growing aviation sector. Attendees will be able to examine solutions for the three primary categories of threats faced by airports, namely, to and from aircraft, to the aviation infrastructure, and from hostile exploitation of cargo.

Included in ISNR Abu Dhabi 2012’s distinguished aviation security exhibitor lineup is Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC). ADAC was established in 2006 to spearhead the development of the aviation infrastructure and service in Abu Dhabi. Today ADAC manages and operates the five airports of the Emirates of Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Ain International Airport, Al Bateen Executive Airport, and the Delma Island and Sir Bani Yas Island Airports. In addition, ADAC is also overlooking a group of subsidiaries that provides services and products essential to the development of the air transport sector in the UAE. The company diversified its activities to include airline development, retail, property management, hospitality, ground handling, catering, and cargo.

“The airport environment is a breeding ground for numerous threats, so it requires heightened levels of vigilance and the reliable support of advanced security systems. As the Middle East’s definitive homeland security event, ISNR Abu Dhabi offers a major platform for aviation security decision makers to examine the full spectrum of solutions available in the global markets and determine which can meet the needs of the region’s burgeoning aviation field. The UAE is a very strategic host to aviation security –related exhibitions given its status as a gateway to the Gulf region and as a global transit center,” said Mohamad Bader-Eddin, Show Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East.

Eng. Ahmad Al Haddabi, Chief Operating Officer at ADAC commented: “ADAC aims at transforming Abu Dhabi’s airports into world-class facilities. In thriving to achieve this, the company has gained significant experience and expertise in airport safety and security as it is a critical part of daily airport and aircraft operations; ISNR Abu Dhabi 2012 will provide ADAC with an ideal venue to showcase its capabilities while engaging with safety and security specialists from around the world.”

The 5th edition of ISNR Abu Dhabi gathers leading regional and international delegations and more than 150 exhibitors from over 24 countries. It enjoys full government support led by the UAE Ministry of Interior in association with the National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority. The event’s sponsors include Strategic Partner Tawazun Holding, Abu Dhabi’s Critical National Infrastructure Authority, the UAE Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, and Rheinmetall Defence.. Complete event details are available at www.isnrabudhabi.com.

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Lockheed Martin Wins Contract to Support THAAD Missile System

One of the advantages of being the prime contractor on a major program is that after it is designed and developed and begins production you receive contracts to continue to upgrade and support the system. Lockheed Martin (LMT) the main contractor for the U.S. Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system was awarded a contract to provide support to future upgrades to the land based missile defense system.

The THAAD is the bigger, longer ranged part of the Army’s missile defense program. The modified air defense missile system, PATRIOT, is the shorter ranged component. THAAD will be used to provide defense of larger areas and more potential targets then PATRIOT which is normally used to provide close in defense. The PATRIOT radar and C3I system is made by Raytheon (RTN) while the PAC-3 missile is manufactured by Lockheed.

The contract which is an Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) one has the potential value of over $500 million if all work is awarded. It provides for development, integration and testing of upgrades as well as work on improving all parts of THAAD. This includes the missile, launcher, radar and C3I components.

Because it is an ID/IQ contract there is no guarantee that any work will be awarded under it. Lockheed will be awarded individual task orders which might provide for research into a better rocket motor, its integration and then testing. These kind of contracts allow the government, here the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), to pick and choose what work and how much it wants.

If the government does not buy all of the technical data for the THAAD a policy which it has pursued on many different programs as a cost savings measure then it will have to rely on Lockheed for most of the future support as that company developed it. Owning the tech data would allow a contract be awarded to another vendor or contractor who could then be given the data to support there work.

THAAD has been developed over the last several years and entered production recently. It has been deployed in limited numbers and sold to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as its first foreign military sale. As the system gets made in larger numbers there will be efforts to upgrade and improve its capability and take advantage of new technology. Right now Lockheed is well placed to gain a great deal of that work.

Photo from U.S. Missile Defense Agency flickr photostream.

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FY12 Defense Contracts Flow and Lockheed Martin Benefits

The Pentagon may be planning to reduce or hold spending flat in the upcoming years but with the final passage of the 2012 defense budget major contracts are now flowing to different contractors as Project and Program Offices place production orders. Lockheed Martin (LMT) benefited from this yesterday as they received the latest production contract for the PATRIOT PAC-3 missile.

The PATRIOT air and missile defense system is made up of two major parts: the radar and the interceptor. Currently Raytheon (RTN) is the prime contractor for the radar and command and control systems while Lockheed manufactures the current standard missile, the PAC-3. The PAC-3 version of the system in use since the late Eighties incorporates modifications to maximize missile defense capabilities while the missile is smaller, relies on hit-to-kill technology and is a significant upgrade to the earlier PAC-2 missile as it allows more rounds to be used by each launch unit.

The FY12 order is for both U.S. Army use as well as a follow on delivery for Taiwan. It has a value of just over $900 million and represents a rather significant contract. The work includes not only the missiles but also kits, spares, support equipment and engineering services.

The PATRIOT represents the shorter ranged part of the Army’s missile defense capability with the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system made by Lockheed providing longer range and larger area defense.

The PATRIOT has seen significant foreign military sales to countries like Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. and Taiwan. It is especially valuable to those countries facing a ballistic missile threat like Israel, Taiwan and the Gulf States.

The PAC-3 missile has been in production for several years from Lockheed’s facility in Camden, AR.

Photo from Tumbleweed:-)’s flickr photostream.

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Army Orders More CH-47 from Boeing

The U.S. Army and other services have made heavy investments in their rotary wing forces over the last decade. Due to the terrain and the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan heavy use of helicopters were required to provide fire support and logistics transportation. This meant that not only was the existing fleet of aircraft being heavily used but more were needed as well as new systems.

The U.S. Army cancelled the RAH-66 Comanche program in 2004. This was an advanced scout attack helicopter. They utilized the funds to build new programs such as the UH-60M, UH-72A and CH-47F aircraft. The Marines and Air Force also made a heavy investment in the V-22 OSprey tilt rotor aircraft.

One aircraft that has made a major contribution to the fighting is the large, cargo helicopter CH-47 Chinook. Not only has the U.S. Army increased its inventory of these aircraft but also many other countries have bought it to support their combat troops in Afghanistan. These have included the U.K., Canada and Australia. Due to the altitude and temperature conditions the CH-47 is the most capable aircraft for carrying large loads of supplies or troops.

The CH-47 is manufactured by Boeing (BA) at their plant in Pennsylvania and they just received yet another production contract for the aircraft. A further 14 were ordered with an value of around $370 million.

These aircraft will be used by the U.S., Australia and the U.A.E. continuing to demonstrate the FMS value of the CH-47.

The expected budget cuts will most likely slow down the investment in aviation by the Army but not end programs. The U.S. needs to either re-capatilize or replace systems that have seen a great deal of use in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even with smaller ground forces it makes sense to continue to increase aviation assets as it is easier to quickly build up infantry units then rotary winged ones.

The CH-47 due to its demonstrated capability will remain a core component of the U.S. Army’s aviation forces and will continue to see steady overseas sales.

Photo from The California’s National Guard Flickr photostream.

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Gulf States Continue to Invest in U.S. Hardware

Over the past two weeks some major deals were announced between Gulf States and the U.S. defense industry. These contracts continue the Saudi and Emirates investment in their military to provide greater defensive capability most likely due to the continuing threats emanating from Iran.

The U.A.E. followed through on earlier discussions with a contract to purchase two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense systems. The THAAD is a ground based system developed by the U.S. Army that provides longer range engagements and protects larger areas then the earlier PATRIOT PAC-3 system. THAAD relies on a missile from Lockheed Martin (LMT) and a large radar from Raytheon (RTN). The overall contract including support and services is almost worth $2 billion.

Image from Bundeswher-Fotos Wir.Dienen.Deutschland.’s Flickr photostream.

The THAAD deal had been supposedly agreed two last year but in the summer the U.A.E. was seen as perhaps not going through with it but now obviously they decided they needed to.

The other contract is an even larger one with Saudi Arabia for F-15 fighter aircraft, engines and the necessary support. The Kingdom already operates the F-15 and this contract will add 84 more aircraft as well as modernize the existing ones. The value is in the range of close to $30 billion. Boeing (BA) is the primary manufacturer of the F-15 which in the U.S. will slowly be replaced with F-22 and F-35 aircraft.

Saudi Arabia is also reportedly not complete with their planned purchases for their armed forces. This will be a good thing for the U.S. and European defense industry who are facing reduced opportunities at home. These kind of contracts will help make up cuts in domestic defense spending.

The U.A.E. is also trying to decide on a major fighter buy themselves. Originally it was though they would go with the French Rafael aircraft but at the Dubai airshow last month it became clear that they may not choose that aircraft. This could open up the contract to competition to a wide variety of companies.

It can be expected that further contracts of this type and size will be announced for the next several months as Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Qatar, Kuwait and other Gulf States continue to invest in military equipment to upgrade and improve their capabilities.

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Dubai Air Show Disapoints So Far

The Dubai Air Show held in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) every year has become one of the three most important air shows and military exhibitions. It joins the alternating Paris and Farnborough air shows that take place in France and the U.K. ever other year and the Singapore Air Show as one of the ways defense contractors market their wares to a wide variety of customers. The Dubai due to its location obviously focuses on the U.A.E. and other Gulf States.

In the past the show has been the scene for announcing major defense contracts. In 2009 the U.A.E. bought military transports from Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Boeing (BA) as well as made a major investment in missile defenses with planned purchases from Lockheed and Raytheon (RTN). These contracts whetted the appetites of the companies for further deals with a goal of offsetting the coming reductions in domestic defense spending.

In 2010 there were no major contracts announced although the U.A.E. did make some investments in joint ventures between domestic companies and foreign ones to provide support to existing systems and build new ones at home. It was safe to say that 2010 was not what the U.S. and European defense contractors had hoped for.

The current 2011 edition has seen many different contracts for civil aviation. EADS (EADS:P) and Boeing have sold airliners to various Gulf based companies as well as different maintenance and upgrade plans have been signed but so far no real military contracts.

There is hope that the U.A.E. will commit finally to a new fighter with France’s Dassault and Eurofighter considered top contenders but that has been talked about for many months. The same story was being discussed at last year’s show. The U.A.E. did discuss its plans for upgrading and improving its air defenses next year including plans to add a UAV to its military in 2013. While the state is negotiating supposedly with Dassault it also expressed interest in another more advanced fighter.

Boeing was also hoping to announce that a contract for their new version of the OH-6 helicopter, the AH-6I, could be executed. So far that has not happened. Jordan and Saudi Arabia are considered contenders for the light attack aircraft.

While there are different things being considered by the Gulf States none of these have yet to come to fruition. It may be another disappointing show for the Western defense contractors. Faced with the potential for reduced sales in their home countries these types of foreign deals will become more necessary to maintain revenue and earnings.

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U.A.E. Considering Reducing THAAD Buy?

In the last year the Gulf State United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) announced that it was making two major purchases of U.S. missile and air defense equipment. First it was placing a large order with Raytheon (RTN) for PATRIOT PAC-3 systems which provide local defense against enemy aircraft and ballistic missiles. Second that it would be the first overseas buyer of the longer ranged THAAD system manufactured by Lockheed Martin (LMT). The deal for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) equipment was estimated at close to $7 billion.

Now there are reports that the U.A.E. is considering reducing its total investment in THAAD. No absolute figures have been given but it may be a substantial reduction in what is being purchased and spent by the U.A.E. government. A reduction in this contract will not only affect Lockheed’s bottom line but also the price the U.S. will pay for its equipment as the lack of this contract will reduce quantities and raise the price for the U.S. Army.

With the expected pressure on the U.S. defense budget to save costs and reduce investments overseas sales like this will become more important to U.S. defense contractors especially of existing systems like THAAD. A cut back in spending by the Gulf States which in the last ten years have heavily invested in new equipment across the spectrum may have a major effect on U.S. and European defense contractors.

No reason was given for the consideration of the cut to the purchase but it may be that the U.A.E. after refinement has found that less THAAD systems may provide the necessary performance then originally thought or it could just be good old budget cutting.

If this becomes a trend it will be a serious issue for the world’s defense industry and not just the American one.

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Missile Defense Agency Buys a Billion Dollars Worth of Interceptors

Even with the current budgetary situation in the United States where the Defense Department and the rest of the Federal government is operating without a budget and faces a possible shutdown in a week’s time the U.S. continues its operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya as well as working on existing defense programs. Part of this is the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) keeping its different programs going with the announcement of two major contracts in the last few days.

First Raytheon (RTN) received an order for 24 STANDARD Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB missiles for use on Navy cruisers and destroyers to intercept ballistic missiles. This contract is worth about $312 million. The SM-3 is an evolutionary design based on the SM-2 air defense missile in use by the United States and some Allies since the early Seventies. In the SM-3 configuration it carries an exo-atmospheric kinetic kill vehicle that will engage the target at high altitude. The MDA and Navy have been developing and testing the AEGIS weapon system based program since the mid-Nineties.

Raytheon is also investing several million dollars in a new facility at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, AL to manufacture the SM-3 and its replacement the SM-6. It is expected that ground breaking on the complex will happen fairly soon.

Lockheed Martin (LMT) who manufactures missiles for the Army’s PATRIOT PAC-3 and THAAD systems also received a production order. This was for 48 THAAD missiles, launchers and support equipment. That contract has a value of almost $800 million. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is the longer ranged of the Army’s ground based programs. This contract represents a major expansion of the number of THAAD units for the Army. The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) has also looked at buying the THAAD system to provide protection for itself.

If you are doing the math that is over a billion dollars for 72 missiles and related support equipment and services. Missile defense is neither cheap nor easy and indicates the U.S. intent to continue development and deployment of their layered defensive system.

Photo from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency flickr photostream.

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Lockheed to Build Missiles for More THAAD Units

The United States has been working on developing a layered missile defense system now since the 1980’s. With the attacks by Iraq using SCUD shorter range missiles in Desert Storm there was identified a need for longer range, more capable systems then the modified PATRIOT anti-air system then primarily used to protect troops and forward installations. This led to the Army and Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to develop the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense(THAAD) system.

THAAD utilizes a much bigger radar and missile then PATRIOT and is optimized for engaging ballistic missiles at higher altitudes including exo-atmospheric conditions. Even though it remains a terminal defense system it has the ability to cover larger areas then the shorter ranged PATRIOT PAC-3.

The THAAD has had a long development period. In 1999 it entered the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) stage of the acquisition process after seven years of basic work by a team led by Lockheed Martin (LMT). In 2005 the EMD missile conducted its first flight test and the system has been in production and deployment since 2008. Two batteries have been stood up so far and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) has been the only foreign customer to express interest in the system.

The MDA is continuing production and deployment of the system and recently awarded Lockheed a contract to buy the missiles for the next two batteries. The almost $700 million contract will purchase 48 interceptors and their supporting equipment and services.

The contract illustrates that missile defense is not cheap but THAAD benefits from its longer range which means it may cover a larger area with less assets. The system will also be part of a defense that uses multiple assets that will engage the threat at different parts of its trajectory to increase the chance of a successful intercept.

Photo from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s flickr photostream.

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Foreign Fighter Contracts Not Materializing Soon

The Western defense contractors face a shrinking market right now domestically for advanced combat aircraft. The U.S. and many of its Allies are committed to Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and that system will dominate their inventories for the next few decades. The U.S. ended production of the F-22 Raptor by Lockheed and Boeing (BA) and European nations have pretty much finished up ordering Eurofighter Typhoon’s with the United Kingdom even planning retiring some of their older aircraft due to budgetary pressures. France and Sweden have their own domestic aircraft in the Dassault Rafale and SAAB Gripen but have purchased as many of those as they really can.

All of these companies and countries have looked to overseas customers to sell these aircraft with the two biggest deals being for Brazil and India. Unfortunately these contract are not materializing in the near future and may now be pushed out a year or two.

India has planned major upgrades to its military through the purchase of advanced Western systems. This has included aircraft like C-130J transports from Lockheed and P-8I maritime patrol aircraft from Boeing (BA) but their cornerstone program was for over a hundred fighters. This contract has been going through the source selection with the competitors from the U.S., Europe and Russia demonstrating their aircraft and at one point was hoped to be awarded this summer. It is now being reported that this major contract won’t be decided until early in 2012.

Brazil has also been planning to expand and improve its military through some deals with overseas suppliers. They too would like to buy a new fighter and that contest has seemed to be between Boeing’s F/A-18 and the Rafale although SAAB bid as well. The original plan was to award this year but due to budget cuts the decision will now be postponed for at least twelve months. There are concerns that it may not happen at all as Brazil had to cut its defense spending significantly.

Finally Dassault had hoped that the U.A.E. might invest in the Rafale as well which so far has yet to find a foriegn buyer. The Emirates already operates French Mirage aircraft and the Rafale would be the logical extension of these. The big arms expo in the U.A.E., IDEX, came and went though without any announcement of a deal although a contract was awarded to upgrade Mirage aircraft worth about $30 million. Failure to win this contract would be a blow to France’s aggressive campaign to sell the fighter to new customers.

It had been hoped that these overseas sales would make up for the decline in U.S. and European defense spending and help keep production lines going and workers employed. Unfortunately they are not materializing as fast as hoped and this may affect different contractor’s plans. The Asian and South American markets were seen as key to keep the defense business going in the next several years. It may be that even these nations who were hoping to improve their military may not have the money necessarily to meet their original plans.

Photo from Jerry Gunner’s flickr photostream.

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