Defence http://www.timesaerospace.aero/ en Wed, 29 May 2024 13:30:59 +0100 UAE Space Agency and EDCC to foster collaboration in Aerospace and Defence http://www.timesaerospace.aero/news/air-transport/uae-space-agency-and-edcc-to-foster-collaboration-in-aerospace-and-defence

His Excellency Salem Butti Al Qubaisi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, said: “This MoU reflects our commitment to developing advanced industries in the UAE, by cooperating in enhancing our ability to innovate and compete globally. This enables us to support the national economy, and create new job opportunities and sustainable investments in these two leading sectors, to achieve excellence and provide advanced solutions that contribute to promoting the UAE as a leading hub for technology and innovation.”

Al Qubaisi added: “Through this MoU, we look forward to mutual achievements that exceed expectations and push the boundaries of innovation to new levels. This supports the vision and aspirations of the UAE’s leadership in achieving a comprehensive development renaissance over the next fifty years in all sectors, including aerospace and defence Industry.”

Mona Ahmed Al Jaber, Chairwoman of EDCC, said: "This MoU represents a significant step forward in fostering collaboration between the aerospace and defense sectors in the UAE."

“By collaborating with the UAE Space Agency, we can leverage the expertise and capabilities of both industries to create new business opportunities, drive innovation, and support the UAE's overall economic development," she added.

Under the MOU, the UAE Space Agency will work with the EDCC to identify industrial and business opportunities within the space sector that align with the capabilities and interests of EDCC members. This collaboration also seeks to enhance economic growth and diversification by tapping space-related opportunities for defense and adjacent industries.

The two parties will work together to promote education and skill development in defense and space-related technologies among local talents. This will promote innovation and enhance local capabilities in these critical sectors.

The MOU establishes a framework for the exchange of information and best practices between the defence and space sectors to enhance the competitiveness and efficiency of both industries in areas such as procurement and technology development.

The parties will collaborate to support each other's participation in defence events, forums, and sponsorships. This will provide opportunities for networking, knowledge sharing, and showcasing the capabilities of local defence and space industry players.

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The UAE Space Agency and the Emirates Defense Companies Council (EDCC) have signed an MoU to collaborate on fostering business within the aerospace and defence sectors.

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Wed, 29 May 2024 12:30:59 +0000 eNethersole 68449 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero
Lifeline for the SAAF? http://www.timesaerospace.aero/features/defence/lifeline-for-the-saaf

Lifeline for the SAAF?

SAAF Oryx

A new support contract for its Gripen fighters may prove the catalyst that kick-starts the rebuilding of South Africa's air combat capability.

Once Africa’s best equipped and most capable air force, the South African Air Force (SAAF) has been in terminal decline for the last two decades with most of its aircraft non operational. Its priority is to arrest the decline of its critical capabilities and equipment, but a lack of funding is constraining its ability to meet performance targets. In October 2023, a government spokesperson confirmed that 85 per cent of the SAAF fleet was “currently out of action”.

South Africa was the first export customer for the Saab Gripen when it ordered 26 JAS-39C/D aircraft in 1999. A new support contract is being negotiated for its Gripen fleet, which have been grounded for more than a year, and which may begin the process to rebuilt its air combat capability.

The entire Gripen fleet was grounded in August 2021 after budget cuts and contractual problems left the SAAF without a maintenance contract. A limited new airframe maintenance contract with Saab went into effect in September 2022 and after negotiations between the South Africa’s military procurement agency and Saab and GKN, a compromise was reached. However, the resulting three-year contract only supports 13 of the total Gripen fleet. By the end of 2023 only two out of 26 Gripens and three of 24 Hawk Mk.120 advanced trainers were airworthy. Qualified Gripen and Hawk pilots numbered 41, all based at AFB Makhado with Number One Squadron, few of which get the opportunity to fly their aircraft on a regular basis.

There is a similar situation for both the SAAF’s helicopter and transport assets. Of the 11 airframes in the Denel Rooivalk attack helicopter fleet, only four were serviceable by mid-2023, with seven either unserviceable or undergoing maintenance. Of the 23 engines in the fleet, only 13 were serviceable. The situation with the Atlas Oryx support helicopters was no better with only seven out of 39 being operational while 13 were at Denel’s state-owned servicing centre, and the remaining fleet were at squadrons awaiting servicing. Three Rooivalks and two of the five Oryx helicopters that support South Africa’s mission to MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) were grounded in 2023 as were one of the only two Oryxs deployed to the Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) Mozambique. The Rooivalks were in the midst of a 15-year overhaul of engine and transmission systems, but government officials said there was insufficient funding to do anything more than overhaul four engines.

In October 2023, South Africa’s defense minister Thandi Modise said only five of 39 Oryx were functional and R2.5 billion ($0.13 billion) was needed to restore the fleet. She added that three of 11 Rooivalk could fly “with restrictions,” and that the helicopters’ avionics systems were obsolete. Denel Aeronautics has claimed that it has not been paid by the SAAF for further Oryx and Rooivalk maintenance work.

To add to the problem, In February 2024 an Oryx medium transport helicopter was hit by small arms fire while carrying out a casualty evacuation in the DRC injuring two of the crew.

A SAAF Casa C-212 Aviocar light transport aircraft was damaged in a landing accident while taking part in Exercise Vuk’uhlome in 2023. Its No 44 Squadron only had one of three C212s serviceable prior to the accident although in September, Armscor reported that a maintenance contract with Airbus was in progress to make the fleet serviceable.

Only two of it five Lockheed Martin C-130BZ Hercules transports are airworthy, while the whole fleet of nine Cessna 208 Caravan light transport are al non-operational,

In reply to questions by opposition politicians, defence minister Modise said: “The chief of the SAAF recently approved a seven-year medium term strategic framework plus plan 2030 with an end-state of an organisation that is affordable, sustainable and responsive.

“This plan seeks to ensure prime mission equipment (PME) will be held at the minimum level of capability maturity required with provision to optimise as and when the threat scenario changes.

“Plan 2030 Focus in so far as PME is concerned is the rejuvenation of core capabilities by means of essential life extensions, mid-life upgrades, and disposal management in order to reduce baseline costs.”

David Oliver

David Oliver

David has been a photojournalist for more than 40 years specialising in aerospace and defence.

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Wed, 29 May 2024 08:40:18 +0000 pIvanova 68444 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero
Kenya's firm foundation http://www.timesaerospace.aero/features/defence/kenyas-firm-foundation

Kenya's firm foundation

MD530F

Kenya's expanding air force is one of the most efficient and best equipped in Africa that does not rely on Russian equipment or support.

Kenya’s 2023 defence budget showed a small increase over 2022’s to US$1.3 billion.

Its armed forces are mainly concerned with threats from al-Shabaab fighters from neighbouring Somalia, while its troops are deployed to support the United Nations missions MINUSCA in the Central Africa Republic and MONUSCA in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and with the African Union’s African Transition Mission in Somalia.

Kenya has reaffirmed its defence and security agreement with the United Kingdom, which provides a permanent UK training unit within the country. It also has a strong relationship with the United States and the Cooperative Security Location Manda Bay remains an operational base for US AFRICOM.   

In January 2020 Manda Bay’s nearby Magagoni Airfield was attacked by al-Shabaab militants who destroyed six US aircraft and one Kenyan. During the raid a Kenyan helicopter provided close air support to suppress the raiders and a separate Kenyan helicopter transported a wounded US serviceman to a civilian airport for evacuation. Lt Gen Basham, deputy commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa said: “Without question, the swift, skillful, and courageous response of the Kenyan Defense Force saved many lives that day.”

The Kenya Air Force’s motto is “We are firm in the sky” and it is one of the most efficient and best equipped in Africa that does not rely on Russian equipment or support.

Moi Air Base in Eastleigh, Nairobi Moi Airport, is the headquarters while other bases include forward operating bases (FOB) at Mandera, Wajir and Nyeri.

The Kenya Air Force’s (KAF’s) number two squadron flies 17 Northrop F-5EM and four F-5FM Tiger II, former Jordanian fighter aircraft from Laikipia Air Base in Nanyuki, while basic and advanced training is carried out by eight former RAF Scottish Aviation Bulldog 103s, nine Grob G120TPs with two more on order, and 11 Short Tucanos.

The KAF’s latest acquisition has been three Leonardo C-27J Spartans which are operated by No 1 Squadron alongside three former USAF PZL C-145A Skytrucks. Kenya does have ties with China and has operated eight Harbin Y-8 light transport aircraft that are being replaced by the Skytrucks after three had been lost in accidents. The C-145A aircraft will be use for medical evacuation and aerial resupply. They also can be reconfigured for precision combat airdrops, search and rescue and disaster relief missions.

China also supplied six Harbin Z-9WE helicopters, which are among a diverse KAF rotary-wing fleet that includes 10 Aerospatiale SA330 Pumas, seven Bell UH-1H Huey IIs, three AgustaWestland AW139s and a single Mil Mi171E. Three Bell AH-1F Cobras donated by Jordan in 2017 are the air force’s only attack helicopters although its eight Airbus Helicopters H125M Fennecs can also be armed.

The air force AH-1 Cobra helicopters together with the Army's 50th Air Cavalry helicopters are controlled by the Joint Helicopter Command based at Embakasi Garrison. The Kenya Army Aviation operates a fleet of 33 Hughes 500M/MD Scout Defenders and has recently taken delivery of six MD Helicopters MD530F Cayuse Warrior scout and light-attack helicopters.

A Rapid Deployment Squadron (RDS), the newest special forces unit among all three branches of the Kenya Defence Forces, is predominantly tasked with the recovery of downed airmen in hostile territory, but it can carry out other specially assigned tasks. The unit was established after a downed F-5 pilot went missing in action in al-Shabaab held territory in Southern Somalia. This led to the need of a tactical quick response unit to respond in such emergencies as the search and rescue mission for the downed airman was hampered by the lack of a dedicated response unit. This RDS is headquartered at Laikipia Air Base and it also maintains an FOB at Wajir Airport in North Eastern Kenya.

The Kenya Air Force has a much better safety record than those of other African nations, but it suffered a spike of helicopter accidents in 2023. On July 20 an H125M Fennec operated by No 655 Squadron, struck a tree during a take-off attempt from a school in Baringo County injuring two crew members. On September 18 an UH-1H crashed in Lamu County with eight fatalities and on November 9 two Kenya crew members were injured after their Fennec crashed in the Kisamis area of Kajiado West.

However, one type of aircraft so far not included in the Kenya Air Force’s itinerary is a dedicated training helicopter.

David Oliver

David Oliver

David has been a photojournalist for more than 40 years specialising in aerospace and defence.

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Wed, 22 May 2024 09:15:47 +0000 pIvanova 68419 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero
How the Bell AH-1Z Viper helicopter has evolved http://www.timesaerospace.aero/news/defence/how-the-bell-ah-1z-viper-helicopter-has-evolved

Today, the AH-1Z Viper is the newest attack helicopter on the market, designed to provide an overwhelming competitive advantage to its users across a broad range of missions. More than an evolutionary upgrade, the Viper is a re-designed dedicated attack helicopter for modern threats.

Bell designed the Viper to counter both air-to-air and air-to-ground targets while simultaneously operating in the world's most austere environments. The AH-1Z has demonstrated its ability to counter unmanned aerial systems, a vital capability in today’s operating environments.

The Viper is the only attack helicopter required to operate from naval vessels and small land-based forward-operating units regularly. Marinisation of the Viper during the manufacturing process protects the aircraft from saltwater's corrosive effects and enables it to withstand the harsh environmental impact of deployments in all-weather environments.

"With the AH-1Z Viper, Bell has created an aircraft that not only meets but exceeds all the key requirements for modern military helicopters," said Mike Deslatte, Bell H-1 senior vice president and programme director. "No other aircraft can match the performance, capability, connectivity, and survivability of the AH-1Z."

Almost as important as the AH-1Z's flight characteristics, the Viper maintains a minimal logistics footprint. Ease of maintenance for the troops operating it in the field while preserving effective operations away from main points of support and logistics create one of the most deployable attack helicopter in the world. Very few militaries around the globe have constant access to large operating bases with dozens of support personnel and manufacturer contractors available to support their aircraft, so the design of the AH-1Z becomes even more important in day-to-day operations.

It provides rotary-wing Close Air Support, Anti-Armor, Anti-Air, Armed Escort, Armed/Visual Reconnaissance, and fire support coordination capabilities under day/night and adverse weather conditions, complementing its durability and reliability. The aircraft can operate multiple missions, including:

  • Attack: The AH-1Z Viper provides air-to-ground fire support with a wide array of precision missiles and rockets capable of defeating armoured formations, and provides the pilots multiple options to engage the enemy to achieve the desired effects on target. It is also the only attack helicopter in the world with fully integrated air-to-air AIM-9M sidewinder missile capability to counter both rotary and fixed-wing adversaries. The weapon systems are contained in the glass cockpit and selectable without the pilot removing their hands from the controls – allowing for a seamless shift in attack missions based on battlefield conditions.
  •  
  • Aerial Reconnaissance: With sensor-powered sight, the AH-1Z Viper features high-tech sensors that enable pilots to identify, track, and assign targets, allowing them to select their attack location and target for maximum effects. The multi-sensor Target Sight System (TSS) is unmatched in image processing and target identification. Precision weapons benefit from being more effective with a sensor with advanced abilities to detect and identify long-range targets. On-board systems also provide data to allow for more precise firing of unguided weapons, increasing the overall precision kill capability of the AH-1Z. 
  •  
  • Escort: The AH-1Z Viper is armed for aerial dominance of the battlespace and provides valuable air support for troops on the ground, reacting to threats ahead. The AH-1Z Viper maintains the fully-integrated and up-to-date survivability equipment that protects against modern weapons. The AH-1Z design supports the ground forces and engages the enemy as far from friendly forces as possible.

As more militaries modernise to become fifth-generation fully networked forces, they must do so while balancing cost to own and operate while maximising capability. The AH-1Z systems, weapons, speed, and range will seamlessly enable forces to employ even more strategic resources from expeditionary environments.

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In creating the AH-1Z Viper platform, Bell has been pivotal for advancing military aviation technology worldwide.

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Mon, 20 May 2024 12:40:58 +0000 eNethersole 68403 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero
Egypt goes shopping for pick and mix... http://www.timesaerospace.aero/features/defence/egypt-goes-shopping-for-pick-and-mix

Egypt goes shopping for pick and mix...

Egypt's MiG-29M/M2 fighters

Egypt is in the market for new fighters, but budgetary constraints mean that they may have to settle for a mixture of new and second-hand aircraft.

Before 1979, when then President Anwar Sadat signed a historic peace agreement with Israel, the Egyptian Air Force was primarily equipped with aircraft of Soviet design, some of them supplied by China after the loosening of ties with Russia in 1976.

Thereafter, though, Egypt increasingly diversified its combat aircraft acquisition, turning to the US and France to augment Soviet and Chinese aircraft deliveries. This policy allowed the Egyptian Air Force to maintain force size, and to become one of the numerically strongest air arms in the region, though the interoperability of its large and disparate fleet was increasingly called into question. Egypt now operates the world's fourth-largest fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16s, but operating these beside older Russian and Chinese supplied fighters was always problematic, and inhibited Egyptian air defence capabilities.

Egypt’s dual-track procurement approach continued until very recently, with Egypt ordering 24 Dassault Rafale F3-R aircraft in February 2015, with options for a further 12 aircraft, and, at almost the same time, also ordering 46 MiG-29M/M2 fighters.

Egypt then ordered 24 Sukhoi Su-35S fighters in 2018. Egypt took delivery of the MiGs from April 2017, but the Su-35S aircraft remained undelivered after the USA threatened to impose sanctions under the CAATSA (countering America's adversaries through sanctions act) regime.

In 2019, the US rejected an Egyptian request for 20 F-35As and Cairo returned to pursuing a follow-on Rafale buy, signing a contract (formally announced on May 3, 2021) with Dassault Aviation to purchase 30 more Rafales.

The new batch of Egyptian Rafales will be to F3-R standard, and will be equipped with active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and probably the Thales’ Talios new-generation laser designator pod, laser homing Safran AASM modular air-to-ground weapons, and the MBDA SCALP cruise missile.

Dassault Aviation is to integrate a new data link that will allow the Rafale to communicate with US and NATO allies, and with Egypt’s remaining non-western fighters. Egypt is known to want MBDA’s Meteor long-range air-to-air missile for its Rafales, too, though this might attract US opposition since it might be thought to erode Israel’s regional ‘Qualitative Military Edge’ which the US is sworn to uphold. This is because Meteor outperforms the air-to-air weapons currently in service in Israel.

This consideration previously led to restrictions on the weapons that Egypt’s F-16s were allowed to carry, in particular preventing the supply of the active radar homing long-range AIM-120 AMRAAM missile. Instead, Egyptian F-16s were forced to rely on the semi-active radar homing AIM-7 Sparrow, and this in turn led Egypt to turn to the MiG-29M/M2 and Su-35S, and the R-77 active radar-homing beyond visual range air-to-air missiles they were compatible with.

The EAF will soon have a frontline element consisting of 11 tactical fighter wings. These will include 13 Squadrons of F-16s, two of MiG-29Ms, four of Rafales, two of Alpha Jets and two of Mirage 2000s. The Alpha Jets, Mirage 2000s, and some of the older F-16s will soon need replacing, however, and the MiG-29M/M2s are likely to become increasingly difficult to support and sustain in the face of US sanctions against Moscow in the wake of the war in Ukraine, which has dramatically affected Russian arms exports. The MiGs are already proving to be lacking in interoperability with Egypt’s Western-supplied fighters, command and control, and combat support aircraft, and have to be operated as an ‘air force within an air force’, which is becoming problematic as modern doctrine and tactics emphasise ever-closer co-operation and connectivity.

Egypt is, however, already ‘shopping around’ for new fighters.

Budgetary constraints mean that the solution to Egypt’s fighter gap will almost certainly involve a mix of new and second-hand aircraft. This could include an upgrade of some or all of the F-16s to F-16V standards, perhaps with a top-up buy of Block 70 or Block 72 F-16s (the new-build equivalent to the F-16V upgrade standard). There have been reports that “a significant upgrade” has been approved by the US administration, but details have not been revealed.

Perhaps more likely is a recapitalisation of the Dassault Mirage 2000 fleet through the acquisition of 12 aircraft retired by Qatar (Indonesia recently cancelled its $790 million procurement of these aircraft), and some of the UAE’s Mirage 2000-9s, when they are replaced by new Rafales, though 34 of the 56 or so survivors have reportedly been earmarked for supply to Morocco. This could leave Egypt with three quite different standards of Mirage 2000s – its own original Mirage 2000EMs and BMs, the ex-Qatari Mirage 2000-5EDAs and 5DDAs, and the Emirati Mirage 2000-9s.

Image: US Air Force
Egypt operates the world's fourth largest fleet of F-16s. Image: US Air Force

In addition to upgrades and second-hand aircraft, Egypt hopes to acquire new-generation combat air platforms, looking in particular at the US Boeing F-15 and Europe’s Eurofighter Typhoon.

The US government has reportedly already approved plans to export the F-15EX Eagle II to Egypt, though there has not been a DSCA (Defense Security Co-operation Agency) notification to Congress. On March 15, 2022, General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of US Central Command (USCENTCOM), did, however, tell lawmaker during a session of the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington, DC. That: “In the case of Egypt, I think we have good news - we’re going to provide them with F-15s,” McKenzie said, before adding that it had been "a long, hard slog" to finalise the sale.

In 2002, Israel pressured the US not to sell the legacy F-15C to Egypt as part of  “a series of understandings" relating to US weapons sales to Egypt. But Israel has reportedly expressed support for the new deal, since it already has the more advanced Lockheed Martin F-35I Adir in service, and has itself requested the supply of 25 F-15EX aircraft in January 2023, of a total requirement for up to 50 of the new aircraft. Some reports suggest that there could be some ‘linkage’ between the supply of the F-15EX and the disposal of Egypt’s surviving MiG-29M/M2s – several of which were destroyed in Sudan last year. There is believed to have been a proposal that the MiGs (and their R-77 missiles) might be transferred to Ukraine, though Egypt may be resistant to such a course of action, which would significantly undermine its relations with Russia.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is reportedly determined to prevent any US efforts to blunt Egyptian capabilities in order to maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge, and to avoid an undue reliance on the US as a supplier, which could lead to a potential future vulnerability to US sanctions.

Any F-15EX purchase is therefore likely to be balanced by the purchase of a European fighter aircraft as well. There have already been reports that Egypt could eventually purchase the new Rafale F4, increasing the overall Egyptian Rafale fleet, 54 of which have been delivered or are on order to 72 or even 100 aircraft “depending on Egypt’s financial capacity.”

Though a further Rafale buy would bring commonality with Egypt’s existing fleet, there are some doubts as to Dassault’s ability to deliver aircraft in the required timescale. In view of its very full order book, Egypt is also understood to require certain capabilities beyond those offered by the Rafale (especially in terms of electronic attack and beyond visual range air-to-air combat), and has been looking at the Eurofighter Typhoon for some time.

The Eurofighter consortium allocates particular sales campaigns to individual ‘lead nations’, and Egypt has always been an Italian ‘responsibility’.

Initially, it was reported that Egypt was interested in second-hand Italian Tranche 1 aircraft, although Egyptian interest in the type is now believed to be focused on the latest standard EF-2000 aircraft, with AESA radar and the Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM). These would be new-build aircraft assembled in Italy.

The Egyptian requirement is believed to be for 24-48 aircraft and they would form part of a wider $10-12 billion arms package from Italy. This would reportedly also include 24 Leonardo M346 Master training aircraft, 20-24 more AW-149 medium-lift/utility helicopters, as well as four FREMM heavy frigates (additional to the two already being discussed), 20 Falaj-II class patrol boats to be co-manufactured in Alexandria Shipyard, and a Telespazio radar-equipped military surveillance and reconnaissance satellite.

Jon Lake

Jon Lake

Jon is defence editor for both Arabian and African Aerospace magazines.

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Fri, 17 May 2024 15:04:37 +0000 pIvanova 68398 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero
Raytheon Saudi Arabia: Enabling indigenous supply chain and fostering a vibrant defense ecosystem in the Kingdom http://www.timesaerospace.aero/features/defence/raytheon-saudi-arabia-enabling-indigenous-supply-chain-and-fostering-a-vibrant

Raytheon Saudi Arabia: Enabling indigenous supply chain and fostering a vibrant defense ecosystem in the Kingdom

Raytheon Saudi Arabia is an integral part of the Kingdom’s security. Ahmad Al Salamah, Managing Director, provides more insight.

Ahmad Al Salamah , Raytheon Saudi Arabia

Raytheon Saudi Arabia is an integral part of the Kingdom’s security. In addition to supplying combat-proven capabilities for the Saudi armed forces, as a local company, it is also a key driver of the country’s defense localization ambitions. Ahmad Al Salamah, Managing Director of Raytheon Saudi Arabia, an RTX business, provides more insight: 

What makes the Saudi defense ecosystem an ideal environment for local based manufacturing projects? 

Saudi Arabia’s bold economic aspirations – spelled out first in Vision 2030 – set out a long-term plan for the Kingdom that focuses on a wide range of industries to transform the Kingdom into a diversified, knowledge-based economy. One of the key areas of this vision is the development of a strong domestic defense industry to help enhance the country's security, create high skilled jobs and drive economic growth. 

With localization at the heart of this plan, and the Kingdom having the infrastructure to achieve that, we are working closely with Saudi entities to bring manufacturing capabilities to the Kingdom and help integrate Saudi companies within RTX’s global supply chain. Today, for example, Zahid Industries has already started the production of Raytheon’s AN/TPY-2 missile defense radar’s major component, the Prime Power Unit (PPU), and very recently, we also announced that we are working with the General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) towards qualifying a number of local companies to manufacture major components of Raytheon’s Patriot air and missile defense system. 

In short, a commitment to developing a strong supplier base and continuous coordination between government institutions is what we believe are enabling the Kingdom to position itself as an ideal environment for local manufacturing.

What are Raytheon’s most recent localization projects in the Kingdom?

The Patriot air and missile defense system has been a critical component of the Kingdom’s national defense, providing security for its critical infrastructure, citizens, and residents. We are exploring the manufacturing and testing of a number of key components (launchers, canisters, among others) within the Kingdom’s Patriot air defense system, with many of our local partners such as SAMI, AIC for Steel and Zahid Industries. This reaffirms our commitment to the Kingdom's defense industry, creating significant value and self-reliance to foster growth within the region, and supporting the Kingdom’s security and industrialization ambitions.

As MD of Raytheon Saudi Arabia, how do you plan to ensure the company continues to be a key partner in the Kingdom?

As part of RTX's dedication to making Raytheon Saudi Arabia a truly Saudi entity, I am proud to be the first Saudi national appointed to this role, leading the RTX-KSA partnership and working towards strengthening our relationship further. 

Our commitment extends beyond driving the country's industrial localization ambitions. We are also dedicated to supporting the country's human capital goals by indirectly providing highly skilled jobs for Saudis and residents through our various local production plans. Additionally, we host annual internship programs that offer Saudi students coaching, guidance, and on-the-job training from specialists and experienced personnel to help them jumpstart their careers. Today, Raytheon Saudi Arabia employs over 250 people in Riyadh and Jeddah, with Saudi nationals accounting for 60% of the workforce.

My ambition is to keep working closely with government and industry partners, and to leverage RTX’s global expertise, to ensure Raytheon Saudi Arabia is a key partner for the country’s vibrant defense ecosystem, an enabler of the indigenous supply chain, and one of the most desirable places to work for people in the Kingdom. 

 

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Fri, 10 May 2024 09:27:49 +0000 Ethan Cobbing 68362 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero
Paramount and Ichikowitz win case against media for false reporting http://www.timesaerospace.aero/news/business-and-finance/paramount-and-ichikowitz-win-case-against-media-for-false-reporting

The publication and its editor were instructed to apologise to Paramount and Ichikowitz as well as retract and correct a number of the allegations one of which related to the existence of business links between Russia and Paramount, the global aerospace and technology company, and its founder, Ivor Ichikowitz. 

In mid-June of 2023, seven African nations participated in the Ukraine Peace Initiative and sent representatives, including several heads of state, to Kyiv and Moscow in an effort to de-escalate the war. 

Die Vrye Weekblad (VWB) made a series of false allegations and statements that were found to be in breach of various clauses of the Press Code. These included the following:

·      The allegation that the Ukraine Peace Mission was purportedly orchestrated by Ichikowitz who was termed as being a confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin, when in fact no such relationship exists; 

·      Speculation that arms were allegedly loaded by Paramount onto a Russian ship that controversially docked in Simon's Town, South Africa. A subsequent investigation ordered by the President of South African found that no arms were loaded onto the ship;

·      The allegation that Paramount specialised in arms exports to and from Russia based on the existence of a transportation company in Russia, also named Paramount. Paramount has never supplied any military equipment to Russia; and 

·      The allegation that Paramount supplied arms to Russia through a joint venture in Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering. The company has never supplied any military equipment to Russia. 

Neither Paramount nor Ichikowitz was approached for comment or given the right of reply before publication.

Responding to the ruling, Paramount stated: “We welcome the landmark ruling by South Africa’s Press Council which sends a clear message about the boundaries of acceptable journalistic practices, which not only impact the parties involved but also society as a whole, reinforcing the crucial role of a free and responsible press in a democratic society. 

“By ordering the Vrye Weekblad to apologise, retract and correct its false statements, and requiring the media to verify speculative information and provide organisations and individuals with a right to reply before publication, the Press Council reaffirms the fundamental principles of accuracy, transparency, and balance in reporting. 

“The ruling not only safeguards the integrity of journalism but also upholds the rights of individuals and organisations to protect their reputation and ensure that accurate information is disseminated to the public.”

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The Press Council of South Africa ruled that ‘Die Vrye Weekblad’, a South African online publication, breached various clauses of the Press Code that governs South African media in its reporting on the African Peace Mission to Ukraine and Russia, in June 2023.

 

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Wed, 08 May 2024 09:36:25 +0000 eNethersole 68344 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero
EDGE acquires CONDOR to boost capabilities in public security http://www.timesaerospace.aero/news/technology/edge-acquires-condor-to-boost-capabilities-in-public-security

Together, both companies plan to expand market share in different NLT segments globally, and to enter new strategically important markets such as the USA. 

Hamad Al Marar, EDGE group managing director & CEO, said: “This is a hugely significant development for EDGE. Having CONDOR as part of the group opens up new avenues for sustainable global growth and innovation, enabling us to diversify our offerings by partnering with a proven world leader in the design and manufacture of sophisticated NLT solutions. It also clearly demonstrates that our strategy of forming valuable ‘win-win’ partnerships in Brazil and elsewhere is delivering tangible results and benefits to all parties on an international scale. 

“Our world is currently experiencing a period of not only increased civil unrest, immigration crisis, and street protests, but also major concerns about the levels of force used in combat situations in populated environments, asymmetric warfare, and post-war damage control, where non-lethal technologies play a relevant role. The challenges and pressures faced by concerned stakeholders from local law enforcement and defence forces continue to grow as a result. By absorbing the experience and knowledge provided by CONDOR, EDGE is able to bolster its exiting capabilities to deliver to customers an unbeatable and centralised range of technologies for the protection of life and humans rights, in multiple scenarios and situations.”

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EDGE has acquired 51% of Brazil-based CONDOR Non-Lethal Technologies, a leader in Non-Lethal Technologies (NLT).

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Wed, 01 May 2024 08:48:39 +0000 eNethersole 68300 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero
Saab delivers GlobalEye to the UAE http://www.timesaerospace.aero/news/defence/saab-delivers-globaleye-to-the-uae

“I am proud to celebrate the fourth delivery of our world-leading AEW&C solution GlobalEye to the UAE and to continue supporting its operational availability and mission success. The high delivery pace in the GlobalEye programme is testament to our unique in-house capability which means we control the entire process, from development to integration,” said Micael Johansson President and CEO of Saab.

The UAE has ordered a total of five GlobalEye aircraft from Saab, with the initial contract signed in 2015 and an order for two additional aircraft received in 2021.

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Saab has delivered its fourth GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft to the UAE.

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Tue, 30 Apr 2024 10:40:12 +0000 eNethersole 68296 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero
RTX’s Pratt & Whitney awarded F100 engine maintenance contract for Saudi http://www.timesaerospace.aero/news/defence/rtxs-pratt-whitney-awarded-f100-engine-maintenance-contract-for-saudi

MEPC is the prime contractor of the Saudi Ministry of Defense for F100 engine sustainment services. The maintenance contract, valued at $65.8 million, supplies spare parts and engine services in support of the Royal Saudi Air Force’s (RSAF) F-15 Eagles.

"This contract marks a transition to a more proactive and comprehensive sustainment solution that offers the Royal Saudi Air Force end-to-end efficiencies and greater affordability,” said Josh Goodman, senior director of the F100 Program at Pratt & Whitney. “Pratt & Whitney will assume more responsibility for optimising fleet readiness, allowing the customer to focus on critical missions.”

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Pratt and Whitney has been awarded an F100 engine contract for a material management programme by Saudi Arabia’s Middle East Propulsion Company (MEPC).

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Mon, 29 Apr 2024 11:15:37 +0000 eNethersole 68288 at http://www.timesaerospace.aero