Although the Russian government has placed a renewed emphasis in recent years on the expansion of military spending and the implementation of force modernization programs across the entirety of the Russian armed services, the scale of armored vehicle procurement remains limited by both practical and economic considerations. Therefore, the Russian military-industrial base has simply not been able to support procurement of the BMP-3 on a scale comparable to that of its stalwart predecessor, the BMP-2.
Based on a projection in the FY16 defense budget, the U.S. Navy will spend more than $2.3 billion over the next several years developing and purchasing upgrades for the SLQ-32 EW system. Through the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP), the U.S. Navy is enhancing the capability of its SLQ-32 to counter evolving threats. All U.S. aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, and other warships use the SLQ-32 EW system. In addition, the Navy intends to equip future warships, including the DDG-1000, with the SLQ-32.
The U.S. Department of Defense’s official nomenclature equipment identification system is formally known as the Joint Electronics Type Designation System (JETDS), although it is more commonly called the “AN” designation system, referring to the days when AN stood for “Army/Navy.”
The first three letters following the “AN/” usually indicate:
- The platform on which the equipment is installed.
- What type of equipment it is.
- The function, purpose, or application of the equipment.
The announcement of the successful manufacture of a viable non-mechanical, phased-array, electro-optical microchip as part of DARPA’s SWEEPER program is a landmark event. While phased-array technology has been available in radar (radio detection and ranging) devices for years, this is the first time that there has been a wide announcement of an electro-optic device (in this case, laser detecting and ranging, or LIDAR) demonstrating this ability on board an integrated microchip.
Spain’s government signed off on an additional EUR856.6 million ($975+ million) in defense spending at a convening of the ruling cabinet on May 14. The top-up funding has become an annual rite as Spain continues to pay off the lingering costs of 19 major defense programs – collectively referred to as the Special Armaments Program – that date back to a previous People’s Party (PP) government led by Jose Maria Aznar (1996-2004). Of the extra funding provided, 99 percent – EUR845 million ($948+ million) – will be allocated toward payments for the Special Armaments Program.
Gulfstream’s G500 business jet completed its first flight on May 18. Unveiled in October 2014, the G500 is part of Gulfstream’s new family of clean-sheet, long-range business jets, which also includes the G600.
The G500 (N500GA) took off at 10:39 am local time from Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport in Georgia. The aircraft climbed to an initial altitude of 3,200 meters (10,500 ft), and reached a maximum altitude of 4,572 meters (15,000 ft). It achieved a maximum air speed of 194 knots.
The U.S. Navy came out as the clear winner in the Senate Armed Services Committee’s markup of the FY16 defense authorization bill, receiving funding for additional aircraft, ships, and weapons. The results were more mixed for the Air Force and Army. The legislation, approved by the SASC on May 14 by a vote of 22 to four, supports the president’s budget request level of $612 billion for the Department of Defense and security programs in the Department of Energy. That level exceeds current defense budget caps, so the committee provides an additional $38 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account, which is not subject to spending limits. This move mirrors the GOP budget resolution, as well as the House’s version of the FY16 defense policy bill.
The center-right Australian government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott unveiled its latest budget on May 12. The budget, delivered by Treasurer Joe Hockey, nixes the austerity approach undertaken by the government in its first budget (2014-15) in favor of tax cuts for small businesses and higher spending on child care and infrastructure as the government seeks to ease passage of its latest budget through the upper chamber of Australia’s bicameral parliament, the Senate.
Germany has decided to purchase the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), according to reports from Deutsche Welle. This is a joint program involving Lockheed Martin and MBDA. The German Ministry of Defense has yet to confirm this decision. A formal announcement will come before the end of June.
While the backlog of engine production will drive profits for years, Rolls-Royce is looking to adapt its operations for a new era – and a change in leadership is on the way. Effective this July, tech industry veteran Warren East will replace CEO John Rishton at the helm.