Read of the week:
After the Korea Coast Guard (KCG) was forced to confront Chinese fishing boats early this week Gordon Arthur takes a look at the mounting tensions between the two nations. The incident saw KCG personnel fire 249 warning shots after a fleet of 44 Chinese boats was spotted operating within South Korea’s EEZ.
It has emerged that the Bangladesh Air Force is seeking to join the ranks of nations operating MALE UAVs after releasing an RfP for a system that would comprise three to four aircraft. The armed UAV’s maximum range will be 1,000km with a payload capacity of at least 120kg. Chinese and Turkish manufacturers are expected to be the primary bidders for the contract.
Boeing has released additional details relating to its MQ-25 unmanned refuelling tanker bid. According to Boeing the UAS is completing engine runs before heading to the flight ramp for deck handling demonstrations early next year.
The UK MoD is also looking to procure new UAS, as it seeks to enhance its ISR capabilities with 14 tethered UAS platforms. The contract is valued at £2 million and is expected to commence in March 2018 and run for two years.
This week Bell Helicopter’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor prototype successfully completed its first flight. The aircraft can be seen taking off and flying at a low altitude in a short video released by Bell. The data from the maiden flight will now be reviewed before the aircraft undergoes future tests.
In Kuwait an investigation has been ordered into a 41.1 billion deal to buy 30 military helicopters from France. An article in the French Marianne magazine sparked the investigation after reporting that a middleman had demanded tens of millions of euros from Airbus as a commission.
Building cyber ramparts
The proposed acquisition of Gemalto by Thales indicates efforts to increase its cyber security offering. Thales follows a host of high-profile defence primes that have already increased capability and added clients in the cyber security market through acquisitions.
Meanwhile Raytheon has developed an immersive cyber security training system that has been designed for individual and collaborative training as it has its eye on the US DoD’s Persistent Cyber Training Environment requirement.