December 2023 News Global Defence & Security Industry - Military


To support the EU’s ability to act rapidly and robustly whenever a crisis erupts, the development of a European Command and Control (C2) capability is essential for decision-making, planning, and conduct of missions and operations. Supported by EDA, the European Strategic Command and Control System (ESC2) project concluded a major phase in its aim to provide a ground-breaking solution that will enable the EU and its Member States to employ the most advanced Command and Control system available worldwide, fully interoperable with the C2 systems of the EU, Member States, NATO, and civilian agencies.

KNDS, previously known as Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), will enhance Ukraine's military capabilities by offering the RCH155, a groundbreaking development as the first fully automated artillery system that requires only two crew members, making it particularly suited to current battlefield challenges, including the personnel shortages impacting both Ukraine and Western countries.

On December 18, 2023, North Korea made a strong message with the third launch of its Hwasong-18 missile. The missile reached a maximum altitude of over 6,000 km before falling into the sea west of Hokkaido, outside Japan's exclusive economic zone. The escalation of North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program represents a major turning point in global security dynamics. The Hwasong-14, Hwasong-15, and the recent Hwasong-18 missiles are at the heart of this growing concern, due to their extended range and destructive potential, all capable of striking US territory.

Armasuisse, the Federal Office for Defence Procurement in Switzerland, has officially entered into a contract with Defenture for the provision of the GRF (Groundforce) vehicles as part of the LAUF20 program. This contract represents a continuation of the collaboration initiated with the initial prototype delivery in 2021. The overarching objective of the LAUF20 program is to equip the Swiss Army with cutting-edge mobility capabilities, particularly focusing on the lightweight tactical and air-transportable GRF which may be designated a 4x4x4 vehicle as it is altogether a four-wheel-drive and four-wheel-steering vehicle, like Arquus' Scarabee.

IMCO Group has recently secured a follow-up contract worth over $7 million (equivalent to approximately 28.5 million NIS) from the Directorate of Production and Procurement (DOPP) within the Israel Ministry of Defense. This contract, awarded in the third quarter of this year, solidifies IMCO Group's role in providing additional electrical and electro-optic sub-systems for the Israeli Defense Forces' cutting-edge Eitan (8X8) Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs).

On December 16, 2023, Terminal Autonomy, previously known as One Way Aerospace, announced the completion of preparations necessary for producing the AQ 400 Scythe, a long-range unmanned aerial system. The company initially has a monthly production capacity of 100 units, to increase to 500 units monthly. This development marks a strategic turning point for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Patria, in collaboration with the Logistics Command of the Finnish Defence Forces, has recently agreed to the provision of new Leopard 2L Tracked Bridge Laying Vehicles. This acquisition by the Finnish Defence Forces involves six cutting-edge bridge layers capable of transporting, deploying, and retrieving Leguan bridges of varying lengths. The total value of this procurement, excluding value-added tax, is estimated at approximately 23.6 million euros, with an anticipated employment impact in Finland of around 70 person-years.

Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) has just scored another significant sales success in Austria, winning a request for tenders for a further lot of logistic vehicles for the Austrian Army. A corresponding enlargement of the existing framework agreement with Bundesbeschaffung GmbH (BGG) of Vienna, the Austrian procurement organization, envisages delivery of up to 300 trucks, primarily from the HX family of vehicles. The expanded contract for the newly won lot runs for 48 months and offers the possibility of flexible call-offs of vehicles with an aggregate value of over €300 million.

On 18 December, Swedish Minister for Defence Pål Jonson travelled to Copenhagen for talks with Danish Minister of Defence Troels Lund Poulsen. Matters discussed during the visit included support to Ukraine, current NATO issues and the upcoming Danish Chairmanship of the Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO) in 2024..

Japan is in the process of finalizing plans to allocate an unprecedented defense budget of ¥7.7 trillion ($54 billion) for the fiscal year 2024, The Japan Times reports. This substantial budget increase is a crucial component of their comprehensive strategy to bolster their military capabilities in response to the challenging regional security landscape, according to government insiders who disclosed this information on December 16.

The Spanish Ministry of Defense has completed a contract worth nearly 700 million euros with a temporary business consortium including Escribano Mechanical & Engineering and Rheinmetall Expal Munitions, to supply the Army with the High Mobility Rocket Launcher System (Silam). Spain's chosen system is the PULS.

Savvas D. Vlassis reports that the Greek company EODH has recently entered into a fresh contract, continuing its longstanding collaboration with leading armor manufacturers in Europe. This new agreement, inked on December 15th, is with KMW and pertains to the provision of protective components for the Puma Armored Fighting Vehicle, which is in service with the German Army.

During their visit to Kyiv, two companies officially inked an agreement that empowers them to directly offer specialized artillery systems support to the Ukrainian armed forces from within Ukraine itself. Under this accord, BAE Systems and AMS will provide repair and support services for artillery systems donated by the British Government. AMS will utilize its existing maintenance centers in Ukraine, staffed by Ukrainian engineers.

The Bundeswehr (German army) has again called off 155 mm artillery ammunition from Rheinmetall under the framework agreement. Rheinmetall has been commissioned to supply a total of several tens of thousands shells of various types for the Ukrainian armed forces. The order is worth a three-digit million euro amount. Delivery is scheduled for 2025.

India has recently achieved a milestone in the development of its air defense capabilities with the successful demonstration of its Akash missile system during Exercise Astrashakti 2023. This indigenous surface-to-air defense system has demonstrated its ability to simultaneously engage four unmanned aerial targets.

On December 16, 2023, the Estonian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced the delivery of an additional batch of six K9 Thunder 155mm self-propelled howitzers from South Korea. This delivery is part of a broader procurement of K9 self-propelled howitzers, totaling 36 units and valued at approximately €120 million.

Washington, D.C., United States, December 16, 2023 – The United States Department of Defense has announced a significant Foreign Military Sale to Italy, involving the transfer of advanced artillery systems M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) and associated equipment worth an estimated $400 million. This move is seen as a strategic step to bolster the defense capabilities of a key NATO ally.

In a significant move amidst ongoing economic sanctions, ROSTEC, Russia's State Defense Company, has announced the successful completion of delivering a fleet of advanced Shturm-S and Khrizantema-S anti-tank armored vehicles to the Russian armed forces. This delivery comes as a notable achievement for ROSTEC, considering the backdrop of heightened economic pressures faced by Russia due to its military actions in Ukraine.

On December 14, 2023, Lockheed Martin announced that the Extended-Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (ER GMLRS) has completed a series of Systems Qualification Tests (SQTs) spanning two years. These tests have verified the system's range and precision capabilities, marking significant progress towards its potential deployment by the US Army as it approaches the final stages of development.

On December 15, 2023, Hungary officially signed a contract with Rheinmetall to collaborate on the development of the next-generation KF51 Panther Main Battle Tank (MBT). This collaboration, valued at approximately €288 million, was officially signed in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary, marking a significant step forward in the project's progression towards full-scale production.

In a significant advancement in military ammunition, Russia has announced the development of a new 6.02×41 caliber cartridge. Designed by the Tula Ammunition Plant, this innovative ammunition aims to provide superior penetration power, meeting the increasing demands of modern weaponry.

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