Daily Archives: October 14, 2016

Japan defense contractors get to grips with foreign military buyers

WORLD NEWS | Fri Oct 14, 2016 | 2:06am EDT

By Tim Kelly | TOKYO

Until recently, public meetings between Japanese defense contractors and uniformed foreign military delegations would have stirred controversy in Japan, but this week’s aerospace show in Tokyo saw plenty.

With the nation stepping back from decades of state pacifism amid concern over China’s growing power and a deepening North Korean threat, Japanese defense companies are finally shedding their reluctance to sell arms abroad.

At the ShinMaywa Industries booth, Indonesian air force officials quizzed the company about its amphibious plane. In another corner of the Japan Aerospace 2016 show, Saudi Arabian military officers pored over military transport and patrol aircraft brochures handed out by Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

“The Indonesians are very interested in our plane,” said a ShinMaywa salesmen, as one of his colleague went through US-2’s specifications with the six-man Indonesian delegation. He asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

The US-2 is one of the home-built military platforms that the Japanese government has identified as a candidate for foreign sales after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in April 2014 lifted a ban on overseas arms sales.

The exhibition in Tokyo, which was last held four years ago in Nagoya, is the first major aerospace show since Abe came to power. The show drew some 800 companies as well as representatives from numerous of international militaries.

“We were visited by other foreign uniformed representatives apart from the Saudi military,” a salesman for Kawasaki said, also asking not to be identified. “The exhibition is still mostly civilian, but it has more of a military feel than four years ago.”

By ending seven decades of military industrial isolation, Abe is hoping to widen arms production to lower costs through greater economies of scale and share the expense of developing new weapons with other nations.

India began discussing a possible purchase of ShinMaywa’s US-2 soon after restrictions on arms shipments were eased, although no agreement has yet been concluded.

Indonesian interest could provide an earlier opportunity to sell the plane abroad, but Jakarta is so far keeping its cards close to its chest.

“We are looking around at all the stalls,” said an Indonesian general in the delegation, who declined to give his name.


Japanese companies have been reluctant to highlight their arms businesses, wary of reputational damage to their other commercial businesses.

Japan’s population remains sensitive to any perceived reversion to the militarism that many still blame for wrecking the country during World War Two.

Kawasaki, which is better know for making motorbikes, had models of a heavy lift military transport, the C-2, and a sub-hunting patrol plane, the P-1, both of which it makes for Japanese military. Japan’s government believes both those could compete for overseas sales.

“The foreign military delegations were mostly interested in the C-2, and they most wanted to know the price,” said the Kawasaki salesman.

Fuji Heavy Industries, better known for its Subaru cars, also builds military helicopters.

At the aerospace show it showed of a full-sized model of a planned new transport helicopter, dubbed the UH-X, and an experimental unmanned surveillance jet. Both have been ordered by the Japanese military.

“We haven’t wanted our defense work to damage our Subaru brand. But things are changing since the change to export rules,” said a Fuji Heavy official at the booth. “The foreign military delegations came by here too,” he added, also asking not to be identified.

Other companies that avoid advertising their defense work include ball-bearing maker Minebea Co, which also makes 9mm pistols, and air conditioner company Daikin Industries, which has a sideline in rifle grenades.

Komatsu Ltd builds military-green armored vehicles in addition to its yellow excavators and dump trucks.


After decades insulated from the competitive pressures that have forced western firms to group together into a handful of big makers, Japan’s defense sector remains fractured, with work spread among hundreds of companies.

Military sales even at major defense contractors rarely amounts to more than a few percent of overall revenue.

Even at the largest contractor, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), military sales amount to only a tenth of revenue.

Most of its booth at the aerospace show was devoted to civilian products, including space launch vehicles, models of Boeing aircraft it help builds, and a mock up of the interior of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, which represents Japan’s bid to establish itself as a regional jet maker.

MHI’s defense business was confined to two small models on a small display stand at the side of the exhibition. One was a marine patrol helicopter; the other, an experimental stealth prototype that could evolve it a $40 billion project to build a new fleet of frontline fighters for Japan, and perhaps even overseas airforces.

“Foreign military representatives visited our booth,” said the MHI official in charge of the display. “I think that is the first time that has happened at a show,” he added.

(Additional reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

Original post reuters.com


Related post:

Japan Shops Futuristic Sub-Hunter Plane

Japan, Thailand To Spur Work For Defence Gear Deal

Japan, Thailand eyeing arms deal




Tokyo, Japan (September 2, 2015) – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, today announced long-term partner Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) was awarded a contract for 150 multi-purpose helicopters to replace Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force’s (JGSDF) current fleet of UH-1J aircraft. The new UH-X aircraft, based on the Bell 412EPI, will be used for island defense and disaster relief efforts with deployment beginning in 2021.

“The Fuji-Bell selection is a significant win for FHI and Bell Helicopter, and today’s contract enables the Fuji-Bell team to initiate the developmental program, including collaboration on the design and industrialization of the aircraft, while setting a path to first flight of a prototype that will meet the JGSDF’s specifications,” said John Garrison, Bell Helicopter president and CEO. Read full article bellhelicopter.com

ShinMaywa US-2: Details

Kawasaki P-1: Details

Kawasaki C-2: Details


Bulgaria Is Ready with Tender Requirements for New Type of Fighter for Its Air Force

13 October 2016 / 18:39

Sofia, October 13 (BTA) – The tender requirements for a new type of a multipurpose fighter for the Bulgarian Air Force are now ready and need to be approved by the Defence Council before being sent to prospective contractors, Defence Minister Nickolay Nenchev told the MPs in the parliamentary defence committee.

He said that the team working on the tender requirements were ready over a month and a half ago but he wanted to make sure the document has the approval of the new commander of the Air Force – which is now the case.

Nenchev expects that the tender requirements will be approved by the Defence Council next Wednesday so that a letter of intent can be sent to Sweden, Italy and Portugal. Their reply in then expected in a matter of several months after which Bulgaria can pick its supplier.

The three countries were picked among nine which proposed 15 options for purchase of fighters – new and used – to the Bulgarian Defence Ministry in 2011. Sweden offered new Gripen C/D, Italy offered used Eurofighter Tranche 1 and Portugal used F-16 with a logistics package.

The Defence Minister told the MPs that no pressure was put on the experts as they revised the parameters of the deal.

The Thursday press observes that the purchase of a new type of a fighter for the Air Force will be the costliest project for modernization of the Bulgarian Armed Forces and will cost at least 1.5 billion leva. The Defence Ministry plans to acquire a total of 16 fighters in two tranches.

Nenchev was also asked by the MPs about the progress of a procedure of direct negotiations with potential contractors for delivery of engines for Bulgaria’s MiG-29 fighter jets. He said that tentative talks are underway and an agreement is very much likely, especially about the timeframe.

Asked whether the engines can be bought from a country other than Russia, Nenchev said that 10 engines are known to be had in another European country and the Defence Ministry inquired about them. A thorough check, however, established that these have been out of operation for over 10 years and experts were skeptical about how easily they can be refurbished. More checks would have been necessary and then refurbishment at additional costs for the budget, Nenchev said.

Asked whether it means that Bulgaria will end up buying engines from RSK MiG, the Minister said that it was not a matter of personal choice. “We are abiding by the Public Procurement Act and I have no way of influence there or showing any emotions.”

“The company with the best terms will win the contract. In this case, we have ranked a company which obviously has a contract with RSK MiG,” Nenchev added.

He also told the MPs that a tender has been prepared for the acquisition of new armoured vehicles for the Land Forces. The initial offer has been revised. It has a price tag of 1,2 billion leva. PK/LN/

Source: Sofia

Original post @bta.bg



Related post:

Bulgaria requests surplus F-16s from Portugal

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Bulgaria Launches Public Tender for Purchase of Ten MiG-29 Engines

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USAF lays out F-15C/D re-winging plans

13 October 2016
The US Air Force (USAF) is to moving ahead with plans to re-wing its Boeing F-15C/D Eagle fleet as it looks to maintain the type at the forefront of capabilities over the coming decades.

An industry day for the F-15C Service-Life Extension Program (SLEP) is being held at Robins Air Force Base (AFB) in Georgia on 13 October to consider options for the re-winging of all 235 F-15C/D aircraft in the USAF’s inventory to see the type through to its projected out-of-service date of 2045.

As noted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) website, the new wing will be the same stronger unit as that fitted to the F-15E Strike Eagle variant; be capable of 14 years of flying at current worst usage severity before needing depot-level inspections; maintain the current F-15C/D outer-mould line and existing fuselage interfaces; maintain compatibility with the original aerodynamic and structural properties; show airworthiness compliance without additional full-scale durability testing; and be compatible with all existing aircraft and weapons systems to include fuel, hydraulic, electrical, and environment control systems.

Industry day briefing slides posted on the day of the event note that the USAF is looking to receive the first three production prototype wing sets in fiscal year (FY) 2020. Delivery of 10 low-rate initial production (LRIP) sets will take place in 2022, to be followed by the remaining full-rate production (FRP) wings at a rate of about 40 a year through to 2028.

Companies attending the industry day comprise the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Boeing; current wing manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI); and sub-contractors CPI Aerostructures, Yulista Aviation, Constellium, Kitco Defense, Cherokee Nation Aerospace and Defense, FQ&P Aviation Limited, and Herndon Products.

A formal request for proposals (RfP) is expected to be issued in the fourth quarter of FY 2017.

Original post @janes.com




The single-seat F-15C and two-seat F-15D models entered the Air Force inventory beginning in 1979. These new models have Production Eagle Package (PEP 2000) improvements, including 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) of additional internal fuel, provision for carrying exterior conformal fuel tanks and increased maximum takeoff weight of up to 68,000 pounds (30,600 kilograms).

The F-15 Multistage Improvement Program was initiated in February 1983, with the first production MSIP F-15C produced in 1985. Improvements included an upgraded central computer; a Programmable Armament Control Set, allowing for advanced versions of the AIM-7, AIM-9, and AIM-120A missiles; and an expanded Tactical Electronic Warfare System that provides improvements to the ALR-56C radar warning receiver and ALQ-135 countermeasure set. The final 43 included a Hughes APG-70 radar. Source @military.com

General Characteristics
Primary function: Tactical fighter
Contractor: McDonnell Douglas Corp.
Power plant: Two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100, 220 or 229 turbofan engines with afterburners
Thrust: (C/D models) 23,450 pounds each engine
Wingspan: 42.8 feet (13 meters)
Length: 63.8 feet (19.44 meters)
Height: 18.5 feet (5.6 meters) 
Weight: 31,700 pounds
Maximum takeoff weight: (C/D models) 68,000 pounds (30,844 kilograms)
Fuel  Capacity: 36,200 pounds (three external plus conformal fuel tanks)
Payload: depends on mission
Speed: 1,875 mph (Mach 2 class) 
Ceiling: 65,000 feet (19,812 meters)
Range: 3,450 miles (3,000 nautical miles) ferry range with conformal fuel tanks and three external fuel tanks
Crew: F-15A/C: one. F-15B/D/E: two
Armament: One internally mounted M-61A1 20mm 20-mm, six-barrel cannon with 940 rounds of ammunition; four AIM-9 Sidewinder and four AIM-120 AMRAAMs or eight AIM-120 AMRAAMs, carried externally.
Unit Cost: A/B models – $27.9 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars);C/D models – $29.9 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars)
Initial operating capability: September 1975
Inventory: Total force, 249

Technical data @af.mil