The Weekly Wire: For Your Situational Awareness 10.5.16
Politicians from South Korea’s opposition Justice Party are calling into question the effectiveness of the military’s command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) infrastructure following a series of failed cruise missile tests. During a recent series of exercises, the accuracy of South Korea’s guided missiles was 55.6% – down from 94.4% in 2014. The concern is that this drop in accuracy was caused by aging C4I systems and flaws in the missiles themselves. There is some evidence to support this belief, as the majority of the current C4I infrastructure in South Korea is past the end of its intended service life. Additionally, there appear to be an abundance of opportunities to address this concern. Avascent projects that the market for C4I systems in South Korea will grow by over 8% in 2016-2021, and just under half of the market remains unaddressed. Click here to see Avascent Analytics data used in a Defense News article about U.S.-South Korean defense cooperation.
Denmark’s Defence Acquisition and Logistics Office selected three firms – Elbit Systems, Hanwha Techwin, and Nexter Systems – to compete to sell 21 new 155mm/52 caliber self-propelled howitzers to the Danish military. The new howitzers are intended to replace the 12 M109A3 howitzers which Denmark has been using since 1965. Avascent’s data shows that the Danish market for tracked vehicles platforms, which includes self-propelled howitzers, is actually shrinking at a rate of 3% – and that the new howitzers are essentially the only open opportunity left within that segment of the Danish defense market.
Lithuania’s Ministry of Defense has announced plans to procure the Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), from Norway’s Kongsberg. NASAMS has been touted as the world’s first operational Network Centric Medium-Range Air Defense System, where information from disparate sensors can be easily integrated to form a common picture for NASAMS. The deal, expected to cost over $100 million, will make Lithuania the fifth NASAMS operator in Europe following Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain. The Baltic states had previously discussed creating a regional medium-range air defense system in response to Russian activities in the region, but Estonia and Latvia have yet to commit to a system or timeline.
Starting in 2017, Canada’s aging CF-18 fighters are set to retire over a six-year period, leaving the Royal Canadian Air Force questioning how they will replace the CF-18 Hornet. While the previous Conservative government had intended to purchase 65 F-35’s, the current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated that the Liberal government will not purchase the F-35 due to high costs to procure the fighter jet. The Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan has stated that Canada will likely face an increasing capability gap starting in 2020, and the need to replace the 77 CF-18’s is paramount to addressing this gap. The Canadian government has been in talks with several defense companies this past summer, including Boeing and Lockheed Martin regarding the procurement of new fighter jets, though no official decision by the government has been made yet. Boeing has pitched the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet as a possible replacement for the CF-18. According to the 2015 Status Report on Major Defense Equipment Procurement, a contract is expected to be awarded between 2017-2019.
The 2016 Asia Defence and Security Exhibition and Conference (ADAS) wrapped up in Manila on September 30. Discussions regarding potential and ongoing contracts with the Philippine Armed Forces included talks of supplying Dvora patrol boats from Israel, construction of the Multi-Purpose Assault Craft (MPAC) Mk 3 through a joint Philippines-Taiwan venture, and the status of a second Tarlac-class landing platform dock from Indonesia. The Philippines has also expressed interest in additional F/A-50 light attack aircraft from South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries, Swedish firm Saab’s JAS 39 Gripen fighters for a multi-role fighter requirement, and close-air support aircraft (generally propeller-driven, fixed-wing aircraft such as the Super Tucano). Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte’s goal of diversifying its sources for military equipment. The Philippines has depended largely on the US for its military equipment. Although Duterte has vocally expressed his distaste for the US and his intention to make fighting rebels in the southern Philippines his priority. He has subsequently expressed interest in foregoing purchases of high end military equipment and prioritizing lower end equipment more appropriate for a counter-insurgency, potentially from Russia and China.