Defense Business Brief: Poland Buys Arms; F-35 deliveries were halted; New cruise missile defences; and more.


Even before Russia invaded Ukraine more than six months ago, Poland had embarked on a sweeping military modernization plan that would shift its arsenal from Soviet-era weaponry to Western ones.

This week, Poland announced that he would buy 96 Boeing Apache attack helicopters, three times more than originally planned. Warsaw chose the Apache over the Bell AH-1Z attack helicopter.

The announcement coincided with MSPO, the International Defense Industry Exhibition, an annual arms fair in Kielce. The event drew more than 600 exhibitors from around the world and appeared to be largely focused on ground combat, with companies showcasing armored vehicles, small arms and drones.

As US companies strive to increase sales in Poland and throughout Eastern Europe, South Korean defense firms are also making inroads there. Poland has placed an order for 48 FA-50s from Korean Aerospace. In addition to the Abrams tanks manufactured by General Dynamics, Poland is also buying 180 Hyundai Rotem K2 Black Panthers and 212 Hanwha K9A1 self-propelled artillery pieces.

“We will further expand our footprint in the European market,” said Lee Boo-hwan, executive vice president of Hanwah Defense’s foreign affairs division, in a company video from the show this week. “Based on expanded cooperation with Poland, we will have more opportunities to increase cooperation with NATO members, such as the US, UK and Australia.”

About half of the more than 600 listed MSPO exhibitors were Polish companies, according to a tally by Byron Callan of Capital Alpha Partners. More than four dozen companies came from the United States, the second highest number of any country. The vast majority of the others came from Europe. While there were only four South Korean companies exhibiting – Hanwha, Hyundai Rotem and Korea Aerospace Industries – “this number does not reflect the role that South Korea plays in Poland’s defense modernization”, Callan wrote in a note to investors on Tuesday.

Poland has pledged to increase its defense spending to 3% of its GDP, which would put it third among NATO members. Leaders have said Warsaw ultimately wants to increase spending to 5% of GDP, but no target date has been specified.

The first Polish F-35s are expected to roll off the assembly line at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas in 2024. These jets will likely be used for training in the United States, with the first jets expected to arrive in Poland two years later. later, in 2026.

Raytheon Technologies and the Norwegian Kongsberg successfully fired three types of missiles from the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, known as NASAMS, to engage cruise missiles at varying ranges. “We have demonstrated how integrated defense solutions allow the warfighter to deploy the right effector at the right time to the right target,” Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon Missiles & Defense, said in a statement. “Using systems in the field, our goal is to provide customers with the fastest and most effective way to protect their personnel and critical infrastructure with layered cruise missile defense.”

The NASAMS has received a lot of attention lately because the United States is giving several batteries to Ukraine to fend off Russian-fired missiles. The system traditionally used only AMRAAM missiles, but fired AIM-9X, AMRAAM, and AMRAAM-Extended Range missiles during the test, which was overseen by the Research Laboratory’s Strategic Development Planning and Experiment Office of the Air Force.

The startup Anduril has formed a strategic partnership with American Rheinmetall Vehicles’ Lynx team, which is competing to build the optional crewed combat vehicle for the US military. “Software is at the heart of weapons and military systems of the future,” said Zach Mears, Anduril’s Chief Strategy Officer. “Anduril specializes in providing advanced mission autonomy, allowing commanders and battle managers to command and control more lethal capabilities at the tactical periphery.” Rheinmetall’s OMFV team includes Textron Systems, Raytheon Technologies, L3Harris Technologies and Allison Transmission.

The Defense Contract Management Agency has suspended deliveries of F-35 stealth fighters of Lockheed Martin after learning that two alloys in the jet’s turbomachinery were produced in China. “The issue is related to a magnet on the F-35 turbomachine manufactured by Honeywell which includes an alloy of cobalt and samarium which was recently determined to be produced in the People’s Republic of China,” Lockheed said in a mailed statement. electronic. “This alloy is magnetized in the United States. Further analysis confirmed that the magnet provides no visibility or access to sensitive program information. There is also no flight safety issue. Future turbomachines will use an alternative alloy source from the United States. More here.

The ever insightful Jim McAleese, of McAleese and Associates, shares his thoughts on how China, semiconductors and the labor market will shape Pentagon spending in the years to come in a new video presentation. “Think of it like having coffee with Jim,” he said. Look here.

With Labor Day in the rearview mirror, it’s time to sprint into Christmas with a full slate of in-person conferences to resume. The schedule:

  • September 19-21: Air and Space Force Association Air, Space & Cyber ​​​​(National Harbor, Maryland)
  • September 28: COMDEF (virtual)
  • Oct. 10 to 12: Annual Congress of the Association of the US Army (Washington)
  • Oct. 24-26: AIAA ASCEND Space Conference (Las Vegas)
  • Nov. 28 to Dec. 2 NDIA I/ITSEC Training and Simulation Conference (Orlando, Florida)
  • December 2 and 3, Reagan National Defense Forum (Simi Valley, California)

TOO, Defense One State of Defense Event Series, in which we interview top leaders from all military branches, kicked off this week with the State of the Army. Next week we bring you the state of the navy and the state of the marine corps, followed by the state of the air force and the state of the space force the last week of September. You can sign up to watch for free here.

Raytheon Technologies partners with Girls Who Code to launch a Leadership Academy. More than 100 university students will participate in the semester-long program. “The Leadership Academy aims to provide students from historically underrepresented groups with increased exposure to technology careers by empowering them with a community of peer support and professional development opportunities,” Raytheon said in a statement. . It is the latest initiative by a defense company to attract future engineers in the fields of defense and national security.

Defense One

Meanwhile, service officials are working with Pentagon leaders on 18-month plans to supply Ukraine.

The administration has used about three-quarters of the $40 billion authorized by Congress in May.

Additionally, the Defense Contact Group met in Germany to discuss how to support Ukraine in the “long term”, the defense secretary said.

HIMARS alone has been used to hit more than 400 targets, General Milley told a meeting of international supporters in Kyiv.

The group has spent weeks trying to fool specific targets with complex appeals, including US campaign staff.

The CIA’s chief technology officer and the former head of the Air Force’s Maven project want to take the Pentagon from the industrial age to the digital age.

New intelligence and electronic warfare tools aim to help commanders get data faster.

Future satellites should understand their environment, act autonomously and be less dependent on Earth for refueling, the deputy commander of Space Command said.

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