Spanish Army to Field Israeli 81mm Cardom Mortars
October 31, 2011: Elbit Systems will deliver the Spanish Army Cardom recoilless mortar assemblies to mount 81mm mortars on the Spanish VEMTAC 4×4 wheeled armored vehicles. The Cardom system was originally developed for the 120mm tube, but the Spanish Army opted for the smaller caliber to fit with the lighter vehicle. The Israeli company is part of an industry team also including UROVESA, providing the vehicle platform, as well as GMV and Spain’s General Dynamics Santa Barbara. The program will be implemented over a 12-month period.
Finland Plans Spending Over US$0.5 Billion on New Missiles
October 31, 2011: Finland has requested the U.S. approval to buy 600 Raytheon FIM-92A Stinger Reprogrammable Micro-Processor (RMP) Block 1 short range anti-aircraft missiles. The value of this procurement with associated logistics and training support is about US$330 million. Finland plans to replace the Russian SA-18 Igla-M currently operated in the Very Short Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) role. Among the alternatives being considered are the Sweden Saab RBS-70/Bolide, LIG Nex1’s Chiron from South Korea, as well as the SA-24 Igla-S and Polish PZR GROM (SA-18 derivative) systems.
Finland has also renewed its request to buy the Lockheed Martin AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM) for its F/A-18C/D fighter aircraft at an estimated cost of $255 million. Finland has hoped to get the missiles in 2007, as part of a comprehensive upgrade extending the Hornet’s air/ground potential with stand-off attack capability, but the request was rejected by the pentagon at the time.
Poland Ditches Trainer Tender
October 27, 2011: Poland has scrapped a $456 million tender for 16 advanced training aircraft which was expected to be finalized soon. The two finalists competing for this bid were Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50 Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi, offering the M-346, both offering high end advanced trainers. The Ministry said it plans to launch a new tender, reflecting a new focus on training capabilities rather than advanced and combat training, which requires high end platforms. This new tender is likely to attract more companies, providing more affordable life cycle cost for the entire program. The officials did not specify weather the Air Force will focus on procurement of aircraft or a outsourcing military pilot training to commercial contractor under a ‘full service solution’, integrating real-virtual training aircraft and flight simulators. Such services are already entering operation with some of the world’s advanced air forces.