All posts by Dmitry Shulgin

Near Future Submarine

The construction of the third new generation submarine related to the U212NFS (Near Future Submarine) program for the Italian Navy and assigned to Fincantieri has received parliamentary approval and will now follow the standard administrative procedure.

U212NFS Near Future Submarine
The construction of the third vessel of the program assigned to the Group has been approved by the Parliament

The programme, which includes two vessels contracted in 2021, as well as the creation of a Training Center, is led by OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement, the international organization for joint armament cooperation).

Pierroberto Folgiero, Chief Executive Officer of Fincantieri, commented: «Within the NFS program we are both design authority and prime contractor. The prosecution of the program acknowledges Fincantieri’s technological and managerial leadership, in full continuity with the pillars set out in our business plan. The submarine is a unique strategic and industrial asset, combining shipbuilding and its highest standards with the underwater, a sector in which crucial games will be played also thanks to our vision of the future».

The first two vessels will be delivered in 2027 and 2029, with the steel cutting of the second unit scheduled for June 6th.

The U212NFS submarines will be highly innovative, with significant design modifications which will all be developed independently by Fincantieri in accordance with the requirements of the Navy. The program responds to the need to secure adequate underwater spatial surveillance and control capacity, considering the future complex scenarios of underwater operations and that the operational lifetime of the 4 «Sauro» class submarines, currently in service, is drawing near. It also aims at upholding and further developing Fincantieri’s acquired strategic and innovative industrial know-how, as well as consolidating the technological lead attained by the company and its supply chain, major industries, and small and medium-sized enterprises of the sector, enhancing the presence on board of technologically advanced component parts developed by Italian industries.

The submarines carry out many different tasks for the benefit of the community on a daily basis, preserving national interests and collective defense within the framework of the most important alliances in which the Italy participates, NATO and the EU. They range from purely military missions to operations pertaining to freedom of navigation, anti-piracy, keeping the energy supply routes safe (due to the presence of seabed resources or underwater infrastructure), observance of international law, fighting terrorism, defending external borders, and safeguarding maritime infrastructure, including essential offshore and underwater infrastructure, not least preserving marine ecosystems.

Deep-Space Radar

Northrop Grumman Corporation continues to advance the frontiers of sensing technology, successfully completing the Critical Design Review (CDR) and software demonstration for the U.S. Space Force’s (USSF) Deep-Space Advanced Radar Capability Program (DARC).

Deep-Space Advanced Radar Capability Program (DARC)
Northrop Grumman Advances the Frontier of Sensing Technology for Space Domain Awareness (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Key milestones completed within 12 months of contract award include:

  • Preliminary Design Review;
  • Critical Design Review;
  • Initial software demonstration.



«DARC will be the first to provide an all-weather, at all times capability in support of the space domain awareness mission that’s critical to national and global security», said Pablo Pezzimenti, vice president, integrated national systems, Northrop Grumman. «The successful critical design review is demonstration of our ability to develop a complex, advanced system with agility and speed».



Following the completion of CDR, the program now turns its focus to the Factory Acceptance Testing of key subsystems starting later this year.

Current ground-based optical systems only operate at night and are impacted by weather conditions. DARC will deliver an all-weather, 24/7 capability to monitor the rapidly evolving geosynchronous orbital environment – providing the nation with enhanced space domain awareness. DARC will augment the military’s space surveillance network as an additional sensor to monitor deep space objects, eventually providing full global coverage.

Leopard 2 A8

The Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has awarded Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) a contract for the production of 18 new type LEOPARD 2 A8 battle tanks. The contract was signed by both parties in Koblenz. Delivery of the systems is scheduled to begin in 2025. The new LEOPARD 2 A8s will replace the German tank force’s vehicles, which were recently handed over to Ukraine as part of military support operations.

Leopard 2 A8
Bundeswehr orders 18 new LEOPARD 2 A8 battle tanks and triggers the option for twelve new PzH 2000

The framework agreement concluded on May 25, 2023 also includes options for the production of a further 105 LEOPARD 2 A8s and a comprehensive service package.

In addition KMW has also been commissioned to produce twelve new PzH 2000 for the German artillery force as part of the option agreement made in March 2023. In total, the option includes 18 PzH 2000 type howitzers in three lots of six systems.

The Irresistible Subduer

On May 26th, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems handed over a frigate to the Navy of the Arab Republic of Egypt. It is the second in a series of four MEKO A-200 EN frigates. The ceremony in Bremerhaven, which was attended by high-ranking Egyptian and German Navy officials, also included the naming of the vessel. The Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Navy, Vice Admiral Ashraf Ibrahim Atwa, named the ship «AL-QAHHAR», meaning «The Irresistible Subduer».

ENS Al-Qahhar
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems hands over second frigate for Egyptian Navy

«This project is considered a role model for many countries in the field of joint military industrialization», stated Vice Admiral Atwa. «Today, with the delivery of the ‘AL-QAHHAR’ frigate, our project has reached its midway».

«With today’s handover ceremony, we add a further highlight to the excellent relationship between the Egyptian Navy and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems», said Paul Glaser, CFO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. «The ongoing cooperation on naval surface vessels and submarines is one of the cornerstones of the long-term partnership between our two countries. The first-of-class ship ‘AL-AZIZ’ is already in service and has since proven its technical capabilities and reliability, and its sister ship ‘AL-QAHHAR’ will be just as successful».

In its class, the MEKO A-200 EN is one of the most powerful warships in service today. The next-generation vessels are more than 121 metres/397 feet long, 16 metres/52.5 feet wide and have a maximum speed of more than 29 knots/33 mph/54 kph. Featuring a stealthy design, the frigates are dedicated to taking on the role of the new central combat platform of the Egyptian Navy. Each ship will possess an extensive range of both defensive and offensive capabilities.

In total, the Arab Republic of Egypt ordered four structurally identical vessels, with the first three units being produced in Germany and the fourth vessel being built by Alexandria Shipyard in Egypt. The building contract was signed in September 2018. Construction work on «AL-QAHHAR» started in December 2019, with keel laying in March 2020 and launching in August 2021. She will start the journey to her homeport in Alexandria in a few days. The next milestone in this project will be the handover of the third vessel of the series, «AL-QADEER», later this year.

NEMO mortar systems

Sweden is strengthening its defence capabilities at sea with eight new mortar vessels. These vessels will be equipped with the Patria NEMO Navy turreted 120-mm system.

Patria to deliver NEMO mortar systems to Swede Ship Marine AB for the Swedish amphibious forces

Patria is delivering its mortar system to the Swedish armed forces for the first time as a subcontractor to Swede Ship Marine AB. Amphibious units in Stockholm and Gothenburg will soon have eight vessels that can provide artillery support from the sea.

The vessels have been ordered by FMV (Försvarets materielverk) from Swede Ship Marine AB. In addition, Patria is also delivering its NEMO mortar systems for training purposes.

Patria NEMO Navy is a light and compact system, ideal for applications in fast-moving naval fleets and mechanised fleets. The turret can be integrated into a variety of platforms, including Patria 6×6 armoured vehicle, which the Swedish armed forces have already ordered from Patria. This combination will be on display when the Swedish army celebrates its 500-year anniversary at Gärdet, Stockholm, on 27 May 2023.

«We have developed the best possible solution for Swedish amphibious troops together with Swede Ship Marine AB. It is yet another example of Swedish-Finnish corporate cooperation, and it also confirms the unique position of Patria’s NEMO mortar system in the Nordic market, as well as globally», says Mats Warstedt, Head of Market Area Nordics at Patria.

Patria NEMO Navy and NEMO Container – A real game changer on board

NEMO mortar systems
Patria NEMO Navy


The Czech Republic has successfully completed negotiations with the government of Sweden, the Swedish defense procurement organization FMV, and BAE Systems Hägglunds to buy 246 CV90 MkIV infantry fighting vehicles in seven different variants.

Czech Republic awards BAE Systems $2.2 billion contract to acquire 246 CV90s

The contract is valued at SEK 22 billion ($2.2 billion). The agreement provides highly-capable vehicles for Czech soldiers while providing Czech industry a significant role in the program.

«As the ninth member of the CV90 User Group, the Czech Republic and its Army will benefit from this combat-proven infantry fighting vehicle with a leading combination of mobility, firepower, protection, and future growth potential», said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, managing director of BAE Systems Hägglunds, in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. «This contract also represents a significant win for Czech industry that will last for decades».

The CV90s will be developed and delivered through an industrial partnership with Czech industry to meet the requirements of the Czech Ministry of Defence and the intention of maintaining national sovereignty for the Czech Republic. The Czech industrial partners will be delivering 40% of the acquisition’s value in development, production and assembly contracts, not including VAT.

The program also offers future industrial opportunities that represent significant monetary value well beyond the flow down of contracts to Czech industrial partners. The contract will bolster the local defence sector, granting access to BAE Systems’ global supply chain, expanding opportunities for cooperation, and enhancing local competitiveness.

The CV90 MkIV, the latest generation of the leading infantry fighting vehicle, is an ideal, battle-proven vehicle. CV90 has been deployed around the world in coalition operations under both NATO and UN mandates. The vehicle offers superior tactical and strategic capabilities to target a wide range of ground and airborne targets, and exceptional resilience in any terrain and tactical environment.

BAE Systems Hägglunds has produced more than 1,400 CV90s in 17 variants for European countries, five of which are NATO members. Slovakia recently selected the CV90 for its armed forces, joining the Czech Republic as the eighth and ninth member countries, respectively, of the CV90 User Group.


Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered key Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) components for Poland’s WISŁA medium range air defense program. With this delivery, IBCS moves closer to being fully fielded as part of Poland’s advanced air and missile defense program.

Polish and American servicemembers inspect the WISŁA relay at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

The recent delivery of the IBCS Integrated Fire Control Network (IFCN) relays supports the WISŁA program’s fielding schedule, which is the first foreign military sale of IBCS. Reaching this milestone provides a critical capability to a key U.S. ally and achieves NATO interoperability goals.

«Northrop Grumman is transforming decision making for the U.S. and its allies by integrating sensors and weapons for air and missile defense», said Rebecca Torzone, vice president and general manager, Combat Systems and Mission Readiness, Northrop Grumman. «IBCS provides Polish air defenders with the ability to make faster, better-informed decisions to deter, disrupt and defeat threats across all domains».

In parallel to the IFCN relay deliveries, Northrop Grumman is conducting a series of integration and test scenarios with the Engagement Operation Centers (EOCs) previously delivered in July 2022, and the relays. These tests and the associated training are important steps toward Poland taking full delivery of their first systems and achieving Basic Operational Capability later in 2023.

IBCS implements a modular, open and scalable architecture foundational to integrating available assets in the battlespace, regardless of source, service or domain onto common fire control network. Its architecture enables the efficient and affordable integration of current and future systems and extends the battlespace by disaggregating sensors and effectors. By enabling this high level of network integration, the warfighter is given unprecedented time to make accurate decisions. Through numerous successful development and operational tests and demonstrations, IBCS has proven its capability to connect and fuse multi-service sensor data to multi-service weapons, demonstrating Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) capabilities.

Surveillance Ship

Austal Limited is pleased to announce that Austal USA has been awarded a US$113,906,029 fixed-price incentive (firm target) and firm-fixed-price contract for detail design of the Auxiliary General Ocean Surveillance Ship T-AGOS 25 Class for the United States Navy. The contract includes options for detail design and construction of up to seven T-AGOS 25 class ships which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the contract to US$3,195,396,097.

T-AGOS 25 class
Austal USA has been awarded a contract for the detail design and construction of up to seven T-AGOS 25 Ocean Surveillance Ships for the United States Navy (Image: U.S. Navy)

T-AGOS ships, operated by United States Military Sealift Command (MSC), support the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) mission of the commanders of the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets by providing a platform capable of passive and active anti-submarine acoustic surveillance. The 110 metre/361 feet, steel ‘Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull’ (SWATH) vessels support the Navy’s Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS) by gathering underwater acoustical data using Surveillance Towed-Array Sensor System (SURTASS) equipment.

Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the T-AGOS contract adds to Austal USA’s growing portfolio of steel shipbuilding programs and is a further demonstration of the US Government’s trust in Austal USA’s capabilities.

«T-AGOS is a unique auxiliary naval platform that plays an integral role in supporting Navy’s anti-submarine warfare mission. Austal USA is honoured to be selected to deliver this critical capability for the Navy, utilising our advanced manufacturing processes, state-of-the-art steel shipbuilding facilities and our growing team of shipbuilders. The T-AGOS contract is a clear acknowledgment of Austal’s capabilities in steel naval shipbuilding, that includes the Navy’s Towing, Salvage and Rescue (T-ATS) ships, an Auxiliary Floating Drydock Medium (AFDM), and the US Coast Guards’ Offshore Patrol Cutters. These four steel naval shipbuilding projects, and our continuing successful delivery of the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) programs, are positioning Austal USA exceptionally well to meet the growing demands of the US Navy and Coast Guard», Mr. Gregg said.

As prime contractor for the contract, Austal USA is teaming with L3Harris Technologies, Noise Control Engineering, TAI Engineering, and Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors to deliver the TAGOS-25 program, from the company’s new steel shipbuilding facility in Mobile, Alabama.

Utilising proven, advanced manufacturing processes and innovative production techniques that incorporate lean manufacturing principles, modular construction, and moving assembly lines, Austal USA is currently delivering multiple naval shipbuilding programs and sub-contracted projects, including:

  • Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships (17 of 19 vessels delivered);
  • Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transports (13 of 16 vessels delivered, including the largest uncrewed capable vessel in the U.S. Navy, USNS Apalachicola, EPF-13);
  • Four Navajo-class Towing, Salvage and Rescue (T-ATS) Ships;
  • Up to 11 Heritage-class Offshore Patrol Cutters for the US Coast Guard;
  • An Auxiliary Floating Dock Medium (AFDM);
  • Elevators for the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN-80);
  • Command modules for Virginia-class Submarines (SSN).

This ASX announcement has been approved and authorised for release by Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer, Paddy Gregg.

Human Landing System

Lockheed Martin is on the team that has won a contract from NASA to develop and demonstrate a human landing system for the Artemis program under the agency’s Human Landing System program. The goal of the program is to rapidly develop a sustainable human lunar lander and perform a crewed demonstration flight to the lunar surface for Artemis V.

Human Landing System
NASA’s Sustainable Human Landing System Will Land Crew on the Moon for Artemis V

Led by Blue Origin, the National Team that will develop and build the lander also includes Draper, Boeing, Astrobotic and Honeybee Robotics.

«Congratulations to Blue Origin on this achievement. Lockheed Martin is excited to be part of Blue Origin’s National Team and we are looking forward to building humanity’s first Cislunar Transporter», said Kirk Shireman, vice president of Lunar Exploration Campaigns at Lockheed Martin Space. «We value Blue Origin’s thoughtful approach to developing human-rated flight systems and are thrilled to be part of a diverse team that combines innovation, deep experience and a strong industrial base».

NASA’s Artemis program is redefining how we explore deep space, and a sustainable human landing system program is key to extending our human presence away from Earth in a long-term way, which will greatly add to our scientific knowledge of the solar system.

As a principal partner on Blue Origin’s National Team, Lockheed Martin brings to the lunar lander effort more than 50 years of experience in space exploration – from developing the Orion spacecraft, to supporting numerous planetary robotic missions, to developing the space shuttle’s external fuel tank. Additionally, Lockheed Martin and National Team partners are drawing on their extensive supplier base, engaging strategic small and mid-sized businesses across the country in the development of the landing system.

Multi-Mission Aircraft

Bombardier Defense and General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada are collaborating to deliver the next-generation Multi-Mission and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) aircraft that will meet the requirements set by the Government of Canada for the Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft (CMMA) program. Both long-standing Canadian-based companies are leveraging their extensive networks to prepare for success in a competitive, open, and transparent procurement process, and are joining forces as Canada’s Multi-Mission Aircraft Team.

Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft (CMMA)
Rendering of Canada’s Multi-Mission Aircraft proposed by Bombardier Defense and General Dynamics Mission Systems – Canada

With a long and highly successful track record delivering multiple specialized aircraft across the globe, Bombardier Defense stands out among special mission aircraft providers. Bombardier’s products have proven themselves as reliable and fully interoperable platforms through versatile projects for some of the world’s biggest defense contractors and for governments across the world, including the United States, Germany, and more.

The foundation for the Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft Team’s solution is the highly efficient and agile Global 6500 aircraft, the right-sized jet for the CMMA with next-generation engines, long range, high endurance, and coupled with proven reliability and better fuel efficiency as documented in the jet’s recently published Environmental Product Declaration. The Global family of aircraft is the platform of choice for over 10 different mission types across the globe, given its ability to deploy in all weather conditions with full mission payload, its ultimate combination of speed, range and endurance, and its 24/7 worldwide support infrastructure.

The aircraft will host General Dynamics’ best-in-class integrated mission systems, drawing directly from Canada’s investment in the newly modernized CP140 Block IV and CH-148 Cyclone. This operationally-proven Canadian design forms the basis for the iterative and low risk integration of modernized sensors and systems enabling Canada to leap even further ahead of peers and adversaries alike. This future-proof foundation will also ensure continued operational relevance, responding to Canada’s emergent needs through the middle of this century.

«Canadians deserve a leading-edge fleet for their Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft program. Bombardier is eager to take on this opportunity to deliver a state-of-the-art platform. This is a generational opportunity for a Canadian company to leverage its Made-In-Canada Global 6500 aircraft, renowned for their outstanding performance and customized mission enhancers for each client. Having Bombardier work on CMMA is the right choice from an aircraft performance standpoint, and also, an opportunity for Canada to foster innovation, bolster its capabilities and support talent across Canada’s aerospace industry from coast to coast to coast», said Jean-Christophe Gallagher, Executive Vice-President, Aircraft Sales and Bombardier Defense.

«For decades, General Dynamics has been proud to provide solutions to Canada’s defense requirements. This new partnership unlocks a generational opportunity to couple our leading edge, trusted mission systems to ultimately provide a made-in-Canada solution that supports Canada’s multi-mission airborne needs into the future, while creating a readily exportable capability that will benefit Canada in so many other ways». said Joel Houde, Vice President and General Manager, General Dynamics Mission Systems – International.

Bringing together the unparalleled expertise offered by both organizations, this platform provides the very latest in airborne mission management technology while ensuring Canada’s continued leadership in the ASW and ISR domains.

With Canada’s largest business jet manufacturer and one of Canada’s largest defense contractor joining forces to deliver a Canadian Multi-Mission aircraft, considerable benefits to the Pan-Canadian aerospace ecosystem will result, including the creation of high caliber jobs, numerous opportunities for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), scientific communities, and educational institutions in various regions of the country. With competitive acquisition and significantly lower operating costs, cross decking of existing mission system capabilities onto a high-performance, modern Global 6500 aircraft, which represents a low-risk, evolutionary approach to achieving Canada’s multi-mission aircraft needs.

General Dynamics Mission Systems – Canada supports the Government of Canada (GoC) across many projects including delivering the CP140 Aurora Incremental Modernization Project (AIMP). This modernization, along with the previous Aurora Structural Life Extension Project (ASLEP), will keep the CP140 at the leading edge of ASW capabilities and extend the operational life of the CP140 Aurora into the 2030s. The published CMMA procurement timeframe was prudently designed by the Department of National Defence to permit the Government of Canada to fully engage with industry to explore options to meet Canada’s multi-mission aircraft needs and to have sufficient time to evaluate options. The Canadian-based platform brought forward by Bombardier Defense and General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada, providing world leading capabilities in ASW, ISR and operational efficiencies leveraging the Global 6500 aircraft is a prime example.

More information on Canada’s Multi-Mission Aircraft Team will be unveiled as part of a May 31, 2023, press conference at Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CANSEC) in Ottawa.