Author Archives: VMSB

Elbit Systems of Australia has closed out the delivery phase of the Land 125 Phase 3C contract supplying XACTth65 thermal weapon sights to the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The Maintenance phase of Land 125 Phase 3C continues until mid-2020.

Since delivery commenced in September 2016, nearly 4,800 XACTth65 thermal sights have been supplied to the Australian Army.

(XACTth65 thermal sights, Elbit Systems of Australia).

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The United Kingdom took delivery of first AW101 Commando Merlin Mk4 helicopter from Leonardo Helicopters. The event marks a major milestone for Leonardo’s Merlin Life Sustainment Programme (MLSP) contract to convert 25 former Royal Air Force helicopters to fully marinised amphibious support Commando Merlin helicopters for use by the UK’s Commando Helicopter Force.

The aircraft are fitted cockpit featuring five 10” x 8” integrated display units, two touch screen units for controlling the aircraft’s systems and mission equipment, as well as two cursor control devices to control the tactical displays and defensive aids system

The Commando Merlin aircraft will be fully supported through the existing Integrated Merlin Operational Support (IMOS) contract

Leonardo has also been contracted to deliver a range of Commando Merlin synthetic training devices comprising two flight training devices , a flight navigation procedures trainer and a rear crew trainer . These will be delivered during 2018 and 2019.

The MLSP contract, valued at £388 million, was awarded to Leonardo in January 2014 Phase One comprised the delivery of seven Merlin Mk3 interim aircraft and this was completed on schedule in March 2016. Phase Two will see the delivery of 25 Commando Merlin Mk4/4A aircraft from now through to the end of 2020.

(AW101 Commando Merlin Mk4, Leonardo Helicopters).

(AW101 Commando Merlin Mk4, Leonardo Helicopters).


BAE Systems has been awarded a £1.5 billion contract by the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence for delivery of the seventh Astute-class nuclear-powered attach submarine HMS Agincourt and a further £900 million for the next phase of the Dreadnought-class submarine programme.

Construction on the first of four new Dreadnought-class submarines started in October 2016.

The first three submarines in the Astute-class HMS Astute, HMS Ambush and HMS Artful are already in service with the Royal Navy, while the fourth, fifth and sixth submarines are under various stages of construction.

Dreadnought-class is the programme to replace the four Vanguard-class submarines.

(Astute-class, BAE Systems).


Saab has signed a contract with the Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command Headquarters (FDFLCHQ) for deliveries of training systems to the Finnish Army.

The order value amounts to approximately SEK47 million and deliveries will start in 2018.

(Training systems, Saab).


Leonardo and the Australian Ministry of Defence have agreed to establish a helicopter transmission repair and overhaul facility in Melbourne capable of servicing MRH Taipan military transport helicopters and certain civil helicopter main gear boxes.
It is planned to be set up into an existing facility of Leonardo and to commence operation in mid-2020.

Acquired in 2006, the fleet of 47 MRH Taipan helicopters, a dedicated variant of the NHIndustries NH90 helicopter for the Australian Armed Forces for both land and maritime operations, will next year commence replacing Sikorsky Black Hawk aircraft in the 6th Aviation Regiment in Sydney, where they will gradually take over the role of aviation support to counter terrorism.

(NH90, Australian Ministry of Defence).


The British Ministry of Defence announced on March 31st that it will re-join the ARTEC Consortium (joint venture of KMW and Rheinmetall) Boxer 8×8 armoured Vehicle-programme.

The negotiations are conducted by the Organization for Joint Armaments Cooperation (OCCAR) and ARTEC.

Together with partners BAE Systems, Pearson Engineering and Thales UK, the ARTEC Consortium will thus be creating or securing over 1,000 jobs in the United Kingdom.


Thales UK has signed a €4.2 million contract with General Dynamics Land Systems-UK to install Acusonic automatic threat warning systems to the Ajax family of tracked armoured vehicles.

The Acusonic system detects the direction of the incoming enemy fire and reports it to the vehicle crew, enabling them to respond quickly to the threat.

Each vehicle is equipped with three sensors that enable the crew to detect threats at 360°. 735 systems have been ordered.

Athena, Ajax, Ares, Apollo, Atlas and Argus combat vehicles are scheduled to go into operation in 2020 for the British Army.