PODCAST: FLRAA update, UK land programmes and Russian microeletronics


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In this episode of The Weekly Defence Podcast, our team of subject matter experts delves into stories from the land and air domains, and in an interview with Supacat we look at the wider impact of the Integrated Review on some key British Army programmes.

Newsround [00:55]

French company Dassault confirmed on 4 May a follow-on order from Egypt for 30 Rafale multirolefighter aircraft in an estimated €4 billion deal.

The delivery schedule for the 30 extra Rafales was undisclosed at the time of the announcement, and Shephard has since learned that the contract has still not officially been signed as a bank loan needs to be finalised that is 85% guaranteed by the French state.

Boeing is poised to provide India with six additional P-8I Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, after the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress that the State Department approved the potential sale.

Elbit Systems has successfully completed acceptance tests for combat suites aboard the Hellenic Coast Guard’s new patrol vessels in the Aegean.

Trials included integration level tests of the combat systems and subsystems onboard the vessel as well as live firing tests from the onboard remote-controlled weapon stations.

Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Russian conglomerate Rostec, recently warned that his companies are accelerating the development of domestic microelectronics ‘as foreign deliveries can be stopped at any time’.

The need to ensure technological independence from foreign suppliers requires Russia to spend big over an extended period of time. Yet it is debatable whether Russia can guarantee stable funding in the post-COVID Russian economy.

In focus

Air Editor Tim Martin reports on the latest news concerning the US Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) programme.

Ahead of a FLRAA contract award to Bell or a joint Boeing and Sikorsky team, the US Army has decided to keep manufacturing costs and programme risks confidential.

Senior Land Reporter Tim Fish looks at potential delays in Canada on the Long-Range Reconnaissance System for the LAV, amid reports that one of the companies involved in the programme is suffering severe financial issues.

And as the Australian government seeks FMS approval from the US for an upgrade to its Abrams tank fleet, Tim also looks at what this means for the country’s land forces.

Interview – Supacat [19:00]

News Editor Ben Vogel is on the line with Phil Applegarth, director and head of Supacat, and Steve Austin, engineering director of the company, to dive into how UK industry reacts to the Integrated Review and MoD Command Paper.

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