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The Weekly Defence Podcast

UK exports, Harpoon dilemma and JADC2


In this episode of The Weekly Defence Podcast, the Shephard news team delves into major recent developments on land, at sea and in the air.
Newsround [1:24]

After more than three decades, the UK has secured an export deal with Egypt for the sale of two former Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels.

Fort Austin and Fort Rosalie are two retired ships that will be replaced by the Fleet Solid Support ships in the coming years.

The UK government has released its latest annual report on defence exports.

Figures for 2020 showed that while the UK has maintained its presence in the top 10 defence exporters worldwide, sales did dip by 28% compared with 2019.

In the military training domain, after the UK MoD’s ASDOT programme stalled in 2019 the government is now looking to fill some training gaps with its Operational Readiness Training Aerial Support Service (ORTASS) requirement.

Although industry participants are yet to be formally announced, it looks like there is already a clear winner.

In Focus

Air- [6:37]

The UK aims to find a replacement for its RAF BAe 146 fleet, which will be retired in Q1 2022.

A tender, released on 28 October and worth £80 million ($109 million), calls for industry proposals to provide two civilian business jets under a Command Support Air Transport Recapitalisation (CSAT Recap) acquisition. However, it looks like the initial agreement signed by the MoD was for four aircraft.

Sea - [15:45]

The UK RN finds itself in between a rock and a hard place as it seeks to replace its Harpoon missiles. A debate is still on going on whether the RN should risk to incur in a capability gap when the Harpoon will be retired in 2023. Negotiations are ongoing about the option of investing in an interim solution and a gap until 2028 which is when the Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon will be (FC/AW) will be available.

Training – [13:04]

The USN has released its ‘Navy Aviation Vision 2030-2035’ report which paves the way for ‘high-end’ future training. With the aim of gaining advantage over the ‘Great power competition’ and rebalancing the use of virtual vs live training, a series of projects and initiatives are ongoing.

Interview – Viasat on JADC2 and SATCOM [30:09]

News Editor Ben Vogel is on the line with Craig Miller, President of Government Systems at Viasat, to discuss the company’s involvement in the US Joint All-Domain Control and Communication (JADC2) programme and upcoming launch of the Viasat-3 constellation into orbit.

This episode was produced by Noemi Distefano with music and sound mixing by Fred Prest.