The most-read stories on the defenseworld.net news portal included Thailand terminating its tanks contract with Ukraine, Canada’s plans to buy Boeing Hornets, Turkey’s S-400 missile deal with Russia and the THAAD missile issue in South Korea and the submarine markets around the world.
Thailand seeks battle tanks from China
The year started with Thailand deciding to terminate the contract to buy Ukrainian tanks due to the failure of supplies of the equipment from the Kiev’s side. Thailand decided to buy VT-4 tanks from China. In May 2017, Thailand bought 28 battle tanks from China and also set up military cooperation with China. It decided to buy three T Yuan class Submarines from Beijing.
Canadian fighter aircraft replacement program, Boeing-Bambardier spat
Canada started negotiations to buy 18 Boeing Super Hornets from Boeing early February last year, originally announced in the fall of 2016. Ottawa called off the negotiations with Boeing over anti-dumping investigations initiated by US Department of Commerce against Bombardier in June last year. Canada finally scrapped the deal and is buying older Australian F-18 fighters and will soon launch a competition to replace Canada’s aging fighter aircraft.
Turkey-Russia S-400 anti-aircraft missile deal
Russia continued talks with India and Turkey for the sale of S-400 anti-aircraft missiles from 2016 to 2017. Russia’s own S-400 regiment entered service on January 9 last year. Turkey sought Russian credit for buying S-400 system in March. The deal got approval from both Russia and Turkey in April, followed by price negotiations. Russia agreed to part with S-400 technology with Turkey in October. Turkey expressed its interest in buying S-500 missile defense system in the same month. Russia decides to advance loan of US$1.375 Billion to help Turkey, 55 per cent of US$2.5 Billion to buy four S-400 surface-to-air missile defence system. Turkey will receive the first batch of Russian-built S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems in 2019. Other than Turkey, Russia was able to sell S-400 air defense system to Saudi Arabia, India last year.
THAAD deployment, South Korea and North Korea and missile tests
If 2016 was the year of Syria, 2017 can be called the year of North Korea along with its nuclear tests and South Korea with its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) deployment. North Korea restarted the plutonium-producing nuclear reactor by the end of January 2017. The United States started the process of deploying the THAAD system in March.
Seoul rejected US President Donald Trump’s demand of $1 billion for the THAAD system installation in South Korea in April. China tested a new type of missile to counter THAAD missile. North Korea tests ballistic missile rocket Hwasong-12 and a second scud class short-range ballistic missile in May. North Korea continues missile launches in June. South Korea seeks $38.7 billion military budget for 2017 and orders freeze on THAAD missile deployment at the same time. North Korean missile lands in Japanese exclusive economic zone in July. In retaliation, South Korea and the US fired a barrage of missiles, including South’s Hyunmoo-2A and US ATACMS to warn Pyongyang. US deployed four more THAAD into its new base in Seongju amidst protests by local residents in September. 2017 ended with North Korea preparing to launch new satellite.
Boom in global submarines market, $70 billion deals In offing
With over 451 submarines in service worldwide, the global market of submarines fleet is expected to surge up to $100 billion for the next decade.
Global submarines projects estimated $69.3 billion are currently underway. The key vendors are Naval Group (formerly DCNS) (France), Thyssenkurp Marine Systems (Germany), South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), PT PAL Indonesia, Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corp (USC), Reliance Defense (India) and BAE Systems (UK).
The Australian government is spending A$50 billion (USD 37.5 billion) on a fleet of 12 new submarines to replace the existing Collins-class submarines. Norway has been looking for a partner for its new generation submarine project. Germany’s Thyssenkurp Marine Systems and French Naval group has been shortlisted for the country’s replacement of six Ula-class submarines. Thyssenkurp is offering a version of the Klasse 218SG designed for Singapore. The Indian government announced the indigenous construction of seven stealth frigates and six nuclear-powered submarines at a cost of about INR 1 lakh crore (USD 15 Billion). India is planning to manufacture four ‘Talwar’ class frontline warships costing over INR 30,000 crore (USD 4.5 billion) for the navy. BAE Systems has been awarded a £201 million (USD 230 million) contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to design successor of the Royal Navy's Vanguard class submarines.
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