Rheinmetall and UVision agree strategic partnership on loitering munition

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The US Marine Corps is equipping vehicles with Hero-120 for its OPF-M requirement, and Rheinmetall and UVision foresee integrating Hero into Lynx and Fuchs armoured vehicles. (UVision)

Rheinmetall announced in a press release on 12 January that it had signed a strategic partnership agreement with UVision on the Israeli company's Hero loitering munition aimed in the medium term at establishing a joint venture for the development and production of the munition. Romano Ricca, chief business development and sales officer of Rheinmetall Weapons and Munition subsidiary RWM Italia, said that the agreement was signed on 11 October 2021.

Rheinmetall will market UVision products in Europe as the first phase of the co-operation, with joint development activities planned for the second stage. The German company will pursue European and NATO standards for Hero, as well as work on requirements and customisation of the loitering munition, Ricca said. The weapon would be integrated into land and sea platforms, he added.


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New CEO to prepare Sparton to end sonobuoy joint venture

by Marc Selinger

ERAPSCO, a joint venture between Sparton Corporation and Ultra Electronics, makes sonobuoys for the US Navy. (ERAPSCO)

At US naval electronic systems producer Sparton Corporation, a priority for its new chief executive officer (CEO) is preparing the company for a shift in how it supplies sonobuoys, one of its main products, to a key customer.

Sparton and UK-based Ultra Electronics have been producing sonobuoys for the US Navy (USN) through a 35-year-old joint venture (JV) called the Expendable Reliable Acoustic Path Sonobuoy Company (ERAPSCO). However, in response to the US Department of Justice's concerns about a lack of competition for the air-launched, submarine-tracking devices, Sparton and Ultra are supposed to dissolve the JV and begin bidding for USN sonobuoy contracts separately.

“That's going to be sea change for us as we move forward,” said Tracy Howard, who became Sparton's president and CEO in December 2021. “We're working through that with the navy now. Ultimately, we're both going to be needed by the navy to supply the volume of the sonobuoys they need,” he added.


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Fairbanks Morse Defense eyes more acquisitions

by Marc Selinger

Welin Lambie, which Fairbanks Morse Defense acquired in 2021, designs and manufactures crane-like davits that launch and recover boats from ships or shore-based installations. (Welin Lambie)

Fairbanks Morse Defense (FMD), which has purchased a host of companies during the past 13 months, is still in the acquisition market, according to the US naval supplier's chief executive officer George Whittier.

“We're always talking to folks” about potential acquisitions, Whittier told Janes in an interview. “It won't surprise me if we do a couple more [deals] in 2022.”

FMD is particularly interested in companies that could benefit from its extensive service capabilities. “For example, we wouldn't necessarily buy a company that makes doors or hatches because you don't really do a lot of maintenance on doors and hatches,” Whittier said.


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Israel, Bahrain sign defence collaboration MoU

by Charles Forrester

Bahrain's Minister of Defense Affairs H.E. Lieutenant General Abdullah Bin Hassan Al Noaimi (left) and Israeli Minister of Defence Benny Gantz signing a defence co-operation memorandum of understanding on 3 February 2022. (Israeli Ministry of Defence/Ariel Hermoni)

Israel and Bahrain have signed a defence collaboration memorandum of understanding (MoU) during a visit by Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz to the Gulf kingdom on 3 February.

According to a release by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the MoU framework will support intelligence sharing, military-to-military co-operation, defence industrial collaboration, and more.

“We have reached new heights today in Israel-Bahrain relations with the important meetings that took place and with the signing of the historic MoU. We are building on the groundbreaking Abraham Accords and deepening ties between our nations. Only one year following the signing of the [Abraham] Accords, we have achieved an important defence agreement, which will contribute to the security of both countries and the stability of the region,” Gantz said in a statement.


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Rheinmetall announced in a press release on 12 January that it had signed a strategic partnership ag...

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