The US Army wants 160 light utility helicopters, but was blocked from buying new aircraft by the high cost. The current theory is to upgrade 160 old UH-1Hs in the National Guard fleet with new engines and avionics. The Army has asked industry for ideas costing under $3 million per aircraft. --Stephen V Cole
July 18; Congress announced that it will cut funding for the F-22 next generation fighter to the point where it is unlikely that the aircraft will be bought in significant numbers. The F-22 was expected to cost some $200 million dollars each. Given the lack of any comparable hostile aircraft on the horizon, and the need to find more money for maintenance and training of the current fighter force, it was decided to cut back on the F-22.
The U.S. Army's next budget (starting in October, 1999) calls for heavy emphasis on missiles and high tech. For example;
Not all nations have the same priorities when it comes to procurement. For example;
- THE NETHERLANDS will continue upgrading 180 Leopard-2 tanks to the "improved" standard. They want to buy: new recon vehicles to replace the M113C&R, new armored fighting vehicles to replace the YPRs, new artillery to replace the self-propelled M109 and towed M114, new medium-range anti-tank missiles, and improved air defense systems.
- SWEDEN is replacing its older tanks with Leopard-2s and its older armored fighting vehicles with the new CV90. Other important acquisition programs include: new C3I systems, smart top-attack artillery and mortar ammunition, the ARTHUR artillery locating radar system, the new RBS-23 air-defense missile system, upgrades for the HAWK RBS-97 air-defense missile system, fast-deployment military bridges, and minefield breaching systems.
- ROMANIA is upgrading its MiG-21 fighters to the Lancer standard. Procurement deals reached or imminent include: twin-35mm air defense guns, IAR-330 Puma helicopters, Magic-2 air-to-air missiles, and IAR-99 jet trainers. The Romanians want to buy C-130s and AH-1RO Dracula combat helicopters. Sept 98
Japan's Defense Budget is Full of Pork and Temptation
JAPAN reprimanded 42 officers, including the chiefs of staff of the Ground Forces and Air Forces, for covering up the defense procurement scandal. Dec. 1998
Encouraged by their ability to coordinate military operations in Kosovo, the European Union has agreed to harmonize military requirements and weapons procurement among its national armies. July, 1999