India: RSH/LUH light helos: Integration work is being carried out on India's Light Combat helicopter (LCH) to facilitate anti-tank guided missiles. Manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is conducting the work following the successful high altitude trials of the helicopter in the mountainous Kashmir region. HAL has also commenced limited series production and intends to manufacture five LCH helicopters, confident that definite orders will come through. More »
Rapid Fire | Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 00:58 UTC ()
With the tensions between Raytheon and Leonardo-Finmeccanica on their collaboration on the USAF T-X trainer competition seemingly resolved, Raytheon has announced that if the T-100 is selected, work will be carried out in Meridian, Mississippi. In order to facilitate the work, Raytheon proposes to build a final assembly and checkout facility (FACO) in Meridian to complete construction of the trainers. While it remains to be seen how much of the trainer’s construction and assembly will be carried out in the US, a company spokesperson said that at least 70 percent of the T-100 training system — including ground-based systems —will be built in the US.
With thanks to the sales of Sikorsky helicopters, Lockheed Martin announced a quarterly profit that pushed total revenue up 14.8 percent for the fiscal year. The company also raised their adjusted profit and sales outlook for the year. The aeronautics division saw an increase of 6.8 percent due to higher net sales of approximately $300 million for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program due to increased volume on aircraft production and sustainment activities.
In an effort to close the book on a number of graft scandals, Embraer has reached an agreement with US and Brazilian authorities to settle a six-year corruption investigation, agreeing to pay $205.5 million for the privilege. Investigations into defense and commercial aircraft deals between 2007 and 2011 with Saudi Arabia, India, the Dominican Republic, and Mozambique alleged that Embraer had made more than $83 million in profits from foreign contracts involving $11.7 million in bribes and other payments concealed through false accounting. Anti-graft measures by the company in recent years include replacement of senior management, reinforcement of compliance efforts and the curtailed use of third-party sales representatives, who drew suspicion in deals under review.
Middle East & North Africa
Pakistan’s Defense Ministry has announced a number of “massive” defense deals in the pipeline with the Turkish government. One deal involves Ankara purchasing a significant number of Super Mushshak basic trainers while Turkey’s STM will upgrade three Agosta 90B submarines, originally designed by French firm DCNS, to Pakistan’s Navy. The deals represent a continuation in the growth of defense ties between the two governments with analysts believing that in time, Turkey could overtake China as the number one supplier of advanced military technology to Pakistan.
Images of Russia’s newest and largest intercontinental ballistic missile ever developed have emerged for the first time. Currently undergoing development at the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau, the RS-28 Sarmat is set to replace the RS-36, a family of ICBMs and space launch vehicles that entered service in the 1970s and 1980s. The missile is expected to carry up to 10 heavy warheads, or 16 lighter ones, or a combination of warheads and countermeasures to overwhelm enemy missile defenses.
The UK RAF has commenced an operational evaluation of upgrades to their Eurofighter Typhoon, giving it the ground-attack capabilities of their Panavia Tornado GR4 fleet. Enhancements include additional human-machine interface integration and increased air-to-surface targeting capabilities for in-service tranche 2 aircraft, which will contribute to its future role. Munitions to be eventually integrated include MBDA’s Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air and Brimstone 2 air-to-surface missiles as well as the Storm Shadow stand-off air-to-surface missiles. The RAF plans to have the Typhoon take over from the Tornado by the end of 2018.
Integration work is being carried out on India’s Light Combat helicopter (LCH) to facilitate anti-tank guided missiles. Manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is conducting the work following the successful high altitude trials of the helicopter in the mountainous Kashmir region. HAL has also commenced limited series production and intends to manufacture five LCH helicopters, confident that definite orders will come through.
Hyundai Heavy Industries will build two frigates for the Philippine Navy under a contract with the country’s Department of National Defense. Designed to be a smaller light combatant and successor to the Incheon-class frigate currently in service with South Korea, the vessels will be 107 meters long, have a maximum speed of 25 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 15 knots. Weaponry will include missiles, torpedoes and guns with sensors controlled by the latest combat management system.
Testing of the Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems (TALONS) on DARPA’s Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) :
| Following the butting of horns over who runs the show, Raytheon and Leonardo-Finmeccanica's joint effort as part of the USAF T-X trainer competition is back on track. Both companies came together in February this year to offer the Italian firm’s T-100 jet trainer; however, Raytheon's role as prime contractor has riled Leonardo since they designed and built the aircraft and had already sold the M-346, on which the T-100 is based, to Italy, Israel, Poland and Singapore. Other bones of contention include work share roles and assembly as well as the possibility by Raytheon to export the aircraft as an "American" plane to governments who prefer doing business through the US Foreign Military Sales program.
| For the first time since WW2, UK and Japanese fighters will duke it out in aerial combat drills at Japan's northern Misawa Air Base. Four RAF Eurofighter Typhoons and a C-17 support plane touched down on Saturday and will face off against and fly with Japanese F-15s and domestically built Mitsubishi F-2s in an exercise dubbed Guardian North 16. The exercise is also being seen as an opportunity by Tokyo to see the Typhoon in action as it ponders the replacement of the F-2 and the choice of using a cheaper non-stealth superiority fighter based on an existing design or a much more expensive program to develop their own indigenous stealth fighter. More »
| Four companies have been awarded contracts by the US Navy to conduct risk reduction work on their designs for the MQ-25 Stingray. Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and Lockheed Martin received contracts for $43 million each while Northrop Grumman received $35.8 million. The risk reduction work will see the companies alter previous designs of the MQ-25 as an unmanned strike bomber to fit its new role as an aerial tanker under the carrier-based air refueling system (CBARS) program.
| Eurofighter Typhoons recently ordered by Kuwait will be fitted with Lockheed Martin's Sniper advanced targeting pods. Under a contract with the Aircraft division of Leonardo-Finmeccanica, a member of the Eurofighter consortium, Lockheed Martin will supply 18 pods for Kuwaiti Typhoons, plus integration and logistics support. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2017.
| Norwegian F-35s grounded last month for repairs will be back in the air by November, sooner than expected. 15 F-35A Lightning II aircraft had been grounded in September due to peeling and crumbling insulation in avionics cooling lines inside the fuel tanks. The Norwegian Defense Ministry said the insulation is now being removed and extra filters installed to intercept any potential remains, although it has not yet been decided whether this fix should be regarded as temporary or permanent.
| Rumors that talks are underway between Russia and Pakistan over the Su-35 fighter have been dismissed. Anatoly Punchuk, the deputy director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), said no such negotiations are being held despite earlier reports that Islamabad is keen to switch to Russian fighters by buying the Su-35. Other Russian-made items wanted by Pakistan include tanks and air-defense systems.