Egypt is to receive 65 LANTIRN targeting pods under the US Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program. Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the navigation and targeting pod systems will come from existing USAF stocks and are most likely to be used on Cairo's fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcons. Some of Egypt's F-16s already operate LM's AN/AAQ-33 Sniper targeting pod, LANTIRN's successor. More »
C-130J family transport planes: Lockheed Martin has been contracted to supply two US government-configured C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft to France. Work on the $133.4 million deal is expected to be completed by August 2020. A stretched-out version of the C-130J, the Super Hercules acquisition comes as France tries to fill a cargo and refueling capability gap created by problems related to the development and delivery of the A400M by Airbus. More »
Rapid Fire | Friday, December 2, 2016, 00:58 UTC ()
Following the completion of afterburner engine runs last week, Boeing has announced that the first flight of the Boeing-Saab T-X trainer will take place before the end of the year. However, several tests remain to be carried out prior to the full flight, including low, medium, and high-speed taxi tests, as well as takoff, climb, and landing. The Boeing-Saab offering is one of the two clean sheet designs being offered to the USAF, the other being Northrop Grumman, as part of the T-X competition. Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin has partnered with KAI to offer the T-50A, a version of the Korean company’s T-50 trainer, while Raytheon has joined with Leonardo and CAE on the T-100, which uses Alenia Aermacchi M-346 as the basis.
Northrop Grumman has announced the completion of two critical design reviews for the Tern UAS that it is designing alongside the Office of Naval Research, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Mid-October saw the NG team complete a critical design review for the vehicle’s General Electric engine, while the latest review covered its vehicle management system. The Tern program has been undertaken in order to develop a new UAS system that can be deployed from maritime platforms for surveillance and strike missions. It is also being designed to fly in vertical and horizontal modes.
Norwegian UAS maker Prox Dynamics has been acquired by sensor developer FLIR Systems in a cash deal worth $134 million. Once finalized, FLIR will have access to the company’s product line, and will continue to develop new devices to support military and para-military intelligence operations. A specialist in covert surveillance systems, products offered include the pocket-sized Black Hornet aerial sensor, which can be hand-launched by soldiers on the battlefield to collect intelligence and support surveillance operations.
Middle East & North Africa
The Iraqi government is reportedly set to finalize a deal to buy the HQ-9 long-range surface-to-air missile system from China. Valued at $2.5 billion, Baghdad is expected to finance the acquisition using credit from China, and paid for in installments of $833 million. The deal may also include Type 99 tanks and other Chinese military equipment.
In response to the current missile testing by the Ukrainian military near Crimea, Russian warships have taken up position off the peninsula in order to improve their air defenses. The two-day exercises, which began yesterday, have angered Moscow, as their forces remain on high alert and fearful that international flights may be delayed. Ukrainian officials have dismissed the fears, saying the testing is being carried out in accordance with international law and does not threaten Crimean air space.
A consortium led by state-run PGZ will provide six batteries of the PSR-A Pilica system to the Polish Ministry of Defense. Delivery of the anti-aircraft platforms will take place between 2019 and 2022, and will cost Warsaw $180 million. Plans to beef up all forms of air-defense capabilities has $9.5 billion earmarked for middle-range air and anti-missile defense systems, and a further $4.7 million available for short-range air-defense procurements.
Australia’s government has issued a request for tender to three shortlisted designers for the production of their multibillion dollar Offshore Patrol Vessel program, with officials telling designers Damen, Fassmer and Luerssen that they must focus on local shipbuilding enterprises to support the project. Prospective contracts will cover 12 vessels and are slated to replace Australia’s Armidale-class patrol boats. The project is part of the Australian government’s $89 billion investment in naval ships and submarines over the next 20 years.
Contracts have been signed between India and the US subsidiary of BAE Systems for the provision of of 145 M777A2 LW155 ultralight howitzers. The $737 million deal will see BAE partner with Indian private sector defense company Mahindra Defence Systems to assemble 120 ultralight howitzers, while the remaining 25 guns will be supplied over the next three years. Meanwhile, neighboring Pakistan’s own self-propelled howitzer competition is shaping up, with South Africa’s Denel and Serbia’s Yugoimport-SDPR offering their T5-52 and NORA B-52 guns respectively.
| Officials from Lockheed Martin have announced that the T-50A trainer has commenced flight operations in order to test the plane's capabilities. A joint effort between LM and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), the T-50A is based off the legacy T-50 and is being offered to the USAF's T-X program. For combat training, the aircraft incorporates air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, an avionics suite with electronic warfare capabilities, and a multi-mode radar.
| The US Navy plans to invest in more F/A-18E/F Super Hornets as a means of stopping a shortfall in capabilities. Delays in the fielding of the F-35C, longer-than-expected maintenance times for older model Hornets, and higher usage rates, have resulted in a predicted shortfall of 70 fighters over the next number of years. If implemented, the plan could receive funding in the fiscal 2018 budget and keep the Super Hornet production line in continuation for the next several years.
| The Iraqi government is reportedly set to finalize a deal to buy the HQ-9 long-range surface-to-air missile system from China. Valued at $2.5 billion, Baghdad is expected to finance the acquisition using credit from China, and paid for in installments of $833 million. The deal may also include Type 99 tanks and other Chinese military equipment. More »
| Contracts have been signed between India and the US subsidiary of BAE Systems for the provision of of 145 M777A2 LW155 ultralight howitzers. The $737 million deal will see BAE partner with Indian private sector defense company Mahindra Defence Systems to assemble 120 ultralight howitzers, while the remaining 25 guns will be supplied over the next three years. Meanwhile, neighboring Pakistan's own self-propelled howitzer competition is shaping up, with South Africa's Denel and Serbia's Yugoimport-SDPR offering their T5-52 and NORA B-52 guns respectively. More »
| Defense officials from Bolivia are exploring the possibility of purchasing A-29 Super Tucanos from Brazil. The Embraer-made light attack aircraft will be used to clamp down on illegal activity, namely drug and mineral trafficking, along both nation's 3,423 km shared border. According to Brazil's defense ministry, Bolivian interest in the counter-insurgency plane was raised during a meeting to deepen bilateral relations. More »
| The US State Department has cleared the potential sale of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles - Extended Range (JASSM-ER) to Poland. Estimated at $200 million, if passed Warsaw will receive 70 AGM-158B JASSM-ER missiles, 2 AGM-158B Flight Test Vehicles, 2 AGM-158 Mass Simulant vehicles, and 1 Captive Carry variant of the AGM-158B Flight Test Vehicle. F-16 C & D upgrades, along with training services, and additional supporting equipment are also included in the deal.