Showing results 1 - 10 of 327 for the search term(s): super hornet
May 23, 2017 05:00 UTC
- A U-2S Dragon Lady participated in the Northern Edge military exercises based out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in order to test new technologies on this later version of the 5th generation upgraded version of the venerable aircraft. The high-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance plane participated alongside some 6000 personnel and 200 aircraft from every service branch, in an exercise that aims to improve interoperability and cohesion between the various branches. For the U-2S’s participation in the exercise, 130 personnel from the 9th RW were deployed to JBE.
- Boeing is planning future upgrades for the F/A-18 Super Hornet that will keep the fighters flying into the 2040s. If approved, the plan will see continued development of the aircraft after the current Block 3 enhancement planned for the E/F variant of the Super Hornet enters production in 2020. Speaking on the plan, Larry Burt, director of Global Sales & Marketing for the Global Strike division, said that there “could well be lots of new capabilities added after Block 3. The Block 3 is built around a new processor that is a hundred times more powerful that today’s. This processor resides outside of the aircraft’s Operational Flight Program [computer], and so is not tied to its five-year software development cycle. It is truly open architecture that allows for plug and play of weapons, sensors, and systems.”
Middle East & North Africa
- The Turkish government has approved a deal with local firm Tusas Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for the design, development and serial production of 12 Hurkus-C armed trainer aircraft. Ankara’s procurement office, the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM), said the program will maximize the use of locally developed software and hardware, including in the design and integration stages. So far, the aircraft has test-fired the L-UMTAS, a laser-guided, long-range, anti-tank missile designed by state-owned missile manufacturer Roketsan, and can fire several types of locally developed ammunition including CIRIT, TEBER, HGK and LGK. TAI expects the armed Hurkus to be widely used in Turkey’s increasing counterinsurgency fight against pro-Kurdish and Islamic militants both inside Turkey and across its Syrian and Iraqi borders.
- Saudi Arabia’s Military Industries Company has entered an strategic partnership with Raytheon after a memorandum of understanding was signed at the weekend. The ceremony took place in Riyadh and was witnessed by both the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and a visiting Donald Trump. Under the terms of the deal, Raytheon will establish a wholly owned subsidiary in the country, Raytheon Arabia, that will implement programs to create indigenous defense, aerospace and security capabilities. Among subsidiary functions will be in-country program management and development of supply and sourcing capabilities. Raytheon said it is expected that Raytheon Arabia activities will positively impact the economies of both countries and lead to job creation in both. They would also continue worldwide growth in the areas of air defense systems, smart munitions, C4I systems and defense system cybersecurity.
- The French Navy has fired an Aster 30 surface-to-air missile as part of a training exercise aimed at preparing crew and vessel in engagements against airborne threats. The May 18 exercise was conducted onboard the Forbin, a Horizon-class air defense frigate, while the vessel was at sea, and marks the third time that a missile was launched from the ship since its entry into service. Paris have also armed the Aster 30 on the Forbin’s sister ship, Chevalier Paul, and will be fitted on the two forthcoming multi-mission frigates to be adapted to the air defense mission. Five intermediate frigates will also be fitted with the system following a new work order issued last month.
- Italy’s Fincantieri is looking to acquire a majority stake in French shipbuilder STX France. Fincantieri is looking to purchase a 66.66% stake in STX at a cost estimated to be worth $89 million, and plans to pay for the acquisition out of its current finances. The two companies sign the share purchase agreement late last week and Fincantieri is negotiating with the French government for the finalization of the shareholders’ agreement.
- Rolls Royce will supply its MT30 gas engines to power the upcoming Daegu-class frigates for the South Korean Navy. The order covers the delivery of engines for the second third and fourth vessel of the eight frigate program, and marks the first application for MT30 outside the UK and US markets. Work for Seoul’s Daegu-class program has been split among a number of Korean shipbuilders with Daewoo responsible for the deliver of the second frigate, while Hyundai is building ships three and four.
- The AVIC Harbin Z-19E attack helicopter has conducted its maiden flight. An export version of the Z-19, testing on the E variant included hovering, ground-effect manouevring, and low passes. Designed for anti-tank and ground attack missions, the manufacturer stated that the helicopter is “able to be deployed for battlefield support and a variety of other missions in a complicated battlefield environment during both day and night.”
- Houthi forces fire missile at Saudi F-15 in Yemen:
May 23, 2017 04:59 UTC
The US Navy flies the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet fighters, and has begun operating the EA-18G Growler electronic warfare & strike aircraft. Many of these buys have been managed out of common multi-year procurement (MYP) contracts, which aim to reduce overall costs by offering longer-term production commitments, so contractors can negotiate better deals with their suppliers.
The MYP-II contract ran from 2005-2009, and was not renewed because the Pentagon intended to focus on the F-35 fighter program. When it became clear that the F-35 program was going to be late, and had serious program and budgetary issues, pressure built to abandon year-by-year contracting, and negotiate another multi-year deal for the current Super Hornet family. That deal is now final. This entry covers the program as a whole, with a focus on 2010-2015 Super Hornet family purchases. It has been updated to include all announced contracts and events connected with MYP-III, including engines and other separate “government-furnished equipment” that figures prominently in the final price.
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Mar 17, 2017 00:58 UTC
- Canada moved a step closer to acquiring the F/A-18 Super Hornet after issuing a letter of request to the US government. Included in the letter were requirements on capabilities, schedule and economic benefits for 18 aircraft. The next steps in the deal will see the Pentagon approach manufacturer Boeing as well as other suppliers in order to develop an official proposal for Ottawa which is expected for this Fall. Canada has favored a procurement of Super Hornets as an interim solution to replace its aging CF-18s after dropping out of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program in 2015.
- MBDA has announced that an F-35B has successfully fired its Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM), the first time a British-made, non-US missile has been used on the platform. Testing took place at both the Naval Air Station NAS Patuxent River and Edwards Air Force Base. The company was awarded the contract in 2016 to integrate and provide the missile for UK F-35s, and is already in service with both the RAF on its Eurofighter Typhoons as well as on the Royal Australian Air Force’s F/A-18s.
Middle East & North Africa
- March 16/17: Russian state-owned firm Rostec has confirmed that deliveries of Ka-52 Alligator helicopters to Egypt will commence later this year. Cairo finalized a deal with Russia in late 2015 for 46 Alligators for operation on two French-built Mistral-class landing helicopter dock vessels (originally intended for Moscow prior to sanctions imposed on it following its annexation of Crimea.) The first batch of Alligators scheduled for delivery to Russia in 2017 were transferred to the Russian Ministry of Defense ahead of schedule in December 2016. Problems have been encountered with the Ka-52K after shipborne trials, however, postponing delivery to Egypt.
- Following its debut at the recent IDEX defence expo in Abu Dhabi, the Paramount Group has announced “a phenomenal amount of interest” in its Mwari reconnaissance and strike aircraft.” Designed as an armed version of the Ahrlac aircraft, the company touts the aircraft as combining the technology of a BAE Systems Hawk aircraft and the job of a light helicopter at an operating cost of less than $1,000 per hour, “making it ideally suited to tackle the current insurgency and asymmetrical threats currently found in many parts of the world.” The South African firm say the Mwari is ideal for Middle East forces, claiming that it does 80 percent of what a fighter jet can do, at 1/12th of the cost, making it exponentially cheaper than anything else on the market.
- Denmark has placed an order with Northrop Grumman to provide additional LITENING advanced targeting pods for their F-16s. First delivered in 2013, Denmark was the first international buyer of the LITENING G4 pod, and they are now looking to expand the use of the pod within the Royal Danish Air Force. Technologies found on the fourth generation pod include digital, high definition video, 1K forward-looking infrared and charge-coupled device sensors, laser imaging sensors and advanced data links. These advances deliver more accurate target identification and location at longer ranges than previous targeting pod systems, while also reducing pilot workload. It has been integrated on the A-10, AV-8B, B-52, C-130, F-15, F-16 and F/A-18.
- The Romanian Defense Ministry has announced that they have earmarked funding for 20 additional F-16 fighters as part of wider defense procurements that also include 8-wheeled armored personnel carriers and other equipment for their ground forces. While officials have yet to announce who the supplier will be, they are likely to approach the United States for a deal on the aircraft. At present, Romania has accepted six F-16s as part of a 2016 deal for 12 aircraft from Portugal.
- In the aftermath of cyber attacks aimed at several Polish municipalities that have hosted US troops under a planned NATO operation, government officials have backed a plan to spend $250 million per annum on cyber security. The announcement continues a trend in other NATO members, who have drastically upped funding in order to prevent breeches. While Deputy Defense Minister Tomasz Szatkowsk declined to say who was behind the attacks, the content included anti-NATO and anti-US propaganda alongside pro-Russian content.
- The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DCSA) has cleared the possible sale of 2,000 XM395 precision mortar rounds to the government of Singapore. Built by Orbital ATK, the value of the sale is estimated to reach $66 million and will include support equipment and services. Singapore intends to use the mortar rounds to defend against current and future threats in addition to bolstering homeland defenses.
- A ride in Lockheed Martin’s T-50A trainer:
Jan 25, 2017 00:58 UTC
- A change in defense strategy by the Trump Administration could see the F/A-18 compete with the F-35, according to one analyst. Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Monday, defense acquisition analyst Andrew Hunter stated that an “advanced Super Hornet” still can’t compete with the stealthy F-35 in airspace monitored by radar surveillance, but a semi-low-observable F/A-18E/F with more carriage capacity could emerge as an attractive option against less sophisticated threats. However, if US strategy “requires to operate continuously in denied access air environments, there is no such thing as a comparable Super Hornet…It simply doesn’t exist.”
Middle East & North Africa
- The first US State Department Foreign Military Sale (FMS) approvals of 2017 came thick and fast on Monday, with total sales to partner nations amounting to $1.8 billion. One of the first buyers to be cleared was the government of Kuwait, who are seeking air-to-air missiles as well as Apache logistics support. The first deal involves the provision of 60 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), for use by the kingdom’s F/A-18 fighters, and is costed at an estimated $110 million, while the second covers a $400 million support contract, which includes sustainment and contractor logistics support for AH-64D Apache Helicopters. As with all FMS deals, Congress has 30 days to oppose the sale.
- Another FMS cleared by the State Department is the provision of ten 74K Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) Aerostats and related equipment, support, and training to the government of Saudi Arabia. Estimated in the region of $525 million, the sale also includes: 14 Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) Radars; 26 MX-20 Electro-Optic Infrared (EO/IR) Cameras; and 10 Communications Intelligence (COMINT) Sensors. PTDS is a large helium-filled lighter than air system designed by Lockheed Martin to provide soldiers long range intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and communication assistance.
- Kenya has been OK’ed by the US State Department to proceed with the possible $418 million sale of military aircraft. Included in the deal are up to 12 Air Tractor AT-802L planes and two AT-504 trainer aircraft, a weapons package, technical support and program management. The prime contractor on the deal is L3 Technologies Inc (formally L3 Communications), and once delivered, the aircraft will go toward augmenting the Kenyan Armed Force’s ability to conduct close air support missions against al-Shabaab militants from neighboring Somalia.
- US media has confirmed that a British Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) fired from HMS Vengeance off the coast of Florida last year did veer off course. Citing a US defense official, CNN also reported that the inert missile triggered its automatic self-destruct sequence once the test was in jeopardy. Since the story broke on Sunday, the UK government has come under increased pressure to release details on the test, which occurred weeks before last June’s Parliament vote on the program’s $49.5 billion renewal. PM Teresa May initially refused to comment on whether she knew about the test before the vote, before confirming that she had been briefed on a range of nuclear issues, including Trident, on taking office from David Cameron in June, 2016.
- Besides Trident, the UK has been unsurprisingly cleared to receive continued C-17 logistics support services, and equipment from the US. Valued at an estimated cost of $400 million, provisions in the contract include continued support for eight RAF C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft once the previous deal expires in September.
- Russia’s Buk-M3 medium-range anti-aircraft missile system is being prepared for export by state-owned firm Almaz-Antey. The company expressed confidence in the new system’s ability to sell abroad, citing its continuous “developments in the niche of medium-range antiaircraft missile systems” over the last half century. First units of the Buk-M3 were delivered to the Russian Armed Forces last October and are already on active duty.
- Preparations are underway for a late-January test of India’s K-4 SLBM. Slated for January 31, the missile will be launched from a submerged pontoon 20-30 meters below the surface in the Bay of Bengal. An earlier test in 2016 saw the missile successfully fired from 20 meters under water, traveling 700km range before striking its target. At its maximum, the K-4 can be fired from 50 meters below the surface and has a range of 3,500 km.
Aerial Refueling of the PAK FA/T-50:
Dec 08, 2016 00:58 UTC
RAAF F/A-18F rollout
Australia’s A$ 10+ billion Super Hornet program began life in a storm. Australia’s involvement in the F-35 Lightning II program have been mired in controversy, amid criticisms that the F-35A will (1) be unable to compete with proliferating SU-30 family fighters in the region, (2) lack the range or response time that Australia requires, and (3) be both late and very expensive during early production years.
The accelerated retirement of Australia’s 22 long-range F-111s in 2010 sharpened the timing debate, by creating a serious gap between the F-111’s retirement and the F-35’s likely arrival. Further delays to the F-35 program have created new worries that even the upgraded F/A-18AM/BM Hornet fleet won’t last long enough to allow smooth replacement.
The Super Hornets survived potential cancellation, and the “surprise” stopgap buy has steadily morphed into a mainstay of the future RAAF, with a new and unique set of electronic warfare capabilities thrown into the mix. This DID Spotlight article describes the models chosen, links to coverage of the key controversies, and offers a history of contracts and key events from the program’s first official requests to the present day.
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Jun 21, 2016 00:50 UTC
- Sikorsky has announced that its VH-92A Marine One helicopter is on track to fly by Spring 2017. The company was selected to design a replacement for the aging fleet of current presidential helicopters in 2014 after a cancelled attempt by Lockheed Martin/AgustaWestland which saw ballooned costs and requirements running out of control. Up next for the VH-92A program is the subsystem critical design review of the helicopter at the end of next month, and that is expected to take place earlier than scheduled.
- Members of the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers District Lodge 776, who represent a significant portion of Lockheed Martin workers at the company’s Fort Worth plant, have voted in favor of strike action. At present, both the union and Lockheed are in negotiations to replace the current four-year contract which is due to expire on July 10. Union members are asking for an extended five year contract and a 38% pay increase.
Middle East North Africa
- Four Israeli pilots are to travel to the US next month to undergo F-35 training at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The training will be ground-based and the men will only fly the real aircraft back in Israel. It is expected that 12 pilots will have completed their training by the middle of 2017.
- Pressure is mounting on the Pentagon to approve the sale of F/A-18 Super Hornets to Kuwait though US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has warned that his service will have to pay more to buy the F/A-18 due to cost increases. According to Mabus, Boeing needs more orders so that it can keep producing the fighter at an economical rate as the 16 slated for Fiscal year 2017 are not enough to ensure optimum production. Kuwait has been waiting over a year for approval for 28 fighters in a deal estimated to cost $3 billion.
- Turkish police reports believe that militants belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have access to up to 50 Man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS). Three reports from late May were seen by Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet and included warnings that the systems could be used to target Turkey’s Cobra helicopters. The news comes following the release of footage of a PKK militant successfully targeting and shooting down a Turkish helicopter.
- The Norwegian government has published a whitepaper outlining their Long Term Plan for the Norwegian Armed Forces between the years 2017-2020. Included in the document is a plan to acquire new maritime patrol aircraft and a long-range air defense system to complement the current NASAMS 2 such as the AMRAAM-ER currently developed by Raytheon. $19.7 billion has been set aside for the purchases.
- United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has announced that its Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA is now ready for mass production. According to Russian newspaper Izvestia, the fifth generation fighter almost fully meets the requirements of the military’s combat capabilities. UAC is also currently preparing a proposal to be submitted to the Russian Ministry of Defense on starting serial production.
- South Korea’s government has completed its own investigation into the botched attempt to upgrade the Korean Air Force F-16 with BAE Systems as contractor. According to the investigation, its Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) failed to heed warning from the Pentagon and broke US foreign military sales (FMS) by having selected the vendor and negotiated the price via competitive bidding. The incident has delayed the program by four-years and incurred a loss of $89 million.
- A Japanese Air Self-Defense Force F-15J firing off its M61 Vulcan gatling cannon during a mock intercept mission:
May 23, 2016 00:57 UTC
- The US Naval Research Laboratory “has developed a prototype” Common Airborne Situational Awareness (CASA) camera pod to film Chinese and Russian intercepts of US spy planes. Spy planes under the Pacific Command have been recently involved in a number of increasingly reckless intercepts by Russian and Chinese fighters; however, cameras onboard are unable to document proof of fighter flying close by. CASA allows for coverage from all angles with the pods to be carried under the wings of P-3 or P-8 aircraft.
- A High Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck (HELMTT) operated by the US Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command has been tested successfully, shooting down a large number of UAVs, quadcopters and laptops with just a blast of concentrated light. HELMTT includes a 10-kilowatt laser — equivalent to about 10 million handheld laser pointers — a beam control system, acquisition and tracking sensors, and other supporting equipment, mounted on a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, or HEMTT. The system is designed to track incoming threats, such as rockets, artillery, cruise missiles, UAVs, and even threats on the ground, and then destroy them with a laser, rather than with kinetic munitions.
- Crew from television network Russia Today (RT) were treated to a tour of Russia’s A-50U AEW&C platform. The Ministry of Defense hosted the event at an air base in the Ivanovo Region, some 254Km from Moscow. Tasks to be undertaken by the aircraft include detecting and tracking a number of aerial (fighter jets, bombers, ballistic and cruise missiles), ground (tank columns) and surface (above-water vessels) targets, informing command centers about the developments in the air and sea, and directing fighter and strike aviation.
- Boeing is still holding on to hope that it can sell its Super Hornets to Denmark after claiming that the Danish government had used “incomplete and possibly flawed data” to conclude that the Super Hornet was more expensive to operate than the F-35. The comments were made by a Boeing official speaking to a Danish parliamentary committee last Thursday following the government’s decision to opt for the next generation F-35 to replace its aging F-16s.
- Almaz-Antey has revealed that its S-300V4 air defense system is now capable of engaging targets up to 400Km away. Utilizing technologies found in its fifth generation systems such as the S-400 and a new longer range missile, S-300V4 systems are considered to be more efficient than their predecessors by up to 2.5 times. The upgrades will make it considerably more difficult for enemy Airborne early warning and control aircraft to operate safely within the new radius.
- Rumors that Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s trip to meet Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin would involve discussions over an acquisition of Su-35 fighters have been dismissed by the Indonesian Foreign Minister. Retno Marsudi denied that any discussions over the fighter took place, with defense talks revolving around increased security cooperation, including information exchanges as well as technology transfer related to the purchase of weaponry.
- Selection of a fighter to be manufactured under the “Make in India” initiative will be decided by next March according to India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar. Models in the running include Boeing’s F18A, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault’s Rafale or the Saab Gripen. Parrikar also mentioned that the ministry’s negotiations over its drawn out purchase of 36 Rafales will be wrapped up in “weeks.”
- The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has agreed to purchase a decommissioned Airbus A340-500 passenger jet from Thai Airways. A total of $50 million will be paid to the national carrier over four installments between 2016 and 2017. It’s expected that the aircraft will be converted over for military use by Thai Aviation Industries to help boost its transport capabilities.
Jun 09, 2015 03:42 UTC
- As the British Army’s Thales WK450 Watchkeeper UAV heads toward Full Operating Capability, the responsibility for personnel training on the system is being transitioned from contractor services to the Army’s own program. The first course run by British Army personnel will take place in October, with the Watchkeeper deployed to Afghanistan last year, equipped with new synthetic aperture radar and ground moving target indication capabilities.
- Airbus is reportedly planning to resume test flights of its A400M transport aircraft, following the crash of one aircraft during a test flight on 9th May. The aircraft saw three engines freeze as a result of a software problem, with the resulting crash killing four crew members.
- As part of the British government’s push for privatization in the nation’s defense apparatus, the UK’s Ministry of Defence has invited bids from industry as it seeks to privatize the British Armed Forces’ fire and rescue services. The Defence Fire Risk Management Organisation is the organization in question, with industry teams competing against an internal MoD bid. The publicly-owned Defence Support Group was sold to Babcock International in December last year, whilst the Government Pipeline and Storage System was sold to a Spanish company earlier this year.The government is also mulling the sale of some of its Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) arm, the multi-billion dollar procurement agency which it attempted to partially privatize in a 2013. That effort failed and has subsequently been heavily criticized.
- Work has begun on the second of three Royal Navy Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), with BAE Systems cutting steel at the firm’s Glasgow shipyard. The first OPV has been under construction since October, with the River-Class Batch II vessels an important bridge-buy prior to the introduction of the Royal Navy’s future Type 26 Frigates, with the $560 million construction contract sustaining industry capability in the interim.
- Iraq’s first batch of Mi-28NEs…
Sep 09, 2014 15:00 UTC
- USNAVAIR is going to organize a series of technical meetings [FBO] with companies interested in candidate replacements for the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G by 2030. This comes ahead of an Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) scheduled next year.
- According to DPA (via RIA Novosti) India is considering buying 126 Eurofighters from Germany. The two countries, along with Japan and Brazil, have been arguing in favor of reforming the UN’s Security Council for a decade. It’s also always good to have fallback options, but the high complexity and risk of India’s proposed MMRCA program structure mean that it will take far, far more than just a high-level visit to turn Eurofighter into a realistic option. As Der Spiegel notes [in German], this at least gives the Indian press something to speculate about.
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Mar 20, 2008 17:11 UTC
F-18F & the barrier
After a controversy over the F-35A Lightning II’s suitability for Australia’s strategic needs – amidst a flurry of criticism from opposition party critics, the media, and even retired military officials – Australia’s government went ahead and signed the F-35 Production MoU in November 2006, which did not commit them to buy the aircraft just yet. Then it went ahead and submitted a USD $3.1+ billion order without a competition process for 24 Super Hornets, in order to address Australia’s air capability gap until the F-35As arrive.
Controversy continues in Australia regarding the government’s plan to purchase the F-35 Lightning II as its next-generation fighter, and it has now spread to target the sudden F/A-18F Super Hornet Block II purchase as well. Australia’s Liberal Party government faced widespread criticism in Parliament and in the media, and began to respond – but in November 2007, that government was replaced by the opposition Labor Party. A full formal review of Australia’s Air Combat Capability plans is now underway, in light of expected regional airpower developments to 2045. A major political kerfuffle targeted squarely at the Super Hornet erupted soon thereafter, but the new Labor government ended up looking at the aircraft, and the cancellation costs, and decided to keep the F/A-18F.
Australia has said that it will pursue export permission for the F-22, but that doesn’t represent a decision yet. The F-35A remains controversial, however, with charges and counter-charges flying around the F-35’s air to air performance against modern aircraft like Russia’s widely-exported SU-30 family. In recent weeks, that controversy has drawn in both Australian political parties, Lockheed Martin, and the RAND Corp…
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