Showing results 1 - 10 of 340 for the search term(s): super hornet
Sep 15, 2017 04:58 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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Sep 14, 2017 05:00 UTC
- Canada has been approved by the US State Department to purchase up to 18 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft. In addition to 10 F/A-18Es and 8 F/A-18Fs, the Trump administration approved the transfer of up to 44 F414-GE-400 engines, associated spares and equipment, as well as weapons including 100 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II missiles as part of the sale. It is unsure whether Ottawa will proceed with the sale, as a current row with Boeing over Canadian firm Bombardier has the government looking to Australia for second-hand Super Hornets to fill its interim requirement for replacement of its fleet of CF-18s.
- Boeing expects to deliver its KC-46A tanker to the US Air Force by December, but the service branch expects that this schedule will slip into spring 2018. Brig. Gen. Donna Shipton, Tankers Directorate program executive officer said that the manufacturer has made “steady progress, just slower than planned” to complete Federal Aviation Administration certifications and flight tests. In recent months, Boeing had projected first deliveries in March and later August of this year before its most recent target date of December. The USAF plans to buy 179 KC-46 tankers through 2027. Eventually, the service branch expects to replace 455 aging KC-135 Stratotankers and KC-10 Extender tankers in the fleet.
- The US Navy has successfully tested the AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar developed by Raytheon. The event took place off the west coast of Hawaii on Sept. 7, involving a short-range ballistic missile target and a number of air-to-surface cruise missile targets. During the test, he radar successfully searched for, detected and maintained track on all targets throughout their trajectories, and the Navy said that preliminary data from the test showed the system met its primary objectives against a complex short-range ballistic missile and multiple air-to-surface cruise missile simultaneous targets. they will be equipped on US Navy DDG 51 Flight III destroyers.
Middle East & Africa
- Deliveries of MiG-29 fighters to Egypt have commenced, with Cairo expected 50 aircraft to be delivered by 2020. Speaking on the sale, Russian presidential aide for military and technical cooperation Vladimir Kozhin said that everything “will also depend on the capacity of plants, which have a full load of work on these vehicles. But I’m sure that we will meet the deadline on fulfilling our obligations under the contract.” The MiG-29 jet can accomplish patrolling activities, provide close air support for ground forces and paratroops, interdict combat areas, conduct aerial reconnaissance, intercept aerial targets, escort strike and military transport planes and deliver strikes against ground and sea targets.
- Saab has unveiled its Gripen Aggressor platform for the adversary air combat training market. Based on the proven Gripen C-series, the unarmed aircraft was debuted at this year’s Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2017 expo in London, and is being offered as a solution to the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) program. ASDOT is a 15-year program to provide ‘Red Air’ adversaries for RAF fighter training, and also ‘Blue Air’ platforms for the training of joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs) and fighter controllers. The requirement also includes electronic warfare and simulation elements. Saab also sees the Aggressor as a high-level aggressor option for the United States Air Force’s Adversary Air (ADAIR) program.
- Harris Corp is developing a carriage and release system for RAF-operated F-35B aircraft. While the value of the contract remains unknown, Harris will provide four internal bay-compatible SCORPION Lightweight Ejection Rack Units for two F-35 weapon bays which will allow for the release of MBDA’s new SPEAR precision strike missile. Harris said the ERUs are being manufactured at the company’s facility in England.
- India may use a visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to sign a deal to purchase 12 ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious aircraft. Media in India have already reported that a deal was apparently sealed during former Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley’s visit to Tokyo last week, and are likely to be deployed strategically at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with the objective of carrying out maritime surveillance patrols in the larger Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The 12 aircraft will be assembled in India and the next phase of the agreement could see 18 US-2s assembled locally under the “Make in India” program.
Aug 02, 2017 05:00 UTC
- L-3 Communications and Air Tractor have made a late entry into this month’s US Air Force OA-X experiment, bringing with them the Air Tractor AT-802L Longsword, an armed reconnaissance version of the latter’s cropduster. Modifications added by L-3 to bring the aircraft to the Longsword configuration include a glass cockpit, the firms’ Wescam MX-15 EO/IR sensor and ForceX mission management system. It also possesses 11 hard points and can carry 6,200 pounds of fuel or munitions, including precision-guided weapons with the addition of a laser designator. The Longsword joins Textron Aviation’s Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine turboprop and Scorpion jet, along with Embraer’s A-29 Super Tucano for the demonstration which will see the USAF assess off-the-shelf options to fill an attack and support role for the service. It has also been reported that if a successful platform is chosen as an OA-X platform, the winning aircraft may also be selected as a light air support capability for special operations forces.
- The USAF has awarded ARCTEC a $37.9 million contract modification for operations and maintenance services for the Alaska Radar System. Work is scheduled to run until September 28, 2018, extending services currently being provided for another 12 months on the network of radars covering Alaskan airspace and the Arctic circle. Alaska’s radar stations form a key part of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System and the Missile Defense Agency whose sites can be located in extremely harsh terrain and weather conditions, including high winds and sub-zero temperatures for much of the year.
Middle East & North Africa
- BAE Systems has delivered the first two of eight Hawk advanced trainer jets ordered by Oman in 2012. The trainers arrived a month after the Sultanate received the first of 12 Eurofighter Typhoons—made by a consortium including BAE, Leonardo, and Airbus—and further deliveries are expected over the next coming months. In May, the first Hawk and Typhoon were formally presented to Oman at a ceremony held at BAE Systems’ Military Air & Information business in the UK, in front of an audience including His Excellency Sayyid Badr bin Saud al Busaidi, theSultanate of Oman’s Minister Responsible For Defence Affairs (MRDA) and the Commander of the Royal Air Force of Oman, Air Vice-Marshal Mattar bin Ali bin Mattar Al Obaidani.
- An upgraded prototype of the Namer heavy armoured personnel carrier (APC) has been unveiled by the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Developed by the ministry’s Merkava Tank Administration in conjunction with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Ground Forces, the vehicle includes a new turret with Trophy radars fitted to either side of the gun and countermeasures dispensers on both sides. It also has two sets of electro-optics: one mounted coaxially to the left of the gun and a second that appears to be able to rotate independently of the turret. A 30mm gun, thought to be an Orbital ATK Mk44 Bushmaster has also been included, and will give “significant firepower to infantry units, allowing the soldiers to be more independent on the battlefield, and to reduce the dependency on support from other units.” The vehicle is expected to undergo trails this week.
- The US State Department has approved a foreign military sale (FMS) package to upgrade Swiss F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft. If approved by US Congress, the sale of the Service Life Extension Program for the aircraft would include as many as 50 Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems with Concurrent Multi-Net 4 capability, 50 ARC-210 GEN 5 RT-1900A(C) radios with a second-generation anti-jam tactical UHF radio for NATO frequency hopping, and 20 joint helmet-mounted cueing system/night vision cueing display systems. Also included in the deal are software enhancements to the APG-73 radar, improvements to the F/A-18 Software Configuration Set 29C, and sustainment for the ALQ-165 Airborne Self Protection Jammer system. The estimated value of the sale is worth up to $115 million.
- HMS Astute, a British Royal Navy hunter-killer submarine, has returned to active service after a period receiving a capability upgrade and sea training. Commissioned in 2010, HMS Astute is the first of seven new Astute class hunter-killer submarines being constructed for the Royal Navy. The training period included fire-fighting and damage control exercises and completion of weapon certification of its anti-surface and anti-submarine weapon system. The training also included a simulated war environment and training alongside Canadian Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
- Leidos has been contracted to provide operations and sustainment services for the US Army’s Saturn Arch intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance program in Afghanistan. Valued at $61 million, the contract modification will run until September 18, 2018 and work will go towards Saturn Arch quick reaction capabilities, sustainment and integration in Afghanistan as part of US counter-IED operations in the country. Since its inception in 2010, the Saturn Arch program has expanded to include more conventional ISR missions and is designed to easily share data with Afghan security forces and international partners. It uses a variety of platforms and sensor assets for detecting and assisting in the removal of enemy IEDs and other threats.
- 10 former US Army UH-60 Black Hawks have been ordered by Australia and will be refurbished into firefighting platforms. Sikorsky, Kaan Air Australia and StarFlight Australia have all been contracted in the $50 million deal and includes options for a further 10 helicopters. The planned refurbishment will include engine upgrades, gear boxes and the installation of terrain avoidance systems along with firefighting modifications.
- AT-802L Longsword at Paris Air Show 2017:
Jul 10, 2017 04:57 UTC
RAAF F/A-18F rollout
Australia’s A$ 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 29, 2017 05:00 UTC
- Lockheed Martin has received a $39.2 million contract modification in support of several allied countries Patriot Advanced Capability-3 anti-ballistic missile systems. Germany, Netherlands, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Japan and United Arab Emirates are all covered under the deal, which includes work on the enhanced launcher system, field missile activities and unscheduled maintenance as ordered. Contract completion is scheduled for June 25, 2018.
- The US Navy has been asked by Congress to provide a plan for the replacement of reserve F/A-18 aircraft incapable of being integrated back into their fleet. As many as 33 Super Hornets were found to lag behind front-line aircraft in terms of technology and will be unable to participate in combat activity during a time of crisis. The aircraft are predominantly used by the service to act as opposition forces for training aviators and are painted to look like Russian MiG fighters. Congress expects the plan to be delivered no later than December 1.
- Next month will see the Croatian government send letters of interest to four governments for fighter aircraft. Both the US and Israel are being looked at to provide second-hand F-16s, while Sweden and South Korea are having their respective Gripen and FA-50 fighters considered as well. Responses are expected for the second week of September. Saab, which has targeted Croatia as a potential customer for the Gripen for the last ten years, remains the front runner at present, however, Israel have approximately 40 upgraded F-16C/D variants ready to roll at a much cheaper price.
- General Dynamics European Land Systems has been contracted by the Danish government to deliver Mowag EAGLE light armored 4X4 vehicles. The initial contract calls for 36 vehicles, with deliveries starting in 2018, to supplement their existing EAGLE fleet, and contains options to expand the program to include electronic-warfare, support, and reconnaissance variants of the vehicle. The value of the deal remains unknown. Used by a number of NATO members, including Denmark and Germany, the vehicle features a modular armor package that can be adjusted depending on mission needs, including improved improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenade protection.
- Germany has received its 15th and final H145M multi-role helicopter from manufacturer Airbus. The 2013 contract was awarded to provide the German military with light utility and light attack rotorcraft capability, and includes a fast-roping system for troops, a camera system for reconnaissance and equipment for fire support during deployment. With Germany acting as the launch customer for the platform, other countries who have subsequently ordered the H145M include Serbia with nine units and Thailand with five.
- AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM) have been deployed to South Korea by the US military. As many as ten of the long-range, precision-guided missiles are now on the peninsula, and will be deployed on F-16 fighters located at Kunsan Air Base. While the type of JASSM variant deployed remains unknown at this time, the base model boasts a range of 300 kilometers and is equipped with a penetrating blast-fragmentation warhead. Manufacturer Lockheed Martin stated in March that it had performed several flight tests with an updated version of the JASSM. Its JASSM-Extended Range (ER) is also in production.
- Japan is considering a procurement of Kongsberg’s Joint Strike Missile (JSM) for its fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in what is being considered by analysts as “a big step forward in stand-off capability”. At present, Tokyo’s fighters are only equipped with anti-ship missiles, so an added air-to-surface missile strike capability would be welcomed as tensions in the region rise amid North Korean ballistic weapons testing and the controversial deployment of the THAAD missile defense system by the US in South Korea. However, Japan had previously resisted the purchase of air-to-ground munitions, in part not to offend sensibilities in Beijing and Pyongyang, and may now face further accusations of looking to pursue renewed imperial ambitions.
- A new domestically-built destroyer has been unveiled by China. Dubbed the Type 055 destroyer, the vessel is considered to be a successor class to the smaller Type 052D guided missile destroyers and is part of a drive by Beijing to modernize and increase its naval presence within its armed forces. Local media described the vessel as “equipped with new air defense, anti-missile, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons,” and will undergo testing before being commissioned into use. China’s naval effort comes alongside its increasingly assertive stance over disputed territory in the South China, where it lays claim to territory believed to hold oil and gas reserves and through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year.
- Live-firing of Igla missiles in Russia’s Southern District:
Jun 20, 2017 05:00 UTC
- It’s been revealed that the US Navy intends to acquire at least 80 F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft over the next five years, running against initial plans to zero out the aircraft program beginning next year. The announcement was made by the sailing branch to the US Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee last week in a written testimony notes the “Fiscal Year 2018 President’s Budget requests $1.25 billion in [the Navy’s aircraft procurement account] for 14 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft” that will “address continuing warfighter demand for advanced tactical aircraft.” 23 aircraft will procured in 2019 for $1.95 billion, 14 in 2020 for $1.35 billion and 14 in 2021 for $1.27 billion and 15 in 2022 for $1.28 billion.
- Ahead of its debut at this week’s Paris air show, Lockheed Martin are close to finishing the latest round of negotiations for the manufacture of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. As many as 440 jets are being negotiated under the deal and are being spread out over three tranches in a multi-year deal estimated to reach at least $37 billion. As many as 11 customer nations will receive fighters as part of the deal, including Australia, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, South Korea, Britain and the United States. The price of the F-35’s A variant is then expected to drop to $80 million by the end of 2020.
- Raytheon is to restart the Standard Missile 2 (SM-2) production line after a $650 million dollar order from the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan and Australia. The sale calls for the delivery of a total of 280 SM-2 Block IIIA and IIIB missiles, and the sale is expected to keep the company’s Arizona production line open through 2035 as Raytheon anticipates more orders from the US and its allies as they rebuild their inventories using the modernized production line. Congress are expected to be notified of the sale in the coming days.
- Lockheed Martin has received a $472 million US Army contract for the production of Multiple Launch Rocket System rockets. The sale includes 2,868 alternative warhead rockets, 648 unitary warhead rockets and 370 pods of reduced-range low-cost practice rocket and covers delivery under a foreign military sale to Finland, France, Germany and Singapore. Work will be conducted in Grand Prairie, Texas, and has an expected completion date of July 31, 2019.
Middle Easy & North Africa
- A US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet has scored its first air-to-air kill, shooting down a Syrian Su-22 on Sunday. The incident occurred after reports that the Su-22 had bombed the forces of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces as they moved on Islamic State positions south of Tabqah. A statement by the US Central Command issued a statement saying the plane was downed “in collective self-defense of Coalition-partnered forces,” while a Syrian army statement initially suggested that that the US-led coalition shot down one of its planes as it conducted a combat mission against Islamic State militants. The US Super Hornet is based onboard the USS George H.W. Bush, the only US aircraft carrier operating in the region.
- A new fighter attack version of Leonardo’s M-346 has been unveiled at the Paris air show. The updated aircraft—the M-346FA— includes the company’s Grifo multi-mode fire control radar, as well as seven pylons for external weapons loads, enabling it to carry 2,000 pounds of external weapons. Leonardo stated that the new fighter was designed to help different air forces meet their needs rapidly by building on a common base, adding that they have found international interest in the plane “specifically in the Far East and South America.”
- Serbia could receive a new batch of MiG-29 fighters by the end of this month, according to Defense Minister Zoran Djordjevic. It had been reported in March that Belgrade would receive six MiG-29 fighter jets as well as the modernization of another four planes from Russia in a deal worth $207 million and includes the cost of fuel storage facilities, hangers to store ten planes and the complete maintenance and modernization of the planes’ missiles. The deal is being seen as good value, enabling Serbia to modernize its fleet at a much lower cost than its neighbors.
- Japan’s ShinMaywa has said that it is willing to allow Indonesian industry to collaborate on the final assembly of the US-2 amphibian aircraft if the Indonesian government selects the aircraft as its amphibious search-and-rescue (SAR) platform. However, the firm ruled out the possibility of assembling the aircraft in Indonesia as it will not be economically feasible to do so. Instead, ShinMaywa stated that the aircraft could be delivered fully assembled with final configuration works to be done in the customer’s country, mentioning Indonesian state-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia as a possible partner in the collaboration.
- AV-8B Harrier performs reverse landing on USS America:
Jun 09, 2017 05:00 UTC
- Canada has decided to pull back from its plan to procure 18 F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters as an interim replacement for its CF-18 successor program. Instead, the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau has unveiled a new defense plan which calls for 88 new fighters for the Royal Canadian Air Force – an increase from the previous government’s plan to purchase 65 jets – and to recapitalise the Lockheed Martin CP-140 Aurora anti-submarine warfare and surveillance fleet. The news comes amid a row between the Canadian government, Boeing, and Bombardier, after the US company accused Bombardier of “dumping” its CSeries jet onto the US market.
Middle Easy & North Africa
- It’s been announced that Egypt has received delivery of the S-300VM air defense system, after pictures were released of the system’s vehicles and missile canisters being unloaded at the port of Alexandria. The export version of the S-300, the system is equipped with 9M82M and 9M83M missiles, providing an engagement range of up to 200 km and maximum altitude of 25,000 m. The $1 billion purchase is part of a wider $3.5 billion package agreed with Russia in 2015, and includes 50 Mikoyan MiG-29M/M2 and Kamov Ka-52K attack helicopters.
- Heron TP UAVs leased to the German military by Airbus will be operated from an Israeli air base. It is also believed that German crew will be trained at the site. Deliveries of Heron TP systems for use by the German military will commence late next year and will go towards supporting international operations involving German personnel prior to the availability of a European-developed medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV from around 2025. The deal has been initially held up after a protest by General Atomics.
- Rafael will showcase its new Spike LR II missile at this month’s Paris Air Show, adding that deliveries to customers will start in late 2018. Capable of carrying either a tandem high-explosive anti-tank warhead or a multi-purpose blast warhead, the new missile also features a new electro-optical/infrared seeker with smart target tracker capabilities. It can be launched from any current Spike launcher.
- Leonardo has unveiled” a compact version of its BriteCloud decoy system for fast jets after successful testing on Danish F-16s. Known as BriteCloud 218, the system is 2-by-1-by-8 inches and is compatible using the standard-size flare decoy cartridge, such as the F-16 and F-15. Leonardo fitted the cartridge directly into a RDAF F-16’s standard flare dispenser with no integration work required. During the test, the aircraft dispensed the BriteCloud 218 in response to being locked-onto by a real radar-guided surface to air missile targeting system. The company said that once launched, “it creates powerful electronic emissions that create a ‘false target’ and draw enemy missiles away from the real aircraft.”
- Insitu will provide three of its Integrator UAV to the Netherlands as part of Dutch military plans to replace their ScanEagle UAVs. The Integrator is a multi-mission small UAV that carries custom payloads for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It is the baseline aircraft for the RQ-21A Blackjack, a program of record with the US Navy and Marine Corps that entered full-rate production last year. Each has a 40-pound payload capacity and delivers line-of-sight communications for as much as 55 nautical miles. Delivery will take place next year.
- BAE’s Advanced Hawk trainer has completed its first test-flight at the company’s Warton, Lancashire, UK site. The test aimed to assess a series of enhancements developed which could equip new-build examples or be added as upgrades to in-service aircraft. Upgrades to cockpit include a large area display and the integration of BAE’s LiteHUD head-up display, and a new wing that increases performance and the capacity for an increased range of offensive weapons and defensive measures. The aircraft will now undergo a series of flights to collect test data on the new key capability enhancements.
- The Australian government has begun testing and evaluation of two rival armored vehicles as part of its LAND 400 Phase 2 program. Rheinmetall’s Boxer CRV and the BAE Systems Australia’s Patria AMV35 are currently undergoing a year-long assessment as a risk mitigation activity, which aims to help Canberra in the final selection of a vehicle. Text-generation combat reconnaissance vehicle procurement will eventually see 225 vehicles purchased by the Australian military for a total purchase price of more than $3 billion.
- The GAIC FTC-2000 advanced jet trainer:
May 30, 2017 05:00 UTC
- F/A-18 Super Hornets operated by the US Navy will have the Infrared Search and Track System (IRST) integrated onboard by Boeing. The $89 million cost-plus-incentive-fee contract calls for the initial design and development, procurement of prototyping hardware, technical risk reduction efforts, integrated product support, and technical reviews of IRST Block II with the F/A-18E/F aircraft to support the system through the preliminary design review. Work is expected to continue through to April 2020. The IRST is designed to locate the heat emitted by aircraft engines without the use of active radar, which is easily detected by enemy planes and ships. It also helps countering stealth technology.
- The Canadian government is continuing to pay into the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, with the latest instalment of $30 million quietly paid in April. Having already paid $373 million into the program since 1997, the fees keeps Ottawa at the table as one of nine partners in the fighter jet project for the next year, allowing to compete for billions of dollars worth of contracts associated with the building and maintaining F-35, as well as benefitting from a discount on units for its air force. Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau, had vowed to take Canada out of the F-35 program while on the election campaign trail last year. However, since taking office, the Liberal government has paid the annual fee twice while pursuing an interim procurement of Super Hornets in order to fill the capability gap left by the ditched F-35.
- General Atomics’ new MQ-9B SkyGuardian UAV has set a new flight endurance record by topping 48 hours in the air. The new variant of the Predator B broke the record during a flight at Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz., while carrying 6,065 pounds of internal fuel. It flew between 25,000 and 35,000 feet for the duration of the mission and landed 48.2 hours later. The previous endurance record was held by Predator XP, which flew 46.1 hours in February 2015.
Middle East & North Africa
- Elbit Systems has been contracted to deliver its J-Music DIRCM (Direct Infrared Countermeasures) system to an international organization. The $25 million deal will be carried out over a three-year period. The Multi Spectral Infrared Countermeasures (MUSIC) systems is a family of directed infrared counter-measures solutions to protect aircraft against heat-seeking ground-to-air missiles. The system is meant for protection of large aircraft and includes the PAWS IR missile warning systems.
- Saab hopes that its JAS-39 Gripen fighter stands a good chance in an upcoming Croatian fighter replacement competition, adding that the Balkan nation is closer to modernizing its fighter jet force than might have been previously expected and would look to take offers soon. Zagreb has already inspected the Gripen and is now in the process of researching information on other fighters as a possible replacement for its fleet of MiG-21s. Saab has been focusing on increasing Gripen sale and lease agreements in central and eastern Europe, with the Czech Republic and Slovakia recently signing a “Joint Sky” agreement to co-operate on maintaining a joint Gripen fleet, while a Bulgarian interim government selected the Gripen as the best option for a new fighter fleet. However, Bulgaria’s new Prime Minister, Boiko Borissov, recently indicated that its MiG-29s could keep flying for another eleven years so a quick sale to Sofia may not be on the cards just yet.
- The Indonesian government has officially deployed its first batch of five BTR-4M armored personnel carriers from Ukraine’s Kharkiv-based Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau after testing by the army in January. Ordered in 2014 with delivery coming in 2016, the contract provides the option for further supplies of 50 vehicles comes within the framework of increased capacity of Ukraine’s military industrial complex after supplying the APCs to Ukraine’s armed forces. Both countries are also looking at expanding bilateral defense cooperation with talks ongoing to form joint ventures for the production of guided air-to-air missiles, Ukrainian radar systems and Ukrainian military cargo planes.
- MD Helicopters has received a $76.7 million contract for logistical and contractor support for MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters operated by the Afghan Air Force. US Army Fiscal 2017 funds of $37.6 million have been allocated to the program, with work to be carried out in Mesa, Ariz., and Afghanistan. The program is expected to be finished by May 31, 2018. 27 Cayuse Warriors were delivered to Kabul last year to assist in a variety of missions including escorts, over-watch, and close air support.
- The Philippines may look to Russian defense wares to arm its fleet of KAI FA-50PH fighters and AW-109 attack helicopters. Manilla has been contemplating a Russian defense deal for a number of sought items, including sniper rifles, but is also looking at acquiring precision guided munitions for its air wing. Last week, Islamist militants affiliated with the Islamic State stormed the town of Marawi, resulting in President Rodrigo Deuterte declaring martial law across the country’s southernmost island of Mindana.
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:
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: