Showing results 1 - 10 of 319 for the search term(s): super hornet
Feb 21, 2017 00:55 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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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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Jan 05, 2007 03:03 UTC
M61A2 for F-18s
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products in Burlington, VT received a $9.4 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00421-05-C-0110) to exercises an option for the procurement of 34 M61A2 20 mm Automatic Gun Systems for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft. Work will be performed in Burlington, VT and is expected to be complete in October 2008. The Naval Air Systems Command Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, MD issued the contract.
The 20mm M61 Vulcan is a hydraulically driven, six-barreled, air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling gun with an extremely high rate of fire. It has been the principal cannon armament of United States military aircraft for five decades. The M61A2 is mechanically the same as the M61A1, but with thinner barrels to reduce overall mass to 202 lb (91.6 kg).
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Sep 13, 2006 03:58 UTC
That flash memory stuff isn’t just good for your PDA, and the constant desire for more in order to do useful things isn’t just your personal hang-up. A September 6, 2006 announcement noted that Boeing subsidiary McDonnell Douglas Corp. in St. Louis, MO received a $5.2 million delivery order against a previously issued Basic Ordering Agreement (N00019-05-G-0026) for the procurement of Flash removable memory modules (RMMs) for F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Lot 26-28 Retrofit Aircraft and F/A-18E/F and EA-18G Growler Lot 29-30 Production Aircraft.
This order is in support of Engineering Change Proposal 06296 (ECP-06296), “Solid State RMM Redesign.” Work will be performed in St. Louis, MO and is expected to be complete in March 2007. The Naval Air Systems Command, at Patuxent River, MD issued the contract.