Showing results 1 - 10 of 126 for the search term(s): AIM-120
Feb 02, 2017 00:58 UTC
- A new signal processor for the AIM-120 air-to-air missile is being developed by Raytheon. Carried out under the Form Fit Function Refresh program (F3R), the work is aimed at ensuring the continuation of AMRAAM production well into the 2020s. While little else is currently known about the signal processor’s development work, the missile is capable of tracking targets in electronic warfare environments. Already carried on F-16, F-15, F/A-18, F-22, Typhoon, Gripen, Tornado and Harrier fighters, the AIM-120 is also cleared for use on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, making it the munition that has flown on more aircraft worldwide than any other air-to-air missile.
- The USAF has announced the completion of a series of upgrades on 446 Air Force and 10 Navy T-38C advanced trainer aircraft. Work carried out during the modernization saw the installation of a video data transfer system (VDTS) and speed break indicator switch (SBIS), giving pilots and the heads-up display a visual indicator of the speed brake position. The completion of the $50 million VDTS/SBIS program wrapped up its work in December 2016. Talons are expected to be in service until 2034, when they will be replaced by the next-gen T-X trainer.
- Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems have decided not to enter a bid in the upcoming $16 billion T-X trainer competition for the USAF. The official announcement comes days after Northrop CEO Wes Bush told analysts that the company was reassessing their bid and business case for the tender. A joint statement by Northrop and BAE stated that submitting a bid for the T-X Trainer contract “would not be in the best interest of the companies and their shareholders.” The only remaining interested parties are a clean-sheet design by Boeing/Saab and Lockheed Martin/Korea Aerospace Industries’ T-50A.
Middle East & North Africa
- Sales of F-16V fighters to Bahrain are likely to continue under US President Trump, according to Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker. Estimated to be valued at $2.8 billion, the sale of 19 of the fighters had been put on hold under Barack Obama until the Gulf kingdom had addressed some human rights concerns against their non-violent opposition. Corker added that “I’m hoping the Bahrain deal is going to roll out without the restrictions,” indicating that the original conditions imposed by the Obama administration may be lifted. Like many nations in the Arab world, Bahrain faced a wave of protests during the 2011 “Arab Spring,” which was met with a brutal crackdown by the ruling King Hamad.
- Turkey’s plan to upgrade of a batch of 200 German- and US-made battle tanks has received five bids from local industry, including surprise bids from military electronics specialist Aselsan and missile maker Roketsan. The $500 million modernization plan to upgrade 40 M60A3, 40 Leopard II A4 and 120 M60T tanks will also see bids from armored vehicles manufacturers BMC, Otokar and FNSS. While the competition is structured to be a local battle, industry sources suggest that due to the advanced technology that will be involved in the program, most business in the contract may involve foreign suppliers. Bidding is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
- Poland has received a proposal from the Lockheed Martin-led team behind the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), as part of the drive to upgrade air defense capabilities under the Wisla program. MEADS, Israel’s David’s Sling, and a French consortium were initially considered alongside Raytheon’s Patriot system, though all but the Patriot were dismissed by Warsaw due to the fact that they were still in development. However, since the procurement process has dragged on, MEADS is much closer to the fielding stage and was therefore asked to submit a proposal on request from the Polish government, triggering a head-to-head between Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. The proposal includes a potential order for 16 systems and a plan to include a work-share agreement with Polish industry.
- Alongside long-term big-ticket procurement plans for new fighters, maritime-surveillance aircraft and submarine fleets, the Norwegian government is focusing efforts on stockpiling munitions, fuel and spare parts ahead of any potential conflict in the region. The hoarding comes as Oslo is concerned about potential shortages to the support equipment vital to the country’s missions both at home and abroad and will make funding available for these supplies, which also includes development of the Joint Strike Missile. Renewed investment in military procurements and upgrades by Scandinavian and Baltic governments comes amid growing tensions and uncertainty about potential conflicts that may stem from any aggression that may come from neighboring Russia.
- The Iranian government has confirmed that they have tested a new missile, but denied claims that the move was in breach of a UN Security Council resolution to curb nuclear development. In response to the test, the new US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, condemned the move stating that the “United States is not naïve. We are not going to stand by. You will see us call them out as we said we would and you are also going to see us act accordingly.” While Tehran has conducted missile testing since the 2015 nuclear accords, it is the first during the Trump administration. Trump said in his election campaign that he would stop Iran’s missile program.
MEADS capability notes:
Apr 27, 2016 00:50 UTC
- Orbital ATK has been awarded a $121.3 million contract by the US Navy to provide conversion services of old stocks of US government-provided AGM-88B high-speed anti-radiation missiles. The conversion will see the munitions turned into 145 full-rate production Lot 5 advanced anti-radiation guided missile all-up-rounds, and 12 captive air training missiles, including related supplies and services necessary for manufacture, sparing, and fleet deployment of the missiles, for the Navy and the government of Italy. Completion is expected by September 2018.
- Recent software glitches found in the APG-81 radar for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter have not caused any problems for F-35Bs operated by the USMC. The comments were made by Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps for Aviation Lt. Gen. Jon Davis as he appeared in front of the US Senate Armed Services seapower committee. Davis said that the glitches, which caused the fighter’s radars to reset mid-flight, only occurred on code found in the 3I software update which the Marine Corps never uploaded onto their jets, instead keeping with the older 2B version.
- The DoD has issued a notice to modify the V-22 so that a 18-inch gimbaled multispectral sensor can be lowered from the tilt-rotor’s cargo hold well. The new sensors will increase the ability of the US military to target enemies from afar, giving the aircraft similar situational awareness and precision targeting capabilities to the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Predator UAV. Up to four competing sensor solutions will be tested at the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) tactical demonstration next year.
Middle East North Africa
- Support for increased funding to go toward Israeli procurement of missile defense programs by nearly $200 million above the level requested has been expressed by the US House Armed Services Committee. The bump in funding would see Tamir interceptors for Iron Dome increase from the $42 million requested in the president’s budget to $62 million. The committee would also increase funding for procurement and co-production of David’s Sling from $37.21 million to $150 million, and the Arrow 3 Upper Tier Missile Defense System from $55.8 million to $120 million.
- Ukraine and Romania have discussed an initiative which would set up a joint military brigade between the two countries. Discussions have also included Bulgaria, and follow an earlier initiative by the Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania to set up a joint military brigade, dubbed the Litpolukrbrig. The increase in cooperation between the US and pro-NATO former Communist nations in eastern Europe has recently seen F-22 Raptor aircraft sent to Romania by the US, and discussions of sending the anti-tank Javelin system to Ukrainian forces.
- Australia has been cleared by the US State Department to purchase up to 450 AIM-120D air-to-air missiles. The $1.22 billion sale will see Australia become the first customer of the AIM-120D, where the munition will be used on their fleets of F/A-18, E/A-18G, and F-35 aircraft. Included in the sale will be up to 34 AIM-120D Air Vehicles Instrumented (AAVI), up to 6 Instrumented Test Vehicles (ITVs) and up to 10 spare AIM-120 Guidance Sections (GSs).
- Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) has named its XT-5 advanced jet trainer concept the blue magpie. The bird, which dwells in the mountains of Taiwan and is extremely defensive of its nest, was deemed an appropriate name for the jet by the AIDC. Increased indigenous development of military hardware and technology has become a hallmark of the new Taiwanese administration with plans to also develop its own new fighter jet to replace its Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF) jet.
- An Indian defense company is to begin developing precision-guided and laser bombs for the country’s defense forces. OIS Advanced Technology (OIS-AT) will partner with Sagem of France to manufacture the munitions, a first for any Indian company. At present, the Indian armed forces import such munitions from Israel, France, Russia, and the US. Sagem’s collaboration will see them share their high-precision, AASM Hammer Guidance and Range Extension kit for aerial munitions, which will see the Indian government spend up to $2 billion on domestically produced precision guided munitions over the next ten years.
- First flight of Aurora Flight Science’s LightningStrike, Vertical Take-off and Landing Experimental Plane (VTOL X-plane):
May 11, 2015 03:05 UTC
- General Electric Aviation was awarded a $2 billion IDIQ contract Friday in part to fulfill a Foreign Military Sale to Taiwan for the company’s T700 engine, with the contract stretching to 2020. The T700 engine family powers a number of US-manufactured helicopters, including the UH-60 Black Hawk, which Taiwan purchased 60 of in 2010. GE Aviation is not unaccustomed to significant contracts, with the company awarded a major multi-year contract extension in 2009. Friday’s contract covers not only the Taiwanese FMS but also US defense and other government agency requirements.
- The Canadian government will soon begin compiling a shortlist of firms competing for contracts as part of the $24 billion Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program, which will see up to fifteen ships replace the existing Iroquois- and Halifax-classes. With Irving Shipbuilding having been selected as prime contractor, two additional firms will design the CSC and integrate the ships’ systems, with a decision regarding the winner of these expected in 2017.
- The Navy is planning to spend $1.6 billion on carrier and amphibious ship defenses in order to protect the Service’s fleet of F-35s. The new defenses will focus on supersonic threats, with a series of overhauled technologies including new missiles and radars set to be integrated into Ship Self Defense Systems (SSDS). Key components of these future systems include the Rolling Airframe Missile and the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile.
- The US has reportedly deployed the AIM-120D AMRAAM missile to the Pacific, with recent photographs appearing to show the Raytheon-manufactured missile equipping a F/A-18E Super Hornet. Previous statements indicated that the missile wouldn’t be deployed until later this year, with the missile achieving Initial Operating Capability only last month.
- The US is mulling the sale of GBU-28 “bunker buster” bombs to Saudi Arabia, with the munitions currently only sold to Israel. The GBU-28 was developed by Raytheon, following 2005 contract.
- The Navy will hold a Sundown Ceremony on Monday for the SH-60B helicopter, as the last detachment of the Sikorsky-manufactured helicopters is rotated out of service. Replaced by the MH-60R, the older helicopter entered service thirty years ago in 1985.
- Following the crash of an Airbus A400M transport aircraft in Seville, Spain on Saturday, the Royal Air Force, Luftwaffe and Turkish Air Force have grounded their fleets. The aircraft was on an Airbus test flight, with the crash killing four crew members. The destroyed aircraft was due for delivery to Turkey in June, which would have made it the third Turkish A400M, following a 2003 contract for ten of the aircraft.
- Serial production of Russia’s new Kurganets IFV is reportedly set for 2017, with the new platform unveiled as part of the recent military parade in Moscow marking the end of the Second World War. The new vehicle has shown a number of new technologies, including a remote weapons station and elements of an active protection system. The Russian Ministry of Defense has ordered a batch of the vehicles for field trials and testing.
- India’s indigenously-developed Tejas Mk I light combat aircraft has come under serious criticism from the country’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), with 53 deficiencies cited in a recent report. A major concern is the lack of defensive countermeasure capability, with the jet reportedly failing to meet Indian Air Force (IAF) survivability standards. The LCA achieved initial operating clearance in December 2013, with the project severely delayed from its original scheduled induction date of 1994. The CAG report to Parliament also highlighted how the IAF will likely be forced to induct the aircraft without a trainer variant available for pilot training, with a repair and overhaul facility also yet to be established at manufacturer HAL’s facilities, a requirement previously set out by the IAF.
- North Korea has appeared to have launched a missile from a submarine, with state media releasing photos of the launch on Saturday. The country has been attempting to miniaturize nuclear warheads to fit on ICBMs, with the US military categorizing North Korea’s ICBM as operational last month.
- A Russian Buk anti-air system catches fire during the country’s Victory Day Parade on Saturday…
Nov 13, 2006 07:07 UTC
AIM-120D into F-22A
The AIM-120D AMRAAM Production Program Manager was a bit skeptical when he was asked to be team leader on a rapid improvement event under the “Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st century” process improvement framework. By the time they were done, however, they had cut the acquisition-delivery time down from 11 months (48 weeks) to 4.5 months (20 weeks) using AFSO 21 process improvement tools. Maj. Charles Seidel was impressed – and so were other weapons programs from HARM missile targeting to MALD decoys to the Small Diameter Bomb II, all of whom also also work with Raytheon and would begin related AFSO 21 efforts of their own.
How did they do it?
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May 12, 2006 05:11 UTC
AIM-120C from F-22A
(click for missile zoom)
Designation-Systems notes that AIM-120D (aka. AIM-120C-8) is a development of the F-22 optimized AIM-120C with a two-way data link, more accurate navigation, an expanded no-escape envelope, improved High-Angle Off-Boresight which is the width of the seeker’s “view”, and a 50% increase in range. This joint USAF/US Navy project is currently in the testing phase.
Along those lines, Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ just received a $21.8 million firm-fixed-price contract modification for advanced medium range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) lead time away material, and systems engineering performance responsibility (SEPR). The lead time material will cover 12 operational test missiles (AIM-120D) and 40 initial operational capability missiles (AIM-120D and AIM-120C7). Work will be complete in October 2007. The Headquarters Medium Range Missile Systems Group, Eglin Air Force Base, FL issued the contract (FA8675-06-C-0003/P0002).
Sep 20, 2017 04:56 UTC
South African JAS-39D
As a neutral country with a long history of providing for its own defense against all comers, Sweden also has a long tradition of building excellent high-performance fighters with a distinctive look. From the long-serving Saab-35 Draken (“Dragon,” 1955-2005) to the Mach 2, canard-winged Saab-37 Viggen (“Thunderbolt,” 1971-2005), Swedish fighters have stressed short-field launch from dispersed/improvised air fields, world-class performance, and leading-edge design. This record of consistent project success is nothing short of amazing, especially for a country whose population over this period has ranged from 7-9 million people.
This is DID’s FOCUS Article for background, news, and contract awards related to the JAS-39 Gripen (“Griffon”), a canard-winged successor to the Viggen and one of the world’s first 4+ generation fighters. Gripen remains the only lightweight 4+ generation fighter type in service, its performance and operational economics are both world-class, and it has become one of the most recognized fighter aircraft on the planet. Unfortunately for its builders, that recognition has come from its appearance in Saab and Volvo TV commercials, rather than from hoped-for levels of military export success. With its 4+ generation competitors clustered in the $60-120+ million range vs. the Gripen’s claimed $40-60 million, is there a light at the end of the tunnel for Sweden’s lightweight fighter? In 2013 a win in Brazil started to answer that question.
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Sep 19, 2017 04:59 UTC
In an exclusive June 2006 interview, Israeli Air Force (IAF) chief procurement officer Brigadier-General Ze’ev Snir told Israeli media that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was a key part of their IAF recapitalization plans, and that Israel intended to buy over 100 of the fighters to replace their fleet of over 300 F-16s.
Since then, however, the expected cost of that purchase has more than doubled. Israel’s F-35 contract had to deal with that sticker shock, with issues like the incorporation of Israeli technologies and industrial work, and with major schedule slips in the core F-35 program. Israel was even contemplating delaying its purchase, which would have removed an important early adopter for the Lightning II. In the end, however, Israel decided to forego other fighter options, and became the first foreign buyer of operational F-35s. So, how is the “F-35i Adir” shaping up?
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Sep 19, 2017 04:58 UTC
The multi-national Eurofighter Typhoon has been described as the aerodynamic apotheosis of lessons learned from the twin engine “teen series” fighters that began with the F-14 and F-15, continued with the emergence of the F/A-18 Hornet, and extended through to the most recent F/A-18 Super Hornet variants. Aerodynamically, it’s a half generation ahead of all of these examples, and planned evolutions will place the Eurofighter near or beyond parity in electronic systems and weapons.
The 1998 production agreement among its 4 member countries involved 620 aircraft, built with progressively improved capabilities over 3 contract “tranches”. By the end of Tranche 2, however, welfare state programs and debt burdens had made it difficult to afford the 236 fighters remaining in the 4-nation Eurofighter agreement. A 2009 compromise was found in the EUR 9 billion “Tranche 3A” buy, and the program has renewed its efforts to secure serious export sales. Their success will affect the platform’s production line in the near term, and its modernization plans beyond that.
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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 04:59 UTC
CF-18, 20-year colors
Canada’s 138 “CF-18s” were delivered between 1982-1988, but accidents and retirements have reduced the fleet to about 103, with only 79 upgraded F/A-18 AM/BM Hornets still operational. The CF-18s are expected to be phased out between 2017 – 2023. Maintenance and upgrades will remain necessary until then, and possibly beyond.
Canada has been an active Tier 3 partner in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, participating in both the Concept Demonstration Phase ($10 million) and the System Development and Demonstration Phase ($150 million). This USD $160 million has included funding from both the Department of National Defence, and from Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC). In the Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Development Phase of the F-35 program, it is estimated that Canada’s contribution will exceed C$ 550 million (about the same in USD) over 44 years. As of September 2011, the government had disbursed about C$ 335 million toward participation in the JSF Program, and related support to Canadian industry.
Now, 65 new CF-35As are Canada’s official choice to replace its Hornets – and estimates of the cost range from $17 billion to $45.8 billion. This article covers efforts to keep existing CF-18s fit for service, as well as Canada’s replacement fighter buy. As timelines continue to slip, these 2 programs have become more interdependent – and the F-35’s selection less certain.
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