Boeing Wins 10 Year Contract for T-38C Support | Saudis Pledge Big $$ to Help Morocco Develop Military | Elbit and Flextronics Battle to Win Bid for IMI
- Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems have been selected to develop a new self-protection suite for Lockheed Martin’s AC-130J and MC-130J gunships. The two electronic super weights will equip the aircraft with next-generation radio frequency countermeasure (RFCM) systems that can “detect, disrupt and defeat” anti-aircraft weapons, radars and other threats that use electromagnetic signals. While the value of the contracts are worth $32.8 million and $20 million respectively, the potential earnings for both companies could rise to $400 million each if the eight potential follow-on contracts are activated. By 2021, the USAF is expected to have thirty-seven MC-130Js and thirty-two AC-130Js ready for combat duty.
- Boeing has been awarded a ten year $855 million contract to provide Northrop T-38C Talon avionics and logistics support. The work will take place on 456 Talons and will be completed by January 2026. The contract will see the T-38s in service as the selection of a new leading trainer jet is developed under the T-X program. Prototypes of a potential replacement are in development by several companies including Boeing/Saab, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.
Middle East North Africa
- Saudi Arabia is to coordinate with Morocco on joint training, military exercises, and exchange of expertise in different areas related to the defense industry. The Agreement on Military & Technical Operations will see Saudi Arabia help finance Moroccan armament acquisition and develop a national “embryonic” military industry. $22 billion will be invested between now and 2019, and several companies such as Bombardier, Airbus, Safran and Thales are to open operations in Morocco in 2016.
- The privatization of the state owned Israel Military Industries (IMI) is coming to a head with Elbit and Flextronics leading the race. The tender however, has been put under scrutiny after criticism arose over the company’s price tag of $280 million set by the Government Companies Authority. While a dozen firms had expressed interest in IMI back in May, most are said to be on the verge of dropping out of the running, as costs attached to the conditions of the sale are said to be higher than expected. If Elbit is to acquire IMI, it will effectively create a monoploy in the Israeli defense industry.
- The indigenous led modernization of Poland’s armed forces continues, after Warsaw signed contracts to upgrade 128 of its Leopard 2A4 battle tanks. The $605.7 million deal will see prime contractor Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) and integrator ZM Bumar-Labedy conduct the works due to be completed by 2020, with options to upgrade fourteen more. Bought from ex-German stocks in 2002, the tanks will see work done to turrets, chassis and other equipment as well as upgrades to Poland’s tank training simulators.
- After the late 2015 launch of Russia’s latest early warning satellite, Moscow is set to continue with at least one more early warning satellite launch in 2016. The expansion follows the Russians increasing their satellite registry by 5,000 in 2015, with 15,000 now tracked by the ground based early warning system. The move comes as Russia aims to decrease its reliance on foreign satellite data; its space agency, Roscosmos, announcing decreased dependency on foreign systems last year.
- An opinion piece in The Week looks at Russia’s reported military resurgence, and questions if it is all that it’s cracked up to be? The world’s fourth largest defense spender budgeted $54 billion in 2015 with an upward trend in spending set to continue. Despite the increase in spending, international sanctions, shrinking export markets, and declining oil prices, Russia has seen its economy slip into recession. The article also mentions Russia’s lack of major replacement in its stocks of Cold War-era equipment and technology, with a new spending program for old technology set to cost at least $700 billion. While still a major power, The Week sees Russia’s status slip due to an effective use of punitive financial sanctions over aggressive action in Crimea however, the Bear is going nowhere any time soon.
- Ghana is in the process of acquiring a Mil Mi-35 for its Air Force. The news comes from Chief of Air Staff Air Vice Marshal Michael Samson-Oje in his end of year message which summed up the nation’s recent aircraft procurement. The purchase of the Russian made gunship follows 2015’s acquisition of four Harbin Z-9 helicopters from China, and the ordering of five Embraer Super Tucano turboprop aircraft. The new helicopters and aircraft will go towards helping to secure Ghana’s developing gas and oil infrastructure as well as increasing maritime security.
- The conservative Heritage Foundation’s 2016 Index of military strength. More analysis found here:
Categories: Daily Rapid Fire