SeaRAM gets $10.4M Contract Mod | IAI Selling Kfir Block 60s to Argentina | UAE Issues MoU for AW609 Tiltrotor AircraftNov 11, 2015 00:20 UTC
- Raytheon has received a $10.4 million contract modification for Navy Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) SeaRAM upgrades. The company received a $159 million production contract in October for CIWS systems, with the contract also covering support equipment for the Rolling Airframe Missile-based SeaRAM system. The SeaRAM improves the CIWS’s Phalanx Block 1B radar system with an eleven-missile RAM launcher to expand the system’s defensive capabilities.
- Argentina is slated to sign a contract for 14 Israel Aerospace Industries Kfir Block 60 fighters in November. The aircraft will also come equipped with EL/M-2032 Active Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) radar systems, provided by Elta Systems. The Argentine Air Force retired its aging fleet of Mirage fighters in August, with reports in July indicating that the service was in talks with IAI over a possible acquisition of secondhand Kfir Block 60s. Argentina previously attempted to procure Gripen E fighters, with this subsequently blocked by the United Kingdom, leading the Argentinean government to look everywhere for new fighters after other attempts to buy JF-17s proved to be too expensive.
Middle East North Africa
- Boeing is reportedly eyeing an Egyptian order for additional AH-64 Apache attack helicopters next year, with other potential deals also covering support services to the country’s existing Apache fleet. Egypt received ten AH-64D Apaches in December 2014, following the lifting of a delivery freeze imposed by the US after the country’s military seized power in July 2013. In May 2009 the Egyptian government requested twelve of the helicopters.
- Egyptian plans to acquire Ka-52K naval attack helicopters – reported in October – will not go ahead until the Russians have finished dismantling the sensitive equipment on board the Mistral LHDs they will equip. Russian specialists began removing sensitive communications systems, combat information systems and other equipment in September [Russian], after the Egyptians announced the acquisition of the two Mistrals, signing a contract in October. Completion of the removals is expected in November, with Egypt yet to submit a formal request for the helicopters.
- Following on the heels of other aircraft acquisitions, the United Arab Emirates has inked a Memorandum of Understanding for three AgustaWestland AW609 tiltrotor aircraft, beating off competition from the Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey. The aircraft will operate in a search and rescue capacity, operating with the country’s Joint Aviation Command. Deliveries are expected from 2019, with the MoU coming just days after a fatal crash involving a prototype AW609 during high-speed flight testing in Italy.
- Sweden has ordered more IRIS-T SLS missiles from Diehl Defence through an option on a previous acquisition deal. The InfraRed Imaging System – Tail vector controlled surface-to-air missile was first ordered in March 2013, with the SLS version of the weapon a SAM version of the original air-to-air missile.
- An Italian firm is collaboratively developing a new jamming capability for the Italian Air Force’s Tornado and Eurofighter aircraft, reportedly capable of fitting into an under-belly pod on the aircraft. The new pod is designed to retrofit existing in-service aircraft, meaning that the capability is not being developed for Italy’s inbound F-35 JSFs.
- Boeing and Indian firm Tata Advanced Systems have announced a joint venture, with the latter set to manufacture AH-64 Apache fuselages locally in India as part of a deal announced in September for 22 Apache and 15 CH-47F Chinook helicopters. Boeing announced in October that it planned to assemble one of the two types locally, with the company subject to a 30% offset clause as part of the $3.1 billion deal.
- China has reportedly tested an exoatmospheric missile thought capable of knocking out satellites in orbit. This latest test of the Dong Neng-3 missile is the eighth, with Beijing referring to the test as a missile defense system. A similar test took place in May 2013, with that involving the less advanced Dong Neng-2 missile. This recent testing took place at the Korla Missile Test Complex in the country’s western Xinjiang province.
- Japanese forces have successfully test fired the Chu-SAM Kai surface-to-air missile system at White Sand Missile Range, firing the system ten times, including an interception of a supersonic target. The medium range system received a perfect score in downing cruise missile targets, with the tests also validating the US Navy’s GQM-163A Coyote supersonic cruise missile target. The Chu-SAM Kai is an improved version of the Japanese-designed Chu-SAM, incorporating improved sensors and networking to improve the system’s range and engage more advanced targets.