Pentagon to See $728M in Savings Next Batch F-35s | SRC Wins $65M to Provide Counter-UAS Sys | Russia Debuts First MiG-35 With Intent to ExportFeb 06, 2017 00:58 UTC
- The US Navy has successfully tested the Spike missile launcher, destroying a UAV target. Not to be confused with the Rafael version, the project aims at providing the sailing branch with an increased capability to defeat the growing threat of UAVs. The Spike launcher is first queued to the target via radar so that the operator can acquire the UAV and engage it. Another modification to the system involves the addition of a proximity fuze to the body, provided by the Army.
- Lockheed Martin has announced the completion of negotiations with the Pentagon over the next batch of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. The long-awaited agreement for 90 models, brought to public attention due to US President Donald Trump’s efforts to get a “better deal” on the defense spending, will see $728 million in savings and an 8 percent drop in price over the last contract. The contract also brings to a conclusion months of doubt over the future of the fighter’s program amid cost-overruns, equipment faults, and wrangling between government and industry.
- Non-profit research and development firm, the Syracuse Research Corporation (SRC), has won a $65 million US Army contract to supply an integrated counter-UAS system. The contract was issued on an urgent basis. SRC’s Silent Archer system uses radar and electronic warfare technology to detect and track drones and disrupt the drone operator’s signals to the aircraft.
Middle East & North Africa
- Tunisia has received the first six units of a planned 24 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter acquisition. The $100.8 million deal was green-lighted last May and the following 18 are expected to be delivered this March. Tunis is purchasing the scout helicopters as part of efforts to beef up counter-terrorism and border security capabilities against militants belonging to groups such as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Islamic State’s franchise in neighbouring Libya, and the Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia.
- The Norwegian government has selected Germany over France to collaborate as strategic partners on their new fleet of submarines. Disburg-based Thyssenkrupp are likely to be tapped as the supplier in the program, relieving pressure from the firm following the losing of Australia’s submarine replacement program to France’s DCNS. Oslo’s program will replace its existing fleet of Ula-class vessels and will include four submarines for Norway, two for Germany, as well as provisions for future orders for the Netherlands and Poland.
- Missile manufacturer MBDA has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa. The deal aims to enhance mutual cooperation between the two companies in the field of missiles and missile systems, laying the groundwork for potentially winning MBDA future contracts awarded by a Polish government focused on securing domestic manufacturing jobs in its defense acquisitions. Current tenders targeted by MBDA include supplying missiles for Warsaw’s “Narew” short range air defense system.
- Russia has debuted their first MiG-35 in addition to expressing intentions of exporting the multi-role fighter. Introduced at airframer’s Lukhovitsy site near Moscow, and with delegations from 30 countries in attendance, China, India, Peru and Vietnam were all highlighted as targeted markets. India’s new requirement for purchasing an additional light-fighter in addition to their purchase of 36 Dassault Rafales is a likely first big contract. The Russian air force has already ordered 37 units with intentions to order more as its 258 earlier-generation MiG-29s are phased out.
- Myanmar is in advanced discussions with the government of Pakistan to license-build the JF-17 fighter. The talks follow 2015’s purchase of 16 of the fighter’s Block II variant which feature air-to-air refueling capabilities and improved avionics from its predecessor. It has yet to be decided whether that model would be then built in Myanmar, or whether the newer Block III will be pursued.
- The US Navy’s Spike missile program: