Brazil Orders Add’l RBS-70 from Saab in $11.7M Deal | Turkey to Make Known S-400 Interest on Russian Visit | Russia to Expand Mil Support Fleet of Long Range VesselsMar 09, 2017 00:30 UTC
- The Brazilian Army has ordered an additional procurement of RBS 70 surface-to-air missile systems from Saab in a deal worth $11.7 million. In addition to the systems, the contract includes launchers, night vision equipment, training simulators and other equipment for operators and maintainers of the RBS 70. Deliveries will commence later this year and continue into 2018. A popular system, Saab has sold more than 1,600 RBS 70 units to over 19 countries.
- Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4B Global Hawk UAV has commenced flight testing with the UTC Aerospace Systems MS-177 long-range multispectral sensor. The February 8 maiden flight with the MS-177 is the initial step in a six-month integration, test and qualification phase that will mostly take place at Edwards AFB, close to Northrop’s facility in Palmdale, California, where the aircraft is built. Northrop’s RQ-4 is the second UAV to demonstrate compatibility with the sensor after General Atomics’ “Predator C” Avenger, which performed a series of flight tests in January and February 2016. Integration with the MS-177 will enable the Global Hawk to establish compliance with the USAF’s new Open Mission System standards, which allow different sensors and payloads to be rapidly installed and qualified.
- FAAC Inc has been contracted by the USAF to upgrade weapon systems for the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. Valued at $9.5 million, the contract calls for FAAC to update various F-16 weapon system components including software capabilities, multi-mission computers, and mid-life updates for F-16 Block 16 jets. Work will be completed by March, 2023. The most recent variant of the jet, the F-16V, is equipped with an Active Electronically Scanned Array radar system and weapons include one M-61A1 20mm multi-barrel cannon in addition to air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles.
Middle East & North Africa
- Turkey is expected to bring up Turkish interest in the S-400 surface-to-air missile system when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Russia. Officials in Ankara have been touting the S-400 as an off-the-shelf solution to their long-range air-defense requirements, and it is noted that there is an interest in procuring Russian technical assistance for their own long-range SAM program, which was initiated following the collapse of an HQ-9 purchase from China. Turkey’s own efforts to develop an indigenous SAM system has progressed as of late with Roketsan successfully test-firing the medium-range HiSAR-O missile in December, and industry now focusing on validating the design and adapting the HiSAR-series to commercially-standard vertical-launch systems (VLS), which could prepare them for naval use in Turkey and abroad.
- The European Defense Agency (EDA) has completed a project aimed at improving the accuracy for artillery munitions. Known as the Course Correcting Fuze (CCF), the program is designed to provide near-precision capabilities for conventional munitions by placing fins in the fuze body that can then be used along with GPS technologies to make strikes with 155mm and 105mm munitions more accurate. Work was carried out by munition experts from EDA member states Belgium, Poland, Sweden and Britain participating in the project with additional support from Norway. The agency concluded it would be beneficial for EDA member states to develop common munitions and artillery systems, allowing CCF solutions to be integrated more easily.
- Russia is expanding their military support fleet with a focus on long-range vessels as they looks to increase the capability to ship military hardware and equipment to far-flung battlefields. Since the start of their military intervention in Syria in September 2015, Moscow has been sending supplies via the “Syrian Express” sea route through the Black Sea, however, this has put immense strain on their naval auxiliary fleet and has resulted in buying of Turkish cargo ships as well using an arctic ice breaker to help fill the void. In response to the shortfall, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that “our main efforts must be directed into building large-tonnage ships and other universal and multi-functional ships capable of meeting the needs of the armed forces in distant maritime areas,” and that Russia would build more than 60 such new ships before 2020.
- Iran tested two ballistic anti-ship missiles based on the Fateh-110 over the weekend. One missile successfully hit its target — a floating barge — over 155 miles away, while the second is believed to have landed in the vicinity of the target. Alongside the test, Iranian vessels forced a US Navy surveillance ship — the USNS Invincible — and three Royal British Navy vessels to change course in the Strait of Hormuz last week, and were also met with an earlier attempt by an Iranian vessel to position itself between the Invincible and a British ship. The launch comes less than a week after Tehran tested their new S-300 air-defense system for the first time.
- The US military has begun to deploy the first elements of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea. Speaking on the commencement of the deployment, US Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris said that the “continued provocative actions by North Korea, to include yesterday’s launch of multiple missiles, only confirm the prudence of our alliance decision last year to deploy THAAD to South Korea.” Meanwhile China has asked Pyongyang to cease their ongoing ballistic missile testing, and for South Korea and the US to stop joint military drills and seek talks instead.