Rafael Conducts Test Firing Demo with Protector USV | Kongsberg Expands Footprint with German Venture | Saab Opens Office in PhilippinesMar 14, 2017 00:58 UTC
- Lockheed Martin has won a $64 million contract to perform work on the integrated core processor used by the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The DoD order includes services for the USAF, US Navy, USMC and international partners and the work aims to alleviate diminishing manufacturing source constraints projected under F-35 production Lot 15 by March 2019. Developed during the early stages of the F-35’s development, the integrated core processor is referred to as the “brain” of the next-gen fighter.
- The USAF has announced that it has used a quadcopter to conduct a maintenance inspection of the exterior of a C-17 aircraft. Conducted at Edwards Air Force Base, the 412th Test Wing’s Emerging Technologies Combined Test Force (CTF) conducted three sorties with the mini-UAV and it worked so well it allowed the ground crew to sign off on their preflight external inspection of the aircraft. It’s expected that use of such drones will help cut the inspection time from 45-60 minutes to just minutes. The test comes under the CTF’s task to provide agile, innovative flight test capabilities for emerging technologies and to explore the USAF’s future warfighting capabilities.
Middle East & North Africa
- Rafael has completed a successful test firing demonstration with its Protector unmanned surface vehicle (USV). The remote controlled platform conducted a series of launches with a variety of munitions, including the company’s Spike missile, as well as performing maneuvers and demonstrating its targeting capabilities. Protectors have already been procured by various navies, including those in Singapore, Israel and the US, and offers operators a platform that can conduct operations without revealing its identity to hostile forces.
- Norway’s Kongsberg has teamed up alongside Germany’s Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems and Atlas Elektronik to form a joint venture aimed at supplying combat systems for Thyssenkrupp submarines. The announcement follows an earlier Norwegian government announcement last month that they had chosen Germany as a strategic partner for their new submarine procurement program. The Norway-based new venture will be part-owned by both the Norwegian and German partners, and the new company will be responsible for the development, production and maintenance of combat systems. Speaking on the joint venture, Kongsberg President and CEO Geir Haøy said the agreement has potential to earn Kongsberg in excess of $1.8 billion over the next ten years and will mark a significant increase in activity and employment in the Norwegian industry.
- Safran has been selected by the UK’s Military Flying Training System program to assist in servicing engines of rotary-wing aircraft flown by Britain’s Defense Helicopter Flying School. The 17-year, by-the-hour contract follows an earlier agreement signed with UK’s defense ministry in July 2016, when they were selected to supply Arrius 2B2 and Arriel 2E turbines for the country’s H135 and H145 fleets. Work will be carried out in partnership with Airbus helicopters and it is believed Safran will earn over $100 million over the course of the contract.
- Saab has opened an office in the Philippines as the Swedish defense firm looks to sell its JAS-39 Gripen fighter to the archipelago nation. The office was opened by Swedish Ambassador Harald Fries who said that his embassy will invite Swedish companies who do good work in terms of social responsibility to have an exchange with both government agencies, labor unions, and Filipino companies. Alongside air defense, Saab is also looking to offer coastal surveillance equipment and even submarines to the Philippines in order to profit from Manila’s maritime modernization efforts.
- Taiwanese media has reported that the US has sent personnel, including officials from Raytheon, to inspect Taiwan’s PAC-3 air defense systems. Two batteries have been in place in Hualian and Taitung since earlier this year, replacing the older Hawk air defense system, and the inspection is being seen as a signal that the deployments may become permanent. Meanwhile, South Korea’s deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) has started a debate in Taiwan at the possible deployment of THAAD on the island. Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan, however, has publicly voiced his opposition against a THAAD presence in Taiwan, saying the island had no need to be drawn into other countries’ conflicts.
- Attack drones will be deployed to South Korea by the US as tensions rise on the peninsula over the deployment of THAAD. The decision to deploy the MQ-1C Grey Eagles to Korea come as part of a wider plan to deploy a company of the attack drones with every division in the US Army. Speaking on the announcement, United States Forces Korea spokesman Christopher Bush added that the Grey Eagle’s will provide a “significant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability to US Forces Korea and our ROK partners.” These ongoing tensions are taking place at a time when South Korean voters are scheduled to go to the polls on May 9 in order to elect a new president following the impeachment and dismissal last week of its former president, Park Geun-hye, and policy on North Korea and the THAAD system are likely to be contentious issues in the campaign.
- The Protector USV: