Standard missile family SM-1 to SM-6: A Standard Missile-3 Block IIA intercept test conducted by the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Japan Ministry of Defense has failed. Launched from the USS John Paul Jones at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii, the SM-3 successfully detected and tracked the missile with its AN/SPY-1 radar and engaged, but failed to score a hit. This is the fourth test launch of the Block IIA and the second intercept test. The first attempted intercept earlier this year was successful. Further details are expected to be released at a later date once test data is reviewed by program officials.
JAS-39 Gripen fighter jets: After almost a decade of deliberation, Bulgaria is to formally start talks with Sweden over the purchase of 8 Saab JAS-39 Gripen fighters to replace its fleet of Soviet-designed MiG-29s. The official go-ahead was given by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, months after the deal was announced by the previous interim government, much to Borissov's chagrin. However, Sofia is now looking to seal a deal by the end of the year to acquire the jets between 2018 and 2022 in order to improve its fighter fleet and improve its compliance with NATO standards.
Rapid Fire | Thursday, June 22, 2017, 05:00 UTC ()
The USAF awarded Lockheed Martin a $104 million contract to develop, produce and field a threat simulator to train combat aircrews to recognize and deal with rapidly evolving threats, such as surface-to-air missiles. The deal will see the firm undertake the development and test of a single Advanced Radar Threat System Variant 2 (ARTS-V2) production representative system, with follow on options for a further 20 systems. Lockheed added that future sales could come from countries that plan to operate the stealthy F-35 fighter jet in coming years.
A report into restarting production of F-22 Raptor aircraft has been received by the US House Armed Services Committee. The USAF report was ordered by the committee last year, asking what it would take and how much it might cost to begin producing the high-tech, fifth generation aircraft again. Congress voted in 2009 to stop purchasing the F-22 after just 187 were made, hundreds less than USAF procurement needs. It is now been considered as a possible solution to filling US air power requirements, cost depending.
Despite an agreement with India’s Tata Advanced Systems to establish hub for future F-16 services, logistics, and plane and parts production, Lockheed Martin is moving ahead with plans to relocate its F-16 production line to its Greenville, S.C. facility. The F-16 production line, currently located in Forth Worth, is being moved from its Texas facility to make way for the F-35, with Greenville announced as the new location in March. Lockheed’s F-16 is facing off with Saab’s Gripen in India’s new fighter competition, and the Tata agreement is part of New Delhi’s ‘Make in India’ offsets requirement. When asked about a possible move from Greenville to India, Lockheed spokespersonJohn Losinger said that if selected, Indian F-16 production would start in South Carolina, adding that they don’t currently have a timeline for moving production lines east.
Middle Easy & North Africa
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced the successful test-firing of its Long-Range Artillery weapon system (LORA). For the purpose of the trial, LORA was placed on board a cargo vessel and successfully attacked a ground target with a high degree of precision. The test was also part of a conclusive stage for the sale of the system to several customers, and the system is also a key focus for IAI at this week’s Paris Air Show.
Thales has been chosen by Airbus to supply a number of flight and mission training equipment for Kuwaiti-operated Airbus Caracal helicopters. Under the deal, Thales will provide one Reality H FFMS simulator and two flight procedures and tactical training stations to the Kuwait Air Force and National Guard as part of a contract aimed at collective training exercises to prepare pilots and crews for complex missions, such as combat search-and-rescue. The training stations provide new pilots with initial training in flight procedures, as well as tactical training for captains and crews, while the H FFMS system provides pilots with training in navigation, instrument flight, equipment failures and emergency procedures.
Germany has delayed a decision on a military defense package, citing that lawmakers needed more time to discuss its contents. Valued at $14.5 billion, the procurement includes orders for Corvette warships and UAVs, but Social Democrat (SPD) representatives have requested more time to discuss the deal further before signing off on the decision. Speaking on the deferment, SPD lawmaker Christine Lambrecht said that the committee were now discussing how to proceed.
Sukhoi and MiG are scheduled to merge into a single combat aviation structural unit of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). Starting in 2019, the UAC will switch to the format of a single company, a single corporate contour while the division will be in the format of a unit of the UAC single company. However, this does not mean that two of the world’s most iconic fighter brands will disappear from the skies any time soon, after Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov had previously said that the brands would continue even if the companies merge.
Boeing has been awarded a three-year support contract for the Indian Navy’s fleet of P-8I maritime patrol aircraft. Included in the deal are the supply of field logistical representatives, engineering, planning, and material support for the 737-based airframe and other systems. The contract continues the service Boeing provides under the program’s current initial production contract, scheduled to expire in October. India currently operates a fleet of eight P-8I aircraft and Boeing are scheduled to deliver a further four from 2020.
| Electric Boat has been awarded a $203 million contract modification to conduct work for the joint US Navy-UK Common Missile Compartment program. The work order calls for the design, testing, and delivery of missile tubes for the Trident II D5 submarine launched ballistic missile used by the US and British navies and will be installed on both navies' replacement ballistic missile submarine classes, the Colombia and Dreadnought. Work will take place at Groton, Conn., Newport News, Va., and several other sites with completion scheduled for October 2017.
| Oman have received delivery of the first of 12 Typhoon fighters ordered from the Eurofighter consortium. The aircraft's arrival to the sultanate was marked by a ceremony at Adam AFB, with Commander of the Royal Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Mattar bin Ali bin Mattar Al Obaidani in attendance. Ordered in 2012 to beef up its fighter fleet, the squadron of Typhoons, along with eight Hawk aircraft, will join Muscat's current fleet of F-16 and Hawk aircraft.
| Huntington Ingalls has been awarded a $3 billion contract modification for the design and construction of the America-class Landing Helicopter Assault Replacement Amphibious Assault Ship. The majority of work will take place in Pascagoula, Miss., with further work to be carried out at smaller sites. Completion is expected for January 2024. The vessels will go towards the replacing the US navy's fleet of Wasp-class of amphibious assault ships.
| Italian firms will collaborate in India's modernization of its Su-30MKI fleet, according to Russian officials. The announcement was made by Rosoboronexport CEO Alexander Mikheev at this week's Paris air show, however, no details were made on what work the Italians would be assisting with. Earlier, CEO of Russian United Engine Corporation Alexander Artyukhov said that the Indian version of Su-30MKI after modernization will get the AL-41F turbofan engines designed for 4++ generation aircraft currently being installed on the Su-35 fighters.
| A long-floundering deal to bring the Sikorsky S-70B multi-role helicopter to India has been dropped. 16 Seahawks had been ordered back in 2014 to fill a naval requirement but both sides have been dragging over the price as Sikorsky is unwilling to extend the validity of its commercial bid. The sale's failure is likely to frustrate naval officials who are in need to fill an urgent requirement to replace 42 SeaKing helicopters bought from Westland helicopters. More »
| has been unveiled at the Paris air show. The updated aircraft—the M-346FA— includes the company's Grifo multi-mode fire control radar, as well as seven pylons for external weapons loads, enabling it to carry 2,000 pounds of external weapons. Leonardo stated that the new fighter was designed to help different air forces meet their needs rapidly by building on a common base, adding that they have found international interest in the plane "specifically in the Far East and South America." More »