AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helo: The Netherlands has been experimenting. The Royal Netherland Air Forces has been using "modifications and operational techniques" to convert their fleet of AH-64 Apache helicopters from their traditional ground-attack and CAS roles to a more ISTAR-oriented platform. Details of exactly what these special changes are remain to be seen.
H-60 MYP-VIII: The DSCA notified Congress of the potential sale of three Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks to Mexico, in a deal potentially worth $110 million. That there are only three Black Hawks in the deal is surprising, as the application appears to have gone in with five requested.
Slovakia is also poised to receive nine of the same model. More »
Rapid Fire | Thursday, March 26, 2015, 00:34 UTC ()
Three firms have been awarded contracts to provide tactical data link systems for research, integration, human and a host of other factors, with the three firms having the option to compete for task orders over an initial one-year period. Tactical Engineering & Analysis Inc. was awarded a $19.7 million contract, Computer Sciences Corp. $17.8 million and Odyssey Systems Consulting Group $16 million, totalling approximately $53.5 million. Each of these come with a two-year option period, which if exercised would total approximately $90.7 million. A separate $23.3 million contract was announced today for 5,000 joint chemical agent detectors.
Airbus is cutting its share in French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation, manufacturer of the Rafale. After dropping its percentage share by 4.2% in November, Airbus announced today that it is selling a further 17.5% of the company. Airbus will still own more than a quarter of Dassault after the transaction.
Following the news that Turkey is reportedly set to sign a $3.4 billion air defense deal with China, the country’s Prime Minister has called for a focus on developing indigenous missile and space technologies. Turkey’s domestic defense industry is currently involved in several high-profile development programs, including the Altay tank and TF-X fighter projects.
Taiwanese media is reporting that Myanmar will purchase the JF-17 (AKA the FC-1 Xiaolong) from Pakistan, the love-child of China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex. Myanmar has pondered the purchase for a while, previously opting for the MIG-29 over the JF-17 in 2009; this change of heart is likely a result of the difficulties involved with keeping MiG-29s in service.
| A major review has been launched by the Pentagon to assess the current state of play of missile defense systems, capabilities and programs, seeking to update a previous review from 2011. The Patriot is likely to come under scrutiny, as well as the THAAD system. More »
| The Army released a Sources Sought notice (W15QKN-15-X-7820), looking for one vendor that can bundle together a series of aftermarket improvements to the M4A1 carbine. The package, to be called the M4A1+, includes increased accuracy, rails, mounting surfaces, neutral, non-black, color, coatings, backup sites and a kitchen sink full of other, smaller improvements.
| The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye prop planes are off on their first carrier deployment, five of them having been assigned to the Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). In addition to having twice the observation resolution, the glass cockpit allows the co-pilot swap between flying duties and helping handle the information inflow. More »