Thales will update the master radars for the Swiss Air Force in a deal worth $78.90 million. The five-year upgrade is part of a life extension project to keep the former's FLORAKO system running until the 2030s. Thales said the project will involve development of a new radar signal and upgrading the radar's data processing and antenna system. More »
A400M transport plane: Indonesia's government has approved a $2 billion plan to purchase five A400M transport aircraft from Airbus. News of the deal marks a significant leap in the country's modernization plans and provisions included in the deal will allow Indonesian engineers to study and observe the assembly of various major aircraft components, including wings and fuselage shells, for the first two airframes in Seville, Spain. State-owned firm PT Dirgantara will then conduct the final fit-out of the last three airframes at its plant in Bandung.
Rapid Fire | Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 00:58 UTC ()
Sig Sauer has won out against eight other bidders to provide new Modular Handgun Systems for the US Air Force and Army’s Modular Handgun Program. Valued at $580 million, the contract includes the provision of versions of the P320 handgun, accessories and ammunition to replace the M9 handgun currently used by the service. Baretta’s M9 has been the standard sidearm of the Navy, Army, and Air Force since 1985.
With the trial of US Navy Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lin due in March, its been reported that prosecutors are finding it difficult to find any concrete evidence that he is guilty of espionage. The revelations come from a redacted NCIS report obtained by the Navy Times, who cites it as appearing “to reveal a wide gap between the most damning crimes Lin was originally accused of and the evidence prosecutors have in hand now.” Lin was arrested in 2015 on charges that he had sold sensitive information on US weapons programs to Chinese and Taiwanese military officials.
The Namibian Armed Forces have ordered a number of new armored patrol vehicles and lightweight remote weapon systems from South African firm Denel. Windheok’s order includes eight mine-resistant 4 x 4 RG32M vehicles in addition to four Self Defense Remotely Operated Weapon (SDROW) weapon stations, which are fitted with a light machine gun and are capable of hitting enemy targets at range of over 1,968 feet away. Delivery of the systems will be completed by this March.
Florida-based firm Comp Air Aviation will collaborate with the Nigerian Air Force to develop a light utility air platform known as the NAFSA Eagle aircraft. The program will see shared research and development work carried out to produce an aircraft that can be fitted for various purposes, such as transport, search-and-rescue, or light attack roles. Nigeria hopes the contract will help the country become more technologically independent and better equipped to face domestic threats as it modernizes its armed forces. Current domestic threats include the notorious jihadist group Boko Haram in the north and a renewed militancy in the oil-producing Niger Delta region in the south.
Saudi news outlet Al Arabiya has reported that Ukrainian authorities have seized a plane allegedly transporting Russian-made anti-tank guided missiles to Iran. A search of the plane’s hold at Kiev’s Zhulyany Airport was conducted when 17 containers onboard were not registered in the flight’s cargo manifesto. Three containers were filled with 9K111 Fagot ATGMs.
Lockheed Martin has delivered its first shipment of cruise missiles to the Polish Air Force. The AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM) were ordered back in 2015 in a $225 million deal to deliver and integrate the munitions on Polish F-16 fighters. Warsaw also plans to have the Extended Range (ER) version of the JASSM delivered as well as an unspecific number of Raytheon’s AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles.
French weapons sales in 2016 hit a new record with contracts inked last year in excess of $21.33 billion. While the total tally has yet to be completed, big ticket deals such as the completion of the arduous Rafale fighter negotiations with India and December’s agreement with ship-builder DCNS to build 12 new submarines for Australia, all helped push sales comfortably passed 2015’s record of $18.2 billion.
The acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn has urged the US to move forward with the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system on the peninsula. Hwang, who was speaking on behalf of impeached President Park Guen-hye, warned that North Korea “has been expanding its nuclear capabilities and developing the technology to create nuclear weapons. They are also miniaturizing nuclear weapons,” and that “right now is not the time to talk to try to resolve North Korea’s nuclear issues.” In return, China has called for the cancellation of THAAD, citing that the system’s radar could penetrate its own territory.
| The Israeli Air Force has received delivery of their first Arrow-3 missile defense battery. A joint-development effort by Boeing and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the Arrow-3 interceptor will form the upper-tier layer of Israel's multi-tiered Arrow Weapons System (AWS), and is designed to fly nearly twice as high at half the weight of the Arrow-2 interceptor, which covers the lower-tier segment of the network. Arrow-3 missiles will allow the IAF to shoot twice against a single ballistic target, assess for battle damage and, if needed, divert to other approaching threats, with the Arrow-2 operating as a back-up. More »
| Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz has said that his government is considering a 2017 splurge on new military hardware. Macierewicz name-dropped Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky subsidiary, Leonardo, and somewhat surprisingly Airbus, as potential suppliers of 14 helicopters to the Polish army. While both Sikorsky and Leonardo have plants located in Poland, relations between Airbus and the ruling Law & Justice Party soured last year following the cancellation of a $3.2 billion deal to provide 50 H225M Caracals. The ministry has also proposed a plan to buy between 50-100 F-16s as well as three new submarines with contracts to be signed by either the end of the year or in early 2018.
| Speaking of costs, the price of the F-35 looks set to take a tumble, as the US DoD and Lockheed Martin come close to an agreement on a new contract for the Joint Strike Fighter. While talks on the warplane's tenth batch are still ongoing, sources close to discussions say the fighter will drop below its current $100 million per-plane price tag for the first time. Believed to be in the range of $9 billion, an official announcement on the 90-plane deal is expected to come at the end of the month.
| January 19/17: Russia has test-fired external link a Topol-M ICBM, one of the first ballistic missiles to be developed after the fall of the Soviet Union. Capable of being deployed from missile silos or APU launchers mounted on the 16-wheeled MZKT-79221 universal transporter-erector-launcher, the test was carried out to confirm the weapon’s stability. The weapon’s developers claim their product is able to bypass any current or planned US missile defense system, and can make evasive maneuvers to avoid missile interceptors during flight. More »
| South Korea is shopping for 12 new naval helicopters as its Defense Acquisition Program Administration earmarks $768 million for the acquisition. A decision will be made by the end of 2018 with AgustaWestland’s AW-159, the Sikorsky MH-60R, and NHIndustries’ NH-90 are all in the running. Deliveries will take place between 2020-2022 and the choppers will be deployed on next-generation frigates to counter North Korean submarines and surface vessels.
| The Israeli Air Force has tested a new self-protection system on its Lockheed Martin C-130Js to protect from surface-to-air missiles. Once equipped with the updated self-protection package, the air force's new transporters will be able to operate in areas where terrorist groups have ready access to shoulder-launched heat-seeking missiles. At present, Israel operates four C-130Js, with plans to purchase three more. More »