Raytheon Replacing Gen Dyn on T-100 Program | Russia to Sign $8B+ Weapons Contract with Iran | Honeywell Aerospace Joining Japan’s P-1 Program
- Raytheon and the US Navy have successfully commenced operational testing of the new Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW C-1) at China Lake. The AGM-154 Block III upgrade incorporates a new Link-16 weapon data link and a moving maritime target capability. This was the eighth successful test for the air-to-surface missile after seven deployments in the developmental and integration test phases. The latest test has been described by Raytheon as “a challenging battlefield scenario [which] included a well-defended target that used tactical countermeasures.” Once the free flight operational testing is complete, the JSOW C-1 will be released for full use by the Navy.
- After last March’s dropping out by General Dynamics from the T-100 trainer program, it looks as if Raytheon may take the role as lead contractor in the project. The company will then join Alenia and CAE in their bid for the USAF’s T-X program, offering a design based on Alenia’s existing M-346. The eventual winners of the T-X competition will provide the Air Force with 350 new aircraft to replace the aging T-38 fleet used for advanced jet training. Their bid, however, is facing plenty of stiff competition; with a pair of clean-sheet designs being put forth by a Boeing/Saab team and a Northrop Grumman-led coalition that includes BAE Systems and L-3, the Lockheed Martin-Korea Aerospace Industries T-50A, and a design from Textron AirLand, which may be loosely based on its Scorpion jet.
Middle East North Africa
- The ongoing proxy war in Syria, and increased tensions with Russia, has led analysts to believe that Turkey is amending its short term shopping lists. The priority has shifted to increasing and updating its stocks of defensive gear and technologies such as stand-off jammers, aerial early warning and control aircraft, medium and long-range air defense systems, intelligence-based systems designed for better border security (such as the Gokturk 3 and Gokturk 4 satellites), and 3D radar modernization to name but a few. The installation of the S-400 air defense system has also resulted in Turkey halting its bombings of Islamic State positions in Syria, however it continues assaulting Kurdish positions there as well, along with Kurdish PPK positions in northern Iraq and within Turkey itself.
- General Atomics has received a contract to provide four unarmed MQ-9 Reaper UAVs and two Block 30 ground control stations to Spain. While Madrid may seek to arm the UAVs in future, it requires authorization from the US government before it can do so. However, this may not be too much of an issue, as both the UK and Italy have already been granted permission to arm their fleets with precision guided missiles such as the AGM-114 Hellfire. While the initial foreign sales notice posted by the US in October cites the cost of the hardware at $80 million, the total cost of procurement, training and logistical support could see that cost more in the region of $243 million.
- After much anticipation, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to purchase two Airbus Defence & Space Zephyr 8 high-altitude pseudo-satellites from Airbus. Delivery of the solar-powered, long-endurance surveillance unmanned air vehicles is to be by 2017 at a cost of $15.5 million. While the DoD’s exact intentions for the aircraft’s deployment and mission remains unclear, they will now be utilized in a surveillance role and acting as a communications relay link for ground operations.
- Speaking at the Singapore Air Show, Boeing VP for Global Sales Jeff Kohler, outlined potential sales of military hardware, with Indonesia set to be the latest country to buy the CH-47 Chinook. While numbers have not been released, earlier reports put the acquisition at eight. Meanwhile, Japan looks set to order more F-15s to bolster and upgrade its fleet to face upcoming regional challenges while suffering cash flow problems. Boeing is also to provide two more of its early warning aircraft systems to South Korea after reports that the four previously delivered are being used constantly. Finally, the Indian Navy may add eight additional P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to those currently on order.
- Russian officials have confirmed that they are to sign a major weapons contract with Iran later this year. A sale of an undisclosed number of Su-30SM multi-role fighters could also be joined by Yak-130 advanced jet trainers, Mil Mi-8 light attack helicopters, Mil Mi-17 transport helicopters, in addition to K-300P Bastion-P mobile coastal defense missile systems, frigates, and diesel-electric submarines. In total, weapons sales to Tehran could amount to over $8 billion. The shopping spree follows the relaxation of embargoes on the Theocratic state, following the scaling back of its nuclear research. Relations with western powers may also soften further following the upcoming elections to the country’s Assembly of Experts. A win by moderate reformers could lead to further improvements to its once pariah international image.
- Honeywell Aerospace is to become the largest non-Japanese participant in Japan’s P-1 program. The US company has been selected by Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) to outfit the new maritime aircraft with its electrical and mechanical systems, such as the 131-9J Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), alongside works on the Cabin Pressure Control System, Engine Starter Bleed System Valve, Exterior and Interior Lighting, Personal Oxygen Unit, Ram Air Turbine, Bleed Air System, and Sonobuoy Dispenser. The announcement comes as the demand for maritime surveillance and patrol aircraft is increasing steadily, especially in the Asia Pacific region. All countries in the region are undergoing upgrades to the latest systems in order to protect shipping lanes and boost their presence, as disputes over territory in the South China Sea continue to grow.
- Super Hornet catapult shot on the USS Harry Truman. Just click and drag your mouse along the screen for a full 360-degree view:
Categories: Daily Rapid Fire