USN Selects Raytheon for Work on Standard Missile Variants | Gen Atom to Supply LiFT for SAHRV | Russians Begin Weapon Trials on T-50/PAK-FA
- The US Navy has selected Raytheon to perform engineering and technical services for several Standard Missile variants used by the service. Valued at $113 million, work to be carried out under the agreement calls for the procurement for other government agencies and foreign military sales to undisclosed customers, as well as engineering work for the Standard Missile 2, 3 and 6. Other tasks to be carried out by Raytheon include research and development efforts, component improvement, shipboard integration and evaluation services. Scheduled to be completed by April 2022, the contract contains options that if exercised, could bring the cumulative value of the contract to $466 million.
- General Atomics has announced that they will supply a Lithium-ion Fault Tolerant (LiFT) battery system to power the US military’s Semi-Autonomous Hydrographic Reconnaissance Vehicle (SAHRV), a platform developed for maritime intelligence gathering operations. The battery is built to support both manned and unmanned platforms, and designed to prevent uncontrolled cascading cell failure, which according to the company, makes the system safer to use, and can keep equipped vehicles functional to complete their missions. The company added that the battery has been successfully fielded for underwater applications.
Middle East & North Africa
- A Saudi Arabian military helicopter that crashed in Yemen on Tuesday was caused by friendly fire. The Black Hawk was conducting combat operations when the incident happened, resulted in the deaths of 12 officers onboard, and it is one of the largest death tolls in a single incident involving Saudi forces since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen’s war in 2015. While the Saudi news agency SPA quoted a statement from the Saudi-led coalition as saying the Black Hawk came down in Marib province, east of the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa, Yemeni defense ministry’s 26 September news website quoted an officer in Yemen’s military high command as saying the helicopter was shot down 5 km (3 miles) from its landing spot because of “a technical fault that caused a misreading of the air defense system, which resulted in the destruction of the plane before it landed.”
- Having barely won a referendum aimed at giving the Turkish presidency extensive new powers, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks to use his new authority to get more involved with weapons programs and procurement. Once a position that was aimed at being non-partisan, largely ceremonial, and without constitutional powers, Erdogan will now be head of state, head of government and head of the ruling AK party, and have powers to appoint vice presidents, Cabinet ministers, state bureaucrats and senior judges. A long-time advocate of Turkey’s local industry, experts now believe he will now take a more active role in defense procurements, and will “give pace to efforts to further nationalize defense systems, present and future.” Having been in power since 2002, under Erdogan, Turkey has launched scores of indigenous programs including helicopters, armored vehicles, naval platforms, drones, a new-generation battle tank and a fighter jet.
- After taking damage during a landing mishap last year, Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) hybrid Panther UAV is to have its vertical take-off and landing design’s fuselage and wing updated to boost performance. Developed in partnership with South Korea’s Hankuk Carbon—who have supplied composite materials and other subsystems—the Front Engine Panther was damaged during its first flight demonstration during a hard landing last December, and an investigation into the matter has resulted in a decision to change the airframe and wings. A follow on to the all-electric Panther UAV, the FE Panther uses electric batteries to power three motors during take-off and landing, and a gasoline engine during the cruise phase of flight. IAI says that this hybrid propulsion system increases endurance and payload capacity over its predecessor.
- Russia has commenced weapon testing trials on the T-50/PAK-FA fifth-generation stealth fighter cannons, with plans to have the trials completed later this year. Designed to have similar capabilities to the Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin’s fifth-generation F-22 Raptor, Moscow, with the T-50, hopes to break the US-held monopoly on fifth-generation fighters, as Washington finalizes development on its second, the long-delayed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Five T-50s are expected to be operational by the end of 2017.
- Norway has begun testing the brake parachute it will deploy on their fleet of F-35As. The testing will assess how the fighter handles with the parachute fitted, as well as braking on both dry and wet runways. Follow up testing will continue in Alaska in 2018, where testing will look to evaluate the parachute’s performance on icy runways. Sharing the cost with fellow F-35 program partner the Netherlands, modifications to the Norwegian F-35 fleet include strengthening the fuselage and adapting the aircraft to house the parachute between the two tailfins. The modifications have been included to make the fighter more prepared for the more adverse weather conditions found in Scandinavia such as low temperatures, strong winds, poor visibility and slippery runways. Oslo is scheduled to receive its first F-35s this November.
- Development of South Korea’s Haeseong II ship-to-ground missile has been completed with serial production of canister and vertical launch versions expected to begin in 2018. Based on the earlier SSM-700K Haeseong anti-ship missile and the culmination of a seven-year development program led by the Agency for Defense Development, the new missile will give an added ground attack capability to South Korean warships that have usually relied on anti-ship or anti-aircraft guided missiles, and will form a part of Seoul’s Kill Chain pre-emptive strike system designed to tackle a North Korean military provocation. The vertical launch variant will be operational on a number of vessel types, including the upcoming Incheon-class frigates, by 2019.
- Baykar Makina’s Mini V.3 UAV, recently inducted into the Turkish armed forces:
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