PATRIOT/ MSE missiles: The Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress' watchdog, has stated that it wants more oversight into the Army's Patriot upgrade. With $1.8 billion in funding allocated for the next five years, the GAO stated that the service's plan, which is expected to remain in operation until at least 2050, lacks oversight mechanisms as the Army carries out its strategy in the coming years. Congress has consistently taken issue with what it sees as the Army’s inability to estimate the cost of the system in future years, and has regularly withheld funds to upgrade portions of the system, demanding the Army provide more clarity to its plans before shelling out all of the requested cash to fund it.
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD): In response to THAAD coming to South Korea, Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily reports on Beijing's plans to boost their missile defense capabilities. A PLAAF spokesperson made the announcement Monday, indicating that such an increase would be a solid step in increasing national security. Monday also saw the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) award Lockheed Martin a $19 million contract modification for the production of two additional Lot 8 interceptors for THAAD. The modification to the previously awarded contract increases the total value to $916 million.
C-130J family transport planes: Lockheed Martin is to provide five additional C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to the USAF. The $287 million modification contract is expected to be completed by April 2020. An update of the C-130 Hercules, the C-130J has attracted a wide number of interested customers, with orders received from at least 15 nations since induction in 1999. It's expected that the company could see another 100 units produced for US and international customers.
Rapid Fire | Wednesday, August 31, 2016, 00:58 UTC ()
The Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’ watchdog, has stated that it wants more oversight into the Army’s Patriot upgrade. With $1.8 billion in funding allocated for the next five years, the GAO stated that the service’s plan, which is expected to remain in operation until at least 2050, lacks oversight mechanisms as the Army carries out its strategy in the coming years. Congress has consistently taken issue with what it sees as the Army’s inability to estimate the cost of the system in future years, and has regularly withheld funds to upgrade portions of the system, demanding the Army provide more clarity to its plans before shelling out all of the requested cash to fund it.
Middle East North Africa
Israeli firm Rada Electonic Industries are to provide radars as part of the US Army’s Iron Curtain close-in active protection system (APS). The US DoD gave approval to Virginia-based defense solutions company Artis for the use of two Israeli Compact Hemispheric Radar-based RPS-10 radars “to support Artis’ active protection against rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) and other shoulder-launched threats.” Optimized to detect fire from RPGs and anti-tank guided missiles, the compact, multi-mission Rada radar has been validated dozens of times in live-fire tests of another hard kill system, the Israeli-developed Iron Fist by state-owned IMI Systems.
Heckler & Koch are to provide a $14 million shipment of G-36 rifles and 40mm under-barrel grenade launchers to the Lithuanian Army in the Baltic nation’s latest round of defense procurements. The company was dropped as Germany’s main rifle supplier last year following criticisms that the G-36 was unable to shoot straight in hot conditions. But with winter fast approaching and relations between Russia and its former-Soviet neighbors continuing to frost, it doesn’t seem to be too much of a concern for Vilnius (Lithuania).
Russia’s VPK has announced the introduction of their own life-size remote control 4×4 based on their armored Tigr vehicle. Fitted with a a combat module and a 30-mm automatic gun, the unmanned Tigr can move and fire via an operator’s commands and can also identify and track targets on its own. Since its introduction in 2006, the Tigr has been spotted in Syria and has even gained attention from King Abdullah II of Jordan.
A Swiss Air Force jet has gone missing, according to military officials. The F/A-18C, disappeared on Monday afternoon during a routine training mission. According to Defense Ministry sources, the suspected accident site in the mountainous Alpine region was difficult to access, with bad weather and darkness hampering the search efforts.
In response to THAAD coming to South Korea, Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily reports on Beijing’s plans to boost their missile defense capabilities. A PLAAF spokesperson made the announcement Monday, indicating that such an increase would be a solid step in increasing national security. Monday also saw the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) award Lockheed Martin a $19 million contract modification for the production of two additional Lot 8 interceptors for THAAD. The modification to the previously awarded contract increases the total value to $916 million.
Datron World Communications has been awarded a $495 million contract to provide the government of Afghanistan with radios and support equipment. The US Army deal is expected to be completed by August 2021. Datron provides an array of HF and VHF military voice and data radio products, rapidly deployable IP networking solutions and vertical take-off and landing drone systems with customers in over 80 countries.
Three Taiwanese Naval officers have been indicted in relation to last month’s accidental firing of an HF-3 supersonic anti-ship missile. The mishap resulted in the destruction of a fishing vessel and the death of its captain. Petty Officer Second Class Kao Chia-chun was charged with negligence and causing the captain’s death while Kao’s supervisor, Chief Petty Officer Chen Ming-hsiu, and the ship’s weapon systems officer Lt. Hsu Po-wei were indicted for neglecting their duties.
| The words "weapons tester," "memo," and "F-35A" have seldom come with good news; and the latest memo on the F-35A from director of Operational Test and Evaluation is no different. Despite the USAF declaring initial operational capability on the fighter earlier this month, the memo highlights many significant limitations that remain on the aircraft, in particular with the aircraft's new Block 3i software. However, the Joint Program Office remains confident that the capability gaps will be fixed on the aircraft in time and under the current budget parameters.
| RQ-4 Global Hawk UAVs operated by the USAF are to get an upgraded control system following a $104 million contract awarded to Raytheon. Under the deal, new payload controls for UAV will be incorporated, and the GCSs will be moved from temporary building to permanent structures at Beale AFB in California and Grand Forks AFB in North Dakota. Raytheon added that a new open architecture will be introduced, which will introduce scalability and the operation of new payloads and platforms, following which the old system will be gradually phased out. More »
| Airbus has successfully conducted a sand strip landing test of its A400M transporter during certification demonstrations in Woodridge, UK. The surface is the last of three unprepared landing strips on which the company is certifying the aircraft to operate, and follows completion of gravel testing during trials in Ablitas, Spain, and testing on a grass surface in Écury-sur-Coole, in France. A final week of testing will now be carried out with the aircraft carrying higher payloads.
| The Afghan Air Force has received its final batch of four MD-530 Cayuse Warrior helicopters. Unlike the previous delivery of five, the latest units are equipped with rocket and .50 caliber firing capabilities. This brings to 27 the number of Cayuse warriors now operated by the AAF, who often engage in providing aerial escort to convoys, providing over-watch to ANDSF operations and responding to "troops in contact" situations. More »
| French shipbuilder DCNS has been warned to beef up its security measures by Australian defense officials following a massive leak at the company. DCNS had just previously been contracted to build a fleet of submarines for Canberra, valued at $38.13 billion. In response, DCNS said that the leak, which covered details of the Scorpene-class model, and not the vessel currently being designed for the Australian fleet, bore the hallmarks of "economic warfare" carried out by frustrated competitors. More »
| Thales UK is now operating three Hermes 900 as part of the United Nations (UN) Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali. A three year contract had been signed back in December and holds options for a further two years. The contract covers the deployment of three aircraft (two for operational duties, the third as a spare) with two control stations and flight crews to enable the simultaneous use of both aircraft.