Last updated: Wednesday Sep 19, 2018 - 05:00 UTC ()
The ex-USS Enterprise will be towed, but not for now. Huntington Ingalls will be responsible to temporarily store and eventually tow the former Nimitz-class carrier under a $34 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification. CVN 65 was the oldest carrier in the fleet when it was decommissioned in February 2017. Early in the ship’s career, it was part of a blockade during the Cuban missile crisis and then joined the first nuclear-powered naval task force. The ship saw combat in Vietnam and was the first responder after 9/11. Now the US Navy uses it as a case-study to figure out the best answer to a big problem: How do we best dispose off a large nuclear-powered ship? When a nuclear-powered vessel is retiring, its shipboard nuclear reactors are defueled, the reactor vessels and their compartments are removed, encased and barged to the federal government’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southern Washington State, and the ships’ remains are cut up for scrap and recycling. The Navy is currently looking into two options, the Naval shipyard option, and the full commercial option. A recent GAO report estimates that dismantling of CVN 65 will cost around $1 billion and won’t start before 2024 or 2034, depending on the option the Navy chooses. Either way, ex-USS Enterprise dismantlement and disposal will set precedents for processes and oversight that may inform future aircraft carrier dismantlement decisions.
US Special Operations Command is contracting Harris Corp in support of its CV-22s. The company will provide SOCOM with components and technical services needed to keep the Osprey’s suite of integrated radio frequency countermeasures (SIRFC) operational. SIRFC is an integrated electronic combat system which provides RF threat awareness and active self-protection jamming capabilities for Army aircraft against RF air defense systems actively engaging the aircraft. SIRFC consists of the Advanced Threat Radar Warning Receiver (ATRWR) and the Advanced Threat Radar Jammer. The system contributes to the aircrew’s full-dimensional protection. The awarded modification of $93.5 million increases the contract ceiling to a total of $383.5 million. The contract and its ordering period will end by July 30, 2019.
Rockwell Collins is being awarded with a modification against a three-year contract. The modification has a value of $11.8 million and adds two national stock numbers to support the Joint Helmet Mounting Cueing System (JHMCS) for F-15 and F-16 aircraft. JHMCS is the product of RCEV, a joint venture between Rockwell Collins and Elbit. According to the company, the JHMCS provides the pilot with “first look, first shoot” weapons engagement capabilities. The system enables the pilot to accurately cue onboard weapons and sensors against enemy aircraft and ground targets without the need to aggressively turn the aircraft or place the target in the Head-Up Display for designation. Work will be performed at RCEV’s facilities in Texas and Israel, and is scheduled for completion by August 30, 2023.
UAV manufacturer Insitu is currently pitching a new variant of its RQ-21A Integrator to the US Air Force. The Integrator ER is a medium-altitude UAV that will have either an endurance of 10h on station after traveling 200nm or or 6h on station after having traveled 300nm. During an Air Force conference, Esina Alic, Insitu president and CEO, said the UAV can be controlled at greater distances using a jam-resistant satellite link, instead of a line-of-site radio link, which typically limits small UAVs to ranges of 50nm to 70nm. The body of the Integrator-ER is based on the company’s Blackjack system, a system that is valued by the Marine Corps. Insitu is pitching it as contractor owned and operated, with roughly 12 people needed to run the system.
The Egyptian government wants to purchase close to 60.000 120mm rounds for its tanks. The State Department is determined to approve this FMS, which is valued at $99 million. The possible order would include 46,000 120mm Target Practice – Tracer (M831A1) and 120 mm Target Practice, Cone Stabilized, Discarding Sabot – (M865) rounds; and 10,000 120mm 4th-Generation Kinetic Energy-Tungsten (KE-W) A4 Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot with Tracer (APFSDS-T) rounds, to replace older models and to maintain a strategic munitions inventory for its M1A1 tank fleet. Included in the deal are also 4,500 120mm Insensitive Munitions High Explosive with Tracer (IM HE-T) tank rounds. Egypt will use those rounds to arm the tanks that are currently fighting the Islamic State in the Sinai peninsula. The training rounds will be used to ready M1A1 tank crews for operational deployments. Work will be performed at General Dynamics-OTS’ St. Petersburg, Florida facility,
The Dutch government is set to receive US support for its AH-64D Apache helicopter modernization program. The program was recently given the go-ahead as part of a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) signed by the DSCA and the Dutch State Secretary of Defence. The LOA has a value of $1 billion and includes the training of pilots and the upgrade of 28 Apache ‘D’ helicopters to the ‘E’ variant. The AH-64E ‘Guardian’ attack helicopter is the latest version of the AH-64. It has a number of improvements and upgrades, including more powerful engines, upgraded transmission, a new fire control radar, new sensors, avionics and has improved night operation capabilities.
Jane’s reports that French defense contractor MBDA is pitching a new adaption for its Brimstone missile system to the Polish Army. The Polish Armaments Inspectorate recently issued a requirement for a stand-off anti-armor capability, and is currently running two acquisition programs. The programs are known as ‘Pustelnik’ and ‘Karabela’, and are in support of the Polish Territorial Defence Forces (WOT) and the Polish Army. The Brimstone adaption would be part of the Karabela program, that stipulates an 8 km–10 km anti-armor weapon to equip multiple platforms. When outfitted with the palletised surface-launched salvo-fire adaptation, the Brimstone could serve as solution across all platforms.
India’s quest of indigenously developing a 3rd generation anti-tank guided missile is nearing its end. The Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) met all mission objectives during recently held flight tests at India’s Ahmednagar test range. The missile is is fitted with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead and can engage targets to distances of up to 2.5 km. The missile’s development started after a committee examined various aspects related to a Spike-MR deal with Israel. The first MPATGM prototype is expected to be handed over to the Indian army for user trials by the end of 2018. Mass production of the missile is expected to begin in 2021.
Watch: RT Documentary – Ka-52 Alligator: Strike Helicopter. The Tank Destroyer