HH-60W passes CDR | KC-46 begins anechoic testing | German court rules in favor of German Heron UAV lease
- The US Navy has granted General Dynamics a $244 million contract to provide training services to the Center of Surface Systems (CSS). Awarded by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, the program will see GD provide training and training-related program support services, from curriculum development to advanced warfare training across the CSCS domain, which includes their 15 learning sites and detachments and International Programs. Also included are four option years which, if exercised, could significantly increase the value of the contract.
- Lockheed Martin has successfully completed an Air Vehicle Critical Design Review for the USAF’s Combat Rescue Helicopter program, allowing the firm to continue with the manufacture and testing of the HH-60W helicopter. The milestone moves forward the $1.28 billion development program, which will see Lockheed produce at least 112 HH-60Ws in order to replace the service’s existing fleet of HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters. The June 2014 contract includes test aircraft, maintenance, training and simulation suites, and a $203 million modification in January 2017 brought the total number of test helicopters to nine.
- A KC-46 Pegasus tanker aircraft has entered the Benefield Anechoic Facility (BAF) at Edwards Air Force Base to undergo testing. The tests in question are integral in order to demonstrate that the tanker meets Federal Aviation Administration certification requirements and Defense Department electromagnetic environmental effects requirements for systems. These tests include shielding effectiveness, emission control and high intensity radiated fields. The BAF is the largest anechoic chamber in the world, and provides a location where electronic warfare tests can be conducted without radio frequency interference from the outside world.
- The US Congressional Committee On Oversight and Government Reform is to continue its probe into the proposed sale by L-3 of 12 Air Tractor AT-802L aircraft to the government of Kenya. A letter sent by the committee to USAF secretary, Heather Wilson, stated that “A recent news account reported the potential that a major Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract was negotiated between the United States and Kenya for the sale of 12 weaponized border [patrol] planes. The US Air Force selected New York-based L-3 Technologies for the proposed contract at a cost of $418 million. The Committee is interested in learning more about the decision to award this contract despite evidence that L-3 has no weaponized border patrol aircraft in service and has limited past performance in manufacturing aircraft of this type.” The letter also suggested the USAF selected the airframe “on a basis inconsistent with established protocol” relating to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification. The deal came into question earlier this year after firm IOMAX challenged the proposed Kenyan sale via Congressman Budd, who represents the district in which IOMAX is based.
- Saab has been awarded a $217.5 million contract by the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV) to continue providing maintenance and support to Gripen C/D model fighters through to the end of 2019. The deal primarily covers design and support, component maintenance, spare parts, the provision of logistics, and the procurement of certain equipment, while also allowing for the requisition of technical system support, aircraft maintenance with associated spare parts, and the management of obsolescence. Saab said maintenance and support will be conducted at its facility in Linköping and five other locations in the country.
- A German court has ruled against US weapons manufacturer General Atomics after the firm posted a legal challenge against Germany’s plans to lease armed drones from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). GA, along with Switzerland’s RUAG lost out to provide the Predator B UAV to the German military after Berlin chose to lease the Heron TP UAV in a deal estimated to be worth $652 million. On taking the deal to court, GA stated that they did so “to ensure that this procurement is conducted as a fair and open competition; thereby ensuring that the German Ministry of Defense procures the most technologically superior and cost efficient solution.” Berlin’s decision to lease Herons instead of buying Predators comes as an interim measure until the EU has developed its own drone. Germany, France, Italy and Spain plan to jointly develop a drone by 2025.
- South Korean President Moon Jae-in has sent his top security aide to the US in a move designed to alleviate fears in Washington that he will scrap a deal to host the THAAD air defense system. Moon—a liberal politician who favors detente with North Korea and a normalization of relations with its biggest trading partner China—had pledged during his election campaign that he would review the decision to deploy THAAD, and said it was “very shocking” that his office had not been told of the latest deployment while he is preparing for a summit with US President Donald Trump in Washington this month. However, Moon has since softened his stance on the presence of THAAD, telling visiting US Senator Dick Durbin that the probe launched by his office is “purely a domestic measure” and that he wanted to be clear that “it is not about trying to change the existing decision or sending a message to the United States.”
- Kalibr missiles used by the Russian Navy in Syria:
Categories: Daily Rapid Fire