3DAWS by BAE Will Protect Mil Aircraft | Kuwait to Buy 30 H225Ms in $1.8B Deal with Airbus | DCNS to Build Frigates for French Navy
- Lockheed Martin has posted weaker-than-expected sales and lower profitability in three of four divisions, making it the first cut Lockheed has made to earnings per share estimates in seven years. Stock fell more than 2 percent as the company slashed their forecast by 10 cents to $12.15 to $12.45 per share, from $12.25 to $12.55. According to the firm, higher development costs for a United Arab Emirates’ missile defense system were partly to blame for the charges. In response, Lockheed is pursuing international expansion with a goal of growing the international customer base to 30 percent of total sales.
- BAE Systems has developed a new 3-Dimensional Advanced Warning System (3DAWS) to help protect military aircraft from threats. Designed to protect aircraft in a multi-threat environment using layered countermeasure defense, the 3DAWS maximizes the effectiveness of current flare and directable infrared counter-measures, and also provides tracking capabilities for future soft- and hard-kill counter-measures. The system uses a passively-cued, semi-active radio frequency tracker as an adjunct to the company’s Common Missile Warning System or any future passive threat detection system. Furthermore, the system is modular and built to open architecture standard allowing for easy integration with US Army aircraft.
Middle East & North Africa
- Kuwait has moved ahead with a planned purchase of 30 H225M helicopters from Airbus. The helicopters had been selected by Kuwait back in August but the deal had remained unfinished by the end of 2016. Now, it’s expected that the $1.8 billion contract will be ratified “over the next few weeks,” according to the company’s CEO, Guillaume Faury. News of the deal comes as Airbus gears up to release their first-quarter results today, where details on the company’s backlog, as well as the financial impact of the continued grounding of the civil H225 in Norway and the UK, are expected to be released. Heavy restrictions were put in place on operating the aircraft last April following the aftermath of a fatal crash of a H225 on Norway’s west coast.
- Two US F-35As have landed in Estonia for the first time, in what is being described as a show of NATO solidarity and reinforcement of US commitments to protecting NATO members along Russia’s borders. The visit of the Joint Strike Fighters, which flew from UK and spent several hours in Estonia, is part of broader US jet pilot training program across Europe as the NATO alliance seeks to deter Moscow from any possible incursion in the Baltics. Training with the fifth-generation fighters is expected to last several weeks and the F-35 pilots will undergo exercises with other NATO aircraft as well as showcase the fighter’s capabilities to allies that are also acquiring F-35 fleets.
- The French government has placed orders for two types of newly-designed armored vehicle platforms as part of the SCORPION program. Thales, Nexter, and Renault Trucks Defense will deliver over 300 models of the Griffon, a 6×6 multi-role personnel carrier, and the 6×6 Jaguar, which is armed with a 40mm gun and anti-tank missiles. The exact order by the French procurement agency, DGA, for 319 Griffons and 19 Jaguars, comes just after 27 months of vehicle development. Paris is likely to use the Griffon to replace the VAB Hot personnel carriers currently used by the French Army, while the Jaguar will replace the army’s wheeled light tanks.
- DCNS has been contracted to build five intermediate-sized frigates for the French Navy. The vessels are to be based on the company’s BELH@RRA digital frigate, with the French design featuring additional self-defence and special forces projection capabilities a new generation radar from Thales, the Sea Fire four flat antenna radar, and Aster 30 missiles supplied by MBDA. Unveiled during the Euronaval 2016 expo, DCNS expects to have the French vessels in active service by 2025.
- South Korea is looking to add two additional EL/M-2080 Green Pine early warning radars to the two currently operated by their armed forces. Capable of detecting ballistic missile threats within a range of 800 kms, the extra radars are being sought amid the recent round of rising tensions between Seoul—with their ally in Washington—and an increasingly belligerent North Korea. Deliveries of the Israeli-made radars are expected to be made by the end of the year. Meanwhile, the South Korean government has confirmed that parts of the US THAAD air defense system have been moved onto the site of its deployment in the south of the country and that the deployment is expected to be ready for full operation by the end of this year.
- With tensions in the South China Sea higher than ever, Beijing has launched their first indigenously built aircraft carrier for the first time, although the vessel will not be ready to enter service until 2020. Little is known about the secretive carrier project, but Chinese officials have said the new carrier’s design draws on experiences from the country’s first carrier, the Liaoning, bought second-hand from Ukraine in 1998 and refitted in China. It’s expected that the new vessel will be able to carry China’s Shenyang J-15 fighter jets, and it features Soviet-designed ski-jump bows intended to give pilots and aircraft enough lift to take off from shorter decks. Once in service, the carrier will participate in military and humanitarian missions, while the Liaoning will serve primarily as a training vessel.
- F-35s in Estonia:
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