Showing results 1 - 10 of 135 for the search term(s): RQ-4
Oct 23, 2017 04:57 UTC
RQ-4A Global Hawk
Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV has established a dominant position in the High Altitude/ Long Endurance UAV market. While they are not cheap, they are uniquely capable. During Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), the system flew only 5% of the US Air Force’s high altitude reconnaissance sorties, but accounted for more than 55% of the time-sensitive targeting imagery generated to support strike missions. The RQ-4 Global Hawk was also a leading contender in the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAV competition, and eventually won.
The Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration Program (GHM-D or BAMS-D) aims to use the proven RQ-4 Global Hawk airframe as a test bed for operational concepts and technologies that will eventually find their way into BAMS, and contribute valuable understanding to the new field of maritime surveillance with high-flying UAVs. It’s not just a test program, however, as its remaining drones also deploy to assist the fleet in active operations.
Continue Reading… »
Nov 23, 2015 00:20 UTC
- US Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work has suggested that Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter will take part in Canada’s latest jet selection competition. The announcement comes after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he would not be purchasing the jet as part of Canada’s replacement of older CF-18s. Work’s comments appear contrary to the Canadian administration but seems to be coming across as part of US efforts to rescue Canadian participation in the program.
- Raytheon has announced the completion of the First Program Planning Review for the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle (MOKV) program. The news comes ahead of the concept review in December and when completed will allow for defense from long range ballistic threats and penetration aids. The MOKV contact was awarded in Raytheon in August at a cost of $9.7 million.
- The latest upgrade of the Boeing E-3 Sentry has seen its first deployment in south-west Asia. The E-3G model reached Initial Operation Capacity (IOC) in July and was the product of developments costing $2.7 billion dollars. Improvements included updates to the aircraft software and hardware, some of which dated back to the 1970s. The upgrades have been hailed as a game-changer in airborne surveillance and air battle management. The E-3G is said to begin combat missions immediately.
Middle East North Africa
- The development of Turkey’s indigenous long range missile defense program may involve helpfrom either France or China. President Recip Erdogan made the announcement a week after the cancellation of a $3.4 billion development deal with China prior to hosting G-20 leaders. The news was a relief to NATO members but renewed cooperation with the Chinese in the development of the system may raise fresh concerns. Further details have yet to be announced but the new deal may either be opening a tender process or by inter-governmental agreement. The news comes among claims by Erdogan that Turkey will shortly be able to export rather than import armaments.
- While rumours continue over the fate of Canada and the F-35 program, Denmark is expected to confirm an order for the aircraft this December. It was reported last year that the order would be for 30 of the aircraft and would be replace the F-16s that are currently in service in the Royal Danish Air Force. Other European countries expected to make purchases include Norway and the Netherlands.
- The Swiss Air Force have banned the use of their jets by civilians in the wake of a crash last month. The crash of the F-18 Hornet during training exercises in eastern France had no civilians on board and the pilot safely ejected from the aircraft. According to Swiss television station SRF, a number of civilians have ridden in military jets over the last number of years. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
- Japan is to receive three RQ-4 Block 30 (I) UAVs after the sale was cleared by the US State Department on Friday. The deal will also include associated parts, equipment and training costing $1.2 billion in total. The purchase comes at a time when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been beefing up his country’s defense spending to counter Chinese influence. It was announced earlier this year that Japan is planning its largest ever defence budget which, if approved, will be in the region of $41 billion.
- The long awaited death of India’s indigenous Nishat UAV program has come to pass. The final of four UAVs in use by the Army has crashed less than a week after the program was officially cancelled. The final nail in the program’s coffin occurred earlier this month after a third UAV crashed amid technical problems cited by the Indian Army. However, these claims have been refuted by the Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO), who claim army incompetence and poor handling by the army. While the blame game continues, we do know that we won’t be seeing any more Nishats in the Indian sky.
- George Lucas meets the Navy. The crew of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower try their hand at Star Wars.
Sep 16, 2015 00:11 UTC
- A Request for Information market survey is expected to be released on Wednesday for the re-competition of the Navy’s Next Generation Information Enterprise Network (NGEN). With Hewlett-Packard winning the $3.45 billion IDIQ contract in June 2013, consisting of one base year followed by four options years, the re-compete appears to be coming early, particularly as a second RFI is expected in November or December. Whether this is a result of dissatisfaction with HP, or a pre-emption to the difficulties in selecting a winner next time around, is hard to say. The NGEN provides network services for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI), the upcoming RFI set for release on FedBizOpps.gov
- The Air Force could deploy F-35As as soon as they reach Initial Operating Capability (IOC), according to the head of the aircraft’s Integration Program Office. With the Air Force scheduled to operate a squadron of operational F-35s by the beginning of August 2016, the three missions likely to be tasked to these 12 to 14 aircraft are close air support, interception of enemy aircraft and suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD). The first of these is becoming increasingly controversial, given the Joint Strike Fighter’s fist fight with the combat-proven A-10, while SEAD is closer to the original mission set intended for the F-35.
- However, the Air Force first needs to rectify its current poor availability rate before IOC and deployment of its F-35s can take place. The Automated Logistics Information System (ALIS) is proving to be a problem for the Air Force and will likely be the most significant obstacle ahead of achieving IOC next year. Despite recent software upgrades, the ALIS system is proving to be a sticking point, with an accelerated production schedule likely to place increasing logistical demands on both the supply base and Air Force.
- The Air Force has, however, struck a deal with Northrop Grumman to improve maintenance arrangements for the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. The contract modification will see the company overhaul the aircraft every nine years rather than the previous seven, in addition to reducing the time taken to complete these overhauls, reportedly saving over $900 million over the fleet’s lifespan. The contracting for availability arrangement with Northrop Grumman dates back to January 2007, with a revision to the $2.7 billion Flexible Acquisition and Sustainment Team (FAST) program contract, originally signed in 1999, which shifted the contract to more performance-based terms.
- Cost estimates for upgrades to the RQ-4 Global Hawk could be half of the $4 billion previously slated, according to an Air Force official. The requirement for a new Electro-Optical system and wide-angle camera could reduce the figure down; however, this appears to be achieved through the cutting of non-essential upgrades, including a sense and avoid sensor, which were included in the original figure. With the Air Force arguing to retain only one of its two current high-altitude ISR aircraft (the other being the Cold War-era U-2), the reduced cost estimate could bring the Global Hawk into direct competition with a set of upgrades proposed by Lockheed Martin for the U-2, known as the TR-X.
- The Royal Navy’s fleet of Mk2 Merlin anti-submarine helicopters has achieved Full Operating Capability (FOC), with 24 of 30 helicopters now delivered. A part of the $1.2 billion Merlin Capability Sustainment Programme, the upgrading of the 30 helicopters follows a GBP750 million contract with prime contractor Lockheed Martin, with the first five helicopters delivered back in July 2013 after work began in 2010.
- Poland is buying more missiles for its Grom MANPADS, with the air defense systems equipping both infantry units and mounted on vehicles. Domestic firm Mesko was handed the contract for 180 missiles by the Armaments Inspectorate, with Lithuania deciding last year to purchase the Grom missile for its air defense requirements. Peru is also an export customer, along with Georgia, Indonesia and Japan. Interestingly, the MANPADS have also been turning up in the hands of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine; possibly sent by Moscow to the east of the country after being captured from Georgian forces during the Russian incursion into Georgia in August 2008.
- BAE Systems has been handed a GBP100 million ($154 million) contract extension to support the Eurofighter Typhoon’s Radar and Defensive Aids Sub System (RDSS), the system designed to protect the aircraft against missile and other threats. The RDSS comprises several systems, including missile warning indicators, chaff and flare dispensers and Electronic Counter-Measure pods. Kuwait recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding for 28 of the aircraft, following discussions earlier this year with the Italian government.
- The company has also been selected as preferred bidder to supply the Maritime Indirect Fire System for the Royal Navy’s future Type 26 Global Combat Ship fleet. The company’s bid consists of the Mk45 Mod 4 gun, automated ammunition handling system and gun fire control system, as well as ammunition. BAE Systems is also the prime contractor on a $1.3 billion one-year demonstration contract, with the Ministry of Defence awarding $265 million in long-lead product contracts for the ships in August.
- Airbus is urging the UK’s Defence Ministry to fast-track a replacement for the Skynet 5 communications satellites currently leased from the company. With internal wrangling within the MoD over specifications for the Skynet 6 constellation holding up progress, Airbus Defence’s boss has reportedly stated that a contract needs to be in place by 2018. The four satellites currently used by the British Armed Forces are the result of a multi-billion pound Private Finance Initiative (PFI) signed in 2003, with the contract set to conclude in 2022. One of the four Skynet 5 satellites was repositioned above the Asia-Pacific region in March to offer spare bandwidth to allied nations.
Asia & Pacific
- Russia’s Rostec conglomerate is looking to sell military hardware to Thailand in exchange for commodities such as rubber and rice. The company’s subsidiaries are currently fulfilling a contract to supply Thailand with Mi-17 transport helicopters, as well as Superjet 100 aircraft. Russia and Thailand are boosting bilateral trade ties, with the Russian Trade Minister stating in July that the country would be prepared to sell over $160 million-worth of weaponry in exchange for 80,000 tons of rubber. A Thai military delegation was also recently in Russia to attend an arms fair.
May 15, 2015 02:40 UTC
- The Air Force has launched a tender for the launch of a next-generation Global Positioning System satellite, releasing a RFP for the launch vehicle production, mission integration and launch operations. The latest Lockheed Martin GPS-III satellite was recently announced as being ready for system testing.
- The Pentagon is set to award $4 billion in contracts for modernization of the RQ-4 Global Hawk over the next five years, with the program funded to 2020. The program recently achieved milestone C, a key requirement for the platform to progress with modernization efforts.
- Raytheon has been awarded another contract for the Tactical Boost Guide program, with DARPA exercising a $19.5 million option, bringing the total value of Raytheon’s contract with the agency to $24,390,645. The TBG program seeks to develop air-launched tactical range hypersonic boost glide systems, with DARPA working in conjunction with the Air Force.
- Norway has requested 200 AIM-9X Block II missiles. The potential $345 million deal will likely see the missiles equip the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s (RNoAF) fleet of F-16s. The Norwegians helped develop the IRIS-T missile as part of a German-led multinational program, with this missile supposedly meant to replace the AIM-9 missiles in service with many NATO countries.
- The Spanish Air Force has taken over the investigation of the crashed A400M, which came down outside Seville. The government initially tasked civilians from the Defense and Transport Ministries to investigate, however that responsibility has passed to the Spanish Air Force’s CITAAM investigative body.
- China is offering to sell Jordan armed UAVs, according to a California Republican. The Obama administration denied Jordanian requests for MQ-1 Predators last October.
- The State Department has approved a possible sale of 48 UGM-84L Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles to Japan. The submarine-launched Block II version of the missile is designed to improve the missile’s ability to attack targets in congested littoral environments, where nearby land masses and other ships can provide cover for targets. The Foreign Military Sale would be worth $199 million, with the missiles manufactured by Boeing. The company is meanwhile offering the latest version of the missile – known as the Harpoon Next-Gen – to the US Navy.
- India has cleared three defense procurement deals worth a total value of $3.8 billion, media reported Thursday. These include 145 M777 howitzers through a government-to-government Foreign Military Sale with the US, with Indian firms set to provide maintenance and ammunition.
- The government also cleared the procurement of Russian Ka 226T light utility helicopters, following the restart of the program’s procurement process in March. The helicopters will be manufactured in India.
- Airbus and TATA have teamed to supply the Indian Air Force with new transport aircraft, edging out home side HAL in the process. The partners will supply 56 C-295 transporters, with that particular deal worth $1.89 billion. Forty of the planes will be manufactured in India, with the remainder purchased in ready-to-fly condition.
- The Indian Defence Acquisition Council also cleared the construction of India’s second domestically-manufactured aircraft carrier, to supplement the INS Vikrant currently under construction in Cochin Shipyard. The ship will be called the INS Vishal (Giant). In a further boost for the Indian Navy, the DAC cleared the procurement of six indigenously-developed BrahMos missile systems, with these set to equip Talwar and Delhi class ships.
- L-3 has been selected to supply the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with SATCOM terminals, according to a company press release. The $81.8 million contract, awarded by prime contractor Raytheon as part of Joint Project 2008 Phase 5B1, will enable more ADF units to connect to the Wideband Global SATCOM network, with this latest contract a follow-on to a similar 2013 contract to supply 51 Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs). This latest contract will see the firm supply 236 VSATs, with these split between the company’s Hawkeye and Panther systems.
- The 155mm M777, soon to be in the hands of the Indian Army…
May 15, 2013 17:00 UTC
Euro Hawk UAV
(clickto view full)
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) UAV has gone from a developmental platform to the next generation of American aerial reconnaissance. Flying at 60,000 feet, the RQ-4’s use their advanced synthetic aperture radar and other sensors to provide high-resolution images, unaffected by clouds or similar impediments. A larger RQ-4B model has been developed, and forms the backbone of current deliveries.
The transatlantic Euro Hawk project aimed to produce an RQ-4B with additional capabilities in signals intelligence collection (SIGINT), to complement its native ground surveillance capabilities. The 4-5 UAVs would provide the ability to detect and collect information from electronic intelligence (ELINT) radar emitters and communications emitters, and would be connected to ground stations that can receive and analyze the data. An MoU was signed in May 2006, followed by a firm system development contract on Jan 31/07. The Euro Hawk flew, and was performing on a technical level, but regulatory barriers killed the program in May 2013.
Continue Reading… »
Nov 22, 2009 18:13 UTC
RQ-4: High flight
The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have provided invaluable intelligence to US troops in the field in Iraq and Afghanistan over the years.
In its first year of use in Afghanistan, the RQ-4 provided [pdf] more than 17,000 high-resolution images, flying more than 60 missions and over 1,200 combat hours. In Iraq, the system flew only 5% of the US Air Force’s high altitude reconnaissance sorties, but accounted for more than 55% of the time-sensitive targeting imagery generated to support strike missions.
To maintain a fresh supply of Global Hawks, the Air Force is ordering 2 Block 30 RQ-4s and 3 next-generation Block 40 RQ-4s from Northrop Grumman for $302.9 million.
Continue Reading… »
Apr 12, 2006 03:38 UTC
On March 7, 2006, Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems Air Combat Systems in San Diego, CA received a $6 million cost-plus fixed-fee contract for the operation of the RQ-4 Global Hawk high altitude, long endurance UAV system “in a forward theater of operations for a classified length of time.” The contract includes personnel, equipment, logistics and communication support. A follow-up contract on April 11, 2006 added another $7.1 million to the effort.
Work will now be complete July 2006 – and since they’re announcing that, what exactly is the point of saying the time period is classified? Anyway, the Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (F33657-03-G-4306-0031).
Continue Reading… »
Oct 04, 2005 03:51 UTC
RQ-4A and RQ-4B
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. in San Diego, CA received a $20.5 million cost-plus award-fee contract modification (F33657-01-C-4600/ P00113) “to complete the development of the Global Hawk RQ-4B to meet the start of Initial Operation Test and Evaluation Office in November 2008.” Items covered include operational capabilities (the RQ-4B is currently in low-rate initial production), and critical infrastructure items such as building additional test equipment for the Global Hawk System Integration Lab.
Which may distinguish it from an earlier $42.5 million contract modification (F33657-01-C-4600, P00099) that seems very similar.
Continue Reading… »
Jun 15, 2005 04:17 UTC
RQ-4A and RQ-4B
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. in San Diego, CA received a $42.5 million contract modification to provide for the completion of development on the Global Hawk RQ-4B (AF-8), including developmental and operational testing. The RQ-4B is a larger version of the extremely successful RQ-4A Global Hawk reconaissance UAV, which has been rushed into service as part of the Global War on Terror.
Continue Reading… »
Oct 23, 2017 05:00 UTC
- Boeing has awarded Lockheed Martin two contracts to upgrade the latter’s IRST21 sensor system for use on the US Navy’s F/A-18E/F fleet. According to Lockheed, the Block II contracts provide up to $100 million “for developing advanced software, performing hardware upgrades and delivering prototypes,” with the aim to “enhance IRST21’s proven detection, tracking and ranging capabilities in radar-denied environments.” Compared to radar, IRST21 significantly enhances the resolution of multiple targets, giving pilots a “see first, strike first” capability that will allow them to accurately identify threat formations at longer ranges. The IRST21’s predecessor, the IRST, has accumulated more than 300,000 flight hours on the US Navy’s F-14 and on international F-15 platforms.
- Some time in November, but possibly November 15, will see SpaceX launch a classified government payload, according to regulatory filings. Under the codename “Zuma,” the spacecraft is being supplied by Northrop Grumman and will be launched into orbit by a Falcom 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Landing Zone 1. While further information on the mission may never come to light, similarly classified launches of satellites built by Lockheed Martin for undisclosed customers were launched by United Launch Alliance in 2009 and 2014. It was later revealed in documents leaked by Edward Snowden that at least one of the Lockheed satellites, called Palladium At Night (PAN), was used to intercept data for intelligence and military operations over the Middle East.
Middle East & Africa
- Textron Systems Marine and Land Systems received Wednesday, a $332.9 US Army order for up to 255 Mobile Strike Force Vehicles (MSFV). Based out of New Orleans, La., the firm will allocate work locations and funding depending on each order, with a scheduled completion date scheduled for October 2024. Based on Textron’s Commando Select 4×4 armoured vehicles, the MSFV comes in three variants including an armored personnel carrier (APC) equipped with a Mk.19 Grenade Launcher, an automatic belt-fed weapon system that fires 40mm grenades, and a .50 caliber machine-gun turret. While the recipient of the vehicles was not mentioned in the contract, Textron sources speaking to Jane’s confirmed that the contract will support the Afghan National Army (ANA) Defense and Security Forces. Since the first vehicles were shipped to Afghanistan in 2011, 634 MSFVs spread across all three variants have been provided to the ANA.
- Saab has been tapped by MBDA to provide subsystems work on the European missile maker’s Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile. Under the $18.4 million deal, Saab will produce and deliver a radar proximity fuze system for the missile, which detects the target and calculates the best time to detonate the warhead to achieve maximum effect. Deliveries will take place from 2020 through to 2021. Last year, the Swedish Air Force became the first operator of the Meteor, testing it extensively on its Saab Jas-39 Gripen fighters, and MBDA plan to equip the missile on the Eurofighter Typhoon, F-35, and Dassault Rafale operated by several European and world air forces.
- As part of investigations into the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, it has been reported that the Georgian government transferred a Buk missile to the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service earlier this year. The missile type is suspected to have been the one responsible for the aircraft’s downing, after being supplied by Moscow to ethnic Russian separatists fighting for secession from Ukraine. The Netherlands had previously tested the Buk’s explosive power during tests in Finland, and in conjunction to the investigation, the Dutch Defense Ministry also wants to see the extent to which the missile can pose a threat to the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Over 100 persons of interest have been identified by Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke, including those who organised the arrival of the rocket and oversaw its transport from Russia to Ukraine and back.
- US rifle manufacturer Barrett will supply 40 M107A1 anti-materiel weapon and 42 Multi-Role Adaptive Design (MRAD) sniper rifle to New Zealand’s Defense Force. The weapons will be carried by infantry personnel and commandos. Estimated to cost in excess of $2.85 million, the sale also includes day optics, suppressors and ballistic computer auxiliary equipment to complement the weapon systems. They will be inducted into service by mid-2018.
- South Korean firms signed a number of cooperation agreements and ventures with foreign UAV manufacturers at this year’s ADEX event in Seoul. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Huneed Technologies Co. Ltd that will see them look to identify common areas of technology, manufacturing, and strategic interests, paving the way for Huneed to become a key in-country strategic supplier for GA-ASI in Korea. Another MoU was signed between GA-ASI and Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology gives opens the door for better understanding of the civil airspace environment of South Korea its regulatory structure. Meanwhile, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Hankuk Carbon formed a joint venture to offer UAsV, which Korea Aviation Technologies will manufacture, on both the military and civilian markets, specifically in South Korea.
- The Republic of Korea Air Force is planning to set up a new airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) unit in December, specifically tasked with analysing the data collected from its new RQ-4 Global Hawk assets. A total of four Global Hawks are on order, with the first batch of two scheduled to arrive next year followed by the final two in 2019. The new unit will work alongside Seoul’s existing ISR battalion which includes a fleet of four Boeing 737-700 Peace Eye airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) system aircraft.
- Syrian Democratic Forces perform celebratory donuts after evicting ISIS from Raqqa: