A-D variant Hornets scheduled for maintenance | RAF No. 12 squadron to train Qatari Eurofighter crews | Wing Loong II hits new strike record
- Lockheed Martin received last Thursday, a $20.5 million contract for upgrades and services for the AEGIS weapon system (AWS). Under the terms of the agreement, Lockheed will provide for logistics and sustainment support for the in-service AEGIS ship fleet in order to prevent delays in the delivery of the AWS upgrades and schedule and operational impacts to the effected ship availabilities. Options, if exercised, will bring the cumulative value of the contract to $27.05 million. Work will be performed in Moorestown, New Jersey, with contract completion scheduled for December 2018.
- A to D variants of the F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft are scheduled for depot level maintenance support and sustainment services as part of an option exercised by the Naval Air Systems Command to a previous contract awarded to Boeing. Valued at $148.5 million, work includes performance of high flight hour (HFH) inspections, HFH recurring inspections, additional inspections, modifications and liaison engineering, and F/A-18E/F/G modifications and inspections required to correct deficiencies to achieve current design life limits. Boeing’s plant at Jacksonville Florida will be the location of the work and is expected to wrap up by December 2018.
Middle East-North Africa
- The British Royal Air Force’s (RAF) No. 12 squadron will stand again in order to help Qatari air and ground crews be trained to operate the Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft. Previously based at RAF Marham, the unit will relocate to RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, where Qatari Air Force personnel will be temporarily integrated with the squadron ahead of the delivery of Typhoons to the Gulf. The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the arrangement will provide Qatar with valuable joint frontline experience on an RAF Typhoon Squadron and speed up their preparation for when their own jets are delivered.
- Poland’s MoD has announced a $570 million deal with a domestic consortium to deliver two minesweeper vessels and one rescue vessel to the Polish Navy. The Gdansk-based, privately-owned Remontowa Shipbuilding shipyard will pair with the state-owned PGZ to produce and deliver the vessels with the minesweepers scheduled to be delivered in 2020 and 2021. Warsaw also aims to replace its outdated Kobben-class submarines with three new subs under a contract estimated to be worth some $2.89 billion, which could involve a joint procurement with Norway.
- Orbital ATK will deliver seven armed Cessna AC-208 Caravan aircraft to the Afghan National Army under a USAF awarded contract, if no suitable alternatives are received by January 12. The notice was posted on December 27, and invited comments on a plan to award the contract to Orbital ATK without a competition, with non-American bids excluded on security grounds. Orbital advertises the AC-208 Eliminator as a mini-gunship equipped with 70mm (2.75in) guided rockets and Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, as well as sensors, target designators, data links and self-protection systems. If the deal goes ahead, the seven Cessnas will add to the 208 aircraft already supplied by the Department of Defense to the Afghan military and police between Fiscal 2007 and 2016, according to a 10 August report by the US Government Accountability Office. Kabul already uses unarmed C-208 turboprops for cargo and utility transport duties.
- A recent flight by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China’s (AVIC) Wing Loong II has set a new record with the UAV hitting five successive targets with five separate types of missiles. With its first flight taking place in February of last year, the newly-developed reconnaissance-strike-integrated UAV has conducted firing tests with eight types of missiles and dozens of bombs, with a hit rate of 100 percent, according to the Xinhua news agency. Since this maiden flight, the drone has been hyped as potential best seller on the export market, offering a cheaper alternative to its rival—the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper.
- Taiwan President President Tsai Ing-wen told the end-of-year conference of the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, that the Teng Yun medium-altitude long-endurance UAV (MALE UAV) is ready for mass production. A new air force reconnaissance squadron will be created to cater for the multi-function UAV, and plans are in place to to install reconnaissance antenna and interference equipment onboard that will allow for the drone to engage at the rear of Taiwanese fighter aircraft to provide electronic warfare support when entering enemy territory. Measuring 8 meters in length, with a 18 meter wingspan, production is expected to run for the next four to five years.
- Wing Loong II UAV sortie:
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