Air Force Has It in for A-10s to Allies Too | Marines to Narrow ACV Field to Two | Pakistan in Deal for Chinese Subs
- The Air Force has quashed Boeing’s hopes of selling refurbished A-10s to international customers, following the floating of the idea in May. With the House protecting the A-10 from comprehensive retirement for another year, the Air Force is planning to mothball outgoing A-10s, thereby saving a reported $4.2 billion in sustainment over a five year period.
- Lockheed Martin will upgrade US Army and international partners’ Patriot systems through the Foreign Military Sales program in a deal worth $1.5 billion. The contract will supply PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE interceptors for Taiwan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE. These states all operate the PAC-3, with Saudi Arabia requesting $1.75 billion-worth of PAC-3 enhancements in June 2014, with Qatar ordering the PAC-3 in October as part of a $11 billion equipment deal with the US. South Korea announced in April 2014 that the country’s Patriot systems would be upgraded to the PAC-3 configuration between 2016 and 2020, with a budget of around $1.25 billion.
- The Navy awarded Raytheon a $180.4 million contract for Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) missiles for Saudi Arabia and the US Navy on Friday. The contract covers the full rate production of 200 AGM-154C-1 Unitary Joint Stand-Off Weapon missiles for the Navy and 355 AGM-154 Block III C Unitary Joint Stand-Off Weapon missiles for Saudi Arabia, fulfilling a Foreign Military Sales requirement valued at $122.7 million, with the Navy’s contract worth $57.7 million. Saudi Arabia requested the missiles in October 2013, with Raytheon handed $13.3 million in June 2014 to deliver design specifications and drawings for the JSOW C Block III variant to the Saudis.
- Also announced on Friday, the Navy awarded a $78 million contract modification for six low rate initial production RQ-21A Blackjack UAVs. Also known as the ScanEagle, the Boeing-owned manufacturer Insitu Inc. unveiled a new version of the UAV in October last year, the ScanEagle 2. The first version has seen significant export success, in countries as diverse as Colombia, Yemen, Japan and the Netherlands, with Iran producing an unlicensed version known as the Yasir.
- The Marine Corps is reportedly scheduled to downselect two designs for its Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) program in late 2015, with five designs currently on offer. The requirement calls for a 8×8 armored vehicle capable of transiting over open water as well as operate ashore. The five designs have been undergoing testing, with the USMC planning to progress the two downselected bids through a development phase.
Middle East North Africa
- Israel has reportedly supplied Jordan with AH-1E/F Cobra attack helicopters, with these thought to number around sixteen. The Israelis purchased over a hundred of the attack helicopters after they were progressively phased out of US service, maintaining two squadrons until these themselves were all retired by 2013. Jordan operates a dozen Cobras, with the new airframes intended for use as border security assets along the country’s porous border with Syria and Iraq.
- Poland’s Defense Ministry has launched a tender for over 880 unarmored and armored 4×4 vehicles to replace the Polish armed force’s fleet of Honker and UAZ469 vehicles. The majority of the vehicles will be soft-skin variants, with an additional forty requiring armored protection. The new fleet is expected to enter service between 2016 and 2022, with interested companies comprising numerous European, US and Polish companies.
- The Royal Air Force has stood-up its first operational A400M transport squadron, with LXX Squadron based at RAF Brize Norton. Replacing the fleet of C-130 Hercules, the RAF received its third A400M aircraft in early June, with the RAF having ordered twenty-two aircraft in total. Initial Operating Capability is slated for the squadron by September, following the anticipated delivery of the first seven aircraft.
- Pakistan and China have reportedly signed a deal for eight diesel-electric attack submarines, following reports from April which first flagged the sale, after Pakistan’s Prime Minister approved the procurement. Initial discussions regarding the sale date back to 2011. The deal’s value has not been disclosed but will reach several billion dollars, possibly between $4-5 billion. The model of submarine is thought to be an export variant of the Type 041 Yuan-class, known as the S20.
- Taiwan is expected to soon place an order for eight to ten Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, according to reports this weekend. The helicopters are thought to be destined for the country’s Navy, with a contract announcement expected later this year. The Taiwanese Navy currently operates the Sikorsky S-70C helicopter, with the new helicopters set to bolster the force’s anti-submarine warfare capability.
- Iran has reportedly unveiled an indigenously developed simulator for its fleet of MiG-29 fighters. The Iranian Air Force is thought to operate thirty Fulcrums, with the country previously developing simulators for its fleets of Sukhoi Su-24 and Mirage F1 aircraft.
- Operating the ScanEagle:
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