Air Force launched Minuteman III | PAC-3 MSE to UAE? | India to copy-paste Big Lizzie?
Orbital Sciences, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman won a $46.8 million contract modification to provide Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) target capability upgrade kits and associated engineering. Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the ICBM program. The company and its industry partners were chartered with maintaining readiness of the nation’s ICBM weapon system by ensuring the system’s total performance. The 18-plus year contract delivered sustaining engineering support and two Acquisition Category I / 13 Acquisition Category III ICBM modernization programs. According to Northrop Grumman, Orbital ATK has played a key role on every Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) program for more than five decades. Since the Minuteman I was first fielded in 1962, Orbital ATK, along with its legacy companies, has provided motor stages and refurbishment services for the program. Last year it was reported, that Northrop Grumman and Boeing were developing competing designs for a new intercontinental ballistic missile that will replace the aging Minuteman III. Orbital Sciences will perform work in Chandler, Arizona and the scheduled completion date is in December 2023.
The US Air Force launched a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The unarmed rocket equipped with a test re-entry vehicle took off at 2:42 a.m. on Wednesday. The missile traveled approximately 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. According to the Air Force, the test was designed to verify the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system in an effort “to ensure a continued safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent. The Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and US Strategic Command use data collected from test launches for ongoing force development evaluation.
Insitu won a $23 million modification for Mid-Endurance Unmanned Aircraft Systems (MEUAS) 1.5B intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance services. MEUAS is a fee-for-service or “power by the hour” contractor-owned and operated UAV network deployed in support of Special Operations Command. It uses catapult-launched mid-sized UAVs to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information to special forces on the ground. Insitu manufactures the ScanEagle UAV for the US military. The ScanEagle is an ISR-capable drone that can operate at high altitudes and has a very high endurance of over 24 hours. It carries an assortment of sensory and surveillance equipment.
Middle East & Africa
The State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missiles Segment Enhanced to the United Arab Emirates. The sale, which is valued at $2.7 billion, would entail 452 PAC-3 MSE and related equipment. The UAE requested a possible sale of 452 PAC-3 Missiles Segment Enhanced. Also included are tools and test equipment, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, spare and repair parts, facility design, US Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics, sustainment and program support.
Bahrain requested to buy 32 AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM missiles and various other weapon systems to support its F-16 Block 70/F-16V aircraft fleet for an estimated cost of $750 million. The contract also includes 32 AIM-9X missiles and 20 AGM-84 Block II Harpoon missiles among others. These weapons support the new procurement of F-16 Block 70 and upgrades of existing F-16V aircraft, providing an increase in the capability of existing aircraft to sustain operations, meet training requirements, and support transition training for pilots to the upgraded aircraft. The principal contractors for this effort will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Raytheon Missile Systems, and Boeing Corporation. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
During the IDEF 2019, Turkish company Nero Industries announced it had signed a contract to supply the Ukrainian government with 90 Umay soft-kill active protection systems. Jane’s reports, that the Umay systems uses laser warning receivers that are able to operate across either a 180° arc, or through 360°. In addition to sensors detecting laser radiation, designed to detect second-generation anti-tank systems with a laser beam guidance system, it includes the director of an aerosol smoke screen, which can counter up to eight grenades in course of countering the enemy.
India plans to build an aircraft carrier along the lines of the British HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of the „Make in India“ negotiations. The Indian Navy wants to buy detailed plans for the 65,000-ton British warship to build a so-called “copycat supercarrier“, named INS Vishal. The Sunday Mirror reports that „an Indian delegation has already visited Rosyth dockyard in Scotland where HMS Queen Elizabeth was assembled and where a second supercarrier, HMS Prince of Wales, is now being built“. The report notes that such a new Naval carrier would serve alongside India’s 45,000-ton carrier INS Vikramaditya. The design for UK aircraft carriers is owned by the British and French aerospace giants BAE and Thales. The reported India-UK Naval deal would follow the sale of Britain’s Falklands War carrier HMS Hermes to India in 1987.
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