Argentina Gets First C-130H Upgrades | Raytheon Says SA’s Patriots Have a 100% Success Rate | Thales, Qinetiq Choose Textron’s Scorpion for ASDOT Program
- The first upgrade of Argentine Air Force C-130H aircraft has been delivered back by L-3 to the service. A 2011 Foreign Military Sale contract saw for the provision of commercial-off-the-shelf avionics upgrades for a total of five aircraft, with the remaining four aircraft to be upgraded at FAdeA’s (Fábrica Argentina de Aviones) modification facility in Córdoba, Argentina. Under the program, L-3 installed new communication, navigation and air traffic management systems avionics capabilities, as well as a reliability upgrade on critical environmental and power systems to increase mission availability.
- US foreign military sales projection for 2016 is expected to reach $40 billion, down from $46.6 in 2015. The forecast was announced by US Navy Vice Admiral Joe Rixey, who heads the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) at the Farnborough Air Show. Rixey said the total could still fluctuate, depending on what happens in the fourth quarter, but maintained that global demand for US helicopters and other weapons remain strong.
Middle East North Africa
- Patriot anti-missile systems operated by Saudi Arabia have had a 100% success rate according to manufacturer Raytheon. The system has seen service as part of the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen intercepting missile attacks from Houthi rebels. Iran is believed to be arming the rebels with small arms and munitions including scud missiles.
- Production has commenced on Embraer A-29 Super Tucanos destined for Lebanon from the start of 2017. The US government agreed to a $173 million foreign military sales contract in November that will see Embraer’s US partner Sierra Nevada deliver six of the light-attack turboprops to the Lebanese air force by 2019. Once in service, the aircraft will support Lebanon’s fleet of intelligence and reconnaissance Cessna 208B Caravans.
- A consortium of Thales and Qineteq have chosen the Textron Airland’s Scorpion light attack aircraft for their part of the Air Support to Defense Operational Training (ASDOT) program. The live flying training program will see the government procure a red air and electronic warfare (EW) training service, replacing a number of individual contracts with a single umbrella contract with a single operator. With the deal to last 15 years, the winner is set to earn $1.5 billion over the contract’s lifespan.
- Lockheed Martin has dismissed fears that its joint proposal with MBDA to supply the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) to Germany could slip into difficulty. While negotiations could well run into 2017, an election year, officials said lawmakers could still approve the deal as long as it was done in the first three months of the year, before the German national election cycle kicks off in earnest ahead of the September vote. MBDA is expected to have its final proposal submitted very soon.
- The US and South Korean governments have agreed to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in Seongju County in North Gyeongsang Province. A HAWK ground-to-air missile battery is already operated at the site and is likely to be moved to make way for the new system. Seongju was chosed as it is out of range of North Korea’s multiple rocket launchers deployed along its border with South Korea, and THAAD can protect key US facilities in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province and Daegu.
- India is to launch its first “Make in India” initiative for the development of a tactical communication system (TCS) next year. The competition will see two domestic development agency (DA) consortiums awarded contracts to build one TCS prototype each at a cost of $150 million, in 18 months, with the government providing 80% of the prototype’s funding. Once the two prototypes are handed over to the Indian Army, they will undergo technical evaluation, be tested on the ground, and then shortlisted for production. The winner will provide seven TCS systems for plains and desert areas at a cost of $4 billion in the next 10 years.
- The F-35 at the Farnborough Air Show:
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