BAE Systems Tapped For Continued Production Of BFVs | Netherlands Want More F-35s | RAAF To Equip Super Hornets With AN/ASG-34 podded IRST
The US Army awarded BAE Systems a contract modification worth up to $269 million for continued production of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the company announced in a press release. The deal for additional 168 Bradley A4 Infantry Fighting Vehicles is part of the Army’s combat vehicle modernization strategy and will help ensure force readiness of the Armored Brigade Combat Teams. The Bradley Fighting Vehicle or BFV is an armored personnel carrier. The development of the Bradley dates back to the pre-Vietnam era. The early plans of an advanced armor personnel vehicle were being discussed in the early 1960s, even as the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier was just entering service. The Bradley Fighting Vehicle entered production in 1981 and became a replacement for the M113. The Bradley is considered to be a more powerful and faster vehicle than the M113, and its better suspension increases speed on off-road terrain. The Bradley A4 is equipped with an enhanced powertrain that maximizes mobility and increases engine horsepower, providing rapid movement in reaction to combat or other adverse situations. Wide angle Driver’s Vision Enhancer, improved Force XXI Battle Command Bridge and Below (FBCB2) software integration improves friendly and enemy vehicle identification, enhancing situational awareness.
General Dynamics Mission Systems announced in a news release that the National Security Agency (NSA) has certified its new TACLANE-Nano (KG-175N) network encryptor to secure voice, video and data information classified Top Secret/SCI and below traversing public and private IP networks. The NSA certification validates the TACLANE-Nano’s capability to protect the most critical data communications through government networks and national security systems worldwide at any time, it says in the release. The TACLANE-Nano provides end-to-end encryption in the smallest, lightest and lowest power configuration of any HAIPE device available today. It operates faster than 100 megabits per second aggregate throughout in a Size, Weight, Power and Cost (SWaP-C) optimized form factor, ruggedized to withstand the rigors of a mobile environment.
Middle East & Africa
Soldiers from the US Army’s 1st Battalion 178th Infantry Regiment were taught how to counter commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) drones ahead of their deployment to Afghanistan in a course conducted by the 5th Armored Brigade, First Army Division West. This is the first time that a unit had received deliberate training on Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Fort Bliss, the largest FORSCOM installation, is the first in the Army to persistently permit military personal to fly commercial-off-the-shelf UAS in the training area. This capability was created to train soldiers and joint partners to combat the emerging small Unmanned Aircraft Systems threat around the world.
The Netherlands want to buy nine more F-35s. The Dutch government announced plans to purchase nine more of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jets, a move that would bring the country’s inventory to 46. The acquisition will be worth approximately $1.1 billion. It will lay the foundation for a third F-35 squadron in the Dutch Air Force, a plan that government officials first had in late 2018. The additional aircraft are expected to contribute to the Air Force’s objective of having four jets available for NATO missions while also performing homeland defense operations and accounting for training requirements and maintenance downtime.
Thales Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Maritime College to establish a presence at the Tasmanian Defense Innovation and Design Precinct. This makes it the first defense industry prime to commit to a presence at the Defense Innovation and Design Precinct. “The Federal Government’s $30 million funding to establish the Defence Innovation and Design Precinct in Tasmania reflects the range of smart innovations under development at the Australian Maritime College and from SMEs in Tasmania,” Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said. The announcement builds on Thales’s initiative to establish a sonar testing capability in Tasmania’s deep, cold and acoustically quiet lakes.
The Royal Australian Air Force will equip its Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets with the same AN/ASG-34 podded infrared search-and-track (IRST) system as carried by the US Navy, Jane’s reports. A sources-sought notification issued by the US Naval Air Systems Command on October 2 calls for 12 IRST systems to cover the RAAF’s fleet of 24 Super Hornets. Developed by Lockheed Martin, with Boeing and General Electric, the AN/ASG-34 IRST is a passive system geared at giving the Super Hornet the capability to locate and engage airborne and ground targets when use of the Raytheon AN/APG-79 AESA radar would give away the aircraft’s position.
Watch: Testing of the Air Force’s Super-Secret B-21 Raider Long-range Strike Bomber