BAE to modernize HUD on UAE’s F-16 | Duterte will no longer buy arms from US, Canada, over “conditions” | Airbus pays fine to end Eurofighter probe
- The US Army awarded Wednesday, February 7, a $476 million contract to Oshkosh to build the latest A2 variant of the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV). Production will be completed by February 2022, with work locations to be determined with each order. The Army and Oshkosh Defense will now finalize the FMTV A2 designs, conduct required testing, and then launch into production. New vehicles should begin rolling off the production line in 2020. First introduced in 1991, the years has seen multiple vendors produce, upgrade, and improve more than 75,000 FMTVs. Over this period, the Army has also pursued several improvements to its Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles, most recently with the competitively awarded “A1P2” version in 2008. For the A2, the Army asked vendors to propose a series of changes to the truck’s design, known as Engineering Change Proposals, along with a plan to take the updated design and begin producing new trucks. Those new trucks will feature a higher capacity chassis to carry enhanced protection, a higher output alternator to simplify the electrical system and feed the growing demand for power, support enhanced vehicle diagnostics, increase engine power and performance, and introduce key safety features like electronic stability control.
Middle East & Africa
- Lockheed Martin has selected BAE Systems to modernize the head-up displays on F-16s operated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A press release issued by the British aerospace giant said work will see the aircraft’s analogue systems with advanced digital systems by using “cutting-edge Digital Light Engine (DLE) technology to implement a HUD upgrade that integrates seamlessly into the F-16’s existing HUD space, requiring no changes to the aircraft, cabling, or computing. The advancement will remove the outdated cathode ray tube image source and replace it with a digital projector.” DLE technology has already been selected to modernize the F-22 Raptor HUD for the US Air Force. BAE estimates it will reduce life-cycle costs by 20 percent and has four times the reliability of legacy analog systems. Last November, the UAE announced that Lockheed Martin would lead the overhaul of 80 F-16s as part of a $1.63 billion upgrade package.
- Airbus will pay $99 million in fines in order to settle one of two investigations into alleged corruption surrounding the sale of Eurofighter combat jets to Austria in 2003. The settlement was reached with German prosecutors based in Munich and includes an administrative fine of 250,000 euros and “disgorgement”—which legal experts broadly define as the recovery of ill-gotten gains—of 81 million euros. In a statement, prosecutors said they had not found evidence of bribery but that Airbus had been unable to account for over 100 million euros in payments to two shell companies. Airbus said in a statement the penalty, which it had agreed to pay, related to the “negligent breach of supervisory duties” by unidentified members of Airbus Defence and Space’s former management.
- The French government has tasked electronics firm Thales with developing a sonar system for the country’s third-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine. Running for 42 months, the study and development contract will build on advances in algorithms and the digital revolution in a large antenna system and related processing capabilities. The contract follows on from a contract awarded by Paris two years ago for Thales to develop the linear antenna towed based on optical technology.
- Just three days after a deal was signed, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has canceled a $233 million agreement to purchase 16 Bell 412EPI helicopters from Canada. “I want to tell the armed forces to cut the deal, don’t proceed anymore and somehow we will look for another supplier. We respect the stand of Canada,” Duterte said in a televised briefing, adding that he had directed the armed forces to no longer purchase arms from either Canada or the US as “there is always a condition attached.” Canadian officials began an investigation into the sale after Philippine Major-General Restituto Padilla told Reuters that the helicopters would be used for operations against communist and Islamist rebels. Ottawa is concerned as that these campaigns may involve human rights violations, and were not the intended mission role for the helicopters, which were originally sought for search and rescue operations. While the Philippine Defense Ministry later clarified that the Bells would be mainly used for transport, rescue and disaster response, Duterte did confirm that they would be used to at least tackle Maoist insurgents. “The reason I‘m buying helicopters is because I want to finish them off,” he said.
- South Korea’s acquisition agency, Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), agreed last week to purchase additional anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft from an undisclosed foreign supplier. While the statement also failed to mention how many aircraft would be purchased, their cost, or expected delivery, it is known that the South Korean Navy wants to add six more ASW aircraft to its existing fleet of 16 P-3C and P-3CK Orions already in service. A contract is expected to be signed in the second half of 2018. Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon and Saab’s Swordfish are reportedly among the candidates.
- An electronic intelligence (ELINT) variant of Kawasaki’s C-2 tactical transport aircraft has commenced flight trails from Gifu air base in Japan. Pictures of the EC-2 aircraft show a number of modifications from the baseline version, including: large blisters aft of the wing, several antennas under the fuselage, and a dome on the upper part of the fuselage, aft of the cockpit and forward of the wings. In addition, the top tail has been modified with an additional fairing, while the radome is larger than on the baseline C-2. Citing the sensitivity of the ELINT mission, Tokyo’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency declined to comment on the aircraft.
- Head of French Air Force takes a tour in India’s LCA Tejas:
Categories: Daily Rapid Fire