Bell Boeing Tapped For V-22 Support | Iraq Received Final T-50IQ | Romania Approved Purchase of 5 F-16s
Bell Boeing won a $218.7 million contract modification for performance based logistics and engineering support for the V-22 platform. Using customers are Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Foreign Military Sales to Japan. The V-22 Osprey was developed to carry troops, ordnance and supplies into the battlefield as a presumed replacement for the aging AV-8b Harrier. It is the world’s only tilt-rotor aircraft, meaning that it can fly in multiple configurations: with the propellers pointing forward in a traditional aircraft stance, or the rotors can be rotated to take off in the same way as a helicopter. Work will take place in Texas and Pennsylvania. Estimated completion date is November 30, 2020.
Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems won a $74.7 million contract or design agent engineering services for networks and network user systems on operational landing platform/dock LPD-17 Class amphibious transport dock ships. LPD-17 or San Antonio Class landing platform dock is the latest class of amphibious force ship for the US Navy. The mission of the San Antonio Class is to transport the US Marine Corps ‘mobility triad’, comprising advanced, amphibious assault vehicles (AAAVs), landing craft air-cushion (LCAC) and the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft around the world. Construction of the first ship of 12, the San Antonio (LPD 17), began in June 2000. The ship’s keel was laid in December 2000. It was launched in July 2003 and commissioned in January 2006. The San Antonio is home-ported at the Norfolk naval base, Virginia. The vessel achieved initial operating capability (IOC) in May 2008 and made its first deployment in August 2008 as part of the Iwo Jima expeditionary strike group. Work under the deal will take place in California, Virginia and Florida. Expected completion is in December 2024.
Middle East & Africa
Jane’s reports that Iraq received its final Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50IQ Fighting Eagle light fighter and trainer aircraft. This delivery of the 24th T-50IQ marks the end of the six-year procurement process that was launched in December 2013. The Iraq Air Force fields the twin-seat T-50IQ primarily as a lead-in fighter trainer for its 36 Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters. The aircraft can be armed with air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, machine guns and precision-guided bombs.
Britain’s defense ties with the EU after Brexit are still uncertain, writes Martin Bank for Defense News. EU member states have yet to decide on a legal framework for third-party participation. Adm. Rob Bauer, chief of defense in The Netherlands, told Defense News he believes it is imperative that the UK remains very closely involved in such projects. British future involvement in EU-led initiatives such as the European Defence Fund and PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation) remains unclear. Bauer says it would be important for the EU and Britain to work together in the future. In a keynote address, Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, warned that UK involvement in EU defense and security would only become clearer once discussions start on a political agreement between the two sides.
Romania’s Supreme Council for the Country’s Defence approved the purchase of five F-16s. Earlier it was reported that Romania wants to buy another five F-16s from Portugal. The procurement deals in excess of $110.2 million must be endorsed by lawmakers, president Klaus Iohannis explained. The president also informed about the Government’s commitment to stick with the 2 percent-of-GDP budget earmarked for defense spending. The number of military troops approved for missions abroad was also increased by 200 to 2,100, under a CSAT decision. Romania will buy another five F16 jet fighters with the same configuration as the 12 already purchased, former defense minister Gabriel Les announced on July 3.
Footage shows Uzbekistan adopting the Chinese QW-18 MANPADS air defense system, Army Recognition reports. The QW-18 MANPADS has been designed by the China National Precision Machinery Import & Export Corporation and is reported to be a modified copy of the Soviet-designed Igla-1 MANPADS. It weighs 18 kg in combat mode and is armed with a short-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) capable of engaging aerial targets flying at a speed of up to 300 m/s at an altitude of up to 4,000 m and at a distance of up to 5,000 m. The Uzbek Ministry of Defense does not specify the type of MANPADS being operated by the country’s military. However, according to the open sources, the UA operates some 150 legacy 9K32 Strela-2 (SA-7 Grail) man-portable air defense weapons.
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