BIW starts construction on USN’s 5th DDG 51 destroyer | Kuwait buys Super Hornet trainers | Russia starts testing its ‘Poseidon’ drone
Bath Iron Works is being contracted to start production on the US Navy’s fifth DDG 51 Flight III destroyer. The awarded contract modification is priced at $910 million and exercises the FY2019 option for construction of DDG 132. Included in the contract are engineering proposals, design budgeting requirements and some post-delivery availabilities. Work will be performed at BIW’s shipyard in Bath, Maine and at several other locations including Cincinnati, Ohio; Atlanta, Georgia; York, Pennsylvania; Coatesville, Pennsylvania; Falls Church, Virginia; South Portland, Maine; Walpole, Massachusetts; Erie, Pennsylvania and Charlottesville, Virginia. DDG 132 is expected to launch in May 2026.
The US Navy is modifying a support contract with Raytheon. Valued at $38 million, the modification provides for design-agent and in-service support as well as for technical engineering support services which support Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) production. ESSM missiles are designed to protect Navy ships from incoming missiles and aircraft. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s factory in Tucson, Arizona and at facilities in the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and Australia. The contract is paid with FY2019 Navy and Foreign Military Sales funds.
Middle East & Africa
URS Federal Services is being contracted to support the US Army’s Prepositioned Stock Five (APS-5) located in South Korea. The $14.8 million contract modification covers the provision of logistics support services until January 2020. APS-5 is located in Kuwait and Qatar and supports the Middle-Eastern theatre with two armored battalions and one mechanized infantry battalion. The Army maintains a strategic inventory of sustainment supplies as part of Army Pre-positioned Stocks (APS). These stocks sustain forward-deployed and initial follow-on ground forces, and include major end items such as engines, repair parts, medical supplies, packaged petroleum products, barrier/construction materials, operations rations, and clothing required to sustain combat operations. The APS-5 is located at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait and in Doha, Qatar.
Kuwait is buying four F/A-18E trainers from Boeing under the Foreign Military Sales program. Awarded by the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, the contract provides for the design, fabrication, installation, test and delivery of two F/A-18E Tactical Operational Flight trainers (TOFT) and two F/A-18E low cost trainers. TOFTs are built on Boeing’s and L-3’s F/A-18 simulator common hardware and software baseline. The simulators are integrated with a 360° display, image generator and training system. The mission computer emulation simulates radar, electronic countermeasures and the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System. The trainers enable aircrews to prepare for the full range of force multiplier capabilities that the platform can support during rapidly changing battle scenarios. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri; New Orleans, Louisiana and Kuwait City, Kuwait. The contract is valued at $76.5 million and will run through February 2022.
Czech airrcaft manufacturer Aero Vodochody completes its first test flight of the new L-39NG jet trainer. The flight was conducted on the 22nd of December, just two months after the jet trainer’s rollout ceremony. The company anticipates to achieve type certification by the end of 2019. The L-39NG is based on the aerodynamic concept of the current L-39 but utilizes the latest technologies and equipment. Powered by a Williams International FJ44-4M turbofan engine, the new generation aircraft will be used to train future pilots of 4th and 5th generation aircraft.
Leonardo concludes the first test round of its new TH-119 training helicopter. The TH-119 is manufactured in the USA and could replace the US Navy’s TH-57 training fleet. The initial flight test marks an important milestone, bringing the helicopter one step closer to achieve full FAA IFR certification in early 2019. Leonardo says that its TH-119 will be the only single-engine IFR-certified helicopter in production in decades. The new trainer is built upon the company’s AW119 light single-engine utility helicopter and features a high-resistance airframe with a four-blade main rotor and a two-blade tail rotor. The platform is equipped with four primary flight display (PFD) and multi-function display (MFD) units and a low-profile instrument panel. Powered by a PT6B-37A turboshaft engine, the TH-119 can achieve speeds of 152k and a cruise speed of 138k. The TH-119 is manufactured and supported at Leonardo’s existing FAA Part 21 production facility in Philadelphia.
Media reports suggest that Russia has started underwater trials of its new ‘Poseidon’ drone. The Poseidon is a is a new intercontinental, nuclear armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo. Formerly know as Kanyon, the drone is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads. If equipped with a nuclear warhead the drone could be used to attack coastal cities or create tsunamis. The drone is included in Russia’s state armament program for 2018-2027 and the Poseidon is expected to enter service before the program ends, a source told Russian media agency TASS.
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