Boeing Assures Cap on Air Force One Costs | France & Britain to Embark on Study for FCAS Program | Japan to Increase Defense Spending 1.4% for Next FY
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- Guarantees have been made by Boeing that the new Air Force One will not exceed $4 billion. The assurances were given to Donald Trump by CEO Dennis Muilenburg, during an interview following a “productive” meeting with the president-elect. Also at the meeting was Marillyn Hewson, chief executive of Lockheed Martin; however Hewson did not talk directly to media after the meeting. Speaking on the F-35, of which Lockheed Martin is the lead contractor, Trump called the program “very expensive,” and vowed to bring its costs down. Both defense giants have become recent targets for Trump, who has been looking to get better value for money from defense firms on big ticket Pentagon programs in the run up to his inauguration in January.
- The US Navy has awarded Raytheon a $64.6 million contract to perform technical support services for several of the service’s naval anti-ship weapon systems. Systems included in the work are the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS), the SeaRAM, and the Land-based Phalanx Weapon System, and the contract also involves foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Canada, Britain, South Korea, Portugal, and Greece. Work is expected to be completed by January 2018, and the deal is comprised of options which, if exercised, have the potential to raise the contract value to $398 million.
Middle East & North Africa
- Space Communications purchased a new Amos-17 telecommunications satellite from Boeing, with plans to launch it in 2019. The Israeli firm made the purchase following the loss of an earlier satellite in September, during the accidental explosion of a Space X Falcon rocket, that was due to bring it into orbit. If successfully launched, Amos-17 will expand and strengthen Spacecom’s coverage of growing satellite service markets in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
- RQ-11B mini-UAVs used by the Ukrainian military have proved ineffective against Russian-backed insurgents fighting in the eastern Donbass region. Separatists have proved adept at jamming and hacking the drones’ video and data feed, due to the datalink being analog. This has left command channels and data unprotected from interception and suppression by modern means of electronic warfare. As a result, the UAVs have been left far from the front lines, in case they give away Ukrainian positions.
- Russian hackers have also managed to track and target Ukrainian artillery positions, by successfully targeting Android devices with malware. A report into the matter has revealed that between late 2014 through 2016, the malware was able to retrieve communications and some locational data from infected devices, intelligence that would have likely been used to strike against the artillery in support of pro-Russian separatists fighting in eastern Ukraine. The hacking group, known commonly as Fancy Bear or APT 28, is believed by US intelligence officials to work primarily on behalf of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency.
- A 12-month study has been ordered under a bilateral agreement between the French and British government, marking the next interim stage of the joint Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program. It is hoped that the study will then lead to a full-scale demonstrator development program by the end of 2017, which has $1.87 billion earmarked for the production of two full-scale unmanned combat air vehicles. Companies to take part in the preparatory work include BAE Systems, Dassault, Rolls-Royce, Safran, Leonardo and Thales.
- The Japanese government has signed off on a 1.4 percent increase in its defense spending to 5.13 trillion yen ($43.66 billion) for the year starting April 1. A record figure, the planned hike comes as Tokyo bolsters its capabilities in order to counter growing Chinese military power in the East China Sea and an escalating North Korean ballistic missile threat. Lawmakers are likely to pass the new bill, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party controlling parliament.
- A Nirbhay cruise missile had to be destroyed by Indian scientists, following the munition type’s fourth failed test. Often compared to the US Tomahawk missile, the Nirbhay has been plagued with difficulties, with none of the previous testing attempts going according to plan. The most recent test saw the missile successfully launched from its mobile launcher, however it began to veer off course minutes after take off prior to being self-destructed by those monitoring the launch.
South Korea to mass produce M-SAM air defense system:
Categories: Daily Rapid Fire