Boeing contracted to advance MQ-25 development | France launches new military satellite | Tokyo agrees on $243b spending-plan
Raytheon is being contracted to support the US Navy with Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) integration and production efforts. Priced at $114 million, the contract provides for continued combat system integration and test services including engineering and training; software and depot maintenance, as well as field engineering services and procurement of spare parts. The AMDR, designated AN/SPY-6(V), will fulfill integrated Air and Missile Defense requirements for multiple ship classes. The AN/SPY-6 is 30 times more sensitive than its predecessor, its additional sensitivity supercharges the vessel’s capabilities in anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense. Work will be performed at multiple locations throughout the US. They include Marlborough, Massachusetts; Kauai, Hawaii; Portsmouth, Rhode Island; San Diego, California; Fair Lakes, Virginia and Moorestown, New Jersey. The contract includes options which could bring the total value of the order to $357 million and is expected to be completed by December 2019.
Boeing is receiving additional funding to continue research on the MQ-25 Stingray. The contract modification is valued at $90.4 million and is expected to be completed in August 2024. Under the contract, Boeing will perform a number of studies and analysis related to the engineering, manufacturing and development phase of the MQ-25 Stingray. The Stingray will be the Navy’s next ‘Group 5’ aircraft. With its implementation the US Navy seeks to close the gap with between UAS and manned aircraft by adding a system that is designed from the outset to operate within meters or less of large manned aircraft. The UAV will have the capacity to carry 15,000 pounds of fuel and will be used to refuel the F/A-18 Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, and F-35C fighter jets, extending their range and time in the air significantly. Work will be performed at Boeing’s factory in St. Louis, Missouri.
The US Navy and Army are buying more GQM-163A Coyote target missiles. Orbital Sciences will deliver 14 full-rate production Lot 13 missiles to the Navy and one to the US Army at a cost of $45.5 million. The GQM-163A Coyote supersonic sea skimming target is designed to provide an affordable target to simulate supersonic sea-skimming and other emerging supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles. It also supports research in ship-defense systems and fleet training. The supersonic target drone is designed to help Navy ship crews learn to defend themselves against modern anti-ship missiles like the French Exocet and the Russian-made SS-N-22 Sunburn and SS-NX-26 Oniks. The Coyote target missile design integrates a 4-inlet, solid-fuel ducted-rocket ramjet propulsion system into a compact missile airframe 18 feet long and 14 inches in diameter. The non-recoverable target missile achieves cruise speeds of over Mach 2.5, with a range of approximately 60 nautical miles at altitudes of less than 20 feet above the sea surface. Work will be performed in Chandler, Arizona; Camden, Arkansas; Vergennes, Vermont; Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Hollister, California. Performance of the contract is scheduled for completion by December 2022.
Middle East & Africa
The Burkinabe Army is the latest known user of Otokar’s Cobra APC, as reported by Jane’s. Burkina Faso showed off its new armoured vehicles during the country’s Independence Day parade in Manga on December 11. The Cobra family of vehicles has been in service since 1997. The vehicles have a compact profile and are transportable by aircraft, helicopter, truck and rail. The Cobra has an all-welded steel hull with wide, fully opening side and rear doors, allowing rapid exit of the crew when required. The APCs can be fitted with various typed of weapon stations and turrets that can be armed with 40mm grenade launchers and 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine guns. A V8 turbo diesel engine provides 190hp, allowing for a maximum road speed of 70 mph. The vehicle is manned by two crew and can carry a further nine. A source told Jane’s that an unspecified number of Cobras were purchased, some of which were delivered since September. The first batch of five APCs is supporting counter-insurgency operations in the country’s eastern region. Other operators include Algeria, Bahrain, Nigeria, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
Hungary becomes the launch customer of Saab’s Deployable Aircraft Maintenance Facility (DAM). According to the company, DAM is a mobile hangar solution that enables enhanced aircraft maintenance capacity combined with superior protection. DAM provides capability equivalent to stationary maintenance infrastructure, but at a fraction of the cost. The facility requires minimum logistical footprint and maintenance. DAM is highly flexible and can be rapidly deployed, making it suitable for remotely located and dispersed forward bases. DAM is comprised of a robust aluminium frame covered by a high-strength PVC fabric. A range of container assemblies give DAM an enhanced workshop capacity. DAM can be deployed within 48 hours, with assembly done with manpower only. Hungary is currently operating 14 Gripen fighter jets and will receive its new Deployable Aircraft Maintenance Facility sometime in 2019.
France launches a new military imaging satellite. CSO-1 is the first of three identical satellites, which are replacing France’s ageing Helios constellation. The next-generation of satellites is expected to achieve IOC by 2021 and will provide European military and civilian intelligence agencies with 800 very high-resolution black and white, color, and infrared images per day. CSO-1 and CSO-3 (scheduled to launch in 2021), will each perform reconnaissance missions at 800 km altitude; CSO-2 will join its sister satellite in 2020 and will conduct identification missions at an altitude of 480 km. The CSO satellites are a joint product of Airbus Defense and Space and Thales Alenia Space. The constellation is a component of Europe’s €1.75 billion MUSIS, or Multinational Space-based Imaging System.
The Japanese government agrees on a multi-billion defense procurement plan. Released on Tuesday afternoon, the defense plan seeks to buy a number of fighter jets shipborne unmanned aircraft and submarines over the next five-years at a cost of $243 billion. The document, known the National Defense Program Guidelines and the Mid-Term Defense Plan, includes the purchase of 105 additional F-35 Lightning II JSFs, a VTOL UAS for its new multipurpose destroyers and 12 more Kawasaki P-1 maritime surveillance planes. The defense-spending plan will also likely boost Japan’s industry, due to several projects being handled by local companies.
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