Boeing gets $4B for GMS and DSC | UK acquires five E-7 AEW&C aircraft | New Nose Radar for Turkish F-16s
The US Missile Defense Agency awarded Boeing a $4 billion contract modification to Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) and Development and Sustainment Contract (DSC). The modification will extend the DSC period from January 2018 to December 2023. The GMD is designed specifically to counter long-range ballistic missiles threatening the US homeland. It uses a three-stage booster, giving the necessary “legs” to perform intercepts over great distances. This range gives GMD by far the greatest coverage area of any US missile defense system, defending all fifty states and Canada. The modification also includes the delivery of a new missile field with 20 silos and two extra silos in a previously constructed missile field at Fort Greely in Alaska. The Missile Defense Agency is also deferring the production of 20 additional Ground Based Interceptors (GBIs) due to the deal associated with not meeting the entrance criteria for the Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV) critical design review. GBIs are silo-launched and intercept ballistic missiles in their midcourse, while they are outside of the atmosphere and at their highest trajectory. The missile consists of a multi-stage rocket booster and a kinetic kill vehicle, which makes interception of ballistic missile warheads possible using hit-to-kill technology. The definitized part of the modification provides for technical capabilities to improve a state-of-the-art missile defense system in order of ensuring that defensive capabilities remain relevant and current. These efforts include Boost Vehicle (BV) development; providing GBI assets for labs and test events; development, integration, testing and deployment of ground systems software builds to address emerging threats; development and fielding of upgraded launch support equipment; expanded systems testing through all ground and flight testing; cyber security support and testing; and, operations and support via performance based logistics approach. Work will take place within the US.
Northrop Grumman won a $245 million contract modification from the Naval Sea Systems Command to support the Expeditionary Warfare Program Office. The modification provides for the Joint Counter-Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (JCREW) Increment 1 Block 1 (I1B1) systems full-rate production. JCREW devices are high-power, modular, programmable, multiband radio frequency jammers designed to deny enemy use of selected portions of the radio frequency spectrum. Northrop Grumman was selected to work on the JCREW 3.3 program, which has been replaced by the JCREW I1B1 development, but the terms can be used synonymously. According to the Department of Defense, the JCREW I1B1 system is the first-generation system that develops a common open architecture across all three capabilities and provides protection for worldwide military operations. This integrated design maximizes commonality across all capabilities, reduces life cycle costs and provides increased protection against worldwide threats. Work will take place in San Diego, California and is scheduled to be finished by January 2021.
The Bolivian Air Force will upgrade its UH-1H „Huey“ helo for counter-narcotics operations. As Jane’s reports the government approved a budgetary increase of $6.8 million on March 19. UH-1H is a multimission, medium-lift helicopter. Actually called Iroquois, the helicopter played an important role in the Vietnam War, in which 7,000 aircraft were deployed. The UH-1 was actually the first turbine-powered helicopter produced for the US Military. Under the upgrade for Bolivia, 11 of the Bolivian Air Force’s 15 helos will be modernized to Huey II standard. Combining a modernized airframe of the basic UH-1H helicopter and Bell 212 components, the Huey II upgrade offers lower direct maintenance costs and greater mission flexibility. It is equipped with new features such as increased horsepower, crashworthy seats, multifunctional interior, new wiring and digital cockpit. The helicopter has a two-blade, semi-rigid main rotor and a two-blade tail rotor. It is also equipped with a new skid type landing gear.
Middle East & Africa
The US Air Force awarded AAR Airlift Group a $34 million task order modification that provides continued support of NATO Air Command-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command. According to the DOD, services include dedicated rotary wing air transportation to move passengers, cargo, and human remains as well as perform casualty evacuation in support of the Afghan Air Force within Afghanistan. The Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command advises, and assists within Afghan security institutions to develop resource management capability. The Command helps Afghanistan develop a sustainable, effective and affordable National Defense and Security Forces in support of the Afghan Government. The order is to be performed over the next year.
The UK will acquire five Boeing 737-based E-7 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system aircraft. As reported by Flight Global, the UK Ministry of Defense confirmed the $1.98 billion contract that will lead to the replacement of the Royal Air Force’s current Boeing 707-based E-3D Sentry fleet, on March 22. Designed for the Royal Australian Air Force under “Project Wedgetail” and designated E-7A Wedgetail, the E-7 is based on a standard Boeing 737 NG airliner modified to carry a sophisticated Northrop Grumman active electronically-scanned radar. The L-band electronically scanned AEW and surveillance radar is located on a dorsal fin on top of the fuselage, dubbed the “top hat”, and is designed for minimal aerodynamic effect. Last year the UK wanted to proceed with a non-competitive selection of the E-7 with the Ministry of Defense having been keen to acquire an operationally-proven system to replace its current assets.
The US Air Force awarded General Atomics a not-to-exceed $8.9 million contract action for the France MQ-9 Block 1 Weapons integration effort. The Foreign Military sale comes under an undefinitized contract action for the production and integration of the kits for the remotely piloted aircraft. The Reaper has a range of 1,150 miles up to 50,000 feet in altitude with a takeoff weight of 10,500 pounds. In 2013, the French ordered two MQ-9 Reaper medium-altitude long endurance drones to replace its Harfang drones. Last November, the US Air Force awarded General Atomics Aeronautical Systems a $263.4 million contract for production of the Reaper. Work under the contract action will take place n Poway, California and is expected to be complete by September 30, 2020.
According to reports, Turkish defense company ASELSAN will equip Turkey’s F-16 with a new nose radar. The F-16 AESA Nose Radar Development Project was launched to meet the need for modernization of the radars of the F-16 aircraft in the Air Force Command inventory with new generation radars that have Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) antenna technology. Turkey acquired its first F-16 Fighting Falcons in the 80s. Last month, it was reported that the new electronics warfare system for the Turkish F-16s, the SPEWS-II developed by ASELSAN, had successfully completed tests and entered into use.
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