Boeing gets Contract for F-15 Eagle | Turkey kicks off Sea Wolf Exercise | F-35B grounded in Japan due to Bird Strike
The US Air Force awarded Boeing an $11.2 million contract in support of the F-15. The F-15 Eagle is the Air Force’s primary fighter jet. It has electronic systems and weaponry for detecting, acquiring, tracking and attacking enemy aircraft while operating in either friendly or enemy-controlled airspace. The contract provides for post-production support tasks/services unique to the original equipment manufacturer as required to maintain an adequate level of continuous sustaining engineering and logistics support for the Air Force and Foreign Military Sales. FMS include Saudi Arabia and Israel. Boeing is finishing a major 2009 F-15 order from Saudi Arabia. The Royal Saudi Air Force has the third largest number of F-15s in its fleet, behind Japan and the United States. The USAF has requested $7.8 billion for eight F-15s next year and 72 in the four years after that. Boeing will perform work in St. Louis and is expecting completion by November 9, 2027.
The MQ-4C Triton’s development cost grew 2% from FY 2018. It is now predicted that the UAVs will cost 61% more than initially estimated, Jane’sreports. The Triton is based on the Global Hawk UAS. It provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) over vast ocean and coastal regions. The UAV will support a wide range of missions including maritime ISR patrol, signals intelligence, search and rescue and communications relay. The aircraft can fly over 24 hours at a time, at altitudes higher than 10 miles, with an operational range of 8,200 nautical miles. The first flight of the Triton took place on May 22, 2013. According to the Government Accountability Office’s annual weapon system assessment, the current cost estimate for the Triton, in FY 2019 is $5.7 billion. The original estimate from 2009 was $3.5 billion. Reportedly, issues with wing production posed continued risk to the Triton’s production schedule, quality, and cost.
Middle East & Africa
Turkey’s largest military exercise, called Sea Wolf, started on Monday. It will run through May 25 in the eastern Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Sea. Supervised by the Turkish Navy, 131 warships, 57 warplanes and 33 helicopters will participate in the exercise. High-level submarines, frigates, naval artilleries, armed UAVs, as well as search and rescue units will also participate. Domestic and national weapon systems including high-speed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Simsek and anti-surface defense boat Albatros will hold drills. The exercise is conducted amid tensions between Greek and Turkey. On Sunday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement in which it claimed that Greece does not respect the demilitarized status of the islands of the eastern Aegean Sea. The statement further called on all NATO warships and vessels currently operating in the region to refrain from using Greek island ports eastern Aegean for visits and refueling.
The first of three upgraded F-16s for the Portuguese Air Force arrived in Portugal on May 9. The Air Force operates a total of 45 F-16A/B block 15 aircraft. The delivered aircraft was the first of two single-seat F-16AMs, the second of which is scheduled for delivery in late July, to be followed by a twin-seat F-16BM in late 2019. Portugal received its very first F-16 in 1993. The F-16 gradually replaced the A-7P Corsair II, initially in the air defense role and later also in the ground attack role, with the last Portuguese Corsair II aircraft being retired in 1999.
Spanish systems and sensors house Indra won a contract to supply the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom with an advanced long-range air defense deployable radar. The Indra LTR25 L-band radar offers very high long-range detection capabilities, comparable to those of larger fixed radars, but with the added advantage of being able to operate very quickly and be transported in small aircraft, such as the C130. Indra is a leading company in the development of radars and one of the main suppliers of this type of solutions for NATO. The company has won all the tenders awarded by the Alliance in the last five years. Its systems also cover surveillance of the whole south-western flank of Europe. Indra has delivered over 50 radars in total to countries from five continents.
According to reports, a Japan-based American F-35B had to abort take-off due to a bird strike. The aircraft with Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing likely suffered $2 million in damages. The incident, classified as a Class A Mishap, is currently under investigation and a complete damage assessment is underway. The bird strike happened near Iwakuni, Japan.
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