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Daily Rapid Fire

Boeing offer F/A-18 facility in India | Japan condemns NK ICBM test over Hokkaido | Iran building missiles in Syria, Lebanon, claims Netanyahu

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Americas * The US Army has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems a $310 million contract for engineering changes to the M1A2 Abrams tank System Enhancement Package Version 3. Work to be undertaken include the design, development and integration for the upgrades to the M1A2, with a projected completion date scheduled for Feb. 28, 2024. The […]

* The US Army has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems a $310 million contract for engineering changes to the M1A2 Abrams tank System Enhancement Package Version 3. Work to be undertaken include the design, development and integration for the upgrades to the M1A2, with a projected completion date scheduled for Feb. 28, 2024. The M1A2 SEP 3 are upgraded versions of the M1A2 Abrams tank, and feature improved power generation, networking capabilities and have a lower-profile Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station (CROWS) system for its top-mounted .50mm machine gun.

* Raytheon has been awarded a $614 million modification for a contract previously valued at $630 million by the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The modification calls for the production of 17 Standard Missile-3 Block IIA missiles, perform production support and engineering efforts, perform obsolescence monitoring, perform technical baseline engineering support, perform quality assurance and audit efforts, and provide containers. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and is estimated for completion in March 2020.

Middle East & Africa

* Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Iran is building production sites for precision-guided missiles in Syria and Lebanon, adding that their intention is to use them on Israel. “This is something Israel cannot accept. This is something the UN should not accept,” he said at the beginning of a meeting in Jerusalem with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Netanyahu’s comments come as Hamas’ new leader in the Gaza Strip, Yehiyeh Sinwar, said the Palestinian group has repaired relations with Iran after a five-year rift and is using its newfound financial and military aid to gear up for new hostilities with Israel. Iran was once Hamas’ lead backer, however, Hamas broke with Tehran in 2012 after it failed to support Iran’s close ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, in the Syrian civil war. Iran and the Lebanese group Hezbollah have provided much personnel and support to aid Assad’s campaign against jihadist and other rebel groups fighting the regime, often bringing them close to Syria’s border with Israel.


* Britain’s leading shipbuilding bosses are scheduled to meet with the ruling Conservative party in September to be briefed on the broad outline for a new class of light frigates for the Royal Navy. Babcock International, BAE Systems, BMT Defence Services and a small design consultancy known as Stellar Systems are expected to submit designs for the Type 31 light frigate program, and it is believed that London wants the first of the vessels to be operational in time to replace the Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll which is scheduled for decommissioning in 2023. However, some analysts in the UK said the timeline, if confirmed, was daunting. The Type 31 program is a centerpiece of the Conservative governments yet-to-be-published national shipbuilding strategy, which aims to lay the foundation of a modern and efficient naval shipbuilding sector.

Asia Pacific

* North Korea has launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) over Japan, its most provocative move to date. The early morning test on Tuesday flew over the northern island of Hokkaido island before crashing into the sea, sparking the Japanese government to send out a “J-alert” on its nationwide warning system, telling residents of the island of the threat. The test follows a series of short-range missiles launches into the sea off its east coast early on Saturday, as South Korea and the US militaries conducted defense drills on the Korean peninsula.

* Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has commenced production of its Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). The event was marked by a ceremony on August 26, with senior officials from the Ministry of Defence, Indian Air Force and HAL all present at the occasion. Fifteen basic models will be made during the production run, which features a narrow fuselage and tandem configuration for pilot and co-pilot/weapon system operator and capable of conducting operations under extreme weather conditions at different altitudes from sea level, hot weather desert, cold weather and Himalayan altitudes. It is armed with a 20-millimeter Turret gun, 70-millimeter Rocket, air-to-air missile, EO-Pod and helmet pointing system.

* Israeli firm Elbit Systems (ESLT.TA) said on Tuesday it won a contract worth about $93 million from an unnammed Asia-Pacific country to upgrade its F-5 aircraft fleet. Under the terms of a deal, the defense electronics firm will supply the F-5 with systems including head-up displays, an advanced cockpit, radars, weapon delivery and navigation systems. The deal will run for three years. Asian operators of the F-5 include Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, and South Korea.

* Boeing has offered to construct a manufacturing facility in India for the F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter planes as it chases New Delhi’s planned acquisition of 57 carrier-based multi-role fighter aircraft. The offer follows a similar agreement between India and Lockheed Martin, made earlier this year, for an India production line of the F-16 Block 70 Fighting Falcon. If selected, the F/A-18 procurement will replace the Indian Navy’s current fleet of MiG-29K aircraft, which have been plagued by maintenance problems. They will be based on the modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, and its two planned indigenously-built Vikrant-class carriers.

Today’s Video

* M1A2 System Enhancement Package (SEP) V2 Abrams main battle tank on manoeuvres:

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