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Daily Rapid Fire

Boeing Peace Eagles Flying with Turkey | Russia’s PAK FA Testing Coming to a Close | BAE Taps Morgan Sindall Plc for New Sub Complex

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Americas * Russian officials have expressed concern over future arms deals with Venezuela after a landside victory for Venezuela’s opposition party in recent parliamentary elections. The Democratic Unity Coalition (DUC) won 112/167 seats in the national assembly which will allow for the opportunity to introduce a challenge to President Nicolas Maduro’s ruling Socialist PSUV party. Ties between Venezuela and Russia have been growing since the rise to power of Hugo Chavez in 1999, who has been one of the USA’s main opponents in the region. The new supermajority held by the DUC may see Maduro’s plans to purchase 12 more Su-30 fighter jets from Russia in jeopardy. Venezuela is Russia’s second largest weapons buyer, spending $2 billion between 2010-2014. *Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $65 million contract to complete upgrade work on radar systems of 11 E-2D advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Work is to take place at several locations across the US, and is expected to be completed by October 2018. $30 million of the contract is said to expire by the end of the current fiscal year. Middle East North Africa * Boeing has completed delivery of the last of four Peace Eagle Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) […]
Americas

* Russian officials have expressed concern over future arms deals with Venezuela after a landside victory for Venezuela’s opposition party in recent parliamentary elections. The Democratic Unity Coalition (DUC) won 112/167 seats in the national assembly which will allow for the opportunity to introduce a challenge to President Nicolas Maduro’s ruling Socialist PSUV party. Ties between Venezuela and Russia have been growing since the rise to power of Hugo Chavez in 1999, who has been one of the USA’s main opponents in the region. The new supermajority held by the DUC may see Maduro’s plans to purchase 12 more Su-30 fighter jets from Russia in jeopardy. Venezuela is Russia’s second largest weapons buyer, spending $2 billion between 2010-2014.

*Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $65 million contract to complete upgrade work on radar systems of 11 E-2D advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Work is to take place at several locations across the US, and is expected to be completed by October 2018. $30 million of the contract is said to expire by the end of the current fiscal year.

Middle East North Africa

* Boeing has completed delivery of the last of four Peace Eagle Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft to Turkey. The delivery will provide an increase in the country’s self defense capabilities. Lighter than the Boeing E-3 Sentry, the Peace Eagle has been in service with air forces in Australia, Turkey, and South Korea and has been looked at by Italy and United Arab Emirates. Completion of the delivery had been expected in 2013, but according to the Turkish Defense Minister, the program delays were due to Boeing’s failure to develop the system, as well as other uncontrolled events within the program. The aircraft has the ability to operate at high altitudes, and its radar allows the operators to distinguish between friendly and hostile aircraft hundreds of miles away.

Europe

* The Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Boisov has said that testing of the PAK FA is nearly complete. The 5th generation fighter is intended to replace the Mig-29 and Su-27 currently currently in service. The fighter is part of a development partnership between Russian manufacturer Sukhoi and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The Indian Air Force may purchase 154 of the aircraft once they come into service in 2016. The PAK FA is set to rival the US made F-35 fighter, but holds a major export advantage in that it is much more cost effective.

* BAE Systems has awarded a $136.5 million contract to Morgan Sindall Plc for the development of a new submarine complex. Located in Barrow-in-Furniss, Cumbria, the facility will allow for the fitting out of each section of the new submarines before they are transported to the company’s Devonshire Dock Hall for the completion of the build. It will be one of the UK’s largest industrial facilities. Due to be completed in 2017, the complex will be used for the development and building of the successor to the Vanguard-class submarine currently in use by the British Royal Navy. The decision to commit to the Successor program and whether it will retain the Trident ballistic missile systems will be decided by parliament in 2016. It is estimated that the cost of Trident replacement will be $47 billion.

Africa

* An investigation by Ugandan newspaper “The Independent” has revealed that Uganda may have secretly bought Mi-24 gunships without law-makers approval. They then transferred the helicopters to South Sudan. The claims are apparently being investigated by the UN after Sudan circumvented parliamentary procedure and acquired a $170 million loan from Russia to fund the deal. Gen. Katumba of the Ugandan Army had initially told members of the Committee on National Economy that money was needed to upgrade to more sophisticated equipment due to the volatile situation in the region, but this was declined by the committee.

Asia Pacific

* Northrop Grumman has completed delivery of the center fuselage for Japan’s F-35 fighter, known as the AX-1. The center fuselage serves as the core structure for the 5th generation multi-role jet. Japan’s AX-1 is an F-35A jet which uses conventional take-off and landing. Japan has ordered 42 F-35s from Lockheed Martin. Three more center fuselages will be manufactured in the US, while the final 38 will be manufactured and assembled in Nagoya, Japan.

* Lockheed Martin has been selected to train Australia’s future pilots in a $878 million deal in a new seven year program. The contract will task Lockheed with developing the A112 training system that will train pilots for the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Army. Aircraft for the training will be provided by the Swiss company Pilatus Aircraft and US company Hawker Pacific and a performance based option could see the program be extended for up to 25 years. A similar program was developed for Singapore, currently nine years through a 20 year agreement.

Today’s Video

* After the December 8 test of the SM-3 Block IIA missile test, a look at the first test back in June:

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