Boeing Sues Chem Suppliers for Damages in KC-46 Delay | Milrem Wows ME with THeMIS at IDEX | Airbus Asking European Govs for Penalty Ease
- Boeing is taking some suppliers to court after they sold mislabeled chemicals that caused the maiden flight of the KC-46 tanker to be delayed by a month. Able Aerospace Adhesives and AlfaKleen Chemical Labs, both from California, are being sued in the sum of $10 million or more for the mix up, whose incorrect chemical damaged components in the jet’s refueling system, and time was lost by Boeing in order to to replace those damaged parts. The liquid provided was certified to meet MIL-PRF-680 Type III certification; it was, however, actually more acidic than required.
- Huntington Ingalls Industries has marked a production milestone for the USS Frank E. Petersen during a keel authentication ceremony. The company was contracted by the Navy in March 2016 to produce the Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA guided missile destroyer which is named after Frank Emmanuel Petersen Jr., who served as the USMC’s first African-American pilot and general officer. During the ceremony, Petersen’s window, Dr. Alicia Petersen said, “He wasn’t a man who wanted a lot of praise or recognition; however, if he could see this great ship being built for other young men and young women to see and look up to, he would be very proud.”
Middle East & North Africa
- Turkey is moving closer to finalizing its purchase of the S-400 air-defense system from Russia. Negotiations between the two governments have been ongoing since last August and are in line with Ankara’s goals to import a system to cover their current missile defense needs while their own contractors work to produce a domestic platform. Turkey has had an eye on the S-400 as far back as 2013 and had intended to make a deal with China for the system before US-led pressure tried to reorient Turkey toward a NATO-compatible system. Frustration between Turkey and its Western allies and the ongoing warming in relations with Russia has, however, led Ankara back toward Russian defense purchases.
- While probably best known for tech start-ups, Estonia’s Milrem is looking to take the Middle East and North Africa defense market by storm with their modular unmanned ground vehicle, THeMIS. Boasting three different configurations, the vehicle is capable of acting as a remote weapons station, a transport vehicle for soldier cargo, and a counter IED system. THeMIS uses technologies from Raytheon UK, Advanced Electronics Company and IGG Aselsan Systems, who have all been helping in the marketing effort, and has been on display at this week’s IDEX 2017 expo in the UAE.
- Germany’s UN operations in Mali are looking at requesting a number of surveillance airships like the ones used by US forces in Afghanistan. Fitted with threat-detecting sensors, the tethered aerostats can be used to provide radar surveillance to detect threats such as drones or surface targets. Potential procurement options for Berlin include buying used aerostats built by Lockheed Martin for the US Army, purchasing new lighter-than-air surveillance aerostats built by Lockheed or other suppliers, or opting to lease the equipment. Germany’s move to beef up security in Mali comes following January’s Al-Qaeda-affiliated suicide bombing that killed 77 people at a military base housing government soldiers in the northern town of Gao.
- The protest against Kenya’s purchase of 12 armed Air Tractor AT-802s from the US continues, after five US lawmakers wrote to Nairobi’s ambassador to Washington urging them to rethink the deal. Four Republicans and one Democrat signed the joint letter saying that they “have a reason to question the propriety of the acquisition.” They also said that the winning contractor, L-3 Technologies, “has no experience converting agricultural aircraft into intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft with precision-strike capability.” The issue came to light after contractor IOMAX, who developed the border patrol variant of the AT-802, protested against the award to L-3, claiming they had not been notified of any competition to supply such aircraft. It may have been the case that Kenya requested the AT-802L from Air Tractor and its systems-integration partner (and prime) L3 Technologies, confusing it with IOMAX’s AT-802-based Archangel Border Patrol Aircraft (BPA) which has been sold to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and regional allies.
- Airbus has asked European governments to ease punitive penalties against the company in relation to delays in its delivery of the A400M transporter, after the company received a fresh hit of $1.3 billion. Partner governments have been growing weary with Airbus after recent problems in regards to the plane’s delivery, gearbox issues, and delays in supplying defensive aids, and the project has been hit further by bureaucratic arguments and the withholding of cash from governments. “We cannot go on like that. This is unacceptable and puts a huge burden on Airbus and we need to do something about it,” Chief Executive Tom Enders said.
- China and Russia have completed contracts for the delivery of the of S-400 air defense system, Su-35 fighters, and anti-ship missiles. The announcement was made by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu at the opening of the second national youth forum International Military-Political and Military-Economic Cooperation: Modern Trends at the MIGIMO University. Speaking on the matter, Shoigu said “Russian-Chinese military-technical cooperation has been developing positively.”
- Milrem’s THeMIS vehicle:
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