Boeing won a $40.6 million modification to deliver 13 mechanisms for P-8A surveillance aircraft and two forward mechanisms for P-8A trainers. The P-8A Poseidon is designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The US Navy, the Indian Navy, and the Royal Australian Air Force operate the aircraft. Boeing in October celebrated the completion of the 100th P-8 aircraft, saying at the time that P-8s had accumulated more than 150,000 flight hours. The P-8 is militarized with maritime weapons, a modern open mission system architecture, and commercial-like support for affordability. The aircraft has been modified to include a bomb bay and pylons for weapons, two weapons stations on each wing, and can carry 129 sonobuoys. Work will take place in Seattle, Washington and Dallas, Texas and is scheduled to be completed in November 2022.
The US Air Force awarded Raytheon a $15 million firm-fixed-price modification for retrofitting the F-15 jet fleet with Mode 5 capable Identify Friend or Foe units. Boeing’s F-15 Strike Eagle is a twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter aircraft. Its proven design is unbeatable in air-to-air combat, with more than 100 aerial combat victories. Per the terms of the agreement, Raytheon will offer 196 F-15C/D APX-114 and 196 F-15 C/D APX-119 retrofit units, which provide National Security Agency approved cryptography as well as robust anti-jam interrogation and reply encryption capabilities. Raytheon will perform work in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland and Largo, Florida and is expected to complete work in December 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Duqm Naval Drydock (DND) has successfully completed its first repair and overhaul of a US Naval vessel in an Omani drydock, Babcock International announced on June 3. The completed contract for the US Military Sealift Command (MSC) represents another significant milestone in the JV and demonstrates the capability of DND for future work packages with the US Navy, the company said in the press release. The repair and overhaul included “complex work on hull systems, internal systems, and the ship’s stern ramp” and was completed “on cost, on time”. DND is a joint venture between Babcock and the Oman Dry Dock Company that was established in June 2017 to create a commercial Naval support facility at Duqm, an Arabian Sea port that is being developed into a major transport hub.
According to Israeldefense, Germany wants to buy Elbit’s DIRCM (Directional Infrared Counter Measures) systems for the Bundeswehr’s fleet of A400M transport aircraft. The A400M is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The German Air Force will operate 53 A400Ms in two configurations: 37 tactical aircraft and 16 others in the logistic version. Each of the 53 transporters will be equipped with an Elbit DIRCM system. According to Elbit Systems, DIRCM solutions are designed to protect aircraft against heat-seeking ground-to-air missiles. They integrate advanced fiber laser technology together with a high frame rate thermal camera and a small, highly dynamic mirror turret. Elbit Systems’ cooperation with German arms manufacturer DIEHL Defence on the integration of Elbit’s DIRCM system into the A400M was first announced in 2014.
Belarus presented its upgraded Polonez-M multiple launch rocket (MRL) system, which the Armed Forces recently had begun receiving. The European country unveiled the modernized V-300RK Polonez-M MRL at the MILEX 2019 in Minsk, according to Jane’s. The Polonez is a 300 mm rocket artillery system of a launcher unit comprising 8 rockets packaged in two four-rocket pods mounted on a MZKT-7930 vehicle. The upgraded Polonez-M has an increased range of 300 km and a higher share of Belarusian-made components. It can also fire a 480 kg warhead tactical missile. The modernized system has passed firing tests, including the launch of a missile at a distance of 298.5 km in October 2017 in the Gomel Region of eastern Belarus.
The Dabolim International Airport in Goa, India was closed temporarily on Saturday afternoon following an incident caused by a drop tank of a Naval fighter aircraft. A portion of the main runway of the airport caught fire after a detachable fuel tank of a MiG-29K aircraft fell down from the jet while it was taking off. The airport in Goa is used by civilian as well as military aircraft. Seven flights from different parts of the country, which were supposed to land at Goa airport, had been diverted. The Navy operates MiG-29Ks off the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and the squadron is based at Naval air station, Goa. Detachable fuel tanks are attached to fighter aircraft to increase their operational range. The drop tank was jettisoned on the runway, spilling fuel and causing minor damage to the landing and take-off strip.
Watch: US Navy Aircraft Carrier holds second conduct joint exercise in the Arabian Sea