The Navy awarded Boeing a $56.8 million contract providing program management as well as engineering and integrated logistics support for the post-production support phase of the T-45 aircraft lifecycle. The T-45 Goshawk is the US Navy’s two seat advanced jet trainer. It is a highly modified version of the British BAE Systems Hawk land-based training jet aircraft and was selected to replace the TA-4J Skyhawk and T-2C Buckeye. In order of meeting US Navy training mission and to ensure aircraft carrier compatibility, T-45 includes a new twin nose-wheel with catapult launch T-bar, nose-wheel steering for maneuvering within the confines of the carrier deck, strengthened airframe and undercarriage for catapult launches, relocated speed brakes, provision of under-fuselage tailhook, revised avionics and modified cockpit layout for compatibility with front-line US Navy combat aircraft. The current contract includes special tooling and test equipment, data accessibility and obsolescence identification, and resolution in addition to field services support that provides subject matter expertise in the areas of environmental control systems, cockpit pressurization and On-Board Oxygen Generation Systems integration.
The Navy tapped Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems with a $10.9 million contract modification to exercise options for AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) equipment and spares. The Missile Defense Agency in cooperation with the US Navy developed the AEGIS BMD system to provide warships with the capability of intercepting and destroying short and medium-range ballistic missiles. AEGIS BMD was acquired by Japan, making it the first missile defense system to be acquired by a military ally. The modification includes 4.0.2 equipment for Shipset 23. Work will take place in New Jersey and Florida and is expected to be completed by November 2020.
The Canadian government awarded Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited a $68 million contract for design work on a life extension program for the country’s fleet of 85 CH-146 Griffon helicopters. Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited will design a life extension program to ensure that the aircraft remain in service until at least 2031. The definition work will be carried out under the existing Griffon support contract, originally awarded in 2011. In the first phase under this deal Bell Helicopter will develop design changes to upgrade the helicopter’s avionics systems, engines, and cockpit displays. It will also integrate sensor systems. The CH-146 Griffon is a multi-role utility helicopter used in aerial firepower, reconnaissance, search and rescue, and aero-mobility tasks.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University, announced they are setting up a multi-year research collaboration in cybersecurity, smart mobility, robotics and artificial intelligence. The agreement follows Rafael’s decision to establish a research and development location in Be’er Sheva, the southern Israeli city where BGN is located, which will be launched later in 2019. The first two projects of the collaboration focus on exploring the risk of cybersecurity breaches in sensors of autonomous cars, and how this issue can be tackled. Rafael already implemented cyber defense project around the world, including Israel’s Cyber Emergency Response Team. The company develops and manufactures systems for the Israeli Defense Forces and the defense establishment, as well as for foreign customers around the world. The signing ceremony for the deal between Rafael and BGN Technologies took place at the Cybertech 2019 conference in Tel Aviv.
Polish Defense Minister, Marius Blaszczak signed a $180.7 million contract to acquire four S-70i Black Hawk helicopters from Lockheed Martin’s offshoot Sikorsky. The helos will be supplied to Poland’s special forces. The aircraft will be produced by the group’s Polish subsidiary PZL Mielec, with deliveries scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019. The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter that entered service with the US Army in 1979 and has been exported to several nations. Black Hawks served in combats during conflicts in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and other areas in the Middle East. The newest version of the Black Hawk is PZL Mielec’s S-70i, which had its maiden flight in July 2010. Poland’s helicopters were acquired outside of a tender procedure. In 2015, the then-Polish Cabinet decided to order 50 H225M Caracal helos from Airbus, but the deal was scrapped the following year after a change in government. Other forerunners in the tender included the Black Hawk and Leonardo’s offshoot PZL Swidnik, which makes the AW149.
The US Naval Air Systems Command contracted Lockheed Martin with a $31.3 million modification for sustainment services for F-35 Lightning II low-rate initial production Lot X aircraft for the Australian government. The F-35A featuring conventional takeoff and landing, is one of three variants of the single-seat, single-engine fighters. Australia is investing more than $17 billion to acquire at least 72 F-35A Joint Strike Fighters. Ten new jets have been delivered to Australia, with the first eight temporarily flying with the US Air Force’s 61st Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, as part of the international F-35 training school. Work for the modification will take place in Williamtown, Australia and is expected to be completed by early 2021.
Malaysia issued a preliminary request for information (RFI) to Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) in support of a potential buy of the company’s FA-50 light attack aircraft, Jane’s reports. The FA-50 is a variant of the KAI T-50 Golden Eagle, a family of South Korean supersonic advanced trainers and light combat aircraft. The T-50 is South Korea’s first indigenous supersonic aircraft and one of the world’s few supersonic trainers. Under the country’s proposed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) procurement program, Malaysia could be seeking to buy an initial 12 aircraft with an option for another 24 units in the future. Moving ahead with the LCA program was motivated by Malaysia’s unsuccessful attempts at procuring a larger platform under its Multirole Combat Aircraft program.
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