Boeing tapped to produce P-8A| Trophy Trial for Leopard 2 | India tests NGARM
The Air Force awarded Harris Corp., Space and Intelligence Systems a $72.3 million contract for the Combat Mission Systems Support (CMSS) program. The contract sustains the Space and Missile Systems Center portfolio of ground-based electronic warfare systems and develops the Counter Communications System Block 10.3 under the CMSS program. The Counter Communications System is a mobile, ground-based antenna that can jam the signals from a single satellite in geosynchronous orbit. The new system should be designed to easily accommodate new components that become available. Work under the contract will be performed in Colorado and Florida and is scheduled to be completed by the end of February 2024.
The Naval Air Systems Command tapped Boeing with a $2.5 million contract modification to produce 19 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft for the U.S. Navy, Norway and the United Kingdom, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a release. Ten aircraft are for the U.S. Navy, four for the U.K. and five for Norway. The modification also includes engineering change proposal 4 SilverBlock for the government of the U.K. and Lot 10 segregable efforts consisting of unknown obsolescence, Class I change assessments and obsolescence monitoring. At almost $1.26 billion, the U.S. Navy purchase makes up 51 per cent of the total contract value, while Norway’s almost $695 million makes up 28 per cent, and the U.K.’s almost $507 million makes up 21 per cent. The P8-A Poseidon conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction, also with an early warning self-protection ability. The US Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force and the Indian Navy are currently operating the P-8. The UK’s Royal Air Force, where the P-8 will be known under the name „Poseidon MRA1“, the Royal Norwegian Air Force and the Royal New Zealand Air Force ordered the aircraft as well. Work under the contract will be performed in Washington, Maryland, New York, and the UK and is currently expected to be finished by March 2022.
The Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Repair Gulf Coast awarded Austal USA LLC a $16.3 million contract to support prefabrication efforts, material procurement, and execution of work items for littoral combat ship USS Cincinnati extended industrial post-delivery availability (EIPDA). Austal is a global defense prime contractor and designer as well as manufacturer of defense and commercial ships. The company is the fifth largest shipbuilder in the USA. The USS Cincinnati, also dubbed LCS_20 is an Independence-Class littoral combat ship that is currently being built by Austal. The ship was assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One. Littoral Combat Ships are a set of two classes of surface vessels designed for operations near shore by the US Navy. The EIPDA is accomplished within a period of approximately 12 weeks between the time of ship custody transfer to the Navy and the shipbuilding and conversion, obligation work limiting date. Work will include program management, advance planning, engineering, design, prefabrication, and material kitting and is expected to be completed by August this year.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems will trial its Trophy Active Protection System (APS) on the Leopard 2 main battle tank this year. Trophy is a military APS for vehicles, that intercepts and destroys incoming missiles and rockets with a shotgun-like blast. Its primary purpose is to supplement the armor of light and heavy armored fighting vehicles. It is the only fully operational and combat-proven APS in the world. The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank operated by the German Army. Germany’s Bundeswehr operates 328 Leopard 2 tanks of three types – the 2A6, 2A6M and 2A7. The Leopard 2 has also served in the militaries of 12 other countries and several non-European nations, including Canada, Indonesia and Turkey, and seen combat in Afghanistan and Syria, where they suffered heavy losses from anti-tank guided missiles. Rafael wants to soon supply the Trophy APS to Germany and initial trials on the Leopard 2 are expected to begin this year, with the system’s integration and testing completed by 2021. A total of 17 tanks will be equipped with the APS, with a unit training and qualifying to operate it by the following year.
Saab submitted its proposal to offer Gripen E for the Swiss New Fighter Aircraft procurement to armasuisse, the Swiss defense procurement agency. The proposal consists of options 30 and 40 new Gripen E fighter aircraft in response to the Request for Proposal (RFP) by armasuisse. Switzerland seeks to replace its fighter fleet of F/A-18 Hornet and F-5 E/F Tiger aircraft. The Gripen E or „Saab JAS 39 Gripen“ is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft powered by Volvo RM12. Five nations currently operate Gripen: Sweden, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Thailand. Sweden and Brazil have ordered Gripen E. Additionally, the UK Empire Test Pilots’ School uses Gripen as platform for test pilot training.
India finalized a $797 million military infrastructure development plan spread over ten years for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to counter China. The Andaman and Nicobar Command is India’s only theater command which has assets and manpower of the three services of the armed forces, Army, Navy, Indian Air force and Coast Guard coming under one operational commander. The plan will allow stationing of additional warships, aircraft, drones, missile batteries and infantry soldiers there — against the backdrop of China’s rapidly expanding footprint in the Indian Ocean region.
India’s state-owned Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) tested a new indigenous air-launched missile called NGARM. The NGARM is designed to destroy a variety of surveillance and radar targets on the ground. The missile was launched from a Sukhoi SU-30MKI fighter to a range of 100 kilometers. The SU-30MKI is a twinjet multirole air superiority fighter tailor-made for Indian specifications. The NGARM employs an indigenously developed dual-pulse, solid-propellant rocket motor and can be guided by a combination of passive and active radar seekers together with an inertial navigation system that is aided by GPS.
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