Boeing Wins US Navy $800M P-8A Deal | IAEA Sees Increase In Iran’s Uranium Stockpile | Leonardo Unveils Wildcat Weapon Wing
Boeing won an $800 million contract modification, which procures long lead material and activities in support of lot 11 P-8A aircraft production and delivery. The mission of the P-8A MMA is to provide long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations.The P-8’s first flight was on April 25, 2009. The new award is intended to address advanced procurement requirements to manufacture eight Poseidon aircraft for the Navy as well as four planes for New Zealand and another six for South Korea. Work will take place in Washington, California and Arizona. It is completed by June 2020.
Sierra Nevada won an $8.5 million contract for Tactical Automated Landing System components support for the RQ-7B tactical unmanned aircraft system. The RQ-7B UAS is used for reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and battle damage assessment. Launched from a trailer-mounted pneumatic catapult, it is recovered with the aid of arresting gear similar to jets on an aircraft carrier. Its gimbal-mounted, digitally stabilized, liquid nitrogen-cooled electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) camera relays video in real time via a C-band line-of-sight data link to the ground control station (GCS). Work locations will be determined with each order. Estimated completion date is February 27, 2023.
Middle East & Africa
The quarterly report on Iran released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) revealed a significant increase in the country’s stockpile of enriched uranium since its last report. The stockpile stood at 1,020.9 kg in February, up from 372.3 kg in November 2019. This 648.6 kg increase will raise international concern as it marks a significant breach of the 300 kg stockpile limit imposed on Iran by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). There have been no major changes in other parameters of Iran’s nuclear program, with enrichment levels not exceeding 4.5%. The JCPOA limits Iran’s enrichment to 3.67%.
Israeli company Tactical Robotics has signed a partnership agreement with Boeing to study the development of ducted fan propulsion technology to be implemented in piloted and autonomous Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. As part of the partnership, the two companies will explore and determine what are the opportunities that may come with developing, producing, and marketing VTOL “flying cars”, including the Israeli company’s Cormorant autonomous vehicle. The Cormorant is an unmanned, single engine, VTOL aircraft that resembles a flying car in a way. It is powered by internal lift rotors which allow the aircraft to fly, takeoff, and land in areas that other helicopters, tilt-rotors, and fixed wing aircraft cannot. Due to its relatively small size and ability to fly in mountainous, urban, and forested areas, the Cormorant may possibly revolutionize the way militaries deploy and rescue their troops.
Leonardo has unveiled its weapon wing system that is to equip UK AW159 Wildcat HMA2 maritime helicopters during the Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 2021 (CSG21) deployment. The UK-arm of the Italian company displayed one of the first production wings during the UK Naval Engineering Science & Technology (UKNEST) engagement activity aboard the second Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales on March 2 as part of its week-long visit to Liverpool. The aluminium alloy and carbon fibre composite weapon wings enable a mix of weapons to be carried for a variety of force protection scenarios. This includes a full load of 20 Thales Martlet air-to-surface and up to four MBDA Sea Venom anti-ship missiles, or a mix of two Sea Venoms and 10 Martlets.
Austrian company Schiebel announced that its newly designed S2 heavy fuel engine for the Camcopter S-100 vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAV had successfully completed acceptance tests for the Royal Australian Navy. “A comprehensive series of test flight activities demonstrated both the endurance, and maximum take-off weight, with multiple payloads, providing the evidence and assurance that the Camcopter S-100 fulfils the requirements of the RAN,” said the company in a statement. Schiebel said the new S2 engine, which has been developed as a next-generation replacement for the current propulsion unit, increases the overall capability of the Camcopter S-100 system. The new lightweight heavy fuel engine is initially cleared for JP-5 (F-44) and Jet-A1 fuels with other fuel types set to be approved in future, it added.
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