Canadian Frigates Get Sea Ceptors | France Orders 8 H225Ms | 1st Danish F-35 Rolled Out
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded three contracts this week to design a nuclear thermal propulsion system that will operate above low Earth orbit in 2025. General Atomics, Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin are the prime contractors for the deal, according to a DARPA new release. The Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) program has the potential to achieve rapid maneuver in space, which has been challenging because current electric and chemical space propulsion systems have drawbacks in thrust-to-weight and propellent efficiency, respectively, according to the agency.
MBDA will equip the Royal Canadian Navy’s new Canadian Surface Combatant, a variant of the Type 26 Frigate, with Sea Ceptor missiles. According to the company, utilising the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) as its effector, Sea Ceptor will undertake the Close-In Air Defence System (CIADS) role on-board the new CSC frigates.
Middle East & Africa
The Biden administration is seeing pushback from Senate Democrats after going ahead with a Trump-era deal to sell F-35 fighter aircraft to the United Arab Emirates. Citing national security concerns, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. files a bill to restrict the sale of the most sophisticated F-35 Lightning II fighter jets to the UAE. In December, the Trump administration approved the sale of 50 F-35 fighter jets worth $10.4 billion, 8 MQ-9B drones worth $2.97 billion and a package of munitions worth $10 billion.
On April 15, French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly announced an order for eight H225M Caracal helicopters to support France’s aeronautics industry during a visit to Airbus Helicopters’ plant in Marignane. The helicopters will be used by the French Air Force (FAF) and will be delivered in 2024–25. They will equip a new unit in Cazaux in southwestern France and Djibouti in the Horn of Africa where they will replace three Puma helicopters.
Danish and American officials recently celebrated the rollout of the first F-35A Lightning II for the Royal Danish Air Force at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. Like the F-16 before it, the F-35 is spearheading NATO’s air power and ensuring strategic integration of allied combat airpower. The vital interoperability of the fifth generation F-35 binds 13 allies and partners with the US in air dominance and enabling critical joint capabilities. The F-35 will serve as a force multiplier for Denmark, allowing the Royal Danish Air Force to train and fight alongside NATO allies and create a strong deterrent.
Lockheed Martin won a $66 million contract modification for Japan’s AEGIS weapons system. The deal extends performance and expands Aegis FMS in-scope work including Aegis Combat System computer program development and radar integration/test support services under new contract line item numbers. Case JA-P-NCO funds in the amount of $65,354,942 are being obligated at the time of award. Work will take place in New Jersey. The period of performance will be through through December 31, 2022.
Watch: Japan’s eight-Aegis defense system complete