Brazil relies heavily on Bell Helicopter and Eurocopter models for its armed forces, and a billion-dollar deal with Eurocopter made the Eurocopter EC725 Cougar Brazil’s standard medium helicopter across all 3 services. Nonetheless, a modified S-70 variant of Sikorsky’s HH-60 “Pave Hawk” search and rescue (SAR) helicopter seems to be carving out its own niche in Brazil.
Flown out of Manaus by the Army Avicao do Exercito’s Falcao Negro squadron, and by the Forca Aerea Brazileira’s 7/8 “Harpia” air group, Brazilian S-70 and H-60L helicopters are used in Amazon basin SAR (search and rescue) operations, humanitarian relief, and anti-drug efforts. US DSCA requests to buy more were submitted in 2007 and 2008. They aren’t the same thing as signed contracts, but now additional helicopters are being bought, and delivered.
Latest updates: Major deal adds HIOS segment to 2015.
UK C-130 C5
In mid-2006 the UK MoD added another platform to the expanding list of long-term, performance-based, public-private, “contracting for availability” maintenance solutions for Britain’s key military platforms, by awarding Marshall Aerospace a GBP 1.52 billion contract ($2.86 billion conversion back then) to begin supporting its fleet of C-130 Hercules transport aircraft until 2030.
The deal has several segments, with mechanisms for price adjustments upward and downward as the contract continues. Britain’s SDSR plans may also cut the deal off early, if the entire C-130 fleet retires by 2022 as planned. As prime contractor, Marshall Aerospace is working in partnership with the Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO), the Royal Air Force, Lockheed Martin and Rolls-Royce to deliver the Hercules Integrated Operational Support (HIOS) programme. The HIOS programme will provide guaranteed levels of aircraft availability to a fleet that includes both older C3/C1 models (C-130K stretched and normal) and C4/C5 models (C-130J-30 and C-130J).
F-16C/D Block 52 aircraft serve as the backbone of Poland’s air force. In February 2012, the USA’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced [PDF] Poland’s official request for F-16 weapons, as well as a 5 year fleet support contract that includes associated equipment, parts, and training. They will be bought using the USA’s Foreign Military Sales process, and the requested items are expected to cost up to $447 million.
If a contract is negotiated after the 15-day FMS wait period for NATO members, the prime contractors are listed as Raytheon in Tucson, AZ and Waltham, MA; Boeing in St. Charles, MO; McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in McAlester, OK; and United Technologies Corporation in Hartford, CT. Poland’s specific request includes:
Hungary’s air force (Magyar Honvedseg Repulo Csapatai; MHRCS) shrank quickly after the Soviet Union fell, and its helicopter force was not spared. Its transport fleet reportedly consists of just 8 remaining Mi-8s and 7 related Mi-17s, including 2 helicopters that Finland discarded in favor of its new NH90s. The country remains active abroad, including a team training Afghanistan’s military to use Mi-17s, but their lift capacity is limited. That’s a potential issue at home as well, given vivid recent memories of the 2010 central European floods.
Like most European countries, Hungary is facing tight budgets and difficult decisions as 2011 ends. To address this situation, Hungary had been planning to buy about 30 used twin engine UH-1 Huey helicopters from the US military. The USAF is looking to replace its UH-1Ns with a new CVLSP buy, and the USMC is already replacing its aging UH-1Ns with much-improved new UH-1Y Venoms. In December 2011, the process of restoring Hungary’s helicopter fleet took its 1st official steps…
Latest updates: 4 more, figures consistent with past orders, for… Australia?
F117 Cutaway (click to magnify)
United Technologies Corp. subsidiary Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, CT produces the C-17 Globemaster III’s 40,400 pound thrust F117-PW-100 engine, a derivative of the PW2000 commercial engine that powers the Boeing 757. The C-17’s four F117 engines add a unique thrust reverser system that can be deployed in flight for tactical descents, enabling the aircraft to back up a 2-degree incline, and allowing tight turns on the ground. This creates faster unloading throughput, and allows the aircraft to use a wider range of runways. Ongoing improvement programs have allowed the F117 engine to exceed established goals for time on wing, in-flight shut downs, and fast support turnaround.
The firm’s engine contracts are separate from the government’s contracts for the aircraft themselves, and represent just one of many “Government-Furnished Equipment” items provided to C-17 manufacturer Boeing in the course of construction. This Spotlight article covers a multi-year contract issued in 2007.
United Technologies subsidiary Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, CT recently received a $16.6 million firm-fixed-price order to repair 13 line items used on the EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare fighter’s J-52/JT-8A turbojet engines. The J-52 was picked to power the A-6 Intruder in 1958, and its most recent variant is the J-52 P-408, with 11,200 pounds of thrust. Keeping them in service is an important part of the keeping the twin-engine, 4-seat EA-6B Prowler fleet in service, until the EA-18G Growlers can replace them over the next several years. Under this particular order, Pratt & Whitney will also provide manufacturing, engineering, and technical support to the US Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center Southeast, Jacksonville, FL, with a goal of improving monthly output.
Pratt & Whitney, as the original manufacturer, was the only offeror solicited for this particular sole-source requirement and the sole offeror responding. US NAVSUP also has issued a number of solicitations lately to refurbish components like turbine blades, and combustion chamber case assemblies. Work will be performed in Jacksonville, FL, and is expected to be complete by July 31/13. The FY 2012/2013 Navy Working Capital Funds, will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. US Navy NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support in Philadelphia, PA manages the contract (N00383-07-G-003M, #0004).
Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) has recently disclosed the following Requests for Proposals (RFP), modifications and notifications:
The US Air Force releases a Statement of Work, Questions and Answers and additional documents in relation to the purchase and installation of a Lawful Intercept (LI) capability for the Government of Iraq (GOI). LI will provide the GOI with enhanced communications intelligence to support a range of security operations.
In April 2006, Thailand made an official request to buy up to 6 MH-60S Seahawk helicopters, making them the 1st country to request this updated naval utility rotorcraft. They offer a number of advances over previous SH-60B/F machines, but they replace those helicopters’ anti-submarine equipment with advanced day/night surveillance sensors, ground-attack weapons capability, and a more explicit utility/cargo role.
The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $246 million, but Thailand became the type’s 1st export customer with a smaller 2007 order for just 2 machines. So, why the MH-60S? And what’s the status of the order?
A week after the March 2011 revelation that EADS was in discussions with Toronto Stock Exchange listed Vector Aerospace, a support agreement with EADS subsidiary Eurocopter Holding will acquire all of Vector’s issued and outstanding common shares for consideration of C$ 13 ($12.95) per share, valuing the firm at about C$ 625 million. The offer price is 15% above the closing price when trading was halted, and 80% above the price on Dec 31/10, when the firm publicly announced that it was open to merger offers.
Therein hangs a pair of tales – one concerning the buyer’s rationale, and another concerning the takeover saga itself. The EADS acquisition was actually the indirect product of a failed internal takeover bid in 2009…
The $382 billion F-35 Joint Strike fighter program may well be the largest single global defense program in history. This major multinational program is intended to produce an “affordably stealthy” multi-role fighter that will have 3 variants: the F-35A conventional version for the US Air Force et. al.; the F-35B Short Take-Off, Vertical Landing for the US Marines, British Royal Navy, et. al.; and the F-35C conventional carrier-launched version for the US Navy. The aircraft is named after Lockheed’s famous WW2 P-38 Lightning, and the Mach 2, stacked-engine English Electric (now BAE)Lightning jet. Lightning II system development partners included The USA & Britain (Tier 1), Italy and the Netherlands (Tier 2), and Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Turkey (Tier 3), with Singapore and Israel as “Security Cooperation Partners.” Now the challenge is agreeing on production phase membership and arrangements, to be followed by initial purchase commitments in 2009-2010.
This updated article has expanded to feature more detail regarding the F-35 program, including contracts, sub-contracts, and notable events and reports. Recent events and major programs shifts have been added to this article, in order to ensure maximum continuity and context. 2012 developments are covered in this follow-up article.