Sep 04, 2014 20:39 UTC
Poland’s military is modernizing on a number of fronts, and a Western shift in its self-propelled artillery is underway. The country has become a key bulwark within NATO, but its howitzers have used Russian calibers. Among its self-propelled vehicles, its most numerous 2S1 tracked vehicles are 122mm, while its Czech-designed Dana wheeled howitzers are 152mm. Project REGINA is slowly changing that, as the country adopts standard NATO calibers. A combination of local and international design leans heavily on local defense industries for production…
Continue Reading… »
Dec 28, 2013 18:03 UTC
Battle management systems are designed to cut through the “fog of war” by tracking unit location and passing data, so friendly units and command centers can keep track of what’s going on. These BMS systems-of-systems change the kinds of operations commanders can plan and execute, and also reduce the risk of friendly fire.
The US Army’s FBCB2 system is colloquially known as “Blue Force Tracker,” after the component that shows the location of all friendly forces and identified enemies on a digital map, and allows the exchange of messages and data. Allied armies without such systems find it difficult to work with the Americans, and Australia’s DoD has faced criticism over this gap. That began to change in March 2010, when Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd. won a major contract for Australia’s LAND 75 Phase 3.4 (Battle Management System) and LAND 125 Soldier Combat System Phase 3 programs…
Continue Reading… »
Jul 22, 2012 20:14 UTC
The Israeli Air Force has known since December 2008 that its fleet of A-4 Skyhawk jet trainers and light attack aircraft would leave service. It took until July 2012 to sign a contract for the Skyhawk’s successor, despite justifiable complaints from South Korea that the process lacked full professional formality. The first M-346 Master trainers should begin arriving in Israel around mid-2014, where they will be operated by the IAI/Elbit “TOR” joint venture as a public-private partnership service to the IAF.
Italy’s M-346 eventually beat KAI’s supersonic T-50, thanks to a combination of air force evaluations, geo-political considerations, and countervailing industrial offers. For most countries, “industrial offsets” mean sub-contracting work in their country, sometimes even in sectors of their economy outside of the defense industry. Israel’s weapons industry is far more developed, however, and so their advanced trainer competition saw “industrial offsets” as the purchase of full-fledged Israeli weapons systems. South Korea was already a customer for Israeli radars, UAVs, and missiles, and was seen as the favorite thanks to their relationships and their jet. Italy was a much smaller customer, but relations between Silvio Berlusconi and the Jewish state had been good for a long time. By October 2011, reports surfaced that Italy had made Israel a very impressive offer – one that would make Italy a major export customer for strategic systems, even as it equalized purchases on both sides. In the end, it was an offer the Israelis couldn’t, and didn’t, refuse.
The deal’s components are as follows:
Continue Reading… »
Jun 25, 2012 14:29 UTC
In June 2012, Elbit Systems Ltd. announced a $62 million contract to upgrade the South Korean ROKAF’s 12 C-130H and stretched C-130H-30 transport aircraft. The 4-year project will be performed in conjunction with Korea’s KAI, and will give the aircraft a modern cockpit and communications electronics, including a “glass cockpit” whose digital displays will replace many of the crew’s analog gauges. Elbit did not mention whether the upgrades would give the ROKAF’s planes full Global Air Traffic Management clearance to fly in civil airspace past 2015.
A number of countries are busy modifying their older C-130s with modern avionics, which can be a rather involved and expensive undertaking. The USA canceled its own C-130 AMP program over cost issues, while Sweden completed a similar program of avionics modernization and civil GATM clearance for its fleet. Elbit itself already had experience with cockpit upgrades for Romania’s C-130 Hercules fleet, and for Brazil’s C-95 Badeirante transports. They even have some experience with the ROKAF’s Hercules fleet, as a 2009 contract had already equipped the aircraft with Israeli self-defense electronics.
Dec 26, 2011 15:34 UTC
C-23 landing, Kuwait
M7 Aerospace became an Elbit Systems of America subsidiary in December 2010. Its 6 integrated business segments include Aerostructures Manufacturing; Government Logistics Support Services; Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul; Engineering Services; Aircraft Parts & Support and Supply Chain Management and Purchasing. Their platform specialties include the Shorts Aircraft series of short take-off light transports (incl. US Army’s C-23), and Fairchild’s Merlin & Metro (US C-26 variants).
The US military continues to operate variants of these aircraft, and M7’s strong position in those niches has led to a number of contract wins. A pair of December 2011 support contracts, dating back to FY 2005 and FY 2009, illustrate the point…
Continue Reading… »
Dec 05, 2011 12:18 UTC
US F-16, Balkans 1999
Elbit Systems of America, LLC in Fort Worth, TX has been producing F-16 related components for over 2 decades; indeed, that’s how the US subsidiary got its start in the aviation market. It wasn’t a huge stretch, as Israel’s F-16s contain a lot of Israeli electronics. That expertise has translated into service and export sales, including production in and for the F-16’s original home market.
Elbit Systems of America, LLC recently announced a $38.5 million, 5-year, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity from the US Defense Logistics Agency-Ogden, with $3 million in initial orders. In return, they’ll supply Electronic Module Assemblies (EMA) for Wide Angle Conventional Head- Up Displays (WAC-HUDs), to equip all USAF F-16C/D Block 30 and Block 50 cockpits. Elbit says that their new design is the result of a partnership with the USAF, adding that the result reduces total part count, lowers power consumption, and significantly improves mean time between failures (MTBF). All of which translates into lower life-cycle costs.