Nov 15, 2018 05:00 UTC
Boeing is being awarded with extra funding in support of the US’ Minuteman III ICBM system. Awarded by the Air Force Nuclear Weapon Center, the additional $70.5 million cover specification changes for the ICBM’s Missile Flight Test, Telemetry, and Termination program. This includes changes to the management plan and flight termination receiver; and to the electromagnetic interference, cable qualification and antenna testing requirements. The Minuteman III has been an essential part of the USA’s nuclear strike capability for decades and will remain in service through 2030. The Minuteman III has a fast launch time, nearly 100 percent testing reliability, and backup airborne launch controllers to preserve retaliatory capabilities. The Minuteman’s telemetry, test, and termination systems are packaged in a wafer-like package called the Mod 7 that fits on test versions of the Minuteman between the missile’s reentry system and missile guidance set. During tests, Mod 7 transmits data from sensors aboard the test missiles that monitor the missile’s behavior before and during flight. The telemetry, test, and termination systems transmit telemetry data in real time on the missile’s critical on-board components like batteries booster stage pressure chambers, and guidance section. Most of the work will be performed in Huntington Beach, California. Performance is expected to be completed by January 29, 2021.
Detyens Shipyards is being tapped to overhaul one of the Navy’s Henry J. Kaiser-class support ships. The $10 million firm-fixed-price contract covers 60 days of shipyard availability for the regular overhaul and dry docking of the USNS Joshua Humphreys, which includes a variety of general services. The Navy’s existing force of fleet oilers consists of 15 Henry J. Kaiser-class ships. The primary role of Navy fleet oilers is to transfer fuel to Navy surface ships that are operating at sea, so as to extend the operating endurance of these surface ships and their embarked aircraft. Work on the T-AO 188 includes providing clean and gas-free tanks, hydro-blast and recoating efforts, flight deck preservation, stability testing, engine overhaul, recertification of lifeboats and winches, propeller system maintenance, overhauling sea valves and underwater hull cleaning and painting. The contract includes a number of options that could raise the total contract value to $11 million. Work will be performed at Detyens’ shipyard in North Charleston, South Carolina, and is expected to be completed by March 17, 2019.
The US Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard will procure upgrades for digital GPS anti-jam receivers installed on its fleet of F-16s. Provided by Rockwell Collins the upgraded receivers will provide the fighter aircraft with reliable navigation while operating in contested electromagnetic environments. The Digital GPS Anti-Jam Receiver (DIGAR) generates 16 simultaneous steered beams that provides airborne platforms with superior jamming immunity in the most severe GPS-challenged environments. The US Air Force is increasingly concerned about GPS jamming and spoofing by its adversaries, especially Russia, China and Iran, who have shown the ability to throw off aircraft navigation by sending receivers false coordinates. “From advanced fifth-generation aircraft to ground and maritime applications, this receiver is the most reliable military-grade GPS solution available due to its unmatched anti-jam protection levels,” said Troy Brunk, vice president and general manager, Communication, Navigation & Electronic Warfare Systems for Rockwell Collins.
The multi-billion F-35 JSF program will soon mark another major milestone. The US DoD expects to order a 12th batch of F-35s from Lockheed Martin by next spring. “Negotiations on the US contract are moving quickly on what is expected be the largest order to date for the F-35”, the Pentagon’s chief arms buyer Ellen Lord told Reuters. Some sources claim that the impending deal will cover the delivery of over 250 F-35 fighter jets to US services an international partners. The JSF program has been widely criticised for its overruns and schedule delays, however in September Lockheed managed to lower the price for the F-35A by 5,4% to $89.2 million, and expects to cut the price to $80 million by 2020.
Middle East & Africa
The Royal Bahraini Air Force is welcoming its first of two ex-UK Royal Air Force C-130Js. The surplus aircraft were acquired via a government-to-government contract. The 19 year old transport aircraft then underwent an excessive overhaul and maintenance process executed by Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group at its Cambridge airport site. The C-130 Hercules remains one of the longest-running aerospace manufacturing programs of all time. The J variant reached its IOC with the US military in 2006 and features a number of key improvements that enhance performance and reduce overall operating costs. Matthew Harvey, International Sales Director Military Aerospace for Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group commented: “Delivery of this aircraft sees the first Government to Government transfer of a C-130J and the Kingdom of Bahrain enter the C-130 community as a new operator – we support more than 15 countries on the C-130 platform and the capability it delivers is proven. We look forward to continuing to support the Kingdom of Bahrain.”
Germany’s parliamentary budget committee is green lighting the Luftwaffe’s future heavy transport helicopter acquisition program. The German MoD needs to replace its ageing fleet of CH-53s by the end of 2020s and is willing to spend about $6.3 billion. Officials have said that Boeing’s CH-47E and Sikorsky’s CH-53K are being considered. In total the Luftwaffe wants to buy 45 to 60 heavy lift helicopters with delivers expected to take place between 2023 and 2029. The contract is expected to be finalized sometime in 2020. According to Jane’s, Air Force Chief General Ingo Gerhartz welcomed the fact “that the government has given more money for the urgently required modernisation of the Luftwaffe, especially for the next generation of transport helicopters, which we need for almost all deployments worldwide”.
Jane’s reports that the Thai MoD is interested in buying several L-39NGs from the Czech Republic. “They [the Thais] are interested in our aircraft, the newest generation of aircraft, something which is considered to be hi-tech military technology,” Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis told reporters on 10 November following a meeting in Brussels earlier this month with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. The L-39NG is based on the aerodynamic concept of the current L-39 but utilizes the latest technologies and equipment. It can be used as a trainer and to conduct light combat and reconnaissance missions under all climatic conditions. Powered by a Williams International FJ44-4M engine the L-39NG is suitable as light attack aircraft for countries with a limited air force.
Watch: Meet the Team Supporting the HMS Queen Elizabeth F-35B Trials – Part 3
Nov 14, 2018 05:00 UTC
General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is starting the production of the US Navy’s newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer. The future USS Patrick Gallagher (DDG-127) will be the last vessel in the Flight IIA configuration. “It is exciting to commence construction on what will be the 77th ship of the Arleigh Burke class” said Capt. Casey Moton, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “Not only will this ship continue the legacy of enduring warfighting capability, it will carry with it the strength and courage demonstrated by its namesake.” Introduced in 2000, the DDG 51 Flight IIA ships incorporate two hangars for two SH-60B helicopters as well as aircraft facilities. In addition the Gallagher will be fitted with an Aegis Baseline 9 Combat System, making it suitable for Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) missions.
The Navy’s second Zumwalt-class destroyer is currently sailing towards California. The USS Michael Monsoor is making its way towards Coronado where it will be commissioned on January 26, 2019. Bath Iron Works started the ship’s construction in May 2013 with builder’s trials held in December 2017 and January 2018. During the acceptance trials held in February this year the USS Monsoor suffered an engine casualty which required the replacement of its two Rolls Royce MT30 maritime gas turbines. Like the Zumwalt, the Monsoor features a stealthy shape, electric-drive propulsion, new radar and sonar, and powerful guns and missiles. It’s fitted with 80 vertical launch cells for Tomahawk cruise missiles, ESSMs, and Raytheon’s Standard Missiles. Other armament includes a 155mm Advanced Gun System and a MQ-8C Fire Scout. The third ship in the class, USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002), is set to be delivered in 2020. Combined, the Navy has spent about $23 billion on research, development and acquisition of the three-ship class.
Middle East & Africa
Turkey finalises an essential step in its TF-X development program. The Turkish Defense Industry Directorate (SSB) signed a framework agreement with TR Motor that enables the domestic production of the future jet’s engine. TR Motor will now join Aselsan and Turkish Aerospace Industries in the fighter jet development program. As SSB chief ?smail Demir notes, “the door remains open for international engine-makers to get involved in the project”. Saying that the main aim in the framework of the TF-X jet project was to develop an indigenous jet engine, Demir told Hurriyet Daily News that TR Motor, a new company, was established a while ago to achieve this target. Both Aselsan and TAI signed a MoU earlier this year. Both companies are developing critical systems for the TF-X, including a national radar, electro-optical systems, mission-control systems and integration of these systems into the future aircraft. The Turkish government has earmarked about $1.2 billion for an initial investment.
Saab confirms that its Gripen E fighter jet successfully fired a Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) for the first time. MBDA’s Meteor missile was conceived as a longer-range competitor to popular weapons like the Russian R77/AA-12, and American AIM-120 AMRAAM. Its ramjet propulsion offers the missile a head-on closing range of 120 km, and full powered performance at Mach 4+ throughout its flight, instead of the standard “burn and coast” approach use by rocket-powered counterparts. Sweden’s JAS-39 Gripen is serving as the Meteor’s main test platform. “The aircraft continues to perform as smoothly as we have seen throughout the whole flight test phase flying with external stores. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming steps in the flight test program, taking us closer and closer to completing weapon integration. Meteor makes Gripen E extremely capable in the air dominance role”, says Robin Nordlander, Saab’s experimental test pilot.
France’s Defense Procurement Agency, DGA, accepts the F3-R-standard variant of the Rafale combat aircraft. The F-3R standard was launched in 2013 and features a range of software enhancements that allow for the integration of the Meteor BVRAAM and SBU-64 smart bombs. The enhancements also improve the jet’s Spectra self-defense system provided by Thales, and give it a new Friend-or-Foe interrogator/transponder with full Mode-5/ Mode-S-compatibility. Diagnostic improvements will make maintenance easier and more cost-effective. Approval from the French DGA was obtained on 31 October, says Dassault. Dassault will shortly begin development of the F4-standard Rafale, having completed initial feasibility studies for the program.
The Royal Navy’s eighth and final ship in the Type 26 acquisition program will be named HMS London. BAE will build the vessels in two batches, with three frigates in the first batch. The contract for the second batch is expected to be signed in 2020. BAE will construct the HMS London at its shipyard in Govan. Key Type 26 design criteria include multi-role versatility, flexibility in adapting to future needs, affordability in both construction and through-life support costs, and exportability. “The Type 26 Frigate is a cutting-edge warship, combining the expertise of the British shipbuilding industry with the excellence of the Royal Navy. These ships will be a force to be reckoned with, there to protect our powerful new carriers and helping keep British interests safe across the world,” said a MoD spokesman.
The Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) is currently inducting its first of four Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft. The aircraft is stationed at Gimhae Air Base in Busan, South Korea, where it is undergoing acceptance trials. The A330-200 MRTT is a derivative of the Airbus A330, and was designed from the outset to be able to function as an aerial tanker and a transport aircraft at the same time. Airbus won the $1.2 billion contract in 2015. Other competitors included Boeing with its KC-46A and IAI with its B767-300 Multi Mission Tanker Transport (MMTT). It is expected that deliveries of all four A330 MRTTs will be concluded by the end of 2019.
Watch: Getting Dressed in WW1 – British Soldier
Nov 13, 2018 05:00 UTC
Enterprise Services is receiving additional funding for work on the currently running Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) contract. The modification with a potential maximum value of $486 million extends the potential ordering period by eight months. NGEN increases government operational and design control of the network and requisite Information Assurance enhancements to meet evolving security requirements. Its part of the DoD’s Joint Information Environment (JIE), which refers to an initiative to increase operational efficiency, enhance network security and cost savings through reduced infrastructure and manpower, achieved through the convergence of the Department of Defense’s multiple enterprise networks into a common global network. Work will be performed throughout the continental US, Europe, Guam, Korea and Japan. The contract runs from October 1, 2018 through May 31, 2020.
The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory is being awarded with a contract modification to support the Navy’s common missile compartment (CMC) development. The modification is priced at $109 million and provides for research into new technologies to meet the guidance requirements of the Navy’s future CMC which will be fitted onto the Columbia- and Dreadnought-class SSBNs. The Laboratory will also provide specialized technical knowledge and support for future hypersonic missiles, including their guidance, navigation and control systems. This contract supports the DoD’s Prompt Global Strike program which seeks to develop a system that can deliver a precision-guided conventional weapon airstrike anywhere in the world within one hour, in a similar manner to a nuclear ICBM. Work will be performed in Cambridge, Massachusetts and El Segundo, California. The contract will run until September 2019.
The US Army Contracting Command is awarding a contract modification to Longbow LLC. The contract, worth $8.9 million, provides for laser and longbow Hellfire engineering services. Hellfire missiles are the USA’s preferred aerial anti-armor missile, and are widely deployed with America’s allies. It is a combat proven tactical missile system using multiple launch platforms. The Hellfire is a 100lb class air-to-ground precision weapon delivering multi-target capability and precision strike lethality. The AGM-114L “Longbow Hellfire” adds a millimeter-wave radar seeker, which makes it a “fire-and-forget” missile. This missile’s distinctive name is a reference to the AH-64D Apache Longbow, whose sensor mast atop its rotor hub has the ability to detect, identify, and engage targets using the Longbow Hellfire. Work will be performed at the company’s facilities in Orlando and Ocala and is estimated to be completed by November 7, 2019.
Middle East & Africa
Turkish-Qatari armored vehicles manufacturer BMC is being tapped for the mass production of the Turkish-designed Altay MBT. The contract signed between BMC and the Turkish Defence Industry Directorate (SSB) covers the initial production of 40 Altay tanks, with the first expected to be delivered in about 18 months. The Altay is the future third generation main battle tank for the Turkish army. Altay incorporates the most modern features of a tank. The Turkish MBT has a crew of four, comprising the driver, gunner, loader and commander. The tank is equipped with a state-of-the-art Volkan fire control system and battlefield management system, indigenously developed by Aselsan. Eventually BMC will produce up-to 210 tanks in a currently undefined timeframe. The program’s cost has not been disclosed to this date.
Italy will become the launch customer of the military variant of Leonardo’s AW169 helicopter. Leonardo will replace the ageing fleet of Bell types flown by the Guardia di Finanza police agency at a cost of $315 million. The contract also includes a support and training package. The AW169 external link is a new generation multi-purpose twin engine light intermediate helicopter providing a multi-role capability and a high mission flexibility. The AW169 Armed Aerial Scout supports missions such as armed reconnaissance, escort, command and control, security operations, target acquisition and targeting, as well as fire support coordination. Military qualification for the AW169s will be supplied by Italy’s Armaereo agency. The aircraft will be configured with a number of features, including electro-optical/infrared sensors, a rescue hoist and night-vision goggle compatibility. First deliveries will take place in mid-2019, and will run until 2024.
The Dutch MoD is ordering several PointShield systems from Israel’s DSIT Solutions. The PointShield is a compact, lightweight portable diver detection sonar (PDDS). Diver Detection Sonar (DDS) systems are sonar and acoustic location systems employed underwater for the detection of divers and submerged swimmer delivery vehicles (SDVs). The system’s advanced signal processing algorithms support fully automatic operation, from detection, through tracking to classification and alert. Gadi Leibovich, president and CEO of DSIT, said: “The PointShield system provides navies with rapid deployment, automatic detection of all types of threats, high reliability and real time continuous monitoring all at competitive prices and is tailored to specific user demands.”
US Navy Carrier Air Wing 5, which is currently embarked on the USS Ronald Reagan, lost a fighter aircraft. One of the wing’s F-18 jets crashed into the Philippine Sea earlier on Monday. Both pilots safely ejected and were rescued by a MH-60 Seahawk. The F-18 experienced a “mechanical issue that resulted in the crew ejecting” while carrying out “routine operations” from the Nimitz-class super-carrier, the US Navy 7th Fleet said.
Watch: 65 Years of the Thunderbirds
Nov 12, 2018 05:00 UTC
Ball Aerospace & Technologies is receiving extra funding to advance work on the Weather System Follow-on Microwave (WSF-M) program. Awarded by the Air Force the $255 million contract modification allows for the development and fabrication Weather System Follow-on Microwave Space Vehicle 1. The WSF-M space vehicle will provide orbital monitoring of weather and environmental conditions in support of military operations. It uses a passive microwave radiometer to measure the strength of electromagnetic radiation and is useful for weather and temperature mapping. Work will be performed in Boulder, Colorado and is expected to be completed by January 2023.
Raytheon is being tapped to continue work on its Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA. The awarded contract modification is priced at $74.8 million and provides for the procurement of more Guidance Electronics Units (GEU). The SM-3 Block IIA is the co-operative US-Japanese program. It adds the larger diameter, a more maneuverable “high-divert” kill vehicle, plus another sensor/ discrimination upgrade to help deal with harder targets, countermeasures, and decoys. The Block IIA model is capable of engaging ballistic missiles as they begin their descent in low space at long ranges. This order is part of a 2016 SM-3 Block IIA contract that sees for Raytheon to continue efforts for qualification, test and integration of the enhanced GEU capability to the missile. The total contract value is now $1.1 billion. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s facility in Tucson, Arizona and is scheduled for completion by September 30, 2020.
Colt’s Manufacturing Company is being contracted to maintain the US Army’s inventory of M4 and M4A1 rifles. The contract is valued at $88.6 million and funded through FY2019 and FY2020 operations and maintenance funds. The M4 offers a collapsible buttstock, flat-top upper receiver assembly, a U-shaped handle-rear sight assembly that could be removed, and assortment of mounting rails for easy customization with a variety of sight, flashlight, grenade launchers, shotgun attachments and so forth. It’s the successor to the M-16 with which it shares a 85% commonality. The M4A1 is the special operations version of the M4 that’s been in use for more than a decade. It features a heavier barrel and a full-auto trigger. Work will be performed at Colt’s factory in West Hartford, Connecticut. The contract is set to run through September 25, 2020.
Middle East & Africa
The Saudi Arabian Navy can expect delivery of its first new corvette in October 2021. According to Jane’s, Vicente Fernández Guerrero, the president of Spain’s state holding group SEPI, told members of parliament that the delivery timetable of the vessels has been finalised, with the remaining four corvettes to be handed over in four-month intervals. Saudi Arabia signed a $2 billion contract with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia on July 12, 2018. The new corvettes are based on Navantia’s Avante 2200 Combatant design and will feature some Saudi specific configurations like vertical launchers for the ESSM, Harpoon missiles, Rheinmetall CIWS and a Leonardo Super Rapid Naval gun. The vessel has a displacement of 2,200 tons with a length of 98.90 meters and a maximum speed of 25 knots. It was designed for low intensity missions such as patrol in the economic exclusive zone (EEZ), safeguard of sea lanes of communication, intelligence gathering, environment protection, drugs smuggling prevention, humanitarian relief and search and rescue operations.
The French Defense Procurement Agency DGA is giving MBDA the go-ahead to commence development of the MICA-NG missile. This next-generation air-to-air missile will arm the current and future versions of the Rafale combat aircraft. The MICA NG will replace the existing MICA. The MICA will be gradually withdrawn from service between 2018 and 2030. The MICA NG will be available in two versions, infrared and electromagnetic. MBDA’s development program includes an extensive redesign of the current missile variant, while harnessing the same aerodynamics, mass and centre of gravity. The next-generation missile will be fit to counter future threat with educed infrared and electromagnetic signatures, UAVs and small aircraft, as well as the threats normally countered by air-to-air missiles. The missile will be fitted with a new double-pulse rocket motor, giving it greater range and more energy. MBDA CEO Antoine Bouvier said at the program launch, “we are proud of the work completed with the DGA to achieve maximum technical and financial optimisation. The fact that we have reached this stage is thanks to the vision that we were able to share with our French customer to address its operational challenges, as well as our own long-term commercial challenges.”
The Italian government will slow-down its F-35 acquisitions in accordance with its recently published defense spending review. The Tier 2 partner will be buying six or seven JSFs in the next five years instead of the previously planned 10 aircraft. The decision on the slowdown keeps with Italian policy on the F-35 set out by Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta after she took office in June. Italy will maintain spending on the program, with $874 million to be spend in 2019 and another $887 million earmarked for 2020. Italy has made significant investments in JSF development, and the country hosts a European Final Assembly and Check-Out (FACO) production line in Cameri, near Milan. The country is currently due to purchase 60 F-35 As and 30 F-35Bs.
France’s sole nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is back at sea and will be deployed to the Indian Ocean in early February. The Charles de Gaulle recently completed its mid-life upgrade and prepares for its first activity in 18 months. During the $1.8 billion upgrade program the carrier underwent traditional maintenance operations such as scheduled checks of installations, refueling of nuclear fuel and so forth. Beyond that the carrier received an overhauled combat system and new optimised aviation systems for the Rafale. Faced with the “profound change in the naval strategic panorama”, including the expansionist aims of Beijing in the South China Sea, France considers the aircraft carrier of incomparable “tactical and political value”, said Admiral Christophe Prazuck, Chief of Staff of the French Navy.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) seems to have an updated version of its J-10 fighter aircraft. The J-10 Thrust Vectoring Control, or TVC, is equipped with a hinged thrust-vectoring nozzle that allows it to control the direction of its exhaust. This capability gives it improved maneuverability and low-speed handling. The J-10 TVC is the only Chinese aircraft that uses this technology. Internationally TVC is found on Russian Su-35s and the US F-22 Raptor. The J-10 is a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role fighter developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation (CAC) and 611 Institute for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). The high-performance J-10 aircraft has been designed as an air superiority fighter with air-to-surface capability and is powered by China’s domestically-produced WS-10B3 turbofan engine. Experts have noted that Chinese development of a reliable domestic jet engine would also be a major step in shoring up what some observers see as the long-term political risk of an over-reliance on Russian military hardware.
Watch: Rheinmetall Active Defence System (ADS)
Nov 09, 2018 05:00 UTC
Oshkosh is receiving an extra $11.9 million in funding to continue work on the US Army’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Retrofit Work Directive. The JLTV is being developed by the Army and the Marine Corps as a successor to the High Mobility, Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), which has been in service since 1985. The JLTV has two variants; a two seat and a four seat variant, as well as a companion trailer. The vehicle offers the Core1080 crew protection for survivability, turret operated systems, remote weapons systems, and tube-launched missile system. The vehicle can be fitted with light, medium, and heavy machine guns, automatic grenade launchers, smoke grenade launchers, or anti-tank missiles, operated from ring mounts or a remote weapon station. In early 2019, the Army will reportedly field 500 JLTVs to an Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) in the 10th Mountain Division at Ft. Drum, NY, and 65 JLTVs to an Infantry Battalion with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) at Camp Lejeune, NC. Work will be performed at Oshkosh’s factory in Wisconsin and is scheduled to run through December 13, 2019.
Canadian Commercial Corp. is being contracted to support the US Navy’s AN/SQQ-89(V) Surface Ship ASW Combat System. The awarded IQIQ contract is priced at $10 million and provides for the refurbishment and manufacturing of the TR-343 transducer tube assemblies. The assemblies are a critical component of the TR-343 transducer that is used in the AN/SQS-53C hull-mounted sonar array, a subsystem of the above mentioned combat system. The AN/SQQ-89(V) provides surface warships with a seamlessly integrated undersea/anti-submarine warfare detection, localization, classification and targeting capability. The AN/SQS-53 is a computer controlled sonar set provided to surface ships which features both active and passive mode. Its primary sensor is hull mounted transducer array. In addition to search, detection and track of submarine threats, SQS-53C is responsible for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) weapons fire control and guidance to its assigned underwater target. Work will be performed at the company’s location in Toronto, Canada and is scheduled for completion by November 2023.
French aerospace company Dassault is withdrawing from Canada’s fighter jet competition. Ottawa issued an initial draft bid package for 88 fighter aircraft to industry partners last month and expects their feedback by the end of this year. Dassault decided to withdraw from the competition due to concerns over Canada’s requirements for intelligence data sharing and interoperability, particularly with US forces. With the Rafale out of the race, the potential aircraft in the competition now include the F-35, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab’s Gripen and the Boeing Super Hornet. The upcoming fighter jet acquisition is priced at $12.2 billion, with the final bids required by May 2019.
Middle East & Africa
DRS Network & Imaging Systems is being awarded with a Foreign Military Sales contract. The deal is valued at $129 million and supports the armed forces of Egypt, Kuwait, Iraq Morocco and Saudi Arabia. The company will provide the countries with support services for the Direct Support Electrical System Test Set (DSESTS). This includes system technical support services, system sustainment technical support services, and post production software support services; as well as diagnostic services. The DSESTS is used to test and trouble-shoot electrical systems on armoured vehicles such as the M1 Abrams or the Bradley IFV. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order. Performance of the contract is estimated to be completed by November 6, 2023.
The German newspaper Handelsblatt reports that Egypt is ordering two new frigates from Thyssen-Krupp. The contract is priced at $1.1 billion and covers the delivery of two Meko A-200 frigates. The Meko A combat ships, designed by Blohm and Voss, evolved from the Meko family of ships which have been in operation with navies around the world since the 1980s. The 3.500t A-200 is the largest class in the Meko A family. The A-200 is capable of full 4-dimensional warfare (AAW, ASW and ASuW, BCW). The frigate is designed to perform sustained operations across the full spectrum of general missions and tasks: patrol and interdiction, support of special force operations, SAR, and humanitarian operations.
KAI is being tapped to upgrade Indonesia’s fleet of T-50i aircraft. Jakarta signed the $89.4 million contract with the South Korean defense firm on Thursday. Under the deal, KAI will deliver three KT-1B trainer aircraft and install radar equipment and guns on the Indonesian Air Force’s T-50i aircraft. The T-50 Golden Eagle first flew in 2002 and comes in the T-50A advanced trainer and T-50B lead in fighter trainer versions. The T-50 G has digital fly-by-wire controls and hands on throttle and stick. The aircraft has seven external hardpoints for carrying weapons, one on the centreline under the fuselage, two hardpoints under each wing and an air-to-air missile launch rail at the two wingtips. A General Electric F404-GE-102 turbofan engine accelerates the plane to a maximum speed of 1,837km per hour. The deliveries and upgrades are expected to be completed in the beginning of 2021.
Watch: US MASSIVE Hybrid Transformer Helicopter/Plane in Action: V-22 Osprey + CH-53 Heavy Lifting
Nov 08, 2018 05:00 UTC
General Dynamics is being contracted to perform post-delivery work on the Navy’s new Virginia-class submarine. The $13.8 million cost-plus-fixed-fee modification covers the procurement of long-lead-time materials for maintenance, repairs, testing, modifications and other work on the vessel. The USS Indiana is a Block III vessel that features a redesigned bow with enhanced payload capabilities, replacing 12 individual vertical launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes, each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles. This, among other design changes, reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining its outstanding warfighting capabilities. Work will be performed at GD’s shipyard in Groton, Connecticut, and is expected to be completed by April 2019.
Boeing is receiving a contract modification to support the Navy’s Infrared Search and Track (IRST) program. The additional $12.1 million allow Boeing to incorporate conduct designing, developing, integrating and testing of the Infrared Search and Track System (IRST) Block II, Phase II engineering change. These efforts will be carried out to replace the IRST Block I system. The modification incorporates an engineering development model and upgrades for two sets of IRST Block I system weapon replacement assemblies. IRST is a long-wave infrared detection system that targets airborne vehicles in a radar-denied environment. In the mid-2000s, Lockheed Martin LMT was selected as the winner in the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F IRST competition, which required 170 systems. These were the IRST Block I systems, which are capable of detecting, tracking and ranging targets with weapon-quality accuracy. Now with the advanced version of this IRST system – the Block II version – set to get incorporated in the F/A-18 jets, these aircrafts will be able to perform better in terms of surveillance. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida and St. Louis, Missouri. The Block II systems are expected to be completed in April 2022.
The US Air Force terminated a E-3 Sentry AWACS update contract with Boeing. Under the contract Boeing would have updated the radar on the Air Force’s flagship surveillance aircraft at a cost of $76 million. Boeing was on contract to provide improved radar processing “in a specific flight environment to meet a classified requirement,” for its E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System surveillance aircraft, Captain Hope Cronin, a service spokeswoman, told Bloomberg in an email. However after the company encountered major delays in developing hardware and software, and expected several extra years and an additional $60 million to complete the project, officials decided to issue a partial stop-work order in January and terminated the contract in May. Cronin further said, that “the Air Force determined the best approach for providing this critical capability would be to replace the legacy radar processor and its related components.” “Several companies responded to the Air Force’s request for information, and a request for proposal is currently being developed,” she added.
Middle East & Africa
Turkey starts serial production of its new ATMACA anti-ship missile. Turkey’s Defence Industry Directorate (SSB) recently signed a multi-million deal with its industry partners Roketsan and Aselsan. SSB’s contract includes the “mass production” of missiles by Roketsan, and manufacturing of fire control systems, necessary equipment and spare parts by Aselsan. The ATMACA is similar in capability to the Exocet, C-802 and Harpoon. The ATMACA AShM weighs 1700 lbs with a 440 lbs warhead. It can travel at subsonic speed and can reach a range of up to 124 miles. The guidance suite comprises a INS/GPS system with a terminal-stage active radar-homing (ARH) seeker. The missile is expected to be the main offensive weapon of the Milgem platform. The Turkish Navy intents to exchange all the Harpoon missiles in its inventory on 1:1 basis with ATMACA missile, meaning at least 350 missiles are needed.
The German Navy will equip its new Braunschweig-class corvettes with Leonardo’s OTO 76/62 Super Rapid gun system. The contract, signed with the German Federal Office in charge of defense acquisitions, includes the delivery of seven gun systems as well as training and spare parts supply. The 76mm Super Rapid gun mount is a light weight, multi-mission naval artillery system capable of firing in single-shot mode or 120 rounds per minute at ranges up to 10 nautical miles. Depending on the configuration, the OTO 76/62 Super Rapid could include the Strales capability to fire Dart guided ammunition specifically designed for the engagement of fast manoeuvrings targets, the Vulcano GPS-guided long-range ammunition able to engage a target with an excellent accuracy as well as the Multi Feeding (MF) device for the ammunition automatic handling. The system is designed for anti-aircraft, anti-missile and point defense missions. OTO 76/62 can be integrated on any type and class of ship, including smaller units. The contract value has not been disclosed.
Airbus Helicopters and Romania’s IAR have finalised an exclusive cooperation agreement for the heavy twin engine H215M multi-role helicopter. This follows an initial agreement signed in August 2017. Under the agreement, IAR will become the prime contractor for the H215M for any future order by the Romanian Ministry of Defense to replace its ageing fleet. The H215M multi-role helicopter is a military variant of the H215 civil helicopter. It features a crashworthy fuselage, incorporating a four-bladed main rotor and a monocoque tail boom integrating an anti-torque rotor with five composite blades. The H215M can be armed with 20mm cannons, 68mm rocket pods and side-mounted, rapid-fire machine guns to support attack missions. “We consider that the IAR-H215M helicopter is the best solution for the Romanian aeronautical industry, the Ministry of Defense and for other clients all over the world. IAR and Romania are looking forward to becoming helicopter manufacturers again. This contract represents a new chapter of the cooperation between France and Romania in the field of aeronautics,” said Neculai Banea, General Director of IAR.
The French Ministry of Defense plans to add an additional satellite to its Syracuse 4 program. According to the French arms-procurement agency, DGA, the extra satellite is needed to fulfil connectivity demands from drones and military aircraft. Syracuse 4A and 4B will replace the Syracuse 3A and 3B satellites, launched in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Offering a design life of 15 years, the two satellites will have identical X- and Ka-band payloads, built by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor. “This [the third] satellite will be different from the other ones we are currently building in order to better address the specific and increasing needs of airborne systems,” Col. Jannin, head of French satcom programs said at the 2018 Global MilSatCom conference. The first two Syracuse-4 satellites will be launched on Ariane-5ECA rockets between 2020 and 2022, with the third expected to launch by 2030. The Syracuse-4 satellites will feature unrivaled resistance to even the most extreme jamming methods, thanks to state-of-the-art equipment, including an active anti-jamming antenna and a digital onboard processor.
The Philippine Navy (PN) is currently testing its first AW-159 helicopter in the UK. “As confirmed by the Commander Naval Air Group (CNAG), the AW159 has just started initial test flight as part of the manufacturer’s trial. It is still scheduled for a series of test flights before scheduling its handover to the Philippines. According as well to CNAG, the flight signals the completion of the first unit,” defense department spokesperson Arsenio Andolong, said in a text message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday. The PN ordered two AW159 Lynx Wildcat naval helicopters for $114 million in March 2016. The helicopters will give the PN a long sought after anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability, carrying active dipping sonar (ADS), sonobuoys, and torpedoes, while for the anti-surface warfare role it can be armed with anti-ship missiles, rockets, and guns.
Watch: USS Wichita Completes Acceptance Trials
Nov 07, 2018 05:00 UTC
Lockheed Martin is receiving more money to increase Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) production. Awarded by the Air Force, the $350 million increase to an IDIQ contract provides for lifecycle support for all efforts related to JASSM, Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, JASSM-Extended Range, and any JASSM variant. This includes system upgrades; integration, production and sustainment efforts, as well as management and logistical support. The Joint Air-to Surface Standoff Missile is a long-range, radar-evading cruise missile designed to destroy hostile air defenses before aircraft are within range. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s factory in Orlando, Florida and is expected to be completed by April 2022.
General Atomics is being contracted to build more MQ-9 Reapers for the US Air Force. The company will produce several units in their FY2018 configuration at a cost of $263.4 million. The Reaper is a single-engine, turbo-prop, remotely piloted armed reconnaissance aircraft designed to operate over-the-horizon at medium altitude for long endurance. Funding for US SOCOM procures Special Operations Force-unique kits, payloads and modifications. The MQ-9 UAS is comprised of an aircraft segment, consisting of aircraft configured with an array of sensors that includes day/night Full Motion Video (FMV), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensor payloads; avionics, data links and weapons; a Ground control segment consisting of a Launch and Recovery Element, and a Mission Control Element with embedded Line-of-Sight and Beyond-Line-of-Sight communications equipment. Work will be performed at GA’s factory in Poway, California and is scheduled for completion by November 30, 2021.
Raytheon will support DARPA’s Millimeter-Wave Digital Arrays (MIDAS) program with research and development efforts. The competitive, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract is priced at $11.5 million and will run through November 4, 2020. MIDAS aims to develop element-level digital phased-array technology that will enable next generation DoD millimeter wave systems and advance military secure communication technologies. The program is geared toward finding a common digital array tile for performing multiple-beam directional communications at millimeter-wave frequencies. The MIDAS program is focused on two key technical areas: the development of the silicon integrated circuits (ICs) needed for the core transceiver of the array tile; and the development of wideband antennas, millimeter-wave transmit/receive (T/R) components, and the integration of the various components needed to enable the use of this millimeter-wave technology across a number of different applications. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s facility in El Segundo, California.
FlightSafety International is being selected to provide the US Marine Corps with flight training devices for the AH-1Z and the UH-1Y. The devices will be installed at the Marine Air Corps Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan. FlightSafety’s simulation equipment includes VITAL 1100 Image Generators, a dome visual display with 270 x 80 degree field of view (+30 degrees up and -50 degrees down). The devices will also feature Microsoft Windows 10, advanced Cybersecurity, daily operational readiness test software as well as other computational system upgrades. In addition, the company will modify four existing AH-lZ and UH-IY flight training devices located at Camp Pendleton. This includes a new aft entry area, instructor operating system position and design, a visual display dome and visual turret structure, as well as an expanded vertical field of view and 6-axis degrees of freedom secondary motion system.
Middle East & Africa
One of the Egyptian Air Force’s MiG-29 fighter aircraft crashed during a training flight last Saturday. Military officials have confirmed that the jet crashed due to a “technical glitch in the control tools”, adding the pilot managed to eject safely. The plane was supplied by Russia to Egypt as part of a commercial contract in 2018. The MiG-29M/M2 is a major development of the legacy MiG-29, boasting design changes to the airframe, improved turbofans in the RD-33MK (which is similar in weight to the RD-33, but benefits from a higher thrust rating and full-authority digital engine control), fly-by-wire flight control system, updated avionics and Zhuk-ME pulse-Doppler radar. About 1,600 MiG-29s are currently operational worldwide and approximately 600 MiG-29s and variants are in service with the Russian Air Force.
The UK Ministry of Defence plans to spend over $243 billion over the next ten years as outlined in its 2018 Defence Equipment Plan. According to the paper, the MoD will spend about $600 million more on the UK’s new aircraft-carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth and her F-35B fighter aircraft. This significant increase is being offset by reducing the cost of other ongoing MoD programs, such as the P-8 Poseidon program, the Apache sustainment program and the Type-26 frigate acquisition program. However the MoD is also experiencing some problems with other projects. The Royal Army’s Warrior IFV Capability Sustainment Program is already $81 million over budget and 13-months behind schedule. Despite the MoD’s efforts to drive down costs the National Audit Office is less than pleased. The office has noted that the MoD’s plan ‘remains unaffordable and is not sustainable if the Department wants to deliver longer-term value for money’. Current estimates assume that the MoD will have a spending gap of $9 to $19 billion in the next ten years.
Defense News reports that South Korean and Spanish defense officials are currently negotiating a possible trade of trainer and transport aircraft. The deal may involve the exchange of 54 advanced trainer jets built by KAI for four to six A400M transport aircraft. It seems that the initial proposal was made on the sidelines during the Farnborough International Airshow last July. The Spanish Air Force will soon need to replace its ageing fleet of Enaer T-35C Pillan jets, but has a surplus of about 13 A400Ms. If the deal goes through Spain could exchange some of its transporters for 34 KT-1 basic trainers and 20 T-50 advanced trainer jets. The total value of the swap deal is estimated to be $890 million.
Watch: BAE Systems Vulcano Precision-Guided Munition & Mk45 Naval Gun at Euronaval 2018
Nov 06, 2018 05:00 UTC
Lockheed Martin is being awarded with a contract modification in support of the F-35 Block 4 pre-modernization Phase II effort. Priced at $130.4 million the modification provides for requirements decomposition and design work that sees for the maturation of the aircraft’s weapon capabilities. Block 4 is part of the F-35 JPO’s Continuous Capability Development and Delivery or C2D2 effort that seeks to keep the fighter jet relevant against emerging, dynamic threats by quickly fielding incremental updates to the jet’s software, much like regularly updating one’s smartphone. The Block 4 update program will allow the aircraft to finally meet its full contractual specifications. The whole Block 4 update program is expected to cost $10.8 billion through FY2024. The contract combines purchases for the Air Force ($17.4 million), the Navy ($14.2 million), Marine Corps ($14.2 million) and for relevant international partners ($84.3 million). Work will be performed at Lockheed’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas and is expected to be completed in March 2020.
BAE Systems is being tapped to support the Navy’s Mk 41 Vertical Launch System. The company will provide the Navy with mechanical design agent engineering services at a cost of $45.9 million. The contract covers a variety of efforts including the provision of mechanical, cable, canister and canister support equipment; design and system engineering support; integration support and associated ancillary material. The Mk 41 is the most widely-used naval VLS in the world, and can be described as a naval Swiss army knife. The Mk 41 VLS can hold a wide variety of missiles: anti-air and ballistic missile defense, anti-submarine, land-attack and more. The Mk 41 VLS is installed on US Navy CG-47 and DDG- 51 class ships, as well as on warships of 11 allied navies. Work will be performed at BAE’s facilities in Minnesota and South Dakota, and is scheduled for completion by March 2020.
General Atomics is being contracted to improve the MQ-9’s reliability during adverse weather conditions. The $10.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract is awarded by the US Air Force and provides for “MQ-9 weather tolerance activities”. The MQ-9 is a larger and more powerful derivative of the MQ-1. The major difference in layout is the upward V-tail. Environmental factors, such as adverse weather conditions, affect a UAV’s overall reliability and are most often mitigated with operating limitations that restrict the system’s operational value. Environmental factors that can have major effects on an UAV’s reliability include precipitation, icing and wind. Work will be performed at GA’s factory in Poway, California and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2020.
A team of the US Army, DARPA and Sikorsky engineers and pilots successfully demonstrate DARPA’s “self-flying aircraft kit”. In a series of flight tests the team operated a S-76B commercial helicopter equipped with DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS). ALIAS comprises a set of hardware and software that allows an aircraft to autonomously take-off, travel to its destination and autonomously land. ALIAS has been around for several years, and the recent test brings DARPA one step closer to finalize its one-size-fits-all drop-in solution for automating a variety of aircraft. The test demonstrated that the software, could take off, fly in difficult winds and at low altitude, avoid wires and other obstacles, and even make determinations about whether or not it is safe to land in one place or another. Program Manager Dave Baden said the technology is important because it reduces the workload on the pilot: “Either to execute the MEDEVAC, the close air support mission or whatever they are there to do. “Rather than concentrate on moving controls, they can concentrate on what really needs to be done”. During next phase of tests Sikorsky will for the first time fly a Black Hawk military helicopter equipped with ALIAS.
Middle East & Africa
Reuters reports that Iran is now producing its ‘indigenously’ designed Kowsar fighter jet. “Soon the needed number of this plane will be produced and put at the service of the Air Force,” Defense Minister Amir Hatami said at a ceremony on Saturday to launch the plane’s production, which was shown on Iranian television. Iran first unveiled the Kowsar in August and claims that it is a fourth-generation fighter with an advanced manoeuvring capability and equipped with a multi-purpose radar. However, some military experts believe that the Kowsar is merely a carbon copy of an F-5 first produced by Northrop Grumman in the 1950s. The F-5 was sold to Iran in the 1960s and first entered operation in the Iranian Imperial Air Force in 1965. The news comes as tensions mount with the United States after the reimposition of US sanctions on Tehran.
The Romanian government is ordering three more Patriot air-defense systems from the US. Defense Minister Mihai Fifor said Friday that the units, purchased this week, were in addition to a $3.9 billion military contract that Romania signed with the US in December 2017. As part this multi-billion deal, Bucharest will the receive Patriot Configuration 3+, the most advanced configuration available, as well as an undisclosed quantity of GEM-T and PAC-3 MSE interceptor missiles. Mike Ellison, an official with Raytheon, which makes the Patriot missiles, said: “Romania is purchasing the most advanced, capable, cutting-edge tactical ballistic missile defense system in the world.” A NATO member since 2004, the procurement comes as Romania looks to modernize its Soviet-era equipment and improve its defense capabilities as tensions with neighboring Russia continue. The missiles are expected to become operational by 2020.
Australia is strengthening its defense relationship with the United States. One of the Royal Australian Navy’s Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyers and one of the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyers jointly tested the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) real-time sensor netting system for the first time. This sensor netting system allows ships, aircraft, and even land radars to pool their radar and sensor information together, creating a coherent picture. The CEC provides real time integration of fire control quality sensor data, as each CEC unit combines on-ship radar measurement data with those from all other CEC units using the same CEC algorithms. The result is a superior air picture based on all the data available, providing tracks (i.e. identified items) with identical track numbers throughout the net. During the test the HMAS Hobart established secure data links with the USS John Finn, after which the vessels shared tracking and fire control data. Australian Defense Minister Christopher Pyne said that “these trials are the culmination of 12 months of preparations and demostrate Hobart ‘s formidable capability,” he added that the trial marked “a significant milestone in the testing and qualifying of Hobart’s combat and weapons systems”.
Watch: US Army Pilot Tests ALIAS’ Autonomy Capabilities in Demonstration Flight
Nov 05, 2018 05:00 UTC
The US Special Operations Command is ordering additional helicopters from Boeing. The awarded contract modification is priced at $42.8 million and provides for four new build MH-47G Chinooks. The MH-47G is a new version of the helicopter platform that first flew in 1962 and has been configured to perform long-range day and night missions, in inclement weather at low levels. The Chinooks feature enhanced digital avionics and flight control systems, as well as a sturdier monolithic airframe increasing survivability. According to the DoD press release, SOCOM needs those additional rotorcraft to satisfy an urgent need for heavy assault helicopters. Work will be performed at Boeing’s factory in Ridley Park.
The Canadian government is entering the next stage of its fighter procurement program. In a draft bid package posted on October 26 procurement officials name five companies that could make the run in the upcoming tender. Canada needs to replace its ageing fleet of fighter aircraft with 88 new ones at a cost of $12 billion. Lockheed Martin’s F-35, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Dassault Rafale, Saab’s Gripen and the Boeing Super Hornet will likely be considered and the companies are expected to give their feedback by the end of this year. Ottawa plans to receive initial proposals from bidders between summer and winter 2019. A contract is anticipated to be awarded during the winter months of 2021-2022. Canada wants initial aircraft to be delivered in 2025, with IOC achieved by 2026. The Royal Canadian Air Force wants all aircraft delivered by 2031 or 2032, at which time the CF-18 fleet will be retired.
Raytheon is marking another milestone in its Ship Self Defense System (SSDS) program. During a recently held test one of the USMC’s F-35Bs made a successful digital air connection with the USS Wasp. SSDS uses software and commercial off-the-shelf electronics to turn incoming data from several systems into a single picture of prioritized threats. The system then recommends an engagement sequence for the ship’s crew, or (in automatic mode) fire some combination of jamming transmissions, chaff or decoys, and/or weapons against the oncoming threat. “Information is key for any Commander – and shared information from multiple sources and vantage points extends our battlespace and our advantage over enemy threats,” said U.S. Navy Captain Danny Busch, Program Executive Office – SSDS. “Now with the ability to link our sensors and weapons, from sea and air, SSDS is providing a level of interoperability and defensive capability never before available to the Expeditionary fleet.”
Boeing’s new KC-46 tanker receives more certifications as it successfully completes aerial refueling of two additional aircraft types. During recently held tests the KC-46 completed receiver certification testing for the B-52 bomber and the F/A-18 fighter jet, with the F-15 to follow next year. A Boeing spokesperson says that the certification test are in preparation for the start of Initial Operational Test and Evaluation work next year. KC-46A is a militarised version of the 767-2C. Modification include aerial refueling equipment, an air refueling operator’s station that includes panoramic 3-dimensional displays, and threat detection/ countermeasures systems. Boeing recently missed the delivery schedule for its first aircraft which was expected to take place on October 27. The KC-46 acquisition program sees for the delivery of 179 tankers at a cost of $44.3 billion, with the first aircraft expected to be delivered between April and June 2016.
Middle East & Africa
Boeing is being tapped to continue maintenance support for the Royal Saudi Air Force’s fleet of F-15 fighter aircraft. The company is being awarded with a $14.6 million contract that sees for the sustainment of the Aircraft Maintenance Debrief System (AMDS). The F-15 is an all-weather, extremely maneuverable, tactical fighter designed to achieve aerial superiority in combat situations. The contract allows Boeing to provide trained personnel to use and maintain AMDS equipment at six locations throughout Saudi Arabia. The company’s staff also train RSAF members on how to operate and maintain the equipment. Work will be performed at multiple locations in Saudi Arabia and is expected to run through November 4, 2023.
The Turkish government is contracting a team of three Turkish companies to build the country’s first indigenous long-range air and anti-missile system. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled the National Long Range Regional Air Missile Defense System (SIPER) project on Wednesday. “This system is crucial for Turkey’s defense and they (the partners) are taking a new step with this project that will upgrade Turkey in the league of defense systems,” Erdo?an was quoted by Defense News’s Burak Ege Bekdil. The SIPER system will be produced by the Turkish state-run military electronics manufacturer Aselsan, state-controlled missile producer Roketsan, and Tübitak Sage, a state research institute. For the next 18 months the companies will conduct a definition study to prepare a a development and production contract for the future system. SIPER is expected to be completed by 2021.
Germany will be able to integrate Lockheed’s Patriot PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missile into its next-generation TLVS missile defense system. TLVS is a highly mobile ground based air and missile defense system for protection against the current and future threat spectrum in the lower tier. TLVS is developed by an MBDA and Lockheed Martin joint venture. Build upon the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), TLVS is easily transportable, tactically mobile and uses the hit-to-kill PAC-3 MSE missile to defeat tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft, providing full 360-degree engagement. Since its final decision in 2015 the German government was unable to move forward on its new air-defense system because Lockheed needed US governmental approval to integrate the Patriot missile into the TLVS. A spokesman at the German defense ministry said, “There is new momentum. Both sides are clearly committed to successful completion of the TLVS program.” The new air-defense system was expected to cost about $4.56 billion, however current estimates suggest a cost overrun by several billion. Germany wishes to sign a contract for TLVS in 2019 and field the system in 2025.
India recently conducted a user trial night-time test of its Agni-I ballistic missile. The Agni-I is a short-range ballistic missile that was first launched in 2002. The Agni-I is a single-stage missile developed to fill the gap between 250 km range of Prithvi-II and 2,500 km range of Agni-II. Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I, is designed to carry a payload of more than one ton, including a nuclear warhead. Its strike range can be extended by reducing the payload. The missile has a specialised navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision. During the user trial a randomly selected unit launches a test missile to prove the system’s overall performance and crew readiness. The trajectory of the trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and naval ships from its launch till the missile hit the target area with accuracy, the Indian military said. In recent months the decade long conflict Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan started to resurface.
Watch: $2 Billion US Stealth Plane in Action Over US States: Northrop B-2 Spirit
Nov 02, 2018 05:00 UTC
The US Marine Corps is buying an additional training system for its pilots. Lockheed Martin will procure one F-35 training device under the awarded $64.3 million contract modification. The F-35 Full Mission Simulator is fitted with a 360° visual display system, which accurately replicates all sensors and weapons employment and uses the same software as the aircraft. Each simulator carries the most recent software load, or operational flight program (OFP), so it can most accurately replicate the capabilities and handling qualities of the aircraft as it is concurrently developed, tested and fielded through various block upgrades. F-35 pilots complete 45% to 55% of their initial qualification flights in the simulator. Work will be performed at multiple locations including Orlando, Florida; Reston, Virginia and London, United Kingdom. The contract is expected to be completed in July 2021.
The US Navy is modifying a contract with Raytheon. The additional $34.1 million allow Raytheon to support the Navy’s Zumwalt-class ships with integrated logistics support and engineering services. The DDG-1000 ship’s prime missions are to provide naval gunfire support, and next-generation air defense, in near-shore areas where other large ships hesitate to tread. All three Zumwalt-class vessels equipped with latest electric propulsion systems, wave-piercing tumblehome hulls, stealth designs and advanced war fighting technology. The ships will have the capability to carry out a wide range of deterrence, power projection, sea control, and command and control missions once operational. Work will be performed at multiple locations. Around 52% of the work will be performed in Portsmouth, Rhode Island; 24% in Tewksbury, Massachusetts; 10% in San Diego, California; 6% in Nashua, New Hampshire; 5% Bath, Maine; 1% in Marlboro, Massachusetts; 1% in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and last 1% to be done in St. Petersburg, Florida. The contract is expected to be completed by September 2019.
Northrop Grumman is being tapped to continue development of the Common Missile Compartment (CMC). The awarded $10.8 million cost-plus incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee modification covers a number of technical engineering services; design and development engineering services; component and full scale test services and tactical underwater launcher hardware production services. The CMC will be fitted on the US future Columbia-class and UK Dreadnought-class SSBNs. The new generation of submarines will carry their Trident D5 nuclear-armed SLBMs in multiple “quad pack” Common Missile Compartments, a deliberate decision to simplify the process of building the two types of subs and hopefully save money. Nuclear missile submarines are a nation’s most strategic assets, because they are its most secure and certain deterrence option. Work will be performed at multiple location including – but not limited to – Sunnyvale, California; Kings Bay, Georgia and Barrow-In-Furness, England.
Middle East & Africa
General Electric is being contracted to support the Egyptian Air Force F-16 Service Life Extension Program. The company will deliver an unspecified number of F110-GE-100 engine conversion kits at a cost of $273.5 million. The Egyptian Air Force operates 220 F-16s, making it the 4th largest F-16 operator in the world. The F-16 is the EAF’s primary frontline aircraft. Among other operational roles, the F-16s perform missions which include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, as well as air-to-air and air-to-ground attacks. Also known as the Block 30 powerplant, the F110-GE-100 is the alternate engine for the Block 30/32/40-variants of the F-16 that was fitted from December 1985. Work will be performed at General Electric’s Cincinnati, Ohio facility. This contract involves foreign military sales and is scheduled for completion by October 30, 2023.
Sierra Nevada will upgrade two aircraft as part of the Saudi King Air 350 program. The company will add an intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance/synthetic aperture radar capability to the two King Air 350 extended range aircraft. The twin-propeller King Air 350 is an affordable, long-endurance option for effective manned battlefield surveillance and attack. US aircraft in their ISR configuration are equipped with signals intelligence (SIGINT) electronic interception capabilities, and carry L-3 Westar’s MX-15i surveillance turrets. One transportable ground station; one fixed ground station; and one mission system trainer are also included in the contract. The definitization modification is priced at $23.8 million and involves 100% foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia. Work will be performed at Sierra Nevada’s facility in Hagerstown, Maryland and is expected to be completed by May 2020.
Lockheed Martin is being tapped to keep two of the UAE’s THAAD batteries operational. The $129.5 million noncompetitive, cost-plus-incentive-fee and firm-fixed-price contract provides for maintenance and sustainment work needed to keep the two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense batteries combat ready. Lockheed Martin will be responsible to provide the United Arab Emirates with software and hardware development, contractor logistics support, engineering services, and missile field surveillance. The THAAD system is a long-range, land-based theater defense weapon that acts as the upper tier of a basic 2-tiered defense against ballistic missiles. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s facilities in Sunnyvale, California; Dallas, Texas; Huntsville, Alabama; Anniston, Alabama; Troy, Alabama; Lakeland, Florida; and the United Arab Emirates. The contract performance period is from November 1, 2018 through July 2, 2021.
Thales UK is being awarded with the $105 million Future Air Defence Availability Project (F-ADAPT) that seeks to enhance the Starstreak High Velocity Missile (HVM) and Lightweight Multi-role Missile (LMM) systems. The Starstreak is a dual-stage shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile that flies at 4 times the speed of sound, uses advanced laser-guidance to home in on fast-flying aircraft, pop-up helicopters, or UAVs, then uses a system of 3 individually-guided dart-like projectiles and warheads to shred any target they hit. The LMM is a very short-range, precision strike air-to-surface and surface-to-surface missile designed to deliver high accuracy and precision strike capabilities with low collateral damage effect against a variety of threats encountered by APCs, small vessels and artillery. The upgrades under the F-ADAPT project include thermal imaging which ensures the HVM system can be used 24 hours a day and ‘Friend or Foe’ identification, which will maximize intelligence on potential threats and targets.
India is procuring an air-defense command-and-control (C2) system from Israel. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will deliver the Sky Capture system to the Indian Army at a cost of $550 million. Sky Capture is a C2 system for anti-aircraft artillery and Very Short Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) systems that transforms legacy air defense systems into modern, accurate and effective weapons by applying modern sensors, communications and computing capabilities. The system integrates several sensors, including target acquisition and fire control radar systems which are optimized to detect targets with low radar cross-section, such as low-velocity UAVs and ultralights that can be detected from 40-60 km. This is the second high value deal IAI signed with India in recent weeks, with the first being a $770 million deal for the Barak-8 system.
Watch: Two lranian fast boats approached the US Wasp-class amphibious assault ship