Crowded market scrambles in Franco-German MPA comp | Osprey VARS testing to start this fall | Russia to send more S-300s to Syria “in the near future”Apr 26, 2018 05:00 UTC
- The US Naval Air Systems Command has confirmed that the V-22 Aerial Refueling System (VARS) will start testing this fall. According to a US Marine Corps statement published by the Marine Corps Times, VARS-equipped Ospreys will be capable of providing an additional 10,000 pounds of fuel to aircraft forward deployed with Marine Expeditionary Units, extending the range of aircraft such as the F-35B and other V-22s. The Corps expects its new refueling system to be operational by fiscal year 2019 and will be welcomed by the Corps as troops are being shifted across the Pacific—nearly nine thousand Marines are being moved off Okinawa, Japan, where they will be disbursed to other locations like Guam and Hawaii. Furthermore, the USMC is kicking off its largest deployment yet to Darwin Australia, at nearly 1,587 Marines as part of its annual six-month rotation.
- Raytheon received Tuesday, April 24, a $12.1 million contract modification for the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM). Awarded by the US Air Force, the agreement calls for production Lot 32 field spares and initial depot spares for foreign military sales (FMS) going to the governments of Australia, South Korea, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Turkey. Work will take place at Raytheon’s Tucson, Arizona facility and is expected to be complete by January 31, 2021.
Middle East & Africa
- Sergey Shoygu, Russia’s Minister of Defense, told the RIA news agency Wednesday that additional air defense systems will be delivered to Syria in the near future. The ministry also said that a US Tomahawk cruise missile captured in Washington’s recent airstrikes against Syrian chemical weapons facilities will be studied in order to improve its own missiles. While Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Russia had not yet decided whether it would deliver advanced S-300 missile systems to Syria, senior Russian officials told the Kommersant newspaper that Russia is expected to provide the Bashar Assad regime with S-300 anti-aircraft defense systems soon. If Israel attacks the new air defense systems, then it will suffer “catastrophic consequences,” the officials said. In response, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel may strike the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft defense systems in Syria if they are used against Israel.
- A week after Lockheed Martin announced its industrial team that will enter into Germany’s upcoming heavy-lift helicopter competition, Boeing has come out with its list of German collaborators who would help maintain a potential sale of CH-47F Chinooks. Speaking at the Berlin ILA air show, Michael Hostetter, director, Vertical Lift Programs in Germany said that if selected, the local companies will offer maintenance and training to the German military. The German companies —or German units of foreign companies —that Boeing has partnered with are AERO-Bildungs GmbH, Aircraft Philipp, CAE Elektronik GmbH, COTESA, Diehl Defence, Honeywell, Liebherr-Aerospace, Reiser Simulation and Training GmbH, Rockwell Collins, and Rolls-Royce. “The customer has made it very clear that they are looking for low-risk off the shelf solution,” Hostetter said, adding Boeing was able to produce a Chinook every five days at its production site in Philadelphia. He said Boeing could offer either the Foxtrot model or an extended range version, with both offering the air-to-air refueling requirement that Germany is likely to seek.
- The Dutch government has had two foreign military sales (FMS) packages from the United States approved, statements released by the State Department’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said Tuesday. The first deal, valued at an estimated $110 million, covers defense articles and services in support of continuation of a Continental United States (CONUS) based Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 Formal Training Unit at Tucson Air National Guard Base, Arizona. Equipment and services to be provided include up to 27 GBU-12 Inert Paveway IIs, PGU-27 Inert training rounds, Impulse Cartridges, MJU-7/B Flares, RR-188 Chaff, BDU-33/B and BDU-50/B training munitions, fuel and air refueling support, airlift services, base operating support, facilities, publications and technical documentation, pilot training, personnel training and training equipment, weapon system and software support, US Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The second FMS package, valued at $70 million, covers the potential sale of 3,500 M1156 Precision Guided Kits—a sale that will supply the Dutch with a precision guided, or smart, capability for its 155mm artillery projectiles and improve its capability to meet current and future enemy threats. Orbital ATK will act as principal contractor in the sale.
- Japan is looking to export its P-1 submarine hunter aircraft as part of a Franco-German program to develop a marine surveillance aircraft. If successful, it would be Tokyo’s first major foreign arms sale since World War II. Speaking to two Japanese officials, Reuters report that the three governments began discussions last year, with the P-1’s manufacturer, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, asked to discuss possible partnerships with France’s Dassault Aviation and Thales SA. “If they try and build it from scratch it will cost a lot and their potential market is small, even if Spain or other European countries buy it,” one of the sources said of the European project. However, Japan and Kawasaki will face some stiff competition with the report suggesting that Airbus is already looking into adapting its A320neo passenger jet family for military use—including a maritime patrol version—while Dassault themselves may look to offer a variant of its Falcon 8X business jet for such purposes. Boeing, with its new P-8 Poseidon, is also likely to enter. A spokesman for the German defense ministry declined to comment on discussions, adding, “Germany and France are considering many possibilities to expand the existing good cooperation between the two countries’ militaries.”
- Russian news agency Interfax reports that India is on course to sign a deal with Russia later this year for the purchase of the S-400 Triumf air defense system and corresponding missiles. Quoting Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, the report said that all the technical aspects of the contract had been agreed and a price just needed to be decided. “I think that in the current year we will sign the corresponding contract document,” said Dmitry Shugaev, head of the FSMTC.
- Russian Su-57 prepares for Victory Day parade: