Sep 07, 2018 05:00 UTC
Raytheon is being contracted to repair the guidance sections on US HARM missiles. The order has a value of $7.5 million and provides for the repair of 134 HARM AGM-88B/C guidance sections and the procurement of 12 HARM AGM-88B/C control sections. The Air Force will receive 100 repaired guidance sections, and all control sections, whereas the Navy will take delivery of the remaining 34 guidance sections. The AGM-88 HARM (high-speed anti-radiation missile) is a supersonic air-to-surface tactical missile designed to seek and destroy enemy radar-equipped air defense systems. The AGM-88B missile was developed in the mid-1980s and incorporated an electronically reprogrammable memory that allowed changing the missile software in the field. The AGM-88C missile is the latest version and incorporates several new design features and is also reprogrammable in the field. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s facility in Tucson, Arizona and is expected to be completed in September 2019.
Northrop Grumman is being tapped to write the newest software for the USMC’s H-1 program. The company is being awarded with a contract modification that increases its previous ceiling to $89 million dollars. This covers necessary research and development for AH-1Z and UH-1Y System Configuration Sets (SCSs). SCS activities include the design, development and implementation of hardware and software upgrades that are essential to the helicopter’s combat readiness. SCS activities for example address key avionics and sensors obsolescence issues and allow for the integration of Target Sight System and advanced weaponry. Work will be performed at three facilities in California, Utah and Maryland. The contract is expected to be completed in April 2020.
The Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 currently embarked on the USS Abraham Lincoln now has to fly with one fighter less. One of the Squadron’s F-35C fighter jets was damaged during an aerial refueling exercise with an F/A-18F Super Hornet. During the exercise a piece of the refueling basket loosened and was ingested into the F-35C’s engine intake, resulting in the damage. The Navy treats this incident as a Class A mishap, which is considered to be the most serious type of incident. Replacement of the F135 engine will cost about $14 million.
Middle East & Africa
Jane’s reports that Russia is deploying one of its air-to-air refuelling aircraft to Humaymim airbase in Syria. The plane of the type Iluyshin Il-78 ‘Midas’ will likely be used to refuel six of Russia’s Su-30SM ‘Flanker H’ fighters currently stationed at the same airbase. The Il-78 is based on the Ilyushin Il-76MD transport aircraft and entered service in 1985. The Midas is fitted with wing-tip hose and drogue air refuelling pods. The receiving aircraft approaches the tanker and its probe makes contact with a hose reeled out and trailed from the tanker. Russia has been active in the Syrian Civil War since September 2015. Human Rights organisation frequently accuse Russia of deliberately targeting civilians and rescue workers.
The State Department is determined to approve a FMS to the Netherlands. The European-country is seeking to recapitalize four of its Patriot fire unit. If approved, $105 million deal would include new AN/MPQ-65 radar sets, radar digital processors, AN/MSQ-104 engagement control stations and several upgrades and related equipment. The Netherlands is one of 12 nations that have chosen the Patriot as a key component of their air and missile defense systems. The NATO member currently deploys the PAC-3 version.
Boeing is teaming up with Polish defense contractor PGZ in an attempt to win Poland’s Kruk attack helicopter competition. Boeing is currently bidding its AH-64E Apache, and wants PGZ to integrate unique Polish systems onto the platform. Boeing also wants to incorporate PGZ into its supply chain and help the company to strengthen its manufacturing capabilities. The Polish government plans to acquire a total of 32 helicopters to replace its ageing Mil Mi-24s from 2022 onwards. The Apache will likely competed against Airbus’ Tiger, Bell’s AH-1Z and TAI’s T129.
The Japanese government is ordering one E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft from Northrop Grumman. The aircraft’s cost of $165.3 million is being obligated through US Foreign Military Sales funds. The carrier-capable “mini-AWACS” aircraft, designed to give long-range warning of incoming aerial threats. The Advanced Hawkeye is equipped with an APY-9 radar, which can detect and track small and stealthy targets, in large numbers, and at great range. The aircraft’s ESM and IFF systems offer improved classification of radar contacts at longer ranges. The Japanese Air Self Defense Force currently flies 13 E-2Ds. Work will bet performed at multiple facilities located in the US, France, Canada, Italy and the UK. The Hawkeye is scheduled to ready for delivery by March 2020.
India is ordering one SpyLite mini-UAV. The drone is the product of a joint venture between India’s Cyient and Israel’s BlueBird Aero Systems. The electrically-powered SpyLite is designed for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions. During flight trials the UAV demonstrated its quick operational readiness, ranging from autonomous launch to precision recovery by parachute. The company says that the SpyLite was the only candidate to have met the army’s need to perform real-time surveillance and target acquisition tasks during trials performed at high altitudes and during adverse weather conditions.
Watch: US Air Force F-22 Raptors leave Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany
Sep 06, 2018 05:00 UTC
The US Air Force needs to overhaul the digital countermeasure receivers installed on the B-2 Spirit bombers. Lockheed Martin will be responsible to repair and modernize a number of those receivers under this $47.5 million firm-fixed-price requirements contract. The B-2 is a low-observable, strategic, long-range, heavy bomber capable of penetrating sophisticated and dense air-defence shields. The plane is equipped with a radar warning receiver, a defensive aids system and the Lockheed Martin AN/APR-50 defensive management system (DMS). The system, in conjunction with the radar warning receiver, detects electronic threats encountered by the B-2 and provides situational awareness to its air crew. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s facility in Oswego, New York and is expected to be completed by August, 2023
General Atomics is set to boost the surveillance capabilities of the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM). The company is being awarded with a sole source indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contract that has a value of up to $15 million. The order provides for the integration and testing of items needed for the MQ-9 MALET and MQ-1C Special Operations Forces peculiar. SOCOM flies MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1 Predators. Both are referred to as Medium Altitude Long Endurance Tactical (MALET) platforms. The 160th SOAR introduced the MQ-1C Gray Eagle in November 2013. Both UAVs are enhanced variants of their respective base platforms and are equipped with improved video transmission, infrared modifications and signals intelligence payloads, and are suitable for the “delivery of low collateral damage weapons.” Work will be performed in Poway, California and is scheduled for completion by September 2023.
The Navy’s CVN-21 program hits another milestone. Huntington Ingalls Industries has managed to significantly reduce the construction time of the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers. The USS John F. Kennedy is now 14 months ahead of schedule. To make the construction process more efficient, most of each super carrier is assembled in separate modular pieces called superlifts. Each superlift may contain many compartments, spanning multiple decks, and they can weigh anywhere from 80 to 1000 tons. Each superlift undergoes an extensive pre-outfitting process and is then installed in the carrier with the help of massive cranes. The Kennedy comes with a $13 billion pricet-tag and will be christened in late 2019.
Middle East & Africa
The Afghan Air Force will see a massive boost to its counter-insurgency capabilities with the help of appropriated Afghanistan Security Forces funds. Sierra Nevada Corp is receiving a $1.8 billion indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contract that provides for the procurement of several A-29 Super Tucano aircraft. Designed to operate in high temperatures and in extremely rugged terrain, the A-29 is a highly maneuverable fourth-generation weapons system capable of delivering precision guided munitions. The aircraft is being used by the Afghan Air Force (AAF) for close-air attack, air interdiction, escort and armed reconnaissance. Afghanistan currently has 14 A-29s in its service. Work will be performed at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, as well as at Kabul, Kandahar, and Mazari Sharif Air Bases in Afghanistan. The contract will run until December 2024.
Missile canisters for Israel Aerospace Industries’ Arrow-3 system are currently manufactured by Mississippi-based company Stark. Stark recently delivered the first canister to IAI. Israel’s Arrow differs from US systems like THAAD, PAC-3 and SM-3, because it relies on a directed fragmentation warhead instead of “hit to kill” technology. The exoatmospheric, 2-stage Arrow-3 is the latest version of the combat proven system. Arrow-3 is a highly maneuverable missile that can reach more than double the height of existing Arrow-2 interceptors, using a lower-weight missile increases the systems operational range. Stark is one of many US vendors that produce high-end components to Israel’s Arrow, David’s Sling and Iron Dome systems.
Jane’s reports that the French Air Force (FAF) now has two new PC-21 training aircraft. The Pilatus PC-21 is a turboprop advanced trainer that made its maiden flight back in 2002. Airforce Technology notes that the aircraft combines the procurement and operating costs of current-generation turboprop aircraft with a jet training capability. It has a higher wing loading that is more characteristic of a jet and the engine’s power output is scheduled by using a sophisticated power management system. According to Pilatus, the PC-21 was specifically designed and built to train the next generation of military pilots. The PC-21 can be used from day one in flight school, eliminating the need for an elementary flying training fleet. France’s defence procurement agency ordered 17 PC-21s, two full mission and three training simulators from Babcock Mission Critical Services France in December 2016.
The Spanish government halts the delivery of 400 laser-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia, amid fears that the weapons could be used in the fight against the Houthi rebels in Yemen. A defense ministry spokesman confirmed during a radio report that Spain’s Socialist government will return the $10.6 million already paid by the Saudis for the arms under a deal signed by the previous conservative administration. Spain is a longtime commercial ally of Saudi Arabia, and is the fourth-largest provider of military equipment and weapons to the Gulf state.
Lockheed Martin is teaming up with India’s Tata Advanced Systems Limited in an attempt to land a major defense contract. Lockheed and Tata will jointly produce wings for the F-16 fighter jet. Lockheed is currently bidding for a contract to supply the Indian air force with 114 combat planes. The order has an estimated value of more than $15 billion, but comes with the pre-condition that all planes must be manufactured locally. This pre-condition is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship “Make in India” program, devised to foster local industry, create jobs and end the the military’s dependence on imports. Vivek Lall, vice president of strategy and business development at Lockheed, said “if India buys the F-16 then it becomes the center of manufacturing for the global market”. If the deal goes through Lockheed and Tata could open the production line in Hyderabad starting from 2020.
Watch: Boeing is Ready to Take the MQ-25 to the Flight Deck
Sep 05, 2018 05:00 UTC
The US Missile Defense Agency’s Low Power Laser Demonstrator program is moving into the design review stage. Lockheed Martin, General Atomics and Boeing are each being awarded with contract modifications, amounting to a total of $69.2 million. Under these modifications, the contractors will each complete a comprehensive design review of their respective laser systems. The MDA is seeking a new high altitude long endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle with the unique capacity to carry a high energy laser system that can stop enemy missiles when they have barely left the launch pad. Destroying enemy ballistic missiles in boost phase is particularly beneficial because with one shot it could destroy multiple independently targeted missile warheads, as well as decoys designed to foil missile defenses. The LPLD project is to demonstrate the feasibility of firing a laser from a UAV before it gets on to developing a high energy laser system. Lockheed Martin, received $25.5 million and will perform all work at its facility in Sunnyvale, California. General Atomics, received $23.4 million, with work being performed in San Diego, California. Boeing received $20.4 million and will review the design at its facilities in Huntsville, Alabama; Huntington Beach, California; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The contracts are scheduled to end by July 31, 2019.
Lockheed Martin will perform a variety of engineering services in support of the Navy’s AN/SPY-1 radar. The cost-plus-fixed-fee job order is valued at $12.9 million and is expected to be completed by August 2023. The AN/SPY-1 is at the heart of the Aegis ballistic missile defense system. The 3D air/surface search and tracking radar is able to perform search, track and missile guidance functions simultaneously, and has the ability to track over 100 targets to over 100 miles. Terminal guidance depends on mounted illuminators, since current SM-2 missiles are limited to semi-active radar homing. The effort provides for radar readiness enhancements and improvements. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s facility in Moorestown, New Jersey.
The US Army needs new items for its WIN-T network. General Dynamics will procure a number of configuration items for the warfighter information network-tactical program. The contract has a value of $81.8 million and provides for network and pre-priced hardware items. The WIN-T program is the Army’s high-speed, high-capacity tactical communications network to distribute classified and unclassified information through all echelons of Army command by means of voice, data, and real-time video. The program has seen its up and downs over the years, the current WIN-T Increment 2 started fielding in 2012 but hasn’t reached the whole force yet. Army experts are currently looking for alternative systems over fears that WIN-T are not resilient and secure enough to be used in combat against technological advanced adversaries. Work will be performed at GD’s facility in Taunton, Massachusetts, and is expected to be completed by August 2020.
Middle East & Africa
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is determined to move ahead with the acquisition of Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries as soon as possible. The S-400 nicknamed Triumf, also known as SA-21 Growler is a long range surface-to-air missile system produced by Almaz-Antey. The system can engage all types of aerial targets including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and ballistic and cruise missiles within the range of 400km, at an altitude of up to 30km. The system can simultaneously engage 36 targets. A regular S-400 battalion reportedly consists of at least eight launchers with 32 missiles and a mobile command post. Erdogan’s reaffirmation will likely put a further dent into the already fragile US-Turkish relations and threaten the purchase of several F-35s. Speaking at a graduation ceremony for military officers, Erdogan said Turkey also needs F-35 fighter jets and will continue to pay its installments to procure them from the United States, but would procure jets elsewhere if the United States halts the delivery of the F-35 fighter jets.
Defense News reports that German shipbuilding advocates call for the government to protect the German military ship sector from international competition as means to boost the domestic industry. Germany currently plans to buy four new MKS-180 multi-role frigates at a cost of $4 billion. If the tender goes to an international competitor thousands of jobs in northern Germany would be threatened. Industry representatives want the defense sector to be exempted from European acquisition requirements. The two contenders for the program are Dutch Damen Shipyards and German Naval Yards Kiel. Government officials said protectionism would play no role whatsoever in an eventual award, shortly after it turned down a solo bid for the new frigate by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.
The Bangladesh Air Force is now capable of conducting independent maintenance and overhaul work on its fleet of F-7 fighter jets. The Asian-country is currently in the process of implementing its Vision 2041 strategy, a part of which includes the reduction of maintenance and supply costs. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told press representatives during a ceremony “we can reduce costs by 30 to 40 per cent when overhauling aircraft on our own without any foreign technical support. It also saves out time as well”. The J-7 is a single-engine, lightweight fighter aircraft that has 28 domestic variants and 26 export variants. According to Airforce Technology the Bangladesh Air Force purchased 16 F-7MB, 16 F-7BG and eight FT-7B aircraft. These F-7MB aircraft were replaced with 100 beyond visual range-capable F-7BGs through to 2010.
South Korea will soon integrate a new advanced infrared missile countermeasure system onto its helicopters. The directional infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) is being jointly developed by the Defense Acquisition Programs Administration and defense contractor Hanwha Systems. DIRCMs rely on two distinct systems to defend against missile attacks. The first system includes ultraviolet sensors that detect an incoming missile. The second includes the transmitter that directs a beam of infrared energy at the missile’s seeker. Both systems are enclosed within a single compact pod, which mounts to the underside of a jet’s fuselage. When an enemy missile is launched at the aircraft the DIRCM gives an automatic alarm and shoots a high intensity quantum cascade laser at the incoming weapon’s guidance sensor, causing it to loose its lock. The system has been tested in several live firing tests and will now be gradually introduced to a variety of aircraft types.
Watch: Rising Thunder 2018
Sep 04, 2018 05:00 UTC
The Air Force is procuring a number of high-definition targeting systems for its MQ-9 Reaper UAVs. Raytheon will produce 127 AN/DAS-4 Multi-Spectral Targeting System Model B (MTS-B) turrets and will upgrade 40 DAS-1A to DAS-4 turrets. The predominantly fixed-price-incentive contractual action for FY 2017 – FY 2018 has a value of $281.9 million. Raytheon’s MTS-B is an electro-optical infrared (EO/IR) and laser detecting-ranging-tracking set. The EO/IR system provides long-range surveillance, high-altitude target acquisition, tracking, range-finding, and laser designation for the Hellfire missile and other laser-guided munitions. MTS-B has been adapted for the high-altitude MQ-9, which has a flying ceiling of 50,000 feet. Work will bet performed at Raytheon’s facility in McKinney, Texas, and is expected to be completed by September 30, 2020.
More USMC AH-1Z Super Cobras will be equipped with new target sight systems. Lockheed Martin will manufacture a total of 5 AN/AAQ-30s under this $11.8 million firm-fixed-price modification. The Hawkeye XR is a third generation, state-of-the-art FLIR targeting system developed for the AH-1Z and fully integrates into the helicopter’s fire control system and TopOwl HMD. It provides range and optical line-of-sight data for all weapons, even AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. Work will be performed at the contractor’s facilities in Orlando, Florida and in Ocala, Florida. The contract is expected to end by January 2022.
The US Army is upgrading parts of its 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Germany. The Regiment will receive a new Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station configuration for its Stryker combat vehicles. From now on soldiers will be able to launch Javelin missiles from within the light-armored vehicle. Until now, if infantry troops wanted to engage mechanized targets, the Stryker would have to stop, the soldier would get out, fire the missile, and then jump back on. This upgrade is a US response to continuing Russian aggressions in Eastern-Europe. The integration of the Javelin into the RWS now puts the Stryker on par with Russia’s BMP-3 tracked infantry fighting vehicles.
Middle East & Africa
Kuwait is receiving technical support for its PATRIOT system as part of a US FMS. Raytheon is being awarded with a $9.8 million contract modification that provides for technical assistance, planning, training, maintenance and sustainment. The Phased Array Tracking Radar Intercept On Target missile system is a mainstay in many military inventories. At present, 12 nations have chosen it as a key component of their air and missile defense system. Kuwait currently has the latest PAC-3 configuration deployed. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s facility in Andover, Massachusetts and is estimated to be completed by end of December, 2019.
An Italian F-35A will be deployed to Belgian, where it will be presented in a static exposition at the Belgian Air Force Days. Italy is a Tier 2 partner in the JSF program and will likely buy up to 131 fighter aircraft. The Lightning II is currently competing against the F-16 and the Eurofighter, in a competition launched in 2017 by the Belgian Government to buy 34 new combat aircraft at an initial price of $3.1 billion.
Jane’s reports that Indonesian state-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara (PTDI) is currently developing a gunship variant of the CN-235 twin-engine multipurpose aircraft. Aerial gunships are extremely useful in a number of military scenarios, but most involve internal security, counter-insurgency, and special forces work. The new variant will be equipped with one 30mm DEFA 553 aircraft cannon and EO/IR targeting systems. A flying demonstrator is currently being manufactured and is slated to conduct its first flight in 2019.
The Russian Navy is currently conducting early research on engine designs for its Project 23000E Shtorm. Behind this ominous name hides a new nuclear-powered super-carrier, one of Russia’s most ambitious military programs. The principal design work for the new carrier is being undertaken by the St. Petersburg-based Nevskoye Planning and Design bureau, Russia’s primary designer of large surface warships. Project Shtorm was shrouded in mystery for several years until an initial concept was unveiled by the Krylovsky State Research Center (KRSC) back in 2015. The new super-carrier would displace close to 100.000 tons, 330 meters long, 40 meters wide and could launch 80-90 aircraft with an EMALS system. Considering the estimated program cost of $9 billion, it seems quite unlikely that economically weakened Russia will move beyond the design stage.
The Japanese government plans to spend about $118 million on missiles for its new guided missile destroyer Maya. The Aegis-equipped Maya will be commissioned in 2020 and will receive several SM-6 missiles. SM-6 integration is part of Japan’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense initiative that will intercept missiles through the integrated use of Aegis vessels, early-warning aircraft, radars and other equipment, mainly in view of the threats posed by cruise missiles owned by China and under development by North Korea. The SM-6 is the latest variant of Raytheon’s combat proven missile system. Integrated with the Aegis BMD the missiles provide protection against anti-ship and ballistic missiles.
Watch: German Navy frigate cruises off the US coast
Sep 03, 2018 05:00 UTC
The US Navy is moving ahead with its planned acquisition of the MQ-25A UAV. Boeing is being awarded with an initial fixed-price-incentive-firm-target contract for the delivery of four unmanned aerial vehicles. The MQ-25A is a UAV tanker that is expected to reach its initial operational capability including the integration into the carrier air wing by 2024. A carrier-based UAV tanker would allow the USN to extend the range of its manned aircraft, including the F-35 Lightning II, F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler. The company will provide the design, development, fabrication and all necessary certification for the next generation aircraft. Work will be performed at multiple locations in the US, including Boeing’s facilities in St. Louis, Missouri and San Diego, California, and is scheduled for completion in August 2024.
Lockheed Martin is being awarded with a multi-million contract in support of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. The modification has a value of $250 million and defintizes the pricing for the JSF Lot 11 production. The Lot 11 production contract sees for the delivery of 141 F-35s. Flight Global estimates that the current cost per unit of the F-35A Lot 11 is about $89 million. This contract combines purchases for the Air Force ($86.3 million), Marine Corps ($44.8 million), Navy ($36.8 million) and international FMS partners ($41.2 million). Work will be performed a multiple locations inside and outside the continental US. Locations include Lockheed’s facilities in Fort Worth, Texas and El Segundo, California, as well as locations in Norway and United Kingdom.
The Navy is stocking up on spares to keep its fleet of F/A-18 Super Hornets flying. The undefinitized contractual action delivery order with a one five-year option period has a value of $128.9 million. The F/A-18 series of multirole fighters is capable of operating from airstrips and aircraft carriers. It is designed for both air-superiority and land attack missions, and can carry a variety of ordnance ranging from air-to-air missiles and precision-guided bombs to standoff munitions. Work will be performed at Boeing’s facility in St. Louis, Missouri and is scheduled to run through November, 2021.
The USS Michael Monsoor is ready to sail again. Shipbuilder Bath Iron Works recently completed the replacement of one of the massive turbines needed to power the DDG-1001. The Navy decided to replace the unit after it noticed an unusual vibration during sea trials and discovered afterward that a foreign object had damaged some of the blades. The Zumwalt class destroyers are powered by two Rolls-Royce MT30 turbines, similar to those used on Boeing 777 passenger jets.
Middle East & Africa
The armed forces of Afghanistan will continue to receive ground vehicle support as part of a US FMS. The contract modification awarded to PAE Government Systems is valued at $138.5 million. The United States has been training and equipping the Afghan military and security forces since the early days of Operation Enduring Freedom, including thousands of light utility trucks and Humvee fighting vehicles. Work will be performed in HKIA, Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of August 2022.
Israeli defense contractor Rafael is developing a new, fifth-generation version of its Spike-ER multipurpose precision-guided missile system. The 170 mm Spike ER2 will equip attack helicopters, combat vehicles, and small boats. The Spike ER2 is an upgrade of the 8-km Spike ER (Extended Range) missile. The missile also includes a new RF datalink variant to maximize the missile’s energetic range for enhanced stand-off launch from rotary platforms, enabling its 16-km range. It also contains an advanced seeker with high-resolution IR and day sensors for extended range target acquisition, and a multispectral target tracker, enabling sensory data fusion. Rafael plans to offer the Spike ER2 for the German Tiger Program.
Germany is determined to actualise its own version of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. On Wednesday, the German government agreed to create a new cybersecurity agency tasked with innovating technology for defense purposes.The agency will be headed jointly by the Defense and Interior ministries and will eventually employ 100 people. The new shop is slated to get a budget of $230 million between 2019 and 2022. The German parliament, the Bundestag, will debate the proposal in the upcoming months. Once the funding is cleared, analysts will begin their work in earnest next year.
The Taiwanese Navy plans to build brand-new fast-attack missile boats as an effort to strengthen the country’s asymmetric warfare capabilities in the face of a growing military imbalance in the Taiwan Strait. Shifting from its past heavy reliance on conventional forces, Taiwan will now focus on “quality, efficiency and precision over quantity”, an anonymous defense official told CAN. The 50-ton vessels are small, fast, agile and can be armed with anti-ship missiles, like the Hsiung Feng II. The development program has an overall value of $1.03 billion.
Watch: German paratroopers jump from an A400M
Aug 31, 2018 05:00 UTC
Raytheon is being tapped to provide the US Navy with logistics services needed to maintain the night-vision systems installed on its rotor and tilt-rotor aircraft. The five-year performance-based logistics contract amounts to $59.7 million and sustains the availability of the Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) systems installed on the CH-53 and V-22. The US Marine Corps currently has 165 CH-53 Super Stallions in service. The helicopter is equipped with the lightweight, high performance AN/AAQ-29A FLIR on a 12 inch turret. The FLIR pod helps helicopter pilots with low-level navigation to high altitude long-range targeting. The V-22 Osprey has a nose-mounted AN/AAQ-27 FLIR that provides navigation and target recognition capabilities in darkness and low-visibility conditions. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s facilities in McKinney, Texas; El Segundo, California and in Jackson, Florida.
The US Army is spending $491 million on generators. The firm-fixed-price contract awarded to Cummins Power Generation provides for the production of several Advanced Medium Mobile Power Sources (AAMPS). AAMPS has been developed under the Army’s Advanced State of the Art Power Components Program, which was devised to sustain a reliable electrical power availability on the battlefield. The current family of AMMPS consists of five versions: the 5 kW, 10kW, 15kW, 30kW, 60kW generators. In Afghanistan this new generation of generators saves about 300,000 gallons of fuel each month. The Army needs a reliable power network to control its tanks, aircraft and battle formations which heavily relies on electrical powered communication technologies. The contract is set to run until August 2022.
L-3 Communications will produce a number of Electro-Optic/Infrared/Laser Designator payloads for the US Army’s RQ-7Bv2 Shadow UASs. The firm-fixed-price contract is valued at $454 million and is expected to be completed by August, 2023. The Shadow v2 is the latest model of the Shadow series. It is an all-digital system, optimized for new multi-mission, single-sortie profiles and manned/unmanned teaming. The UAS has a wingspan of 20ft, and can provide a 9 hour coverage at altitudes of up to 18.000ft. L-3s payload will provide near-real-time reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition, as well as intelligence and battle damage assessment capabilities.
Aviall Services, a subsidiary of Boeing will provide the US and Australian Navies with essential components for the P-8A Poseidon. The $23.7 million firm-fixed-price contract procures six quick engine change & engine build up components. The engine’s used on the P-8 are designed so that the whole assembly can be removed from and replaced in the vehicle as a unit. Under the Quick Engine Change concept, if a unit requires a major engine job, the power plant can be removed and another one quickly installed. The Poseidon is powered by a CFM56-7B27AE engine is produced by CFM International belongs to the family of high-bypass turbofan aircraft engines. Work will be performed at the company’s facilities in Everett, Washington and Dallas, Texas. The US Navy and Australia will pay $15.8 and $7.9 million respectively. The contract expected to be completed in May 2020.
Middle East & Africa
The United Arab Emirates will receive a number of sensors, designators and processors for its AH-64E Apache helicopters as part of a US Foreign Military Sale. Lockheed Martin will produce modernized day sensor assembly (M-DSA) kits, laser range finder designators, and flight code processors at a cost of $44.8 million. The M-DSA, also known as Arrowhead, is an electro-optical and fire control system that the Apache helicopter pilots use for combat targeting of their Hellfire missiles and other weapons, as well as flying in day, night, or bad weather missions. Tin 2010, the UAE bought a total of 60 Apaches in a $5 billion deal. Work will be performed at the contractor’s location in Orlando, Florida and is scheduled for completion by the end of April, 2022.
Reuters reports, that Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched two Zelzal-1 missiles towards Saudi Arabia. The Zelzal-1 is part of Iran’s short-range missile systems. It is a solid-fuel heavy artillery rocket, that carries a 300 lb. warhead to a range of up to 100 miles. Saudi Arabia is leading a western-backed alliance of Sunni Muslim Arab states trying to restore the internationally recognized government of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, ousted from the capital Sanaa by the Iran-aligned Houthis in 2015.
One Hellenic Air Force pilot was killed when his T-2 Buckeye aircraft crashed during a routine training flight. The T-2 was once the Navy’s primary early flight training and carrier indoctrination aircraft. Every jet-qualified Naval Aviator and virtually every Naval Flight Officer from the late 1950s until 2004 received training in the T-2 Buckeye, a length of service spanning four decades. Greece bought a total of 40 T-2s. A statement by the Greek Air Force said the aircraft crashed due to mechanic failure 2 nautical miles south of the airport in Kalamata. The co-pilot survived by parachuting to safety. In the US, the Buckeye was replaced by the T-45 Goshawk.
Jane’s reports that the French SF 1/67 Pyrénées Helicopter Squadron is currently training with a new 20mm cannon installed on its multi-mission Caracal helicopters. The Caracal is a special variant of Eurocopter’s EC725 Cougar, specifically designed for or Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions. Typically they are equipped with MAG 58 machine guns, which limit the helicopter’s in-air refueling capability. Nexter’s SH-20 retractable door mounting is built around the M621 cannon, and is designed to provide the Caracal with an air-to-ground fire-support capability. The unit expects to reach an operational capability in the coming weeks.
China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) will soon receive the last batch of ten Sukhoi Su-35S from Russia. The Su-35s is Russia’s most advanced fighter aircraft, which can compete with America’s upgraded ‘teen series’, the JAS-39, the Rafale and the Eurofighter. The per-unit cost of the fighter jet, is estimated to be about $85 million. The Diplomat notes, that Russia was initially reluctant to sell the fighter jets to China as it feared Chinese reverse engineering the plane’s powerful thrust-vectoring engine. In 2015, China became the first international customer of the Su-35S when it ordered 24 jets for a total of $2.5 billion.
Watch: When you should expect the Air Force to announce its next trainer aircraft
Aug 30, 2018 05:00 UTC
Phoenix International Holdings is being tapped to provide the US Navy with the continued maintenance and operation of its Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS). The awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee modification has a value of $29.9 million and ensures that the rescue systems are maintained in a high state of readiness so that they can be rapidly deployed on a 24/7 basis. The SRDRS is a tethered, remotely-operated vehicle that is placed into the water and attaches to the disabled submarine’s hatch. It can be transported via sea, air and land, and doesn’t need a mother submarine or dedicated surface support ship, making it more more mobile than its predecessor. The system includes an air transportable rapid assessment/underwater work system, a decompression chamber system and a pressurized rescue module. The SRDRS was first delivered to the US Navy in 2008. Work will be performed at the contractor’s location in San Diego, California and will run through August 2019.
Jane’s reports that the US Navy plans to fast-track the integration of a new gun system onto the MH-60S. The MH-60S entered service in 2002 as a replacement for the US Navy’s Boeing CH-46D Sea Knight. Its roles encompass troop transport, search and rescue, and other standard roles. However their weapons package either includes the GAU-17 M134 Minigun or the GAU-21 .50 calibre heavy machine gun limiting the helicopter to either perform SAR or SUW missions. The new externally mounted gun system (EMGS) will bridge this gap, essentially making the MH-60S capable to simultaneously perform defensive air patrols while maintaining its SAR capability. Five n-flight live trials are planned for later this year.
The USS Abraham Lincoln is currently hosting several F-35Cs from the Strike Fighter Squadron 125. The pilots and aircraft are currently conducting their Operational Test-1 (OT-1) phase, which evaluates if the JSF is ready to operate within a carrier air wing. The C-variant of the JSF is the most expensive one and features 30% more wing area, larger tails and control areas and wingtip ailerons. Its structure is strengthened so that it can withstand hundreds of launch and recovery rounds. The F-35C is expected to be the US Navy’s high-end fighter, as well as its high-end strike aircraft. OT-1 helps give the Navy an assessment of how the aircraft would perform on deployment. Rear Adm. Dale Horan, director, Joint Strike Fighter Fleet Integration Office is asking, “Can we maintain it? Can we get the parts? Can we get it airborne? Can we repair it if it has a problem? ” Those are the kinds of things the Navy will have to figure out in the coming days and weeks.
Middle East & Africa
Qatar is currently in the process of building a new airbase. A senior Qatari Amiri Air Force official said that the new Tamim Airbase will host the country’s new Rafale, F-15s and Typhoons. Since 2014 the country’s airforce underwent a major modernization and overhaul process including the introduction of modern technology, upgraded airfields, the first class of female fighter pilots and the acquisition of new jets. Qatar has purchased a total of 35 F-15QAs at a cost of $12 billion, 24 Rafale jets for $7.8 billion and 24 Typhoons for $6.7 billion. In the coming years the Qatar Air Force will grow its fleet to a total of 96 aircraft, which is a significant leap from its current of 12 Mirage-2000s.
Defense News reports, that the US Air Force may soon deploy some of its MQ-9 Reapers to Romania’s 71st Air Base at Campia Turzii. According to a Air Force document the service is building a new $950 million hangar that will be able to house medium-altitude, long-endurance drones. The UAV in its ISR configuration will likely conduct support intelligence-gathering operations around eastern Europe and the Black Sea. The upcoming deployment of the Reapers will help the US to generate a real-time picture of Russian activities in the Black Sea. The UAVs will assist in monitoring what ships are moving in and out and can provide early warning of hostile activities.
The Czech Republic is set to boost its inventory with 62 Titus armored vehicles. The Titus is the result of a cooperation between Tatra Trucks and Nexter Systems. The Titus looks quite similar to other MRAP models with the engine at the front, the crew compartment in the middle and the troop’s area at the rear. The vehicle is highly adaptable and can be outfitted with any kind of RWS from 7.62mm to 20mm, and 40mm grenade launcher. Its 500hp engine powers it to a maximum speed of 64 mph and to ranges of up to 434 miles. According to a company press release, there is a number of versions of the vehicle available, ranging from a classic IFV through a mobile command post, armoured ambulance to communications, maintenance and evacuation vehicles. For police purposes, there are a number of modules, which can be used to quickly prepare a vehicle to fulfil specific roles, such as the SWAT module, the WCT module (Water Cannon Tank) or the riot control module. The deal has a total value of $303.1 million, with delivers expected for the years 2020-2025.
The UK Royal Marines are currently embarking their new Commando Merlin HC4 helicopters on HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of the carrier’s four-month ‘Westlant 18’ deployment. In the upcoming months the helicopters will be provide a SAR capability in support of F-35B trials. The UK is currently in the process of upgrading a total of 55 helicopters at cost of $3 billion. Of which, 25 AW101s are refurbished to the Merlin HC4 configuration, which includes cockpit modernizations and minor redesigns, plus standard naval changes like a folding rotor head, strengthened landing gear, deck lashing points, and a fast roping point for the Royal Marines.
Russian daily newpaper Kommersant claims, that Algeria has voiced its intent to purchase 14 MiG-29M fighter jets. The new planes are set to replace the country’s Soviet-era MiG-29s. Over the last decade the Algerian Air Force was an avid costumer of Russian equipment. So far it bought 44 Su-30MKAs, 14 Mi-26T2s helicopters, 16 Yak-130 trainers and 42 Mi-28NE combat helicopters. The MiG-29 Fulcrum is a single-seat, highly maneuverable fighter aircraft designed to engage airborne targets such as aircraft, UAVs and cruise missiles and was designed as Soviet counterpart to US F-15s and F/A-18s. The upgraded M-version features a longer range, an in-flight refueling system, state-of-the-art equipment, redundant fly-by-ware system for improved safety and reliability, and higher weapon load. The potential deal has a value of $700-800 million.
Watch: The Harrier – RAF’s Top Warplanes
Aug 29, 2018 05:00 UTC
Leidos is set to support the US Army’s Saturn Arch program. The company is being awarded with a $26.8 million contract modification that provides for a Quick Reaction Capability (QRC) Aircraft. Saturn Arch is the Army’s answer to an ever evolving threat posed by IED’s. It essentially is an effort to implement ISR capabilities to a special aircraft fitted with state of the art sensor technology to identify and assist in removing explosives from the battlefield. Aircraft used under Saturn Arch often include Bombardier Dash-8 planes that are outfitted with radar, imagers, and signal intelligence capabilities. Work will be at the company’s facility in Bridgewater, Virginia and is scheduled for completion in September 2019.
Raytheon is being contracted by the US Navy for work on the MQ-4C Triton UAS. The cost-reimbursable job order is valued at $9.3 million and allows for the production and fleet integration of the Triton multi-spectral targeting system (MTS). The MTS is a turreted EO/IR sensor used in maritime and overland ISR missions. According to a DoD notice, the sensor system will augment existing sensors that will enhance navigation as well as CSR, observation and interception missions. The system also provides long-range surveillance, target acquisition, tracking, range finding and laser designation for the Griffin and Paveway missiles and other forms of munitions. The Triton will have a minimum mission radius of 3,000 nautical miles, with a 10 hour time to on-station at 2,000 nmi mission radius, and autonomous flight through moderate icing or turbulence. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s facility in McKinney, Texas, and is expected to be completed by August 2020.
PeopleTec is being awarded with a $33.6 million contract for engineering and support efforts by the Missile Defense Agency. The contract has a two-year base value o $9 million and covers advisory and assistance services for international programs in the Ballistic Missile Defense System. These services also cover BMDS development, test, operations, infrastructure and acquisitions. Work will be carried out at multiple locations including the company’s location in Huntsville, Alabama and in Tel Aviv, Israel. Israel currently fields the Arrow-3 missile defense system that is a collaboration project between Boeing and IAI. The contract is set to run through September 2023.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that the country is moving ahead with the purchase of advanced ground-to-ground missiles that can reach ‘anywhere in the Middle-East’. The project was announced by Defense minister Avigdor Lieberman back in February and included an initial budget of $500 million to set up a new unit within the IDF’s ground forces. The new missile system will fill an operational gap that cannot be bridged by the US-made MLRS. The project could cost up to $2 billion, spread out over a decade, depending on the number of missiles the Israeli military will acquire. The focus on developing new ground-to-ground capabilities stems from an ever increasing threat to Israeli aircraft by advanced air-defense systems deployed in Syria and elsewhere.
It seems that Turkey will be banned from purchasing the F-35s for the foreseeable future. The latest bill was put forward by Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen and prohibits the transfer of the fighter jets to Turkey as long as it cannot be guaranteed that the country will not be purchasing the S-400 air-defense system from Russia. As Jane’s notes, US defense officials are concerned that Turkey operating the S-400 in the vicinity of the F-35 would compromise the aircraft’s security, including its stealth capabilities, and represent a strategic threat to the United States. Turkey is a Tier 3 partner in the JSF program and initially planned to order about 100 F-35As as replacement for its 240-plane F-16 fleet. The overall program is expected to cost around $16 billion. Currently it is uncertain if the Van Hollen’s amendment will become law.
The Romanian government is moving ahead with its planned acquisition of anti-ship missiles that are to be deployed to the country’s Black Sea coast. Potential bidders include Boeing, MBDA, Kongsberg and Saab, which are offering the Harpoon, Exocet MM40, the NSM and RBS-15 Mk3 respectively. The sub-sonic, sea-skimming GM-84 Harpoon is the standard anti-shipping missile used by the US Navy, and its variants are in service with 27 navies around the world. The MM40 missile is an upgraded version of the MM38 that began development in 1976, it has an inertial navigation system, an active radar seeker, and is equipped with a high explosive fragmentation warhead. The stealth-enhanced NSM aims to be a germination beyond the Harpoon, an air-launched version is being developed for the F-35. RBS-15 fire-and-forget missiles have a longer reach and heavier punch than counterparts like the Harpoon. The contract has a value of $159 million and is scheduled to be financed in the years 2018-2023.
European NATO members are currently stockpiling air-to-ground precision guided munitions with the help of the US. The project is being run by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) and will reduce dependence on the US in the case of prolonged air-operations. The initial order of $20 million JDAM and Paveway kits are part of a larger US FMS worth about $231 million. During the 2011 intervention in Libya several countries ran out of munitions and found it difficult to use those of other air forces.
The Australian Ministry of Defense is confirming that it will arm its Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles with the Spike LR2. The country is procuring a total of 211 Rheinmetall Boxers under its Land 400 Phase 2 program. The Spike LR2 is produced by Israeli defense contractor Rafael and is the latest member of the multi-purpose missile family. The missile has the capability to destroy a number of different targets including MBTs with reactive armor and fortified structures. The LR2 is equipped with a passive and uncooled multi-band seeker that integrates both thermal and HD imagery and includes a smart target tracker with AI features, allowing the missile to track and target automatically.
Watch: PAF JF-17 performs at Radom airshow
Aug 28, 2018 05:00 UTC
The US Air Force plans to integrate a new IRST system on its fleet of F-15C aircraft. Boeing will provide the Air Force with engineering, manufacturing, and development efforts of the F-15 Legion Pod. The contract has a value of $208.2 million and will run through November 2020. The Legion Pod is being developed in conjunction with Lockheed Martin. The pod features Lockheed’s IRST21 infrared sensor and advanced data processing capabilities. This multi-function sensor system has been designed to provide long-range detection and tracking of airborne threats in radar-denied environments. The common interface of the Legion pod allows it to be easily integrated onto any aircraft without affecting the aircraft’s operational flight programme. Work will bet performed at Boeing’s facilities on St. Louis, Missouri and Orlando, Florida.
The Navy is stocking up on spares for its Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile. Raytheon is receiving a firm-fixed-price contract that provides for the provision of ESSM Block I life-of-type-buy and assembly-level spares at a cost of $25.1 million. The RIM-162 is used to protect ships from attacking missiles and aircraft, and is designed to counter supersonic maneuvering anti-ship missiles. The ESSM Block I is a semi-active radar homing missile that depends on reflected radiation from the ship’s radar to see its target. Work will be performed at multiple locations inside and outside the US, including Andover, Massachusetts; Hengelo OV, Netherlands and Richmond, Australia. Work is scheduled for completion by June 2021.
The US Army is modernizing its stockpiles of Javelin missiles. Raytheon and Lockheed Martin will conduct a holistic engineering development to modernise the Javelin Weapon System under this $14.3 million contract modification. The FGM-148 Javelin is a man-portable anti-tank missile used to destroy moving vehicles, fixed fortifications, troops in the open and low-flying helicopters. It can be used for direct fire or in a pop-up mode that allows it to hit tanks from above to take advantage of their thinner top armor. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona and is expected to be completed by September, 2020.
The US Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) has achieved a milestone in its Miniature Air-Launched Decoy X (MALD-X) development. MALD-X decoys are mini-cruise missiles, which are used to distract and deceive an enemy air defense system so that a real strike package can succeed and survive. The ‘stealth in reverse’ decoys fly long distances along pre-planned flight patterns, carrying radar reflectors that simulate the radar return of fighter or bomber aircraft. MALD-X enhances the modular nature of the mini cruise missile with the ability to accommodate different electronic warfare payloads that are more advanced than those found on its predecessors. A series of flight demonstrations were recently held at Naval Air Warfare Center Point Mugu, with additional tests to take place next year. Raytheon was awarded $34.8 million by the USAF to develop a new version in 2016.
Jane’s reports, that the Brazilian Navy’s newest ship is dropping anchor in Rio de Janeiro. The PHM Atlantico was bought from the UK Royal Navy earlier this year as part of Brazil’s ‘Obtaining Full Operational Capability’ program. The deal has an estimated value of $108.7 million. While sailing for the UK the ship had the name HMS Ocean. The ship has a 22.500 t displacement and offers pace for a crew of 255, an aircrew of 206, and 480 marines. The vessel’s primary role is as an amphibious support vessel. Secondary ship roles include training, a limited anti-submarine warfare role, humanitarian assistance, and acting as a base for anti-terrorist operations.
Middle East & Africa
Russian media reports that the east African nation of Burundi is considering purchasing the Pantsir-S1 air-defense system. The system is produced by Russia’s KBP and features a fire-control radar and electro-optical sensor, two 30-mm cannons and up to 12 57E6 radio-command guided short-range missiles. It is designed to protect vital small-size and big military areas, industrial targets and land forces units and reinforced the air defense units responsible for the protection of troops and military installations against precision-guided air attack from low and extreme low altitudes. The Burundi National Defense Force has currently a variety of air-defense weapons in its inventory, ranging from SA-7B Grail MANPADS to M-1939 anti-aircraft guns.
Swedish defense manufacturer Saab confirms that Lithuania is upgrading its RBS-70 MANPADS. The company is being awarded with two contracts providing for the delivery of improved missiles and BORC night-capability sights. The two orders have a value of $10.9 million. The RBS 70 missile can be operated independently in stand-alone mode or can be configured with several firing units linked with a surveillance radar to form an anti-aircraft battery. Unlike competitors such as Raytheon’s FIM-92 Stinger, MBDA’s Mistral, the RBS-70 is an ‘unjammable’ laser beam-riding missile with no seeker head at the front. The BORC clip-on thermal sight allows the laser guidance beam from the day sight to pass without distortion to the missile for a jam proof accurate guidance. According to Saab, 19 nations have procured more than 1,600 RBS 70 systems, including more than 18,000 missiles.
The French Air Force is currently conducting a large-scale humanitarian relief mission in Asia. Operation Pegase, includes a fleet of three Rafale B fighter jets, an A310 transport plane and a C-135 refuelling tanker. Most recently the mission was joined by a A400M that flew 25 tons of aid from Jakarta to Lombok, the Indonesian island devastated by a series of powerful and deadly earthquakes. The airlifted ferried food supplies, two ambulances, building material, and NGO medical staff to the island just east of Bali. Operation Pegase, with its aircraft and about 100 flight crew members will now spend a couple of days in Vietnam.
Watch: RMAF’s A400Ms take off from Subang
Aug 27, 2018 05:00 UTC
The US Marine Corps’ H-1 upgrade program is set to receive another major financial boost. Bell Helicopters will manufacture and deliver 29 newly built Lot 15 AH-1Z attack helicopters at a cost of $509.7 million. The contract modification also provides for long lead material and components for an additional seven Lot 16 aircraft. The H-1 program, is the USMC’s plan to remanufacture older helicopters into new and improved UH-1Y utility and AH-1Z attack helicopters. The Viper will receive a new newly designed “Integrated Avionics System” cockpit, including a Thales’ TopOwl helmet-mounted display system and the AN/AAQ-30 FLIR system. Work will be performed at Bell’s facilities in Fort Worth, Texas and Amarillo, Texas, and is scheduled for completion in February 2021.
The Navy is contracting Technical Systems Integration for the provision of necessary overhaul and modification work on the USMC’s Mk-105 minesweeping system. The firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract has a value of $10.5 million, but also includes options, which if exercises, would bring the face value to roughly $54 million. The Mk-105 Magnetic Influence Minesweeping System is a catamaran hydrofoil which is towed behind the MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter. It is used to detect mines that use magnetic sensors to target the metallic hulls of ships before detonating. The twin magnetic tails, consisting of open-electrode magnetic sweeps, are towed behind the sled, detonating mines to clear the water for safe shipping. Work will be performed in Panama City, Florida, and is expected to be completed by August 2019.
Raytheon is being tapped to progress with the re-certification of the Navy’s Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles. The cost plus-fixed-fee delivery order is valued at $9.3 million and provides validation and verification and cost risk analysis. The key to the next set of Tomahawk improvements is actually a warranty. The missile has a 15-year warranty and a 30-year service life, the re-certification process will keep the Tomahawk cruise missile flying through 2040. To keep the missiles up-to-date, Raytheon will add a newly developed ability to strike targets at sea. Work will be performed at multiple locations inside the continental US, including Walled Lake, Michigan; Tempe, Arizona and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The contract is expected to be completed in August 2019.
Middle East & Africa
The Israel Defense Force will receive new thermal weapon sights for its M-16 and M-4 rifles as part of a US Foreign Military Sales. FLIR Systems will deliver a number of Milsight T75 long-range thermal weapon sights, materials and training at a cost of $14 million. The ThermoSight T75 weapon sight that doubles as a portable reconnaissance scope, is designed to interface with scopes such as the Trijicon ACOG for the M-4, M-16, and similar weapons. The sight is compatible with any 1913 Mil-Std Rail System. It has three zoom capabilities, 1X, 2X, and 4X, for long range ID and engagement. It can be clipped-on to day-sight/RCO or use as stand-alone thermal sight for mission flexibility and works with all combat optics and rapidly adaptable to various weapon platforms. Work will bet performed at the company’s facility in North Billerica, Massachusetts. The sights are expected to be ready for delivery by end of December 2019.
The government of France is increasing its remote strike and surveillance capabilities. The European nation is ordering an unspecified number of MQ-9 UAVs from General Atomics. The firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract has a value of $123 million and involves foreign military sales to the government. France introduced the Reaper in 2013, when it requested the purchase of 16 MQ-9 aircraft and associated equipment at a cost of $1.5 billion. The drone s designed primarily for attack missions but can also be used for surveillance, close air support and reconnaissance. The MQ-9 has a a high cruise speed, a flight ceiling up to 40,000 feet and can carry a larger sensor and weapons payload than its predecessors. The Reapers can be armed with laser-guided missiles and bombs like the Hellfire and GBU-12 Paveway, as well as GPS-guided GBU-38 JDAMs. Work will be performed at GA’s facility in Poway, California and is expected to be completed on May 1st, 2020.
The French Air Force is finishing its deployment to Estonia, and will be replaced by the German Luftwaffe. From now on, four German Eurofighter Typhoons will take on the NATO air policing duties. There are currently NATO air and land forces from the Netherlands, Spain, the US, the UK deployed in the northeastern Estonian town of Tapa. They are part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission. Germany bought a total of 140 Eurofighters, equipped with IRIS-T short-range air-to-air missiles, Meteor long-range air-to-air missiles and a Captor radar.
The Indian Ministry of Defense clears a major defense acquisition with a total value of $6.5 billion. The biggest chunk of the procurement will be the purchase of 111 naval utility helicopters. They will be built by an Indian company at a cost of $3.1 billion. $3.4 billion are earmarked for a variety of missiles and 150 Indian-made 155mm artillery gun systems. The Indian Navy will also replace its 12 outdated Seaking multi-role helicopters with 24 US-made MH-60Rs. This deal is expected to be worth about $1.8 billion. The MoD will further procure total of 14 Vertically Launched Short Range Missile Systems which will increase the capability of warships to shoot down and destroy incoming anti-ship missiles.
Watch: A Jordanian fighter pilot was killed in a helicopter crash in Texas