May 15, 2020 04:58 UTC
Sikorsky Aircraft won an $9 million contract modification
, which provides support for the integration and transition of Windows 10 and Server 16 into various VH-92A
training devices. The Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin VH-92 will replace the US Marine Corps VH-3D and VH-60N helicopters that transport the US president, while operating under the name of Marine One. The VH-92 presidential helicopter has an executive interior and military mission support avionics, including triple electrical power and redundant cockpit flight controls. The Navy awarded a $542 million order to Sikorsky last June for six Lot I VH-92A presidential helicopters. Sikorsky will begin deliveries of the first six VH-92A helicopters in 2021. Work will take place Quantico, Virginia and its expected to be finished by October 2022.
In January 2005, the U.S. Navy selected the US101 as the new “Marine One” baseline helicopter, for use by the President of the United States. The US101 is an American variant of AgustaWestland’s successful AW101 multi-mission medium helicopter; it beat out Sikorsky’s S-92 Superhawk, which is already in use as a government VIP transport in countries like South Korea.
That $1.7 billion victory was first endangered, and then destroyed, by ongoing changes from the White House staff. In 2008, the program’s ballooning costs and requirements got a temporary reprieve when US Navy agreed to proceed with the VH-71, despite a cost per aircraft equal or greater than the President’s Air Force One 747s. By June 2009, however, the VH-71 program had shot itself down.
Another round of competition is on the way, and back in 2009 the Pentagon said it was considering buying 2 different helicopters in the VXX follow-on program. Faced with an initial Analysis of Alternatives deemed too expensive, the OSD accepted the Navy’s revised approach in May 2012, setting things in motion for a new program of record.
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May 15, 2020 04:56 UTC
According to a statement
by the navy, aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford
completed readiness projects to board 1,000 personnel for an upcoming assignment, which will include integrating with a carrier air wing and carrier strike group. The ship underwent required maintenance and new construction tasks in its "window of opportunity" in Norfolk, Virginia, to prepare it for an at-sea period, Independent Steaming Event, or ISE, 10. The action will involve personnel and aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 8 and Carrier Strike Group 12, meaning that more fixed-wing and rotary aircraft will be aboard the ship than usual.
USA’s Nimitz Class &
UK’s Invincible Class
Some nations have aircraft carriers. The USA has super-carriers. The French Charles De Gaulle Class nuclear carriers displace about 43,000t. India’s new Vikramaditya/ Admiral Gorshkov Class will have a similar displacement. The future British CVF Queen Elizabeth Class and related French PA2 Project are expected to displace about 65,000t, while the British Invincible Class carriers that participated in the Falklands War weigh in at just 22,000t. Invincible actually compares well to Italy’s excellent new Cavour Class (27,000t), and Spain’s Principe de Asturias Class (17,000t). The USA’s Nimitz Class and CVN-21 Gerald R. Ford Class, in contrast, fall in the 90,000+ tonne range. Hence their unofficial designation: “super-carriers”. Just one of these ships packs a more potent air force than many nations.
Nimitz Class cutaway
As the successor to the 102,000 ton Nimitz Class super-carriers, the CVN-21 program aimed to increase aircraft sortie generation rates by 20%, increase survivability to better handle future threats, require fewer sailors, and have depot maintenance requirements that could support an increase of up to 25% in operational availability. The combination of a new design nuclear propulsion plant and an improved electric plant are expected to provide 2-3 times the electrical generation capacity of previous carriers, which in turn enables systems like an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System (EMALS, replacing steam-driven catapults), Advanced Arresting Gear, and integrated combat electronics that will leverage advances in open systems architecture. Other CVN-21 features include an enhanced flight deck, improved weapons handling and aircraft servicing efficiency, and a flexible island arrangement allowing for future technology insertion. This graphic points out many of the key improvements.
DID’s CVN-21 FOCUS Article offers a detailed look at a number of the program’s key innovations, as well as a list of relevant contract awards and events.
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May 14, 2020 04:54 UTC
The Idaho Air National Guard’s 190th Fighter Squadron deployed
to the Middle East on May 11. The personnel left on that day and the A-10s
departed one day later. More than 400 members of the 124th Fighter Wing, based at Gowen Field, will continue to deploy throughout the spring and summer in support of Operations FREEDOM’S SENTINEL, INHERENT RESOLVE and NEW NORMAL. The deployment is the wing’s second largest deployment and includes multiple aircraft, pilots, security forces, maintenance and medical personnel, and various other support staff.
A-10A over Germany
The Precision Engagement modification is the largest single upgrade effort ever undertaken for the USA’s unique A-10 “Warthog” close air support aircraft fleet. While existing A/OA-10 aircraft continue to outperform technology-packed rivals on the battlefield, this set of upgrades is expected to make them more flexible, and help keep the aircraft current until the fleet’s planned phase-out in 2028. When complete, A-10C PE will give USAF A-10s precision strike capability sooner than planned, combining multiple upgrades into 1 time and money-saving program, rather than executing them as standalone projects. Indeed, the USAF accelerated the PE program by 9 months as a result of its experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
This is DID’s FOCUS Article for the PE program, and for other modifications to the A-10 fleet. It covers the A-10’s battlefield performance and advantages, the elements of the PE program, other planned modifications, related refurbishment efforts to keep the fleet in the air, and the contracts that have been issued each step of the way.
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May 06, 2020 04:58 UTC
General Dynamics Electric Boat won a $60.6 million contract
to provide US Trident II
Strategic Weapon System (SWS) ship alterations and United Kingdom SWS ship alterations for Strategic Systems Program shipboard integration installations. The Trident missile is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) equipped with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV). Originally developed by Lockheed Missiles and Space Corporation, the missile is armed with thermonuclear warheads and is launched from nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). Trident missiles are carried by fourteen United States Navy Ohio-class submarines, with American warheads, as well as four Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines, with British warheads. The missile is named after the mythological trident of Neptune. Work will take place Washington, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Scotland and England. Estimated completion will be by April 2024.
Trident II D5 Test Launch
Nuclear tipped missiles were first deployed on board US submarines at the height of the Cold War in the 1960s, to deter a Soviet first strike. The deterrence theorists argued that, unlike their land-based cousins, submarine-based nuclear weapons couldn’t be taken out by a surprise first strike, because the submarines were nearly impossible to locate and target. Which meant that Soviet leaders could not hope to destroy all of America’s nuclear weapons before they could be launched against Soviet territory. SLBM/FBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile/ Fleet Ballistic Missile) offered shorter ranges and less accuracy than their land-based ICBM (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile) counterparts, but the advent of Trident C4 missiles began extending those ranges, and offering other improvements. The C4s were succeeded by larger Trident II D5 missiles, which added precision accuracy and more payload.
The year that the Trident II D5 ballistic missile was first deployed, 1990, saw the beginning of the end of the missile’s primary mission. Even as the Soviet Union began to implode, the D5’s performance improvements were making the Trident submarine force the new backbone of the USA’s nuclear deterrent – and of Britain’s as well. To ensure that this capability was maintained at peak readiness and safety, the US Navy undertook a program in 2002 to replace aging components of the Trident II D5 missile called the D5 Life Extension (LE) Program. This article covers D5 LE, as well as support and production contracts associated with the American and British Trident missile fleets.
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May 05, 2020 04:54 UTC
Lockheed Martin won a $19.5 million contract modification
for the procurement of the Korean Gun Computing System development, software, and hardware and subassemblies for installation. The modification will finalize the Korean Gun Computing System interface design specifications for the integration with the Aegis combat system
. The Aegis Combat System is an American integrated naval weapons system. The heart of the system is the AN/SPY-1, an advanced, automatic detect and track, multi-function phased-array radar. Work will take place South Korea, New Jersey and Florida. Expected completion will be by July 2026.
The AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense System seamlessly integrates the SPY-1 radar, the MK 41 Vertical Launching System for missiles, the SM-3 Standard missile, and the ship’s command and control system, in order to give ships the ability to defend against enemy ballistic missiles. Like its less-capable AEGIS counterpart, AEGIS BMD can also work with other radars on land and sea via Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC). That lets it receive cues from other platforms and provide information to them, in order to create a more detailed battle picture than any one radar could produce alone.
AEGIS has become a widely-deployed top-tier air defense system, with customers in the USA, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Norway, and Spain. In a dawning age of rogue states and proliferation of mass-destruction weapons, the US Navy is being pushed toward a “shield of the nation” role as the USA’s most flexible and most numerous option for missile defense. AEGIS BMD modifications are the keystone of that effort – in the USA, and beyond.
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May 04, 2020 04:58 UTC
Lockheed Martin won a $6.1 billion contract
for incidental services, hardware, facilities, equipment and all technical, planning, management, manufacturing and testing efforts to produce Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target (PATRIOT)
Advanced Capability-3 missiles, missile segment enhancement configuration and associated ground support equipment and spares. The PATRIOTs in question, commonly known as "PATRIOT PAC-3," comprise only the missile portion of the PATRIOT air defense system. Lockheed peer Raytheon produces the missile's launcher system and its radar tracker. In addition to the US military, nine allied nations, including Bahrain, Germany, Japan, Korea, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Sweden, and the United Arab Emirates have signed agreements to procure PAC-3 MSE interceptors from Lockheed. Work will take place in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Massachusetts, Texas and Pennsylvania. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2027.
The USA’s MIM-104 Phased Array Tracking Radar Intercept On Target (PATRIOT) anti-air missile system offers an advanced backbone for medium-range air defense, and short-range ballistic missile defense, to America and its allies. This article covers domestic and foreign purchase requests and contracts for Patriot systems. It also compiles information about the engineering service contracts that upgrade these systems, ensure that they continue to work, and integrate them with wider command and defense systems.
The Patriot missile franchise’s future appears assured. At present, 12 nations have chosen it as a key component of their air and missile defense systems: the USA, Germany, Greece, Japan, Israel, Kuwait, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and the UAE. Poland, Qatar, and Turkey have all indicated varying levels of interest, and some existing customers are looking to upgrade their systems.
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May 04, 2020 04:50 UTC
The DoS also approved
a Foreign Military Sale to the Philippines of six AH-1Z
attack helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $450 million. The AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine attack helicopter that is smaller than the Apache and a lower payload capacity. The Philippines armed forces would incorporate the proposed attack helicopters for use in counterterrorism and critical infrastructure protection missions. The United States has supported the Philippines in counterterrorism in recent years, including with logistical and intelligence support. Both proposed sales “will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South-East Asia,” the DSCA noted in its releases.
UH-1Y and AH-1Z
by Neville Dawson
The US Marines’ helicopter force is aging at all levels, from banana-shaped CH-46 Sea Knight transports that are far older than their pilots, to the 1980s-era UH-1N Hueys and AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters that make up the Corps’ helicopter assault force. While the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey program has staggered along for almost 2 decades under accidents, technical delays, and cost issues, replacement of the USMC’s backbone helicopter assets has languished. Given the high-demand scenarios inherent in the current war, other efforts are clearly required.
Enter the H-1 program, the USMC’s plan to remanufacture older helicopters into new and improved UH-1Y utility and AH-1Z attack helicopters. The new versions would discard the signature 2-bladed rotors for modern 4-bladed improvements, redo the aircraft’s electronics, and add improved engines and weapons to offer a new level of performance. It seemed simple, but hasn’t quite worked out that way. The H-1 program has encountered its share of delays and issues, but the program survived its review, and continued on into production and deployment.
DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. This article covers the H-1 helicopter programs’ rationales and changes, the upgrades involved in each model, program developments and annual budgets, the full timeline of contracts and key program developments, and related research sources.
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May 01, 2020 04:58 UTC
Physical Optics won a $17.8 million order
, which provides non-recurring engineering for the production, test, integration and delivery of the T-45
Head-Up Display (HUD) and its associated internal software. The T-45A/C Goshawk is the US Navy’s two-seat advanced jet trainer. The aircraft is jointly manufactured by Boeing and BAE Systems. The T-45A was selected to meet the US Navy requirement for an undergraduate jet pilot trainer to replace the TA-4J Skyhawk and T-2C Buckeye. The TA-4J was retired in 2003 and the T-2C in August 2008. Work will take place in Torrance, California. Estimated completion date is in April 2022.
Do you feel lucky…?
The T-45 Training System includes T-45 Goshawk aircraft, advanced flight simulators, computer-assisted instructional programs, a computerized training integration system, and a contractor logistics support package. The integration of all 5 elements is designed to produce a superior pilot in less time and at lower cost than previous training systems.
The US Navy uses the Hawk-based T-45TS system to train its pilots for the transition from T-6A Texan II/ JPATS aircraft to modern jet fighters – and carrier landings. This is not a risk-free assignment, by any means. Nevertheless, it is a critical link in the naval aviation chain. This DID FOCUS article covers the T-45TS, and associated contracts to buy and maintain these systems, from 2006 to the end of FY 2014.
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Apr 30, 2020 04:56 UTC
Next » Latest updates[?]:
Boeing won a $9.7 million contract modification
provides engineering, manufacturing and development support to integrate BRR3.1 software to the Next Generation Jammer on Boeing EA-18G Growler
carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft, resulting in BRR3.1 software initial operating capability. EA-18G Growler is an airborne electronic attack (AEA) aircraft, which operates from either an aircraft carrier or from land-bases. The Growler was developed as a replacement for the United States Navy EA-6B Prowler aircraft that entered service in 1971 and is approaching the end of operational life. Work will take place in St. Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be complete by December 2020.
EA-18G at Pax
The USA’s electronic attack fighters are a unique, overworked, and nearly obsolete capability. With the retirement of the US Air Force’s long-range EF-111 Raven “Spark ‘Vark,” the aging 4-seat EA-6B Prowlers became the USA’s only remaining fighter for radar jamming, communications jamming and information operations like signals interception . Despite their age and performance limits, they’ve been predictably busy on the front lines, used for everything from escorting strike aircraft against heavily defended targets, to disrupting enemy IED land mine attacks by jamming all radio signals in an area.
All airframes have lifespan limits, however, and the EA-6B is no exception. The USA’s new electronic warfare aircraft will be based on Boeing’s 2-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet multi-role fighter, and has 90% commonality with its counterpart. That will give it decent self-defense capabilities, as well as electronic attack potential. At present, however, the EA-18G is slated to be the only dedicated electronic warfare aircraft in the USA’s future force.
DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. This article describes the EA-18G aircraft and its key systems, outlining the program, and keeping track of ongoing developments, contracts, etc. that affect the program.
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