Dec 17, 2018 04:54 UTC
Boeing is being contracted to support Kuwait's fleet of F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft. The Foreign Military Sales contract
is priced at $92.3 million and exercises Phase 1 integrated logistics support for 22 F/A-18E and 6 F/A-18F planes. Kuwait purchased these aircraft in a $1.5 billion deal in June this year. The F/A-18E Super Hornet is the single-seat variant and the F/A-18F Super Hornet
is the two tandem-seat variant. They are larger and more advanced derivatives of the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C/D Hornet. Work will be performed at multiple locations including St. Louis, Missouri; Fort Walton Beach, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; China Lake, California; Patuxent River, Maryland and Gulf Port, Mississippi. The contract will run through December 2020.
The US Navy flies the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet fighters, and has begun operating the EA-18G Growler electronic warfare & strike aircraft. Many of these buys have been managed out of common multi-year procurement (MYP) contracts, which aim to reduce overall costs by offering longer-term production commitments, so contractors can negotiate better deals with their suppliers.
The MYP-II contract ran from 2005-2009, and was not renewed because the Pentagon intended to focus on the F-35 fighter program. When it became clear that the F-35 program was going to be late, and had serious program and budgetary issues, pressure built to abandon year-by-year contracting, and negotiate another multi-year deal for the current Super Hornet family. That deal is now final. This entry covers the program as a whole, with a focus on 2010-2015 Super Hornet family purchases. It has been updated to include all announced contracts and events connected with MYP-III, including engines and other separate “government-furnished equipment” that figures prominently in the final price.
Continue Reading… »
Dec 14, 2018 04:52 UTC
NATO Agency NAHEMA signs a NH90 Through Life Support (TLS) contract
with NHIndustries. TLS is an engineering services package supporting NH90s flown by Australia, Belgium, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and New Zealand. Activities in the package include the provision of continuing airworthiness and configuration management; remote technical assistance and support; as well as Integrated Logistic Support (ILS). The NH90
features a combination of corrosion-proofing, lower maintenance, greater troop or load capacity, and mission flexibility offered by a rear ramp, making it a popular global platform. To date, more than 540 NH90 variants are currently on order, with more than 370 helicopters already delivered to 17 Armed Forces in 13 countries.
NH90: TTH & NFH
The NH90 emerged from a requirement that created a NATO helicopter development and procurement agency in 1992 and, at almost the same time, established NH Industries (62.5% EADS Eurocopter, 32.5% AgustaWestland, and 5% Stork Fokker) to build the hardware. The NATO Frigate Helicopter was originally developed to fit between light naval helicopters like AW’s Lynx or Eurocopter’s Panther, and medium-heavy naval helicopters like the European EH101. A quick look at the NFH design showed definite possibilities as a troop transport helicopter, however, and soon the NH90 project had branched into 2 versions, with more to follow.
The nearest equivalent would be Sikorsky’s popular H-60 Seahawk/ Black Hawk family, but the NH90 includes a set of innovative features that give it some distinguishing selling points. Its combination of corrosion-proofing, lower maintenance, greater troop or load capacity, and the flexibility offered by that rear ramp have made the NH90 a popular global competitor.
As many business people discover the hard way, however, success can be almost as dangerous as failure. NH Industries has had great difficulty ramping up production fast enough to meet promised deliveries, which has left several buyers upset. Certification and acceptance have also been slow, with very few NH90s in service over a decade after the first contracts were signed. Booked orders have actually been sliding backward over the last year, and currently stand at around 500 machines, on behalf of 14 nations.
Continue Reading… »
Dec 12, 2018 04:58 UTC
Northrop Grumman is being contracted to start work on two new E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Priced at $49.8 million the firm-fixed-price modification
provides for long-lead parts procurement and associated support needed to start full rate production of the two Lot 7 surveillance planes. The E-2D
Advanced Hawkeye is an all-weather, tactical airborne early warning aircraft that is capable of deploying from an aircraft carrier. The E-2D comes with enhanced operational capabilities including the replacement of the old radar system with Lockheed Martin AN/APY9 radar, upgraded communications suite, mission computer, displays and the incorporation of an all-glass cockpit. Work will be performed at multiple locations throughout the continental US including - but not limited to - Syracuse, New York; El Segundo, California; Marlborough, Massachusetts and Indianapolis, Indiana. Work on this contract is expected to be completed by December 2023.
Northrop Grumman’s E-2C Hawkeye is a carrier-capable “mini-AWACS” aircraft, designed to give long-range warning of incoming aerial threats. Secondary roles include strike command and control, land and maritime surveillance, search and rescue, communications relay, and even civil air traffic control during emergencies. E-2C Hawkeyes began replacing previous Hawkeye versions in 1973. They fly from USN and French carriers, from land bases in the militaries of Egypt, Japan, Mexico, and Taiwan; and in a drug interdiction role for the US Naval Reserve. Over 200 Hawkeyes have been produced.
The $17.5 billion E-2D Advanced Hawkeye program aims to build 75 new aircraft with significant radar, engine, and electronics upgrades in order to deal with a world of stealthier cruise missiles, saturation attacks, and a growing need for ground surveillance as well as aerial scans. It looks a lot like the last generation E-2C Hawkeye 2000 upgrade on the outside – but inside, and even outside to some extent, it’s a whole new aircraft.
Continue Reading… »
Dec 12, 2018 04:54 UTC
The Naval Surface Warfare Center is modifying a contract with Aretè Associates. An additional $17 million will allow the company to exercise an option of an IDIQ contract
that sees for the production of AN/DVS-1 Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) subassemblies. The COBRA system
can be deployed on the US Navy’s MQ-8C Fire Scout
and is designed to help detect and localize minefields and obstacles when flown over a beach or other coastal landing area. COBRA
uses a fast-scanning LIDAR laser, 3D imaging camera, and target recognition algorithms. Data collected by COBRA an be sent to an amphibious landing force through the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM)
Assault Breaching System (JABS), which could either direct a JDAM air assault on the beach to clear mines or could feed the location of mines to the precision navigation and lane marking systems on the amphibious vehicles coming ashore. Work will be performed at Aretè locations in Tucson, Arizona; Destin, Florida and Santa Rosa, California. The subassemblies are scheduled for completion by July 2021.
MH-53E & Mk-105 sled
The US Navy currently uses large CH-53/MH-53 helicopters and towed sleds to help with mine clearance work, but they hope to replace those old systems with something smaller and newer. The MH-60S helicopter’s Airborne Mine Counter-Measures (AMCM) system adds an operator’s station to the helicopter cabin, additional internal fuel stores, and towing capability, accompanied by a suite of carried systems that can be mixed and matched. AMCM is actually 5 different air, surface and sub-surface mine countermeasures systems, all deployed and integrated together in the helicopter.
While the US Navy develops AMCM, and complementary ship-launched systems for use on the new Littoral Combat Ships, new minehunter ship classes like the Ospreys are being retired by the US Navy and sold. All in an era where the threat of mines is arguably rising, along with tensions around key chokepoints like the Suez Canal and Strait of Hormuz.
This article explains the components involved (AQS-20, ALMDS, AMNS, OASIS, RAMICS; COBRA, RMS, SMCM), chronicles their progress through reports and contracts, and provides additional links for research.
Continue Reading… »
Dec 10, 2018 04:58 UTC
Raytheon is being tapped to support the US Air Force's Force Element Terminal Risk Reduction effort. Raytheon will provide
the service with risk reduction studies, analyses, and demonstrations of its Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) Airborne Military Satellite Communication product line at a cost of $11 million. The AEHF
system is a series of four military communication satellites which will entirely replace the current in-orbit Milstar system. The main function of the system is to provide secure, survivable and near-worldwide satellite communications. Work is party funded through FY 2018 and FY 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $4 million. Work will be performed at Raytheon's Marlborough, Massachusetts, and is expected to be completed by August 30, 2019.
The USA’s new Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites will support twice as many tactical networks as the current Milstar II satellites, while providing 10-12 times the bandwidth capacity and 6 times the data rate transfer speed. With the cancellation of the higher-capacity TSAT program, AEHF will form the secure, hardened backbone of the Pentagon’s future Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) architecture, with a mission set that includes nuclear command and control. Its companion Family of Advanced Beyond-line-of-sight Terminals (FAB-T) program will give the US military more modern, higher-bandwidth receiving capabilities, and add more flexibility on the front lines. The program has international components, and partners currently include Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands.
This article offers a look at the AEHF system’s rationale and capabilities, while offering insight into some of the program’s problems, and an updated timeline covering over $5 billion worth of contracts since the program’s inception.
Continue Reading… »
Nov 28, 2018 04:58 UTC
Boeing is being contracted to support the DoD's Protected Tactical Enterprise Service program. Awarded by the Space and Missile Systems Center, the $383 million contract
provides for development of a ground system that protects tactical satellite communications from enemy jamming. The Protected Tactical Enterprise Service (PTES) will be a hub-and-spoke system that reaches out to tactical warfighters and uses the WGS constellation
. It will tap the Protected Tactical Waveform (PTW), which the government developed to provide secure communications in a frequency-agnostic format. The US military relies on a complex set of Military Satellite Communication (MILSATCOM) and tactical networks. These networks
transport command and control (C2), sensor, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) information to enable timely and decisive operations. As electronic threats against satellite
communication are rapidly advancing the US military needs more robust networks that allow its warfighters to securely and effectively communicate in the most congested electronic environments. Work will be performed at Boeing's facility in El Segundo, California, and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2025.
The US military needs a bigger data firehose. In an era of streaming data from proliferating UAVs and other persistent surveillance platforms, and the need for control of those systems anywhere in the world, bandwidth is almost as important as fuel. Commercial satellite communications (SATCOM) can fill some of the gaps, but it’s expensive, and may not be available when needed. The Wideband Gapfiller SATCOM (now Wideband Global SATCOM) program began as a way to ease these problems in the near term, but went on to become one of the twin pillars of US military communications, alongside the hardened AEHF constellation. Both satellite types expanded their roles after the super-high bandwidth T-SAT program was canceled. Instead, the USA is adding WGS and AEHF satellites in space, even as it makes both programs multi-national efforts here on earth.
WGS is a set of 13-kilowatt spacecraft based on Boeing’s model 702 commercial satellite. These satellites will handle a significant portion of the USA’s warfighting bandwidth requirements, supporting tactical C4ISR(command, control, communications, and computers; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance); battle management; and combat support needs. Upon its 2007 launch into geosynchronous orbit, WGS Flight 1 became the U.S. Department of Defense’s highest capacity communication satellite. WGS F4, launched in January 2012, offers further improvements, as do satellites from WGS F8. The constellation is set to grow to 10, including international participation.
This is DID’s FOCUS Article covering the WGS program’s specifications, budgets, travails, international partnerships, and contracts, with links to additional research materials.
Continue Reading… »
Nov 26, 2018 04:58 UTC
The US Special Operations Command is modifying a contract
with Insitu. The additional $18 million cover mid-endurance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance services under the MEUAS 1.5B program. Insitu will use its ScanEagle as an advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) solution in order to provide the US military with the capability to effectively execute a number of deployment operations. The ScanEagle
is an unmanned aerial vehicle that can hover over areas for over 24 hours at a maximum altitude of 19,000 feet and carry several kinds of sensor payloads and other equipment. The modification increases the ceiling value of the contract to $250 million in an attempt to bridge gaps in ISR services as orders transition to MEUAS III.
ScanEagle’s base Insight UAV platform was originally developed by Washington state’s Insitu, Inc. to track dolphins and tuna from fishing boats, in order to ensure that the fish you buy in supermarkets is “dolphin-safe”. It turns out that the same characteristics needed by fishing boats (able to handle salt water environments, low infrastructure launch and recovery, small size, 20-hour long endurance, automated flight patterns) are equally important for naval operations from larger vessels, and for battlefield surveillance. A partnership with Boeing took ScanEagle to market in those fields, and the USMC’s initial buy in 2004 was the beginning of a market-leading position in its niche.
This article covers recent developments with the ScanEagle UAV system, which is quickly evolving into a mainstay with the US Navy and its allies. Incumbency doesn’t last long in the fast-changing world of UAVs, though. Insitu’s own RQ-21 Integrator is looking to push the ScanEagle aside, and new multiple-award contracts in the USA are creating opportunities for other competitors. Can Insitu’s original stay strong?
Continue Reading… »
Nov 26, 2018 04:56 UTC
CFM International is being contracted to deliver a new jet engine to Norway under the Foreign Military Sales program. Priced at $13 million the contract
sees for the procurement of one P-8 Poseidon
engine. The Poseidon is powered by a CFM56-7B27AE high-bypass turbofan aircraft engine. Norway bought nine Poseidon multi-mission maritime aircraft in 2016 to replace its ageing P-3 Orion fleet. Work will be performed at factories in Villaroche, France, Evendale, Ohio, Bromont, Canada and Singapore. The contract is set to run through September 2019.
Maritime surveillance and patrol is becoming more and more important, but the USA’s P-3 Orion turboprop fleet is falling apart. The P-7 Long Range Air ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) Capable Aircraft program to create an improved P-3 began in 1988, but cost overruns, slow progress, and interest in opening the competition to commercial designs led to the P-7’s cancellation for default in 1990. The successor MMA program was begun in March 2000, and Boeing beat Lockheed’s “Orion 21” with a P-8 design based on their ubiquitous 737 passenger jet. US Navy squadrons finally began taking P-8A Poseidon deliveries in 2012, but the long delays haven’t done their existing P-3 fleet any favors.
Filling the P-3 Orion’s shoes is no easy task. What missions will the new P-8A Poseidon face? What do we know about the platform, the project team, and ongoing developments? Will the P-3’s wide global adoption give its successor a comparable level of export opportunities? Australia and India have already signed on, but has the larger market shifted in the interim?
Continue Reading… »
Nov 19, 2018 04:56 UTC
Raytheon is being tapped
to provide the Navy with an integral component of the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system. The company will produce and deliver several Common Array Block antennas at a cost of $34 million. CEC
essentially brings together multiple sensors to provide high quality situational awareness and integrated fire control capability, improved battle force effectiveness and enables longer range, cooperative, multiple, or layered engagement strategies. The Common Array Block
is a next generation Gallium Nitride (GaN)-based CEC antenna. This high-power Common Array Block antenna increases the system's reliability and efficiency while also reducing its size, weight and cost. Work will be performed at Raytheon's locations in Largo, Florida and Andover, Massachusetts. Performance is scheduled to run through October 2020.
(click to enlarge)
Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) is the US Navy’s secret weapon. Actually, it’s not so secret. It’s just that its relatively low price means often leads people to overlook the revolutionary change it creates for wide-area fleet air and ballistic missile defense.
CEC is far more than a mere data-sharing program, or even a sensor fusion effort. The concept behind CEC is a sensor netting system that allows ships, aircraft, and even land radars to pool their radar and sensor information together, creating a very powerful and detailed picture that’s much finer, more wide-ranging, and more consistent than any one of them could generate on its own. The data is then shared among all ships and participating systems, using secure frequencies. It’s a simple premise, but a difficult technical feat. With huge implications.
This DID FOCUS Article explains those mechanics and implications. It will also track ongoing research, updates, and contracts related to CEC capabilities from 2000 forward.
Continue Reading… »
Nov 05, 2018 04:58 UTC
Next » Latest updates[?]:
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.
CH-47Fs take off
DII FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record; this FOCUS Article covers the CH-47F/MH-47G Chinook helicopter programs, in the USA and abroad. These helicopters’ distinctive “flying banana” twin-rotor design stems from the brilliant work of aviation pioneer Frank Piasecki. It gives Chinooks the ability to adjust their positioning very precisely, while carrying a large airframe whose load capacity has made it the world’s most popular heavy-lift helicopter. The USA expects to be operating Chinooks in their heavy-lift role past 2030.
The CH-47F looks similar to earlier models, but offers a wide range of improvements in almost every aspect of design and performance. While the related HH-47’s $10-15 billion CSAR-X program win was terminated, delivery orders continue for CH-47Fs and for MH-47G Special Forces configuration helicopters. International orders or formal requests have also come in from Australia, Britain, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, and the UAE, with India and other countries expected to follow.
Continue Reading… »