Concept contacts awarded for new 360 degree Patriot radar | DA Defense to enter USAF ADAIR competition | SM-6s for Japan’s Aegis Ashore?
- Canadian defense contractor Discovery Air Defense is to enter the United States Air Force’s (USAF) Adversary Air (ADAIR) competition with the General Dynamics F-16. The firm told Jane’s that it had just finalized a deal to procure a “large volume” of the aircraft and that competing firms were offering third-generation solutions masquerading as fourth-generation one. Multiple awards for as much as $6 billion combined are expected for ADAIR, with the Navy also in source selection for its own procurement for adversary air training. Potential competitors for ADAIR joining DA Defense include Saab’s Gripen Aggressor and a Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) bid offering the French-built Dassault F1 fighters.
- It’s been reported that a number of contracts have been awarded by the Department of Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium (DOTC) to four companies to come up with concept designs for the Army’s long-running Patriot air-and-missile defense radar replacement. Based on their previous involvement with the Patriot program, both Raytheon and Lockheed Martin received contracts to develop new concepts for the radar, while Northrop Grumman also confirmed its involvement in the concept phase of the program. Another firm, Brea, California-based Technovative Applications, has also been reported to have landed another Army contract, which are expected to run for 15 months. After spending years debating what will replace the Patriot’s Raytheon-manufactured radar, the Army announced earlier this year a competition for a brand new 360-degree, lower-tier AMD sensor that can detect different evolving threats coming from any direction, be they ones that ones that fly slower, faster or manoeuvre differently.
Middle East & Africa
- Egypt’s first Gowind 2500 corvette from French shipbuilder Naval Group (formerly DCNA) and the second Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) Type 209/1400 diesel-electric submarine (SSK) have been delivered to the Navy’s naval facility at Alexandria. Cairo has four Gowind 2500 corvettes on order under a $1.1 billion order from France in 2015 and four TKMS Type 209/1400 SSKs from Germany in 2012. The Gowind procurement is part of a multi-billion-dollar arms package agreed with France, and includes two Mistral landing helicopter docks (LHD)—delivered in 2016—a DCNS FREMM multi-mission frigate and 24 Dassault Rafale fighters. Funding for the deal saw Paris provide a $3.76 billion loan to support 60% of the purchase, with Cairo coughing up 40% in upfront payments from the treasury.
- Denel Group of South Africa has given updates on its A-Darter high-off-boresight (HOBS) air-to-air missile (AAM) and Marlin radar-guided beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile programs. The firm said the A-Darter recently completed seeker performance qualification flight trials and is expected to complete final qualification tests by the end of the year ahead of entering serial production. Regarding the Marlin, Chief systems engineer Ivan Gibbons said the missile has completed various tests such as rocket motor firings and firing of a largely complete missile from the Denel Overberg Test Range two years ago by utilizing a ground-mounted launcher to test the missile’s manoeuvrability and flight characteristics. Target markets for the missiles include Algeria, Brazil, Kenya, Malaysia, Mozambique, Oman, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
- The Greek government has replied to criticism surrounding the recent US State Department approval of an upgrade package for its fleet of F-16s. In a notice posted by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), 123 F-16s will be upgraded to the V-standard at a cost estimated to reach $2.4 billion. However, this figure has been criticised by the opposition New Democracy, who said the government was “offering jobs not in Greece but in the US,” and lamented the sale as “an expensive deal”. In response, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said that the budget ceiling for the program is only $1.3 billion and the “rest relates to subsidy packages and offsets.” While no offsets have so far been agreed to, the DSCA notice noted that Greece usually requests offsets, and that any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between Greece and the contractor—Lockheed Martin.
- A $18.2 million US Navy contract modification has been awarded to Orbital ATK to undertake conversion work of high-speed, anti-radiation missiles into advanced medium-range air-to-ground guided missiles with counter-enemy shutdown capability for the Italian government. The previous firm-fixed contract award called for the procurement and transition of AGM-88B High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM), to the latest generation of AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). Differences between the two munitions is that the AARGM has an advanced guidance section and control abilities that use a multi-mode seeker to counter enemy shut-down capability, as well as an onboard Weapons Impact Assessment subsystem that supports battlefield commanders in conducting after-action battle damage assessments. It can also relay impact assessment data prior to the impact on target. The majority of the contract’s work will take place in California, with some to take place in Istrana, Italy. Contract conclusion is scheduled to March 2019.
- Shaking off the ongoing corruption allegations being investigated at the firm, Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has been busy chasing sales at this year’s International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) in Seoul. The firm is currently looking to start negotiations with Thailand for an additional batch of four T-50TH trainer aircraft, adding to the eight initially procured by and delivered to Bangkok and a contract signed earlier this year for a further four aircraft scheduled to be delivered in 2018. Thailand had intended to acquire all of its planned 16 T-50s in a single go, but budget constraints forced the government to pursue a multi-batch procurement. The aircraft are scheduled to replace the Royal Thai Air Force’s Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainers. Other target nations for the T-50 include Botswana and Argentina, but these deals have been pushed back until at least 2018.
- The Japanese government is considering the inclusion of SM-6 interceptors—in conjunction with the anti-ballistic missile SM-3 Block IIA interceptor—at its proposed ground-based Aegis Ashore installations, giving the systems the capacity to counter cruise missiles. While a shorter-range will limit the SM-6’s coverage, Tokyo is deeming it a necessary procurement to counter the threat of Chinese bombers like the H-6, which can carry cruise missiles loaded with nuclear warheads that have a range of more than 1,500 kilometers. These aircraft are frequently sighted in the skies around Japan and current anti-air missiles in Japanese stocks are not designed to intercept cruise missiles until they are very close. While Aegis Ashore won’t be online until at least 2023, SM-6s will be deployed on Japan’s Aegis warships from next year.
- Naval Group delivers Gowind 2500 to Egyptian Navy:
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