DARPA Awards $171M to LM for HABWC | NG’s Triton Cleared for LRIP | Oshkosh to Provide $378M FMS in Tactical Vehicles to Somalia, Cameroon & Iraq
- The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a $171 million contract to Lockheed Martin as part of its Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept (HABWC) program. A joint effort between DARPA and the USAF, the program looks to develop and demonstrate critical technologies to enable an effective and affordable air-launched hypersonic cruise missile. Lockheed will undergo a research project for the program and follows a recent $147 million award for DARPA’s Boost Glide program.
- Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton has been cleared for low-rate initial production, the first piece of the production and deployment phase of the UAV. 68 Tritons are expected to be fielded, with the first to be deployed in 2017. The Triton will operate as a forward-deployed, land-based, autonomously operated system that provides persistent ISR within a range of 2,000 nautical miles using a multi-sensor mission payload including maritime radar, Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR), Electronic Support Measures (ESM), Automatic Identification System (AIS), and basic communications relay.
- Contracts worth $43 million each have been doled out to Lockheed Martin and Boeing in order “to conduct risk reduction activities in support of the MQ-25 unmanned carrier aviation air system.” Both companies are expected to complete their work on the UAV by October 2017. Now known as the Stingray program, the UAV integrates the first operational, carrier-based, catapult-launched drone and will provide long-endurance ISR and organic refueling capabilities for the carrier air wing.
Middle East &North Africa
- The UK government has blocked EU attempts to establish an independent international inquiry into the ongoing war in Yemen, sparking accusations that London is putting its multi-billion arms deals with Saudi Arabia first. A proposal by the Netherlands was submitted to the UN last Friday which, if successful, would have seen the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva investigate alleged war crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition and opposing Houthi militants. Brexiter and UK Foreign secretary Boris Johnson last week rejected the need for such an inquiry, arguing that the UK was “using a very, very wide variety of information sources about what is happening to acquaint ourselves with the details” about Yemen.
- Oskosh will provide 1,543 medium tactical vehicles in a foreign military sales contract awarded by the US Army. Valued at $378 million, the vehicles will be delivered to the governments of Somalia, Cameroon, and Iraq. The deal also covers the provision of three 78-gallon armor B-Kit corrosion prevention compound for vehicles to ship outside of the continental United States.
- Heckler & Koch’s 5.56mm 416 F assault rifle has won a Europe-wide competition run by France as part of its Future Individual Weapon program. The rifle will replace the domestically-produced FAMAS rifle, with deliveries to commence next year and continue over a ten-year period. Chambered for the NATO caliber 5.56mm cartridge, the rifle has the ability to fire rifle grenades and can be fitted with a 40mm grenade launcher to increase its firepower.
- Nine types of missiles have been tested by the South Korean military this year, however, only five of the missiles actually hit their targets, indicating a drop in accuracy over previous years. As a result, opposition lawmakers have used the accuracy drop to hammer the government over concerns with the proficiency of the country’s aged computerized command and control system as well as guided missile systems. Some of the missiles that failed to make the grade include the indigenous SSM-700K anti-ship missile and Raytheon’s RIM-66 anti-air missile.
- An upgraded Mirage 2000 fighter operated by the Indian Air Force has successfully test-fired the Mica air-to-air missile. The MBDA made missile system was recently acquired from France and follows a $2.4 billion deal to upgrade the IAF’s fleet of 51 Mirage fighters. Once completed all of the fighters will be of the Mirage 2000-5 Mark 2 variant, which boasts new radar systems, a new weapon suite, missiles, electronic warfare system and modern electronic warfare.
Israeli and Hellenic Air Force helicopters train in Greece:
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