The Moscow Times reports that Russia’s state arms trader Rosoboronexport and leading Russian defense industry enterprises have prepared a package of $4 billion package of contracts to sell advanced weapons and military hardware to Algeria. “Work to draw up the package is nearly over. All contracts have been negotiated and some initialed, and they are likely to be signed in February 2006,” a source in the Russian defense industry told Interfax-Military News Agency. This would be post-Soviet Russia’s largest ever single arms deal, and compares to annual weapons exports to all customers of $5-6 billion over the last couple of years.
Weapons rumored to be on this list include 36 upgraded MiG-29SMT multi-role lightweight fighters and 28 two-seat Su-30MK fighters, eight sets of Russia’s advanced S-300MPU2 Favorit (upgraded S-300) air defense missile systems with a 200km range, and T-90 main battle tanks. Interfax’s source noted that the weapons would be paid for in a complicated scheme involving striking off part of Algeria’s Soviet debt. Other contracts are also rumored for the upgrade of Soviet-made arms already in Algeria’s possession, and additional arms are reported to be under consideration. For instance…
Since the mid-2000s many aerospace companies have begun to look at outsourcing some supply work to India. Add Northrop Grumman Corporation to that list. The firm sent several teams to India in 2005 to survey the nation’s companies in search of potential new suppliers, and now they’ve signed an agreement with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL). In the short term, this will involve HAL in Northrop Grumman’s E-2 Hawkeye AWACS program by way of sourcing aircraft assemblies and components, digitization and other related services. The specific components are now being determined.
India has Phalcon AWACS aircraft on order from Israel, but as that country builds up its navy with carriers like the new INS Vikramaditya (ex-Admiral Gorshkov), a secondary land and naval market could open up for a carrier-capable plane like the Hawkeye. They are also valuable as a crisis command center in natural disasters, as shown recently in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and in more generic homeland defense roles like the drug interdiction mission. Hawkeye aircraft are currently in service with Egypt, France, Japan, Mexico (formerly Israel’s aircraft), Singapore, and Taiwan as well as the USA. India has reportedly expressed interest, and Northrop Grumman anticipates that the E-2 Hawkeye program will continue for 20 or more years. If so, HAL could wind up producing parts for well over 100 Hawkeye aircraft. Read corporate release.
Press Trust of India reports that the Tata Group has committed to investing Rs 1,000 crore (INR 10 billion, or $227 million at current conversions) for defense-related R&D efforts and corporate capabilities buildup over the next 4-5 years. “The Tata Group aims to achieve this target by exploring the synergies between group companies, leveraging its strength in strategic electronics, IT and communication to meet the needs of the armed forces in an era of digital wars.”
“The investments would not only be made in getting high-quality manpower but also for research and development and infrastructure development,” said M N Bhagwat, Chairman (Strategic Council), Tata Power Strategic Electronics Division. Bhagwat also said the group was also looking for “strategic tie-ups”, including with foreign companies. So, what are their expectations?
DID has covered the JTRS systems program’s difficulties, including the threatened cancellation of JTRS Cluster 1 back in 2005. Now Boeing Co. and teammates BAE Systems, Rockwell Collins and Northrop Grumman have delivered the first 7 Joint Tactical Radio System Cluster 1 (JTRS C1) radios, as scheduled, to the U.S. Army’s $120+ billion Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. The Cluster 1 radios are designed to provide networking capabilities to the battlefield. They provide the warfighter with new, secure capabilities, which include the transmission/receipt of real-time information – both voice and text, the ability to stream live video and audio, draw and share maps, conduct Net-Meetings and use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
Note that this is not deployment equipment. Rather, the 50 or so radios to be delivered by mid-summer will begin replacing computer emulators in other FCS projects, so contractors can start testing the passage of information through the radios. Some of the radios will also be used in support of FCS experimentation activities later this year, providing crucial user feedback.
When asked about the current state of the JTRS Cluster 1 program, Boeing responded to DID:
The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic, Norfolk, VA has exercised the third option period under an indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity environmental multiple award contract. It covers remedial action services for environmentally impacted sites, plus environmental compliance services at various Department of Navy and Marine Corps installations and other Government agencies. Work will be performed at under the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic’s area of responsibility including, but not limited to, the states of MD, VA, WVA, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Washington, DC and other locations as required. The expected date of completion is January 2007.
The basic contract was competitively procured via the NAVFAC e-solicitation website with 14 proposals received and award made on January 30, 2003. The potential total contract amount for each contractor is not to exceed $25 million (base period and four option years), and these four contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the existing contract. The following four firms have received $5 million each. All qualify as small businesses:
ECOR Solutions in Richmond, VA (N62470-02-D-3010)
Tesoro Corp. in Virginia Beach, VA (N62470-03-D-9993)
Universe Technology in Frederick, MD (N62470-03-D-9994)
Cape Environmental in Exton, PA activity, (N62470-03-D-9995)