On June 1st, The Norwegian navy sailed its newest acquisition, the KNM Fridtjof Nansen, into the heart of Oslo. The stealthy 5,100 tonne Spanish-built frigate marks the beginning of its class, named after famous Norwegian explorers of the previous century. It also signals the start of a renewal of the Norwegian Navy, as 4 more ships of this class will be delivered through 2009 in a program valued at more than $2.4 billion. In total, Fridtjof Nansen will be followed by at least 10 more vessels of different designs within the next 5 years.
This article reviews the vessel and the controversy surrounding it – some see it as a revolution, others see it as a relic of the past.
Japan is finding itself hemmed in these days by increasingly hostile and dangerous neighbours. Whether the issue is the unstable Kim Jong-Il of North Korea with his drive for nuclear weapons and penchant for launching missile tests that travel over Japan, or a Chinese government perceived as increasingly hostile, Japanese situational awareness and self-defense are beginning to require deep surveillance capabilities.
This may help to explain why Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party has drafted a bill to allow Japan’s military into space within the parameters of self-defense rights. That would be a major change from the current civilian-only restrictions that Japan has placed on space ventures.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency informed Congress of a request from Pakistan for 50 UGM-84L (submarine-launched), 50 RGM-84L (surface-launched), and 30 AGM-84L (air-launched) Block II Harpoon missiles; 5 Encapsulated Harpoon Command Launch Systems; 115 containers; missile modifications; training devices; spare and repair parts; technical support; support equipment; personnel training and training equipment; technical data and publications; U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics support. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $370 million.
So, what is the Harpoon Block II missile, and how does it differ from Block I versions? And how does Pakistan propose to deploy the new missiles?
Boeing subsidiary McDonnell Douglas Corp. in St Louis, MO received a $70 million cost-plus fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price contract. This indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity basic contract is for aircraft integration for the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) weapon system. The Air Force can issue delivery orders totaling up to the maximum amount indicated above. Solicitations began January 2006, negotiations were complete in May 2006, and work will be complete April 2011. The Air Armament Center at Eglin Air Force Base, FL issued the contract. (FA8681-06-D-0021).
The US Air Force JDAM Fact Sheet notes that: “JDAM is currently compatible with B-1B, B-2A, B-52H, F-15E, F-14A/B/D, F/A-18E/F, F-16C/D, F/A-22 and F/A-18C/D aircraft. Follow-on integration efforts are currently underway or planned to evaluate compatibility with the A-10, F-117, AV-8B, S-3, Joint Strike Fighter, and unmanned aerial vehicles.”
Lear Siegler Logistics International Inc. in Gaithersburg, MD received a $142 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity with fixed-price award-fee and cost-reimbursable contract line items contract modification. It provides for the purchase of nonstandard, and hard to support standard supply items, maintenance/ repair support, and task orders. These items include such things as nuts, bolts, circuit cards, engines, pylons, panels, generators, power units, battery chargers, fuel tanks, regulators, power units, fuel nozzles, valves, pumps, filters, heat exchangers, speed control indicators, fuel control panels, turbines, helmet canopies, rafts, landing gear struts, arresting hook actuators, etc. In additions, repair or maintenance is contracted for such items as engines or test stands. Task orders are also used to conduct studies, analysis or obtain technical assistance that may require technician’s travel to a county that requires this type of support.
The aircraft and weapon system includes are C-47 Dakota/”Puff the Magic Dragon,” T-33 Shooting Star/ Silver Star, T-37 Tweet/Dragonfly, C-130 Hercules, F-111 Aardvark, F-4 Phantom, F-5 Freedom Fighter, and the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The Air Force can issue delivery orders totaling up to the maximum amount indicated above, although the actual requirements may be less than the amount indicated above. Negotiations were complete in May 2006, and work will be complete December 2006. The Headquarters Air Force Security Assistance Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (F33657-01-D-2014/P00035). Note that with the exception of the C-130 and F-16, almost all of these models are flown only by foreign countries.
Phase II involves detailed design test and manufacturing reviews of motor hardware to be fabricated. The reviews shall include detailed drawings, analysis, and any data generated to support the design of hardware to be test fired. The contractor will fabricate motor and test hardware and conduct any checkout testing identified in the preliminary Phase II test and instrumentation plan and coordinate test requirements with the Air Force. This action exercises the Phase II Option of the contract and implements a period of performance form 1 June 2006 through 31 May 2010.
ATK Thiokol Propulsion in Corinne, UT received $17.6 million (FA8204-06-C-0013/P00001)
Aerojet General Corp. in Sacramento, CA, received $17.5 million (FA8204-06-C-0014/P00001)