Aug 07, 2006 12:15 UTC
AP-3C: who’s next?
In March 2006, DID reported that Australia was speeding up its planned AIR 7000 project for a high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) UAV, and considering a US offer to be part of a pacific “pool” of Global Hawks. We’ve also covered Australia’s Coastwatch program. They will soon use the Mariner UAV for long-range maritime patrol, and will also be part of the USA’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program for a companion UAV to the new 737-based P-8A Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft.
Now, all of these projects are potentially coming together…
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Aug 07, 2006 09:34 UTC
MV-22Bs on LHD 1
The Bell-Boeing Joint Program Office in Amarillo, TX received a $200.1 million undefinitized contract action to begin fabrication and delivery of three MV-22B tiltrotor production aircraft. Work will be performed in Ridley Park, PA (35%); Fort Worth, TX (35%); and Amarillo, TX (15%), and is expected to be completed in December 2009. This contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Air Systems Command Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, MD (N00019-06-C-0292).
The MV-22 was declared “suitable and effective” in July 2005, and approved for production; NAVAIR issued $1.17 billion in contracts in December 2005, and additional airframes have been requested via Marine Corps supplementals to replace crashed CH-46 and CH-53 aircraft. The V-22 Osprey program has had a long and troubled history, including a recent set of compressor stalls and surges that are under investigation after an MV-22 was forced to land in Iceland on the way to the 2006 Farnborough Air Show. Engine compressor stalls and surges are not catastrophic, but their frequency and consistency suggest that an investigation into root causes is prudent.
Aug 07, 2006 06:19 UTC
Landing in titanium…
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GKN plc of the UK has agreed to acquire the US firm Stellex Aerostructures from the Carlyle Group. Stellex is a leading provider of highly engineered subsystems and components for the aerospace and defense industries. They operate three divisions. Stellex Monitor Aerospace, Inc. and Stellex Precision Machining, Inc. specialize in large complex machined parts and structural sub-assemblies for the aerospace industry. Stellex Bandy Machining, Inc. provides precision aircraft hinges and other structural components for the aerospace and space industries. As GKN’s release notes:
“The combination of GKN’s existing advanced composite structures and metals business with the operations of Stellex will create a leading manufacturer of titanium aircraft and engine structures.”
So, why this particular combination?
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Aug 07, 2006 05:34 UTC
A Swedish rocket
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A BBC report notes that the Saab Group will no longer sell weapons to Venezuela as of October 1, 2006. This is being done in compliance with American restrictions on the transfer of weapons to Venezuela that contain components made in the US… and implicitly, by companies that wish to continue to sell to the US military. The US Marines are a significant customer for Saab’s M136/AT-4 anti-tank rockets, which it has also sold to Venezuela in the past. The Venezuelan government is said to have been surprised by the news.
The BBC reports that he Swedes have sold anti-aircraft missiles (the RBS-70), rocket launchers and anti-tank rifles to Venezuela in the past worth around $150 million, and notes that while no new orders had been placed, age and usage will require replacement of Venezuela’s stocks. Both roles could certainly be filled by roughly equivalent Russian weapons like the RPG-27 and AT-14 Kornet in the anti-tank role, and by the SA-18 in the anti-aircraft role; though in the latter role especially, vehicle-mounted options like the Tunguska M1, the Tor/SA-15 and Pantsyr S1/SA-19 systems are also possible.
July 27/09: Swedish government officials confirm that AT4 rockets found in FARC narco-terrorist bases during the Colombian Army’s November and December 2008 campaigns were originally sold to the Venezuelan government. Colombia Reports | The Local | Jane’s | Agence France Presse | Fox News.
Aug 07, 2006 04:29 UTC
GPS III concept
Headquarters Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA has awarded a pair of cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modifications. They wish to perform a delta (changes to) system requirements review (SRR) on the global positioning system III program in October 2006. This is said to be necessary “to accomplish a low risk incremental approach, properly allocate warfighter capabilities in the initial capabilities development document addendum and flow down those requirements into the space segment specification. The government’s intent is to implement a delta SRR and continue to make progress towards a key decision point-B to avoid impacts to initial launch capability of 2013.”
- Boeing Air Force Space Systems in Huntington Beach, CA received a $10 million contract modification, 8.5 million of which has already been committed. Work will be complete January 2007 (FA8807-04-C-0002/P00018).
- Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Corp. in King of Prussia, PA received a $10 million contract modification, $9.2 million of which has been committed. Work will be complete January 2007 (FA8807-04-C-0001/P00020).
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