Flight International reports that Bangladeshi planning minister A.K. Khandker has informed Parliament that the government intends to buy “a squadron” of fighters and 2 maritime patrol aircraft, as part of its 2010 procurement plans. This would be a significant commitment for Bangladesh, whose 2008-2009 defense budget came in at around $1 billion.
Types of aircraft sought were not specified, but dedicated maritime patrol aircraft of any kind would add a new level of capability to the force. The air force’s active fighter roster currently includes Russian MiG-29s (16), and Chinese aircraft: F-7 variants of the MiG-21 (40, but declining), and A-5 attack aircraft (18).
Bangladesh’s most significant neighbor is India, which encompasses the country’s entire border. Relations had become strained over the number of Naxalite Marxist and Islamist groups using Bangladesh as a waypoint and/or base, but a recent diplomatic thaw and set of agreements have improved the relationship.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense & Aviation & Inspectorate General has awarded Greece’s Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) and its local and the Middle East Propulsion Company (MEPC) partner a 3-year, $43 million contract to maintain the Royal Saudi Air Force’s T56 turboprop engines. Under this competitive tender, the partners will provide maintenance, repair, overhaul, and testing services for T56 engines, modules and components. The engines run on the RSAF’s fleet of around 42 C-130/L-100 Hercules aircraft variants, located at Jeddah, Riyadh, and nearby Price Sultan Air Base.
General Dynamics Land Systems awarded an $18 million firm-fixed-price contract to Northrop Grumman to produce LRS-2000 Rate Sensor Assembly units for the Stabilized Commander’s Weapon Station (SCWS) on the US Army M1A1 Abrams tank. General Dynamics is developing the SCWS system for the US Army Tank and Automotive Command.
The Northrop Grumman LRS-2000 is a 2-axis rate sensor developed to support gun and turret stabilization applications with a random drift rate of less than 1 degree per hour.
Based on Northrop Grumman’s G-2000 dynamically-tuned gyroscope, the LRS-2000 functions as part of the SCWS that provides protection from enemy gunfire or improvised explosive devices by allowing soldiers to remotely fire the tank’s machine gun from inside the tank…