South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young reportedly says “the bubble jet effect caused by a heavy torpedo is the most likely cause” of the ROKS Cheonan’s sinking, as the ship is raised from the bottom.
Austria’s mountainous terrain makes helicopters very important to its military, which operates a handful of S-70 Black Hawks, plus an aging fleet of AB212 Hueys that were license-built in Italy, and even older French Alouette-III machines.
Austria intends to keep its fleet of 23 Hueys at Linz-Hörsching operational for another 25 years. To that end it has placed a EUR 63 million (currently about $84.3 million) contract with Finmeccanica subsidiary AgustaWestland to modify the helicopters with new avionics systems, and improved night vision and defensive capabilities. The fleet has accumulated about 115,000 flight hours to date, and the goal is another 100,000 flight hours for the fleet.
The modernization will begin in June 2010, and will be complete in 2014, with a maximum of 6 machines out of service for refurbishment at any given time. AgustaWestland has agreed to industrial offset work in Austria worth 50% of the contract’s value over 10 years. Austrian Bundesheer [in German]
The Emirate of Qatar sits in the middle of the Persian Gulf, a shallow and narrow body of water that lends itself to fast, small, missile armed ships and boats. Qatar’s Navy relies on 7 French and British 400t-500t Fast Attack Craft, and MBDA’s Exocet missile is their anti-ship weapon of choice. MBDA has just announced that the Qatar Emiri Navy’s 4 Vosper Thorneycroft Vita Class FACs will now be equipped with the new Exocet MM40 Block 3 missiles, under a recent batch buy.
The Block 3 replaces rocket fuel with turbojet propulsion, extending the missile’s range; and adds GPS-like targeting. That kind of geographic targeting is especially useful in cluttered near-shore zones, minimizing the odds of false lock-ons before the missile gets close to its target. The first operational firing of the MM40 Block 3 from a naval warship took place in France on March 18/10, from the Horizon Class advanced air defense frigate Chevalier Paul. MBDA release | French DGA re: test [in French].
The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) awarded a $59 million contract modification to Raytheon Co’s Integrated Defense Systems in Tewksbury, MA, for advance procurement of materials and associated labor in support of production of the DDG 114 and 115 Aegis Weapon System AN/SPY-1D(V) radar transmitter group and missile fire control system (MFCS) MK99.
Under the original contract (N00024-09-C-5111), Raytheon IDS is responsible for production, integration, testing and engineering support services for the AN/SPY-1D(V) radar transmitter group and MFCS MK99 on the DDG-113, DDG-114, and DDG-115 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.
The SPY-ID(V) radar transmitter group supports search, tracking and missile guidance functions. The MFCS MK99 is the interface between the Aegis radar and the missile…
United Technologies Corp. in San Antonio, TX received a $65.1 million contract to provide modules to be remanufactured at the contract facility, such as, core modules, fan drive turbines, inlet fans, and gearboxes, for the Pratt & Whitney F100 engine supporting F-15/F-16 fighter aircraft. Pratt & Whitney is a UTC subsidiary.
The F100 powers all of the USAF F-15s and a majority of the world fleet of F-16s.
With more than 6,900 engines produced and over 16 million flight hours, the F100 is one of the most reliable fighter engine in the world. Propulsion of the F-15 is supplied by 2 Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100 or -220 afterburning turbofan engines. The Navy uses the F100-PW-220 engine in its F-16s…