Try, Try Again: After a 1-year testing hiatus because of repeated failure, Russia’s Navy successfully test-fires its Bulava (SS-NX-30) 3-stage submarine-launched ballistic missile capable of carrying 10 nuclear warheads up to 5,000 miles.
Demolition Derby: Sweden’s Skanska receives a $164 million contract to demolish 2 existing piers and build a new Pier 5 at the US Navy’s Norfolk Naval Shipyard, VA.
Canaveral Boost: Florida’s Port Canaveral looks to benefit from military cargo shipping business as US brings equipment, such as Stryker armored vehicles, home from Iraq.
General Dynamics secures $39 million order to provide logistics support to the US Army 1st Theater Sustainment Command in Afghanistan.
On Sept 30/10, the US DSCA announced [PDF] Germany’s official request to buy 6 AN/AAQ-24v Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures Systems (LAIRCM) defensive systems, to equip its 2 Airbus A319CJs, and 4 Bombardier Challenger 601 VIP jets. The estimated cost is $146 million, and the prime contractor will be the Northrop Grumman Corporation in Rolling Meadows, IL. Germany already uses LAIRCM systems on its transport fleet, so implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Germany.
If a contract is negotiated, the order could include up to 5 Control Interface Units, 4 System Processors, 32 AAR-54 Missile Warning Systems, and 8 Small Laser Transmitter Assemblies; plus Operation Flight Program software, installation support, some requested modifications, support equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documents, repair and return, depot maintenance, training and training equipment, and other forms of U.S. Government and contractor support.
On Sept 30/10, the US DSCA announced [PDF] Spain’s formal request to buy 6 refurbished SH-60F Seahawk helicopters listed as “Excess Defense Articles” by the US Navy. The refurbished helicopters would include the required inspections and modifications, 13 T700-GE-401C engines (12 installed and 1 spare), and other forms of U.S. Government and contractor support. The estimated cost is $155 million, and engine maker General Electric in Lynn, MA would be the prime contractor if a contract is signed, though SH-60F manufacturer Sikorsky will certainly be involved.
While the DSCA says that Spain already has 12 SH-60s in its inventory, it doesn’t mention an important point: they’re SH-60Bs. In the US Navy’s division of labor, the SH-60F traditionally handles the advanced dipping sonar, and performs utility and rescue tasks, while the SH-60B uses its radar for wider anti-submarine sweeps, and is armed with a wider array of weapons beyond torpedoes and door guns. That division of labor is being erased by the MH-60R, which can handle all surface attack and anti-submarine roles by itself. Its MH-60S counterpart will have a wide variety of available weapons and fittings, for roles from combat search and rescue, to surface attack, and even counter-mine roles. Spain evidently looked at its options, and decided to pursue refurbished machines, rather than buying new.
Implementation of this proposed sale will require 2 contractor representatives in Spain for familiarization training for a period of 2 years. U.S. Government and contractor representatives will also be required to participate in program management and technical reviews, training, and maintenance support for 1 week intervals, semi-annually, for a period of 3 years. See also Flight International.