BAE Settles with US over C-130 Repair Costs | Warthogs Appear to Be Republicans | Lithuania Entreats Germany for Still More HardwareApr 17, 2015 03:35 UTC
- BAE Systems and the the US have settled a three-year dispute over the repair costs of an aging C-130, with the Air Force having been billed $12 million for substantial repairs to the plane, significantly above the original $4.2 million contract ceiling. Despite this ceiling being raised to $14.7 million, the contractor sued the Government for $6.4 million in order to balance the books. The negotiated settlement amount has not been disclosed.
- GOP lawmakers are working to ensure that the annual defense bill makes a strong case for keeping the A-10, working to find the $500 million required to keep the Warthog fleet flying.
- S&K Aerospace was awarded a $392 million contract modification Thursday to the Parts and Repair Ordering Systems (PROS) IV, with a completion date of 2022.
- Raytheon was awarded two contracts Thursday, the first, a $9.9 million modification was awarded for AMRAAM production lots 28 and 29, including 24 Captive Air Training Missile AIM-120D spares. The second $20.5 million modification was to exercise an option for the DARPA Tactical Boost Glide program, a DARPA/Air Force program with the intention to “develop and demonstrate technologies to enable air-launched tactical range hypersonic boost glide systems”.
- Germany and Lithuania may sign a contract for howitzers in May, with the Baltic state also reportedly pursuing a potential procurement of Boxer APCs, despite an initial shake of the head from the Germans earlier this year. The Lithuanians are interested in a dozen PzH 2000 howitzers, with a government defense policy body proposing a rise in defense expenditure earlier this month.
- Italy will receive two additional FREMM frigates post-2020, to bring the total fleet number to ten in a $820 million deal signed between the Italian government and manufacturer Orizzonte Sistemi Navali. Egypt recently purchased one of the frigates, with Morocco also an export customer for the Franco-Italian project.
- In other European naval news, the German Navy christened its second F125-class frigate Thursday, with this marking the halfway point in the four-ship program. The new ship has been christened “Nordrhein-Westfalen”, with the first F125 – the”Baden-Wurttemberg” – christened in December 2013.
- Switzerland is retiring a third of its F-5 fighter fleet because of structural cracks found in 10 of the 36 aircraft operated by the air force. Six more will be repaired and returned to service, for an approximate bill of $1 million.
- Russia is using old MiG-15 engines to clear its carrier decks of Foreign Object Debris.
- Pakistan successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile on Wednesday, with India following suit and also testing a missile on Thursday. The Indian Agni-III missile is the more capable of the two, with a reported range of 3,000 km to the Pakistani Ghauri missile’s 1,300 km. The Agni-III was previously tested in 2010, following three prior tests.
- India’s aircraft carrier – the INS Vikaramaditya – will be equipped with new air defense systems, according to reports Thursday. The ship is currently vulnerable to air attack without either a Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) or a missile-based interceptor system. Both of these gaps will be filled by cannibalizing other Indian Navy ships and fitting the systems to the carrier while it undergoes refit at Karwar. The CIWS is likely to be the AK-630 system, a Russian system license-built in India, while the missile system will be the Israeli Barak-1 point defense system, both taken from donor Godavari-class ships.
- Dassault may divert its Rafale production line from supplying the French to meet the urgent demand created by the Indian order for 36 aircraft, according to Indian media. The Dassault line is currently busy satisfying orders from France and Egypt, with Malaysia also a potential customer. Currently the company is capable of manufacturing a dozen jets a year. This will have to expand to meet the deadline requirement for the firm’s outstanding order-book.
- With New Zealand looking to replace its fleet of C-130 transport aircraft with C-17s, the government’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Select Committee has released a report stating that the acquisition of two C-17s would cost at least $600 million, higher than previous estimates. The Kiwis are also looking to potentially operate a reduced C-130 fleet alongside the new C-17s. Elsewhere in the region, Australia is planning on expanding its C-17 fleet to ten aircraft.
- Meanwhile, a RAND report has shown that building naval ships in Australia is up to 40% more expensive than procuring from overseas. This will likely form an important consideration for defense planners, particularly regarding the future ASW frigate program ahead of the Australian Government’s Defence Whitepaper, due for release later this year.