Report: Germany to Select MEADS | Long Range Strike Bomber Decision To Be Quick | Russia Courts Peru for T-55 UpgradesMay 18, 2015 02:24 UTC
- The Air Force is reportedly set to award a contract for the next-generation Long Range Strike Bomber “within one to two months”. The competition between Northrop Grumman and a Lockheed Martin/Boeing team will lead to a program valued at between $44 and $55 billion, with this equating to between 80 and 100 bombers. The LRS-B program will realign from from Air Combat Command to Air Force Global Strike Command from October.
- General Electric and Pratt & Whitney were both awarded $105 million modifications on Friday to cover a potential contract award for the Adaptive Engine Technology Development order, with the Air Force also reportedly looking to open future competition for F-35 upgrades.
- The Navy announced Friday that it has achieved Initial Operating Capability with the Block II Rolling Airframe Missile aboard the USS Arlington (LPD 24). The joint program with Germany was recently included as part of a $1.6 billion overhaul package by the US Navy intended to provide improved protection to carriers and amphibious ships.
- In other Navy news, the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) has been successfully “no-load” tested on CVN-78. The system – manufactured by General Atomics – uses electricity as a propulsion system, as opposed to current steam-based catapults. The new system will offer improved performance, reduced stress on aircraft and other benefits. EMALS will be complemented by the Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) – also manufactured by General Atomics – with this system seeing schedule delays and reportedly likely to miss its March 31st deadline next year.
- On Friday, 21 firms were awarded a $7.9 billion IDIQ contract for Network-Centric Solutions-2 (NETCENTS-2) network operations and infrastructure solutions, with an initial period of 3 years.
- Peru and Russia are reportedly in talks regarding potential modernization of the South American state’s approximately 200 T-55 main battle tanks. With previous reports suggesting that the Russians would be willing to sell the more advanced T-90S to the Peruvians, the reports regarding the T-55s also stated that Peru is not considering any new procurement contracts.
- The German Defense Ministry has reportedly selected the MEADS system as a replacement for its existing Patriots. The Defense Ministry has neither confirmed nor denied the reports circulating in German media, with an official decision expected to be announced in June. MEADS – Medium Extended Air Defense System – has been jointly developed by Lockheed Martin and MBDA, with funding received from three partner nations; the US, Germany and Italy. If the system has been selected over competitor Raytheon – who are offering upgrades to the in-service Patriots – then this would be a much-needed boost to the MEADS consortium, which urgently needs a buyer having failed to impress the US Army owing to cost and schedule overruns.
- Latvia has installed a NATO air defense system to improve air surveillance over the Baltic states. The TPS-77, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is a mobile Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA), with the new system set to complement two existing systems currently in operation in order to monitor the entirety of Latvia’s eastern border. Those were ordered in 2007.
- Turkey is reportedly looking to equip its domestically-produced UAVs with indigenous Bozok missiles, set for serial production by Tubitak SAGE. The Turkish Aerospace Industries Anka UAV is the most likely candidate for the new missiles.
- India’s fourth Komrota-class ASW corvette is set to be launched on Tuesday, with the INS Kavaratti the last of the Indian Navy’s Project 28 ships. The ships – built by Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers (GRSE) – have been designed to succeed the Kora-class. Russia also recently unveiled a new destroyer design – the Project 23560E Shkval destroyer.
- The Anka UAV in action…