F-22 Maintenance Improving, But Retrofits Slip | Su-24s Join MiG-29s on Grounded List | Crash Stats Grow for India’s HAL Licensed Manufactured AircraftJul 06, 2015 21:38 UTC
- AM General was handed a $372.9 million Foreign Military Sales contract on Monday to deliver Humvees to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Ukraine and Tunisia. The contract details options for up to 2,082 of the vehicles, with a scheduled completion date of 2016. Afghanistan previously ordered 808 of the vehicles in 2010, with these delivered in 2012.
- The F-22 Raptor is reportedly improving its maintenance and servicing record through the ongoing Reliability and Maintainability Maturation Program (RAMMP). However, efforts to retrofit the Air Force’s Raptors with upgrades (through the Structural Retrofit Program) are now timetabled to slip by a year, owing to competing depot line work priorities.
- The German Navy is reportedly planning a $626.4 million, ten-year upgrade for its fleet of eight P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. The program will extend the in-service life of the aircraft to 2035. Portugal has also invested in P-3C upgrades, with the German aircraft set to receive new wings, care of a Lockheed Martin production line opened in 2005.
- The Royal Air Force has received a third Airbus A400M, with the delivery delayed from earlier in the year following the crash of a Turkish-bound A400M in early May. The RAF lifted its grounding of the fleet in mid-June, with the cause of the crash currently being attributed to software installation faults. The UK has ordered twenty-two of the transport aircraft.
- The Su-24 has become the latest Russian Air Force model to be grounded, with flights suspended following a deadly crash in the Eastern Khabarovsk region on Monday. This follows news that the MiG-29 fighter and Tu-95 heavy bomber fleets have also been grounded, also following recent crashes.
- An Iraqi Member of Parliament has claimed that US officials have been pushing for the country to base its F-16s in Jordan, rather than in the south of Iraq. The US has been delaying the delivery of the aircraft since November – ostensibly over security concerns – instead diverting them to Arizona for training. The country signed a deal for the warplanes in September 2011, with a follow-on order in April 2013 bringing the total number of Iraqi-bound F-16s to thirty-six.
- Iranian media has reported that the country has officially deployed a second Ghadir long-range 3D radar system, with the system first unveiled in June last year. Iran also operates the Sepehr radar system in the country’s north-west, as well as a first Ghadir system located in the northern Semnan province. The new Ghadir system is located in near the southern city of Ahvaz and bears resemblance to the Russian Rezonans-NE system. The country has been putting significant efforts into developing a long-range early warning capability, with this latest system reportedly capable of detecting ballistic missiles at a range of 1,100km.
- India’s Dhanush artillery guns have entered production phase following the completion of trials in April. The Ordnance Factory Board was handed a $252 million contract for the guns in May, which officials hope will plug operational gaps left as a result of messy procurement programs and the residual effects of the Bofors scandal. The Dhanush is an upgraded version of the Bofors artillery piece and is around 80% Indian-developed and manufactured.
- After a HAL-manufactured Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer crashed in early June, the Indian aerospace company is now having its quality assurance measures examined. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is license-building 99 out of 123 Hawk AJTs, after BAE Systems manufactured the first 24 aircraft. HAL is also manufacturing SU-30MKIs, which recently earned a safety audit in response to a high crash attrition rate.
- The Indian Air Force has been criticized for using a F-18 Hornet as part of a recruitment ad, despite the fact that the country does not operate the fighter as part of its fleet.
- Iranian media covering the unveiling of the new Ghadir radar system: