Boeing Protests AF LRS-B Contract to NG | Leidos gets $661.8M IDIQ for ARL-E | Boeing to Ready $124.6M in Harpoons & SLAM-ERs for NavyNov 09, 2015 00:20 UTC
- Boeing has decided to protest the award of the Air Force’s Long Range Strike – Bomber (LRS-B) contract to Northrop Grumman in October. The company – which partnered with Lockheed Martin for the competition – has, after some deliberation, delivered a protest to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which now has 100 days to evaluate Boeing’s claim. The two partners claim that the competition was “fundamentally flawed”, citing problems with cost evaluation over the long-term. The firms are expected to slug it out on Capitol Hill, likely leading to schedule delays despite the Air Force’s efforts to keep the competition award water-tight.
- Leidos Inc. has been awarded a $661.8 million IDIQ contract for the Army’s Airborne Reconnaissance Low-Enhanced (ARL-E), with the contract covering design, architecture engineering, configuration management, system and aircraft integration, testing and support. Northrop Grumman was similarly awarded a development contract for the ARL-E’s long-range, Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar system in September. The Army is reportedly planning to replace the nine de Havilland Canada Dash 7 aircraft with nine Bombardier Dash-8s for the ARL-E program.
- The Navy has awarded Boeing a $124.6 million contract for 53 Harpoon weapons systems, along with Standoff Land Attack Missile – Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) missiles. The contract covers Foreign Military Sales requirements for several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Australia, Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Japan requested the Harpoon system in May, with Australia reportedly looking to integrate the missiles onto its P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
- The United Arab Emirates is engaged in talks with Russia over a potential acquisition of Su-35s, according to Ria Novosti. The discussions are taking place at the Dubai Air Show, with Pakistan also thought to be considering an acquisition of the type, and China and Indonesia also possible export customers for the Su-35.
- Two Italian pilots have completed initial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter training at Luke Air Force Base, allowing them to return to Italy and form a bedrock for the Italian Air Force’s F-35 training program. Italy is a Tier 2 partner in the program, with a planned procurement of 90 F-35s.
- The Netherlands is planning to modernize its Patriot air defense missile systems, rather than procure new MEADS systems. Beyond Germany’s selection of the Medium Extended Air Defense System – a Lockheed Martin/MBDA Deutschland project – in May, MEADS has not seen the success some hoped for. The Dutch are reportedly planning to upgrade their Patriots between 2017 and 2021, extending their service lives out to 2040, with the Dutch withdrawing Patriot batteries from Turkey in August 2014 to facilitate this modernization work.
- There is only a single flight engineer qualified to operate the Afghan Air Force’s fleet of four C-130H transport aircraft, according to a report by Reuters. Despite efforts to speed more personnel into the role, training requires a commitment of up to two years, with more individuals said to be in the training pipeline in an attempt to ease the shortage.
- India’s Astra air-to-air missiles could be fielded next year, according to Indian press reports. The recent testing of the indigenous missile on Su-30MKI fighters tested the propulsion and aircraft integration capabilities of the missile; further testing of the Astra’s sensors and other sub-systems is planned for coming months.
- Russian small arms manufacturer Kalashnikov is reportedly engaged in talks with Indian firms over a possible joint venture. The companies involved are thought to include both private and publicly-owned firms, with manufacturing technology transfer likely to form an incentive for Indian companies looking to produce weapons for sale to the Indian military. In late February, Russia’s Defense Ministry selected Kalashnikov as supplier for the country’s assault rifle modernization program.