Dyncorp Gets $61M for Saudi Land Forces Aviation Prgm | New Polish Government Reconsiders Choices for Mil Upgrades | AU Senate to Vote on $17.2B (US) F-35 DealNov 30, 2015 00:20 UTC
- The US Department of Defense has awarded a $61 million contract to Dyncorp. The contract involves the support and maintenance of the Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command aviation program. All work will take place in Saudi Arabia and is expected to be completed by January 2021.
Middle East North Africa
- A $9 billion Eurofighter sale to Kuwait has been delayed. Italian defense company Finmeccanica announced that problems with pilot training and the dispatching of specialized personnel has resulted in the deal being postponed until mid-December. An initial memorandum of agreement for 28 fighters was signed in September and it was hoped contracts would have been signed by November. Kuwait is one of several Gulf nations currently driving to acquire high-tech aircraft and weaponry to protect themselves from neighbouring Iran as well as internal threats in the region.
- The Israeli Navy has announced the successful first test of the Barak-8 air defense system. The interceptor missile was launched from a Sa’ar-5 Corvette against a UAV target representing a threat against a ship at sea. The system has been jointly developed with India and aims to cater for the long range missile defence for both countries with India also planning to test the system before the end of the year. It is hoped that the system will have reached initial operational capability within the next two years.
- Poland’s new government is considering backing out of a previous $5 billion deal to install the Patriot missile defense system. A further order of 50 Caracal EC725 helicopters worth $3 billion is also in doubt. The agreements were made last April amid rising tensions among NATO member states in eastern Europe after the Russian annexation of Crimea. The ruling Law & Justice party have brought the nature of the deal into doubt expressing concerns over extra costs and increased delivery time and may look at a renewed tendering process in 2016.
- The Chinese ministry of defense has confirmed the the $2 billion purchase of Su-35 fighters from Russia. China’s plan to also purchase the S-400 missile defense system is also going ahead smoothly according to Colonel Wu Qian and will generate another $3 billion in revenue for Russia. While arms sales between China and Russia are nothing new, the sale of Russia’s most developed military technologies to China represents a policy shift within the Kremlin primarily brought on by financial necessity.
- Indonesia has announced that it will order 12 Su-35 fighters following the the $2 billion sale of the aircraft to China last week. The fighters will replace the 16 F-5 Tigers which have been in service since 1980. The Su-35 saw competition from the Lockheed Martin F-16 Viper. The Indonesian Air Force also operate the Su-30 in its fleet and already have an existing maintenance system that will be compatible with the new Su-35.
- Afghanistan has ordered eight sets of the Insitu ScanEagle UAS from Boeing worth $70 million. The sets contain 65 of the ScanEagle UAVs and work is expected to be completed by 2018. Initially developed to track dolphins and tuna from fishing boats, the ScanEagle is operational in several countries and provides a range of surveillance, tracking and mapping abilities. The purchase comes at a time of increased defense spending from Kabul who has spent $1.8 billion this year. It is expected defense spending will reach $3.4 billion by 2020.
- India and Japan look to come to a deal over jointly producing the US-2 amphibious aircraft in what would be the first defense deal between the two countries. The agreement would see the aircraft produced in India as part of Prime Minister Modi’s Make in India initiative. Production would take place in India and would service both domestic and export markets. The announcement comes when India is looking at boosting defense manufacturing in the country. Talks are currently ongoing about producing Rafale fighters in India after last weeks purchase of 36 from France.
- The Australian senate is to vote on whether it to is examine the purchase of F-35 fighters in a deal worth $24 billion ($17.25 billion US). The vote comes in the aftermath of Canada announcing that it is to back out of its own orders last month. The investigation would look into the deal and what would be the best value for money for Australia and its defense requirements. Canada’s withdrawal from the F-35 program has brought about confusion over pricing as it was announced by US Air Force Lieutenant-General Chris Bogdan that costs of each aircraft were likely to increase by $1 million. This was contrary to previous assurances by the Australian Department of Defence that no extra costs would be incurred by Australia. Australia is one of eight nations working in conjunction with the US to develop and purchase the new fighter. The result of the vote will be watched with interest as the program could see a domino effect of cancellations as confidence in the program wanes.
- Israel Navy footage of the Barak-8 Interceptor test.