Raytheons SM-3 Contract Boosted to $543.3M | Russia’s S-400 Missile Defense to Protect North Pole | US: North Korean Sub Damaged in Failed SLBM TestDec 10, 2015 00:20 UTC
- Raytheon has been awarded a not-to-exceed $543,337,650 undefinitized contract action modification to a previously awarded contract to manufacture, assemble, test, and deliver 17 Standard Missile-3 Block IIA missiles. The deal, initially set at $87 million, has now been extended to $543.3 million. The news comes after the US Navy and Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announced the second successful flight test on Tuesday. The SM-3 is the only ballistic missile killer to have the capability to be launched from both land and sea, and is being jointly funded and developed by US Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces. Future development of the program will see the interceptor be tested for the European missile defense system and hopeful deployment in Poland by 2018.
- The US Army’s new ground based targeting system Venom has been demonstrating its counter-Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) capabilities in recent testing. Developed by Northrop Grumman, the demonstration showed Venom’s ability to track small, low flying UAS and give accurate targeting data to precision guided munitions. Venom utilizes Northrop’s battle-tested Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder (LLDR) on mount design that allows it to be attached to a range of land vehicles who can operate while on the move. To date, the company has delivered over 2,700 LLDR systems to customers.
- France is expecting to receive an unsolicited bid from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Bedek Group offering second hand C-130E aircraft. The proposal comes after the French procurement agency recently issued a request for proposals for the purchase and modification of four C-130s to Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, Ogma and Sabena Technics. Bedek have performed such works on C-130s for the Israel Air Force, and if accepted could see a government-to-government deal for the sale of the planes. Israel has been phasing out their C-130E as they move to upgrade their fleet to the C-130H model. The Israeli Defense Ministry has offered for sale various second hand equipment to friendly nations as they integrate newer weapons systems into their armed forces. A deal to sell Kfir fighter jets to Argentina was put on hold indefinitely last month during Argentina’s elections.
- The German Army has taken delivery of its first two Airbus H145M helicopters out of a total order of 15. They will be used by Germany’s special forces, the Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK). The lightweight multi-role helicopters have been equipped with a fast roping system for troops, cargo hooks, hoists, a pintle-mounted door gun, ballistic protection and an electronic countermeasures system which aim to give the KSK greater capabilities in special operations. Deliveries of the the aircraft will continue through to 2017. Airbus will be hoping that the delivery will improve relations with Germany as the previous NH90 and Tiger programs received much criticism for not meeting performance standard. Furthermore, Germany fined Airbus $14 million in November after delays to the delivery of A400 cargo planes.
- Russia’s rolling out of the S-400 missile defense system continues after two regiments have been deployed to its Arctic regions. The move comes as part of the Kremlin’s plan to increase the protection of its Arctic frontiers which has been ongoing since 2014. Further strengthening of the region includes the setting up of an Arctic Joint Strategic Command which combines forces and resources that were previously part of the existing Western, Central and Southern Military Districts. It is believed that this army grouping has received the same military district status and includes protection of the North Pole.
- US defense officials have claimed that the North Korean submarine used in November’s failed Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) test has been damaged. The KN-11 SLBM failed to eject from its firing tube and failed to break the surface of the water which caused significant damage to the Sinpo-class sub. While North Korean news outlets will be unlikely to announce the news, US intelligence photos suggest the damage will cause a significant setback in Pyongyang’s development of its SLBM program. The US, South Korea and Japan have been monitoring the program closely as SLBM capabilities would allow North Korea to potentially strike at targets as far as the US mainland.
- India’s capabilities to maintain its Su-30 fleet quickly and effectively has received a boost after a new deal signed with Russia. The agreement allows for the Indian Air Force (IAF) to receive spare parts of Su-30 aircraft within 30 days instead of the previous 12 months. The five year agreement will cut away red tape such as license, customs clearance and bank guarantees which in the past had to be completed for each part ordered. This will allow for the IAF to keep its Su-30 fleet at optimum levels of operational capacity. For two countries who love bureaucracy, 12 months to 30 days is quite an achievement.
- The INS Vikramaditya is set to get its first overhaul, the Indian Navy has announced. The Kiev-class former Russian Navy aircraft carrier has been in service since 2013 and upgrade of its infrastructure is set to be under way by September 2016. Works will be undertaken by Cochin Shipyards (CSL), who recently released India’s first indigenously built aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant, to the Navy. CSL will no doubt be utilizing the experiences learned during the Vikrant’s construction during the refit.
- A look at India’s INS Vikrant: