GAO Dismisses LM’s Objection to Oshkosh LTV Award | IAF Retires Skyhawks After 48 Years | Obama Admin Authorizes: Arms Sale of $1.83B to TaiwanDec 17, 2015 00:20 UTC
- Oshkosh Corporation has been allowed to resume building tactical vehicles for the US Army. The go ahead was given after the company was forced to halt production of 17,000 Light Tactical Vehicles specified on the $6.75 billion contract which was awarded in August. Rival bidder Lockheed Martin had challenged the decision to award Oshkosh Corp the tender, bringing it to the watchdog Government Accountability Office. The GAO dismissed Lockheed’s objections, allowing the production to continue.
- Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training and Charles Stark Draper Laboratories have each been awarded contracts to carry out support and engineering services for the US and UK Navies’ Trident systems. Lockheed was awarded $72.47 million to provide Trident (D-5) II navigation sub-system engineering support services and that contract may contain add ons that amount to a total of $147.3 million if options are exercised. CSD Labs will provide specialized tactical engineering services, logistics services, fleet support services, and guidance SSP alteration services to test, repair and maintain guidance subsystems, test equipment, and related support equipment of existing Trident (D-5) weapon systems. The contract with CSD Labs is for $54.3 million, but with options could total $392.9 million.
Middle East North Africa
- The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has just retired their fleet of A-4 Skyhawks after 48 years of service. The aircraft have taken part in every single military campaign since 1967. In total, 236 have been in operation over the years and after their replacement as active fighters by the F-15s and F-16s, they remained as trainer jets. Thirty of the jets remained in service until they were retired from service on December 13.
- A Spanish operated NATO Patriot missile battery is to continue being stationed in southern Turkey until 2017. The battery was expected to cease service at the end of this year, but is to be extended at the request of the Turkish government to counter the deployment of Russian S-400 batteries in Syria. Turkey is currently in the process of looking to procure a temporary air defense system as it develops its own indigenous batteries.
- Testing of a Russian cruise missile went awry in the northern city of Archangel after it hit an apartment building. Testing was being conducted by industry specialists NPO Mashinostroyeniya rocket design bureau when the incident occurred. According to the Ministry of Defence, “as a result of an abnormal situation, the missile diverged from the set trajectory and fell near the inhabited locality of Nenoksa”. Luckily, no casualties were reported, but the roof and four apartments of a three story house were damaged. Let’s see who gets fired for that blunder.
- The Obama administration has approved a $1.83 billion arms sale to Taiwan, the first between the two countries in four years. Congress is expected to give final approval within the next thirty days, but few objections are expected. The package sees a major transfer of equipment including two frigates, anti-tank and surface-to-air missiles, and amphibious assault equipment. Details of the potential deal had been known for the last few weeks, but official Pentagon approval has been met with the expected swift condemnation from China. They claimed the sale would damage the relations across the Taiwan Strait which have been growing steadily over the last two decades, especially under the China-friendly administration of Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou.
- The assembly of the first Japanese-built F-35 has begun in their Nagoya plant. Dubbed the AX-5, the “mate” process began on Tuesday when its wings, fuselage and tails were joined together for the first time to form the structure of the aircraft. The announcement marks an important milestone in the international F-35 program. Thirty-eight of Japan’s forty-two F-35 fleet will be manufactured indigenously, with the first four aircraft, to be delivered in 2018, produced in the US.
- Airbus has completed the final deliveries of the H-135 helicopters for the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. The two delivered brings the total to 15 now in operation since operations began in 2011. Japan has approximately 80 H-135 helicopters in use across a variety of fields including emergency services, civilian news networks, VIP travel, and business aviation.
- US defense officials have claimed that a Chinese submarine simulated a targeting of the USS Ronald Reagan during operations in October. The submarine allegedly simulated an anti-ship cruise missile attack which is against the 2014 multi-national commitment Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea. The code, while non-binding, aims to prevent mishaps and misunderstandings at sea. The targeting was a response to assumed US naval incursions near disputed Chinese islands in the South China Sea by the USS Lassen, which was criticized by Beijing.
- IDF GoPro footage of the A-4 Skyjet: