A-10s Get a Reprieve from Retirement Plans | Turkish Coast Guard Competition Swells to 25 | Lithuania & Czech Republic Adding to Mil Truck FleetsFeb 04, 2016 00:35 UTC
- Following Michael Gilmore’s thoughts on the F-35 program, his report has also shed some light on the hotly contested Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) competition. His report goes into detail on how the three offerings for the USMC Humvee replacement faired in tests. While Lockheed Martin and competition winner Oshkosh met protection requirements, Humvee producer AM General fell short. The shortfall resulted in AM General losing out on a contract potentially worth $30 billion, one of the biggest Army contracts in recent times. Lockheed Martin went on to begin a legal proceeding against the award to Oshkosh; however, these were thrown out before the new year.
- Four OH-58 Kiowa Delta helicopters are ready for export to a foreign county after landing at Redtone Arsenal prior to shipping. While details as to where the helicopters are going and at what cost have remained unknown, it is possible that they could be going to Croatia after being deemed Excess Defense Articles. Back in November 2015, the Croatian Defence Ministry announced that it had selected sixteen OH-58D helicopters that the USAF would donate to Croatia. The latest model is primarily operated in an armed reconnaissance role in support of ground troops, and could contribute to the ongoing modernization of the Croatian Armed Forces to participate in NATO operations.
- The life of the A-10 attack jet will be extended until 2022 after it was announced in Secretary for Defense Ash Carter’s 2017 defense budget preview on Tuesday. Lawmakers including former A-10 pilot Rep. Martha McSally and Sen. John McCain who supported the plane’s continuation were pleased with the announcement. The close-air support aircraft will continue to see service in the operations against the Islamic State in the Middle East where it has been supporting ground troops. The deferral of the A-10’s retirement comes as continued delays seem likely for the F-35, which is due to replace the A-10 once it comes into active service. The A-10’s ability to swoop in to heights of 50 feet above ground and engage enemies has been held up as an advantage against the F-35 by supporters.
Middle East North Africa
- Interest in providing aircraft for the Turkish Coast Guard has increased dramatically in the last week with ten more interested parties joining the initial fifteen. The twenty-five bidders are both a mix of domestic and international firms, with the most recent competitors including Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training and the Turkish military-software company Havelsan. Turkey plans to purchase a Beechcraft King Air 350ER for the Coast Guard, but are looking for someone to provide the integration of subsystems into the aircraft for maritime surveillance operations. As well as maritime surveillance, the aircraft will be responsible for conducting border security and search & rescue operations.
- Both Lithuania and the Czech Republic have inked contracts for new military truck acquisitions as they continue to modernize military gear. Lithuania has signed a $65 million deal with Daimler AG for 340 Unimog trucks as part of plans to increase the size of their land forces, with the establishment of another infantry brigade. The Czech Republic is to acquire 18 N3G-V trucks from local firm Tatra. The purchases are one of several contracts signed by Prague in an effort to be prepared to participate in NATO activities as well as to deal with the flow of refugees through its borders from the Middle East.
- Rheinmetall Defence is to provide a multi-million dollar deal to modernize the skyguard air defense system of an unknown international buyer. The order, worth $427 million, will be delivered between 2017 and 2020. Upgrades will include equipping the missile/gun air defence systems with advanced radar technology. Further more, the system will be outfitted with a new target tracking radar, a latest-generation friend-foe identification system as well as cutting-edge electronic warfare components. The missile launcher will be upgraded with a new state-of-the-art electronic pod, which will enhance the system’s missile capability. Variants of Rheinmetall’s anti-aircraft guns and systems are being used in over thirty countries with Thailand recently signing a contract for four Skyguard systems earlier this year.
- Israel Aerospace industries and Korean composite manufacturer Hankuk Carbon are to develop, manufacture and sell a new vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned air vehicle for South Korea. Initial aims for the UAV will be to develop a system with a 200-300kg maximum take-off weight, and it is hoped that it will have 90% of the work done domestically in Korea. Both companies are also looking into adding shipborne take-off and landing capabilities to IAI/Hankuk’s FE-Panther VTOL UAV, which will be available by the end of 2018.
- India has received the final batch of three Mi-17V-5 military transport helicopters from Russia, bringing the total to 151. The models are the most technically advanced of Rostec Corporation’s Mi-8/17 type including a KNEI-8 avionics suite. The new suite replaces the previously used multiple systems indicators with four large multi-functional that are easy to read and reduce the intensity of pilot’s workload. The completion of the sale comes as both India and Russia continue negotiations for forty-eight more of the helicopters, which are to be used in a variety of operations such as in deserts and mountains, matching the wide variety of environments found in India.
- The FE-Panter UAV: