LM Self-Funding F-16 | US Army Awards Boeing $896M Contract for CH-4Fs | Poland Investing $21B to Replace IFVsMar 17, 2016 00:20 UTC
- Lockheed Martin is using company money to fund suppliers for continued production of the F-16. The move comes as the manufacturer aims to prevent the closure of the jet’s production line, as it awaits the finalized orders from Pakistan and chases new business. Without any new orders, the line will have to close next year after delivering the last of 36 F-16s ordered by Iraq. Lockheed officials have mentioned a number of potential clients including Bahrain, Colombia, Indonesia, and India.
- The second prototype of the CH-53K helicopter made its maiden flight in January according to Lockheed company Sikorsky. In addition, the first aircraft into the test program has achieved flight envelope expansion to 120 knots for the USMC’s CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter program. The two are the most heavily instrumented of the Engineering Development Models (EDM) and will focus on structural flight loads and envelope expansion. Two more will join the flight line later this year and will focus on performance, propulsion, and avionics flight qualification.
- The US Army has awarded an $896 million contract to Boeing to refurbish 27 CH-47F Chinook military airlift helicopters and to buy an additional 12 units. The CH-27F upgrade of the troop transport aircraft was completed in 2006. The modification to the contract increases the funds initially going to Boeing for the work by $30 million. Completion of the upgrades and delivery of the new units is expected by December 20, 2020.
Middle East & North Africa
- Bell Helicopters are to supply three UH-1H Huey II helicopters to the government of Lebanon. The $18.9 million contract is expected to be completed by March 2017, and is part of an order for 18 Huey II helicopters for Lebanon approved by the US Department of State in September 2014. While initially designed as a troop transport and support helicopter, it has been pressed into service by Lebanon as a bomber. For this role they were fitted with extended undercarriage skids and improvised bomb racks for the delivery of 250 kg (550 lb) and 400 kg (880 lb) bombs.
- Saudi Arabian Royal Airforce has taken delivery of two KC-130J tankers from Lockheed. The aerial refuelers were acquired by the Kingdom through a Foreign Military Sales program with the US government. The delivery comes as the USAF awarded manufacturer Lockheed Martin $106 million modification contract for the continued production of 11 variations of the C-130J aircraft. Work on two C-130J-30, three HC-130J, five MC-130J and one KC-130J is expected to be completed by July 31, 2017.
- Poland is to invest $21 billion in replacing its Soviet-designed BWP-1 and BWP-2 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs). The government is currently looking at options for the replacement with a potential joint procurement with the Czech Republic. Warsaw may also partner with local manufacturer Huta Stalowa Wola who acquired the license for South Korea’s K9 chassis for use with its ASM Krab 155mm self-propelled howitzer.
- The UK government is to cut the baseline profit rate for single source defense contracts. The Single Source Regulations Office has recommended cutting the baseline rate at 8.95% as the Minister of Defence (MoD) attempts to bring Britain in line with defense suppliers in Western Europe and North America. According to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, the new rate “provides a fair return to industry while delivering savings that will be reinvested in defense.” It is expected the government will save $283 million from the change.
- Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has successfully test fired FZ 70mm rockets during weapons trials of its prototype TD-3 Light Combat Helicopter (LCH). The next weapon systems scheduled to be tested on the helicopter are the on board 20 mm Giat-Nexter turret gun and MBDA Mistral-2 air-to-air missile. The Indian Air Force has also announced that the planned testing of Astra’s beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) is on schedule, and the missile is on course to be inducted into the air force next year.
- EA-6 Prowler Equipped With AGM-88 HARM Anti-Radar Missile: