GAO Report on UCLASS Sees Progress on CBARS | French Navy Seizes Somalia Bound Weapons Cache | 490 Participants, 47 Countries Attend Defexpo India 2016Mar 30, 2016 00:50 UTC
- Alliant Techsystems Operations LLC and Chemring Military Products were awarded a $750 million firm-fixed-price contract for non-standard ammunition and non-standard mortar weapon systems. The contract was awarded by the US Army on Monday, with an estimated completion time of March 27, 2021 with the potential for foreign military sales. Other munition contracts awarded include a $30.3 million contract for Olin Corp to provide 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and .50-caliber ammunition. The ammunition is expected to be delivered by September 30, 2017.
- The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published its annual report on the the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program, as authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. By analyzing the DOD budget for FY 2017 and speaking to program officials, the GAO found that the U.S. Navy has begun to develop modifications to existing shipboard systems to support the UCLASS’ latest iteration – Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System (CBARS). As with the UCLASS program, CBARS will include an air system segment, an aircraft carrier segment, and a control system and connectivity segment.
Middle East North Africa
- A resolution has been agreed upon by a number of Arab and African governments to bolster counter-terrorism cooperation. 27 states agreed to the measures at a meeting of defense ministers in Egypt. The resolution, which will be presented to presidents of the members of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), emphasized intelligence sharing and joint border patrols. A number of the bloc’s members have been battling Islamist militants, while some territories have been taken control of by the Islamic State.
- Vectrus Systems Corp. has been awarded a $329.4 million contract to provide Kuwait base operations and security support. Work will be performed in Kuwait, and will reach its completion on December 28, 2016. The US Army currently operates four military installations in Kuwait including Camp Arifjan, located south of the capital, Kuwait City.
- Angola has received four Mi-17Sh helicopters. The helicopters were delivered by Russian Helicopters using an An-124 Russian transport aircraft. The new Mi-17Shs add to four already in use by Angola in their armed services, and have been equipped with modern flight controls and navigation equipment, weather radar, recuse hoists, and internal fuel tanks that increase their range to 1,065 km.
- The French Navy has seized a large weapons cache on board a dhow in the northern Indian Ocean. Discovery of the weapons was made by the navy’s helicopter during a routine maritime security and counter terrorism surveillance in the area. Personnel on board the French destroyer FS Provence boarded the dhow on seeing that the dhow had no indicators of nationality. Among the weapons found were several hundred AK47 assault rifles, machine guns, and anti-tank weapons. It’s believed that the weapons were bound for Islamist militants in Somalia.
- A record number of companies are participating in this week’s Defexpo India 2016, the ninth in the series of biennial Land, Naval and Internal Homeland Security Systems Exhibitions. Over 1,000 domestic and foreign defense companies are attending the exhibition which runs until Thursday, March 31. US-based companies will be the largest participant at Defexpo, with 93 participants, followed by Russia, with 71. Additionally, companies based in France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Russia, South Korea and the UK will join the 490 foreign participants from 47 countries.
- A report published by the Jamestown Foundation has investigated China’s recent deployment of an HQ-9 air defense unit on Woody Island in the South China Sea. The deployment is part of a larger effort to consolidate the country’s position in the South China Sea, furthering the “tactical significance [of the deployment] increases when deployed in combination with other anti-access, area denial (A2/AD) weapons.” Similar to the Russian S-300, the HQ-9s have been on the island since February, and are seen as threatening “the safety of U.S. surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft that may pass by the islands, such as the U.S. Navy’s P-3 or P-8 patrol planes.”
- Spanish Eurofighter and Russian Su-27 escort Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s plan over the Baltic: