Australia Cleared for FMS of $386M in GBU-39s | Kuwait Confirmed as Launch Customer for Typhoon Captor-E | Gearbox Issues Not Delaying A400M DeliveryApr 08, 2016 00:50 UTC
- Winners of the contract to participate in the US Army’s $10 billion Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) may also be selected to to provide more engines for either a single- or twin-engined Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Light (next-generation light attack/reconnaissance helicopter). The ITEP acquisition seeks 68 engines during development, and 6,215 through procurement to re-engine the Boeing AH-64E and Sikorsky UH-60M in the late 2020s. However, if selected for the FVL procurement, this order will rise significantly. At present, the leading contenders for the contract are GE Aviation with their single-spool GE3000, and a joint venture by Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney, Advanced Turbine Engine Company, who are offering a dual-spool HPW3000 engine.
- Australia has been cleared to purchase up to 2,950 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs by the US State Department. The $386 million sale will include the provision of up to 50 Guided Test Vehicles (GTV) with GBU-39 (T-1)/B (Inert Fuze) as well as containers, weapons system support equipment, support and test equipment, site survey, transportation, repair and return warranties, spare and repair parts, publications and technical data, maintenance, personnel training, and training equipment. Included additionally are US Government and contractor representative engineering, logistics, and technical support services, and other related elements of logistics support.
Middle East North Africa
- Kuwait is to become the launch customer of the Eurofighter Typhoon’s Captor-E active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The country will be the first to flight test the new technology upon delivery of its long awaited order for 28 of the multi-role fighters. Finmeccanica, who has taken the lead on the Kuwait sale has said that the Typhoons that will be delivered to Kuwait will be the most advanced configuration of the type, and will include the company’s Praetorian defensive aids suite and Pirate infrared search and track system.
- Glitches surrounding the production of the turboprop TP400 engine gearboxes on the A400M may take several months to rectify. The comments were made by Philippe Petitcolin, CEO of Safran, one of the companies behind manufacturer Europrop. “There is no problem in the short term, but it affects reliability in the long term. It is being fixed,” he said, indicating that while it may take time to fix, it will not affect delivery schedules of the aircraft. The A400M is powered by two pairs of turboprop engines whose propellors rotate in opposite directions, requiring two different versions of the gearbox.
- The United Aircraft Corporation announced that it has delivered another Tu-95MS strategic bomber back to the Russian Air Force. A number of the bombers have been undergoing a series of upgrades in order to boost combat capabilities. The modernization includes the installation of advanced radio-radar equipment as well as a target-acquiring/navigation system based on GLONASS. The aircraft can carry up to eight Kh-101 strategic cruise missiles or Kh-102 nuclear-tipped missiles on the wing’s external mountings.
- A joint submarine procurement between Norway and Poland is not imminent despite ongoing talks on the matter. While Oslo is looking to proceed with a joint procurement of a submarine fleet, the final shape of the program, the number of vessels it plans to acquire, and with whom to cooperate still needs to be decided. Poland, in the midst of a nationalist fervor removing any military equipment stemming from the Cold War-era, is looking to acquire three new submarines to replace its aging Kobben-class subs, due to be decommissioned in 2021.
- The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has taken delivery of the first of two ordered C-130 cargo aircraft acquired through the excess defense articles (EDA) program. It is expected that the second C-130 will be delivered in the third of forth quarter of this year. Originally configured for tanker missions, the two aircraft have been converted for transport missions, and will significantly boost the PAF’s heavy lift capabilities. At present, the air force operates three Airbus Military C-295 medium, and three Fokker F-27 transports for its logistics and lift missions.
- Indian Army officials have called for the purchase of a quick reaction surface-to-air missile system (QRSAM) for use in the forward tactical battlefield area. The calls have been made as the indigenous Akash system has been deemed too slow to react, and inefficient on the move, lacking a 360 degree radar coverage. Instead, the Akash has been recommended to be used for static defense, guarding areas and assets deeper in the country. This shooting down of an indigenous system in favor of importing one seemingly better suited may cause some ruffled feathers for proponents of the “Make in India” initiative. The policy’s goal is to reduce weapon imports from 70% of acquisitions to about 50% in the next 10 years.
- The Eurofighter’s Captor-E AESA radar: