GAO: Army’s Patriot Upgrade Needs More Oversight | Beijing to Boost Missile Def Due to THAAD | Datron World Comm to Provide $495M in Radio & Support to AfghanisAug 31, 2016 00:58 UTC
- The Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’ watchdog, has stated that it wants more oversight into the Army’s Patriot upgrade. With $1.8 billion in funding allocated for the next five years, the GAO stated that the service’s plan, which is expected to remain in operation until at least 2050, lacks oversight mechanisms as the Army carries out its strategy in the coming years. Congress has consistently taken issue with what it sees as the Army’s inability to estimate the cost of the system in future years, and has regularly withheld funds to upgrade portions of the system, demanding the Army provide more clarity to its plans before shelling out all of the requested cash to fund it.
Middle East North Africa
- Israeli firm Rada Electonic Industries are to provide radars as part of the US Army’s Iron Curtain close-in active protection system (APS). The US DoD gave approval to Virginia-based defense solutions company Artis for the use of two Israeli Compact Hemispheric Radar-based RPS-10 radars “to support Artis’ active protection against rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) and other shoulder-launched threats.” Optimized to detect fire from RPGs and anti-tank guided missiles, the compact, multi-mission Rada radar has been validated dozens of times in live-fire tests of another hard kill system, the Israeli-developed Iron Fist by state-owned IMI Systems.
- Heckler & Koch are to provide a $14 million shipment of G-36 rifles and 40mm under-barrel grenade launchers to the Lithuanian Army in the Baltic nation’s latest round of defense procurements. The company was dropped as Germany’s main rifle supplier last year following criticisms that the G-36 was unable to shoot straight in hot conditions. But with winter fast approaching and relations between Russia and its former-Soviet neighbors continuing to frost, it doesn’t seem to be too much of a concern for Vilnius (Lithuania).
- Russia’s VPK has announced the introduction of their own life-size remote control 4×4 based on their armored Tigr vehicle. Fitted with a a combat module and a 30-mm automatic gun, the unmanned Tigr can move and fire via an operator’s commands and can also identify and track targets on its own. Since its introduction in 2006, the Tigr has been spotted in Syria and has even gained attention from King Abdullah II of Jordan.
- A Swiss Air Force jet has gone missing, according to military officials. The F/A-18C, disappeared on Monday afternoon during a routine training mission. According to Defense Ministry sources, the suspected accident site in the mountainous Alpine region was difficult to access, with bad weather and darkness hampering the search efforts.
- In response to THAAD coming to South Korea, Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily reports on Beijing’s plans to boost their missile defense capabilities. A PLAAF spokesperson made the announcement Monday, indicating that such an increase would be a solid step in increasing national security. Monday also saw the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) award Lockheed Martin a $19 million contract modification for the production of two additional Lot 8 interceptors for THAAD. The modification to the previously awarded contract increases the total value to $916 million.
- Datron World Communications has been awarded a $495 million contract to provide the government of Afghanistan with radios and support equipment. The US Army deal is expected to be completed by August 2021. Datron provides an array of HF and VHF military voice and data radio products, rapidly deployable IP networking solutions and vertical take-off and landing drone systems with customers in over 80 countries.
- Three Taiwanese Naval officers have been indicted in relation to last month’s accidental firing of an HF-3 supersonic anti-ship missile. The mishap resulted in the destruction of a fishing vessel and the death of its captain. Petty Officer Second Class Kao Chia-chun was charged with negligence and causing the captain’s death while Kao’s supervisor, Chief Petty Officer Chen Ming-hsiu, and the ship’s weapon systems officer Lt. Hsu Po-wei were indicted for neglecting their duties.
Remote control Tigr firing tests: