LM-Boeing Joint Venture EELV Program Gets $861M Mod | FOIA on B-1 Naming Yields Both Serious & Silly | BAE to Begin Work on UK SubmarinesOct 04, 2016 00:58 UTC
- United Launch Services, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, has been awarded an $861 million modification to a previously awarded contract for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle capability for the Delta IV and Atlas V rockets. The USAF contract will run until September 20, 2017. Other work contained within the deal include mission assurance, program management, systems engineering, integration of the space vehicle with the launch vehicle, launch site and range operations, and launch infrastructure maintenance and sustainment.
- A freedom of information request diligently requested by Aviation Week has revealed some of the 2,100 would be names submitted as part of the B-1 naming competition. According to the request, “the responses ranged from historically informed to odd, witty and downright inappropriate, with airmen requesting the names Death Star, Meme Machine, Chuck Norris, Taxslayer and Mecca Wrecka.” Of course Nukey McMeltface (not dissimilar to DID’s own Stealthy McBombface suggestion) was just one of several McMonikers to be submitted, joining Stealthy McStealthface, Bombypants McGee and McLovin on the discarded pile.
Middle East & North Africa
- Saudi Arabia is set to buy a further eight UH-60M Black Hawks in a $91 million US Army contract. The foreign military sale will see Sikorsky provide the medium-lift utility helicopters by December 2017. Back in February, Sikorsky and Saudi Arabian firm Taqnia Aeronautics began investigating the possibilities of producing Black Hawks in the kingdom as part of efforts to diversify their economy amid dropping oil prices.
- Denel Dynamics has moved closer to selling their Ingwe missile to Saudi Arabia following the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi ITEAC Group. The move will see both firms jointly market the South African’s ZT3 Ingwe anti-tank missile to the Saudi armed forces. Denel has been attempting to enter the Saudi defense market for some time, and any deal could likely see technology transfers as well as the setting up of local manufacturing facilities.
- BAE Systems will commence work on the UK’s newest nuclear submarines following the release of nearly $1.7 billion in funds. The announcement was made by the Minister of Defence on Saturday after approval was given by MPs earlier this year. Known colloquially as the Trident system, the first of the Vanguard-class submarines will enter service in the early 2030s.
- A collaboration between Leonardo-Finmeccinca, Dassault Aviation and Airbus Defence has launched the European Medium Altitude Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft System program (RPAS). The project will facilitate the creation of new remotely piloted aircraft systems to support European intelligence-gathering missions, with all three companies to first conduct definition studies to support the program. In addition to intelligence gathering, the drones will be used for infrastructure surveillance, firefighting, border control, and disaster relief efforts.
- A week after French and India’s defense ministers finalized their long awaited Rafale deal, manufacturer Dassault and India’s Reliance Group signed contracts in relation to the deal’s production offsets. As much as $4.51 billion, 50% of the total deal, will be reinvested in Indian firms as part of work share conditions attached to the sale of the 36 fighters. As the world’s largest defense importer, New Delhi’s “Make in India” initiative requires foreign defense companies to invest a percentage of the value of deals that they have been awarded into India to help the country build their own manufacturing base and wean them from imports.
- Lockheed Martin will provide combat systems for Australia’s new fleet of submarines. The move is said to increase interoperability with fellow Lockheed system-user the US Navy. French firm DCNS won the $38 billion Australian submarine contract back in April defeating Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Since then, the company has been dealing with the aftermath of a 22,000 page data leak of submarines they are building for India, drawing a warning from Australian defense officials.
China’s Z-18 helicopter: