LM Gets $743M for 9th Batch F-35 | Germany’s MEADS Cost Almost Double $4.5B Euros Proposed | Japan to Consider Aegis or THAAD in Defense UpgradeOct 19, 2016 00:58 UTC
- MQ-8C Fire Scout UAVs will be supplied with Leonardo’s 2-panel Osprey AESA radar following the dismissal of a protest by rival bidderTelephonics. Five radars will be delivered to the US Naval Air Systems Command in the first financial quarter of 2017 and will be used for integration, test and evaluation on-board the Bell Helicopter 407-derived MQ-8C, and the USN holds an option to buy a larger quantity for operational use. The radar will provide only 260-degree field of view and will come equipped with air-to-air targeting mode.
- Contracts have been awarded to Lockheed Martin for the provision of the ninth batch F-35 Joint Strike Fighter totalling $743 million. The DoD allocation comes as negotiations for Lots 9 & 10 continue. One contract sets not-to-exceed prices for up to $385 million on a range of services for the US military’s F-35 customers, including redesign and development of components with diminishing manufacturing and material services while another $333 million is being allotted to set not-to-exceed prices for one F-35A and one F-35B on behalf of a non-US participant in the program. Another $25.4 million of the award comes from the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme to pay for “country unique requirements.”
Middle East & North Africa
- Just over two years after the Islamic State rolled into the city of Mosul, Iraqi security and Kurdish Peshmerga forces have begun maneuvers to reclaim the city. The long awaited assault has stoked fears of a humanitarian crisis, creating more refugees from the one million civilians estimated to be still living in the city. Backed by US air power, Iraqi forces advancing on multiple fronts still remain some distance from Mosul and are expected to eventually take up positions on the edge of the city and lay siege before breaching its boundaries and directly engaging die-hard jihadists.
- Prototypes of a new variant of the Pantsyr mobile air defense system are currently being assembled with production slated to commence in 2018. Designated as Pantsyr-SM, the updated model will boost its detection range from 40 km to 75 km while the engagement range is expected to be doubled as well to 40 km. A navalized version, the Pantsyr-M, will be fielded on the warship Admiral Nakhimov next year. The naval variant features a quad-directional static radar array, and will use both the same missiles as the land-based Pantsyr-S1/Pantsyr-SM and the future Hermes-K missile for use against small surface targets and small aircraft like helicopters.
- A proposal submitted by MBDA and Lockheed Martin to provide the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) to Germany will cost nearly double the $4.5 billion originally estimated. Several sources have backed up the claims made by Reuters, but little reason has been given as to why the costing has jumped so suddenly. Berlin is expected to request that MBDA provide an additional detailed breakdown of the cost of the major items in the proposal while some officials have already raised the possibility of going back to negotiate with Raytheon about a new version of the current Patriot missile defense system.
- Poland has shaken off criticisms from both Airbus and the French government by inviting the firm, alongside Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky and Italian firm Leonardo-Finmeccanica, to talks in relation to buying army helicopters worth about $254 million. The invitations come just a week after Warsaw cancelled a preliminary $3.4 billion deal with Airbus to buy 50 Caracal multi-role helicopters and the talks are being undertaken to fill an “urgent operational need declared by the armed forces of the Republic of Poland.” By declaring such an urgent need, the ministry can hold talks with a chosen contractor without the need to announce a new tender.
- Aegis or THAAD? With the expectation that Tokyo will request additional money to fund missile defense upgrades to repel North Korean ballistic missiles, a study will be funded on whether to buy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system or Aegis Ashore. It’s believed that money will also be provided to improve their existing PAC-3 air defense system as well. However, any purchases or modernizations will take time to implement as North Korea continues with its escalation of missile tests.
The Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) conducting its first airborne trap on a F/A-18E Super Hornet: