Now a Twitter-Lashing for LM | Germany to Launch 2017 Competition to Replace Navy Helos | SK Conducts First Live Fire Exercises in Four YearsDec 13, 2016 00:58 UTC
- Lockheed Martin is the latest defense firm to receive criticism from Donald Trump, after the US President-elect lashed out at the costs of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Taking to his usual medium to the masses, Twitter, Trump stated “the F-35 program and cost is out of control,” and “Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th.” Shares at Lockheed dropped 4 percent after Trump’s tweet, while shares of several other defense contractors also weakened. Trump also suggested that he was considering imposing a lifetime ban on US military procurement officials going to work for defense contractors, a move that could dramatically reshape the defense industry.
- Raytheon has won a $101 million US Navy contract to repair 10 weapon replaceable assemblies for F/A-18 Hornet aircraft. Under the contract, the company will support and repair weapon assemblies for the fighters’ AN/ALR-67(V)3 advanced digital countermeasures. The devices are equipped to all variants of Hornet and Super Hornet aircraft serving under the US Navy, allows pilots to intercept faint signals, and improves situational awareness.
- Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has been charged by federal prosecutors with interfering in a government tender for fighter aircraft, in order to favor the Saab Gripen fighter. Lula, who was no longer in the presidency when the suspected illegal practices happened, was accused of having used his influence over the subsequent Workers Party government to help Saab win the 2013 F-X2 fighter competition for 36 jets worth around $5.6 billion. The Swedish fighter won out against competition from Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet and Dassault’s Rafale.
Middle East & North Africa
- Operators of the Airbus C295 will have the option of converting the aircraft into an airborne early warning and control (AEW) platform equipped with an Elta AESA radar. The announcement was made by Igo Licht, Elta’s vice-president of marketing and sales. Licht added that the conversion process is very cost effective and the medium transport could also be equipped with communications intelligence and signals intelligence sensors.
- 2017 will see the German government launch a competition for the replacement of their navy’s fleet of 21 Westland Sea Lynx anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters. A selection is expected to be made by the end of that year, however that is not allowing for any slippages. A likely contender is the NH90 Sea Lion, recently flown for the first time as the German Navy’s new asset for search and rescue and transport missions. Other offerings include the Sea Lynx’s successor, the AW159 Wildcat, and the Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk.
- Officials at Raytheon have expressed confidence that the US government will grant export licenses for eight Patriot missile defense systems to Poland within the next few months. Speaking to Polish media, John Baird, vice president of Raytheon Poland programs said “concrete decisions are expected within the next few months.” Warsaw is also in talks to procure the Patriot’s rival, the Medium Extended Air Defense Systems (MEADS), with Lockheed Martin.
- The South Korean military has conducted the first live-fire exercises of their Chunma mobile air defense missile system for the first time in four years. A self-propelled guided surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, Chunma can detect and track low-flying planes traveling at speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour and 20 km away, and intercept them at an altitude of 5 km within 10 seconds. The early December exercise comes as Seoul prepares defense capabilities against a heightened threat from North Korea.
- An anonymous US military official has spoken out on the current state of North Korean ballistic missile capabilities. Pyongyang is now able to put a nuclear warhead atop of a missile, however, the regime is not sure whether the warhead can survive re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere. The same official added that North Korea is working hard to overcome the problem, a reason for the ramp up in tests recently.
Su-35 land at base near Finnish border: