Boeing to Provide NGJ for EA-18G in $308M Deal | Leonardo Announces Successful First Flight of M-345 | LM Gets $450M for Air Sys Integration on F-35 in SKJan 03, 2017 00:58 UTC
- And we’re off! The USAF has released the final request for proposals (RFP) for their T-X trainer competition. Not deviating much from the draft RFP released in July, the request encompasses a total of 350 aircraft, including delivery of the initial five test aircraft, contract options for LRIP lots 1 and 2, and full-rate production of lots 3 through 11. A decision on the $16.3 billion program is expected later this year.
- Boeing will provide Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) integration services for the US Navy’s EA-18G aircraft in a deal worth $308 million. Work ordered in the contract includes the program’s engineering phase, as well as the design and manufacturing tasks for 12 ECP 6472 kits, NGJ pod testing, and additional supporting equipment. The NGJ is a Raytheon-led effort to improve airborne electronic warfare capabilities while replacing the existing AN/ALQ-99 pods used by EA-18G Growler aircraft. Industry partners are aiming to reach initial operating capability for the new pods in 2021.
Middle East & North Africa
- The Turkish military is expected to receive satellite-communication (SATCOM)-equipped Anka-S medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAVS in 2017. Ten ground systems will be delivered to the armed forces, with deliveries set to be completed by 2018. Manufactured by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), the Anka’s development commenced in 2004, making its maiden test flight in December 2010.
- Leonardo-Finmeccanica finished out 2016 by announcing the first successful flight of their Aermacchi M-345 High Efficiency Trainer. The December 29 flight lasted 30 minutes; more tests of avionics, engine, and flight envelope expansion projects to enhance the plane’s speed, altitude, and maneuverability will continue throughout 2017. The company has also followed through on their planned name change, being referred to simply as “Leonardo” from January 1.
- State trials of the new MiG-35 fighter will commence next month. Based on further development of the MiG-29M/M2 and MiG-29K/KUB, trials had been planned to commence during the summer but did not occur. It’s also believed that a batch of the prototype fighters ere expected to be delivered to the Russian Defense Ministry by the end of 2016.
- A new tender for close-air support (CAS) aircraft for the Philippines has been released following Manila’s failure to select a winner last year. Interested parties have until January 27 to apply for the tender to supply six aircraft, destined to either replace or compliment the Philippine Air Force’s fleet of Rockwell OV-10 Bronchos. Embraer’s A-10 Super Tucano is an early main contender with other offerings expected to come from Beechcraft’s T-6 Texan II, the L-39 from Elbit Systems, and KT-1 Woongbi from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI).
- Taiwan has announced the successful test of their ship-based variant of the Tien Kung (Sky Bow) III ballistic missile defense interceptor. Earlier plans to test the missile had been postponed due to both bad weather and the presence of Chinese and US reconnaissance aircraft in the area. Developers at the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) are also waiting on the granting of export licenses from the US for vertical lift launchers, to help aid them in their research and development.
- Lockheed Martin has been contracted $450 million to perform additional Lot 10 F-35 Lightning II Air System integration work for South Korea. The deal will include non-recurring engineering work. Seoul plans to procure 40 of the next-generation aircraft, and expects deliveries to begin in 2018 and conclude in 2021.
Cockpit footage of the Boeing T-X’s maiden flight: