Argentina’s Air Force Reconsiders IAI Fighter Buy | French Gov Supports Fincantieri’s Bid for STX France | Pilatus Sells PC-21’s in a Triad of $292M ContractsJan 05, 2017 00:58 UTC
- The previously stalled acquisition by Argentina’s Air Force to buy Kfir Block 60 upgraded fighters from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is back on the table. While pricing remains one of several stumbling blocks that still lay ahead in any talks, a successful deal would see IAI assemble and upgrade 12-14 Kfir fighters for Argentina. The most recent upgrade includes J-79 engines, Elta 2032 active electronically scanned array radar, and an open architecture that will allow the customer to install custom systems. Colombia, Ecuador, and Sri Lanka are all current operators.
Middle East & North Africa
- Raytheon has been contracted to provide integrated air and missile defense training for the government of Qatar. The $163 million foreign military sale will see Qatar Emir Air Force personnel receive a series of pre-Patriot and Patriot training classes in addition to English language training, ending in April 2020.
- A bid by Italy’s Fincantieri for a stake in STX France has been blessed by the French government. The French state owns a 33 percent of STX France, based in Saint Nazaire, and is looking to sell off the company as part of a broader offloading of assets following the demise of the South Korean STX shipbuilding group. Paris was hoping a European firm would become the eventual buyer, and is looking to keep the operation based in western France.
- Pilatus has announced $292 million worth of orders for PC-21 turboprop trainer aircraft, with France being the principle customer. Paris will receive 17 for the French Air Force, while two will be sent to repeat buyer Jordan. Finally, two more will be sent to UK company Qinetiq, for use by the Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS). Qinetiq’s acquisition comes as part of their selection of trainer aircraft for modernization of the UK MoD’s provision of test and evaluation services, a contract worth $1.26 billion.
- An unnamed customer has contracted Saab to deliver $36 million worth of M3 and M4 variants of the portable Carl Gustaf weapon system. The shoulder-fired multi-role weapon affords operators the option to choose between a variety of ammunitions while remaining light weight. Over 40 governments operate the system.
- India is seeking a foreign single engine fighter as their next major procurement program. The choice of single engine jets rules out fighters like Dassault’s Rafale and the F/A-18 Super Hornet, leaving the two likely options the F-16 and Saab’s Gripen. New Delhi also committed to continue supporting the development of the Tejas’ naval variant, but the current one will be just a technology demonstrator.
- An investigation has commenced into why the Indonesian Air Force procured AugustaWestland AW101 helicopters after AW had been earlier ruled out for being too costly. The helicopters were initially eyed as a potential buy for use as a Presidential and VIP transport, however its $55 million price tag was deemed too flashy by opposition lawmakers. The resulting political pressure resulted in President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo abandoning the deal in December 2015. Since then, the IAF has insisted on buying the same type of chopper by reasoning that it was not for presidential purposes, but for military and search and rescue operations.
- Israel’s RADA has received an order to provide its Multi-mission Hemispheric Radar-based (MHR) RPS-42 radar system to an unnamed East Asia/Pacific customer. The system will be used for the development and testing of the buyer’s High Energy Laser (HEL) ground-based tactical weapon system. Of the ten HEL development programs in the Western world, RADA is involved in four.
RADA’s HEL System: