M119 Howitzer to Get LBOP Muzzle Brake | FMS of Air Tractors to Kenya Targeted For Closer Review | Saab Offering Sensor Package for India’s LCA TejasFeb 17, 2017 00:58 UTC
- The US subsidy of Elbit Systems, Elbit Systems of America, has been contracted by the US Army to provide and maintain mortar fire control systems for the service. An indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract, the maximum value of the deal could amount to $102 million and will be carried out over five years. The company said the shipment of mortar fire control systems — both mounted and dismounted — along with a lightweight handheld mortar ballistic computer, will improve the accuracy of mortars.
- US Army engineers from Watervliet Arsenal have designed a 105mm low blast overpressure muzzle brake (LBOP) for the service’s M119 howitzer. This is the first time that a large-caliber device of this kind has been developed for an existing gun platform. Army engineers have said that the LBOP will greatly increase the howitzers battlefield performance by radically reducing the weapon’s recoil and will reduce its noise output from “between 13 percent to 48 percent at various quadrant elevations and crew locations.”
- Lockheed Martin has been contracted by the DoD for Trident II ballistic fleet missile production and deployed system support. The $540 million contract modification supports production efforts for the US.Navy and the British Royal Navy, who deploy the missile on their Ohio-class and Vanguard-class submarines respectively. Lockheed Martin received roughly $453 million in weapon procurement funds from the Navy, plus an additional $50.7 million from the Royal Navy. The company also received $36 million in fiscal 2017 operation and maintenance funds, which are set to expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
- A planned sale of 12 Air Tractor aircraft to Kenya may be halted while allegations of faulty contracting practices, fraud, and unfair treatment are investigated. The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the possible $418 million sale in January, with L-3 Communications acting as the prime contractor. However, US Representative Ted Budd has now introduced a resolution to halt the Foreign Military Sale of the Air Tractors to Kenya saying, “the proposed sale would reward a $13 billion company [L-3] that has never produced airplanes of this type and would cost $283 million dollars more than a small business in North Carolina [Iomax], which is currently producing the needed aircraft.” Citing credible allegations of faulty contracting practices, fraud, and unfair treatment surrounding this sale, Budd said that Iomax claims it can fulfil the contract for $180 million, and it has 48 weaponized border patrol aircraft in service, as opposed to zero for L-3.
- After four years of investigation, Austria has filed a lawsuit against Airbus and the Eurofighter consortium over alleged deception and fraud linked to the 2003 purchase of Eurofighter jets. The investigation into the $2.1 billion deal by the Defense Ministry found that the defense groups gave misleading information on the purchase price, deliverability, and equipment of the jets, and are seeking damages that could amount to $1.17 billion. Vienna’s purchase of 15 fighters has faced scrutiny since the outset of the deal, with allegations that money was pocketed by politicians, civil servants, and others via brokers for side deals accompanying the purchase.
- On his first trip to Europe as US Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis warned NATO allies that they must honor military spending targets to ensure that Washington does not “moderate” support for the alliance. Speaking in Brussels, Mattis also took aim at some NATO members for ignoring security threats, including those posed by the Kremlin, but the main thrust of his words was that allies should spend the magic 2% of economic output on defense. While some of Europe’s wealthier economies are preferring to spend taxes on education and welfare rather than defense, the former Eastern Bloc nations of the alliance are all on course toward reaching that magic number.
- Saab is continuing a defense partnership with Indian industry, offering a sensor package for India’s s LCA Tejas fighter. Included in the technology transfer is the company’s Airborne Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) fighter radar integrated with a compact electronic warfare suite. The package will also have synergies with the systems developed for the Gripen fighter, currently being pitched to New Delhi to fill their Navy requirement for carrier-based fighters.
- India is also being offered United Engine Corporation’s (UEC) AL-41F turbofan engine as part of upgrades connected to the Su-30MKI modernization proposal. The power plant is currently being installed on Russian Su-35 and PAK FA fighters, and is being called significantly superior to its predecessors. India’s air force has a fleet of over 200 Russia-designed Su-30MK aircraft built under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, and is looking to have them overhauled to the MKI standard, making them 4++ generation aircraft.
- Tactical Robotic’s Instant Eye: Now in use with the USMC: