US Army to Issue Contracts for HEGM Dev | German MoD Delays Signing on Big $$ MEADS Contracts | US Steps Up THAAD Deployment in SKMar 08, 2017 00:49 UTC
- The US Army is planning to issue contracts this year for the development of next-generation laser-guided mortar systems. This new precision high explosive guided mortar (HEGM) will replace the current systems in place, and will eliminate the need to typically fire several rounds to adjust fire for accurate strikes and incorporate threat counter-measures and enhanced mobility. Speaking on the new system, Lt. Col. Anthony Gibbs, of Product Manager Guided Precision Munitions and Mortar Systems at Picatinny Arsenal said the new capability will allow troops to be “able to quickly come in, establish, fire and with one round you’re able to get effects.” Companies that receive contracts will then create and deliver potential HEGM solutions for the US government to test, and a full and open competition will be conducted in 2018 to select the final solution.
- Rheinmetall has been contracted by the USAF to supply several ten thousand round lots of their new 25mm x 137 Frangible Armour Piercing (FAP) round for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Valued at $6.5 million, the contract will see the company manufacture the rounds in four lots at Rheinmetall Switzerland and delivery will commence in December, 2017. Rheinmetall is marketing the ammunition as only not just for air-to-air superiority fights, but capable of destroying Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) at extreme slant ranges as well.
Middle East & North Africa
- Boeing received a contract-modification of $46 million to perform interim contractor support for Saudi Arabia’s recently purchased F-15s. The above support refers to an agreement wherein a service will defer an investment due to a lack of technological capabilities, such as equipment spares or technical data. Boeing is expected to complete this service for Saudi Arabia by the end of March. The contract is comprised entirely of foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia and supports the recent commissioning of F-15SA fighters by the kingdom.
- The Germany defense ministry has delayed the signing of contracts with MBDA for the multi-billion Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). The deal will instead move into the spring of 2018 as Berlin reaffirms its commitment to the project while maintaining that there was still work to do on the MBDA proposal, as well as on how the overall project would be managed. In the meantime, the ministry plans to spend several hundred million euros to modernise the software and hardware of the German military’s existing Patriot system, the system MEADS will eventually replace.
- Germany did confirm plans to purchase the high-altitude MQ-4C Triton surveillance UAV from Northrop Grumman as a replacement to 2013’s abandoned Euro Hawk program. While the defense ministry failed to mention how many MQ-4Cs it was intending to buy, the Euro Hawk requirement had initially called for five systems to be delivered with $1.26 billion earmarked for the procurement. However the deal was scrapped when it became known that gaining aviation approval would cost in the hundreds of millions of euros. Ministry sources said the aviation approval for Triton would be less costly because it was baked in from the start of the program.
- Leonardo and Polish Armaments Group have signed a cooperation agreement on helicopter production for the Polish armed forces. The deal will facilitate further industrial collaboration on production, servicing and maintenance for various military rotorcraft. Leonardo is currently offering the AW139, AW101 and W-3PL models to Warsaw as part of several helicopter requirements by the defense ministry and if selected, PGZ will assist with producing components and other supporting systems in Poland.
- The US is to step up deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system and could have it operational by April as North Korean missile testing continues to provoke all of its neighbors. Pyongyang’s latest provocation on Monday saw Kim Jong-un supervise the launch of four ballistic missiles by an army unit that is positioned to strike US bases in Japan, stepping up threats against Washington as US troops conduct joint military exercises with South Korea. Speaking after the launches, North Korea’s state-run KCNA said “In the hearts of artillerymen … there was burning desire to mercilessly retaliate against the warmongers going ahead with their joint war exercises.”
- Iran successfully tested its S-300 air defense system at a recent military exercise, according to Iran’s IRNA news agency. Conducted in Iran’s Central Desert, the system was operated from the back of trucks and targeted various flying objects including missiles. Russia delivered the S-300 system to Iran in 2016, nearly 10 years after the initial contract had been signed. Iran signed the $800 million contract to buy the S-300 missile system in 2007, but Russia suspended their delivery three years later because of strong objections from the United States and Israel.