AAR Cinches $909M Deal for USAF’s Landing Gear Prgm | ARDEC Test Fires 3D Printed Grenade & Grenade Launcher | Leonardo to Unveil Falco 48 UAVMar 28, 2017 00:30 UTC
- AAR Supply Chain has won a $909 million contract to support the USAF’s Landing Gear Performance Based Logistics One program. Under the deal, the company will purchase, remanufacture, distribute and provide inventory control for the branch’s C-130, KC-135 and E-3 aircraft, and will also include work for foreign military sales. Work will be carried out in Illinois, Florida and Utah and will run until March, 2032.
- A US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report has stated that the USAF’s KC-46 tanker modernization program could face additional delays despite findings that the program needs fewer engineering changes than expected, and the cost has fallen by 14 percent, or $7.3 billion. Lead contractor Boeing, however, has experienced issues with developing the aircraft, and additional flight testing is likely to push back deliveries, which are already 14 months behind schedule, passed the current target of 14 tankers by October 14, 2018. The service plans to operate 179 KC-46s as part of plans to replace a third of their aging KC-135 tanker fleet.
- The US Armament Research, Development and Engineering Centre (ARDEC) has successfully test-fired a 3D printed grenade from a launcher made from the same process. Named RAMBO (Rapid Additively Manufactured Ballistics Ordnance), The launcher was created in a six month development process involving the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), the US Army Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program and America Makes, the national accelerator for additive manufacturing and 3-D printing. The project was undertaken in order to demonstrate the utility of AM for the design and production of armament systems. A 40 mm grenade launcher (M203A1) and munitions (M781) were selected as candidate systems.
- NATO is planning to spend in excess of $3 billion over the next three years in order to bolster satellite and computer defenses against threats from hackers and Iranian missile threats. A senior official at the NATO Communications and Information Agency said the plans include a near $2 billion investment in satellite communications to better support troops and ships deployed across the alliance, as well as aiding the use of UAVs. NATO will present their needs in detail at a conference in Ottawa in April and then begin launching the bidding process.
- Leonardo is planning to unveil the latest addition of their Falco tactical UAV, the Falco 48. While little is known about the new system, it’s believed that the UAV will have an increased flight endurance of approaching 48h. The revelation was made by CEO Mauro Moretti during a presentation of the company’s industrial plan until 2021 to the Italian Senate’s permanent committee for industry, commerce and tourism earlier this month. Moretti also identified the company’s M-345 basic trainer and a light fighter development of the M-346 as current main programs, and the latter will also be capable of performing reconnaissance, attack and air defense tasks.
- In response to additional sanctions placed on them by the US, Iran has retaliated by placing sanctions on 15 US companies for alleged human rights violations and cooperating with Israel, according to the state news agency, IRNA. Included on the list were defense giant Raytheon, Oshkosh, and United Technologies, although it remains unclear if any of the firms has had any dealings with Iran or whether they would be affected in any way by Tehran’s action. The move came two days after Washington imposed sanctions on 11 companies or individuals from China, North Korea or the UAE for technology transfers that could boost Tehran’s ballistic missile program.
- South Korea is looking to target the Southeast Asian market with their T-50B advanced trainer after a display of the aircraft at last week’s Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition in Malaysia. Included in the sales push was a demonstration from the South Korea air force’s aerobatic team, the Black Eagles. Potential buyers of the aircraft include Malaysia, looking to replace the near obsolete Aermacchi MB-339CM, and Indonesia, who have partnered with Seoul to help develop the next-gen KF-X fighter.
- India is moving ahead with a $1 billion procurement of Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The Spike will see New Delhi acquire 275 launchers and 5,500 Spike missiles in completed and kit form along with an undisclosed number of simulators, and also includes a technology transfer to India’s state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) to build another 1,500 systems and around 30,000 additional missiles. Meanwhile, Israel is considering selling armed Heron TP UAVs, including the technology transfers necessary to meet the “Make in India” requirement. A decision on the Heron deal will be made following Indian Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Israel this July.