US Navy Frigates May Get Upgraded Air Def Capabilities | Fire Scout UAV Tested Aboard LCS | UAC to Provide MiG-29M/M2 Aircraft to Egypt in $2B SaleApr 13, 2017 00:58 UTC
- Lockheed Martin has won a $372 million contract modification in order to address several issues with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The US Navy contract did not specify any particular work that needed to be undertaken under the agreement, however it facilitates deficiency corrections for US operators as well as the country’s foreign military customers. Work will be carried out in Texas, California, New Hampshire, Japan and Britain, and is expected to be complete by March 2020.
- Future US Navy frigates may come with added air defense capabilities as a new study group is being commissioned to examine adding such a platform to the requirements. At present, service specifications call for a vessel to have enough surface-to-air missiles to protect itself. The new idea is to double the RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) load from 8 to 16 or having a Mark 41 Vertical Launching System loaded with eight Standard Missile-2 (SM-2). Upgunning the frigates will change the Navy designation for the ships from FF, meaning frigate, to FFG — guided missile frigates able to provide area air defense.
- General Dynamics has proven that Raytheon’s ALR-69A Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) can work on an MQ-9 UAV. The demonstration used a company-owned Predator B with the RWR stored within GA-ASI’s standard payload pod against a series of various ground-based radars. A company statement said that the new radar provided enhanced situational awareness by identifying potential radar threats to ground-based crew, and that more test demonstrations are planned that will include the aircraft flying with an integrated Link 16 data link.
- An MQ-8C Fire Scout UAV has been tested onboard a littoral combat ship (LCS) for the first time. 37 recovery evolutions were conducted onboard the USS Montgomery over the course of seven days in order to verify the MQ-8C launch and recovery procedures and test interoperability between the unmanned helicopter and the ship. A larger version of the MQ-8B, the “C” variant was given Milestone C status by the Navy earlier this month and will begin initial operational test and evaluation this fall.
Middle East & North Africa
- United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) President Yuri Slyusar has confirmed that the Egyptian government has bought a number of MiG-29M/M2 aircraft, with the first batch of deliveries expected for this year. As part of the $2 billion sale, Cairo will receive as many as 50 of the fighters by 2020 as well as receiving pilot training and associated equipment. Improvements on the legacy MiG-29 aircraft include design changes to the airframe, improved turbofans in the RD-33MK (which is similar in weight to the RD-33, but benefits from a higher thrust rating and full-authority digital engine control), fly-by-wire flight control system, updated avionics and Zhuk-ME pulse-Doppler radar.
- The NATO Eurofighter 2000 and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) has contracted Saab to deliver 29 units of the latest version of its BOZ-101 electronic warfare self-protection and countermeasures system for the German Air Force. The wing-mounted pod has been in use on Tornados for many years and provides pilots with early warning and missile detection capabilities while in flight. Saab’s work will be performed at its facilities in Järfälla, Sweden and Centurion, South Africa. German authorities expect deliveries to take place between 2017 and 2020.
- Leonardo believes its AW139M helicopter will suit all the requirements for the Czech Republic’s new fleet of multi-role helicopters, as Prague prepares for the release of a request for proposal (RFP). The company stated that the AW139M is “fully compliant with the [defence ministry’s] request for information and subsequent request for additional data,” which includes requirements such as being capable of carrying troops and air-to-surface weapons; including anti-tank missiles as well as being capable of flying in all weather conditions and at night. Leonardo will not disclose details of the proposed aircraft configuration ahead of RFP release, but the AW139M is also likely to feature defensive aids system equipment and countermeasures dispensers. The company has released an image of a notional fire-support-roled aircraft carrying air-to-surface missiles, guided/unguided rocket pods, a pod-housed gun and an electro-optical/infrared sensor payload.
- India is looking to secure long-term ammunition supply contracts with local private industry worth $3 billion over ten years. The initiative aims to encourage capital investments by private sector companies in ammunition manufacturing facilities as India struggles with critical ammunition shortages — of the total 170 types of ammunition, there is a shortage in 125 types. Various types of ammunition wanted by New Delhi include: 500,000 rounds of 30mm high-explosive grenades (VOG-17) for automatic grenade launchers; 125mm APFSDS-T (Armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot — tracer) ammo for T-90 and T-72 tanks; 122mm extended-range multiple rocket launcher ammo for the BM GRAD; 23mm HEI/APIT (high-explosive incendiary/armor-piercing incendiary tracer) ammo for ZU-23 air defense guns; 30mm HEI/T (high-explosive incendiary — tracer) ammo for BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles; 40mm MGL/UBGL (multiple grenade launcher/underbarrel grenade launcher) ammo; and electronic fuzes for artillery guns.
- Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift (FVL) concept: