Huntington awarded $3 billion AAS contract | F-35A flights at Luke AFB resumed | India’s Seahawk deal droppedJun 21, 2017 05:00 UTC
- Huntington Ingalls has been awarded a $3 billion contract modification for the design and construction of the America-class Landing Helicopter Assault Replacement Amphibious Assault Ship. The majority of work will take place in Pascagoula, Miss., with further work to be carried out at smaller sites. Completion is expected for January 2024. The vessels will go towards the replacing the US Navy’s fleet of Wasp-class of amphibious assault ships.
- A second generation variant of the Coyote expendable unmanned air vehicle is being developed by manufacturer Raytheon. Additions to the sonobuoy-deployable system include offering customers multiple payload and engine options and trade-offs on endurance and payload that can be made by the operations, as well as making the UAV a more cost-effective procurement. Raytheon expect to commence testing by the end of the year and is currently working on gaining export licences for the UAV, with discussions underway with the Washington on how to sell the technology overseas.
- F-35A flights out of Luke AFB will commence today, 11 days after they had been originally canceled due to five incidents in which pilots experienced symptoms similar to hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation. While the root cause of the incidents has yet to be identified, several possible causes of concern have been ruled out. Pilots will also adhere to a temporary application of five criteria during their flights while data is gathered on the ground. They are: Avoid the altitudes in which all five physiological events occurred; Modify ground procedures to mitigate physiological risks to pilots; Expand physiological training to increase understanding between pilot and medical communities; Increase minimum levels for backup oxygen systems for each flight; and offer pilots the option of wearing sensors during flight to collect airborne human performance data.
Middle Easy & North Africa
- Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has unveiled its Hurkus turboprop trainer aircraft internationally for the first time. The firm has sent two of its A-model aircraft to the the Paris air show, where one will take part in the flying display, while the other is in TAI’s static display representative of a future C-model light-attack variant. TAI sees clear export potential for the Hurkus, although it is not naming prospective customers. Speaking at the air show, Özcan Ertem, head of TAI’s aircraft group said: “There are a few countries looking for the Turkish air force to induct the type and start flying,” before advancing their interest any future procurements.
- The Eurofighter consortium has announced a record year in operations of its Typhoon fighters, with further sales on the horizon. Operators of Eurofighter fleets have exceeded a combined 400,000 flight hours, including operations by RAF aircraft in Syria and supporting Baltic Air Policing commitments for NATO. The consortium also announced that its fighter will soon commence the first live firings of missile manufacturer MBDA’s Brimstone air-to-surface missile.
- Italian firms will collaborate in India’s modernization of its Su-30MKI fleet, according to Russian officials. The announcement was made by Rosoboronexport CEO Alexander Mikheev at this week’s Paris air show, however, no details were made on what work the Italians would be assisting with. Earlier, CEO of Russian United Engine Corporation Alexander Artyukhov said that the Indian version of Su-30MKI after modernization will get the AL-41F turbofan engines designed for 4++ generation aircraft currently being installed on the Su-35 fighters.
- Taiwan intends to ramp up production of its Wan Chien standoff weapon for use on its IDF aircraft. Production had initially been rolled back by Taipei’s previous government, but will now be reversed and increased to producing over 100 weapons. Upgrades to increase range and boost electronic countermeasures will also be added. Taiwan also test-fired two types of anti-ballistic missile (ABM) interceptors while a US PAC-2 successfully intercepted and destroyed a indigenous Tien Kung II missile.
- A long-floundering deal to bring the Sikorsky S-70B multi-role helicopter to India has been dropped. 16 Seahawks had been ordered back in 2014 to fill a naval requirement but both sides have been dragging over the price as Sikorsky is unwilling to extend the validity of its commercial bid. The sale’s failure is likely to frustrate naval officials who are in need to fill an urgent requirement to replace 42 SeaKing helicopters bought from Westland helicopters.
- Drone footage of Iranian missiles striking Islamic State targets: