Foreign orders keeps Humvee production humming | DARPA complete flight tests on ViSAR program | More orders for US, UK Trident productionOct 03, 2017 05:00 UTC
- AM General will continue to produce Humvees for several foreign buyers under a five-year deal estimated to reach as much as $2.2 billion in value. Nine countries—Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Jordan, Slovenia, Bahrain, Columbia, Bosnia and Kenya—have all placed orders for the vehicles, currently valued at $550 million. Sold under the US government’s foreign military sales program, the approval allows for production and sale of 11,560 Humvees, but AM General President and CEO Andy Hove told reporters that the company may need to look at raising the $2.2 billion ceiling on the contract to meet demand. According to the firm, there are 250,000 Humvees currently operating in 50 countries, half of which are in the US fleet. The firm lost out to Oshkosh to build the US military’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), the Humvee’s eventual replacement, and instead are focusing its efforts on increasing its share of the international market.
- DARPA has announced the completion of flight tests for the Synthetic Aperture Radar (ViSAR) program. The program aims to develop an Extremely High Frequency (EHF) targeting sensor that can capture real-time video through clouds, while being able to fit in a standard EO/IR sensor gimbal. While cloud-penetrating radar exists in a number of formats, there has yet to be a synthetic aperture sensor that fits in a standard EO/IR sensor gimbal on aircraft and maintains frame rates fast enough to track maneuvering targets on the ground. The next phase of the ViSAR program is to integrate the sensor into an aircraft that includes a complete battle management system, capable of real-time target engagement.
- The US DoD has awarded a $418.6 million US Navy contract modification to Lockheed Martin for renewed procurement of Trident II (D5) missile production, D5 life extension production, and D5 deployed systems support. Work will take place at several locations throughout the US with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2022. Production will also support missile production for the British Royal Navy, of which $66.6 million in funding will be obligated for the effort.
Middle East & Africa
- Russia has confirmed that it has received Turkey’s deposit for the S-400 missile defense system. The confirmation was made by Presidential Aide Vladimir Kozhin, however, he did not elaborate on what timescale the four ordered systems would be delivered in. Contrary to earlier reports, Kozhin also clarified that the issue of transfer-of-technology was not discussed between Turkey and Russia. Rather, the focus has been purely on the supply of the SAM system.
- Having completed its Zapad (West) war games in northern Belarus, Russia has allegedly left troops behind in the country after promising not to do so. The claim was made by Ukraine’s Commander in Chief Viktor Muzhenko who said Moscow has only withdrawn a few units from its neighbor and had lied about how many of its soldiers were there in the first place. The Zapad military exercises, held by Russian and Belarussian troops on territory in both countries in September, are a new source of concern for neighboring Ukraine and NATO member states on Europe’s eastern flank. Ukraine staged its own drills in northern Ukraine in response to Zapad and built up troops there.
- German sensor manufacturer Hensoldt has announced the acquisition of British security and maritime radar provider, Kelvin Hughes. The sale had been first announced in June and the latest release by Hensoldt announcing that a share purchase agreement with private equity firm ECI and Hensoldt management is now in effect after all legal requirements for the acquisition were met. Kelvin Hughes has about 200 employees and designs, produces and markets radar sensors, mainly for maritime and security applications.
- GE’s Marine Solutions’ LM2500 gas turbine modules will be manufactured by Australian RJE Global for the Royal Australian Navy frigate program. A Memorandum of Understanding signed by both firms will also see RJE Global manufacture a number of components for the gas turbines. The LM2500 gas turbines will be for the RAN’s nine-ship SEA 5000 Future Frigate Program, as the turbines are operational on two of the short-listed, qualified ship designs for the new vessels—Fincantieri’s FREMM and Navantia’s F100 frigates. The new frigates will replace the navy’s ageing Anzac-class frigates.
- MQ-9 Reaper downed in Yemen: