E-2D completes first aerial refueling | LAF Super Tucano delivery, a “bulwark against extremism” | India kicks off naval helicopter competitionNov 02, 2017 05:00 UTC
- The US Army has awarded a production contract to L3 Technologies for its Manned/Unmanned Teaming-eXpanded Capabilities (MUMT-X) program for AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. Valued at $97 million, L3 2ill provide Apache MUMT-X above-rotor Unmanned Aerial System Receive technology solutions to support MUMT operations and air-to-air-to-ground line-of-sight data links—a more robust, lighter and less expensive system than the original Unmanned Aircraft System control system currently used. Work will be under taken by L3’s division, L3 CS-West, specialists in high-performance networks.
- Northrop Grumman announced the successful first refueling of its E-2D Hawkeye early warning aircraft. The milestone was reached during a four hour flight on July 14 of this year, where the crew performed 10 dry plugs and two wet plugs with the help of a US Navy KC-130 tanker. Awarded in 2013, the aerial refueling contract was granted to give the US Navy the capability and flexibility to conduct missions over four hours. The aerial refueling system modification contains several sub-system upgrades to accommodate the refueling capability including adding the fuel probe plumbing, formation lighting, long-endurance seats, as well as flight control software and hardware changes.
- Lockheed Martin has been tapped by the US Navy to develop the service’s largest unmanned undersea vehicle. Dubbed the Orca, the Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (XLUUV) is a multi-mission autonomous vehicle with a reconfigurable payload bay. It will be capable of transiting to an area of operation, loiter, periodically establish communications, deploy payloads and then transit home. Valued at $43.2 million, the award falls under the program’s design-phase, ahead of a second competitive production phase contract that will commission up to nine vehicles.
Middle East & Africa
- Lebanon has received two A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft from the United States. The aircraft will be used for armed observational operations, according to a Lebanese military official. Four more Super Tucanos are expected to be delivered as Washington continues its support and financing of the Lebanese military despite claims by Israel that the military has been supplanted by Hezbollah—a Lebanese Shi‘ite Muslim paramilitary organisation backed by Iran and an ally of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad during his country’s six year civil war. Despite these claims, US ambassador to Beirut Elizabeth Richard said the delivery marked a “significant increase in Lebanese Air Force combat capability that this aircraft represents will ensure that the LAF will remain a national unifying force, a bulwark against extremism and terrorism.”
- Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced the first order of subsidiary Elta’s ELK-1882T satellite communication terminal for fighter jets. The unnamed customer will receive deliveries of the Ku-band phased array SATCOM network starting in 2021. The firm will display the system at the MilSatCom Show in London, UK from November 7-9. They bill it as easy to install and integrate, with minimal impact on aircraft performance due to the conformal installation.
- Airbus has admitted to “certain inaccuracies” in US arms export filings, drawing the United States for the first time into a scandal over alleged misconduct at the European aerospace giant. The export controls apply to certain aircraft, such as the UH-72 Lakotas, which are sold to foreign customers from the US, as well as some US-made equipment installed on Airbus products, such engines and avionics. While the firm offered few details on the matter, they confirmed the inaccuracies during an internal review completed in late July after initially coming to their attention in November 2016, however, was unable to estimate how long it could take to resolve the matter or the range of potential consequences.
- Following the recent sale to Lithuania, Indonesia has become the latest buyer of the Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS), the platform’s manufacturer Kongsberg announced Tuesday. The $77 million deal includes one NASAMS system, command posts, radars, launchers, radios, as well as system integration, training and logistics support. Jakarta will purchase the AMRAAM missiles for the system under a separate foreign military sale with the United States. Once delivered, Indonesia will join Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, the US, Spain and Oman as operators of the system.
- The Indian Navy has been allocated $3.3 billion to proceed with the procurement of 111 naval helicopters. Once New Delhi selects a winner, sixteen units will be purchased off the shelf, while the rest will be assembled in India with local private partners under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Capabilities requested include search and rescue (SAR), humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), and must be able to carry light-weight torpedoes for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions. Potential suppliers mentioned include Airbus with its S565 MBe Panther, Bell Helicopters’ Bell 429, and unnamed offerings from Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky, and Russian firm Rosoboronexport.
- E-2D receives fuel for the first time: