Dec 07, 2018 05:00 UTC
Huntington Ingalls (HII) is being contracted to support two of the US Navy’s Ticonderoga-class cruisers. The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification is priced at $10.7 million and provides for material purchases and management for the USS Chosin and USS Vicksburg. HII will provide a number of efforts including engineering, technical, planning, ship configuration, data, and logistics work. These efforts cover lifetime support of both maintenance and modernization. The Ticonderoga Class remains critical to American seapower, functioning as anti-air defense platform, and contributing substantial anti-ship and anti-submarine combat power to its assigned naval groups. Work will be performed at HII’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and is expected to be complete by August 2019.
Flight Global reports that the US Marine Corps intends to replace two of its ageing C-9B Skytrain executive transports with two Boeing C-40 aircraft. Supported by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the USMC is currently conducting a market survey to identify a potential business that could procure and deliver the aircraft. NAVAIR says it is open to considering a second-hand aircraft, however the it is more likely that the service will turn to Boeing, the aircraft’s sole manufacturer. The 737 based C-40 Clipper comes in 3 variants; the C-40A is a Navy aircraft, while its counterpart C-40C and executive/VIP C-40Bs are USAF planes. The C-40A is modified with a large cargo door, and the strengthened wings and landing gear of the 737-800. The aircraft is certified to operate in three configurations: an all-passenger configuration that can accommodate 121 passengers, an all-cargo configuration of eight cargo pallets, or a combination of three pallets and 70 passengers. The Clipper has a range of 3,400 nautical miles with 5,000 pounds of cargo, and can carry up to 40,000 pounds.
Middle East & Africa
The Egyptian Navy inks a five-year in-service support agreement with France’s Naval Group. Managed by a company subsidiary work will be performed in the port of Alexandria and covers a number of vessels. “This milestone marks a new step in the long-term strategic partnership between Naval Group and the Egyptian Navy. Naval Group is proud to serve the Egyptian Navy,” Naval Group said. The Egyptian Navy took delivery of the second out of four Naval Group produced Gowind-corvettes in September 2018; the navy’s other Naval Group vessel, the FREMM multi-mission frigate Tahya Misr was delivered in 2015. In June 2016, Naval Group delivered two Mistral-class Landing Helicopter Dock vessels to the Egyptian Navy.
Sweden’s Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) is contracting Saab to deliver Giraffe 4A multi-function radars and maintain the military’s Arthur artillery locating system. The Giraffe 4A digital multi-channel system features an active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology based on gallium nitride (GaN). The system can be used for air surveillance and air defense as well as warning and artillery locating tasks. “Our ground-based radar Giraffe 4A strengthens our customers’ capability to detect incoming threats including tactical ballistic missiles. Tensions around us are increasing and the system gives our customers a world-class multi-function capability that helps to protect their interests”, says Anders Carp, Head of Saab’s business area Surveillance. Arthur is a stand alone medium-range passive phased array C-band radar that detects incoming shells and rockets, and determines where they were fired from before the shells can even land. The system can reportedly detect a mortar bomb at 55 km, shells at 31 km rockets at 50 – 60 km, locating targets at a rate of 100 per minute. It has been sold to several countries, including South Korea and the United Kingdom.
The Dutch Armed Forces are procuring a number of next-generation container systems from the Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group. The Cambridge headquartered company will provide more than 1400 container systems over the next five years under this $127 million deal. The production order includes command and control shelters, workshops, controlled atmosphere and basic stores units, together with a 14-year fully integrated availability support package, including a full availability-based fleet management package. Alistair McPhee, chief executive of Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, told Business Weekly: “Winning this contract is a major milestone in the strategic development of our Land Systems business and emphasises our capability to manage major programmes which benefits not only Marshall but local suppliers. “During both the implementation and support phases of this contract we will be working closely with Dutch industry not only as part of the supply chain but also as part of the development of our business across Europe.” Marshall “specialises in providing deployable infrastructure or shelters, vehicle systems and support services to military forces worldwide”. Army Technology notes that more than 6,000 shelters in more than 200 configurations are in currently in service.
The Franco-German training academy (EFA) in Le Cannet-des-Maures in South-East France is now equipped with a fully upgraded Eurocopter Tiger simulation system. The system has been configured to train aircrews of France’s Tiger HAD combat support variant and Germany’s UHT Step 2 anti-tank and fire support variant. Work is being done as part of the Tiger Aircrew Training Means (TATM) program that started in December 2014. Performed by Thales and Rheinmetall, upgrade work included new cockpit configurations, displays and avionics for both variants and new weapons systems for the HAD version. Awarded by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation, the program also includes a support package for all 20 simulators in service until 2025.
Two US Marine aircraft crashed into the sea off the coast of Japan during a nightime air-to-air refueling exercise on Thursday. The incident involved an F/A-18 fighter jet and a KC-130 tanker aircraft. CNN was told that five crew were on board the KC-130 and two on the F/A-18 at the time of the crash. The ‘mishap’, as the US Marine Corps describes it, happened some 200 miles of the coast as the aircraft flew through adverse weather conditions. Two Marines were rescued. One is in “fair condition”, while the other “is being transported to a local hospital for evaluation”, Corps’ officials told the BBC. F/A-18 Super Hornets are designed for both air-superiority and land attack missions, and can carry a variety of ordnance ranging from air-to-air missiles and precision-guided bombs to standoff munitions. The US Marines fly smaller, earlier-generation F/A-18 C/D Hornets that are no longer in production. The KC-130J is a multi-role, medium-sized fixed-wing aerial refueling aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin, it essentially is a very advanced derivative of the standard C-130J.
Watch: Royal Navy and RAF locked in dogfight over new jets | Sky News
Dec 07, 2018 04:56 UTC
The Franco-German training academy (EFA) in Le Cannet-des-Maures in South-East France is now equipped with a fully upgraded Eurocopter Tiger simulation system. The system
has been configured to train aircrews of France's Tiger HAD
combat support variant and Germany's UHT Step 2 anti-tank and fire support variant. Work is being done as part of the Tiger Aircrew Training Means (TATM) program that started in December 2014. Performed by Thales and Rheinmetall, upgrade work included new cockpit configurations, displays and avionics for both variants and new weapons systems for the HAD version. Awarded by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation, the program also includes a support package for all 20 simulators in service until 2025.
Tiger HAP & HAC
Eurocopter’s Tiger had always had a very odd setup in that it came in two seemingly incomplete versions (HAP scout and HAC/UHT anti-tank), whose respective deficiencies severely limited multi-role flexibility and hence exports. The new Tiger HAD (Helicoptere Appui Destruction) variant fixes those deficiencies, and looks set to become the default version for new-build EC665 Tiger exports.
The HAD project began in December 2005, as the EU’s OCCAR organization for armament cooperation signed a formal contract in Bonn, Germany and set out initial procurement numbers for Spain. This was followed by the French DGA’s announcing the restructuring of its own 80-helicopter order, and each customer has made its own choices as the new variant has gone from concept to initial delivery.
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Dec 06, 2018 05:00 UTC
The US Air Force is contracting L-3 Technologies for sustainment work on its fleet of E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft. The firm-fixed price requirements contract provides for repair and overhaul of electron tubes installed on the E-3 at a cost of $7.8 million. L-3 started to supply Wide Band Klystron Power Amplifiers for the E-3 in 2005. Those electron tubes replaced older narrow chain klystron tubes installed on the E-3. The WBKAs have a better reliability, system redundancy and simplified logistics. The WBKPA is integral to the radar subsystem, which provides all-weather surveillance and command, control and communications (C3) functions needed by commanders. Work will be performed at L-3’s factory in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and is scheduled for completion by June 5, 2024.
Boeing achieves another milestone in its KC-46 tanker program and sets the stage for the start of Initial Operational Test & Evaluation testing next year. The Pegasus successfully achieved its Phase II receiver certification, and proved that it can refuel F-16, KC-135, C-17, A-10, KC-46, B-52, and F/A-18 aircraft. Phase II consisted of three weeks of flights with F-15E fighter jets stationed at Edwards AFB in California. Boeing says in a press statement, that during the tests a KC-46 and receiver aircraft flew at different airspeeds, altitudes and configurations to ensure compatibility and performance throughout the refueling envelope of each receiver. “The Air Force crews were with us every step of the way during this critical testing,” said Jake Kwasnik, KC-46 test program manager. “It was awesome to see everyone working together as we conducted flights out of Boeing Field and also at Edwards and Minot Air Force bases.” Phase III receiver testing will start in 2019, and includes training with additional receiver aircraft. Boeing is currently on contract for the first 52 of an expected 179 tankers for the US Air Force.
Middle East & Africa
Jane’s reports that the Iranian Navy is taking two more Ghadir submarines into service. The launch ceremony was held at Bandar Abbas naval base on November 29. The Ghadir-class mini submarines allow the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) to operate in shallow waters such as the Persian Gulf. The IRIN claims that the submarines have sonar-evading technology and can launch missiles from under water, as well as fire torpedoes and drop marine mines. Those small subs weigh less than 150 metric tons and are used for short missions, with no living accommodations for a crew of up to nine. Iran does not disclose the total number of submarines in its fleet, however, it is believed to have some 12 light and three Russian-made submarines.
General Atomics is being contracted to support France’s fleet of MQ-9 UAVs. Priced at $26.7 million, the contract provides for contractor logistics support phase three and involves 100% Foreign Military Sales to France. France bought six MQ-9 Reaper Block 1 UAVs in a roughly $600 million deal back in 2014. In August 2018 General Atomics was awarded a $123 million procurement contract for six additional MQ-9 Reapers in their latest Block 5 version. They should be delivered to the French Air Force by May 1, 2020. France’s MQ-9s are currently just able to perform surveillance missions, however the air force plans to weaponize the platforms sometime between 2019 and 2020. The Reaper is a single-engine, turbo-prop, remotely piloted armed reconnaissance aircraft designed to operate over-the-horizon at medium altitude for long endurance. Work will be performed at GAASI’s factory in Poway, California and is expected to be completed in December 31, 2019.
Leonardo’s new C-27J Spartan baseline configuration performs its first flight at the company’s Aircraft Division Turin plant. Launched in 1997, the C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraft incorporates the same propulsion system and advanced avionics as the C-130J Hercules Transporter, giving it the name “Baby Herc”. The aircraft design is based on the proven G-222 airframe from Alenia, with turboprop engines from Allison and advanced systems from Lockheed Martin. The new base configuration comprises a new avionics system, new cockpit control panels and LED aircraft lights. Lucio Valerio Cioffi, Leonardo’s Aircraft Division Managing Director, said: “New operators will enjoy modern avionics and improved operational cost and performance within the aircraft flyaway price. The main benefits of the new C-27J baseline configuration are compliance with new civil aviation regulations and military requirements obsolescence risk reduction.” A total of 85 C-27Js are currently in service with 14 countries around the globe ranging from Greece to Chad.
AAI Corporation is receiving additional funding to maintain logistics services in support of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The $152.7 million contract modification provides for contractor logistics sustainment services for the Shadow RQ-7B unmanned aerial system. Australia bought several RQ-7B Shadow 200 UAVs in 2011 as part of its Joint Project 129 Phase 2. The aircraft can see targets up to 125 kilometers away from the brigade tactical operations center, and recognize tactical vehicles up to 8,000 feet above the ground at more than 3.5 kilometers slant range, day or night. The drone can fly for 9 hours and carries pa¥loads of up-to 95 lbs. Work will be performed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and is set to run through May 29, 2020.
Japan’s planned upgrade of its Boeing F-15 Eagle fighter jets will likely be supported by the US government and Boeing under the Foreign Military Sales process. Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries delivered some 213 license-built F-15 variants the country’s air force between 1981 and 1999. Some 200 remain in service, of which about 88 were continuously upgraded over the past decade, gradually incorporating additional improvements like Link 16. Tokyo now plans to upgrade two of its F-15J/DJ interceptors at a cost of $89 million. According to Defense News, the upcoming upgrades include new electronic warfare equipment, and larger weapon load out – increasing the number of missiles the aircraft can carry – and the integration of the AGM-158 JASSM. Shigeyuki Uno, the principal deputy director of the defense planning and programming division of Japan’s Ministry of Defense, also told Defense News that the F-15s radar will also be upgraded, which will likely involve the AN/APG-63(V)3 or the AN/APG-63(V)1, both are AESA radars produced by Raytheon. Japan’s midterm defense program guidelines, to be released by the end of 2018, are expected to provide more details on this program, including the number of F-15s Japan plans to upgrade.
Watch: Strike Fighter Ball 2018 [East Coast]
Dec 06, 2018 04:56 UTC
General Atomics is being contracted to support France's fleet of MQ-9 UAVs. Priced at $26.7 million, the contract
provides for contractor logistics support phase three and involves 100% Foreign Military Sales to France. France bought six MQ-9 Reaper Block 1 UAVs in a roughly $600 million deal back in 2014. In August 2018 General Atomics was awarded a $123 million procurement contract for six additional MQ-9 Reapers
in their latest Block 5 version. They should be delivered to the French Air Force by May 1, 2020. France's MQ-9s are currently just able to perform surveillance missions, however the air force plans to weaponize the platforms sometime between 2019 and 2020. The Reaper is a single-engine, turbo-prop, remotely piloted armed reconnaissance aircraft designed to operate over-the-horizon at medium altitude for long endurance. Work will be performed at GAASI's factory in Poway, California and is expected to be completed in December 31, 2019.
The MQ-9 Reaper UAV, once called “Predator B,” is somewhat similar to the famous Predator. Until you look at the tail. Or its size. Or its weapons. It’s called “Reaper” for a reason: while it packs the same surveillance gear, it’s much more of a hunter-killer design. Some have called it the first fielded Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV).
The Reaper UCAV will play a significant role in the future USAF, even though its capability set makes the MQ-9 considerably more expensive than MQ-1 Predators. Given these high-end capabilities and expenses, one may not have expected the MQ-9 to enjoy better export success than its famous cousin. Nevertheless, that’s what appears to be happening. MQ-9 operators currently include the USA and Britain, who use it in hunter-killer mode, and Italy. Several other countries are expressing interest, and the steady addition of new payloads are expanding the Reaper’s advantage over competitors…
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Dec 05, 2018 05:00 UTC
Austal is being contracted to build another Spearhead-class vessel for the US Navy. The cost-plus-fixed-fee undefinitized contract action is priced at $40.4 million and procures long-lead-time material and production engineering services for Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) 14. EPF ships are the go-to platform for fast, intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles and equipment. These vessels bridge the gap between low-speed sealift and high-speed airlift. Their capability to access austere, minor and degraded ports make them very suitable for operations in underdeveloped countries. Work will be performed at multiple locations, including – but not limited to – Novi, Michigan; Chesapeake, Virginia and Iron Mountain, Michigan. The US Navy’s 14th EPF is expected to be completed by July 2022.
Northrop Grumman is receiving more money to increase the operational range of four US Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. The awarded contract modification is valued at $21 million and allows for the installation of aerial refueling retrofit kits on four E-2Ds. The retrofit kits comprise a probe and associated piping, electrical and lighting upgrades, and long endurance seats that will enhance field of view in the cockpit and reduce fatigue over longer missions. The aerial refuelling capability effectively doubles the time the Hawkeye can stay in the air conducting its mission. The upgraded version of the Advanced Hawkeye flew for the first time in December 2016. Work will be performed at Northrop’s factory in St. Augustine, Florida and is expected to be completed in June 2020.
Navy is ordering integrated logistics and engineering support services for itself and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. The contract modification, worth $10.5 million, exercises an option to provide calendar year 2019 support services for the Harpoon and SLAM-ER weapon systems. The GM-84 Harpoon is the US Navy’s sole anti-shipping missile, which competes with MBDA’s Exocet and Saab’s RBS15, among others. The AGM-84K SLAM-ER is an advanced derivative of the Harpoon missile, and competes with precision attack missiles like Lockheed’s JASSM, and European missiles like the EADS Taurus KEPD 350 and the MBDA Storm Shadow. The modification combines purchases for the Navy totalling at $2.5 million and FMS customers in the amount of $7.9 million. Work will be performed at Boeing facilities in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Charles, Missouri; Yorktown, Virginia and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Performance is set to run through November 2019.
Middle East & Africa
MTU America is being tapped to deliver a number of engines and engine components to Israel. The $7.9 million delivery order is part of a US Foreign Military Sale to support Israeli marine vessels. The company will deliver engines and engine components to multiple engine series: ranging from the M90 to SE84. MTU is the largest supplier of engines to the Israeli Navy. Its engines are found a variety of vessel ranging from Sa’ar-5 missile frigates and Dolphin-class submarines. The order is entirely funded through the FMS program. Work will be performed at MTU’s factory in Brownstown Township, Michigan. Work under this contract is scheduled for completion by September 2019.
Italy’s F-35s have reached their initial operating capability, making it the first European country to do so. “This is an important day, since it is the first concrete integration of fourth and fifth generation aircraft,” General Alberto Rosso, the country’s Air Force chief, told media at Italy’s Amendola Air Base, located in the south, it’s home to 8 Italian JSFs. Italy is a Tier 2 partner in the F-35 program, and is host to a European Final Assembly and Check-Out (FACO) production line in Cameri. The country’s government recently decided that it will slow down its F-35 acquisitions, decreasing its intake from 10 to 6. Base commander Colonel Davide Marzinotto notes that upgrading the aircraft from Block 3i to Block 3F was a key to achieving the jet’s IOC. The Italian Air Force currently intends to buy a mix of A and B variants, 90 F-35s in total.
Poland plans to accelerate its replacement program of the air force’s Soviet-era aircraft. Fighter jets in service include RAC MiG-29 fighters and Sukhoi Su-22 ground-attack aircraft. The replacement program is part of the country’s Harpia requirement which intends to induct new fighter aircraft from 2024 onwards. Warsaw is reportedly looking for an aircraft that can perform a number of combat roles, including certain maritime operations and electronic warfare missions. Flight Global notes that Boeing may offer the F-15 or F/A-18E/F; Leonardo, acting on behalf of the Eurofighter consortium, will offer the Typhoon; Lockheed Martin could pitch the F-16 or F-35, and Saab could promote its Gripen E. The Polish government intends to complete the analytical and conceptual phase of the Harpia program by the end of February 2019, paving the way for starting the procurement process.
The Indian Navy (IN) agrees to lease one Akula-2 class SSN as part of an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) signed with Russia. The $3.3 billion deal comes with a six-year refit and rebuild availability, that including nuclear reactor replacement and installation of India-made systems on board the vessel. The INS Chakra, India’s other Akula-2 submarine, is on ten-year lease totalling at $2.5 billion. The Chakra serves as a training vessel with secondary operational capabilities. The navy can now choose between two Akula-2 class submarines: the in 1989 launched K-391 Bratsk, or the K-295 Samara, launched in 1994. In August 2018 India successfully launched a nuclear capable SLBM from INS Arihant – India’s first indigenous nuclear submarine – completing the country’s nuclear triad.
Watch: Alakran 120 mm Light Mortar System (Indo Defence 2018) | Jane’s
Dec 05, 2018 04:58 UTC
Austal is being contracted to build another Spearhead-class vessel for the US Navy. The cost-plus-fixed-fee undefinitized contract action
is priced at $40.4 million and procures long-lead-time material and production engineering services for Expeditionary Fast Transport
(EPF) 14. EPF ships are the go-to platform for fast, intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles and equipment. These vessels bridge the gap between low-speed sealift and high-speed airlift. Their capability to access austere, minor and degraded ports make them very suitable for operations in underdeveloped countries. Work will be performed at multiple locations, including – but not limited to – Novi, Michigan; Chesapeake, Virginia and Iron Mountain, Michigan. The US Navy’s 14th EPF is expected to be completed by July 2022.
Austal MRV/JHSV concept
When moving whole units, shipping is always the cheaper, higher-capacity option. Slow speed and port access are the big issues, but what if ship transit times could be cut sharply, and full-service ports weren’t necessary? After Australia led the way by using what amounted to fast car ferries for military operations, the US Army and Navy decided to give it a go. Both services leased Incat TSV/HSV wave-piercing catamaran ship designs, while the Marines’ charged ahead with very successful use of Austal’s Westpac Express high-speed catamaran. These Australian-designed ships all give commanders the ability to roll on a company with full gear and equipment (or roll on a full infantry battalion if used only as a troop transport), haul it intra-theater distances at 38 knots, then move their shallow draft safely into austere ports to roll them off.
Their successful use, and continued success on operations, attracted favorable comment and notice from all services. So favorable that the experiments have led to a $3+ billion program called the Joint High Speed Vessel. These designs may even have uses beyond simple ferrying and transport.
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Dec 05, 2018 04:56 UTC
Northrop Grumman is receiving more money to increase the operational range of four US Navy E-2D
Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. The awarded contract modification
is valued at $21 million and allows for the installation of aerial refueling retrofit kits on four E-2Ds. The retrofit kits
comprise a probe and associated piping, electrical and lighting upgrades, and long endurance seats that will enhance field of view in the cockpit and reduce fatigue over longer missions. The aerial refuelling capability effectively doubles the time the Hawkeye can stay in the air conducting its mission. The upgraded version of the Advanced Hawkeye flew for the first time in December 2016. Work will be performed at Northrop's factory in St. Augustine, Florida and is expected to be completed in June 2020.
Northrop Grumman’s E-2C Hawkeye is a carrier-capable “mini-AWACS” aircraft, designed to give long-range warning of incoming aerial threats. Secondary roles include strike command and control, land and maritime surveillance, search and rescue, communications relay, and even civil air traffic control during emergencies. E-2C Hawkeyes began replacing previous Hawkeye versions in 1973. They fly from USN and French carriers, from land bases in the militaries of Egypt, Japan, Mexico, and Taiwan; and in a drug interdiction role for the US Naval Reserve. Over 200 Hawkeyes have been produced.
The $17.5 billion E-2D Advanced Hawkeye program aims to build 75 new aircraft with significant radar, engine, and electronics upgrades in order to deal with a world of stealthier cruise missiles, saturation attacks, and a growing need for ground surveillance as well as aerial scans. It looks a lot like the last generation E-2C Hawkeye 2000 upgrade on the outside – but inside, and even outside to some extent, it’s a whole new aircraft.
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