US Army begins process for more Lakota LUH | Eurosam to lead study into air defense system for Turkey | China starts construction of third carrierJan 08, 2018 05:00 UTC
- Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $11.7 million US Navy order from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to provide Advanced Radar Processor (ARP) hardware sets in support of the service’s E-2D Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft. Work on the contract will take place in Liverpool, New York (85 percent); Melbourne, Florida (13 percent); and Patuxent River, Maryland (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2019. The delivered sets will be used by the Navy during the operational testing phase and counter electronic attack development test phase of the ARP, scheduled to take place between 2019 and 2020.
- Raytheon received Wednesday, a $37.5 million DoD contract modification for technical and engineering support on the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM). Awarded by the US Naval Sea Systems Command, the agreement will task Raytheon with supporting the missile’s design agent, in-service support, and technical engineering support services. The majority of the work will take place at the firm’s Tucson, Arizona plant, with other work to take place in Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Spain, Turkey, Denmark and Greece, and is expected to be completed by December 2018. Designed as an upgrade to the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow Missile, the ESSM is a collaborative effort between the US and 11 other NATO allies for a naval ship armament capable of defense against short-range anti-ship missiles. Raytheon may also receive additional funds if the company happens to run into cost overruns, with the reimbursement fee negotiated before the contract is finalized.
- The US Army began a process on Thursday to award Airbus a contract for 35 additional UH-72 Lakota helicopters. In a “sources sought” notice published by the Army’s utility helicopter project management office, the service did mention that as Airbus owns the technical data to the helicopter, any potential competitor would have to acquire the data from the OEM to build the twin-engined aircraft. 400 UH-72s have been delivered by Airbus to the Army since 2006, with units assembled at a factory in Columbus, Mississippi, after major components are built in Europe. The army’s approved budget in Fiscal 2017 contains funds to buy 23 UH-72As, so up to another 12 could be purchased later, thus guaranteeing jobs at the factory for future after concerns were raised by staff before the new year.
Middle East-North Africa
- Anti-air missile manufacturer Eurosam, along with Turkish partners Aselsan and Roketsan, were awarded an 18-month contract on Friday, to conduct a study into the development and production of a long-range air and missile defence system. Announced on the same day French President Emmanuel Macron hosted his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan in Paris, the unspecified contract follows a letter of intent signed by French, Italian, and Turkish defense ministers in November on cooperation in joint defence projects. The start of the program comes as Turkey finalized the off-the-shelf purchase of the S-400 Triumf air defense system from Russia last month, despite the fact the system was deemed inoperable with NATO systems—of which Turkey is a member—by allies. While the S-400 will likely fill the immediate requirement for Turkey’s air defense needs, Moscow’s unwillingness to share technology with Turkish firms went against Ankara’s desire to improve its own defense industry and develop an indigenous system. That desire will instead be fulfilled by the Eurosam collaboration, with the firm saying the “joint development activity is expected to support Turkey’s indigenous air and missile development program in addition to opening up prospects for exports and longer-term co-operation of Turkey, Italy and France.” The Eurosam consortium is made up of European missile maker MBDA—itself a joint venture between Airbus, Leonardo and BAE Systems—and French defence contractor Thales, whose main shareholders are the French state and fighter jet maker Dassault Aviation.
- Latvia will add two additional helicopters to its State Border Patrol, tapping Italian firm Leonardo to supply two AW119Kx helicopters. Delivery will take place in 2019 and the contract also includes an option for an additional unit and aircrew/maintenance technician training services. The helicopters will replace two ageing AB206B JetRangers and will be tasked with performing a wide range of missions including search and rescue (SAR), transport, firefighting and disaster relief, and will join two AW109 Power light twins that have been in service for the last ten years. The value of the contract was not released.
- Military sources have revealed that construction on China’s third aircraft carrier, CV-18, commenced in a Shanghai shipyard last year, with work on its hull expected to continue for the next two years. With an expected displacement of about 80,000 tonnes—10,000 tonnes more than Beijing’s first carrier, the Type 001, Liaoning—the vessel will also feature an electromagnetic aircraft launch system that is more advanced than the Soviet-designed ski-jump systems used by aircraft on its two aircraft carriers. The layout of CV-18 is also going to differ from its two predecessors, including a smaller tower island command centre to allow for the carrier-based JF-15 fighters, which are rather large aircraft.
- As the Japanese government continues to increase its defensive shopping list, the Nikkei reports shortfalls in the funding of several military aviation projects under the current five-year defense program scheduled to end this year. Of the 23 projects identified in the plan, only 13 were fully funded as of the fiscal 2018 draft budget—believed to be $45.8 billion, or a 1.3% increase on last year—and include funding for two destroyers fitted with the Aegis missile interceptor system and 28 F-35A stealth fighters. Of the programs whose funding has fallen short, a plan to buy 10 C-2 transport planes from Kawasaki has money for only seven units, 20 of 26 F-15s have been earmarked for modernization (although this has been caused by rising modernization costs), and a proposal to buy nine multipurpose helicopters has found itself stuck in the mud due to claims that the selection process was unfair. While the Abe government plans to fill this shortfall under the next medium-term defense plan for fiscal 2019 through 2023, there are fears that this will continue to cause a knock-on effect and leave gaps in Japan’s defense capabilities.
- Russia’s Tu-160M2 supersonic bomber to make its first flight next month. Here’s it coming out of the hanger: