Diplomat to visit Singapore as “Buy American” drive kicks off | Berlin wants refueling capability for heavy-lift | DoD awards Poseidon contractsFeb 05, 2018 05:00 UTC
- The US Air Force (USAF) granted Raytheon a $105.2 million contract modification on Wednesday, January 31, for the provision of an undefined number of AGM-176 Griffin missiles. The contract award also includes options for all variants of Griffin standoff precision guided munitions and corresponding production, test and engineering support. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2020. Capable of being launched from a variety of platforms and used by multiple services in the US military, the Griffin A is an aft-eject missile which can be fired from a common launch tube or from a C-130 aircraft, while the B-variant is forward-firing and can be fired from a composite launch tube integrated on both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, ground platforms, and Navy Cyclone-class Patrol Coastal ships. A C-variant is currently in production and will feature dual-mode guidance and Griffin C-ER aims to extend the range of the missile. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $210,080,601.
- A series of contracts were awarded to industry on Thursday, February 1, in support of the US Navy’s P-8 Poseidon program. Tapped for individual work orders include the program’s lead contractor Boeing, as well as AAR Aircraft Services Inc and StandardAero, for airframe and engine services and depot maintenance valued at more than $268.7 million combined. Airframe work will be led by Boeing, with secondary support from AAR, and includes scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, in-service repair, planner and estimator requirements, technical directive incorporation, airframe modifications and aircraft on ground support. Meanwhile, Standard Aero will lead the work, with support from Boeing, on engine depot work that will include depot maintenance and repair; field assessment, maintenance repair and overhaul engine repair, and technical assistance for removal and replacement of engines. Work will take place at facilities operated by the three awardees across the US and Canada, with a scheduled completion date of January 2019. The contract covers services for the Navy, the government of Australia and foreign military sales customers.
- The newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Omaha, was commissioned into service on Saturday, February 3, at the Broadway pier in San Diego. As the 11th LCS to enter the fleet and the sixth of the Independence-variant design to enter service, attendees at the ceremony include former Navy SEAL officer and Medal of Honor recipient Bob Kerrey—who also served in the US Senate and as governor of Nebraska—Warren Buffett’s daughter, Susie Buffett—who served as the vessel’s sponsor, as well as San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. The LCS-class consists of the Freedom-variant, made by Lockheed Martin, and the Independence-variant, made by Austal USA.
- Ahead of issuing a request for proposals for a new heavy-lift capability in May, Col Bernhard Martin told the Defence IQ International Military Helicopter conference in London on 31 January, that the German air force will request a fleet-wide requirement that the selected rotorcraft come with an aerial refueling capability. Martin, who acts as the deputy assistant chief of staff for capability management, added that a winner for the tender will be selected in 2020 and first delivery to be scheduled in 2023. While front runners mentioned so far include the CH-53K King Stallion and CH-47 Chinook, however, only the MG-47 variant of the Chinook comes with an in-flight refuelling capability, and Berlin may also request a longer-range version of the helicopter.
- For the first time since at least 2009, US State Department diplomats will be sent to a foreign defense expo to help assist in the drumming up of business for American wares. From February 6-10, Ambassador Tina Kaidanow—who oversees foreign military sales as the acting assistant secretary at the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs agency—will attend this year’s Singapore airshow as part of the Trump administration’s new “Buy American” initiative—which calls for US military attaches and diplomats to play a much bigger role in the sale of billions of dollars more in business overseas. Singapore is one of the region’s biggest importers of US-made weaponry and as its airshow is one of the most important arms expos in the Asia-Pacific, it could be seen as a test case for the Trump administration’s new strategy of having the Pentagon and the State Department take a more active role in securing foreign arms deals, which require State Department approval.
- Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has successfully flown its Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Technology Demonstrator-2 (TD-2) fitted with its own indigenous Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS). Self-funded by HAL, all components of the digital four-axis flight control system—hardware, software and control law—were developed and produced in-house, and will replace the high-value imported system previously used, thus driving down the helicopter’s cost. The 20 minute test flight of the TD-2 was conducted by retired Wing Commander Unni K Pillai and retired Group Captain Rajesh Verma, and the AFCS was engaged throughout the sortie.
- Lockheed Martin will provide a variety of support services for Taiwan’s F-16 Peace Phoenix Rising program, as part of a $13.3 million cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to a previous awarded contract granted by the US Department of Defense. According to the terms of the agreement, Lockheed will perform additional work that was previously identified during performances tests, requiring the firm to provide maintenance in support of the F-16s, as well as fuel and other support needed for the completion of flight tests. Work will take place at both Lockheed’s Forth Worth, Texas, facility with a scheduled completion time of May 31, 2023. Under Peace Phoenix Rising, Taipei looks to modernize 144 F-16 A/B Fighting Falcons currently in its inventory, with approximately $5.3 billion earmarked for the program.
- Airbus successfully fires laser guided rockets (FZ275 LGR from Thales) with its new H145M platform, during recent tests in Sweden :