Third time lucky for Israel’s Arrow-3 testing | DSCA clears a series of FMS for Kuwait, Netherlands, & Finland | First HH-60W enters final assemblyFeb 22, 2018 05:00 UTC
- Lockheed Martin said Tuesday, that its helicopter subsidiary Sikorsky is beginning final assembly of the first HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter, the latest variant of the long-serving Pave Hawk. The assembly will include the installation of a Tactical Mission Kit (TMK) delivered from Lockheed Martin’s Owego, New York, facility, which integrates sensors, radar and multiple defense systems and other sources of intelligence information for use by combat rescue aircrews. A new fuel system will also be installed which features duel internal fuel tanks totaling 660-gallons, nearly doubling the capacity of the internal tank on a UH-60M Black Hawk. A total of nine aircraft will be built by Sikorsky in Connecticut during the Engineering Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the program—four EMD aircraft and five System Demonstration Test Articles (SDTA)—and the USAF is calling for 112 helicopters to replace its aging HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters. For more on the USAF’s ageing G-model Pave Hawks, check out this recent article from Defense News
Middle East & Africa
- Kuwait will receive fast patrol boats from Kvichak Marine Industries (now called Vigor after a recent merger) in an estimated $100 million deal approved Tuesday by the US State Department. The deal will see the firm provide the Gulf nation with 15 vessels outfitted with 36 .50 caliber machine guns (30 installed, two per boat and six spares), as well as all other necessary equipment, training, logistics, and support. The sale will require multiple trips by US Government and contractor representatives to participate in program and technical reviews plus training and maintenance support in country, on a temporary basis, for a period of 24 months. It will also require three contractor representatives to reside in country for a period of two years to support this program.
- After two test cancellations, the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Israel Missile Defense Organization successfully completed a flight test of the Arrow 3 weapons system. The test launch of the anti-ballistic missile system took place at a test site in central Israel on Monday, February 19, and was led by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in collaboration with the Israeli air force. The MDA, the system’s co-developer, also supported the test. Moshe Patel, the director of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization, said a more advanced test is scheduled to take place in Alaska later this year, and pictures of the launch were posted on Twitter by the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
- Finland has been cleared for the foreign military sale of Mk 41 Baseline VII Strike-Length Vertical Launching Systems by the US State Department. Valued at an estimated $70 million, the sale includes four vertical launching systems, spares, handling equipment, test equipment, operator manuals and technical documentation, US Government and contractor engineering, training, technical, and logistical support services, and other related elements of logistical support. Lockheed Martin will act as lead contractor. The systems will be integrated on Finland’s upcoming fleet of four new corvettes, and follows a series of FMS clearances earlier this month for naval weapons as part of an ambitious naval modernization program.
- A Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) statement released Tuesday announced the US State Department’s clearance of the possible foreign military sale in support of the upgrade/remanufacture of AH-64D Block II Apache Attack Helicopters to the AH-64E configuration for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Worth and estimated $1.191 billion, the package will see 28 Apaches under the deal, as well as 51 T700-GE-701C engines to T700-GE-701D, 17 new AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radar and subcomponents, 28 AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sights, twenty-eight AN/APR-48B Modernized Radar Frequency 70 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems, plus associated training support and equipment. Boeing and Lockheed Martin have been listed as the contract’s principal contractors.
- A South Korean firm has secured two contracts to sell imagery and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images taken by its satellites, the Ministry of Science and ITC has said. Under the deal, local provider Satrec Initiative will provide the Philippines with both types of data for one year, with images taken from the Korea Multipurpose Satellite-3 (KOMPSAT-3), also known as the Arirang-3, and the KOMPSAT-5, referred to as the Arirang-5. Meanwhile, a $4 million deal will see India receive imagery data over a period of two years, with images taken by Arirang-3A and Arirang-3.
- Reuters reports that Japan plans to purchase around 25 additional conventional takeoff F-35A Joint Strike Fighters over the next six years. Sources, speaking under the condition of anonymity, added that the aircraft may be purchased directly from Lockheed Martin in the US rather than assembled locally—as is the case with most of the 42 F-35s already on order—which would save Tokyo approximately $30 million per airframe. Military planners are also looking into the purchase of the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) F-35B, which would be capable of taking off from small islands skirting the East China Sea or from ships such as the Izumo-class helicopter carriers. However, when asked about additional purchases of either types of aircraft, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said no plans had been made and that evaluations are still ongoing ahead of the release of two defense reviews by the end of the year that will outline Japan’s security goals and military procurement plans for the five years beginning in April 2019.
- News report and footage of the recent US/Israel Arrow-3 test: