Funding for OA-X may come in 2019, pending Congress approval | Australia chooses Rheinmetall for Land 400 | Seoul quietly orders additional TaurusMar 15, 2018 05:00 UTC
- Funding may be reallocated by Congress to fund a light-attack aircraft (OA-X) acquisition this year, accelerating the Department of Defense’s purchase of the aircraft by one year. Money for light-attack aircraft is currently slated to begin in fiscal year 2020 and there is about $2.5 billion budgeted over the next five years for the program, according to the Air Force. Last July, the USAF staged an OA-X experiment at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico with several aircraft taking part. Two of those, the Embraer/Sierra Nevada A-29 Super Tucano and Textron Aviation’s Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine, have since then been selected for a follow-up OA-X experiment this summer at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.
- Lockheed Martin received Tuesday, March 13, a $1.46 billion US Navy contract modification for the advance purchase of materials for low rate initial production of F-35 Lightning II air systems. The contract includes parts for Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, non-U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) participants, and foreign military sales (FMS) customers with 145 Lot 13 aircraft for the Services, non-U.S. DoD participants and FMS customers; and 69 Lot 14 aircraft for the non-U.S. DoD participants and FMS customers. Work will take place at several locations across the US as well as at Warton, UK, and Nagoya, Japan, with contract completion expected for December this year.
Middle East & Africa
- Russia is to speed up its deliveries of the S-400 Triumf air defense system to Turkey, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday. The comments were made during a press conference in Moscow together with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, with Cavusollu saying the “sooner we receive the S-400, the better.” In December, it was announced that Turkey would receive the first S-400 system in early 2020. Cavusollu was in Moscow for a series of meetings including the sixth Turkish-Russian Joint Strategic Planning Group Meeting, a sub-mechanism of the Turkish-Russian High-Level Cooperation Council (HLCC).
- Qatar has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Norwegian defense group Kongsberg for the supply of equipment for military vehicles. The value of the contract is worth up to $1.93 billion over the next eight years and will see the provision of weapons technology and digitalization systems—such as the Protector Remote Weapon Station and Medium Caliber Turret—to 490 armored vehicles that will be produced by France’s Nexter. The deal is part of a wider Kongsberg cooperation agreement with Qatari authorities over technology development programs within defense, maritime industry and digitalization, the company said, while adding it saw “huge potential” in the country.
- A statement by the Rheinmetall Group on Wednesday, March 14, has confirmed that the Australian government has tapped the German defense giant to enter exclusive final talks over a contract to buy its Boxer armored combat vehicles. The estimated value of the contract would be around A$3.15 billion ($2.48 billion) and more than 200 vehicles would be provided under the program, it said, adding that delivery would likely start in 2019 and last until 2026. The competition had pitted Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Boxer CRV—a version of the 8×8 Boxer infantry fighting vehicle in service with Germany’s Bundeswehr, fitted with a two-person LANCE turret and Mauser Mk.30-2 30mm cannon—against BAE Systems Australia, who had teamed with Patria of Finland to offer a vehicle based on Patria’s AMV, but with a BAE Systems Hagglunds CV9035 turret and ATK Bushmaster III 35mm gun and known as the AMV35. Selection of the Boxer comes after a 12-month long risk mitigation activity of the two vehicles undertaken by the Australian Defense Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, which included blast survivability testing.
- The US Embassy to the Philippines has overseen the transfer of a Boeing Insitu ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) comprising of six drones to the archipelago nation. The transfer was overseen by US Ambassador Sung Y. Kim and Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana during a ceremony at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City on March 13. An Embassy statement said the package is worth $13.2 million and is financed by the Foreign Military Financing grant program. The ScanEagle system will be operated by the 300 Air Intelligence and Security Wing (AISW), out of Antonio Bautista Air Base, Palawan.
- Yonhap reports that the South Korean government has confirmed that it purchased another batch of 90 Taurus cruise missiles. Contracts for the sale were inked at the end of February and it follows a 2013 order for 170 of the bunker-busting munitions for use on its fleet of F-15K fighter jets. News of an additional Taurus order surfaced last when Seoul’s defense industry program committee decided to buy 90 additional Taurus missiles amid the urgent beefing up of the nation’s Kill Chain pre-emptive strike system againstNorth Korea’s fast-developing nuclear and missile programs.
- New Zealand is still considering an offer by Singapore to send a detachment of F-15SG fighters to Ohakea Air Force Base, a statement by Defense Minister Ron Mark has said. The announcement comes following a meeting between Mark and his Singaporean counterpart Ng Eng Hen in Auckland for the second annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting. Singapore wants to bed down a contingent of F-15SGs in New Zealand for training purposes and is considered New Zealand’s closest defense partner in South East Asia.
- Coming soon Down Under- The Boxer 8×8 with Lance turret: