AMPVs transferred to Army for testing, says BAE | DSCA clears a slew of FMS for UK, Germany, Saudi | India finally releases RFP for new fightersApr 09, 2018 05:00 UTC
- Air-framer Boeing received Thursday, April 5, a $54.3 million order for additional Super Hornet and Growler aircraft for the US Navy. The purchase order covers the provision of 11 Lot 38 F/A-18E aircraft and 21 EA-18G aircraft, and Boeing will be allocated and obligated monies from previously expired funds originally allocated in Navy fiscal 2013 and 2014 aircraft procurement funds. Work will take place across the United States.
- BAE Systems have announced that all five variants of its Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) have been delivered to the US Army to undergo testing. 29 vehicles were produced under a $383 million Engineering and Manufacturing Design contract awarded in December 2014, with all types—general purpose, mission command, mortar carrier, medical evacuation and medical treatment—produced during the phase. A company press release said that “The next phase of testing will help us to better understand the soldier/machine relationship and identify areas we can improve upon,” adding that it expects to pass the Army’s Milestone C review in 2019 ahead of preparation for low-rate production. It is expected that a total of 289 vehicles will beprocured during the $1.2 billion program, which will see the AMPV replace the Vietnam War-era M113 family of vehicles.
- Boeing has scored another milestone in its KC-46 Pegasus tanker program, several weeks after Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson criticised the firm for delays to the program. The announcement made by Boeing on Wednesday said that the Pegasus completed the fuel on-load testing portion required for the FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) by refueling another KC-46A in mid-air. The fuel transfer took place during a 3h, 40min-long flight on an undisclosed date, successfully transferring 66,200kg (146,000lb) of jet fuel and achieved the maximum fuel off-load rate of 1,200 gallons per minute. The KC-46 now has demonstrated the ability to receive fuel from three tankers in the USAF fleet: KC-46, KC-135 and KC-10 aircraft, Boeing says. It also has demonstrated refueling with other aircraft including the F-16, F/A-19, AV-8B, C-17 and A-10.
Middle East & Africa
- The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been cleared by US State Department to proceed with the purchase of M109A5/A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzers. Valued at $1.31 billion, the package calls for the supply of 180 155mm M109A5/A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer structures—for conversion to 177 M109A6 Paladin Howitzer systems—as well as three Fire Support Combined Arms Tactical Trainers static training, 180 M2 HB .50 Cal Machine Guns, and eight Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems Devices, along with other products and support services, including material to aid in upgrading the Howitzer systems. Outside of the United States, Saudi Arabia will be the only other operator of the howitzer’s Paladin variant, which offers increases survivability, RAM, and armament to its four-man crew. A lead contractor for the foreign military sale has yet to be announced.
- Both Germany and the United Kingdom have been cleared by the US State Department to proceed with foreign military sales that will boost their UAV capabilities. The sales were announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency last week. For Germany, a $2.5 billion order covers the potential sale of four MQ-4C Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), along with all the various systems, engines and equipment that caters for the US Navy’s Trion configuration. Northrop Grumman will act as lead contractor in regards to integration, installation and functional platform compatibility testing of the payload, while Airbus will take the lead for Germany on the development and manufacturing, and will be responsible for the functional test, end-to-end test and installed performance. The British package, valued at $500 million, covers articles and services for continues follow-on support to the MQ-9 Reaper program. General Atomics and MAG Aerospace will be prime contractors.
- The Pentagon announced Thursday, April 6, the award of a $116.8 million contract to Lockheed Martin to upgrade Dutch-operated AH-64 Apache helicopters. Under the terms of the deal, Lockheed will produce and integrate its Modernized Laser Range Finder Designators on Apaches owned by the Netherlands, and is a modification to a previous foreign military sales award contract. Work will take place in Orlando, Florida with an expected completion date of August 2020. First delivered in 2013, the advanced laser range finder technology provide Apache pilots with improved situational awareness and improved communications with ground forces, while also giving pilots color for their Apache cockpit displays
- A $148 million howitzer ammunition package for the government of Australia has been cleared by the US State Department. The request called for the delivery of 2,504 rounds of M795 with Insensitive Munitions Explosive (IMX) 101 Explosive Fill 155mm High Explosive (HE) Projectile. Also were 155mm High Explosive, Illumination and White Phosphorous munitions, point detonating fuzes, electronic-timed fuzes, M231 and M232/M232A1 propelling charges, percussion primers, technical publications and books, technical data for operational maintenance, technical assistance and services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. Principal contractors will be announced at a later date.
- India has officially launched its competition to acquire 110 new fighter aircraft. Announced on Friday, the request for proposals kicks off a long delayed deal that could potentially reach as much as $15 billion. The competition is opened to both single and twin-engine fighters and an air force notice said that “85 percent will have to be made in India by a Strategic Partner/Indian Production Agency”. So far, both Lockheed Martin and Saab have offered the Indian government generous terms for building their aircraft—the F-16 and Gripen respectively—at facilities within India and have already teamed with local firms in anticipation for a engine only deal. However, in February the government asked the air force to open up the competition to twin-engined aircraft, in the latest flip-flop in policy that has delayed the acquisition process for years and left the air force short of hundreds of planes. Other alternatives now available include the Eurofighter Typoon, Dassault Rafale, Boeing’s Super Hornet, or a Russian offering.
- Czech Mate: The L-39NG light attack aircraft: