Saudi order restarts SLAM-ER’s production line | Lockheed officials make F-16 sales push in Slovakia | Cobham selected for KF-X oxygen systems workApr 12, 2018 05:00 UTC
- Boeing has been selected to provide both the US Navy and government of Australia with training systems for P-8A Poseidon aircraft. Valued at $35.9 million, the deal allows the air-framer to provide P-8A Poseidon maintenance device training system upgrades for both customers and falls under a firm-fixed-price contract modification to an existing award and combines purchases for the Navy ($18,063,363; 51 percent); and the government of Australia ($17,905,905; 49 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will take place in Jacksonville, Florida and Edinburgh, Australia, running through to January 2020. The Poseidon is an anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare aircraft designed to work in conjunction with the MQ-4C Triton, a UAV used for maritime patrol operations, and is also on order with the UK, Norway, and India. In March, Boeing’s 100th Poseidon entered final assembly in Renton, Washington and the firm says its current order backlog will keep its production line running until 2022.
- The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded Boeing a $24.1 million contract for extra, unspecified design work on the new Air Force One. Announced by the Pentagon on Tuesday, the notice merely states that the order tasks Boeing with advancing “the maturity of the air vehicle design beyond the preliminary design level on the VC-25B,” and “supplements work already taking place under the PAR contract, including the acquisition of two commercial Boeing 747-8 aircraft and VC-25B preliminary design activity.” Work will be carried out at Seattle, Washington, with contract completion expected for December 2019. According to Flight Global, the USAF awarded Boeing a $600 million contract in September 2017 to cover preliminary design work on two new Air Force One aircraft that will replace two 747-200-based Air Force One aircraft delivered in 1991. Scheduled to begin flying in 2021, the White House costs the total program at $3.9 billion.
- In what is a major first for the company, Orbital ATK announced the successful test of a partially-3D printed warhead designed for hypersonic weapons. Taking place on March 29, the testing comes just sixty days after conception, with three out of five of the warhead’s major components made using additive manufacturing. Speaking to Defense News, Orbital said the test aimed to examine what effects the fragmentation will have on various targets. Orbital decided to try additive manufacturing on a warhead design for hypersonic applications because the Defense Department is moving full speed ahead with hypersonic technology development in the coming years as it decides how it will employ such weapons. Hypersonic weapons are anything that can exceed Mach 5, which is five times faster than the speed of sound.
Middle East & Africa
- Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) has announced thats its military has now received six indigenous Anka-S unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Ten drones were ordered by the Turkish Air Force in 2013. In a statement released Sunday and reported by the Daily Sabah, SSM said that UAVs were “produced within the scope of the contract signed between SSM and [manufacturer] TAI to meet the operational needs of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) , while two more Anka-S’s were added to the units delivered to Turkish Air Force Command and used effectively in the field, thus increasing the total number of these UAVs in the inventory to six. Build by Turkish Aerospace Industries, the Anka-S is the serial production variant and can be identified by the modified radome that houses a ViaSat’s VR-18C Highpower SATCOM antenna.
- The production line of the AGM-84 Standoff Land Attack Missile (SLAM) is being restarted all for the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. According to a US Navy contract awarded to Boeing on Tuesday, the $64 million contract will see the SLAM’s updated H/K expanded response (ER) variant put back into production with the deal also covering the redesign of obsolete, nearly obsolete, or uneconomical parts to support production and improve future sustainment. The majority of the work will take place at St. Charles, Missouri with a scheduled completion time set for March 2019. As well as the US and Saudi Arabia, the SLAM-ER is in use with the air forces of South Korea, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Saudi F-15SA warplanes are likely to carry the munitions.
- Lockheed Martin officials have been undergoing a sales push in Slovakia, touting its F-16V as a potential solution to Bratislava’s ageing MiG-29 fighter aircraft. News of the visit comes just a week after US State Department approval to potentially sell the American-made warplanes to Slovakia was announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)—even though Slovakia will not officially select a winner until this summer—and an offer was formally presented by Lockheed officials to the Slovakian government on Tuesday, April 10. If Slovakia were to select the upgraded F-16, the company said deliveries of the first four aircraft could commence in late 2022. Slovak Defence Minister Peter Gajdos is expected to submit his opinion on the most effective solution to the cabinet by June 29, 2018, with Saab’s JAS-39 Gripen the F-16V’s competition.
- British aerospace equipment manufacturer Cobham has been selected by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to provide oxygen systems for South Korea’s indigenous fighter effort—the KF-X. The multi-year agreement covers the aircraft’s development phase and tasks Cobham with designing an onboard oxygen generating system that includes technologies such as the Next Generation Oxygen Concentrator—which creates breathable oxygen from engine bleed air—and the Electronic Seat Mounted Regulator that allows pilots to control the flow of oxygen. This will be the forth contract given to Cobham for various systems on the KF-X. So far the firm has been tasked with providing missile ejection launchers, communication, navigation and identification conformal antennas, as well as the fighter’s external fuel tanks and pylons.
- A 2017 South Korean live-fire test of the SLAM-ER: