- The Navy is tapping Orbital ATK Inc. to upgrade its inventory of guided missiles. The awarded contract modification is valued at $171 million and provides for the procurement of full-rate production for the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) in support of the Navy and the government of Australia. Under the contract Orbital ATK will convert 271 provided AGM-88B High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles into 253 Navy AGM-88E AARGM all-up-rounds (AURs). The AGM-88E AARGM is a medium range, supersonic, air-launched tactical missile compatible with U.S. and allied strike aircraft, including all variants of the F/A-18, Tornado, EA-18G, F-16, EA-6B, and F-35. Its primary job is to attack and kill enemy radars. AARGM’s production phase may total up to $1.4 billion for 2,121 missiles, to equip the US Navy, US Marine Corps and partnering nations. The contract also includes an option to exercise related services necessary for AARGM manufacture and deployment. Work will be performed in Northridge and Ridgecrest, California and is expected to be completed in March 2020.
- Lockheed Martin is being awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order. Valued at $46.6 million the delivery order provides for non-recurring engineering, the development of design documentation, and the creation of modification instructions. These efforts will support service life extension and enable the developmental test F-35 aircraft to maintain currency with delivered technology. The F-35 Joint Strike fighter can be considered as the largest single global defense program in history. Testing and re-testing is an incremental part of this project. Due to the jets high procurement cost, Lockheed Martin is trying to develop systems that extend the F-35s life while keeping the associated costs to a minimum. This delivery order combines purchases for the Navy $12.37 million; Marine Corps $12,37 million; and non-US DoD participants $7,89 million. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas and is expected to be completed in June 2019.
- The Air Force is procuring new parts for its fleet of C-130J aircraft. The $29.5 million contract provides for the R391 propellers and spares currently used on the transport plane. GE Aviation, doing business as Dowty Propellers Inc. will work in conjunction with the commercial Rolls Royce AE 2100D3 engine managed by the Warner Robins, Air Logistics Center. The C-130 Hercules remains one of the longest-running aerospace manufacturing programs of all time. The C-130J looks a lot like its predecessors but has seen some major changes. Its improvements are mostly clustered around 2 key characteristics: performance, and operational costs. It uses lighter Rolls-Royce AE2100D3 engines, coupled with a 6-blade Dowty R-391 propeller system made of composite materials. The overall system generates 29% more thrust, while increasing fuel efficiency by 15% and offering improved reliability and maintenance. Work will be performed in Sterling, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by May 2023.
Middle East & Africa
- Jane’s reports that, Epsilor, an Israeli battery and charger manufacturer is set to provide the Canadian Armed Forces with a battery charging solution. The $3 million contract sees for the development and delivery of 400 multi-channel chargers, spares, and services in support of Canada’s Integrated Soldier System (ISS) program. The Canadian ISS program is essentially a suite of military equipment that soldiers wear as part of their combat load. It includes weapon accessories and electronics that allow soldiers to stay connected with their teams after exiting vehicles on the battlefield. It also features a radio, a smartphone-like computer to run battle management software, a GPS, and a communications headset. The ISS combines those devices into an ensemble of system that greatly improves the situational awareness of the individual soldier. All of those systems require battery supplies for lengthy field operations.
- Sweden is set to close a deal with Raytheon in the next few weeks that sees for the procurement of the Patriot air defense missile system. The deal is initially worth around $1.13 billion and is the biggest military purchase since 2013 when Sweden started to upgrade 60 Saab Gripen fighters. The decision comes at time of heightened tensions between Western Europe and Russia. Moscow’s brief war with Georgia in 2008 and its annexation of the Crimea Peninsula six years later has pushed Sweden, not a NATO member but with close ties to the alliance, to rebuild its armed forces after decades of neglect. Sweden’s current air defense system, which is over a decade old, cannot shoot down ballistic missiles. The current US standard for new-build Patriot Missiles is the Patriot Advanced Capability 3. Its enhanced capabilities also allow it to be used for point defense against ballistic missiles, and its Config-3 ground systems also feature a range of improvements to the battery’s radar, communications, electronics, and software. The contract also includes an option to expand the purchase to up to 300 missiles. If the option is used, the final bill will be around $3 billion, Lewin said. If the government makes its final decision by August 10th, delivery of the first units could start in 2021.
- The German Army has taken delivery of its first Leopard 2A6MA2 main battle tank. The tank has been delivered to Armor Battalion 414, which is a joint German-Dutch tank company stationed in Lohnheide, Germany. The Leopard 2A6 is a German-made main battle tank designed and manufactured by the Company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. It’s the successor of the main battle tank Leopard 1. The upgraded tank is a major step in the integration of the unit, with the tank’s Dutch Essential Land based Information Application & Services battlefield management system providing technical interoperability between the two forces. The tanks now also have the Blue Force Tracking System with which they can distinguish their own troops. This considerably reduces the risk of fire on their own troops. The Leopard’s will immediately participate in the German-Dutch contribution to the NATO flash force in 2019, a response to threats to NATO territory. The company will receive 16 tanks in total. Delivery is scheduled by the end of June.
- Kazakhstan is acquiring four more combat helicopters to boost its strike capabilities. After all of its Mi-24s have been withdrawn from service, Kazakhstan Air Defense Forces are quickly moving to address the gap in rotary-wing combat capability. To fill this gap the country has signed a deal with Russia that provides for the delivery of four Mil Mi-35M helicopters. The multirole Mi-35M attack helicopter is a comprehensive modernization of the Mi-24V and was developed by the Mil Moscow Helicopter plant and has been series produced at Rostvertol since 2005. The main role of this helicopter is destruction of armored vehicles, enemy troops, UAVs and other helicopters. Its secondary role is delivery of troops and special cargo, evacuation of wounded. It can operate at night and in adverse weather conditions. This attack helicopter can carry different weapons, including podded guns, 8 Ataka-V or Shturm-V ant-tank missiles and Igla-V air-to-air missiles, unguided rockets or bombs. The country already took delivery of the first four Mi-35s late 2016, with another four scheduled for arrival by the end of 2018 as part of a contract signed with Russian Helicopters in 2017.
- Four F-22s touch down in Okinawa