- Armtec, a subsidiary of Esterline, is being tapped for work in support of the Navy’s Airborne Expendable Countermeasure program. The three-year, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract is valued at $33.7 million and provides for the production of six different Chaff cartridges used in radar countermeasures. Chaff decoys produce specialized radar signatures to provide protection against radar-guided missiles and tracking systems. Chaffs offer reliability, multiple broadband frequency protection, operational radar cross section and a rapid bloom with minimal birds-nesting. Chaffs are deployed on many platforms including the F-35 and V-22. Esterline Defense Technologies is the sole producer of such systems for the US Department of Defense. Work will be performed in Lillington, North Carolina, and the ordering period is expected to be completed by June 2021.
- The Navy keeping up its MQ-4C Triton efforts. Northrop Grumman Systems is set to provide operator, maintenance, logistic support and sustainment engineering services in support of the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator program. The $61 million contract will ensure that the aircraft are mission-capable for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Tritons work in conjunction with the P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft on missions that include maritime surveillance, collection of enemy order of battle information, battle damage assessment, port surveillance, communication relay; plus, support for maritime interdiction, surface warfare, battlespace management, and targeting for maritime and strike missions. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Maryland and at various forward operating locations outside the continental US. It is expected to be completed in June 2019.
Middle East & Africa
- IMI Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries have unveiled their jointly developed Rampage missile. The new long-range precision strike weapon is suitable for use during stand-off-range attacks. The supersonic Rampage is 15.4ft long, has a weight of 1,250 lb. and boasts a warhead, rocket engine and advanced navigation suite which allow precision striking of high-quality, well-protected targets at a distance of 90 miles. It is a derivate of IMI Systems’ ground-launched guided Extended Range Artillery rocket. Minimal changes have been made to the weapon’s external design for its air-launched role. The missile can operate in any weather conditions, both day and night. It offers simplified operation, with no need for a “man in the loop” and can be carried on a broad range of aircraft. For Israel itself, this could be a valuable capability, particularly in light of its low-level fight against Iran and its proxies, including the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, in Syria. Israeli jets carrying Rampage missiles could easily hit targets in and around the Syrian capital Damascus from within Israel’s own airspace.
- The government of Qatar is planning to equip its Dassault Rafale fighter jets with Lockheed Martin Sniper targeting pods. Sniper is an electro-optical targeting system in a single, aerodynamically efficient pod weighing less than 450 pounds. The system is capable of detecting, identifying and engaging multiple moving and fixed targets in both air and earth-centric scenarios, but also presents an answer to the challenge of non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Lockheed Martin’s AN/AAQ-33 Sniper ATP was designed to be a major step-change from the firm’s twin-pod LANTIRN systems, making use of a low radar signature profile and an advanced array of sensors and electronics, in order to offer longer range detection and identification. A universal interface, which self-detects the plane type it’s on and automatically load the appropriate Operational Flight Program, is an important time and money saving feature. The pod deliveries to the Qatar Emiri Air Force are scheduled to begin by 2019.
- Jane’s reports that Switzerland’s Rheinmetall Air Defense has completed its first example of a new-generation Oerlikon Skyranger Gun 35 mm mobile air-defense system integrated onto a Boxer MRAV. The Skyranger is being developed as answer to the complex requirements imposed on short and very short-range air defense systems that have to tackle unmanned air vehicles and precision guided munitions that are smaller, faster and more agile than ever. It is designed to protect mobile units and stationary installations. The Skyranger unmanned turret is a member of a whole modular family of air defense systems. These include battle management, gun systems and missile systems, that can form an air defense architecture. The Skyranger gun system can also operate autonomously or in conjunction with existing missile systems and fire control units. The new system is fitted with an Oerlikon Revolver Gun Mk 3 remote controlled turret armed with a 35 mm/90 caliber gas-operated Oerlikon Revolver Cannon. It has 252 rounds of ready use ammunition, and the empty cartridge cases are ejected externally. For its counter UAV role, the Skyranger would typically fire the latest-generation AHEAD 35×228 mm round.
- France and Germany are planning to jointly develop the future European Main Battle Tank (EMBT). The new platform is currently developed by France’s Nexter and Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and would be a cross between a Leopard 2 chassis and a Leclerc turret. The Leopard 2 is often considered to be the world’s best main battle tank. The Leclerc was first operational in 1992 and is currently deployed with the French Army and the armed forces of Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates. The tank hybrid would utilize the Leopard 2?s very-high capability chassis, which can carry up to 68 tons, and the lightness of the Leclerc’s turret, which needs only a crew of two to operate. As a result, potential customers get 10 percent of the weight, or 6 tons, to install additional kit on the tanks as they see fit. The EMBT could to see the light of day in the mid-2030s.
- India’s state-run Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has successfully completed the final round of trials of its license-built, upgraded Dhanush howitzer after years of delay. The FH-77B 155m howitzer upgrade is based on original drawings of the Swedish 155mm/39-caliber Bofors howitzers, which India procured in the mid-1980s. For India the simple process of buying off-the-shelf artillery guns has become a decades-long affair filled with legal drama, accusations of corruption, and multiple re-starts – but not one new gun. After several competitions were declared, and canceled many times over, India’s stock of operational 155mm FH77 howitzers has dwindled to around 200, and their last successful artillery buy was over 2 decades ago. With the upcoming IOC of the Dhanush, India may very well be on the right direction of satisfying its demand for 155mm caliber guns worth over $4 billion.
- Japan is set to supply the Philippine Air Force (PAF) with a wide range of spare parts in support of its fleet of UH-1H helicopters. The UH-1H or Huey is considered to be the most widely used helicopter in the world, with more than 9,000 produced from the 1950s to the present, the Huey is flown today by about 40 countries. The US Marine Corps is currently in the middle of its H-1 program where older helicopters are remanufactured into new and improved UH-1Y utility and AH-1Z attack helicopters.
- Eurosatory 2018 French Army land forces live demonstration in Paris, France!