- The Navy is ordering protective systems in support of its V-22 aircraft. The $20 million fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract sees for the production of up to 200 Ballistic Protection System panel sets and single floor spares for the V-22 by MACRO Industries. The V-22 has specific Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) driven aircraft vulnerability programmatic requirements and was a lead aircraft subject to Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) oversight with the Live Fire Test Law passed in 1987. Many vulnerability reduction techniques have been applied to the V-22 airframe. These technologies range from inherent structural design requirements such as ballistic protection panels to active fire suppression systems to prevent sustained fire in the aircraft. Work will be performed in Huntsville, Alabama, and is expected to be completed in June 2023.
- The Navy is contracting Advanced Acoustic Concepts LLC in support of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) platform. The cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-reimbursement modification is valued at $12.2 million and provides for software engineering services to support the LCS Mission Modules program. The Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship has been designed to counter a number of “asymmetric” threats like coastal mines, quiet diesel submarines, global piracy, and terrorists on small fast attack boats. Instead of designing a single platform that is able to take over those tasks the Navy opted for developing a ship that can be adapted to specific mission requirements by integrating swappable mission modules. Therefore, the LCS program includes packages for Mine Warfare, Anti-submarine Warfare and Surface Warfare. The LCS Mission Modules Program Office packages a variety of technologies to these ends, many of which are produced by other program offices and delivered as elements of a particular mission module. Work will be performed in Hauppauge, New York; Columbia, Maryland and Lemont Furnace, Pennsylvania, and is expected to be completed by June 2019.
- Oshkosh Defense LLC is being awarded a contract modification by the US Army. The modification is valued at $18 million and supports the production of vehicles belonging to the Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles. Oshkosh has provided the core of the US Army’s Heavy Tactical Vehicle capability for over 20 years. The awarded contract provides for work on recapitalized guided missile transport trucks, recapitalized load handling system trucks, new palletized load system trucks and new palletized load system trailers. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with an estimated completion date of January 2020.
Middle East & Africa
- The government of Armenia is reportedly in the final stages of negotiating the procurement of fighter jets from Russia. It is expected that the Armenian government will sign a contract for the delivery of a yet unspecified number of Su-30SM aircraft in 1 to 2 years. The Su-30SM is a multirole fighter aircraft developed by JSC Sukhoi Design Bureau for the Russian Air Force. It is an advanced derivative of the Su-30MK combat aircraft family. The Su-30SM can be deployed in counter-air strikes, counter-land and counter-sea missions. It can conduct electronic counter-countermeasures and early warning tasks. The aircraft also acts as a command-and-control platform within a fleet of combat aircraft performing joint missions. The Armenian Air Force currently has a fleet of old Su-25 and MiG-29 fighter jets.
- The Slovakian Armed Forces are currently fielding their upgraded Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs). The upgrade of the BMP-1 Svatava is being performed by Slovak company Konštrukta Defence. The Svatava is a modernized version of the BMP-1 dating from the 1980s. The BMP-1 Svatava, or BPsVI is an armored reconnaissance vehicle. Its turret is equipped with the Turra 30 remote controlled weapon station (RCWS) armed with a 30mm 2A42 automatic cannon, a PKT 7.62mm coaxial medium machinegun and a twin launcher of Konkurs (AT-5 Spandrel) ATGMs. Additionally, the turret is fitted with a fire control system, laser warning system, smoke grenades, commander observation and aiming sight day TV camera, thermal camera and laser range finder. The performed upgrades will extend the lifetime of the IFVs by at least 20 years and costs less than procuring new vehicles. A total of 35 upgraded IFVs will be delivered to the Slovak ISTAR Battalion.
- Jane’s reports that the UK military has lost another Thales WK 450 Watchkeeper to an accident. Britain’s Watchkeeper Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program was devised to give the Royal Artillery an advanced mid-range UAV for surveillance and is complementary to other ISTAR systems in the Royal inventory. The Watchkeeper platform is based on Elbit Systems’ Hermes 450 UAV platform. The UAV is designed to provide continuous 24/7 surveillance when needed, using unmanned air vehicles able to stay airborne for more than 16 hours each through night and poor weather. So far, the UK military has lost five Watchkeepers, three of which crashed in the last 12 months. The Watchkeeper UAV and 47 Regiment Royal Artillery that operates it were due to achieve full operating capability (FOC) earlier in 2018, but this milestone was postponed after the platform failed to obtain a key flight safety certificate in November 2017.
- The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) is planning to equip its fleet of Northrop F-5 fighters with IRIS-T short-range air-to-air missiles. The Thai government recently signed a repeat order with German manufacturer Diehl Defense. The IRIS-T missile emerged after Germany pulled out of the joint US-UK-German ASRAAM program. The IRIS-T family of missiles includes three variants: the IRIS-T air-to-air guided missile, the IRIS-T SL (Surface Launched) medium range guided missile and the IRIS-T SLS (Surface-Launched, Short-Range) guided missile. The missile incorporates a tail-controlled, winged airframe design using completely newly developed components. Its main segments include a guidance section, warhead, rocket motor and control section with fins and jet vane. The IRIS-T entered service in December 2005 with the air forces of participating program nations including Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Spain. The export customers of the IRIS-T are Austria, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.
- Malaysia’s defense contractor Kembara Suci is currently awaiting a firm order for its newly developed special operations vehicle (SOV). The SOV will replace the current fleet of Mercedes-G jeeps. Kembara Suci’s SOV is powered by a Caterpillar 5-cylinder line diesel developing 197hp at 2,400 rpm and is fitted with 70R17 pneumatics. At prototype stage, it features front independent suspensions of the double whish-bone type with coil springs, while at the rear we find leaf springs on a rigid axle. It carries four passengers in the seats plus a fifth operator in the back, manning the 40 mm AGL. On top of the troop compartment we find a 12.7 MG, while the vehicle commander on the left has a 7.62 mm machine gun at his disposal. The company is quoting a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 7,000 lb. This includes a 3,306 lb. payload comprising 21 gallons of fuel, the crew, weapons, ammunition, water stowed in containers either side of the rear stowage area, and other essential equipment.
- Rheinmetall shows its KF41 Lynx next-gen combat vehicle