13 years on – the ALMDS is still sweeping | ‘Hercules’ task for Iraq | ‘Poseidon’ set to protect New ZealandJun 26, 2018 05:00 UTC
- Aerojet Rocketdyne is being tapped to support the US Army’s inventory of Stinger missiles. The firm-fixed-price contract provides for the procurement of Stinger flight motors and is valued at $47 million. The FIM-92 Stinger is a man-portable surface-to-air missile system that has been in service with the US Army since 1981. The “fire-and-forget” Stinger FIM-92 missile employs a passive infrared seeker to home in on its airborne target. The Stinger is launched by a small ejection motor that pushes it a safe distance from the operator before engaging the main two-stage solid-fuel sustainer, which accelerates it to a maximum speed of Mach 2.2 (750 m/s). The warhead is a 6 lb. penetrating hit-to-kill warhead type with an impact fuse and a self-destruct timer. The missile itself has an outward targeting range of up to 15,700 feet and can engage low altitude enemy threats at up to 12,500 feet. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion to be expected by June 2020.
- The Navy is procuring a variety of services in support of its Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) program. The $15,3 million firm-fixed-price modification allows Northrop Grumman to exercise options for fabrication, integration, testing, system production and delivery of peculiar support equipment for ALMDS. The ALMDS entered service with the Navy 13 years ago, it is a Light Detection and Ranging Airborne Mine Countermeasures high area coverage system that detects, classifieds, and localizes floating and near-surface moored sea mines using a blue-green laser. This gets around the inherent flight and drag limitations of towing bulky gear in the water, which allows faster area search. It also lets a helicopter image an entire ocean area and move on without stopping to recover equipment. The ALMDS is integrated with the MH-60S. Work will be performed in Melbourne, Florida and Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by June 2020.
- Lockheed Martin is being tapped for the provision of F-35 component repair capabilities. The awarded contract modification is valued at $175,3 million and provides for the development, testing, and activation of 13 different repair capabilities in support of the F-35 Lightning depot implementation plan for the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy. At present, F-35 production is led by Lockheed Martin, with BAE and Northrop-Grumman playing major supporting roles, and many subcontractors below that. So far, the program has been plagued by a lack of spares and repair logistics. The Government Accountability Office found that the time to repair a part has averaged 172 days which is twice the program’s objective. Upkeep of the F-35 fleet will become more challenging as the Pentagon prepares for what the manager of the program has called a “tsunami” of new production toward an eventual planned US fleet of 2,456 planes plus more than 700 additional planes to be sold to allies. This modification combines purchases for the Air Force ($82,2 million), Navy ($41,1 million), the Marine Corps ($41,1 million) and non-DoD Participants ($10,8 million). Work will be performed at multiple locations in the continental US and is expected to be completed in November 2021. Locations include Nashua, New Hampshire; Torrance, California; and Redondo Beach, California, among others.
Middle East & Africa
- The Iraqi Air Force is set to receive another 5-year sustainment package in support for its fleet of C-130J transport aircraft as part of a US foreign military sale. Lockheed Martin will support the government of Iraq with contractor logistics support, technical assistance and logistics, to include aircraft and aerospace ground equipment, spares, repairs and familiarization training on the transport aircraft. The deal is valued at $86,7 million. The C-130 Hercules remains one of the longest-running aerospace manufacturing programs of all time. Since 1956, over 40 models and variants have served as the tactical airlift backbone for over 50 nations. The C-130J looks similar, but the number of changes almost makes it a new aircraft. The C-130J Hercules was an early player in Iraq’s rebuilt air force, which remains small and focused on transport and surveillance missions. Work will be performed at Martyr Mohammed Ala Air Base, Iraq, and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2022.
- The French Air Force will soon retire its fleet of Dassault Mirage 2000N nuclear-capable strike aircraft. The Mirage 2000 is a multirole combat fighter from Dassault Aviation of France. It has been operational with the French Air Force since 1984. The Mirage 2000N is a two-seater version, designed for all weather nuclear penetration at low altitude and very high speed. After 30 years of service the Mirage 2000N will be replaced by the Rafale F3. The F3 standard has been in service since 2008. Initial changes to include an added ability to carry French ASMP-A air-launched nuclear missiles.
- Jane’s reports that the Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace Joint Strike Missile (JSM) has entered its final phase of development. The air-launched Joint Strike Missile (JSM) variant is designed to be carried and launched internally from the F-35 Lightning II fighter’s 2 internal bays or carried on external hardpoints by any aircraft type that has integrated the weapon with its systems. Kongsberg changed the wings, moved the intake to the missile’s sides, and added other modifications as the missile progresses through the development phase. Size shrinks slightly to 12’2?, and weight drops to 677lb. Because it’s air launched at speed, range expands to over 175 miles/ 150 nautical miles, with greater range enhancements if launched from higher altitudes. Pending a Final Design Review in June, development of the missile is scheduled for completion by the end of 2018, following which it will be prepared for integration, carriage, and release trials with the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II multirole stealth fighter.
- BAE Systems Land & Armaments is being awarded a contract to support the government of Taiwan as part of a US foreign military sale. The firm-fixed-price contract is valued at $83,63 million and provides for the production of 30 Assault Amphibious Vehicles, 4 Command Vehicles and two Recovery Vehicles. This effort also includes support and test equipment, spares, publications, training, engineering services, logistics, and other technical support required. The AAV or Amtrac, was initially fielded in 1972, and underwent a major service life extension program and product improvement program from 1983-1993. All work will be performed in York, Pennsylvania, and is expected to be completed by July 22, 2020.
- The government of New Zealand is planning to replace its ageing fleet of P-3 maritime patrol fleet with up to four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol planes. A recent report by the New Zealand Defense Force found that it spent $248 million on maintaining its fleet of P-3s over the past 10 years, with costs expected to gradually increase over the coming years. The P-8 will search for and destroy submarines, monitor sea traffic, launch missile attacks on naval or land targets as required, act as a flying communications relay for friendly forces, and possibly provide and electronic signal intercepts. The replacement program could cost up to $1.4 billion in total.
- The Israeli Army fired a Patriot missile at UAV approaching from Syria