- Lockheed Martin is being tapped by the Navy in support of its E-2D aircraft. The cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract is valued at $64 million and provides for the design, development, and integration of the Advanced Digital Receiver/Processor (ADRP) and Active Front End (AFE) upgrades to the existing E-2D AN/ALQ-217 Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system. The ESM system is part of a large makeover program for the Hawkeye. It offers improved classification of radar contacts at longer ranges. The communications suite is modernized to include dual-band SATCOM, as well as improved datalinks. The AN/ALQ-217 ESM system functions as the highly sophisticated ears of advanced-tactical aircraft. As a passive sensor system, the AN/ALQ-217 protects the warfighter by identifying and locating sources of radio-frequency emission and providing a full range of ESM operation. The system autonomously scans the environment allowing for a high probability of detection and accurate identification. Work will be performed Owego, New York and Clearwater, Florida and is expected to be completed in June 2022.
- General Dynamics is being contracted to produce guns for the Navy’s fleet of F/A-18E/F aircraft. The firm-fixed-price contract provides for the procurement of 19 M61A2 20mm gun systems and is valued at $9.6 million. The 20mm M61 Vulcan is a hydraulically driven, six-barreled, air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling gun with an extremely high rate of fire. It has been the principal cannon armament of United States military aircraft for five decades. The M61A2 is mechanically the same as the M61A1, but with thinner barrels to reduce overall mass to 202 lb. Work will be performed at multiple locations, including Saco, Maine; Lyndonville, Vermont and St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. The contract is expected to be completed in May 2021.
- The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center is awarding a $47 million contract to Northrop Grumman in support of the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared Polar Space Vehicles 1 and 2. This contract supplements a similar contract to be awarded to Lockheed Martin, that sees for the production of three geosynchronous orbit satellites. The five-satellite constellation known as the next-generation OPIR will succeed the current Space Based Infrared System and will be more survivable against emerging threats. The Air Force is targeting the first next-generation OPIR launch in 2023. The contract provides for system and payload requirements analysis and risk reduction efforts leading to a system requirement review. Work will be performed in Redondo Beach, California, and is expected to be completed by June 25, 2020.
- Lockheed Martin is receiving another contract in support of F-35 sustainment efforts. The modification to a previously awarded contract provides for work on stand-up depots outside the continental US. Those depots will conduct maintenance, repair, overhaul, and upgrade (MRO&U) efforts of the fighter aircraft. This contract also provides for the procurement of support equipment, labor, and Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) hardware required to stand up the F-35 MRO&U capability. The F-35 was designed with sustainment in mind. The Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) is the fleet management backbone for the F-35. Pilots plan and debrief missions, and sustainment professionals maintain the F-35 using ALIS. Delivering an integrated interface to maintenance, supply chain and sustainment information, ALIS is the single management tool supporting all F-35 operations. It turns maintenance data into actionable information that enables pilots, maintainers and military leaders to make proactive decisions and keep jets flying. This effort combines purchases for the Air Force ($5,9 million), the Marine Corps ($3 million), Navy ($2,9 million) and non-DoD participants ($61,5 million). Work will be performed in New South Wales, Australia; Cameri, Italy; Orlando, Florida; Fort Worth, Texas; and El Segundo, California, and is expected to be completed in February 2022.
Middle East & Africa
- Raytheon is set to install its surveillance systems at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. The $7.9 million contract modification allows for the procurement of Raytheon’s for Persistent Surveillance and Dissemination System, which is part of its Systems Mission Video Distribution System services. The system (PSDS2) provides high quality video from multiple sensors and the associated metadata to support real-time monitoring, decision making, and forensic analysis. It is a combat-proven, video-based persistent surveillance system that is configurable with UAVs, aerostats and ground-based sensors. The system offers a reliable, cost-effective persistent surveillance capability to counter today’s asymmetric threats, which can occur at any time and place. Work will also be performed at Shaw AFB, South Carolina and is expected to be completed by July 2022.
- The engineering corps of the Nigerian Air Force reportedly managed to indigenously repair the Communication Control Unit (CCU) of its F-7Ni fighter aircraft. Nigeria had purchased 15 F-7Ni multi-role combat aircraft from China back in 2005. The F-7 is a single-engine, lightweight fighter aircraft designed and manufactured by Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China. Its design is based on its predecessor, the MiG-21 aircraft and has first been flown in 1966. The F-7 has been designed to perform ground attack missions in all weather conditions. The CCU enables the trainee, instructor and tower to communicate with each other during training missions. In the past the Nigerian Air Force was dependent on foreign vendors to repair their equipment, which usually takes a minimum of 10 months at a considerable cost. Having the in-house capability to repair CCUs and other forms of equipment allows the Nigerian Air Force to boost its training and fighting capabilities.
- Jane’s reports that Atlas Elektronik and Thales Germany are being contracted to jointly develop the combat management system (CMS) for the German navy’s next five Braunschweig-class K130 corvettes. In December 2001, Germany placed an order for five K130 corvettes based on the MEKO A design from the Arge K130 consortium, consisting of ThyssenKrupp, Blohm + Voss and Nordseewerke. The corvettes replace the German Navy’s Tiger Class and Albatross Class missile fast patrol boats which no longer meet operational requirements. The K130 corvettes are designed with stealth features, low draft, and highly automated weapons and defense systems to support littoral warfare and particularly for operations of a multi-national crisis reaction force. The corvettes are equipped with a Thales Netherlands SEWACO sensor, weapon control and command system, together with link 11 and link 16 tactical communications. Atlas and Thales will develop the hardware element of the CMS plus an update to the software delivered for the first five K130s that have already been delivered to the Navy.
- Australia has announced that it will move forward with its long-planned acquisition of six Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton remotely piloted aircraft. The initial $1 billion deal includes one MQ-4C, as well as a $147 million program with the US Navy for development, production, and sustainment of the aircraft. Australia will in total order six drones, including facilities, upgrades and support at a cost of $5.1 billion. The Tritons will support the RAAFs fleet of P-8 Poseidon Maritime Surveillance Aircraft. The first of the Triton aircraft is due to enter service in mid-2023. All six drones would be in operation by late 2025, based in South Australia.
- Watch the USMCs new wheeled amphibious combat vehicle