Boeing and Embraer renew KC-390 cooperation | US Army calls home | Russia’s ‘Hunter’ drone to begin flight testsJul 10, 2018 05:00 UTC
- Boeing and Embraer will form a joint venture to promote the new KC-390 transport aircraft. The two companies have been working on the program for the past six years. The new agreement includes joint investments in the global marketing of the KC-390, as well as a series of specific agreements in the fields of engineering, research and development and the supply chain. The agreement states that Embraer will keep its independence as defense manufacturer, while Boeing will invest in marketing, engineering and other areas. Embraer was formed in 1969 by the Brazilian Air Force as way to re-market military transport aircraft for the commercial sector. Boeing agreed to provide technical support to Embraer on the twin-engine KC-390 in 2012, just as the US manufacturer’s production line for the four-engine C-17 airlifter neared an end. A year later, Boeing and Embraer expanded the agreement to allow the former to provide marketing support in new markets. The KC-390 has now become a multinational program and may be shaping up as the C-130’s most formidable future competitor. The tie-up with Boeing underscores the seriousness of Embraer’s effort.
- Lockheed Martin Gyrocam Systems is being tapped to produce optics sensor systems in support of the Army. The awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract is valued at $80 million and provides for the production and delivery of spare parts for the AN/VSQ-6B Vehicle Optics Sensor system (VOSS). The VOSS is a multi-sensor surveillance system that includes a daylight camera, night vision camera and thermal imaging camera. The system is remote-controlled and gyro-stabilized, it uses existing commercial high-resolution camera technology. The VOSS is an enabler/modular payload capability for the Army’s fleet of Medium Mine Protected Vehicles. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Florida, work is scheduled for completion by July 3, 2023.
Middle East & Africa
- The US Army 408th Combat Support Battalion stationed in Qatar is procuring an unspecified number of phones. The firm-fixed-price contract worth $19 million enables World Wide Technology to provide the army with CISCO brand Voice over Internet Protocol phones with related hardware and software. VoIP-or voice over Internet Protocol (IP)-is the foundation for cost-effective phone communications and more advanced unified communications. According to CISCO, VoIP refers to a way to carry phone calls over an IP data network, whether on the Internet or your own internal network. A primary benefit of a VoIP phone is its ability to help reduce expenses, because telephone calls travel over the data network rather than the phone company’s network. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of August, 2018.
- The Kenya Air Force will soon add three C-27J Spartan transport aircraft to its fleet. Kenya reportedly signed a $198 million loan agreement with Unitcredit Spa Bank late last year to finance the acquisition of the aircraft. Alenia partnered with L-3 Communications and Boeing to offer the C-27J Spartan. Launched in 1997, the C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraft incorporates the same propulsion system and advanced avionics as the C-130J Hercules Transporter, giving it the name “Baby Herc”. The aircraft design is based on the proven G-222 airframe from Alenia, with turboprop engines from Allison and advanced systems from Lockheed Martin. The C-27J Spartan has the same logistical and maintenance characteristics of the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules medium tactical airlifter, and also shares commonality of the cargo capacity. The primary roles of the C-27J are cargo transport, troop transport, and material and paratroop air drop. Other missions include maritime patrol, tactical operations, medical evacuation, ground refueling, fire-fighting and aerial spraying. The planes delivery is scheduled for 2019.
- Jane’s reports that German defense contractor IBD Deisenroth Engineering (IBD) has disclosed development of a new active armor solution designed to protect main battle tanks and medium to heavy armored fighting platforms against tandem warhead threats. Modern anti-tank weapons often have very strong penetration capabilities that render current passive armor systems unsuitable to protect main battle tanks and medium fighting platforms. At present there are two technologies that have been designed to protect armored vehicles and tanks; the Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) and Active Protection Systems (APS). Both technologies have their advantages and disadvantages. ERA cannot sufficiently protect a vehicle against tandem-shaped charges, and APS are quite complex systems that require thorough integration with a platform. IBD’s newly developed protection kit consists of a passive kit and SMART PROTech protection. This new protection kit launches its countermeasure as it detects the impact of a tandem warhead. IBD’s new protection system may fill the gap between current ERAs and APSs.
- French defense manufacturer Arquus is now in full production if its Mk 3 6×6 Vehicule de l’Avant Blinde (VAB). The latest model is a reconnaissance and combat vehicle and is fitted with a retractable mast-mounted sensor pod that includes day/thermal cameras and a laser rangefinder. It is equipped with a remote weapons station that can also be found on the French Army’s Griffon armored personnel carriers. Development of the Mk 3 VAB is part of France’s multi-year and multi-billion Scorpion land acquisition program. The Mk 3 has an average weight of 20 tons and is powered by a 370 hp diesel engine.
- Russian state media claims that the country’s new heavy attack drone will start test flights in 2018. The Okhotnik (Hunter) is being developed by Sukhoi Aircraft company. The drone is a 20-ton class reconnaissance and strike drone project being developed by Sukhoi encompassing T-50/PAK FA stealth fighter technologies. The Okhotnik-B is expected achieve initial operational capability after 2020. The tailless flying wing aircraft will be powered by one AL-31F engine powering it to subsonic speeds and will be carrying a payload of up to two tons inside its weapons bay. The Okhotnik-B will have a maximum range of 6,000 kilometers thanks to its fuel-efficient engine and wing design. Okhotnik has been designed to accomplish missions similar to the assignments set for US UAVs – destroying enemy air defense systems, communications, command and control posts in situations when the use of aircraft is associated with considerable risks for crews.
- India may soon purchase trainer aircraft from South Korea. Trainer aircraft KT-1 of Korean Aircraft Industries of South Korea could be considered for the Indian Air Force (IAF), as it was one of the shortlisted aircraft in 2011 following a deal between the two countries in 2010. The KT-1 is a single engine basic trainer or light attack aircraft that is available in five variants. The IAF, which is facing acute shortage of trainer aircraft, and is exploring other options besides the purchase of 75 PC-7 Turbo Trainers. At present, the IAF’s training fleet includes homegrown Kiran Mark I and II basic trainers and BAE Systems’ Advanced Hawk trainers. South Korea sold several KT-1s to Peru in 2014.
- German Navy frigate is replenished at sea by a US aircraft carrier!