- The US Army is tapping Boeing to increase its transport capability. The awarded contract modification is valued at $131.1 million and provides for the procurement of four MH-47G Block II aircraft. The MH-47G Chinook is a variant of the world’s most popular heavy-lift helicopter, that has been optimized for Special Forces Operations. The most obvious difference of this helicopter variant is its big aerial refueling tube at the front. Less obvious modifications include additional sensors for surveillance, “aircraft survivability equipment,” dual embedded Global Positioning Systems, a redundant navigator for improved accuracy and reliability, and various advanced datalinks that allow the display of Near Real Time Intelligence Data (NRTID). The USA expects to be operating Chinooks in their heavy-lift role past 2030. Work will be performed in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, with an estimated completion date of June 29, 2020.
- Weston Solutions is being contracted by the US Army Corps of Engineers to support its remediation efforts. The $27 million firm-fixed-price contract provides for the remediation of hazardous, toxic and radioactive waste as well as military munitions. Hazardous, Toxic and Radioactive Waste projects are implemented at former military sites that have been contaminated during weapons tests and other kinds of operations. The Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program for example was initiated to identify, investigate, and clean up or control sites throughout the United States that were part of the Nation’s early atomic weapons and energy programs. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order. The contract is expected to be completed by July 10, 2023.
- Raytheon is set to provide the Missile Defense Agency with the sustained capability to defend against ballistic missile threats. The awarded multiple award indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (MAIDIQ) contract has a minimum amount of $10.000 and a maximum amount of $4.1 billion. The primary purpose of this contract is to provide autonomous acquisition and persistent precision tracking and discrimination to optimize the defensive capability of the ballistic missile defense system and counter evolving threats. The tracking and discrimination capability is at the heart of a ballistic missile defense system, stopping a missile attack begins with detecting a launch. THAAD for example uses the AN/TPY-2, an X-Band, phased array, solid-state radar developed and built by Raytheon. The TPY-2 is employed for surveillance at ranges of up to 1,000 km (600 miles) as well as target identification and target tracking, thanks to its high-power output and beam/waveform agility. Targeting information is uploaded to the missile immediately before launch, and continuously updated during the flight.
Middle East & Africa
- Jane’s reports that the government of Qatar’s order of Rafale fighter aircraft will be delivered between 2019 and 2022. The first Qatari squadron is being set up at Mont-de-Marsan Air Base in southwest France, there more than 200 pilots and technicians have been trained. The current F3 standard includes full integration with the Reco NG reconnaissance pod, implementation of all currently planned modes for the RBE2 radar, anti-ship attack with the Exocet or follow-on ANF, and support for an improved tanker pack. Qatar made an initial purchase of the Rafale in 2015 and gradually increased its order to 36 planes.
- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is set to receive support for its F-15 Fleet Modernization program as part of a US foreign military sale. Titan LSC has been awarded a $68.4 million indefinite-delivery-requirements contract that provides for the acquisition of various different commercial vehicles and trailers in support of the RSAF program. Titan will facilitate delivery to the Dhahran Supply Depot at King Abdul Aziz Air Base and maintain operations in the Dammam Metropolitan Area in Saudi Arabia as a liaison for the operation. In October 2010 Saudi Arabia negotiated a $30-60 billion arms package with the USA including an order of 84 F-15 Strike Eagles. Work will be performed at Titan LSC, Amman, Jordan, and in the subcontractor’s facility in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The contract is expected to be completed by July 10, 2021.
- The government of Denmark has voiced its intent to purchase 29 AIM-120 C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM). The State Department is determined to approve this foreign military sale which has a value of $90 million. The potential deal includes the missiles, a spare guidance section and other equipment ranging from missile containers to training services. At present, the AIM-120-C7 is the most advanced AMRAAM approved for export beyond the USA. The AIM-120-C7 is currently in production for almost all export customers, with an improved seeker head, greater jamming resistance, and slightly longer range. Additional work continues to improve the C7’s resistance to electronic countermeasures, and the 2-phase EPIP program. The missiles would equip Denmark’s future F-16 and F-35 fighter jets.
- The government of Slovakia has decided to purchase 14 new F-16 fighters to replace its Russian made MiG-29 jets. The deal has a potential value of up to $1.3 billion. The Lockheed produced plane thus successfully competed against Saab’s Gripen. In April, the US State Department approved the potential sale of 14 Block 70/72 F-16Vs for Slovakia. The Slovakian defense ministry said in a press statement “the US offer was more advantageous for the Slovak Republic in terms of all parameters, and in this regard the ministry refused to speculate that the reason for choosing the F-16 aircraft was later delivery and thus prolongation of dependence on Russian technology.” The ministry compared the price of 14 F-16, ammunition, pilot training costs and ground staff, logistics, infrastructure completion, delivery times and other operating costs, up until the 2040s horizon.
- The Nepalese Army intends to purchase on AW-139 Helicopter. The Nepalese government intended to purchase three helicopters in total for disaster response and rescue operations, however part of the purchase was cancelled as the price ceiling exceeded an earlier deal. The AW139 delivers best-in-class performance with a maximum cruise speed of 165 knots and a range in excess of 500 nm. It also has the largest cabin in its class, which can accommodate up to 15 passengers. The AW139 Chopper delivery date has not been disclosed yet.
- Britain shows off its F-35s