Spares to keep SOF Chinooks flying | Rafael unveils new glide munition | Will the Dutch buy the Reaper?Jul 17, 2018 05:00 UTC
- Northrop Grumman is being awarded a contract modification in support of the Navy’s fleet of MQ-4C Tritons. The cost-plus-fixed-fee modification is valued at $41.2 million. It increases the contracts ceiling and extends the period of performance on the delivery order to provide test, maintenance and logistics support services to sustain MQ-4C UAVs mission control and operator training services. The Triton is a high-end multi-mission unmanned air system. The drone conducts a number of ISR missions and boosts a number of SIGINT capabilities to capture enemy communication and radar transmissions. Work will be performed at various location inside and outside the continental US, including Patuxent River, Maryland and Yigo, Guam. It is expected to be completed in March 2019.
- Boeing is being tapped to further support the SOCOMs MH-47G Block II renewal program. The cost-plus-fixed-fee type contract has a value of $17.8 million and provides for the procurement of long lead components and parts in support of the helicopter. The MH-47G Chinook is the Special Operations variant of the combat-proven family of helicopters that first saw service in 1962 during the Vietnam War. The awarded contract is required to satisfy an urgent need to sustain Special Operations Forces heavy assault, rotary wing aircraft to ensure that the aircraft are available for operations in light of increased SOF operations demands. The majority of the work will be performed in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania.
- The Navy is looking to acquire additional tugboats in support of its fleet. Dakota Creek Industries is being awarded a $52.9 million firm-fixed-price contract for the detail design and construction of four-yard tug 808-class harbor tugboats. These tugs are designed to provide ship assist, barge and general towing, and escort services. The Valiant-class tugs have an extendable, pivoting brow for use when personnel transfers are required. There are four staterooms, 2 singles for the chief engineer and the tug master, and two doubles for the other crew members. There is also a galley and mess area. The deckhouse is well insulated to reduce vibration and sound levels in the accommodations areas. The pilothouse is windowed all around. This contract includes options inclusive of two additional craft which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $84.4 million. Work will be performed in Anacortes, Washington, and is expected to be completed by October 2020.
Middle East & Africa
- The US military is looking for helicopter services to support its operations in Africa. Erickson Helicopters is being awarded a task order valued at $20.4 million. It provides for rotary wing services for Special Operations Command Africa. Erickson utilizes a versatile fleet aircraft to offer a robust number of aircraft solutions for critical mission support. Coupled with sophisticated logistical support, and an adaptable crew, the company meets the dynamic and ever-changing demands of battlefields around the globe. The company conducts a variety of missions, ranging from troop passenger transport to Low Altitude airdrops. US Army Special Forces in Niger have been working with host nation security forces to help counter the activities of several terrorist and insurgent groups operating in the region. The most well-known of these groups is Boko Haram. As part of a long-term effort to assist Nigeria and neighboring countries to counter Boko Haram US special operations forces have been providing training and assistance to not only Nigeria but to Chad, Mali, Cameroon, and Niger. The helicopters will operate out of Arlit, Niger and fly to various points throughout Africa. Performance is from August 2018 through June 15, 2019.
- Jane’s reports that Israeli defense contractor Rafael expects to declare its Spice 250 operational in 2019. The Spice 250 is a precision-guided stand-off glide munition that can deliver a 250 lb. warhead to a range of 100 km. The new bomb is offered with a range of warheads for various missions, such as destroying lightly-fortified bunkers, SSM and SAM batteries, vehicles or radar stations. The Spice-250 like other models in the series, operates using an internal navigation mechanism and homing using image matching. This capability makes it immune to GPS jamming. The company successfully completed a number of system trials against static targets in 2017; these were followed, earlier this year, by a more challenging series of shots against moving targets on land, naval targets, and time-critical targets, which were also completed successfully. In both trials program, the release platform was an F-16I multirole fighter aircraft.
- The Dutch government is planning to buy four unmanned Reaper drones in the coming week. A Letter of Agreement could be signed next week at the Farnborough International Airshow outside London. When the deal was initially approved by the US State Department in 2015 it had a value of $339 million. The Reaper is 36 feet long, with a 66-foot wingspan and a maximum takeoff weight of 10.500 lb. Its 6 pylons can carry heavier reconnaissance payloads, as well as an impressive array of weapons including JDAM family bombs, Paveway and Sidewinder missiles. The Dutch government said the intent to purchase was announced in 2016 as part of the Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle program.
- Portugal’s UAV manufacturer Tekever is currently introducing a new, twin-engine fixed wing UAV designed for maritime surveillance missions. The drone has a length 13 ft. of and a width of 23 ft., it can fly at speeds of 60 mph for about 20 hours while carrying a 100 lb. payload. The UAS can provide autonomous surveillance of large maritime and land areas, with onboard multi-sensor pattern detection. The AR5 is designed to address maritime concerns such as environmental protection, fisheries monitoring, the identification of oil pollution, and the prevention of drug trafficking. The AR5 can carry payloads including maritime radar, synthetic aperture radar, and the automatic identification system (AIS). This allows it to identify ships using an AIS transponder, which shows a vessel’s name, position, speed, course and heading and identification number.
- Taiwan plans to acquire a new missile defense system under its Jinyi Project to replace its aging anti-aircraft weapons. The Tianjian II missile will be the main defense platform. In early July the Army Command announced that it solicits information from manufacturers on a new air defense weapon system. The Taiwanese government so far spent about $981 million on the development of the “New Field Air Defense Missile System”.
- Watch JGSDF firing the SSM-12 anti-ship missile at RIMPAC 2018