The President gets a new ride | More SLEPs for the Air Force | Romania boosts its anti-ship capabilitiesJul 19, 2018 05:00 UTC
- Boeing is being tapped to build two mission-ready 747-8 aircraft for the US President. The awarded firm-fixed-price contract provides for the production of two Air Force One and has a value of $3.9 billion. The contract includes extensive and manufacturing development efforts that entail design, testing, certification and fielding of the new aircrafts. The iconic plane is maintained and operated by the Presidential Airlift Group, part of the White House Military Office. The ‘flying’ Oval Office provides the President and his staff with 4.000 square feet of living and work space on three levels. In case of an armed conflict the aircraft serves as the President’s command center. Work will be performed in San Antonio and is expected to be completed by December 2024.
- Aero-Glen International LLC. is being awarded a contract to support the Air Force’s F-16 sustainment efforts. The firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract has a value of $403 million and provides for the production of F-16 service life extension program kits for the F-16 fleet. The F-16 SLEP aims to keep the aging fleet of F-16s flying until nearly 2050. The program combines a dozen structural modifications into one repeatable package – from bulkheads to wings and canopy, effectively increasing the jets life to 12.000 flight hours. The Air Force aims to complete each refurbished SLEP jet in 9 months at a cost of $2.4 million. Work will be performed at Fort Worth International Airport, Texas, and is expected to be completed by May 31, 2029.
- The US Army is contracting Wamor Inc to support its air cargo capabilities. The $18.8 million firm-fixed-price contract enables the company to produce a number of Advanced Cargo Parachute Release Systems (ACPRS) and ACPRS coupling assemblies. According to Army Technology Wamore’s advanced cargo parachute release system uses an innovative and exclusive methodology for separating a canopy or canopies from their payload only after the payload has been safely delivered to the drop zone. The ACPRS enables the Army’s Cargo Aerial Delivery Team to support mass airborne assaults, aerial re-supply, special operations, deep-strike concepts and humanitarian relief missions. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order. The contract is scheduled for completion by July 2023.
Middle East & Africa
- The government of Kuwait is set to receive support for its fleet of tanker aircraft as part of a US foreign military sale. The deal is valued at $8.4 million and provides for logistics, supply and maintenance support for three KC-130J aircraft. The KC-130J is a multi-role, medium-sized fixed-wing aerial refueling aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin, it essentially is a very advanced derivative of the standard C-130J. The tanker aircraft carries 92 ground troops or 64 paratroopers and equipment in its tactical transport role. It can also be configured as a MEDEVAC aircraft accommodating 74 patients on stretchers, and their accompaniments. In May 2010, the US Government placed a $245m foreign military sales contract with Lockheed Martin for the delivery of three KC-130J aircraft to Kuwait Air Force. The first aircraft was delivered in August 2014. Work will be performed at Abdullah Al-Mubarak Air Base, Kuwait, and is expected to be completed in August 2019.
- BAE Systems is partnering with Raytheon to support the development of BAE’s Digital Light Engine (DLE) Head-Up Display (HUD). The new digital hub will be integrated on the United Arab Emirates’ fleet of F-16s. Raytheon will design, develop and manufacture the projector for the HUD. HUDs are located immediately in front of the pilot’s line of sight and combine real-time mission critical information with the outside world view. The UAE flies the Block 60 variant of the F-16 which has been described as a lower-budget alternative to the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter. The initial order covers design, flight test and certification of the new computers, with a follow-on production order of 100 systems expected in 2020 and 2021. BAE expects a total of up to 315 units to be ordered through 2028.
- Romania is looking into acquiring a new missile system to be deployed on its Black Sea coast. The potential contract has a value of $137 million. Four major defense firms already voiced their interest. Romania currently has an outdated arsenal of Soviet-made P-15 missiles. Considering the ongoing modernization efforts of its Type 22 frigates and its acquisition of corvettes the Ministry would like one single missile system to be deployed on sea and on land. The Ministry of Defense hasn’t given any concrete details yet but reaffirmed that it envisages a supplier from a NATO or EU country. Likely competitors are MBDA with its SeaVenom missile, Boeing with its Harpoon, Saab’s RBS15 Mk3 and Kongsberg’s NSM.
- The Ukrainian Armed Forces are heavily investing in their air-defense capabilities. About 2500 anti-air specialists are currently deployed to provide round-the-clock protection, until now they shot down about 33 hostile Orlan-10 UAVs. Their main defense system is the Russian-made Buk-M1. In the past Ukraine was dependent on Russian defense enterprises to supply them with spares and components needed to conduct necessary restorations and repairs. Considering the current geo-political situation, the embattled country heavily invested in developing their indigenous repair and maintenance capability. Ukrainian companies are also tasked with work on the Bukivka 9M38M1 rocket, focusing on a new engine and solid rocket fuel to enhance the rockets acceleration, speed and payload. Ukraine plans to increase its anti-aircraft inventory by a third over the coming years.
- Jane’s reports that the Taiwan Defense Forces have now a full air brigade of Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters. The 29 helicopters are part of the 601st Air Cavalry Brigade, which operates out of Taoyuan’s Longtan District in northern Taiwan. The AH-64A/D Apache has become a dominant attack helicopter around the globe. The gunships are armed with a 30mm chain gun and can be equipped with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, Hydra-70 2.75-inch rocket pods and AIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missiles. Taiwan purchased 30 Boeing Apache helicopters from the United States in 2008 for $1.94 billion and took delivery of the final batch in October 2014. One of the helicopters was badly damaged in a training accident in April 2014.
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