- The US Army is contracting the Acrow Corporation to enhance its troop mobility. The awarded firm-fixed-price contract has a value of $19 million and provides for a 240-meter Line of Communication Bridge (Acrow 700XS) and one 280-meter wet gap float system. The contract includes the full spectrum of necessary equipment and materials such as bridge spans, floating pier assemblies and approach ramps. Those bridge systems are an essential part of mobility operations that enable land component forces to move freely and quickly across terrain. Mobility operations are designed to facilitate moving forces to achieve a position of advantage in relation to the enemy. Deployment of a Line of Communication (LOC) Bridge is not quite tactically focused but is used to establish semi-permanent or permanent support planned road networks that anticipate a high-volume of traffic. These bridges are typically placed in locations free from the direct influence of force on force combat operations. Work will be performed in Lafayette, New Jersey and Fort Wayne, Indiana. Work is scheduled for completion by July 26, 2019.
- The Air Force is tapping Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems to enhance the combat effectiveness of FMS customers. The awarded indefinite-delivery/definite-quantity contract provides for the procurement of Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) support equipment and sustainment work at a cost of $99.9 million. LANTIRN allows fighter aircraft to fly at low altitudes, at night and under-the-weather to attack ground targets with a variety of precision-guided and unguided weapons. The system consists of a navigation pod and a targeting pod integrated and mounted externally beneath the aircraft. The AN/AAQ-13 navigation pod provides high-speed penetration and precision attack assistance in all flying conditions, using a terrain-following radar and a fixed infrared sensor to display an image of the terrain in front of the aircraft on a heads-up display of cockpit viewscreen. The AN/AAQ-14 laser and infrared targeting pod assists in the delivery of precision weapons. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, and is expected to be completed by July 24, 2023.
- Elbit Systems of America is receiving a $7.2 million firm-fixed-price delivery order to support the Navy’s fleet of V-22 aircraft. The order provides for the procurement of 120 Slim Multi-Function Displays to be installed on the Common Configuration and Modernization retrofit aircraft. Of the 120 displays, 100 are reserved for the Navy, 4 for the Air Force and 16 will be delivered to Japan. The Slim Multi-Function Display is a digital system of flight information that is designed to reduce pilot workload and provide enhanced safety and includes a HUD on the cockpit canopy. Work will be performed at the company’s location in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in October 2019.
Middle East & Africa
- The US State Department is determined to provide the government of Bahrain with naval support as part of a foreign military sale. The potential deal has a value of $70 million and provides for items and services as part of a Follow-On Technical Support (FOTS) for the Royal Bahrain Navy Ship Sabha (FFG-90). The Sabha, formerly the USS Jack Williams (FFG-24) was transferred to the kingdom as Excess Defense Article on September 13, 1996. The FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry class was produced as a capable 3,600t – 4,100t anti-submarine platform, with some secondary air defense and anti-ship capabilities via its SM-1 Standard and RGM-84 Harpoon missiles, and which could be bought in large enough numbers to fill the US Navy’s needs. The Sabha was launched in 1980 and is now considered to be the lead frigate of the Royal Bahrain Navy. Bahrain is a key US ally in the Middle-East and is home to the US Navy 5th fleet.
- The Israeli Air Force is currently in negotiations with Boeing regarding a deal with a potential value of up to $11 billion. This deal would be the IAF’s largest-ever acquisition, considerably boosting its mobility and strike capabilities. Israel Hayom daily reports that the deal includes a squadron of F-15 jets with upgraded stealth features, a squadron of transport helicopters and KC-46 tanker aircraft. Israel’s outdated CH-53 Sea Stallions will likely be replaced by CH-47 Chinooks and V-22 Ospreys. The purchase will be funded from US military aid money, which comes to some $3.8 billion annually, over the next decade as the new planes and helicopters are delivered. If the deal goes through and Israel returns to purchasing F-15s, it would mark the first Boeing fighter jet acquisition by the Israeli Air Force in two decades. In the years since, Israel has bought 100 F-16s and another 50 F-35 stealth jets from Boeing’s chief competitor, Lockheed Martin.
- The government of Norway is set to receive communication support as part of a US foreign military sale. The $17.6 million firm-fixed-price contract provides for the acquisition of US Digital Data Link M1 systems to be installed on Norway’s RQ-20B Puma AE II and RQ-12A WASP Block IV unmanned air systems. The Puma AE designed for land based and maritime operations and is capable of landing in the water or on land. The Puma can stay in the air for over three hours using a battery and operates at an altitude of up to 500 feet. It weighs only 14 pounds and is less than 5 feet long, making it possible to launch by hand. The Wasp AE Micro Air Vehicle is man portable and can stay in the air for up to 50 minutes at altitudes of 500 feet. Both UAVs are designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and carry common ground control systems which include the Digital Data Link M1. Work will be performed in Monrovia, California, with an estimated completion date of July 25, 2019.
- Luxembourg is set to be the fifth customer of the Airbus H-145M multirole medium-twin helicopter. The battlefield support helicopter is primarily intended for use by military and law enforcement agencies. The helicopter can be deployed in transportation, special operations, ISTAR, SAR, fire support, and medical evacuation missions. The H-145M can seat up to 11 personnel including crew and troops. The large cabin space accommodates up to ten troops in a high-density air assault layout, or a fully-equipped force for special operations. The platform is compatible with seven- and 12-tube rocket launchers, a 20mm cannon pod, a 12.7mm machine gun pod, and air-to-surface missiles. It can also be configured to carry laser-guided rockets. Deliveries are scheduled to take place before the end of 2019 with an IOC expected in 2020. No details of the contract value have been disclosed, but the deal also includes a training and support package. Airbus Helicopters says it has now secured orders for 51 H145Ms.
- The Indian Air Force is currently in the middle of a major modernization program of its 118 Jaguar ground attack fighters. The $3 billion program sees that the aircraft will be fitted with new engines, airframes and spares and will be upgraded with new avionics, communication and AESA radars. The effort will probably continue for the next 5-years and will extend the operational life of the aircraft for another 20-years. The Jaguar made its maiden flight in 1968 and was produced in 23 variants. The Indian Air Force placed a $1 billion order in 1978 to procure 40 Jaguars and license to build 120 Jaguar aircraft at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited under the local designation Shamsher. Main contractor will be India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited which will receive decommissioned Jaguar fighters from France and Oman free of charge and will buy more planes from the UK at a throwaway price.
- Watch: H145M firing campaign equipped with HForce.