- L-3 Chesapeake Sciences Corp. is being tapped to provide the Navy’s submarine fleet with passive sonar equipment. The awarded contract modification has a value of $27.5 million and provides for the production of TB-29X towed arrays. The TB-29X is a thin line towed array passive sonar receiver installed aboard Navy submarines. The TB-29X array is in the same form factor as the TB-29 array; however, it offers increased capability, greater reliability and reduced obsolescence. These arrays can be used for back-fit on Los Angeles (SSN-688 and SSN-688I) submarines and forward-fit on the Virginia (SSN-774) class. Passive sonar is a method for detecting acoustic signals in an underwater environment, usually the ocean. The difference between passive and active sonar is that a passive sonar system emits no signals; instead, its purpose is to detect the acoustic signals emanating from external sources, such as enemy submarines and surface vessels. Work will be performed at multiple locations inside the US, including Liverpool, New York; Millersville, Maryland and Ashaway, Rhode Island. Work is scheduled for completion by November 2019.
- The Navy is contracting General Electric to provide its fleet of Super Hornets and Growlers with more thrust. The awarded firm-fixed-price-advance acquisition contract provides for the full-rate production of Lot 23 F414-GE-400 engines at a cost of $10.5 million. The F414-GE-400 is a 22,000-pound class afterburning turbofan engine. The engine features an axial compressor with 3 fan stages and 7 high-pressure compressor stages, and 1 high-pressure and 1 low-pressure turbine stage. At a weight of 2,445 pounds, the F414-GE-400 has a thrust-to-weight ratio of 9. The F414 delivers 35% more thrust than the original F404, which significantly improves the range, payload and survivability of the Super Hornet and Growler. Work will be performed in Lynn, Massachusetts, and is expected to be completed in December 2019.
- The shipbuilding firms tasked with delivery of conceptual designs for the US Navy’s future FFG(X) frigate are all being awarded with firm-fixed-price modifications to exercise further options for the Guided Missile Frigate Conceptual Design. Huntington Ingalls is receiving an additional $7.99 million, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works an additional $7.95 million, Fincantieri Marinette Marine $7.98 million, Lockheed Martin $6.97 million, and Austal is receiving a further $6.39 million. This modification is for additional Guided Missile Frigate Conceptual Design efforts. Huntington Ingalls will be maturing their proposed ship design, which is based on the National Security Cutter, to meet the FFG(X) System Specification. Work will be performed in Pascagoula, Mississippi and Ocean Springs, Mississippi and is expected to be completed by June 2019.
- The US Army is procuring a number of holsters for its new M17 and M18 pistols. Atlantic Diving Supply will provide the Army with Modular Handgun Holsters under this $49 million firm-fixed-price contract. Fielding of the M17 and M18 Modular Handgun System (MHS) started in November 2017. The M17 is a variant of SIG Sauer’s P320 handgun, while the M18 is a compact version of the M17. According to the Army, the MHS program is the first in a line of modernization efforts that the service will pursue over the next few years. The new handguns also have an external safety, self-illuminating sights for low-light conditions, an integrated rail for attaching enablers and an Army standard suppressor conversion kit to attach an acoustic/flash suppressor. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion expected by July 29, 2023.
Middle East & Africa
- The government of Kuwait is set to receive counter-measure equipment for its fleet of Super Hornets as part of a US foreign military sale. Raytheon will procure a total of 38 Integrated Multi-Platform Launch Controllers (IMPLCs) at a cost of $34.6 million. The ALE-50(V) consists of a launcher and launch controller attached to one of the aircraft’s weapon pylons, containing one or more expendable towed decoys. These trail behind the aircraft when deployed, attracting radar-guided missiles to themselves instead. Each decoy and payout reel is delivered in a sealed canister, and has a 10-year shelf life. The IMPLC is the standard launch controller for all future installations. It’s a component of the AN/ALE-50(V) countermeasures decoy dispensing set, and the IDECM integrated defensive electronics countermeasure system. In addition, this contract provides for the induction and repair of IMPLC assets, in support of the US Navy. Work will be performed at multiple locations, including Goleta, California; Forest, Mississippi and Andover, Massachusetts. This contract combines purchase for the Navy ($2,5 million) and FMS to Kuwait ($32 million). Work is expected to be completed in March 2021.
- The Swiss Army is reportedly introducing a modernized version of its Duro 4×4 tactical vehicle. Duro is a high-mobility military tactical vehicle initially developed by Bucher-Guyer in the mid-90s. vehicles are available in 4×4 and 6×6 configurations and are built with both protected armor and non-armor, and with overall weights ranging from 7t to 25t. The vehicle designed as a modular vehicle that could be easily fitted with interchangeable bodies, including fully-enclosed bodies and various shelters. The Duro can be equipped with a variety of self-defense measures ranging from 7.62 mm machine gun to 40mm grenade launchers. Switzerland is currently in the process of upgrading some of its 3000 Duro vehicles which it received between 1994 and 2002. General Dynamics European Land Systems will modernize about 2200 of those vehicles through the second quarter of 2022.
- The German Luftwaffe will have its first A400M in intensive care aeromedical evacuation (ICAE) configuration on standby starting from 1st August 2018. The “flying intensive care unit” can carry up to six medical patients to safety, including two in critical condition. That capacity will be expanded to reach 10 patients in time, surpassing the capability of the existing fleet of C160 Transall transports. Germany, which is the largest buyer of the multinational A400M, has received 20 of the 53 A400M aircraft it plans to buy. It has taken years to add certain capabilities to the aircraft, and officials are still working on enhanced protective measures. Introduction of the A400M in MEDEVAC configuration will complement the capability currently provided only by the Luftwaffe’s A310 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), which can also treat up to six patients in addition to providing intermediate care to 16 others and 22 less serious cases.
- Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force has now the first of its 27DDG-class destroyers in its fleet. Named the Maya, the guided-missile destroyer is equipped with the Aegis Baseline J7 combat system and the Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B radar system, which provides the capability to detect and track low-flying, high-speed, low-observable anti-ship missile targets in heavy-clutter environments. Aegis Baseline J7 is the Japanese equivalent for the current Aegis Baseline 9/BMD 5.1 standard. The vessel is also equipped with Raytheon’s Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) – a sensor data sharing tool currently fielded only on US and Royal Australian Navy ships. Powered by two combined gas turbine-electric and gas turbine (COGLAG) engines, the ship and 300 crew are propelled to a maximum stated speed of 30 knots. The Maya is slated for commission into the JMSDF in 2020.
- Watch: US Army equips its Bradley with Stinger missiles