- Leonardo DRS is being contracted to provide the US Army with a new C-UAS capability. The awarded contract modification has a value of $13.25 million and provides for engineering and testing of the Mobile Low, Slow Small Unmanned Aerial System Integrated Defeat System (MLIDS) Increment 1. The C-UAS capability is essentially a vehicle-mounted weapons system that is capable of neutralizing small UAVs. MLIDS is a collection of different sensors and weapon systems that have been integrated by DRS to fill the C-UAS mission and mounted on top of two separate all-terrain mine resistant ambush-protected vehicles, or MATV. MATVs can be equipped with either an elevated electro-optical infrared system or with a combination of radar and a variety of kinetic weapons suitable for countering the threat posed by enemy UAVs. Work will be performed at the company’s location in St. Louis, Missouri and is expected to be completed by May 2019.
- The US Army is tapping Leidos for further work on the Saturn Arch program. The awarded contract modification provides for sustained operations and support services at a cost of $60 million. The Saturn Arch Program began in 2010, with an effort to implement intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to a special aircraft fitted with state-of-the-art sensor technology to identify and assist in removing IEDs from the battlefield in Afghanistan. It uses a variety of platforms and sensor assets for detecting and assisting in the removal of enemy IEDs and other threats. Aerial platforms including manned and unmanned aircraft use electro-optical and infrared sensors, ground-penetrating radar, and radio-frequency detectors to locate IEDs, allowing friendly forces to either avoid or disable them. It also allows trends to be mapped to develop a picture of where the weapons are most concentrated in operations areas. Work will be performed in Bridgewater, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of 16th September 2019.
- The US Navy’s next Littoral Combat Ship is currently entering its post-shakedown availability (PSA). Austal is being awarded a cost-plus-award-fee order with a value of $14.8 million. The company will provide engineering and management services in support of the USS Tulsa (LCS 16), including work specification development, prefabrication efforts and material procurement. The USS Tulsa is an LCS-2 Independence class vessel which is a futuristic but practical high-speed trimaran, based on Austal designs and experience with vessels like the US Marines’ Westpac Express high-speed transport. LCS 16 carries a General Dynamics designed combat system, and standard LCS weapon fittings. Work will be performed in Mobile, Alabama and San Diego, California. The PSA is expected to be completed by August 2019.
- PAE Aviation and Technical Services is being tapped to provide a variety of services in support of the Navy’s fleet of F-5 aircraft. The awarded modification provides for options for organizational and limited depot-level maintenance and logistics support services for the F-5F Tiger II and F-5N Freedom Fighter aircraft at a cost of $47.9 million. The F-5 was born out of a 1950s US Navy requirement calling for a small, lightweight, jet-powered fighter to operate from the decks of its Escort Carriers. The F-5N is a single seat, twin-engine, tactical fighter and attack aircraft providing simulated air-to-air combat training. As a tactical fighter aircraft, the F-5N accommodates a pilot only in a pressurized, heated and air-conditioned cockpit and rocket-powered ejection seat. The avionics of the F-5E Tiger II are more sophisticated compared to the earlier version F-5A aircraft. It rolled out from production in 1987 and since then has undergone various upgrades to compete with changing combat environments. The aircraft costs are low and can be easily maintained compared to the F-15 and F-16 aircraft. Work will be performed at multiple locations, including Naval Air Stations Key West and Fallon, as well as Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. All work is expected to be completed by 2019.
Middle East & Africa
- Jane’s reports that the Israeli defense manufacturer IAI is currently jointly developing a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) with the Croatian company DOK-ING. In futuristic warfare scenario, CBRNE weapons cause hazardous effects including contamination of environment & terrain. CBRN UGVs can be used for detection, sample collection and marking of contaminated zones without risk of exposing personnel, which gives them a certain edge over conventional manned NBC recce vehicles. Details of the IAI and DOK-ING produced platform are currently in the embryonic stages. However, IAI General Manager for Robotic Systems Division Meir Shabtai explained that it would be suitable for military applications as well as the civil market. Under the collaboration agreement, DOK-ING will be providing the platform and IAI will be incorporating its autonomous capability.
- The US State Department is currently in the process of approving a possible foreign military sale to Denmark. The North-European country has requested the purchase of up to 46 SM-2 Block IIIA All-Up Rounds and other related equipment for an estimated cost of $152 million. SM-2 Block IIIA missiles have greater capability at even lower altitudes than previous SM-2 versions, a more powerful fragmentation warhead, and can use Interrupted Continuous Wave Illumination (ICWI) to improve performance against supersonic maneuvering anti-ship missiles. The missiles are provided as medium range (50 mile) rounds that can be fired from AEGIS rail launchers, AEGIS vertical launch systems, and Tartar rail launchers. The deal would also include a telemetry omni-directional antenna, warhead dud capable missiles, the Mk13 Vertical Launching System Canisters and operator manuals. The system will be installed on the Royal Danish Navy’s IVER HUITFELDT Frigate Class ships. In combination with the Anti-Air Warfare System (AAWS) combat system the missiles will enhance anti-air warfare capabilities. The principal contractors will be Raytheon and BAE Systems.
- Japan is currently withdrawing its PAC-3 air defense systems in light of easing relations with North Korea. The systems had been deployed in five prefectures across the country since August 2017 to counter the threat posed by North Korean missiles. PAC-3 is the current standard for new-build Patriot Missiles. The missile uses a “hit-to-kill” approach, instead of the PAC-2’s large fragmentation warhead, which allows it to pack more missiles per launcher (16 instead of 4). Its enhanced capabilities also allow it to be used for point defense against ballistic missiles, and its Config-3 ground systems also feature a range of improvements to the battery’s radar, communications, electronics, and software. The missile batteries were returned to their respective Japan Air Self-Defense Force bases after Japanese officials decided that North Korea would be unlikely to fire ballistic missiles as tensions between Washington and Pyongyang have eased following the landmark summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on 12th June on Singapore’s Sentosa Island.
- Watch: What do we know about the F-15X ?