Sep 28, 2018 05:00 UTC
Lockheed Martin is being contracted to build a next increment of space vehicles. The company will produce GPS IIIF Space Vehicles 11 and 12 at a cost of $1.4 billion. This contract also includes the provision of non-recurring engineering efforts, testing the Space Vehicles in simulators and an option for the production of up to 22 GPS III Space Vehicles. The Space Vehicles are part of the US Air Force’s GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) program, which will add enhanced capabilities to the most advanced GPS satellites ever designed. The GPS IIIF program intends to produce up to 22 next-generation satellites. GPS III will have three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities. GPS IIIF adds further power, resiliency and capabilities to GPS III. New features include a Regional Military Protection capability, a fully-digital navigation payload, a laser guided positioning system and a Search and Rescue payload. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s Littleton, Colorado factory and is expected to be completed by end of August 2027.
The Navy is ordering additional anti-ship missiles for its warships. Boeing will deliver 53 Harpoon Block II+ tactical missile upgrade kits under a $14.2 million firm-fixed-price delivery order. The sub-sonic, wave-skimming GM-84 Harpoon is the US Navy’s sole anti-shipping missile. Block II was designed to improve the missile’s ability to attack targets in congested littoral environments, where nearby land masses and other ships can provide cover for would-be targets. The Block II+ upgrade adds a JSOW C-1’s Common Weapon Datalink for targeting updates and re-targeting to the missile. Work will be performed at multiple locations throughout the US including, St. Charles, Missouri; Minneapolis, Minnesota and Lititz, Pennsylvania. Production of the missile upgrade kits is expected to be completed by December 2020.
The US Navy’s next Littoral Combat Ship is getting its last finishing touches. Austal is receiving a cost-plus-award-fee order valued at $16.5 million. The contract provides for material and work during the USS Charleston’s post shakedown availability (PSA). LCS-18 is an Independence-class ship. The high speed trimaran offers an especially large flight deck and internal mission volume. The hull is aluminum, but the trimaran design offers additional stability options, and may help the ship survive side hits. The PSA is assigned to newly built, activated or converted ships upon completion of a shakedown cruise. Work performed is focused on correcting defects noted during the shakedown cruise and those remaining from Acceptance Trails. Work will be performed at shipyards in Mobile, Alabama and San Diego, California. Work is expected to be completed by August 2019.
Bell presents a mock-up model of its brand new V-247 Vigilant. The Vigilant is an unmanned tilt-rotor aircraft combining the flexibility of a rotary-wing aircraft and the speed and range of a fixed-wing airplane. The drone is designed to meet the US Marine Corps’ MUX requirement, which envisages a drone capable of airborne early warning, command and control communications, digitally passing information, intelligence, reconnaissance and electronic warfare operations. The V-247 is powered by a single engine achieving a top speed of 300 knots for a duration of 11 hours and will be armed with Mk-50 torpedoes, Hellfire missiles or JAGMs.
Middle East & Africa
The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia will receive Skyfire radio systems as part of US Foreign Military Sales. Raytheon will produce a number of ARC-231 systems at a cost of $13.6 million. The AN/ARC-231 is a VHF/UHF, line-of-sight, demand-assigned, software-programmable, multiple access radio and satellite communication system. It improves the quality of voice and data radio communications. Upgrades are currently made to the system . They are designed to bridge the gap between the current Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite systems, which is reaching the end of its lifecycle and the replacement system, a Mobile User Objective System satellite constellation (MUOS). This contract also includes sales to Australia, the Netherlands, and Thailand. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana and is scheduled for completion by January 31, 2021.
The German parliament is green-lighting the acquisition of six C-130J-30 transport aircraft. The Luftwaffe will spend about $1.14 billion on a package that includes the planes, spare parts, training and technical maintenance for the first three years of service. The German Air Force will use these aircraft to conduct airlift, air refueling, and air drop missions as part of a French-German allied squadron based in Evreux, France. This common air transport squadron will have unrestricted exchange of aircraft, air crews, and maintainers, as well as technical and logistical support based on a common pool of spare parts and a common service support contract.
Lockheed Martin will deliver several targeting pods to the government of Taiwan and Bahrain. The deals are part of two Foreign Military Sale (FMS) delivery orders that cover the procurement of 19 pods for the Royal Bahraini Air Force, and 18 pods for Taiwan. The Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) is designed as an affordable precision targeting system in a single, lightweight pod, that is fully compatible with the latest J-series munitions and precision-guided weaponry. The Sniper pod greatly improves an aircraft’s long-range target detection and identification via advanced image processing algorithms, combined with special image stabilization techniques. The Sniper will equips Bahrain’s F-16 Block 70 fighters, and will be integrated onto Taiwan’s mid-life upgraded F-16s.
BAE Systems is being contracted to supply the ships of US allied navies a number Mk 41 Vertical Launching Systems (VLSs). The firm-fixed-price contract modification is priced at $28.9 million and provides for the procurement of VLS Mk 13 MOD 0 canisters and coding plugs. The coding plugs will integrate the Standard Missile-2 to the VLS. The naval MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) hides missiles below decks in vertical slots, with key electronics and venting systems built in. A deck and hatch assembly at the top of the module protects the missile canisters from the elements, and from other hazards during storage. The tactical length Mk 41 can accommodate SM-2 Standard and RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow air defense missiles, and VL-ASROC anti-submarine missiles. This contract combines FMS to the governments of Japan ($19.6 million), Australia ($6.3 million), South Korea ($1.8 million) and the Netherlands ($1.2 million). Work will be performed at BAE facilities in Aberdeen, South Dakota and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The systems are expected to be completed by June 2021.
Watch: The 3 Versions Of F-35 Lightning II JSF • USAF • USMC • USN
Sep 27, 2018 05:00 UTC
The US Army is stocking up on hand grenades. Day & Zimmermann Lone Star LLC is being awarded with a $10.4 million contract modification that provides for the delivery of M67 fragmentation grenades. The M67 hand grenade is a steel sphere, filled with 6.5 ounces of high explosives. It is designed to burst into numerous fragments when detonated, ultimately causing fatalities within a 49.5 yards radius. The M67 is currently in service with US military forces among others and has proven a capable area-effect weapon. The M67 was selected as the replacement infantry hand grenade for the M61 series used in the Vietnam War. Work will be performed at the company’s facility in Texarkana, Texas and is scheduled for completion by August 31, 2021.
The Navy is one step closer in acquiring new decoys for its warplanes. Raytheon will be responsible to mature the technological concept and reduce associated risks in the Miniature Air Launched Decoy-Navy (MALD-N) development program. The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract is valued at $49.6 million. The MALD-N is a navalised version of the MALD-X, which will be the successor to the currently fielded MALD-J. MALD-X enhances the modular nature of the mini cruise missile with the ability to accommodate different electronic warfare payloads that are more advanced than those found on MALD-J. What is planned to come out of MALD-X is a networked decoy that can use its adaptive electronic warfare payload to deliver electronic attacks on air defense nodes autonomously or at the direction of operators from a afar in a semi-autonomous fashion. Work will be performed at multiple locations including – but not limited to – Tucson, Arizona; Papendrecht, Netherlands and Indianapolis, Indiana. The contract is set to run though November 2020.
The Air Force is contracting Ultra Electronics Advanced Tactical Systems for support services as part of the Joint Air Defense Systems Integrator (JADSI) program. The awarded $47 million requirements-type, firm-fixed-price, cost-reimbursable contract provides for software sustainment services until May 30, 2023. JADSI systems provide situational awareness to sea- and land-based units, and provide commanders with the right information needed to make critical decisions. The system is composed of a number of software and hardware modules—each addressing the specialised and varied needs of the real-time tactical decision maker. JADSI can automatically generate tracks from digitized radar plot data and receives, displays, and translates data from electronic intelligence interfaces. Work will be performed at the company’s location in Austin, Texas.
Middle East & Africa
General Electric is being contracted to keep the Royal Saudi Air Force’s Strike Eagles flying. The company will provide the RSAF with F110-129 engine consumables, spares, war-readiness spare kits, and support equipment. The deal falls under the US FMS program and is priced at $58.6 million. The F-15SAs are currently the most advanced F-15 Eagles on the planet. In 2015 Saudi Arabia ordered 84 new build F-15SAs and close to 70 kits to upgrade their existing F-15S fleet to the SA configuration. GE’s F110-129 two-spool afterburning turbofan engine delivers of to 29,000 pounds of thrust and powers more than 75% of US Air Force single-engine F-16s. Work will be performed at GE’s factory in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is expected to be completed by September, 2020.
South African defense contractor Denel Dynamics is marking another milestone in its A-Darter development program. The company successfully completed the guided missile qualification test series for its short-range IIR AAM system. During the tests the missile used both its lock-on-after-launch (LOAL) mode and the IIR seeker’s wide field-of-view (FOV), proving that the A-Darter can engage targets beyond its IR detection range and that it has a high off-boresight launch capability. The A-Darter is co-development program between Denel and Brazil’s Mectron, Avibras, and Opto Eletrônica. In South Africa, the A-Darter equips the SAAF’s Hawk Mk. 120 external link trainer/ light attack jets and JAS-39 C/D Gripen fighters.
Poland is moving ahead with its Patriot missile defense acquisition. Raytheon is being awarded with a $1.5 billion contract modification under the US FMS program. The Patriot is an advanced long range air defense missile system that is designed to destroy incoming enemy aircraft and missiles. It has been in use for decades, has seen combat use and has been upgraded many times. Poland will receive the current PAC-3 variant. $922 million in FY 2018 military sales funds are being obligated for this modification. Work will be performed at various locations inside the US, including Raytheon’s facilities in Andover, Massachusetts and Merrimack, New Hampshire, in addition to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Completion is scheduled for December 2022.
Serbia is set to be the second export customer of China’s Wing Loong II UAV. Nenad Miloradovic, Belgrade’s assistant defense minister recently confirmed that Serbia intends to buy six UAVs capable of performing reconnaissance and offensive missions. The Wing Loong II is produced by Chengdu Aircraft Industry, its design is based on the Wing Loong I, but it is longer and higher. The UAV is is powered by a turbocharged engine and can fly 20 hour long missions at a maximum speed of 229 mp/h. The Wing Loong IIs are said to be capable of conducting day and night surveillance missions and capable of carrying laser-guided munitions. The UAVs are scheduled for delivery sometime in 2019.
South Korea will upgrade the Identification Friend or Foe, or IFF, systems installed on its jet fighters, helicopters, warships and missile systems. Over the next years the decades-old Mode-4 IFFs will be replaced with the latest Mode-5 variant. A total of 2000 units, related to 70 different weapons systems will have to be exchanged. IFF systems enable forces to recognize friendly aircraft, surface vessels, and submarines to avoid inadvertent firing on friendly forces. The new Mode 5 external link is a NATO IFF standard. Compared to NATO’s Mode 4, it adds better encryption, spread spectrum modulation, time of day authentication, and a unique aircraft identifier. Three South Korean defense manufacturers are competing for the IFF upgrade contract by teaming up with foreign IFF developers. They are Hanwha Systems, teaming up with US company Raytheon and Hensoldt of Germany; LIG Nex1, with Italy’s Leonardo and Thales of France; and Korea Aerospace Industries, joining hands with BAE Systems of the United Kingdom. The major weapons upgrade program costs $2.2 billion and is expected to be completed by the mid-2020s.
Watch: Su-34 Kh-34U SINKEX in Pacific Ocean
Sep 27, 2018 04:58 UTC
The Navy is one step closer in acquiring new decoys for its warplanes. Raytheon
will be responsible to mature the technological concept and reduce associated risks in the Miniature Air Launched Decoy-Navy (MALD-N) development program. The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract
is valued at $49.6 million. The MALD-N
is a navalised version of the MALD-X, which will be the successor to the currently fielded MALD-J. MALD-X enhances the modular nature of the mini cruise missile with the ability to accommodate different electronic warfare payloads that are more advanced than those found on MALD-J
. What is planned to come out of MALD-X is a networked decoy that can use its adaptive electronic warfare payload to deliver electronic attacks on air defense nodes autonomously or at the direction of operators from a afar in a semi-autonomous fashion. Work will be performed at multiple locations including - but not limited to - Tucson, Arizona; Papendrecht, Netherlands and Indianapolis, Indiana. The contract is set to run though November 2020.
The Bosnian “Nighthawk Down” incident in 1999 showed that even old air defense systems could still be dangerous, and that smart tactics and selective use could keep those systems alive against heavy opposition. The challenge is finding them and targeting them. Against truly advanced air defense systems like the Russian SA-20 family, however, the challenge is survival. Advanced stealth technologies, advanced anti-radar weapons, and successful electronic jamming are required.
Air-launched decoys can help, and they are not a new concept by any means. The same technologies used in cruise missiles allow construction of “stealth in reverse” decoys that fly long distances along pre-planned flight patterns, carrying radar reflectors that simulate the radar return of fighter or bomber aircraft. Enemy air defenses see them as incoming aircraft, and must decide to either shut down and hide, or activate and reveal their position. If American aircraft are flying behind a wave a decoys, either option can be dangerous. The USAF’s ADM-160B/C Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (MALD) program began as a DARPA effort in 1996, but made it all the way into production, and is branching out into new fields. The US Navy already has their own ITALD, but they liked one of the new MALD variants enough to add it, too.
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Sep 27, 2018 04:54 UTC
South African defense contractor Denel Dynamics is marking another milestone in its A-Darter development program
. The company successfully completed the guided missile qualification test series for its short-range IIR AAM system. During the tests the missile used both its lock-on-after-launch (LOAL) mode and the IIR seeker’s wide field-of-view (FOV), proving that the A-Darter
can engage targets beyond its IR detection range and that it has a high off-boresight launch capability. The A-Darter is co-development program
between Denel and Brazil’s Mectron, Avibras, and Opto Eletrônica. In South Africa, the A-Darter equips the SAAF’s Hawk Mk. 120 external link trainer/ light attack jets and JAS-39 C/D Gripen fighters.
A-Darter model, 2012
(click to view larger)
There’s a new advanced dogfighting missile coming to town, and it won’t be coming from any of the standard players. Denel Pty Ltd.’s missile/UAV subsidiary Denel Dynamics has entered into a joint development agreement with Brazil’s Ministry of Defence and Forca Aerea Brasileira for the A-Darter short range air-air missile (SRAAM), signed as a government to government agreement via South Africa’s Armscor. The original contract was apparently signed in July-August 2006, but the formal cooperation launch was announced at the April 2007 Latin American Aerospace and Defence exhibition in Brazil.
With the SRAAM export market already crowded by high-end products like the AA-11/ R73 Archer (Russia), AIM-9X Sidewinder (USA), AIM-132 ASRAAM (UK), IRIS-T (Germany & European), and Python 4/5 (Israel), one may legitimately wonder where the Agile-Darter’s capabilities, design philosophy, and market positioning fit within this array. This article addresses the A-Darter, and those market issues.
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Sep 26, 2018 05:00 UTC
The US Army is ordering more High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers for its troops. Lockheed Martin will procure 24 M142 HIMARS at a cost of $289.2 million. The contract also includes training, spares and enhanced improvement modifications. The HIMARS is a cut-down, truck-mounted, C-130 transportable version of the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS). The M142 HIMARS uses the same controls, communications, and even crew as the tracked M270 MLRS launcher, but carries only one rocket or missile set on a 5-ton FMTV truck chassis instead of the MLRS’ twin setup mounted on a tracked vehicle. HIMARS, as part of a Fire Brigade, provides fires that shape, shield and isolate the battle space and while using both precision GMLRS and ATACMS Unitary munitions, HIMARS provides close support fires for troops in contact in both open and urban terrain. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s facility in Grand Prairie, Texas and is scheduled for completion by July 1, 2022.
The US Air Force is choosing Boeing’s MH-139 Helicopter as replacement to its ageing fleet of UH-1N Hueys. The company is being with awarded with an initial firm-fixed-price contract that provides for the delivery of four aircraft at a cost of $375.5 million. This is the basic award of a $2.38 billion contract that sees for the acquisition of a total of 84 MH-139s. The MH-139 derives from the Leonardo AW139 and will be used to protect America’s intercontinental ballistic missile bases. The new variant is said to offer more than $1bn in savings in acquisition and lifecycle expenses over 30 years when compared with competitor aircraft. Work will be performed at Boeing’s Ridley Park and Philadelphia factories and is expected to be completed by September 2031.
The Naval Sea Systems Command is modifying a contract that sees for the development of the Aegis Advanced Capability Build (ACB) 20. The contract modification awarded to Lockheed Martin is valued at $78.3 million and provides for the design, development, integration, testing and delivery of the new capability build. ACB 20 is the next effort in the Aegis modernization program. It will integrate the new AN/SPY-6 radar, RIM-162 ESSMs, and CIWS sensor data. This development effort is planned for fielding on new construction Aegis DDG 51 Flight III ships that will enter service in 2023. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s facility in Moorestown, New Jersey and is expected to be completed by December 2021.
Middle East & Africa
The German government is authorising several military sales to Middle-Eastern countries. Saudi Arabia will receive four artillery positioning systems for armored vehicles, despite a German commitment not to export arms to countries fighting in the war in Yemen. The mounted radars can locate the origin of enemy fire and enable precise counterstrikes. Qatar will receive a total of 170 warheads and engines for its Meteor BVRAAMs. The Meteor missile is equipped with a blast-fragmentation warhead, supplied by German company TDW and is powered by a ramjet supplied by Bayern-Chemie. Egypt will receive seven air-defense systems, produced by Diehl. These systems fire the Iris-T SLM, a new, mobile, medium-range surface-to-air guided missile. Jordan will receive up to 385 RGW 90 anti-tank weapons from Dynamit-Nobel. The value of the above mentioned deliveries is not known at this time.
Germany plans to sell a secondhand surveillance drone to Canada. The Euro Hawk is one of Germany’s white-elephants, having cost the country more than $823 million since its introduction. The transatlantic Euro Hawk project aimed to produce an RQ-4B with additional capabilities in signals intelligence collection (SIGINT), to complement its native ground surveillance capabilities. But the program quickly ran into several costly problems and subsequent delays. Germany ordered the Global Hawk variant from Northrop Grumman in 2000, but later cancelled the order because of skyrocketing costs and revelations that the prototype wouldn’t be certified to fly in Europe. Since then Germany demilitarised the UAV, meaning technicians removed the drone’s radio equipment, its GPS receiver and aerials, as well as all encryption and the flight control system. Considering this, it remains to be seen if Canada would truly bee interested in purchasing a gutted UAV that practically can’t fly.
Vietnam is set to receive further contractor support as part of the US Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. URS Federal Services will support Vietnam in its efforts to destruct and prevent the proliferation of WMDs under this $42.8 million ceiling cost-plus-fixed-fee task order. The DoD uses the CTR program to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and eliminate chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats. The program’s mission is to collaborate with willing countries worldwide to reduce the threat of WMDs and related materials, technology, and expertise, including providing for the safe destruction of WMDs, associated delivery systems, and related infrastructure. The anticipated completion date is September 23, 2021.
Japan is developing new supersonic glide bombs to strengthen the defenses of remote islands. The government will spend close to $122 million in the coming fiscal year and plans to deploy a fully functional weapon by 2025. The missiles will protect islands like Okinawa and the Senkakus, which are claimed by China, where they are known as the Diaoyu. If outlying islands come under attack or are occupied by an enemy force, the system would launch a missile to reach an altitude of more than 20km before the glide bomb separates and then falls at an angle at supersonic speed towards the target on the ground. The missile’s high velocity protects it from interception by enemy air-defense weapons.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency is green lighting a military sales package to Taiwan. The approved sale is valued at $330 million and provides for the delivery of spare and replenishment parts needed to keep Taiwan’s F-16s, C-130s and F-5s operational. This package is part of a US contribution to Taiwan’s Force Modernization program, aimed at breaking the country’s defense equipment logjam. Taiwan expects to retire its F-5 and Mirage 2000v5 fighters by 2020. To mitigate this decrease in fighter numbers, Taiwan is modernizing its fleet of F-16s, this is however a medium term solution, not a long term one, and does nothing to address the growing numeric imbalance across the strait.
Watch: USS Ronald Reagan Launches Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM)
Sep 26, 2018 04:56 UTC
Germany plans to sell
a secondhand surveillance drone to Canada. The Euro Hawk is one of Germany's white-elephants, having cost the country more than $823 million since its introduction. The transatlantic Euro Hawk project aimed to produce an RQ-4B with additional capabilities in signals intelligence collection (SIGINT), to complement its native ground surveillance capabilities. But the program quickly ran into several costly problems and subsequent delays. Germany ordered the Global Hawk
variant from Northrop Grumman in 2000, but later cancelled the order because of skyrocketing costs and revelations that the prototype wouldn't be certified to fly in Europe. Since then Germany demilitarised the UAV, meaning technicians removed the drone's radio equipment, its GPS receiver and aerials, as well as all encryption and the flight control system. Considering this, it remains to be seen if Canada would truly bee interested in purchasing a gutted UAV that practically can't fly.
Euro Hawk UAV
(clickto view full)
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) UAV has gone from a developmental platform to the next generation of American aerial reconnaissance. Flying at 60,000 feet, the RQ-4’s use their advanced synthetic aperture radar and other sensors to provide high-resolution images, unaffected by clouds or similar impediments. A larger RQ-4B model has been developed, and forms the backbone of current deliveries.
The transatlantic Euro Hawk project aimed to produce an RQ-4B with additional capabilities in signals intelligence collection (SIGINT), to complement its native ground surveillance capabilities. The 4-5 UAVs would provide the ability to detect and collect information from electronic intelligence (ELINT) radar emitters and communications emitters, and would be connected to ground stations that can receive and analyze the data. An MoU was signed in May 2006, followed by a firm system development contract on Jan 31/07. The Euro Hawk flew, and was performing on a technical level, but regulatory barriers killed the program in May 2013.
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Sep 25, 2018 05:00 UTC
The Navy is procuring support equipment for its MQ-8B Fire Scout UAV. Telephonics Corp will deliver a number of AN/ZPY-4 Radar supplies at a cost of $23.5 million. This includes the delivery of 14 complete AN/ZPY-4 Radar sets and associated equipment ranging from signal processors to Radar Command and Control Systems. The MQ-8B is an unmanned full-sized light naval utility helicopter. The AN/ZPY-4 Radar is an X-band radar that uses state-of-the-art ground clutter cancellation techniques to automatically detect and track moving targets. The enhanced radar is capable of supporting missions ranging from blue water to shoreline, and land operations. The radar is configured to uniquely enable the VTOL UAV to conduct broad area intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. Work will be performed at Telephonics’ Huntington, New York facility and expected to be completed in September 2019.
Northrop Grumman is being tapped to to support organizational level maintenance for the MQ-4C Triton UAS. The awarded firm-fixed-price delivery order is valued at $64.8 million and provides for the production of spares needed to keep the Triton’s Multi-Function Active Sensor (MFAS) operational. According to the company’s website the AN/ZPY-3 MFAS is a 360-degree field-of-regard AESA radar designed for maritime surveillance. The initial spares requirement includes six antenna group assemblies, six wideband receivers/exciters, ten radar signal processors (RSP), two antenna drive electronics and two RSP external power supplies for the MFAS. The MQ-4C Triton provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) including vessel detection, tracking and classification over vast ocean and coastal regions. Work will be performed at multiple locations inside and outside the continental US, including – but not limited to – Linthicum, Maryland; Exeter, New Hampshire and San Diego, California. The delivery order is scheduled to run through June 2022.
The Navy is contracting Bell for the delivery of essential parts for its fleet of V-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft. The company is being awarded with two firm-fixed-price delivery orders each valued at $48.4 million. They cover the procurement of V-22 PRGB right- and left hand aircraft assembly parts. The V-22’s propulsion system’s external link consists of dual counter rotating proprotors attached to gearboxes driven by two turboshaft engines. PRBG, or proprotor gearboxes are an integral part of the Osprey’s gearbox system, which also includes one mid-wing gearbox (MWGB), two tilt-axis gearboxes and the emergency reservoir system (ELS).
The Air Force is stocking up on aircraft parts. Harris Corp will provide the service with parts for its B-52 bombers and SOF configured C-130 transport planes. The fixed-price, requirements contract is valued at $255.4 million. The B-52H Stratofortress is the mainstay of the US strategic fleet. It provides both penetrating and standoff capabilities that allow the USAF to hit targets almost anywhere in the world. The aircraft is an essential part to the country’s nuclear and conventional posture. The C-130J is a combat proven aircraft system that served as the tactical airlift backbone since 1956. SOF configured airframes include the AC-130J, EC-130J, HC-130J, and MC-130J. Work will be performed at Harris’ New Jersey facility and will run through May 24, 2026.
Middle East & Africa
South African Paramount Group and Italian defense contractor Leonardo are planning to jointly develop a weaponised version of the M-345 trainer jet for the African market. The two companies recently signed a letter of intent during the Africa Aerospace & Defence exhibition. The M-345 is a training jet aircraft with costs comparable to those of a turboprop aircraft, however it features superior performances compared to other airframes. The aircraft is powered by one Williams International FJ44-4M turbofan engine accelerating it to speeds of up to 460 mp/h. The trainer is equipped with five hardpoints supporting up to 2.205 lbs of external stores in the form of drop bombs, rocket pods, and gun pods. Leonardo and Paramount, will evaluate cooperation for the development of an operational configuration of M-345 jet trainer marketed in the African market and will include the possible involvement of Paramount in the SF-260 program and its Logistic Support services.
The State Department is determined to approve a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Kingdom. The UK is looking to purchase 50 Mk15 Phalanx CIWS upgrade kits at a cost of $75 million. The radar-guided, rapid-firing MK 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapons System serves as a last-ditch defense against incoming missiles and other targets. The Block IB Baseline 2 Upgrade Kits incorporate digital off-the-shelf signal processing electronics, a new signal source and mixer, and a “surface mode” software upgrade that improves performance against targets on or near the water’s surface. The deal would also include support equipment, test equipment, initial spare parts, technical documentation, training, and engineering technical assistance, and other related elements of logistics and program support. Prime contractor will be Raytheon.
The French government is reaffirming that it will speed up the upcoming delivery of 12 aerial tankers to the French Air Force. The A330-200 MRTT is a derivative of the Airbus A330, and was designed from the outset to be able to function as an aerial tanker and a transport aircraft at the same time. The French Air Force wants the Phénix by 2023, two years earlier as initially envisaged. The new tankers will replace France’s fleet of ageing C-135FR and KC-135R aircraft, some of which are close to 60 years old. The acquisition is part of a number of equipment modernization measures included in the 2019-2025 military budget law.
The Russian Navy adds a second Project 667 submarine to its fleet. Russian media reports that the country launched a new Lads-class diesel-electric submarine in a special ceremony at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg on Thursday September 20th. The Kronstadt is a fourth-generation sub that succeeds Kilo-class vessels and offers a much quieter, powerful propulsion and new combat systems. The vessel can achieve speeds of up to 21 knots and is operated by a crew of 35. It carries club-S submarine launched cruise missiles and can fire a total 18 torpedoes, tube-launched anti-submarine and anti-ship missiles. The Lada-class submarines are intended for anti-submarine and anti-ship defense of naval bases, costal installations and sea lanes, as well as patrol and surveillance tasks.
Watch: Russia deploys 3rd S-400 air defense missile system in Crimea
Sep 24, 2018 05:00 UTC
The US Army is increasing its processing power as part of the Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program. Cray Inc. will increase the processing capability of the current Cray XC 40 High Performance Supercomputer under this $12.5 million firm-fixed-price contract. The supercomputer consists of 101,312 computer cores, 32 general-purpose computing on graphics processing units, or GPGPUs, and 411 terabytes of memory, and provides 3.77 petaflops of peak computing capability. The supercomputer is at the heart of the ERDC, which conducts R&D in support of the soldier, military installations, and civil works projects, as well as for other federal agencies, state and municipal authorities, and with US industry through innovative work agreements. The contract also includes the purchase of 2083 additional nodes compatible with the existing system architecture. Work will be performed at the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center DoD Supercomputing Resource Center (ERDC DSRC) in Vicksburg, Mississippi and is expected to be completed by October 31, 2018.
Boeing is being tapped to arm the Navy’s F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft. The awarded contract modification is valued at $40.3 million and provides for the procurement of aircraft armament equipment (AAE) in support of 12 Super Hornets and 14 Growlers. The AAE program procures, modifies and upgrades common bomb racks, peculiar bomb racks, missile launchers, and provides related support for Navy and Marine Corps platforms. Work will be performed at multiple locations, including – but not limited to – Meza, Arizona; St. Louis, Missouri and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The contract is set to run through November 2022.
General Dynamics Mission Systems is being contracted to sustain essential systems on SSBNs and SSGNs. The contract modification is valued at $12.8 million and provides for sustainment of Fire Control Systems installed on US and UK SSBNs, as well as the Attack Weapon Control System on US SSGNs. The contract further includes relevant training and support equipment. The Fire Control System delivers data required to monitor the launch sequence of ballistic missiles. The Attack Weapon Control System (AWCS) consists of an integrated Launch Control System interfaced with the Tactical Tomahawk Weapon Control System and the Captain’s Information and Control Station, having the capability to launch up to 154 missiles from a maximum of 22 missile tubes. Work will be performed at multiple locations in the US and the UK, including GD’s facility in Pittsfield Massachusetts. The contract has a performance period of five years and is expected to e completed by September 2023.
Middle East & Africa
The governments of Jordan, Morocco, Afghanistan, Senegal, Tunisia and Pakistan are set to receive additional rifles as part of US Foreign Military Sales. Colt will provide the countries with up to 10,000 additional M4 and M4A1 5.56mm carbine rifles at a cost of $57.7 million. The M4/M4A1 Carbine is a lightweight, gas operated, air cooled, magazine fed, selective rate, shoulder fired weapon with a collapsible stock. It is now the standard issue firearm for most units in the US military. The M4 offers a collapsible buttstock, flat-top upper receiver assembly, a U-shaped handle-rear sight assembly that could be removed, and assortment of mounting rails for easy customization with a variety of sight, flashlight, grenade launchers, shotgun attachments, etc. Like its predecessor the M16, the M4 also has a reputation as an excellent weapon – if you can maintain it. Work will be performed at Colt’s facility in West Hartford, Connecticut, and is scheduled for completion by September 2019.
Saab is currently recommending that the South African Air Force (SAAF) adopts the latest software update for its JAS39C and JAS39D Gripen fighter jets. MS 20 is the latest step in Saab’s process of constant capability expansion. The MS 20 upgrade includes integration of the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb, improved radar modes and a new laser designation pod (LDP) among other things. The new software will would also increase the performance of the Gripen’s radar and would allow the fitting of an automated Ground Collision Avoidance System. The Swedish Air Force was using MS 20 to improve the reconnaissance performance of its Gripens.
The US is sending missiles to European allies under its FMS program. The governments of Estonia, Lithuania and Ukraine will each receive an unspecified number of Javelins under this $27.6 million contract modification awarded to Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin JV. The Javelin is a portable anti-tank weapon, which is shoulder-fired but can also be installed on tracked, wheeled or amphibious vehicles. The Javelin system consists of the CLU and the round. With a carry weight of 6.4kg, the CLU incorporates a passive target acquisition and fire control unit with integrated day sight and thermal imaging capabilities. This contract also includes sales to the governments of Australia, Turkey and Taiwan. Work will be performed in Tucson, Arizona and is scheduled for completion by August 31, 2021.
The State Department is determined to approve a FMS to the United Kingdom. If approved, the UK would receive three SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDV) MK 11 Shallow Water Combat Submersibles (SWCS) for an estimated cost of $90 million. The SWCS is a manned submersible and a type of swimmer delivery vehicle which will deliver US Navy SEALs and their equipment for special operations missions. The SWCS is deployable from surface ships, land, and Dry Deck Shelters on submarines. The SWCS carries passive sonar the ability to sense electromagnetic energies like radars, a navigation system with INS/ secure GPS capability, secure wireless underwater communication links, and the ability to operate down to at least down to 190-300 feet undersea. Included in the contract are spares, relevant equipment, manuals and other support services. Prime contractor will be Teledyne Brown Engineering.
Chinese defense manufacturer Ziyan is showcasing its new Blowfish I VTOL UAV at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2018 exhibition in South Africa. The Blowfish I is a multifunctional and universal unmanned helicopter. It can flight in ultra-low altitude to medium-altitude environment, complex geography and in all-weather conditions. According to the company, the new UAV has a maximum take-off weight of between 28 and 50 kg and an endurance of between 45 to 60 minutes. It is electrically powered and has a payload of 12 kg that can include different types of weapons. The company also revealed that the Blowfish I is currently entering service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy.
Watch: REVEALED! The UK’s New Challenger 2 tank known as BLACK NIGHT
Sep 21, 2018 05:00 UTC
The Navy is accelerating the LPD 17 Flight II development program. The service is awarding a $11.9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to Huntington Ingalls (HII), allowing the company to speed up the development of the Flight II ship design. LPD-17 San Antonio class amphibious assault support vessels are currently entering service and will be used to embark, transport, land, and support elements of a US Marine Corps Landing Force. Flight II is the next design step of the LPD 17s, these vessels have the same basic hull, but carry fewer Marines, hold less cargo, and remove costly elements. Flight II ships can be configured to serve as a Joint Control and Command Center, as a hospital ship or fulfil ballistic missile defense roles. Work will be performed at HII’s Pascagoula facility and is scheduled for completion by February 2019.
The Navy is ordering more Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) for itself and the government of Italy. Northrop Grumman will convert 32 AGM-88Bs into AGM-88Es at a cost of $22 million. Of those converted missiles 29 will be delivered to Italy and three to the US Navy. The AARGM is a medium range, supersonic, air-launched tactical missile whose primary job is to attack and kill enemy radars. The Italian Air Force is expected to buy up to 250 of these new missiles. Work will be performed at various national and international locations, including Northridge, California; Ridgecrest, California and Sanguinetto, Italy. The missiles’ delivery is expected by March 2020.
Lockheed Martin is being tapped to keep the Navy’s Integrated Submarine Imaging System (ISIS) running. The company will provide the Navy with engineering services in support of the AN/BVY-1 ISIS under this $132.2 million cost-plus-incentive-fee modification. ISIS integrates visual and digital imagery into submarine periscopes. It provides all-weather, visual, and electronic search, digital image management, indication, warning, and platform architecture interface capabilities for a variety of submarine classes. Work will be performed at multiple locations including – but not limited to – Manassas, Virginia; Syracuse, New York and Newport, Rhode Island.
Military.com reports that an MQ-9 Reaper UAV is now capable of engaging aerial targets. The Reaper proved its air-to-air combat capability during a controlled simulation held in November 2017. “It was an MQ-9 versus a drone with a heat-seeking air-to-air missile, and it was direct hit … during a test,” said Col. Julian Cheater, commander of the 432nd Wing at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.
Flight Global reports that Raytheon is currently pitching a modified version of its Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) to the US Air Force. The modified JPALS would provide USAF F-35As with an auto-landing capability on expeditionary airfields. JPALS was initially designed to help naval aviators to safely land their jets on aircraft carriers in poor visibility. The Air Force version of JPALS would be integrated onto a Humvee and then airlifted in a C-130J to expeditionary air bases. According to Raytheon, the system would be able to manage 50 different aircraft making different approaches within a radius of 20nm.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s Elbit Systems will provide an unnamed Asian-country with its Naval Remote Controlled Weapon Station. The contract is valued at $173 and sees for the delivery of the RCWS to the Navy and Coast Guard of the country in question. The contract will be performed over a five-year period. The Naval RCWS to be provided feature a 12.7mm machine gun and ammunition, advanced fire control system and a modular electro-optic suite. The RCWS family is a third-generation, multi-purpose weapon system for small and mid-caliber weapons. With modular, dual-weapon capabilities, the RCWS is designed for dynamic or static operation, to be used on ground stationary, ground mobile or naval platforms.
MBDA presents a new UAS at the Defence Vehicle Dynamics exhibition. The new UAV concept is designated as Spectre and is designed to provide rapid close air support at sub-unit level in military organisations. The low cost Spectre is an electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) air system. Its tilt wing design allows it to quickly transition to forward flight mode for rapid traversal over complex terrain at low altitude. The UAV is capable of carrying a 50 lbs payload and is armed with either two MBDA Enforcer missiles or one Missile Moyenne Portee (MMP) multirole weapons system. The Spectre is able to navigate, find, fix and track targets with an operator over the loop (OOTL) and can engage light armored, soft-skinned and unmanned threats, or heavier armored threats. Other mission module options include re-supply payloads, improved sensors, or electronic warfare payloads. The Spectre will have a cruising speed of 111 mp/h, and will be able to provide coverage in a 6 miles radius for over 60 minutes.
Thailand is ordering additional helicopters form Airbus. The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) will receive four additional H-225M multirole utility helicopters as part of a fleet strengthening program. The H-225M can operate from sea and land and comes with an all-weather capability supported by night vision goggle compatibility. Powered by two Makila 2A1 engines the helicopter has a range of 700 nm and boasts an air-to-air or hover in-flight refuelling capability. The helicopter can be configured to perform tactical transport, SAR and MEDEVAC missions. The rotorcraft to be delivered to the RTAF will be specially equipped with emergency flotation gear, fast roping, cargo sling, search light and electro-optical systems. This follow-on order will bring the RTAF’s H225M fleet to 12 units by 2021.
Watch: Insitu unveils Integrator Extended Range
Sep 20, 2018 05:00 UTC
The US Department of Defense is heavily investing in current and future MIDS-JTRS development efforts. Data Link Solutions LLC and ViaSat Inc are each being awarded with contract modifications valued at $386.9 million and $96.2 million, respectively. Both modifications increase the ceiling of existing indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts that provide for the production and engineering efforts related to the MIDS-JTRS program. The Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) program replaces numerous legacy radios, reducing the need for excessive spares and logistics support. The software-defined MIDS-JTRS is a 4-channel radio designed to run the complex Link 16 waveform and up to three additional communication protocols, including the Airborne Networking Waveform (ANW). Because MIDS-JTRS is a software-defined system, new capabilities can be added within the limits of a module’s on-board processing and storage capabilities. Both contracts combine purchases for the Navy, Air Force and the MIDS Program Office, as well as to the governments of Austria, Chile, Finland, Israel, Jordan, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. DataLink Solutions will perform all relevant work at its Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Wayne, New Jersey facilities, whereas ViaSat will perform its work in Carlsbad, California. The ordering periods are expected to be completed by June 15, 2020.
The Navy is contracting General Dynamics Electric Boat for research on future Vertical Launch Payloads (VLP) concepts. The cost-plus-fixed-fee modification is valued at $22.5 million and provides for relevant engineering and technical design efforts needed to develop and formulate concepts on how VLP can be applied to current and future submarine platforms. Vertical launch payloads could be used in the Virginia Payload Module (VPM) once it is installed into Virginia-class submarines. The VPM consists of four large-diameter payload tubes in a new hull section to be inserted in the new class of attack submarines. This system will increase the Virginia’s strike capacity by 230 percent. Work will be performed at Electric Boat facilities in Groton, Connecticut, Kings Bay, Georgia and Bremerton, Washington. The initial efforts are expected to be completed by October 2019.
The Navy is ordering one Freedom-class LCS from Lockheed Martin and two Independence-class LCSs from Austal. Both companies are being awarded with fixed-price-incentive firm target modifications to previously awarded contracts. The DoD press release however does not specify the value of those modifications because the price-tag is considered to be a ‘source selection sensitive information’ as stated under in 42 in US Code 2101 and Federal Acquisition Regulations 2.101 and 3.104. Austal received an initial $584.2 million contract (N00024-17 C-2301) for the construction of one LCS-2 on October 6, 2017. The ships to be built will be the 33rd, 34th and 35th littoral combat ships in the fleet, and will exceed the 32-ship requirement set by the Navy. Appropriators, however are slashing funds for the acquisition of necessary mission modules in the 2019 Defense Department funding bill, raising concerns about future program delays. Work will be performed at various locations, including – but not limited to – Mobile, Alabama; Cincinnati, Ohio; Marinette, Wisconsin and Monrovia, California, and is expected to be completed by September 2024.
Middle East & Africa
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) aims to win a future tender to supply the Royal Air Force (RAF) with new airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. The platform offered by IAI’s subsidiary, Elta systems, would be a Gulfstream G550 long-range business jet with the Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW) structural modifications. The aircraft offers L- and S-band antennas, satellite links, 10-hour endurance, a 12,000-kilometer range, and a speed of 0.88 Mach. The plane entered development in 2003 and was delivered to the Israeli Air Force in 2007. Existing international customers include Italy and Singapore. If and when the UK will launch an open tender is yet unclear, because first of all, the RAF needs to decide whether it will upgrade its existing seven Sentry platforms or replace them.
Qatar is marking another milestone in its Eurofighter Typhoon acquisition program. The country made its first payment to BAE Systems on Tuesday, and thus finalises the $6 billion purchase of 24 Eurofighter jets and 9 Hawk trainers. This deal is the first major defense contract between the Emirate and the UK. In October 2017 the deal was hailed by former UK Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon as “an important moment in our defence relationship and the basis for even closer defence co-operation between our two countries.” The contract also provides for the training of Qatari pilots, facilitated by the British Royal Air Force’s (RAF) No. 12 squadron. This joint UK-Qatari operational squadron will also help to police the skies during he Gulf state’s hosting of World Cup 2022. Deliveries of the fighter aircraft are expected to commence in 2022.
Following a report by the FFI defense research institute, the Norwegian government concludes that it will be able to use its fleet of 14 NH-90 NFHs for both naval and coastguard operations. This decision reverses an initial plan that would have split the fleet, ultimately assigning 6 helicopters to conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions and the remainder for fisheries and border protection missions. The helicopters will need to generate a total of 5,400 flight hours per year. This requirement presumes a good availability of spare parts, a sufficient number of aircraft for maintenance scheduling and a sufficiently large overhaul capacity. The recent FFI analysis suggests, that about 3,900 flight hours will be possible in the first year of operation, albeit at an increased cost of $57 million.
Jane’s reports that MBDA is currently working on mission module concepts to be integrated with the Boxer IFV. MBDA is developing those concepts as answer to the British Army’s future land surface-to-surface fire requirements. MBDA Future Land Indirect Fires concepts include the incorporation of an eight-cell land indirect fire mission module able to fire a 178 mm surface-to-surface missile. An MBDA spokesperson told Jane’s that the “Boxer is effectively designed to accept different mission modules that can be swapped in or out as required. So we are proposing is a modular mission module equipped to conduct a land indirect fires role.” The UK rejoined the Boxer program after a 14-year hiatus in April 2018. The Boxer is supposed to fulfill the Army’s mechanised infantry vehicle requirement by 2023.
The Royal Australian Air Force introduces its first F-35A to its Air Combat Group. The aircraft is part of No.3 Squadron, which will gradually replace its old F/A-18 A/B “Classic” Hornet aircraft with the 5th-generation JSF. Australia currently operates 55 F/A-18As and 16 F/A-18Bs, all of which will be retired by 2022. This is the RAAF’s ninth jet, and the first which will not be used at the Luke AFB International Pilot Training Centre. Australia is a Tier 3 partner in the JSF program and has a total of 72 F-35As on order.
Watch: B-1B Lancer Loads With GBU-31 JDAMs For Combat Mission