Boeing Keeps Trident II Navigation Systems In-Shape | Who Will Win Bulgaria’s $1b Fighter Tender? | Australia Issues RFI for SOF Helicopter RequirementOct 03, 2018 05:00 UTC
Boeing is being contracted to maintain and rebuild stockpiles of US and UK submarine launched ballistic missiles. The awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract is valued at at $26.6 million and provides for all necessary work needed to support the navigation subsystem of the Trident II (D5) missile. Trident II D-5 is the sixth generation member of the US Navy’s Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) program. The missile is a three-stage, solid propellant, inertially guided FBM with a range of more than 4,000 nautical miles. The navigation subsystem of the Trident II D5 has been redesigned to achieve accuracy and maintain an extended fix interval. Inertial navigation is achieved with with an electrostatically-supported gyro navigator and with a navigation sonar system that measures velocity. Another addition is a GPS unit and a digital interface with the FBBM weapon system. Work will be performed at Boeing facilities in Huntington Beach, California and Heath, Ohio; with an expected completion date of September 30, 2020.
The US Navy is ordering more production services for its Air and Missile Defense Radar from Raytheon. The awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee modification covers a number of engineering services and associated costs needed to support the low-rate initial production of the AN/SPY-6 at cost of $22.7 million. The new AMDR is being developed to fulfill integrated Air and Missile Defense requirements for multiple ship classes. The AMDR-S radar will provide wide-area volume search, tracking, Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) discrimination, and missile communications; while the AMDR-X will provide horizon search, precision tracing, missile communications, and final illumination guidance to targets. It will equip various types of vessels such as DDG-51s in Flight III configuration and Gerald F. Ford-class aircraft carriers. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s Marlborough facility and is expected to be completed by November 2018.
Lockheed Martin is being tapped to provide the Navy with more electronic-warfare suites. The company will deliver a number of AN/BLQ-10 kits and spares to the service at a cost of $9.6 million. The AN/BLQ-10 external link submarine EW system, provides automatic detection, classification, localization, and identification of potentially hostile radar and communications signals at sea. The BLQ-10 is used by attack submarines to aid in self-protection, situation awareness, and intelligence-gathering for battle group support. Battle group dissemination of the information gathered from these signals will be provided via the ship’s combat control system and communications equipment. Work will bet performed in Syracuse, New York and in Manassas, Virginia. Production under this contract is expected to be completed by October 2020.
Middle East & Africa
The Kenyan Defence Force is purchasing several light-attack helicopters for its air-wing. The contract signed between the Kenyan government and MD Helicopters on September 27th covers the delivery of six helicopters. This is the second delivery order issued against its 5-year, $1.4 billion light scout attack helicopter IDIQ contract. The MD 530F Cayuse Warriors will replace the Kenyan Army’s existing MD 500 platforms. The Kenyan Warriors will be equipped with a FN Herstal Weapons Management System; the DillonAero Mission Configurable Armament System (MCAS); the DillonAero fixed-forward sighting system. Its crew will be protected with a 62 mm ballistic armor protection and will be able to engage enemy targets with a 12.7 mm machine gun and 70mm rockets. The helicopter’s communication system includes the Harris RF-7850A and the Rockwell Collins HF-9000D radios. Kenya had requested the $235 million purchase of 12 MD530Fs in May 2017. MD notes on its website that initial deliveries will take place in April 2019, with all aircraft delivered prior to the August 2019 contract completion date. Once delivered, the Cayuse Warriors will likely be used in AMISOM’s counter-insurgency campaign against al-Shabaab.
The Netherlands will receive several air-to-ground missiles as part of a US Foreign Military Sale. Lockheed Martin is being awarded with a $637.8 million contract that sees for the procurement of a variety of Hellfire II missiles. Hellfire II missiles come in several variants. They include the M variant which is designed for the Navy, the N variant equipped with a thermobaric warhead, the multi-purpose R variant, and the P variant designed to be launched from high flying UAVs. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s Orlando facility and is scheduled for completion by September 2021. This contract also includes a FMS to the government of Japan.
Four companies are currently in the run for Bulgaria’s fighter acquisition tender. Bulgaria’s request for proposals sees for the delivery of eight jets at a cost of $1 billion. Lockheed Martin and Boeing are proposing the delivery of their F-16s and F-18s, whereas Saab and Italy are offering new Gripens and second-hand Eurofighters respectively. Deputy Defence Minister Atanas Zapryanov confirmed that two separate committees will have to evaluate the proposals in due time, however declined to give an clear indication on when the winner will be announced. “Our desire is to do it fast. I do not know the contents of the offers, but the committee examining them will have the right to make inquiries with the respective countries,” he added.
The government of Taiwan is set to receive modification kits for its Patriot system as part of a US FMS. The $35 million firm-fixed-price domestic and FMS contract sees for the delivery of Sweep 9 modification kits to the US Army and the Republic of China Army. Those Sweep 9 kits include upgrades for the Antenna Support Group (ASG), Radar Weapon Control Interface Unit (RWCIU), and the Search Track Channel (STC). Taiwan currently fields the Patriot’s PAC-3 variant. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s facility in Andover, Massachusetts and will run through September 2022.
The Australian government starts to look for new light-attack helicopters for its special forces. A recently issued RFI calls for a commercial or military off-the-shelf platform that can operate in dense urban environments. The helicopters must be capable of being equipped with simple, proven, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) equipment and weapons systems; and must capable of being rapidly deployed by air transport in a C-17 Globemaster II. The RFI does not specify how many helicopters will be procured, but suggests that deliveries should start by 2023. Likely contenders will be the Boeing AH-6 Little Bird, or the Airbus Helicopters H125m.
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