The Navy is buying its next Expeditionary Sea Base | Saab will soon launch its new anti-ship missile | Taiwan – MQ-9 vs TengyunOct 18, 2018 05:00 UTC
The Navy is modifying a support agreement with Boeing. The $136.9 million contract modification extends depot level maintenance and repair services for the P-8A’s engines. The contract is supporting Poseidon aircraft that are flown by the Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. Boeing will also be responsible to conduct field assessments and provide technical assistance during engine changes. The P-8A Poseidon is a heavily militarized derivative of the globally deployed, commercially supported Boeing 737-800 airframe and commercial CFM56-7B27A/3 and CFM56-7B27AE series engines. The high-bypass turbofan engines, are each rated at 120kN. The engine has logged more than 30 million flight hours and maintains a proven high-reliability figure of merit of 0.003% in-flight shut down rate for every 1,000 hours of flight. Work will be performed at Boeing facilities in Atlanta, Georgia and Seattle, Washington. The contract is expected to run through October 2019.
General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding (NASSCO) is being contracted to start pre-production of the Navy’s next Expeditionary Sea Base. The undefinitized contract action is valued at $136.7 million and covers the procurement of long lead time material in support of Expeditionary Sea Base-6. NASSCO will use the allocated funds to acquire components for the base’s propeller and shafting, centrifugal pumps, fuel and lube oil purifiers, integrated bridge electronics, integrated propulsion, main diesel generator and steering gear components. The Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship-class is based on NASSCO’s Alaska class crude oil carrier, and incorporates a number changes that make it a highly flexible platform that can be used across a broad range of military support operations. The ESB is optimized to support a variety of maritime-based missions and is designed around four core capabilities: aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging support, and command and control assets. Work will be performed at multiple locations including, but not limited to, San Diego, California; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Busan, Korea. This contract action is expected to be completed by May 2019.
EDO Corp. Defense Systems, a subsidiary of Harris Corp., is being awarded with a $7.8 million US Navy contract to deliver nine BRU-55B/A kits, four carriage system simulators and 30 joint miniature munition interface cables. BRU-55 allows carriage of two smart weapons (up to 1000lb class) on a single aircraft station. BRU-55 weapons currently consist of JSOW missiles, 1000 lbs JDAMs, and WCMD smart cluster bombs, and it is currently deployable on the Navy’s F-18 aircraft. The BRU-55 uses the MIL-STD-1760 interface. Work will be performed at EDO’s factory in Amityville, New York and is expected to be completed in June 2021.
Middle East & Africa
An undisclosed Asian customer is buying ELM-2032 fire-control radars from Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The contract is valued at $55 million. The ELM-2032 can be delivered in different sizes, and equips a number of different aircraft. It has been fitted to F-16s, including Israel’s own fleet. The ELM-2032 is an advanced pulse Doppler, multimode planar array fire-control radar intended for multi-role fighter aircraft originated from the Lavi project. It is suitable for air-to-air and air-to-surface modes. The radar system is critical to the fighter aircraft’s weapon system effectiveness and accuracy. It detects and tracks maneuvering targets while employing advanced techniques to lock on the target. In 2012 a similar deal was struck, back then probable customers included Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and India.
Saab will launch a new version of its RBS15 Gungnir anti-ship missile system at Euronaval next week, the company says on its website. The surface launch version of the RBS15 uses the latest Mk4 missile variant. The RBS15 Mk4 development and production program started in March 2017 and incorporates a highly advanced target seeker and a range of more than 186 miles. This variant provides greater range, an enhanced defense penetration and electronic protection capability and the ability to precisely strike targets in adverse weather conditions. “With the RBS15 Gungnir we continue to build on the success and knowledge we have gained from the previous generations of RBS15. The surface launch version is a highly flexible missile system that can be integrated with existing command networks and on a wide range of the ships available on the market today”, says Görgen Johansson, Senior Vice President and head of Saab business area Dynamics.
The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) is choosing Saab’s JAS-39 Gripen to be the country’s next supersonic jet fighter. The Philippine Air Force has been looking for new aircraft to replace its retired fleet of US-made F5 Interceptors for over a decade. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the country is opting for the Gripen due to it being cheaper and less expensive in maintenance cost than the also offered F-16. Furthermore the Gripen is a proven supersonic fighter aircraft that has been in service with several countries in Europe and the Middle East. The Philippine Air Force needs the new multi-role jetfighters to counter ongoing Chinese pressure.
Taiwan is suspending a potential MQ-9 FMS request to the US and opts to wait for its domestically produced Tengyun UAV. The Taiwanese Air Force is currently in the process of creating a UAV Reconnaissance Squadron. A deal for the delivery of MQ-8B Fire Scout drones is currently under consideration. Until now it was believed that the Scout will be supplemented with the MQ-9, however the government will now wait for the completion of the Tengyun as it is expected under the country’s national defense autonomy policy. The Tengyun development program is led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and already cost $490 million. The Air Force plans to make a final decision on the purchase after it evaluated and assessed the UAVs in coming trials.
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