Lockheed Martin is receiving more money to increase Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) production. Awarded by the Air Force, the $350 million increase to an IDIQ contract provides for lifecycle support for all efforts related to JASSM, Long Range Anti-Ship Missile, JASSM-Extended Range, and any JASSM variant. This includes system upgrades; integration, production and sustainment efforts, as well as management and logistical support. The Joint Air-to Surface Standoff Missile is a long-range, radar-evading cruise missile designed to destroy hostile air defenses before aircraft are within range. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s factory in Orlando, Florida and is expected to be completed by April 2022.
General Atomics is being contracted to build more MQ-9 Reapers for the US Air Force. The company will produce several units in their FY2018 configuration at a cost of $263.4 million. The Reaper is a single-engine, turbo-prop, remotely piloted armed reconnaissance aircraft designed to operate over-the-horizon at medium altitude for long endurance. Funding for US SOCOM procures Special Operations Force-unique kits, payloads and modifications. The MQ-9 UAS is comprised of an aircraft segment, consisting of aircraft configured with an array of sensors that includes day/night Full Motion Video (FMV), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensor payloads; avionics, data links and weapons; a Ground control segment consisting of a Launch and Recovery Element, and a Mission Control Element with embedded Line-of-Sight and Beyond-Line-of-Sight communications equipment. Work will be performed at GA’s factory in Poway, California and is scheduled for completion by November 30, 2021.
Raytheon will support DARPA’s Millimeter-Wave Digital Arrays (MIDAS) program with research and development efforts. The competitive, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract is priced at $11.5 million and will run through November 4, 2020. MIDAS aims to develop element-level digital phased-array technology that will enable next generation DoD millimeter wave systems and advance military secure communication technologies. The program is geared toward finding a common digital array tile for performing multiple-beam directional communications at millimeter-wave frequencies. The MIDAS program is focused on two key technical areas: the development of the silicon integrated circuits (ICs) needed for the core transceiver of the array tile; and the development of wideband antennas, millimeter-wave transmit/receive (T/R) components, and the integration of the various components needed to enable the use of this millimeter-wave technology across a number of different applications. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s facility in El Segundo, California.
FlightSafety International is being selected to provide the US Marine Corps with flight training devices for the AH-1Z and the UH-1Y. The devices will be installed at the Marine Air Corps Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan. FlightSafety’s simulation equipment includes VITAL 1100 Image Generators, a dome visual display with 270 x 80 degree field of view (+30 degrees up and -50 degrees down). The devices will also feature Microsoft Windows 10, advanced Cybersecurity, daily operational readiness test software as well as other computational system upgrades. In addition, the company will modify four existing AH-lZ and UH-IY flight training devices located at Camp Pendleton. This includes a new aft entry area, instructor operating system position and design, a visual display dome and visual turret structure, as well as an expanded vertical field of view and 6-axis degrees of freedom secondary motion system.
Middle East & Africa
One of the Egyptian Air Force’s MiG-29 fighter aircraft crashed during a training flight last Saturday. Military officials have confirmed that the jet crashed due to a “technical glitch in the control tools”, adding the pilot managed to eject safely. The plane was supplied by Russia to Egypt as part of a commercial contract in 2018. The MiG-29M/M2 is a major development of the legacy MiG-29, boasting design changes to the airframe, improved turbofans in the RD-33MK (which is similar in weight to the RD-33, but benefits from a higher thrust rating and full-authority digital engine control), fly-by-wire flight control system, updated avionics and Zhuk-ME pulse-Doppler radar. About 1,600 MiG-29s are currently operational worldwide and approximately 600 MiG-29s and variants are in service with the Russian Air Force.
The UK Ministry of Defence plans to spend over $243 billion over the next ten years as outlined in its 2018 Defence Equipment Plan. According to the paper, the MoD will spend about $600 million more on the UK’s new aircraft-carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth and her F-35B fighter aircraft. This significant increase is being offset by reducing the cost of other ongoing MoD programs, such as the P-8 Poseidon program, the Apache sustainment program and the Type-26 frigate acquisition program. However the MoD is also experiencing some problems with other projects. The Royal Army’s Warrior IFV Capability Sustainment Program is already $81 million over budget and 13-months behind schedule. Despite the MoD’s efforts to drive down costs the National Audit Office is less than pleased. The office has noted that the MoD’s plan ‘remains unaffordable and is not sustainable if the Department wants to deliver longer-term value for money’. Current estimates assume that the MoD will have a spending gap of $9 to $19 billion in the next ten years.
Defense News reports that South Korean and Spanish defense officials are currently negotiating a possible trade of trainer and transport aircraft. The deal may involve the exchange of 54 advanced trainer jets built by KAI for four to six A400M transport aircraft. It seems that the initial proposal was made on the sidelines during the Farnborough International Airshow last July. The Spanish Air Force will soon need to replace its ageing fleet of Enaer T-35C Pillan jets, but has a surplus of about 13 A400Ms. If the deal goes through Spain could exchange some of its transporters for 34 KT-1 basic trainers and 20 T-50 advanced trainer jets. The total value of the swap deal is estimated to be $890 million.
Watch: BAE Systems Vulcano Precision-Guided Munition & Mk45 Naval Gun at Euronaval 2018
Lockheed Martin is being awarded with a contract modification in support of the F-35 Block 4 pre-modernization Phase II effort. Priced at $130.4 million the modification provides for requirements decomposition and design work that sees for the maturation of the aircraft’s weapon capabilities. Block 4 is part of the F-35 JPO’s Continuous Capability Development and Delivery or C2D2 effort that seeks to keep the fighter jet relevant against emerging, dynamic threats by quickly fielding incremental updates to the jet’s software, much like regularly updating one’s smartphone. The Block 4 update program will allow the aircraft to finally meet its full contractual specifications. The whole Block 4 update program is expected to cost $10.8 billion through FY2024. The contract combines purchases for the Air Force ($17.4 million), the Navy ($14.2 million), Marine Corps ($14.2 million) and for relevant international partners ($84.3 million). Work will be performed at Lockheed’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas and is expected to be completed in March 2020.
BAE Systems is being tapped to support the Navy’s Mk 41 Vertical Launch System. The company will provide the Navy with mechanical design agent engineering services at a cost of $45.9 million. The contract covers a variety of efforts including the provision of mechanical, cable, canister and canister support equipment; design and system engineering support; integration support and associated ancillary material. The Mk 41 is the most widely-used naval VLS in the world, and can be described as a naval Swiss army knife. The Mk 41 VLS can hold a wide variety of missiles: anti-air and ballistic missile defense, anti-submarine, land-attack and more. The Mk 41 VLS is installed on US Navy CG-47 and DDG- 51 class ships, as well as on warships of 11 allied navies. Work will be performed at BAE’s facilities in Minnesota and South Dakota, and is scheduled for completion by March 2020.
General Atomics is being contracted to improve the MQ-9’s reliability during adverse weather conditions. The $10.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract is awarded by the US Air Force and provides for “MQ-9 weather tolerance activities”. The MQ-9 is a larger and more powerful derivative of the MQ-1. The major difference in layout is the upward V-tail. Environmental factors, such as adverse weather conditions, affect a UAV’s overall reliability and are most often mitigated with operating limitations that restrict the system’s operational value. Environmental factors that can have major effects on an UAV’s reliability include precipitation, icing and wind. Work will be performed at GA’s factory in Poway, California and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2020.
A team of the US Army, DARPA and Sikorsky engineers and pilots successfully demonstrate DARPA’s “self-flying aircraft kit”. In a series of flight tests the team operated a S-76B commercial helicopter equipped with DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS). ALIAS comprises a set of hardware and software that allows an aircraft to autonomously take-off, travel to its destination and autonomously land. ALIAS has been around for several years, and the recent test brings DARPA one step closer to finalize its one-size-fits-all drop-in solution for automating a variety of aircraft. The test demonstrated that the software, could take off, fly in difficult winds and at low altitude, avoid wires and other obstacles, and even make determinations about whether or not it is safe to land in one place or another. Program Manager Dave Baden said the technology is important because it reduces the workload on the pilot: “Either to execute the MEDEVAC, the close air support mission or whatever they are there to do. “Rather than concentrate on moving controls, they can concentrate on what really needs to be done”. During next phase of tests Sikorsky will for the first time fly a Black Hawk military helicopter equipped with ALIAS.
Middle East & Africa
Reuters reports that Iran is now producing its ‘indigenously’ designed Kowsar fighter jet. “Soon the needed number of this plane will be produced and put at the service of the Air Force,” Defense Minister Amir Hatami said at a ceremony on Saturday to launch the plane’s production, which was shown on Iranian television. Iran first unveiled the Kowsar in August and claims that it is a fourth-generation fighter with an advanced manoeuvring capability and equipped with a multi-purpose radar. However, some military experts believe that the Kowsar is merely a carbon copy of an F-5 first produced by Northrop Grumman in the 1950s. The F-5 was sold to Iran in the 1960s and first entered operation in the Iranian Imperial Air Force in 1965. The news comes as tensions mount with the United States after the reimposition of US sanctions on Tehran.
The Romanian government is ordering three more Patriot air-defense systems from the US. Defense Minister Mihai Fifor said Friday that the units, purchased this week, were in addition to a $3.9 billion military contract that Romania signed with the US in December 2017. As part this multi-billion deal, Bucharest will the receive Patriot Configuration 3+, the most advanced configuration available, as well as an undisclosed quantity of GEM-T and PAC-3 MSE interceptor missiles. Mike Ellison, an official with Raytheon, which makes the Patriot missiles, said: “Romania is purchasing the most advanced, capable, cutting-edge tactical ballistic missile defense system in the world.” A NATO member since 2004, the procurement comes as Romania looks to modernize its Soviet-era equipment and improve its defense capabilities as tensions with neighboring Russia continue. The missiles are expected to become operational by 2020.
Australia is strengthening its defense relationship with the United States. One of the Royal Australian Navy’s Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyers and one of the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyers jointly tested the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) real-time sensor netting system for the first time. This sensor netting system allows ships, aircraft, and even land radars to pool their radar and sensor information together, creating a coherent picture. The CEC provides real time integration of fire control quality sensor data, as each CEC unit combines on-ship radar measurement data with those from all other CEC units using the same CEC algorithms. The result is a superior air picture based on all the data available, providing tracks (i.e. identified items) with identical track numbers throughout the net. During the test the HMAS Hobart established secure data links with the USS John Finn, after which the vessels shared tracking and fire control data. Australian Defense Minister Christopher Pyne said that “these trials are the culmination of 12 months of preparations and demostrate Hobart ‘s formidable capability,” he added that the trial marked “a significant milestone in the testing and qualifying of Hobart’s combat and weapons systems”.
Watch: US Army Pilot Tests ALIAS’ Autonomy Capabilities in Demonstration Flight
The US Special Operations Command is ordering additional helicopters from Boeing. The awarded contract modification is priced at $42.8 million and provides for four new build MH-47G Chinooks. The MH-47G is a new version of the helicopter platform that first flew in 1962 and has been configured to perform long-range day and night missions, in inclement weather at low levels. The Chinooks feature enhanced digital avionics and flight control systems, as well as a sturdier monolithic airframe increasing survivability. According to the DoD press release, SOCOM needs those additional rotorcraft to satisfy an urgent need for heavy assault helicopters. Work will be performed at Boeing’s factory in Ridley Park.
The Canadian government is entering the next stage of its fighter procurement program. In a draft bid package posted on October 26 procurement officials name five companies that could make the run in the upcoming tender. Canada needs to replace its ageing fleet of fighter aircraft with 88 new ones at a cost of $12 billion. Lockheed Martin’s F-35, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Dassault Rafale, Saab’s Gripen and the Boeing Super Hornet will likely be considered and the companies are expected to give their feedback by the end of this year. Ottawa plans to receive initial proposals from bidders between summer and winter 2019. A contract is anticipated to be awarded during the winter months of 2021-2022. Canada wants initial aircraft to be delivered in 2025, with IOC achieved by 2026. The Royal Canadian Air Force wants all aircraft delivered by 2031 or 2032, at which time the CF-18 fleet will be retired.
Raytheon is marking another milestone in its Ship Self Defense System (SSDS) program. During a recently held test one of the USMC’s F-35Bs made a successful digital air connection with the USS Wasp. SSDS uses software and commercial off-the-shelf electronics to turn incoming data from several systems into a single picture of prioritized threats. The system then recommends an engagement sequence for the ship’s crew, or (in automatic mode) fire some combination of jamming transmissions, chaff or decoys, and/or weapons against the oncoming threat. “Information is key for any Commander – and shared information from multiple sources and vantage points extends our battlespace and our advantage over enemy threats,” said U.S. Navy Captain Danny Busch, Program Executive Office – SSDS. “Now with the ability to link our sensors and weapons, from sea and air, SSDS is providing a level of interoperability and defensive capability never before available to the Expeditionary fleet.”
Boeing’s new KC-46 tanker receives more certifications as it successfully completes aerial refueling of two additional aircraft types. During recently held tests the KC-46 completed receiver certification testing for the B-52 bomber and the F/A-18 fighter jet, with the F-15 to follow next year. A Boeing spokesperson says that the certification test are in preparation for the start of Initial Operational Test and Evaluation work next year. KC-46A is a militarised version of the 767-2C. Modification include aerial refueling equipment, an air refueling operator’s station that includes panoramic 3-dimensional displays, and threat detection/ countermeasures systems. Boeing recently missed the delivery schedule for its first aircraft which was expected to take place on October 27. The KC-46 acquisition program sees for the delivery of 179 tankers at a cost of $44.3 billion, with the first aircraft expected to be delivered between April and June 2016.
Middle East & Africa
Boeing is being tapped to continue maintenance support for the Royal Saudi Air Force’s fleet of F-15 fighter aircraft. The company is being awarded with a $14.6 million contract that sees for the sustainment of the Aircraft Maintenance Debrief System (AMDS). The F-15 is an all-weather, extremely maneuverable, tactical fighter designed to achieve aerial superiority in combat situations. The contract allows Boeing to provide trained personnel to use and maintain AMDS equipment at six locations throughout Saudi Arabia. The company’s staff also train RSAF members on how to operate and maintain the equipment. Work will be performed at multiple locations in Saudi Arabia and is expected to run through November 4, 2023.
The Turkish government is contracting a team of three Turkish companies to build the country’s first indigenous long-range air and anti-missile system. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled the National Long Range Regional Air Missile Defense System (SIPER) project on Wednesday. “This system is crucial for Turkey’s defense and they (the partners) are taking a new step with this project that will upgrade Turkey in the league of defense systems,” Erdo?an was quoted by Defense News’s Burak Ege Bekdil. The SIPER system will be produced by the Turkish state-run military electronics manufacturer Aselsan, state-controlled missile producer Roketsan, and Tübitak Sage, a state research institute. For the next 18 months the companies will conduct a definition study to prepare a a development and production contract for the future system. SIPER is expected to be completed by 2021.
Germany will be able to integrate Lockheed’s Patriot PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missile into its next-generation TLVS missile defense system. TLVS is a highly mobile ground based air and missile defense system for protection against the current and future threat spectrum in the lower tier. TLVS is developed by an MBDA and Lockheed Martin joint venture. Build upon the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), TLVS is easily transportable, tactically mobile and uses the hit-to-kill PAC-3 MSE missile to defeat tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft, providing full 360-degree engagement. Since its final decision in 2015 the German government was unable to move forward on its new air-defense system because Lockheed needed US governmental approval to integrate the Patriot missile into the TLVS. A spokesman at the German defense ministry said, “There is new momentum. Both sides are clearly committed to successful completion of the TLVS program.” The new air-defense system was expected to cost about $4.56 billion, however current estimates suggest a cost overrun by several billion. Germany wishes to sign a contract for TLVS in 2019 and field the system in 2025.
India recently conducted a user trial night-time test of its Agni-I ballistic missile. The Agni-I is a short-range ballistic missile that was first launched in 2002. The Agni-I is a single-stage missile developed to fill the gap between 250 km range of Prithvi-II and 2,500 km range of Agni-II. Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I, is designed to carry a payload of more than one ton, including a nuclear warhead. Its strike range can be extended by reducing the payload. The missile has a specialised navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision. During the user trial a randomly selected unit launches a test missile to prove the system’s overall performance and crew readiness. The trajectory of the trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and naval ships from its launch till the missile hit the target area with accuracy, the Indian military said. In recent months the decade long conflict Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan started to resurface.
Watch: $2 Billion US Stealth Plane in Action Over US States: Northrop B-2 Spirit
The US Marine Corps is buying an additional training system for its pilots. Lockheed Martin will procure one F-35 training device under the awarded $64.3 million contract modification. The F-35 Full Mission Simulator is fitted with a 360° visual display system, which accurately replicates all sensors and weapons employment and uses the same software as the aircraft. Each simulator carries the most recent software load, or operational flight program (OFP), so it can most accurately replicate the capabilities and handling qualities of the aircraft as it is concurrently developed, tested and fielded through various block upgrades. F-35 pilots complete 45% to 55% of their initial qualification flights in the simulator. Work will be performed at multiple locations including Orlando, Florida; Reston, Virginia and London, United Kingdom. The contract is expected to be completed in July 2021.
The US Navy is modifying a contract with Raytheon. The additional $34.1 million allow Raytheon to support the Navy’s Zumwalt-class ships with integrated logistics support and engineering services. The DDG-1000 ship’s prime missions are to provide naval gunfire support, and next-generation air defense, in near-shore areas where other large ships hesitate to tread. All three Zumwalt-class vessels equipped with latest electric propulsion systems, wave-piercing tumblehome hulls, stealth designs and advanced war fighting technology. The ships will have the capability to carry out a wide range of deterrence, power projection, sea control, and command and control missions once operational. Work will be performed at multiple locations. Around 52% of the work will be performed in Portsmouth, Rhode Island; 24% in Tewksbury, Massachusetts; 10% in San Diego, California; 6% in Nashua, New Hampshire; 5% Bath, Maine; 1% in Marlboro, Massachusetts; 1% in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and last 1% to be done in St. Petersburg, Florida. The contract is expected to be completed by September 2019.
Northrop Grumman is being tapped to continue development of the Common Missile Compartment (CMC). The awarded $10.8 million cost-plus incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee modification covers a number of technical engineering services; design and development engineering services; component and full scale test services and tactical underwater launcher hardware production services. The CMC will be fitted on the US future Columbia-class and UK Dreadnought-class SSBNs. The new generation of submarines will carry their Trident D5 nuclear-armed SLBMs in multiple “quad pack” Common Missile Compartments, a deliberate decision to simplify the process of building the two types of subs and hopefully save money. Nuclear missile submarines are a nation’s most strategic assets, because they are its most secure and certain deterrence option. Work will be performed at multiple location including – but not limited to – Sunnyvale, California; Kings Bay, Georgia and Barrow-In-Furness, England.
Middle East & Africa
General Electric is being contracted to support the Egyptian Air Force F-16 Service Life Extension Program. The company will deliver an unspecified number of F110-GE-100 engine conversion kits at a cost of $273.5 million. The Egyptian Air Force operates 220 F-16s, making it the 4th largest F-16 operator in the world. The F-16 is the EAF’s primary frontline aircraft. Among other operational roles, the F-16s perform missions which include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, as well as air-to-air and air-to-ground attacks. Also known as the Block 30 powerplant, the F110-GE-100 is the alternate engine for the Block 30/32/40-variants of the F-16 that was fitted from December 1985. Work will be performed at General Electric’s Cincinnati, Ohio facility. This contract involves foreign military sales and is scheduled for completion by October 30, 2023.
Sierra Nevada will upgrade two aircraft as part of the Saudi King Air 350 program. The company will add an intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance/synthetic aperture radar capability to the two King Air 350 extended range aircraft. The twin-propeller King Air 350 is an affordable, long-endurance option for effective manned battlefield surveillance and attack. US aircraft in their ISR configuration are equipped with signals intelligence (SIGINT) electronic interception capabilities, and carry L-3 Westar’s MX-15i surveillance turrets. One transportable ground station; one fixed ground station; and one mission system trainer are also included in the contract. The definitization modification is priced at $23.8 million and involves 100% foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia. Work will be performed at Sierra Nevada’s facility in Hagerstown, Maryland and is expected to be completed by May 2020.
Lockheed Martin is being tapped to keep two of the UAE’s THAAD batteries operational. The $129.5 million noncompetitive, cost-plus-incentive-fee and firm-fixed-price contract provides for maintenance and sustainment work needed to keep the two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense batteries combat ready. Lockheed Martin will be responsible to provide the United Arab Emirates with software and hardware development, contractor logistics support, engineering services, and missile field surveillance. The THAAD system is a long-range, land-based theater defense weapon that acts as the upper tier of a basic 2-tiered defense against ballistic missiles. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s facilities in Sunnyvale, California; Dallas, Texas; Huntsville, Alabama; Anniston, Alabama; Troy, Alabama; Lakeland, Florida; and the United Arab Emirates. The contract performance period is from November 1, 2018 through July 2, 2021.
Thales UK is being awarded with the $105 million Future Air Defence Availability Project (F-ADAPT) that seeks to enhance the Starstreak High Velocity Missile (HVM) and Lightweight Multi-role Missile (LMM) systems. The Starstreak is a dual-stage shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile that flies at 4 times the speed of sound, uses advanced laser-guidance to home in on fast-flying aircraft, pop-up helicopters, or UAVs, then uses a system of 3 individually-guided dart-like projectiles and warheads to shred any target they hit. The LMM is a very short-range, precision strike air-to-surface and surface-to-surface missile designed to deliver high accuracy and precision strike capabilities with low collateral damage effect against a variety of threats encountered by APCs, small vessels and artillery. The upgrades under the F-ADAPT project include thermal imaging which ensures the HVM system can be used 24 hours a day and ‘Friend or Foe’ identification, which will maximize intelligence on potential threats and targets.
India is procuring an air-defense command-and-control (C2) system from Israel. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will deliver the Sky Capture system to the Indian Army at a cost of $550 million. Sky Capture is a C2 system for anti-aircraft artillery and Very Short Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) systems that transforms legacy air defense systems into modern, accurate and effective weapons by applying modern sensors, communications and computing capabilities. The system integrates several sensors, including target acquisition and fire control radar systems which are optimized to detect targets with low radar cross-section, such as low-velocity UAVs and ultralights that can be detected from 40-60 km. This is the second high value deal IAI signed with India in recent weeks, with the first being a $770 million deal for the Barak-8 system.
Watch: Two lranian fast boats approached the US Wasp-class amphibious assault ship
Latest updates[?]: Sierra Nevada will upgrade two aircraft as part of the Saudi King Air 350 program. The company will add an intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance/synthetic aperture radar capability to the two King Air 350 extended range aircraft. The twin-propeller King Air 350 is an affordable, long-endurance option for effective manned battlefield surveillance and attack. US aircraft in their ISR configuration are equipped with signals intelligence (SIGINT) electronic interception capabilities, and carry L-3 Westar’s MX-15i surveillance turrets. One transportable ground station; one fixed ground station; and one mission system trainer are also included in the contract. The definitization modification is priced at $23.8 million and involves 100% foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia. Work will be performed at Sierra Nevada's facility in Hagerstown, Maryland and is expected to be completed by May 2020.
In recent wars, a lot of high tech gear has been upstaged by a surprising contender. Countries like the USA, Canada, Britain, Egypt, Iraq, and others are flying low-end turboprop business aircraft fitted with an array of sensors and a small crew. They’re cheap to buy, don’t use technology that makes export approval difficult, and are easy to maintain. Operating them is well within the capabilities of any country with an air force. Their sensors also offer more diversity and power than all but the highest-cost UAVs, in exchange for having just 1/2 to 1/3 of a high-end UAV’s mission endurance. No wonder many countries see them as a good complement to, or substitute for, existing UAV offerings.
Saudi Arabia has the money and clout to buy the expensive stuff. Nevertheless…
South Korea is equipping three of its guided missile destroyers with a new Aegis combat system. The foreign military sales contract between Lockheed Martin and South Korea is priced at $365.7 million. Lockheed Martin will provide the Republic of Korea Navy with development and integration of the weapon system in its Baseline K2 configuration. The Aegis Combat System manages all combat essential elements on Arleigh-Burke and Ticonderoga-class ships and ensures that the missile launching element, the computer programs, the radar and the displays are fully integrated to work together. The contract covers services such as combat system installation, including staging and integrated logistics support required for the installation; program management, system engineering and computer program development; ship integration and testing; technical manuals and planned maintenance system documentation. Work will be performed at multiple national and international locations, including Moorestown, New Jersey and Ulsan, South Korea. Work on all three vessels is expected to be completed by July 2026.
Boeing is being contracted to supply multiple US foreign military sales customers with anti-ship missiles. The $244.7 million not-to-exceed, firm-fixed-price contract enables the company to procure long lead material for the Harpoon full-rate production Lot 91. The Harpoon Block II is an over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile capable of performing land-strike and anti-ship missions. The missile leverages progress on several other weapons to reduce its cost. The Harpoon’s GPS/INS guidance system is taken from Boeing’s JDAM program, and its GPS antennae and software are found on Boeing’s SLAM. The missile’s 500 pound blast warhead can deliver lethal firepower against targets like coastal missile batteries and ships in port. Work will be performed at multiple locations including – but not limited to – St. Charles, Missouri, Galena, Kansas and Elkton, Maryland.
The Air Force is upgrading the refuelling system for its C-17 Globemaster III short field, heavy-lift transport jets. Bodell Construction will construct the refueling hydrants and ramp expansion at a cost of $20.3 million. A hydrant system is a loop of pipeline located under the aircraft parking ramp that delivers fuel straight from the hydrant fuel tanks to the aircraft. A mobile pantograph allows for continuous fuel delivery to aircraft within 135 feet of a hydrant pit. With the hydrant system about 420 gallons a minute can be transferred to the C-17, which reduces the overall refueling time by half, compared to the current truck refueling method. Work will be performed in Charlotte, North Carolina and is expected to be completed by December 2020.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s defense industry can expect a major influx of Boeing investments. The aerospace giant signed a “reciprocal procurement” agreement on Tuesday, that calls for Boeing to collaborate with Israeli industry to the value of at least 35% of all government deals exceeding $1 million. As Israel is expecting to award Boeing with contracts totalling at $10 billion over the next decade, the agreement could possibly add $3.5 billion in new business to Israel’s economy. “A reciprocal purchase agreement on such a scale is a significant achievement which will lead to the growth of many companies in the domestic market, and to expand their activities and success in international markets,” said Economy Minister Eli Cohen. Boeing is currently competing for a number of Israeli defense procurement contracts, including new F-15 fighter aircraft, aerial tankers and a squadron of transport helicopters.
The German air force will soon test a new passive radar system in the country’s southern province of Bavaria. During the week-long test German electronics specialist Hensoldt will deploy three of its newly developed TwInvis systems in the Munich area and one roughly 70 miles west, near the city of Ulm. The TwInvis system uses the signal echoes of existing third-party transmitters to detect and track aircraft. According to the company the one radar unit can monitor up to 200 aircraft in 3D within a radius of 250 kilometers. Passive radars have the advantage that they cannot be located by the enemy and are very hard to jam, however to properly function the radars are dependent on a sufficiently strong commercial broadcast activity in the targeted area. The company first unveiled the TwInvis passive radar system at the Berlin Air Show in April, where it was rumored as a technology with the potential to detect stealthy aircraft like the F-35.
India’s Coast Guard (ICG) is upgrading its fleet of maritime reconnaissance aircraft (MRA). The upcoming mid-life upgrade of the 17 licence-built Dornier Do-228s is expected to cost about $129 million. The aircraft will help the ICG to monitor the country’s 3,370 mile long coastline and over 77,000+ square miles of India’s Exclusive Economic Zone. According to the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) the aircraft will be fitted with “state-of-the-art technology” and Pollution Surveillance Systems. Primary contractor will be India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) which acquired the production licence of Do-228s in 1986.
KBRwyle Technology Solutions is being contracted to support the US Army’s Prepositioned Stock Four (APS-4) located in South Korea. The $14.8 million contract modification covers the provision of logistics support services until November 2019. APS-4 is located in Japan and South Korea and supports the Pacific theatre with two armored battalions and one mechanized infantry battalion. The Army maintains a strategic inventory of sustainment supplies as part of Army Pre-positioned Stocks (APS). These stocks sustain forward-deployed and initial follow-on ground forces, and include major end items such as engines, repair parts, medical supplies, packaged petroleum products, barrier/construction materials, operations rations, and clothing required to sustain combat operations. The APS-4 is located at Camp Caroll near Waegwan, about 132 miles southeast of Seoul.
Watch: NATO stages biggest military exercise since end of Cold War