Dec 11, 2018 05:00 UTC
DRS Power & Control Technologies is receiving additional funding to exercise an option to support the Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. The contract modification is priced at $13.4 million and provides for the delivery of power conversion modules (PCM) for Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) production ship sets. Efforts covered under this contract include non-recurring engineering work, procurement of long-lead-time materials and of low-rate initial production units for testing. Up to 12 ship sets for the guided missile destroyers can be procured. PCMs support Raytheon’s AN/SPY-6 air and missile defense radar with the right power output. This contract supports DDG-51 Flight III ships. Work will be performed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is expected to be complete by April 2022.
BAE Systems Land & Armaments is being contracted to deliver several missile canisters to the US Navy. Worth $41.5 million, the firm-fixed-price modification sees for the delivery of Mk 21 mod 2 and Mk 21 mod 3 canisters used on the Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS). The mod 2 and 3 variants support SM-2 and SM-6 missiles respectively, and are used on the Mk 41 VLS strike length system that accommodates the widest variety of missiles. The canisters serve as missile shipping and storage containers. During missile launch, they provide an internal launch rail and help contain the rocket motor’s exhaust gas. Work will be performed at BAE’s facilities in Aberdeen, South Dakota and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The canisters are expected to be completed by August 2021.
Middle East & Africa
The Philippine Air Force plans to boost its strike capability with Turkey’s T-129 ATAK helicopter. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told Philstar newspaper that “the Air Force has also chosen the T-129 ATAK helicopter. I think we can only get less than 10, maybe eight.” The proposed purchase is part of a larger procurement process that also includes the acquisition of new transport helicopters. It has yet not been disclosed how much the Philippine Air Force is willing to spend on Turkey’s ATAK, but it says that its overall budget of $240 million will be enough for buying 16 Black Hawks and 8 to 10 T-129s. The T-129 is an attack helicopter, but a bit smaller and lighter than classic competitors like Russia’s Mi-28 or the USA’s AH-64 Apache. The T129A EDH carries the nose-mounted 20mm cannon turret with 500 rounds, and 4 pylons for unguided rockets. The aircraft is designed for advanced attack and reconnaissance missions in hot and high environments and rough geography in both day and night conditions. Philippine officials have yet to formally announce the deal.
The Egyptian Air Force will buy more Chinese-made Wing Loong II attack drones. It is believed that Mohamed Abbas, chief of the Egyptian Air Force, signed a deal with CATIC officials on the sidelines of the EDEX 2018 exhibition held in Cairo earlier this week. A documentary recently broadcast on Egyptian state television suggests that China’s National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) has already sold several of its Wing Loong II UAVs to Egypt, which would make it the second export customer after the United Arab Emirates. Since this maiden flight in February 2017, the Wing Loong II has been hyped as potential best seller on the export market, offering a cheaper alternative to its rival—the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper.
Jane’s reports that the Italian Army is currently fielding the first examples of the latest-generation Light Multirole Vehicle (LMV). The Iveco produced LMV is a four-wheel-drive purpose-built military vehicle designed to perform a range of duties from patrolling and escorting to commanding and liaisons. The LMV is similar to American Hummers in size and number of occupants but comes at a significant higher cost, that stems from some fundamental design differences that are designed to protect their occupants from mine blasts and small arms fire. The latest variant is the LMV Lince 2 in a Networked Enabled Capability (NEC) configuration. This latest variant comes with a higher payload (3000 lbs, which is an 87% increase over earlier models) and a higher level of ballistic protection and protection against explosives. The LMV Lince 2 NEC is armed with Leonardo’s HITROLE remote weapon station that can mount 7.62 mm and 12.7 mm machine guns to a 40 mm aromatic grenade launcher. Italy plans to buy a total of 400 LMVs Lince 2 NEC over the coming years.
Japan may sell an overhauled air defense radar system to the Philippines, this move would be the first defense export since ending a nearly 50-year ban in 2014. If approved, Manila could receive an upgraded model of the Mitsubishi Electric-made FPS-3 air defense radar system. The FPS-3 has been in use with the JASDF since 1991. The radar features two antennas capable of detecting fighters and ballistic missiles, and are highly capable of tracking fighters. The potential deal is expected to cost between $8.9 and $17.7 million.
Tokyo may still retrofit one of its Izumo-class helicopter carriers to embark its new F-35Bs, but refuses to call it an aircraft carrier so as to avoid criticism that having such an offensive platform would violate country’s pacifist constitution. Instead, the Izumo will be called a “multi-purpose operation destroyer”. Retrofit work will include thickening of the decks so that the Short Takeoff & Vertical Landing (STVOL) variant of the fifth-generation stealth fighter can land vertically on the deck and modification of elevators to transport aircraft to their hangars.
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Dec 11, 2018 04:56 UTC
BAE Systems Land & Armaments is being contracted to deliver several missile canisters to the US Navy. Worth $41.5 million, the firm-fixed-price modification
sees for the delivery of Mk 21 mod 2 and Mk 21 mod 3 canisters used on the Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS). The mod 2 and 3 variants support SM-2 and SM-6 missiles
respectively, and are used on the Mk 41 VLS
strike length system that accommodates the widest variety of missiles. The canisters serve as missile shipping and storage containers. During missile launch, they provide an internal launch rail and help contain the rocket motor’s exhaust gas. Work will be performed at BAE's facilities in Aberdeen, South Dakota and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The canisters are expected to be completed by August 2021.
MK 41s in action
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. Once the firing sequence begins, the hatches open to permit missile launches of various types. It is also being adapted for land use, as part of the USA’s plan to forward-deploy ballistic missile defense in allied countries.
The Mk.41 is the most widely-used naval VLS in the world, in service with the US Navy and with many countries outside the United States. Lockheed Martin is the system’s prime contractor, with components and canisters provided by BAE Systems Land & Armaments. In September 2011, however, the US Navy assumed the final integrator role.
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Dec 10, 2018 05:00 UTC
Northrop Grumman is being contracted to supply US agencies and Foreign Military Sales customers with Joint Threat Emitters. The IDIQ contract is priced at $450 million and provides for Joint Threat Emitter (JTE) production. Awarded by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, the order also includes spares, support equipment, testing and training. The JTE is a radar and satellite system that simulates a modern, reactive battlespace war environment, designed to help pilots train air-combat manoeuvres. The system provides ground threat warnings up to the exercising aircraft via an electronic signal to simulate a surface-to-air missile or anti-aircraft artillery attack for training. The mobile simulator is comprised of a Threat Emitter Unit, a Wide Band Kit, a C2 Unit, and a Remote Power Unit. Work will be performed at Northrop Grumman’s factory in Buffalo, New York, and various national and international locations. Performance is expected to be completed by December 5, 2025.
Raytheon is being tapped to support the US Air Force’s Force Element Terminal Risk Reduction effort. Raytheon will provide the service with risk reduction studies, analyses, and demonstrations of its Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) Airborne Military Satellite Communication product line at a cost of $11 million. The AEHF system is a series of four military communication satellites which will entirely replace the current in-orbit Milstar system. The main function of the system is to provide secure, survivable and near-worldwide satellite communications. Work is party funded through FY 2018 and FY 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $4 million. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s Marlborough, Massachusetts, and is expected to be completed by August 30, 2019.
The US Army is procuring a number of Mk. 80 and BLU-109 Tritonal bomb components. The firm-fixed-price contract is valued at $265 million and is set to run through October, 2023. The Mk. 80 series belongs to the family of general purpose bombs and functions as building block for numerous variants of non-guided and precision-guided air delivered munitions. The series includes various configurations of 250 lb., 500 lb., 1,000 lb., and 2,000 lb. bombs. The BLU-109 is a 2,000 lb. bomb with a hardened casing meant to penetrate fortifications like secure command locations, protected weapon storage sites, and key transportation and communication resources. . It includes laser-guided variants for precision strikes such as the GBU-27 Paveway II and the electro-optical GBU-15. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order.
The US Marine Corps is buying new Amphibious Combat Vehicles for its troops. BAE is receiving an additional $140 million to build 30 Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACVs) and covers associated production efforts, fielding and support costs. The Corps’ will eventually replace its fleet of ageing AAVP7 Amtracs with 204 new ACVs at a cost of $1.2 billion. According to Naval Technology the ACV is a modern eight-wheeled amphibious armored personell carrier that can carry a crew of three with 13 embarked Marines. The vehicles feature has a blast-resistant V-shaped hull to withstand IED blasts. Its six-cylinder 700HP Cursor engine propel it to speeds of up to 10km/h at sea and up to 106 km/h at land. The ACV’s armament is yet unclear. The ACV’s armament will likely include a 40 mm grenade launcher and a .50 cal machine gun. The contract is payed for with FY 2019 Marine Corps procurement funds. Work will be performed at BAE’s factories in York, Pennsylvania and Aiken, South Carolina. Production of the new vehicles is expected to be completed in August 2020.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli media reports that the United States government is blocking the Israel’s sale of 12 American-made F-16s to Croatia. In March 2018 the Croatian government decided to procure used F-16D Barak fighter jets from Israel, in order to replace its ageing fleet of Russian jets. According to Channel 10 News, the US is blocking the $500 deal because on the grounds that Israel “acted unfairly and that it made a profit on the back of the US.” Senior officials told the media outlet that Israel equipped the F-16D Barak fighter jets with advanced indigenous electronic systems in order to give it an edge compared to US made fighter jets. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “I am in favor, but Defense Secretary Mattis is against it – he is the one who is blocking it.”
The Austrian government is currently debating the future of the country’s air force. Austrian newspaper Die Presse reports that the coalition government is split over whether to keep its fleet of Eurofighter Tranche 1 Block 5 fighter aircraft or replace them with new Saab Gripen jets. Austria is currently in a legal battle with the Eurofighter consortium, accusing them of fraud and wilful deception in connection with the $2 billion, 12 unit plane order signed in 2003. The conservatives prefer to keep the Eurofighters, whereas the Freedom Party prefers to replace the planes. Die Presse notes that both options would cost about the same, and adds that keeping the jets will also require various upgrades and new weapon systems. Austria’s MoD is currently plagued by a declining budget but needs to replace its ageing aircraft fleet, upcoming purchases may include new helicopters and Leonardo’s M-345.
Japan is ordering a second KC-46A Pegasus for its air force. The aircraft is procured under a contract modification valued at $159 million. Delivery of the first tanker to the JASDF is scheduled for February 2021. Once delivered, the KC-46 will add a significant boost external link to Japan’s aerial refueling capabilities, adding to the current fleet of four KC-767J tankers. Work will be performed at Boeing’s factory in Seattle, Washington and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2021.
Watch: Wheel Replacement on a $180 Millions Aircraft: F-35 and C-130 Wheel and Tyre Repair
Dec 10, 2018 04:58 UTC
Raytheon is being tapped to support the US Air Force's Force Element Terminal Risk Reduction effort. Raytheon will provide
the service with risk reduction studies, analyses, and demonstrations of its Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) Airborne Military Satellite Communication product line at a cost of $11 million. The AEHF
system is a series of four military communication satellites which will entirely replace the current in-orbit Milstar system. The main function of the system is to provide secure, survivable and near-worldwide satellite communications. Work is party funded through FY 2018 and FY 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $4 million. Work will be performed at Raytheon's Marlborough, Massachusetts, and is expected to be completed by August 30, 2019.
The USA’s new Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites will support twice as many tactical networks as the current Milstar II satellites, while providing 10-12 times the bandwidth capacity and 6 times the data rate transfer speed. With the cancellation of the higher-capacity TSAT program, AEHF will form the secure, hardened backbone of the Pentagon’s future Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) architecture, with a mission set that includes nuclear command and control. Its companion Family of Advanced Beyond-line-of-sight Terminals (FAB-T) program will give the US military more modern, higher-bandwidth receiving capabilities, and add more flexibility on the front lines. The program has international components, and partners currently include Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands.
This article offers a look at the AEHF system’s rationale and capabilities, while offering insight into some of the program’s problems, and an updated timeline covering over $5 billion worth of contracts since the program’s inception.
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Dec 10, 2018 04:52 UTC
Japan is ordering a second KC-46A Pegasus for its air force. The aircraft is procured under a contract modification
valued at $159 million. Delivery of the first tanker to the JASDF is scheduled for February 2021. Once delivered, the KC-46
will add a significant boost external link to Japan’s aerial refueling capabilities, adding to the current fleet of four KC-767J tankers. Work will be performed at Boeing's factory in Seattle, Washington and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2021.
KC-135: Old as the hills…
DID’s FOCUS articles cover major weapons acquisition programs – and no program is more important to the USAF than its aerial tanker fleet renewal. In January 2007, the big question was whether there would be a competition for the USA’s KC-X proposal, covering 175 production aircraft and 4 test platforms. The total cost is now estimated at $52 billion, but America’s aerial tanker fleet demands new planes to replace its KC-135s, whose most recent new delivery was in 1965. Otherwise, unpredictable age or fatigue issues, like the ones that grounded its F-15A-D fighters in 2008, could ground its aerial tankers – and with them, a substantial slice of the USA’s total airpower.
KC-Y and KC-Z buys are supposed to follow in subsequent decades, in order to replace 530 (195 active; ANG 251; Reserve 84) active tankers, as well as the USAF’s 59 heavy KC-10 tankers that were delivered from 1979-1987. Then again, fiscal and demographic realities may mean that the 179 plane KC-X buy is “it” for the USAF. Either way, the KC-X stakes were huge for all concerned.
In the end, it was Team Boeing’s KC-767 NexGen/ KC-46A (767 derivative) vs. EADS North America’s KC-45A (Airbus KC-30/A330-200 derivative), both within the Pentagon and in the halls of Congress. The financial and employment stakes guaranteed a huge political fight no matter which side won. After Airbus won in 2008, that fight ended up sinking and restarting the entire program. Three years later, Boeing won the recompete. Now, they have to deliver their KC-46A.
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Dec 07, 2018 05:00 UTC
Huntington Ingalls (HII) is being contracted to support two of the US Navy’s Ticonderoga-class cruisers. The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification is priced at $10.7 million and provides for material purchases and management for the USS Chosin and USS Vicksburg. HII will provide a number of efforts including engineering, technical, planning, ship configuration, data, and logistics work. These efforts cover lifetime support of both maintenance and modernization. The Ticonderoga Class remains critical to American seapower, functioning as anti-air defense platform, and contributing substantial anti-ship and anti-submarine combat power to its assigned naval groups. Work will be performed at HII’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and is expected to be complete by August 2019.
Flight Global reports that the US Marine Corps intends to replace two of its ageing C-9B Skytrain executive transports with two Boeing C-40 aircraft. Supported by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the USMC is currently conducting a market survey to identify a potential business that could procure and deliver the aircraft. NAVAIR says it is open to considering a second-hand aircraft, however the it is more likely that the service will turn to Boeing, the aircraft’s sole manufacturer. The 737 based C-40 Clipper comes in 3 variants; the C-40A is a Navy aircraft, while its counterpart C-40C and executive/VIP C-40Bs are USAF planes. The C-40A is modified with a large cargo door, and the strengthened wings and landing gear of the 737-800. The aircraft is certified to operate in three configurations: an all-passenger configuration that can accommodate 121 passengers, an all-cargo configuration of eight cargo pallets, or a combination of three pallets and 70 passengers. The Clipper has a range of 3,400 nautical miles with 5,000 pounds of cargo, and can carry up to 40,000 pounds.
Middle East & Africa
The Egyptian Navy inks a five-year in-service support agreement with France’s Naval Group. Managed by a company subsidiary work will be performed in the port of Alexandria and covers a number of vessels. “This milestone marks a new step in the long-term strategic partnership between Naval Group and the Egyptian Navy. Naval Group is proud to serve the Egyptian Navy,” Naval Group said. The Egyptian Navy took delivery of the second out of four Naval Group produced Gowind-corvettes in September 2018; the navy’s other Naval Group vessel, the FREMM multi-mission frigate Tahya Misr was delivered in 2015. In June 2016, Naval Group delivered two Mistral-class Landing Helicopter Dock vessels to the Egyptian Navy.
Sweden’s Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) is contracting Saab to deliver Giraffe 4A multi-function radars and maintain the military’s Arthur artillery locating system. The Giraffe 4A digital multi-channel system features an active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology based on gallium nitride (GaN). The system can be used for air surveillance and air defense as well as warning and artillery locating tasks. “Our ground-based radar Giraffe 4A strengthens our customers’ capability to detect incoming threats including tactical ballistic missiles. Tensions around us are increasing and the system gives our customers a world-class multi-function capability that helps to protect their interests”, says Anders Carp, Head of Saab’s business area Surveillance. Arthur is a stand alone medium-range passive phased array C-band radar that detects incoming shells and rockets, and determines where they were fired from before the shells can even land. The system can reportedly detect a mortar bomb at 55 km, shells at 31 km rockets at 50 – 60 km, locating targets at a rate of 100 per minute. It has been sold to several countries, including South Korea and the United Kingdom.
The Dutch Armed Forces are procuring a number of next-generation container systems from the Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group. The Cambridge headquartered company will provide more than 1400 container systems over the next five years under this $127 million deal. The production order includes command and control shelters, workshops, controlled atmosphere and basic stores units, together with a 14-year fully integrated availability support package, including a full availability-based fleet management package. Alistair McPhee, chief executive of Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, told Business Weekly: “Winning this contract is a major milestone in the strategic development of our Land Systems business and emphasises our capability to manage major programmes which benefits not only Marshall but local suppliers. “During both the implementation and support phases of this contract we will be working closely with Dutch industry not only as part of the supply chain but also as part of the development of our business across Europe.” Marshall “specialises in providing deployable infrastructure or shelters, vehicle systems and support services to military forces worldwide”. Army Technology notes that more than 6,000 shelters in more than 200 configurations are in currently in service.
The Franco-German training academy (EFA) in Le Cannet-des-Maures in South-East France is now equipped with a fully upgraded Eurocopter Tiger simulation system. The system has been configured to train aircrews of France’s Tiger HAD combat support variant and Germany’s UHT Step 2 anti-tank and fire support variant. Work is being done as part of the Tiger Aircrew Training Means (TATM) program that started in December 2014. Performed by Thales and Rheinmetall, upgrade work included new cockpit configurations, displays and avionics for both variants and new weapons systems for the HAD version. Awarded by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation, the program also includes a support package for all 20 simulators in service until 2025.
Two US Marine aircraft crashed into the sea off the coast of Japan during a nightime air-to-air refueling exercise on Thursday. The incident involved an F/A-18 fighter jet and a KC-130 tanker aircraft. CNN was told that five crew were on board the KC-130 and two on the F/A-18 at the time of the crash. The ‘mishap’, as the US Marine Corps describes it, happened some 200 miles of the coast as the aircraft flew through adverse weather conditions. Two Marines were rescued. One is in “fair condition”, while the other “is being transported to a local hospital for evaluation”, Corps’ officials told the BBC. F/A-18 Super Hornets are designed for both air-superiority and land attack missions, and can carry a variety of ordnance ranging from air-to-air missiles and precision-guided bombs to standoff munitions. The US Marines fly smaller, earlier-generation F/A-18 C/D Hornets that are no longer in production. The KC-130J is a multi-role, medium-sized fixed-wing aerial refueling aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin, it essentially is a very advanced derivative of the standard C-130J.
Watch: Royal Navy and RAF locked in dogfight over new jets | Sky News