Raytheon is being contracted to integrate its Standard Missile-2 onto the Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyers. The contract modification is priced at $17 million and exercises an option for providing the DDG 1000 ships with design agent support. The Zumwalt-class destroyers are the Navy’s next-generation guided missile destroyers featuring enhanced stealth capabilities and advanced war fighting technology. The program is a topic of contention considering its cost overruns and complications with its stealth features. SM-2 missiles are designed to engage enemy missiles and aircraft to ranges of up to 100 miles. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s factories in Tucson, Arizona; Andover, Massachusetts; Mountain View, California; San Diego, California; Chandler, Arizona; Hudson, New Hampshire and Redmond, Washington. The contract will run through March 2022.
The US Navy is continuing with its Aegis modernisation efforts. Raytheon is being awarded with a $72.5 million contract that sees for the production of the systems’ fire control system. The Mk 99 Fire Control System (FCS) is an essential component of a ship’s Aegis combat system. The FCS gives Aegis its deadly punch by controlling the loading and arming of the used weapon, it launches the weapon and provides terminal guidance for anti-air-warfare missiles. Work will be performed at multiple locations – including, but not limited to – Andover, Massachusetts; San Diego, California and Chesapeake, Virginia. Performance is scheduled for completion by April 2022.
Middle East & Africa
Alliant Techsystems is being awarded with a contract modification in support of Iraq’s Cessna 208 fleet and the 208/172 Trainer fleet. The modification is priced at $36.6 million and exercises Option Year Three for contractor logistics support. The AC-208 Combat Caravan is a light attack combat aircraft manufactured by the US-based aerospace and defense company Alliant Techsystems (ATK). The Cessna variant is a counter insurgency (COIN) aircraft converted from a cargo / ISR plane. It was developed under the Combat Caravan program of the US as part of the government’s effort to rebuild the Iraqi Air Force. Work will be performed at Iraqi Air Force bases and is expected to be completed in December 2019.
Qatar is tapping Boeing to maintain the country’s fleet of AH-64E Apache helicopters. Awarded by the US Army Contracting Command, the $49.2 million Foreign Military Sales contract provides for Maintenance Augmentation Team services for the Qatari Air Force. Qatar ordered 24 Apache Guardians in 2016, and expects to receive the aircraft from 2019 through to mid-2020. The helicopters will be equipped with AGM-114R Hellfire laser-guided missiles, FIM-92H Stinger missiles with air-to-air launchers, and 70 mm Hydra air-to-surface rockets. Work will be performed at Boeing’s factory in Mesa, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2024.
The Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV) is allocating more funds for Gripen E combat aircraft production. The $48 million contract boost allows Saab to build the Gripen Es from new parts instead with parts from salvaged Gripen Cs. The Swedish Air Force currently has 60 Gripen Es on order and is expected to cost just short of $7 billion in total. The JAS-39 Gripen is an excellent lightweight fighter by all accounts, with attractive flyaway costs and performance. Its canard design allows for quick “slew and point” maneuvers, allowing it to take advantage of the modern trend toward helmet-mounted displays, and air-air missiles with much wider boresight targeting cones.
The Kazakh army is taking delivery of more Su-30SM fighter aircraft from Russia. The Su-30SM fighter was designed in accordance with the requirements of the Russian Air Force. It is being manufactured by IRKUT, a company based in Russia. The multirole Su-30SM can be deployed in counter-air strikes, counter-land and counter-sea missions. It can conduct electronic counter-countermeasures and early warning tasks. The aircraft also acts as a command-and-control platform within a fleet of combat aircraft performing joint missions.
Watch: BAE Systems Hägglunds is launching CV90MkIV
Bath Iron Works is being contracted to start production on the US Navy’s fifth DDG 51 Flight III destroyer. The awarded contract modification is priced at $910 million and exercises the FY2019 option for construction of DDG 132. Included in the contract are engineering proposals, design budgeting requirements and some post-delivery availabilities. Work will be performed at BIW’s shipyard in Bath, Maine and at several other locations including Cincinnati, Ohio; Atlanta, Georgia; York, Pennsylvania; Coatesville, Pennsylvania; Falls Church, Virginia; South Portland, Maine; Walpole, Massachusetts; Erie, Pennsylvania and Charlottesville, Virginia. DDG 132 is expected to launch in May 2026.
The US Navy is modifying a support contract with Raytheon. Valued at $38 million, the modification provides for design-agent and in-service support as well as for technical engineering support services which support Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) production. ESSM missiles are designed to protect Navy ships from incoming missiles and aircraft. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s factory in Tucson, Arizona and at facilities in the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and Australia. The contract is paid with FY2019 Navy and Foreign Military Sales funds.
Middle East & Africa
URS Federal Services is being contracted to support the US Army’s Prepositioned Stock Five (APS-5) located in South Korea. The $14.8 million contract modification covers the provision of logistics support services until January 2020. APS-5 is located in Kuwait and Qatar and supports the Middle-Eastern 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-5 is located at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait and in Doha, Qatar.
Kuwait is buying four F/A-18E trainers from Boeing under the Foreign Military Sales program. Awarded by the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, the contract provides for the design, fabrication, installation, test and delivery of two F/A-18E Tactical Operational Flight trainers (TOFT) and two F/A-18E low cost trainers. TOFTs are built on Boeing’s and L-3’s F/A-18 simulator common hardware and software baseline. The simulators are integrated with a 360° display, image generator and training system. The mission computer emulation simulates radar, electronic countermeasures and the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System. The trainers enable aircrews to prepare for the full range of force multiplier capabilities that the platform can support during rapidly changing battle scenarios. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri; New Orleans, Louisiana and Kuwait City, Kuwait. The contract is valued at $76.5 million and will run through February 2022.
Czech airrcaft manufacturer Aero Vodochody completes its first test flight of the new L-39NG jet trainer. The flight was conducted on the 22nd of December, just two months after the jet trainer’s rollout ceremony. The company anticipates to achieve type certification by the end of 2019. The L-39NG is based on the aerodynamic concept of the current L-39 but utilizes the latest technologies and equipment. Powered by a Williams International FJ44-4M turbofan engine, the new generation aircraft will be used to train future pilots of 4th and 5th generation aircraft.
Leonardo concludes the first test round of its new TH-119 training helicopter. The TH-119 is manufactured in the USA and could replace the US Navy’s TH-57 training fleet. The initial flight test marks an important milestone, bringing the helicopter one step closer to achieve full FAA IFR certification in early 2019. Leonardo says that its TH-119 will be the only single-engine IFR-certified helicopter in production in decades. The new trainer is built upon the company’s AW119 light single-engine utility helicopter and features a high-resistance airframe with a four-blade main rotor and a two-blade tail rotor. The platform is equipped with four primary flight display (PFD) and multi-function display (MFD) units and a low-profile instrument panel. Powered by a PT6B-37A turboshaft engine, the TH-119 can achieve speeds of 152k and a cruise speed of 138k. The TH-119 is manufactured and supported at Leonardo’s existing FAA Part 21 production facility in Philadelphia.
Media reports suggest that Russia has started underwater trials of its new ‘Poseidon’ drone. The Poseidon is a is a new intercontinental, nuclear armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo. Formerly know as Kanyon, the drone is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads. If equipped with a nuclear warhead the drone could be used to attack coastal cities or create tsunamis. The drone is included in Russia’s state armament program for 2018-2027 and the Poseidon is expected to enter service before the program ends, a source told Russian media agency TASS.
Northrop Grumman is being contracted to support the US Air Force. The $1.3 billion IDIQ contract covers sustainment, modernization and development efforts of the LITENING advanced targeting pod. Designed to improve both day and night attack capabilities, AN/AAQ-28 pods provide pilots with advanced image processing for target identification and coordinate generation, a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor, charge-coupled device television (CCD-TV) sensors, a laser spot tracker/ range finder, and infrared laser marker/ designators. It is fully operational 24 hours a day and in adverse weather conditions. Work will be performed at Northrop Grumman’s factory in Rolling Meadows, Illinois and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
The Space and Missile Systems Center at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado is awarding an IDIQ contract to Lockheed Martin. The order is priced at $462 million and covers for Global Positioning Systems Control-Segment Sustainment II work. Lockheed will provide the service with depot-level software maintenance; organizational-level hardware and software maintenance; systems engineering; Technical Order Management Agency support; maintenance and sustainment of the consolidated test environment as well as support to and integration of GPS Acquisition Category III programs onto the operational control system platform. The GPS III ground control segment is equipped with ground hardware and software that offers command and control for global satellite operations centres’ networks, ground antennas and monitor stations used to control the massive satellite constellation. DOD’s first most powerful satellite was launched to space with a SpaceX provided rocket on December 23, 2018. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado and is expected to be completed by December 31, 2025.
The US Air Force is ordering support and services for its fleet of MQ-9 Reapers from General Atomics. The cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price contract is valued at $291 million and provides for program management efforts, logistics support, configuration management, technical manual and software maintenance, contractor field service representative support, inventory control point management, flight operations support, depot repair, and depot field maintenance. The MQ-9 can serve in multiple roles like surveillance and support of ground troops as well as emergency search and rescue and other missions. Work will be performed at GA’s Poway, California factory. Performance is expected to be completed by December 31, 2019.
Middle East & Africa
The Nigeria Air Force (NAF) is buying two AW109 helicopters from Leonardo. The helicopters are the first batch ordered from Italy and arrived in Nigeria earlier this month. The NAF expects to officially induct the AW109s into service sometime in March 2019. The AW109 is a light-weight, twin-engine eight seat multi-purpose helicopter powered by two side-by-side Pratt & Whitney PW-206C engines, allowing for a climb rate of 9.8m per second and a maximum speed of 311 km/h. The AW109 Power can be configured for a range of missions, including search and rescue, law enforcement, air ambulance, coast guard, border patrol, surveillance, passenger transport, advanced training, and emergency medical services. The helicopters can be armed with 70mm rocket pods, a twin 7.62mm machine gun pod or a single 12.7mm gun pod. The AW109s will support Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram in the country’s Northeast.
The Afghan Air Force (AAF) is making good use of its new A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft. As reported by Jane’s, the A-29s conducted a number of night sorties over the past two weeks. Just in September this year, Afghanistan bought several A-29s at a cost of $1.8 billion. Designed to operate in high temperatures and in extremely rugged terrain, the A-29 is a highly maneuverable fourth-generation weapons system capable of delivering precision guided munitions. The aircraft is being used by the Afghan Air Force (AAF) for close-air attack, air interdiction, escort and armed reconnaissance. The aircraft’s slow speed and better visibility allow for more precise targeting make it suitable to deploy many kinds of ‘cheap’ non-precision bombs.
Fligth Global reports that Leonardo’s first production-standard M-345 jet trainer successfully performed it first test flight, bringing it one step closer towards service entry with the Italian Air Force in 2020. 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. Rome currently has five M-345s on order and could request another 40 in the future. The new jet trainers will replace Italy’s fleet of Aermacchi MB-339s.
South Korea’s Army is again flying its fleet of KUH-1 Surion helicopters. The Army suspended all flying missions of its Surions after a navy version crashed in July this year, killing five of the six Marines aboard and injuring the other. To ensure the safety of the aircraft the Army conducted a comprehensive inspection of the helicopter’s rotor mast and several test flights. The Army has so far checked about a third of its fleet of 90 Surions.
Watch: I wish it could be Christmas every day | HMS Argyll
Latest updates[?]: South Korea's Army is again flying its fleet of KUH-1 Surion helicopters. The Army suspended all flying missions of its Surions after a navy version crashed in July this year, killing five of the six Marines aboard and injuring the other. To ensure the safety of the aircraft the Army conducted a comprehensive inspection of the helicopter's rotor mast and several test flights. The Army has so far checked about a third of its fleet of 90 Surions.
South Korea currently owns around 700 helicopters, but more than half are considered outdated, and they need to be replaced. December 2005 marked the endgame for a South Korean competition to produce about 245 utility transport helicopters, which would be developed and produced as a semi-indigenous program. The KHP/ Surion is in the 8-tonne class, and is designed to carry 11 troops. Industrial offsets were also important, as the program is designed to boost Korea’s ability to design and build its own rotary-wing aircraft. EADS Eurocopter was chosen as the cooperating partner.
The Korean government gave its final approval of the contract in June 2006, and the project is underway. Note that while company releases place the program’s value at $6-8 billion, the program hasn’t reached that level yet. The initial contract was for KRW 1.3 trillion ($1.3 billion), and is for research and development only. That development finished in April 2013, and the main production contract is next. It will proceed in parallel with additional contracts to develop Surion specialty versions for Korea’s federal police and Marine Corps, and all of these models will be offered for export through a joint venture with Eurocopter.
Boeing is being awarded with a seven-year maintenance contract supporting US Special Operations Command aircraft. The IDIQ, firm-fixed-price, cost reimbursable contract is valued at $1.1 billion and allows for life cycle contractor support the MH-6, MH-47, and MH-60 aircraft. Boeing will provide SOCOM with support program management, field service representatives and sustaining engineering. The company will also deliver spare and repair parts. MD’s H-6 Little Bird serves in versatile roles, like quickly moving special forces troops into confined areas, or acting as light helicopter gunships. MH-47s are the special operations variant of the combat proven Chinook and serve as heavy assault helicopters. The majority of work will be performed at Boeing’s factory in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
The Naval Sea Systems Command is modifying a contract with Lockheed Martin. Priced at $184 million, the modification exercises a contract option that sees for full-rate production a SEWIP subsystem. The Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) is and electronic countermeasure system that uses radar warning receivers, and in some cases active jamming, contributing to a ships’ self-defense system. SEWIP Block 2 is the most recent version of the system, which aims to expand upon the receiver and antenna groups necessary to support threat detection and improved system integration. Work will be performed at multiple locations – including, but not limited to – Liverpool, New York; Brockton, Massachusetts and Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Performance is scheduled to run through June 2021.
The US Army is buying more sniper rifles for its troops. Knights Armaments will deliver an unspecified number of M110 semi-automatic sniper rifles at a cost of $16.5 million. The M110 is a lightweight, semi-automatic, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed, shoulder-fired weapon that fires NATO-standard ammunition. The M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS) has been in service since 2008. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order. Deliveries are expected to end by November 20, 2024.
Middle East & Africa
Saudi Arabia is continuing its shopping spree and buys more Blackhawk kits. The Foreign Military Sales contract is worth $59 million and procures UH-60M kits from Sikorsky. The UH-60M incorporates a number of new features, such as a fly-by-wire flight control system, a glass cockpit with with a Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS), and a fully authorized digital engine control (FADEC). Work will be performed at Sikorsky’s facility in Stratford, Connecticut; and has an estimated completion date of May 31, 2022. The contract is entirely paid with FY2019 Army operations and maintenance funds.
Lockheed Martin is being contracted to supply US allies Kuwait and Saudi Arabia with Patriot missiles. The Foreign Military Sales contract is priced at $3.4 billion and sees for the delivery of PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE interceptors. The PAC-3 family provides protection from threats like tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft. Work will be performed at facilities in Huntsville, Alabama; Camden, Arkansas; Ocala, Florida; Chelmsford, Massachusetts; Grand Prairie, Texas; and Lukin, Texas. The contract is expected to end in December 2024.
The Hellenic Air Force is upgrading its fleet of F-16 fighter aircraft. Awarded to Lockheed Martin, the contract provides for the upgrade of 84 F-16s to the V-configuration at a cost of $996 million. The Viper is the latest variant of the Fighting Falcon fourth generation, multi-role, fighter aircraft. It integrates advanced capabilities as part of an upgrade package to better interoperate with fifth-generation fighters, including the F-35 and the F-22. The F-16V variant includes an AESA radar, a new mission computer and electronic warfare suite, automated GCAS, and various cockpit improvements. Half of the contract is paid with Foreign Military Sales funds.
Raytheon is being awarded with a contract modification in support of Sweden’s air-defense system acquisition. The modification is valued at $568 million covering the production of a Patriot missile system. Sweden plans to purchase a package of four Patriot Configuration-3+ Modernized Fire Units, that include radar sets, engagement control systems, antenna mast groups and 300 missiles. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s facilities in Andover, Massachusetts; Pelham, New Hampshire; Tewksbury, Massachusetts; Marlborough, Massachusetts; Portsmouth, Rhode Island; Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Merrimack, New Hampshire; and Dallastown, Pennsylvania. Performance is estimated to be completed by October 30, 2025.
The Philippine Air Force will start the new year by concluding three big defense procurement contracts. Early in 2019 the PAF will receive 16 US-supplied Blackhawks, six T-129 ATAK helicopters from Turkey and three ground based air defense systems from Israel. The helicopter acquisition is estimated to cost $240 million. Conclusion of these three contracts is just a small part of Manila’s 2019 procurement plans. The Philippine Air Force expects to take delivery of 2 Cobra attack helicopters supplied by Jordan, two fixed-wing C2 aircraft, 6 Brazilian Super Tucanos, 2 Israeli-made radar system and 13 Hermes UAVs. In addition the country will receive 2 C-130s and 4 OV-10 attack aircraft from the US. “The year 2019 is particularly sweet, a giant leap in our quest to defend our precious skies, and keep our nation free,” former Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Galileo Gerard Kintanar Jr. said on Friday.
Latest updates[?]: The US Army is buying more sniper rifles for its troops. Knights Armaments will deliver an unspecified number of M110 semi-automatic sniper rifles at a cost of $16.5 million. The M110 is a lightweight, semi-automatic, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed, shoulder-fired weapon that fires NATO-standard ammunition. The M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS) has been in service since 2008. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order. Deliveries are expected to end by November 20, 2024.
XM110 Rifle, firing:
vid. 2nd one back
In this war, snipers matter in close-quarters urban fights. So does penetrating power. Accurate ranged lethality is equally important for squads in open areas, where engagement distances can easily make 5.56mm rounds ineffective. Bolt-action sniper rifles solve these problems, but can get your best people killed in close-up automatic firefights. Semi-automatic weapons have traditionally been less reliable and accurate, but offer the only reasonable approach that covers both extremes.
The result has been the emergence of a hybrid approach, on both a people level and a technical level. On the human end, militaries like the Americans and British are adopting “designated marksman” or “sharpshooter” roles in normal infantry squads, who aren’t full snipers but do have additional training and qualification. On the technical side, gun makers are fielding semi-automatic systems that offer nearly bolt-action accuracy out to 800-1000 meters, but can also be used in closer-quarters firefights. The British have hurried the L129A1 to their infantry squad sharpshooters, but the Americans have a longer running program, which is beginning to ramp up production and fielding…
Raytheon is being contracted to support the US Navy with Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) integration and production efforts. Priced at $114 million, the contract provides for continued combat system integration and test services including engineering and training; software and depot maintenance, as well as field engineering services and procurement of spare parts. The AMDR, designated AN/SPY-6(V), will fulfill integrated Air and Missile Defense requirements for multiple ship classes. The AN/SPY-6 is 30 times more sensitive than its predecessor, its additional sensitivity supercharges the vessel’s capabilities in anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense. Work will be performed at multiple locations throughout the US. They include Marlborough, Massachusetts; Kauai, Hawaii; Portsmouth, Rhode Island; San Diego, California; Fair Lakes, Virginia and Moorestown, New Jersey. The contract includes options which could bring the total value of the order to $357 million and is expected to be completed by December 2019.
Boeing is receiving additional funding to continue research on the MQ-25 Stingray. The contract modification is valued at $90.4 million and is expected to be completed in August 2024. Under the contract, Boeing will perform a number of studies and analysis related to the engineering, manufacturing and development phase of the MQ-25 Stingray. The Stingray will be the Navy’s next ‘Group 5’ aircraft. With its implementation the US Navy seeks to close the gap with between UAS and manned aircraft by adding a system that is designed from the outset to operate within meters or less of large manned aircraft. The UAV will have the capacity to carry 15,000 pounds of fuel and will be used to refuel the F/A-18 Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, and F-35C fighter jets, extending their range and time in the air significantly. Work will be performed at Boeing’s factory in St. Louis, Missouri.
The US Navy and Army are buying more GQM-163A Coyote target missiles. Orbital Sciences will deliver 14 full-rate production Lot 13 missiles to the Navy and one to the US Army at a cost of $45.5 million. The GQM-163A Coyote supersonic sea skimming target is designed to provide an affordable target to simulate supersonic sea-skimming and other emerging supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles. It also supports research in ship-defense systems and fleet training. The supersonic target drone is designed to help Navy ship crews learn to defend themselves against modern anti-ship missiles like the French Exocet and the Russian-made SS-N-22 Sunburn and SS-NX-26 Oniks. The Coyote target missile design integrates a 4-inlet, solid-fuel ducted-rocket ramjet propulsion system into a compact missile airframe 18 feet long and 14 inches in diameter. The non-recoverable target missile achieves cruise speeds of over Mach 2.5, with a range of approximately 60 nautical miles at altitudes of less than 20 feet above the sea surface. Work will be performed in Chandler, Arizona; Camden, Arkansas; Vergennes, Vermont; Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Hollister, California. Performance of the contract is scheduled for completion by December 2022.
Middle East & Africa
The Burkinabe Army is the latest known user of Otokar’s Cobra APC, as reported by Jane’s. Burkina Faso showed off its new armoured vehicles during the country’s Independence Day parade in Manga on December 11. The Cobra family of vehicles has been in service since 1997. The vehicles have a compact profile and are transportable by aircraft, helicopter, truck and rail. The Cobra has an all-welded steel hull with wide, fully opening side and rear doors, allowing rapid exit of the crew when required. The APCs can be fitted with various typed of weapon stations and turrets that can be armed with 40mm grenade launchers and 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine guns. A V8 turbo diesel engine provides 190hp, allowing for a maximum road speed of 70 mph. The vehicle is manned by two crew and can carry a further nine. A source told Jane’s that an unspecified number of Cobras were purchased, some of which were delivered since September. The first batch of five APCs is supporting counter-insurgency operations in the country’s eastern region. Other operators include Algeria, Bahrain, Nigeria, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
Hungary becomes the launch customer of Saab’s Deployable Aircraft Maintenance Facility (DAM). According to the company, DAM is a mobile hangar solution that enables enhanced aircraft maintenance capacity combined with superior protection. DAM provides capability equivalent to stationary maintenance infrastructure, but at a fraction of the cost. The facility requires minimum logistical footprint and maintenance. DAM is highly flexible and can be rapidly deployed, making it suitable for remotely located and dispersed forward bases. DAM is comprised of a robust aluminium frame covered by a high-strength PVC fabric. A range of container assemblies give DAM an enhanced workshop capacity. DAM can be deployed within 48 hours, with assembly done with manpower only. Hungary is currently operating 14 Gripen fighter jets and will receive its new Deployable Aircraft Maintenance Facility sometime in 2019.
France launches a new military imaging satellite. CSO-1 is the first of three identical satellites, which are replacing France’s ageing Helios constellation. The next-generation of satellites is expected to achieve IOC by 2021 and will provide European military and civilian intelligence agencies with 800 very high-resolution black and white, color, and infrared images per day. CSO-1 and CSO-3 (scheduled to launch in 2021), will each perform reconnaissance missions at 800 km altitude; CSO-2 will join its sister satellite in 2020 and will conduct identification missions at an altitude of 480 km. The CSO satellites are a joint product of Airbus Defense and Space and Thales Alenia Space. The constellation is a component of Europe’s €1.75 billion MUSIS, or Multinational Space-based Imaging System.
The Japanese government agrees on a multi-billion defense procurement plan. Released on Tuesday afternoon, the defense plan seeks to buy a number of fighter jets shipborne unmanned aircraft and submarines over the next five-years at a cost of $243 billion. The document, known the National Defense Program Guidelines and the Mid-Term Defense Plan, includes the purchase of 105 additional F-35 Lightning II JSFs, a VTOL UAS for its new multipurpose destroyers and 12 more Kawasaki P-1 maritime surveillance planes. The defense-spending plan will also likely boost Japan’s industry, due to several projects being handled by local companies.
Watch: Lockheed Delivers First LRASM Anti-Ship-Missiles for B-1B Lancer
Lockheed Martin is being contracted to build a next-generation missile defense radar system on Hawaii. Awarded by the Missile Defense Agency, the $585 million fixed-price incentive delivery order provides for design, development and delivery of the Homeland Defense Radar – Hawaii (HDR-H). The HDR-H is able to autonomously acquire, track and discriminate incoming ballistic missiles and will increase the overall capability of MDA’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System. The radar system is built upon Lockheed’s Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR). LRDR combines proven solid-state radar technologies with proven ballistic missile defense algorithms, all based upon an open architecture platform. The radar provides precision metric data to improve ballistic defense discrimination. The contract is partially funded through FY2018 and FY2019 research development test and evaluation funds, amounting to $51.4 million. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s factory in Moorestown, New Jersey and at the radar site on Oahu, Hawaii. The HDR-H is expected to be completed by December 2023.
BAE Systems is being awarded with a five-year support contract covering the repair of countermeasure systems for various aircraft. The order is priced at $32 million and provides for the repair of 103 items of the ALQ-126B, and two items of the ALE-55 countermeasures systems. The US Navy’s AN/ALQ-126B is designed to secure aircraft communications by generating noise jamming for potential enemy listeners and defeat radar seekers of incoming missiles. The Navy uses the system on some of its aircraft platforms, such as the F/A-18 and E-6B Prowler. The AN/ALE-55 is a towed decoy comprised of an electronic frequency converter (EFC) and a fiber optic towed decoy (FOTD). It can suppress, deceit, and seduce enemy planes, launchers and missiles. Work will be performed in Nashua, New Hampshire; Jacksonville, Florida and Crane, Indiana.
The US Army is buying more Joint-Air-to-Ground missiles. Lockheed Martin is receiving a contract modification valued at $91 million that extends JAGM procurement as part of LRIP 3. The JAGM is an air-to-ground missile that provides advanced line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight capabilities and will eventually replace the Army’s inventory of Hellfire missiles. The missile is designed to engage a variety of targets, including heavy vehicles, patrol craft, bunkers and buildings. The Army expects to achieve JAGM’s IOC in early 2019. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s factory in Orlando, Florida and is expected to be completed by February 2022.
Middle East & Africa
Turkey is requesting the purchase of several Patriot batteries. The potential Foreign Military Sale calls for the delivery of 80 Patriot MIM-104E GEM-T missiles and 60 PAC-3 MSE missiles at a cost of $3.5 billion. The multi-billion deal also provides for four AN/MPQ-65 Radar Sets, four Engagement Control Stations, 10 Antenna Mast Groups, 20 M903 Launching Stations and Electrical Power Plant (EPP) III. The package also covers communications equipment, tools and test equipment, range and test programs, and some other services. PAC-2 GEM-T are optimised to target incoming ballistic missiles. PAC-3 MSE is designed to be a longer range missile that is more agile, and able to counter both tactical ballistic missiles and more conventional threats. Turkey is a NATO member and hosts the TPY-2 radar site which is crucial to the European Phased Adaptive Approach that seeks to protect allies and partners against Iranian ballistic missile threats. Main contractors will be Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.
The government of Kuwait is ordering several engines for its F/A-18E/F Super Hornets from General Electric. Awarded by the Naval Air Systems Command, the Foreign Military Sales contract calls for the procurement of 56 F414-GE-400-1A install engines; four F414-GE-400 spare engines; two spare engine containers and 12 spare engine modules at a cost of $257 million. The F414 is one of the newest and most advanced aircraft engines. It features an axial compressor with 3 fan stages and 7 high-pressure compressor stages, and 1 high-pressure and 1 low-pressure turbine stage. In March 2018 Kuwait agreed to purchase 28 Super Hornets at a cost of $1.2 billion. Work will be performed at GE’s factories in Lynn, Massachusetts; Hooksett, New Hampshire; Rutland, Vermont and Madison, Kentucky. Performance is expected to run through December 2020.
All of NATO’s 14 Boeing E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft have now been fitted with Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) technology. The majority of work was completed at Boeing’s Manching facility in southern Germany. Efforts covered under the upgrade program focused on a new flight management and flight safety avionics system, and the installation of 50 new ‘black boxes’. GATM allows the E-3A’s to fly in civilian airspace enabling the surveillance planes to operate worldwide. The E-3 is based on Boeing’s 707 family, and its ability to see and direct air operations within hundreds of miles provides vital strategic support. NATO formed its E-3A Component in 1982 and expects to keep the aircraft in service through 2035.
India’s Space Research Organisation launches a new military communication satellite. Gsat-7A was launched from Sriharikota at 4:10pm on Wednesday and will be the Indian Air Force’s exclusive ‘eye in the sky’. The 5000 lbs satellite will link IAF fighter jets, transporters and tankers, AWACS platforms and UAVs and ultimately act as a force multiplier. The IAF expects Gsat-7A to strengthen its net-centric war fighting capability. Gsat-7A is India’s 35th communication satellite. The satellite flies in an eventual geostationary orbit allowing the IAF to expand its communication capabilities and boost some of its network-dependant warfare and drone capabilities.
Latest updates[?]: The US Army is buying more Joint-Air-to-Ground missiles. Lockheed Martin is receiving a contract modification valued at $91 million that extends JAGM procurement as part of LRIP 3. The JAGM is an air-to-ground missile that provides advanced line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight capabilities and will eventually replace the Army's inventory of Hellfire missiles. The missile is designed to engage a variety of targets, including heavy vehicles, patrol craft, bunkers and buildings. The Army expects to achieve JAGM's IOC in early 2019. Work will be performed at Lockheed's factory in Orlando, Florida and is expected to be completed by February 2022.
The AGM-114 Hellfire missile remains a mainstay for the US military and its allies around the world, and efforts to replace it have repeatedly stalled. The Joint Common Missile (JCM) was meant to offer new guidance options, and use on fast jets as well as helicopters and UAVs. It performed well, but was canceled. It returned from the procurement dead as JAGM, a program that has undergone several major changes within itself. While other air forces field fast-jet solutions like MBDA’s Brimstone, JAGM will initially be limited to helicopters and UAVs, as a dual-mode guidance upgrade to current model Hellfire missiles.
The US Air Force is allocating a large amount of money in maintaining its AH-64E Apache’s LAIRCM countermeasure system. Northrop Grumman is being awarded with a $3.6 billion IDIQ contract supporting the service’s Large Aircraft Infrared Counter Measures (LAIRCM) equipment. This contract covers the delivery of LAIRCM line replaceable units and support equipment, and provides for logistics services; systems and sustaining engineering efforts and other activities. LAIRCM is a is a laser-based countermeasures system that can defend a wide range of aircraft from an infrared missile attack by automatically detecting a missile launch, determining if it is a threat, and activating a high-intensity system of pulsed lasers to track and defeat the threat by confusing its guidance head. The US Army used LAIRCM to protect its Apache gunships while operating against ISIS targets in Northern Iraq and Syria. This contract includes numerous sales to US allies as part of the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will be performed at the company’s facility in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and is expected to be completed by December 2025.
The US Army is pouring $700 million into its Mobile Protected Firepower acquisition program. BAE Systems and General Dynamics will each deliver 6 prototype vehicles by February 2020. The US Army’s Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) program will provide the service with a new combat vehicle platform that allows US troops to disrupt, breach and break through enemy lines and defensive fortifications. The platform is required to be effective against hard targets such as bunkers, heavy machine gun nests and armored vehicles. UPI suggest that the MPF prototype offered by General Dynamics will be quite similar to the Ajax, developed for the UK; whereas BAE’s prototype could be a version of its M8 Buford Armored Gun System. The acquisition is part of the US Army’s 2015 combat vehicle modernization strategy, which will eventually see for the delivery of 504 vehicles. BAE is receiving $375 million, with work to be performed at its Sterling Heights, Michigan factory. General Dynamics is receiving $335 million, also working at Sterling Heights. The aggressive acquisition schedule wants the first prototypes tested within the next 16 months and expects the first vehicles to be fielded in 2025
Boeing and Embraer are forming a joint-venture on Embraer’s KC-390 multimission aircraft. The two companies announced that they will jointly “promote and develop new markets” for the KC-390. Embraer will have 51% stake in the joint venture, with Boeing owing the rest. This agreement is extending the companies partnership, with Boeing having gained a 80% stake in the Brazilian company’s commercial business in July 2018. A deal which cost Boeing $4.2 billion. The deal is pending approval by the Brazilian government – which holds a “golden share” – Embraer’s shareholders and regulatory agencies.
Middle East & Africa
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is increasing its stocks of Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSMs). Raytheon is being awarded with a cost-only contract that provides for the delivery of ESSMs and spares at a cost of $24.7 million. The ESSM is designed to protect navy ships from incoming missiles and aircraft. The RIM-162 Block 1 features a semi-active radar that is guided by reflected radiation from the ship’s radar. The missile is designed to counter supersonic maneuvering anti-ship missiles. The order includes Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $23.8 million. Work will be performed in Raufoss, Norway; Mississauga, Canada; Richmond, Australia. Performance is expected to run through December 2021. The ESSM will equip Saudi Arabia’s new Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) ships.
The UK Royal Navy’s new Sea Venom/ANL missile faces a year-long delay. The missile is being developed under a $630 million contract issued by the UK and French governments. The missile will fulfil the UK’s Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (Heavy) requirement and will meet France’s national Anti Navire Léger requirement. The Sea Venom will eventually equip the Royal Navy’s Wildcat HMA2 helicopter and the French Navy’s Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger (HIL—Joint Light Helicopter) respectively. The delay means that the Royal Navy’s Wildcats will have to operate without their main anti-ship armament, ultimately limiting their ability to provide British ships – such as the HMS Queen Elizabeth – with an extended anti-ship capability until late 2021. The Sea Venom is a lightweight, subsonic sea-skimming missile guided by an IIR seeker. The missile is designed to counter a wide range of threats such as fast-moving patrol boats, corvettes and coastal targets.
Taiwan’s Wan Chien stand-off cruise missile still doesn’t meet Republic of Korea Air Force requirements. The RoCAF conducted a number of missile tests with its F-CK-1 Ching Kuo Indigenous Defense Fighters earlier this year. During the tests the Wan Chien successfully completed a low-altitude drop, but repeatedly failed to correctly deploy when dropped at high-altitude. When launched at high-altitude the Wan Chien shows an unstable flight profile. This is caused by either a hardware or software error affecting the correct unfolding of the missile’s pop-out wings, leading to a turbulent air intake, delaying ignition of its engine. The Wan Chien can be compared to the US’s AGM-154 JSOW and is currently operational in small numbers. The RoCAF plans to hold a new series of trials sometime next year, pending a comprehensive examination of the missile’s software and hardware. The missile flies to a 150 mile range and allows Taiwan to strike targets on China’s southern-coast.
It is yet unclear when Indonesia will receive its first Su-35 fighter jets from Russia, due to an outstanding contract. Russia’s IRKUT defense contractor cannot start jet production until Jakarta signs a purchasing contract with Moscow. Russia’s ambassador to Indonesia, Lyudmila Georgievna Vorobieva expects to finalise the contract soon, however considering Indonesia’s recent financial troubles it is yet to be seen how soon. Indonesia’s Su-35 acquisition was finalised in February 2018 and sees for the delivery of 11 fighter jets at a cost of $1.14 billion. The Flanker E aircraft will replace the Asian-nation’s ageing fleet of F-5 Tiger IIs, some of which have been in service for almost four decades. The Su-35 is Russia’s most advanced fighter aircraft, which can compete with America’s upgraded ‘teen series’, the JAS-39, the Rafale and the Eurofighter.
Watch: First Phalanx of Three is being fitted on the UK Aircraft Carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth