Raytheon kicks-off SM-2 Block IIIC development | France orders more Phenix MRTTs | Germany opts for the H-145MDec 18, 2018 05:00 UTC
Raytheon is being contracted to kick-off development of a new Standard Missile variant. Awarded by the Naval Sea Systems Command, the $149 million contract provides for engineering, manufacturing and development of the SM-2 Block IIIC variant. This new variant will fill the gap between the Navy’s new advanced – but quite expensive – long-range SM-6 missile, and the short-range ESSM. The Block IIIC upgrade substitutes the SM-2’s the legacy semi-active radar homing system for the SM-6 active seeker while leaving intact the other aspects of the SM-2 airframe, making it a medium-range missile. The upgrade allows the Navy to use the SM-2 in offensive strikes against enemy aircraft and surface ships. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s facilities in Tucson, Arizona; Wolverhampton, England; East Aurora, New York; Middletown, Ohio and Englewood, Colorado. The Navy plans to field the new missile from October 2022 onwards.
Raytheon is receiving additional funding for work on the Naval Strike Missile. The firm-fixed-price modification (N00024-18-C-5432) is priced at $32.6 million and provides for manufacture and delivery of the over-the-horizon weapon system. Included in the deal are encanistered missiles (EM) loaded into launching mechanisms (LM); and a single fire control suite (FCS). The stealth-enhanced Naval Strike Missile aims to be a generation beyond the US GM-84 Harpoon. Once the NSM locks on, it strikes ships or land targets with a 265 lb. titanium warhead and programmable fuse. Work will be performed a national and international locations including Kongsberg, Norway; Tucson, Arizona; Schrobenhausen, Germany; Raufoss, Norway; McKinney, Texas and Louisville, Kentucky. The NSMs are expected to be completed by December 2020.
Middle East & Africa
Lockheed Martin is being tapped to service target acquisition and vision sensors aboard Qatar Emiri Air Force AH-64E Apache helicopters. The Foreign Military Sales contract is priced at $10.2 million and includes work on the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor, or M-TADS/PNVS Arrowhead system. Arrowhead is an electro-optical and fire control system that the Apache helicopter pilots use for combat targeting of their Hellfire missiles and other weapons, as well as flying in day, night, or bad weather missions. Qatar currently has 24 Apache Guardians in its fleet. Work will be performed at Lockheed’s factory in Orlando, Florida and estimated to be completed by March 31, 2024.
The Israel Defense Force (IDF) is testing a new anti-tank missile system for its APCs. The system fires a medium-range Spike ATGMs and is housed in the turrets of the IDF’s latest generation of armored personnel carriers, the Namer and Eitan. “The turret system is composed of special and innovative control systems that allows the turret to be controlled from the crew compartment in order to prevent exposing the soldiers to external dangers,” the IDF said in a statement. The Namer is a heavy armored APC which recently underwent an upgrade program comprised of a new turret with trophy radars and countermeasure dispensers. The Eitan is a newly developed APC which is expected to enter service in 2021.
France is ordering three more A330 MRTT tanker aircraft from Airbus. Awarded by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), this is the third and final tranche of the multi-year contract signed in 2014. Paris needs 15 MRTTs to replace its fleet of old C-135FR and KC-135R aircraft, some of which have been in service for over 60 years. The acquisition program is priced at roughly $3.4 billion and sees for the delivery of the aircraft in France’s specific “Phenix” configuration by the end of 2023. The A330-200 MRTT is a derivative of the Airbus A330, about 60 aircraft have been ordered by 12 nations.
Germany will replace its obsolete Bell UH-1D helicopters with Airbus’ H-145M. The Bundeswehr is buying seven H-145Ms and expects delivery by 2020. The deal comes with a support package covering logistics support, repair and maintenance efforts. The total value of the order has not been disclosed at this time. The H-145Ms will be the Bundeswehr’s new search and rescue fleet in the event of aircraft accidents on German territory. With a maximum take-off weight of 3.7 tons, the H145M can be used for a wide range of tasks, including troop transport, utility, surveillance, air rescue, armed reconnaissance and medical evacuation. The German fleet will be equipped with high-performance cameras, searchlights, emergency beacon locator systems, a full suite of medical equipment, rescue winches and load hooks.
Hyundai Heavy Industries is being contracted to build two new frigates for South Korea’s navy. The $563 million order sees for the delivery of two FFX Batch II ships by 2023. The ships will be the seventh and eight units within the Republic of Korean Navy’s coastal frigate program. The 2.800-ton vessels are have a maximum speed of 30 knots and are equipped with naval guns and guided missiles. These Batch II ships will be powered by a single 36-40MW MT30 turbine and all-electric propulsion. This hybrid electric drive propulsion system reduced the ships’ acoustic footprint, making it more effective in anti-submarine operations. The RoKN expects to commission up to eight FFX-II vessels.
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