The Air Force contracted Honeywell International Aerospace $85.7 million for C-5 Honeywell software and engineering support services. The C-5 Galaxy is the primary lift aircraft in the US military for moving outsized cargo to global theaters of operation. It is distinct for having both front and rear cargo ramps allowing for much faster load and offload operations. The US Air Force operates the Lockheed C-5 since 1969. The C-5M Super Galaxy is an upgraded version with new engines and modernized avionics designed to extend its service life beyond 2040. Honeywell’s Versatile Integrated Avionics for C-5M Super Galaxy uses line replaceable units with shared functions to lower weight, reduce wiring and decrease spares inventory. New board Honeywell’s solution is based on key advances that were made by the company in the development and implementation of the advanced avionics architecture. Work for the new deal will take place in Arizona, Puerto Rico, Washington, and New Mexico and is scheduled to be completed by the end of January 2025.
Strategic Systems Programs awarded General Dynamics Mission Systems a $13 million contract modification for US and UK SSBN Fire Control System as well as the US Attack Weapon Control System (AWCS) sustainment. The Fire Control System delivers data required to monitor the launch sequence of ballistic missiles. The SSBN AWCS is a non-nuclear system that consists of an integrated Launch Control System interfaced with the Tactical Tomahawk Weapon Control System and the Captain’s Information and Control Station. In December 2014 General Dynamics was contracted for the development, installation and maintenance, and deployed-systems support of US and UK Trident II submarine strategic weapons systems and subsystems. The modification includes training and support equipment as well as research and development. Work will mostly take place in Massachusetts and is expected to be completed by December 2020.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s Elbit Systems announced that it reorganized the company’s structure to establish two new business divisions: Land Systems, and C4I and Cyber. The announcement comes after completing the acquisition of IMI Systems Ltd. on November 25, 2018. IMI Systems manufactures weapons, munitions and military technology for the Israeli security forces. It is most commonly associated with the development of the Uzi submachine gun. Elbit now expects to record in the fourth quarter of 2018 expenses estimated in the range of $65-75 million. Elbit’s land division will focus on systems for military vehicles, artillery, and capabilities brought in from IMI, while the C4I and Cyber division will concentrate on command and control, radios, communications, homeland security, and cyber intelligence. The reorganization is supposed to improve the synergy within the Company with respect to the acquired activities and better address market requirements.
Greece contracted Chassis Plans (CP) Technologies to modernize and update the mission control computers in the P-3B Orion aircraft used by the Hellenic Navy and Air Force. The P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the US Navy. In 2014, the US State Department approved a Foreign Military Sale to Greece for P-3B aircraft overhaul and upgrade as well as associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $500 million. CP Technologies’ mission computers are used in the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) consoles onboard the aircraft and were designed to offer advanced computing technology in order to accommodate new ISR capabilities in the rough aircraft environment like Advance map rendering and GPS tracking, sensor, and surveillance data analysis.
Italian contractor Leonardo Defense Systems developed and tested an upgrade package for the M109L 155 mm self-propelled artillery system, according to Jane’s. The M109 is an American howitzer. The upgraded M109L, used by the Italian Army, has a 23 liter chamber and meets the Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding. It is fitted with a fume extractor and a new pepper box muzzle brake. Firing a standard 155 mm M15A2 high-explosive (HE) projectile a maximum range of 30 km can be achieved. An extended range ammunition could reach 40 km. The most significant range improvement would be firing the latest Leonardo Volcano 155 mm Ballistic Extended Range artillery projectile, which was type classified by the Italian Army and is ready for quantity production as soon as orders are placed.
South Korea received its first of four Airbus Defense and Space A330-200 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft. The aircraft arrived in November, making the country the seventh member of the worldwide family of A330 MRTT operators. The Republic of Korea ordered the A330s in 2015. Deliveries of the remaining three MRTTs are set to conclude later this year. The A330 MRTT is an aerial refueling tanker aircraft based on the civilian Airbus A330. It was procured under a $1.3 billion deal that will enable the Republic of Korea Air Force to project combat air power as far north as Pyongyang while allowing it to participate more fully in international peacekeeping missions.
Watch: U.S. Air Force Finally Receives First Replacements for Its 60-Year-Old Stratotankers
The Navy awarded Boeing a $56.8 million contract providing program management as well as engineering and integrated logistics support for the post-production support phase of the T-45 aircraft lifecycle. The T-45 Goshawk is the US Navy’s two seat advanced jet trainer. It is a highly modified version of the British BAE Systems Hawk land-based training jet aircraft and was selected to replace the TA-4J Skyhawk and T-2C Buckeye. In order of meeting US Navy training mission and to ensure aircraft carrier compatibility, T-45 includes a new twin nose-wheel with catapult launch T-bar, nose-wheel steering for maneuvering within the confines of the carrier deck, strengthened airframe and undercarriage for catapult launches, relocated speed brakes, provision of under-fuselage tailhook, revised avionics and modified cockpit layout for compatibility with front-line US Navy combat aircraft. The current contract includes special tooling and test equipment, data accessibility and obsolescence identification, and resolution in addition to field services support that provides subject matter expertise in the areas of environmental control systems, cockpit pressurization and On-Board Oxygen Generation Systems integration.
The Navy tapped Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems with a $10.9 million contract modification to exercise options for AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) equipment and spares. The Missile Defense Agency in cooperation with the US Navy developed the AEGIS BMD system to provide warships with the capability of intercepting and destroying short and medium-range ballistic missiles. AEGIS BMD was acquired by Japan, making it the first missile defense system to be acquired by a military ally. The modification includes 4.0.2 equipment for Shipset 23. Work will take place in New Jersey and Florida and is expected to be completed by November 2020.
The Canadian government awarded Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited a $68 million contract for design work on a life extension program for the country’s fleet of 85 CH-146 Griffon helicopters. Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited will design a life extension program to ensure that the aircraft remain in service until at least 2031. The definition work will be carried out under the existing Griffon support contract, originally awarded in 2011. In the first phase under this deal Bell Helicopter will develop design changes to upgrade the helicopter’s avionics systems, engines, and cockpit displays. It will also integrate sensor systems. The CH-146 Griffon is a multi-role utility helicopter used in aerial firepower, reconnaissance, search and rescue, and aero-mobility tasks.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Ben-Gurion University, announced they are setting up a multi-year research collaboration in cybersecurity, smart mobility, robotics and artificial intelligence. The agreement follows Rafael’s decision to establish a research and development location in Be’er Sheva, the southern Israeli city where BGN is located, which will be launched later in 2019. The first two projects of the collaboration focus on exploring the risk of cybersecurity breaches in sensors of autonomous cars, and how this issue can be tackled. Rafael already implemented cyber defense project around the world, including Israel’s Cyber Emergency Response Team. The company develops and manufactures systems for the Israeli Defense Forces and the defense establishment, as well as for foreign customers around the world. The signing ceremony for the deal between Rafael and BGN Technologies took place at the Cybertech 2019 conference in Tel Aviv.
Polish Defense Minister, Marius Blaszczak signed a $180.7 million contract to acquire four S-70i Black Hawk helicopters from Lockheed Martin’s offshoot Sikorsky. The helos will be supplied to Poland’s special forces. The aircraft will be produced by the group’s Polish subsidiary PZL Mielec, with deliveries scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019. The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter that entered service with the US Army in 1979 and has been exported to several nations. Black Hawks served in combats during conflicts in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and other areas in the Middle East. The newest version of the Black Hawk is PZL Mielec’s S-70i, which had its maiden flight in July 2010. Poland’s helicopters were acquired outside of a tender procedure. In 2015, the then-Polish Cabinet decided to order 50 H225M Caracal helos from Airbus, but the deal was scrapped the following year after a change in government. Other forerunners in the tender included the Black Hawk and Leonardo’s offshoot PZL Swidnik, which makes the AW149.
The US Naval Air Systems Command contracted Lockheed Martin with a $31.3 million modification for sustainment services for F-35 Lightning II low-rate initial production Lot X aircraft for the Australian government. The F-35A featuring conventional takeoff and landing, is one of three variants of the single-seat, single-engine fighters. Australia is investing more than $17 billion to acquire at least 72 F-35A Joint Strike Fighters. Ten new jets have been delivered to Australia, with the first eight temporarily flying with the US Air Force’s 61st Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, as part of the international F-35 training school. Work for the modification will take place in Williamtown, Australia and is expected to be completed by early 2021.
Malaysia issued a preliminary request for information (RFI) to Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) in support of a potential buy of the company’s FA-50 light attack aircraft, Jane’s reports. The FA-50 is a variant of the KAI T-50 Golden Eagle, a family of South Korean supersonic advanced trainers and light combat aircraft. The T-50 is South Korea’s first indigenous supersonic aircraft and one of the world’s few supersonic trainers. Under the country’s proposed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) procurement program, Malaysia could be seeking to buy an initial 12 aircraft with an option for another 24 units in the future. Moving ahead with the LCA program was motivated by Malaysia’s unsuccessful attempts at procuring a larger platform under its Multirole Combat Aircraft program.
The Navy awarded a $26.3 million contract to Rolls Royce for repair of T56-A-427 engines, used on the E-2 Hawkeye aircraft. The E-2 Hawkeye is an American all-weather, carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning aircraft by Northrop Grumman. Its primary mission is battlespace mission command and control, as well as early warning detection. The aircraft was designed specifically for electronic warfare and early detection, which was a big change from previous aircraft. The Allison T-56 is a single-shaft, modular design turboprop with a 14-stage axial flow compressor driven by a four-stage turbine. The T56-A-427 fitted to the E-2 Hawkeye has a 5250 shp rating and a 12:1 compression. In addition, the T56 produces approximately 750 lbs of thrust from its exhaust. Work for the contract till take place in Canada, Texas, Indiana and California and is scheduled to be finished by January 2020.
The Navy tapped Northrop Grumman with a $19.6 million contract modification for the procurement of software design and system integration, qualification testing and cybersecurity activities as well as engineering services in support of the MQ-8 Fire Scout Unmanned Air System. The Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout is an unmanned autonomous helicopter designed to provide reconnaissance, situational awareness, aerial fire support as well as precision targeting support for ground, air and sea forces. The System has the ability to autonomously take-off from and land on any aviation-capable warship and also at unprepared landing zones close to the forward edge of the battle area. Work under the modification will occur in San Diego and is scheduled to conclude in December.
Middle East & Africa
Despite earlier media reports, Egypt will not sign any contract with Dassault Aviation for purchase of an additional twelve Rafale fighter aircraft during President Emmanuel Macron’s visit. The french president is currently visiting Egypt until the 29th of January. In 2015, France agreed to deliver 24 Rafale fighter jets to Egypt at a price of $5.9 billion in order to equip its Air Force with a latest-generation multirole fighter capable of meeting the country’s operational requirements and enabling Egypt to secure its geostrategic position in the region. In June 2016, Egypt started negotiations with Dassault to acquire 12 additional Rafales, which was an option on the original contract. However, Egypt has been facing opposition from the French Treasury to recieve the same favorable financial package it obtained for the original order.
The Air Force Lifecycle Management Center awarded Lockheed Martin Aeronautics with a $33.7 million ceiling requirements contract for C-130J long-term sustainment support for the Royal Norwegian Air Force. The company will provide the Royal Norwegian Air Force with return and repair support, spares support, engineering support, and in-country representative support for their C-130J aircraft platform. The C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It is the newest model of the Hercules and the only one still in production. Lockheed Martin received a contract from the U.S. government in November 2007 for the purchase of four C-130J Super Hercules airlifters, plus initial spares and training, through the Foreign Military Sales program. The contractor delivered Norway’s first C-130J in November 2008 and its second in April 2009. Work for the current contract will take place in Marietta, Georgia as well as Gardermoen Air Station, Norway and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
The program office for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter awards BAE Systems a sole-source contract to conduct flight trials of the F-35’s future electronic warfare (EW) and countermeasures suite, Jane’s reports. The British defense company will conduct tests of a modified version of the AN/ASQ-239A suite aboard the CATBird surrogate test aircraft. The AN/ASQ-239 system is BAE System’s advanced electronic warfare suite, providing the F-35 with end-to-end capabilities. The demonstration of elements of the EW/countermeasures suite on the modified Boeing 737 airliner known as the Cooperative Avionics Test Bed (CATBird) is known as the Project Heisenberg.
The Air Force contracted Space Dynamics Laboratory $18.3 million to support the Republic of Korea’s Global Hawk program. The deal includes tasking, collecting, processing, exploitation, and dissemination (TCPED) capability. The contract provides for the procurement of the TCPED system, spares and support equipment, sustainment support, and system familiarization. The Global Hawk is an unmanned surveillance aircraft by Northrop Grumman. In November 2018 Northrop was contracted to provide contractor logistics support to the Republic of Korea’s Global Hawks. Space Dynamics Laboratory is a nonprofit unit of the Utah State University Research Foundation. It is responsible for the design, fabrications, and operation of sensors on over 400 payloads ranging from aircraft to rocket-borne experiments to space shuttle experiments and satellite-based sensor systems. Work under the current deal will be performed at North Logan, Utah, and is expected to be completed by May 2020. The contract involves Foreign Military Sales to the Republic of Korea.
Watch: America’s newest carrying-F-35B amphibious assault ship to replace USS Wasp in Japan
The Air Force awarded Harris Corp., Space and Intelligence Systems a $72.3 million contract for the Combat Mission Systems Support (CMSS) program. The contract sustains the Space and Missile Systems Center portfolio of ground-based electronic warfare systems and develops the Counter Communications System Block 10.3 under the CMSS program. The Counter Communications System is a mobile, ground-based antenna that can jam the signals from a single satellite in geosynchronous orbit. The new system should be designed to easily accommodate new components that become available. Work under the contract will be performed in Colorado and Florida and is scheduled to be completed by the end of February 2024.
The Naval Air Systems Command tapped Boeing with a $2.5 million contract modification to produce 19 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft for the U.S. Navy, Norway and the United Kingdom, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a release. Ten aircraft are for the U.S. Navy, four for the U.K. and five for Norway. The modification also includes engineering change proposal 4 SilverBlock for the government of the U.K. and Lot 10 segregable efforts consisting of unknown obsolescence, Class I change assessments and obsolescence monitoring. At almost $1.26 billion, the U.S. Navy purchase makes up 51 per cent of the total contract value, while Norway’s almost $695 million makes up 28 per cent, and the U.K.’s almost $507 million makes up 21 per cent. The P8-A Poseidon conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction, also with an early warning self-protection ability. The US Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force and the Indian Navy are currently operating the P-8. The UK’s Royal Air Force, where the P-8 will be known under the name „Poseidon MRA1“, the Royal Norwegian Air Force and the Royal New Zealand Air Force ordered the aircraft as well. Work under the contract will be performed in Washington, Maryland, New York, and the UK and is currently expected to be finished by March 2022.
The Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Repair Gulf Coast awarded Austal USA LLC a $16.3 million contract to support prefabrication efforts, material procurement, and execution of work items for littoral combat ship USS Cincinnati extended industrial post-delivery availability (EIPDA). Austal is a global defense prime contractor and designer as well as manufacturer of defense and commercial ships. The company is the fifth largest shipbuilder in the USA. The USS Cincinnati, also dubbed LCS_20 is an Independence-Class littoral combat ship that is currently being built by Austal. The ship was assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One. Littoral Combat Ships are a set of two classes of surface vessels designed for operations near shore by the US Navy. The EIPDA is accomplished within a period of approximately 12 weeks between the time of ship custody transfer to the Navy and the shipbuilding and conversion, obligation work limiting date. Work will include program management, advance planning, engineering, design, prefabrication, and material kitting and is expected to be completed by August this year.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems will trial its Trophy Active Protection System (APS) on the Leopard 2 main battle tank this year. Trophy is a military APS for vehicles, that intercepts and destroys incoming missiles and rockets with a shotgun-like blast. Its primary purpose is to supplement the armor of light and heavy armored fighting vehicles. It is the only fully operational and combat-proven APS in the world. The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank operated by the German Army. Germany’s Bundeswehr operates 328 Leopard 2 tanks of three types – the 2A6, 2A6M and 2A7. The Leopard 2 has also served in the militaries of 12 other countries and several non-European nations, including Canada, Indonesia and Turkey, and seen combat in Afghanistan and Syria, where they suffered heavy losses from anti-tank guided missiles. Rafael wants to soon supply the Trophy APS to Germany and initial trials on the Leopard 2 are expected to begin this year, with the system’s integration and testing completed by 2021. A total of 17 tanks will be equipped with the APS, with a unit training and qualifying to operate it by the following year.
Saab submitted its proposal to offer Gripen E for the Swiss New Fighter Aircraft procurement to armasuisse, the Swiss defense procurement agency. The proposal consists of options 30 and 40 new Gripen E fighter aircraft in response to the Request for Proposal (RFP) by armasuisse. Switzerland seeks to replace its fighter fleet of F/A-18 Hornet and F-5 E/F Tiger aircraft. The Gripen E or „Saab JAS 39 Gripen“ is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft powered by Volvo RM12. Five nations currently operate Gripen: Sweden, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Thailand. Sweden and Brazil have ordered Gripen E. Additionally, the UK Empire Test Pilots’ School uses Gripen as platform for test pilot training.
India finalized a $797 million military infrastructure development plan spread over ten years for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to counter China. The Andaman and Nicobar Command is India’s only theater command which has assets and manpower of the three services of the armed forces, Army, Navy, Indian Air force and Coast Guard coming under one operational commander. The plan will allow stationing of additional warships, aircraft, drones, missile batteries and infantry soldiers there — against the backdrop of China’s rapidly expanding footprint in the Indian Ocean region.
India’s state-owned Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) tested a new indigenous air-launched missile called NGARM. The NGARM is designed to destroy a variety of surveillance and radar targets on the ground. The missile was launched from a Sukhoi SU-30MKI fighter to a range of 100 kilometers. The SU-30MKI is a twinjet multirole air superiority fighter tailor-made for Indian specifications. The NGARM employs an indigenously developed dual-pulse, solid-propellant rocket motor and can be guided by a combination of passive and active radar seekers together with an inertial navigation system that is aided by GPS.
Watch: RAF MQ-9B SkyGuardian To Be Armed With Brimstone Missile System
The Air Force tapped Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. with a $80.6 million contract modification for C-20/C-35 fleet sustainment. The company is an American subsidiary of General Dynamics that designs, develops, manufactures, markets and services business jet aircraft. The C-20 aircraft are military modifications of the commercial Gulfstream aircraft. The C-20 provides distinguished visitor (DV) airlift for military and government officials. It supports the long range/low passenger load DV airlift niche, offering worldwide access while including a communications suite which supports worldwide secure voice and data communications for the DV and staff. Smilar to the C-20, the C-37A is the military version of the civilian Gulfstram V and is used primarily for transporting government and Defense Department officials and their staffs. The two aircraft are used by the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. The contract modifies a previous award under the terms of a firm-fixed-price contract with a five-year option period in support of the C-37 and C-20 aircraft. Work is scheduled to be completed by end of January 2020.
General Atomics won a $19.7 million contract to manufacture, test, and deliver Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch Systems (EMALS) spare parts to support the US Navy’s CVN-78 aircraft carrier prior to the Advanced Arresting Gear and EMALS material support dates. The CVN-78, dubbed the USS Gerald R. Ford is the lead ship of its class and the first aircraft carrier design in 40 years. The aircraft is expected to leave on its first deployment in 2022. The CVN-78 is the world’s largest aircraft carrier, and the largest warship ever constructed in terms of displacement. The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, developed by General Atomics, launches carrier-based aircraft rather than the conventional steam piston. It was developed especially for the Navy’s Gerald R. Ford aircraft carriers. Work is expected to be completed in January 2023.
Middle East & Africa
The first of 16 Airbus Helicopter H125 training platforms arrived Qatar, Jane’s reports. The Ministry of Defense ordered the platforms in 2018. Footage released on January 23rd shows two helicopters painted in the livery of the Qatar Armed Forces Academy. The H125 is a single-engine light utility helicopter formally known as the Eurocopter AS350 Ecureuil. Ordered to replace the secondary training role of the Aerospatiale SA 342L Gazelle that has been in service since 1983, the H125 has been procured as part of a wider deal that also includes 28 NHIndustries NH90 helicopters.
A Su-27 fighter jet of Russian Aerospace Forces intercepted a Swedish Gulfstream reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea. The Su-27 is a twin-engine super maneuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi, a major Russian aircraft manufacturer. It was designed for air superiority missions, and subsequent variants are able to perform almost all aerial warfare operations. The Russian military regularly make public how often Russian fighter jets intercept or accompany foreign military aircraft near Russian borders. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Russian fighter jet approached the object at a safe distance, identified it as a Gulfstream reconnaissance plane from the Swedish Air Force that was conducting a flight with its transponder switched off. Afterwards the Swedish plane flew away from the Russian state border, while the Su-27 jet returned to its base.
The Swedish Armed Forces awarded German Defense Contractor Rheinmetall a contract for vehicles to transport Patriot missile systems. Under the contract, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles will supply 40 high-mobility trucks including 16 tractor trucks and 24 transport vehicles. Deliveries will begin in the first quarter of 2021. The contract is for the HX2 family of vehicles. These trucks are versatile and can be operated in rugged terrain. The vehicles’ flexible design allows the integration of additional force protection solutions for improved crew protection. Previously, the Swedish Procurement Agency, FWV, made orders HX-model logistic corps vehicles, making it one of the most widely used military trucks in the world.
On 23 January, Trade Unions representing about 400,000 of workers employed by state-owned defense enterprises in India started a three-day strike against the privatization of the country’s Defense Industry. The All India Defense Employees Federation (AIDEF), the Indian National Defense Workers’ Federation (INDWF), and Bharatiya Pratiraksha Mazdoor Sangh (BPMS) take part in the protests. The strike mainly affects the state-run Ordnance Factory Board, naval dockyards as well as the Defense Research and Development Organization.
Watch: Flying Lightning! Next-generation European attack-helicopters taking shape
The US Navy awarded Lockheed Martin Aeronautics a $542.2 million firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to support the F-35 Program. Under this deal, Lockheed Martin is to deliver ancillary mission equipment (AME) and associated spares for F-35 Lightning II jets. The F-35 Lightning jet is a supersonic, multirole fighter jet. It is being used by the defense forces of the US and other nations around the world due to its advanced stealth, integrated avionics, sensor fusion, superior logistics support and powerful integrated sensors capabilities. Back in August 2018, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics received a $302 million order against a previous contract for ancillary mission equipment to support the F-35. Work for the current contract will be performed in Texas, and is scheduled to be completed by May 2023.
The Navy contracted Rolls-Royce with a $35.7 million contract modification to support the V-22 aircraft with 17 AE 1107C engines. The AE 1107C is a turboshaft engine powering the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor. The engine delivers 6,000 shp Rolls-Royce AE engines power C-130Js, V-22s, Global Hawks and a number of military, corporate and regional aircraft. Rolls Roye is in service with the US Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, NASA and multiple military and civil customers around the world. The AE engine line began as a powerplant for the V-22 tiltrotor aircraft for the US Marine Corps and US Air Force Special Operations Command, with the first flight of the V-22 in 1989. Under this deal one engine goes to the Marine Corps, eight engines to the Navy and another eight to the government of Japan. Work will be performed in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is expected be completed in May 2020.
Northrop Grumman Systems won a $44.4 million deal in support of Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) E-11A platform maintenance requirement. Under this contract, the company provides logistics support for four E-11As that were built on Bombardier BD-700 aircraft platform. Bombardier E-11A is the military variant of the civil Bombardier BD-700 Global Express. It carries BACN allowing disparate battlefield communications systems to share data. It enables real-time information flow across the battlespace between similar and dissimilar tactical data link. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center received two offers for the firm-fixed-price, cost-reimbursable contract via a competitive acquisition. Work is scheduled to conclude by Jan. 23, 2020, and will take place in Maryland and Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Middle East & Africa
A fighter jet F7-PG crashed near Mastung, Pakistan while carrying out a training flight today. The F-7PG aircraft is based on the Soviet-era Mig-21 and built by a Chinese aircraft manufacturer. It holds a bad service record in PAF (Pakistan Air Force) service with the majority of recent crashes involving the aircraft. Pakistan is currently the largest non-Chinese F-7 operator, with roughly 120 F-7P and 60 F-7PG. The PAF seeks to replace its entire fleet of F-7 with the JF-17 multirole fighter. All F-7P are planned to be retired and replaced with the JF-17 Thunder aircraft by 2020. It is currently unknown what caused today’s crash. Air Headquarters has ordered the formation of a board of inquiry to investigate the incident.
Rafael wants to trial its Suite for Future Armored Vehicles with a live fire demonstration in summer, Jane’s reports. The Suite is a vehicle automation and capability enhancement system based around data fusion from the vehicle’s sensors. It is in development for the Israeli Carmel future fighting vehicle program. With such a suite of armored vehicles, an operator could manage drones and a variety of weapons systems. Inside the company’s prototype, several screens display a 360-degree picture of what is happening outside, and a map shows the locations of friendly forces.
Poland wants to modernize its Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter fleet. Warsaw intends to conduct a dialogue with potential suppliers, running from July to September. The Mil Mi-24 is a large helicopter gunship, attack helicopter and troop transport with room for eight passengers, produced by Mil Moscow. The Mil Mi-24 features an armored cockpit for its pilot and weapons officer as well as a staggering array of internal and external weapons. Its seen action in nearly every conflict that the Soviet Union has engaged in since its first release in 1976. However, the helicopter has its weaknesses, such as its rotors and engine exhaust ports. Man-portable surface-to-air missiles have accounted for the greatest number of Mil Mi-24 losses.
Moscow and Astana agreed to launch the assembly of Mil Mi-8AMT and Mi-171 „Hip-H“ helicopters in Kazakhstan. The deal will see 45 kit versions of the helicopters delivered to Kazakhstan until 2025 for local assembly. The Kazakhstan Engineering NC of the Ministry of Defense and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan as well as Russian Helicopters JSC of Rostec State Corporation signed the contract. The technology of assembling heavy helicopters is being introduced in Kazakhstan for the first time ever. The production is organized without any public funding. The Mil Mi-8 is a medium twin-turbine helicopter used as a transport helicopter, an airborne command post, armed gunship, and reconnaissance platform.
South Korea started a production of locally developed automatic command-and-control system. Back in December, the Defense Acquisition Administration (DAPA) signed a contract worth $29.1 million with Hanwha Systems to produce 12 Command Control Alert (C2A) Systems by next year. The C2A system, which was developed from 2011 to 2017 by a team led by the state-owned Agency for Defense Development in co-operation with more than 20 local companies, is expected to enter service with the Republic of Korea Armed Forces in late 2019. The new command-and-control system will transmit data digitally in real time. It is also designed to assign a target to the air-defense weapon system best suited to counter it.
Watch: Stealth Shocker: China Claims It Can Track Air Force F 22 Raptors
The Naval Sea Systems Command contracted Raytheon’s Integrated Defense System business with $38.1 million for engineering services for the Dual Band Radar (DBR) System. Raytheon’s DBR is capable of simultaneously operating over two frequency ranges (S-band and X-band), coordinated by a single resource manager. It does not require a dedicated operator or manned display consoles. Its separate band radar arrays provide extensive search, track and multiple missile illumination capacity. DBR also provides target illumination and uplink/downlink capabilities for SM-2 and Evolved SeaSparrow missiles. Per the terms of the contract, Raytheon conducts technical engineering services for DBR system upgrades, product support services, test equipment procurement, installation integration support, combat system integration testing, program management support, along with other studies and analysis. Work will be performed in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia. The company will utilize 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy), and fiscal 2019 research, development, test, and evaluation funds for the task.
The Navy awarded a $250 million contract to Global PCCI for the Emergency Ship Salvage Material (ESSM) System. The ESSM system is used to provide the fleet with salvage and pollution abatement equipment to augment their organic equipment or specialized equipment not normally carried in their allowance. Examples of specialized ESSM equipment are hydraulic submersible pumping systems, welders, electric power generators, fly away deep ocean salvage systems, lift bags and portable command vans. Pollution equipment includes open ocean boom and skimming systems, specialized inland and arctic response systems, floating storage and pollution offload systems. Global PCCI is a joint venture between Global and PCCI, established in 1987, which was awarded the Emergency Ship Salvage Material Maintenance contract in 1989. With Global as the managing partner, ESSM has been successfully retained through multiple bids. Under the new contract, Global PCCI manages the facilities with emergency response equipment stockpiles, pre-positioned to support and augment the Navy fleet capabilities in the areas of salvage, diving, pollution response and underwater ship husbandry. Work for this deal will be performed worldwide and is scheduled to be finished by January 2024.
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy Rocket into orbit carrying a spy satellite launched Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California after bad weather and technical problems delayed the sendoff for more than a month. Delta IV is an expendable launch system designed to launch payloads into orbit for the US Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. The program, which started in the 90s, is intended to assure access to space for payloads from the Department of Defense. The mission launched aboard a Delta IV Heavy, comprised of three common booster cores powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine producing a combined total of more than 2.1 million pounds of thrust. The second stage was powered by an AR RL10B-2 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine. United Launch Alliance (ULA) is a provider of spacecraft launch services and was formed in 2006 as joint venture between Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Saturday’s launch was the 232nd successful launch since the company’s formation.
Middle East & Africa
The Cote d’Ivoire signed a firm order for a single Airbus C295 medium transport aircraft. The C-295 is a tactical airlifter conducting multi-role operations worldwide under all weather conditions. The C295 was also a major bidder for the US Army US Air Force Joint Cargo Aircraft, which in the end was awarded to the L-3 Communications/Alenia team in 2007. Airbus’ aircraft was considered a higher risk by the Army due to its use of a new operational mode to meet altitude and range requirements. The aircraft carries 71 troops, 50 paratroops and 5 pallets. The Cote d’Ivoire is now the 28th nation to operate the C295. Airbus Defense and Space has sold 91 aircraft to 17 countries in Africa. 35 C295s are contracted by Egypt, Algeria, Ghana and Mali.
Meggitt won a $751.2 million deal to provide advanced engine components for Pratt and Whitney. Meggitt is a British engineering business established in the 1940s. It specializes in aerospace equipment. Pratt and Whitney is an American aerospace manufacturer that supplies engines for US fighter jets. The 10-year contract with the engine maker is to supply advanced components for the F119 and F135 engines which power the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II aircraft. The F119 and F135 are afterburning turbofan engines with the F135 being a derivative of the F119.
Italy gears up to launch its program for a new multirole submarine rescue vessel this year, Jane’s reports. The Special and Diving Operations – Submarine Rescue Ship (SDO-SuRS) is supposed to replace the aging salvage ship, Anteo. The Anteo A5309 was commissioned to the Italian Navy in 1980 and is fitted with a SDC system for submarine rescue up to 250 m deep,a SRC Submarine Rescue Chamber for submarine rescue up to 120 m deep, and a SRV-300 deep-submergence rescue vehicle for submarine rescue up to 300 m deep. The new vessel will have a modular design in order to carry out its three main tasks of submarine rescue in addition to supporting special forces and diving operations carried out by the Italian Navy’s Comando Subacquei ed Incursori (COMSUBIN) special forces and divers command. The ship will also be capable of embarking US Navy and NATO submarine rescue systems.
The Indian Air Force warns of quality issues related to the license production of upgraded rotor blades for the Cheetal fleet by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). HAL failed to manufacture the rotor blades critical for the light helicopters. HAL started making the blades after Airbus Helicopter stopped making them in 2012. However, 12 blades that HAL had manufactured showed high level of vibration and thus were rendered unsuitable. The Cheetal is the re-engined version of the Cheetah helicopter aimed to enhance high altitude operational capabilities and maintainability. The five seater Cheetah helicopter is versatile, multi role, multi purpose, highly maneuverable and rugged in construction. It holds the world record in high altitude flying among all categories of Helicopters. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is now down to its last few rotor blades that were ordered before 2012, questioning their ability to support the helicopters in service.
Watch: US Army Getting Major upgrades are on the way for the Army’s missiles, tanks and artillery
The Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $77.8 million contract modification for production of the Navy’s AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 Surface Ship Undersea Warfare System (UWS). The undersea warfare combat system can search, detect, classify, localize, and track undersea contacts, as well as engage and evade submarine, mine-like objects and torpedo threats. It presents an integrated picture of the tactical situation receiving, combining and processing active as well as passive sensor data. The system is integrated with AEGIS combat system. In July 2018, Lockheed received a $25.4 million contract modification for the system. The current contract is for development, integration and production of future advanced capability build and technical insertion baselines of the AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 USW systems. Work will mainly be conducted in Pennsylvania and Florida, and is expected to be completed by May 2021.
The US Army Contracting Command contracted Talbert Manufacturing Inc. $360.2 million to deliver a batch of M872A4 semitrailers. The M872A4 Semi-trailer is a dual purpose, break bulk/container transporter, 34-ton capacity, with a flatbed. Its’ mission is line and local haul of break bulk cargo, inter-modal cargo containers, as well as shelters. The company is 80 years old and produces a wide variety of trailers for moving goods by truck, including for hauling building materials, pipes, hazardous materials and nuclear materials for commercial, military, government, aerospace and energy end users. Its custom trailers include 13 axle trailers, gooseneck trailers, east/west coast spread axle trailers, lowboy trailers, dual capacity trailers and hydraulic tail trailers. They are sold at dealerships US-wide. Work locations under this contract will be determined with each order and is scheduled to be completed by January 16, 2024.
The Navy tapped Bell Helicopter Textron with a $439.6 million contract modification for production and delivery of 25 Lot 16 AH-IZ aircraft and 25 stores control units. The AH-1Z is a twin-engine attack helicopter based on the Bell AH-1W SuperCobra. It features a four-blade rotor system, uprated transmission, and a new target-sighting system. It has upgraded avionics, weapons, and electro-optical sensors designed to find targets at long ranges and attack them with precision weapons. The Marine Corps H-1 upgrades program is building new helicopters as well as rebuilding AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters and UH-1N Twin Huey utility helicopters, with state-of-the-art designs. The goal of the program is to upgrade AH-1Ws to AH-1Zs, and UH-1Ns to UH-1Ys. Work will be performed in Texas and is expected to be finished by January 2022.
The Defense Logistics Agency awarded the Bell Boeing Joint Program Office $143.9 million for V-22 support. The contract includes performance-based logistics and engineering support for the V-22 platform. The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is multi-mission, tiltrotor aircraft that has vertical takeoff and landings well as short takeoff and landing capabilities. In July 2018, Bell Boeing received a $4 billion contract that included the manufacture and delivery of 39 CMV-22B aircraft for the Navy, 14 MV-22B aircraft for the Marine Corps, and one CV-22B for the Air Force. Under this performance-based logistics contract, Bell Boeing focuses on improving aircraft maintainability and mission readiness for the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps V-22 fleets. The team’s responsibilities are site activation, maintenance planning, training and trainer support, support equipment, and dedicated field personnel for all V-22 squadrons around the globe. Performance completion date is November 30, 2019.
Middle East & Africa
The MBDA Missile Systems’ medium-range missile was successfully deployed in Mali by the French Army for the first time. MBDA is a european developer and manufacturer of missiles. Its medium-range missile, called Missile Doyenne Portée is a man-portable anti-tank guided missile intended as a replacement for the MILAN. The Picardy Battle Group used the missile for the first time in a combat environment in December. A six-person crew delivered the system by armored car, then installed it at the top of a ridge in southeastern Mali’s three-border region and successfully fired it. MBDA successfully tested the Naval version of the Missile in Djibouti in November.
The French Defense Procurement Agency awarded Thales to contribute to the development of the Rafale F4 standard, enabling the Rafale combat aircraft to maintain its superiority against new threats. Rafale’s role includes reconnaissance, air defense and precision strikes during a single mission. The aircraft is central to France’s airborne nuclear deterrence, a crucial component of France’s National Security policy. Under the Rafale F4 standard development program, Thales engineers and technicians are to enhance the aircraft’s onboard sensors and improve connectivity to offer a broader range of capabilities and new operational functions. The enhancements will allow aircrews to better assess tactical situations as well as handle larger volumes of information in real time.
China may be developing the first two-seat version of its J-20 stealth combat aircraft, according to a January 2019 report. It is set to fulfill roles as a tactical bomber, electronic warfare, or a carrier strike aircraft. If the report is accurate, the Chinese Air Force could become the first air arm in the world to deploy a radar-evading fighter-bomber whose main mission is long-range ground-attack. Other stealth fighter types, including the U.S. military’s F-22 and F-35, the Russian air force’s Su-57 and the PLAAF’s J-20 and J-31 either primarily are air-to-air fighters or combine air-combat capability with the ability to strike ground targets.
Singapore wants to acquire Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) as a replacement for the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) F-16C/D multirole combat aircraft. This is the outcome of a a technical evaluation by the RSAF and the Defense Science and Technology Agency which lasted more than five years. The RSAF is believed to operate about 20 F-16C and 40 F-16D Block 52/52+ aircraft, which were acquired in the 1990s and believed to be optimized with Israeli-built electronic countermeasures (ECM) systems. The Ministry of Defense is now going to discuss further details for the replacement with relevant parties in the US before confirming the decision to purchase the F-35 JSFs.
Watch: Here’s How an F-22 Raptor Flew under the Iranian Fighter Jet and Told Him to go Home
The US Army awarded American defense company Leidos with a $9.7 million contract modification to support Saturn Arch Aerial Intelligence System. The Saturn Arch program started nine years ago in 2010 under the direction of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in order to implement intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities to a special aircraft fitted with new sensor technology to identify and assist in removing Improvised-Explosive Devices (IEDs) from the battlefield in Afghanistan. The support provided by Saturn Arch personnel has grown over the years. No the mission is to make the battlefield as safe as possible, providing a clear picture of the battlespace. Back in August the Army awarded Leidos with a contract modification for sustained operations and support services at a cost of $60 million. The current modification includes supporting the Saturn Arch Aerial Intelligence System for day and night image collection and exploitation of IED “hot spot” areas. Work will be performed in Bridgewater, Virginia and is scheduled to be finished by September 16, 2019.
The Naval Sea Systems Command contracted Lockheed Martin with an undisclosed amount to build a littoral combat ship (LCS) in fiscal year 2019. The company will manage design, planning and testing operations as part of the fixed-price-incentive modification that exercises an option of a previously awarded contract. LCS are designed to operate near shore. In 2004 the US Department of Defense along with the US Navy selected two separate defense contracting teams led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics to each carry out system design and options for the construction of two first- generation LC-ships. The Lockheed Martin Freedom-class design is a high-speed, semi-planing monohull. Under the current contract modification Lockheed Martin will perform and oversee all necessary design, planning, construction and test and trials activities in support of delivery of this ship to the Navy. Work is scheduled to be completed by February, 2026.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. won a $68.9 million contract to conduct the Mission Data (MD) programming and reprogramming mission for the F-35 Digital Channelized Receiver/Technique Generator and Tuner Insertion Program (DTIP), and other non-DTIP configurations. Under this deal, Lockheed will design, develop, document, integrate and test upgrades to the US Reprogramming Laboratory in order to execute the mission. Efforts benefit the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps operational aircraft as well as all training aircraft wishing the continental US with MD products. The Reprogramming Laboratory was established at Eglin Air Force Base to to compile information in order for the F-35 to be able to operate in combat. This information is known as the Mission Data Files. Work is expected to be completed in May 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the establishment of a BMC production and technology base in the northwestern province of Sakarya. The $180 million facility is set to become the country’s biggest defense investment in recent years. Once all phases are completed, it is supposed to employ 10.000 people. BMC is one of Turkey’s commercial and defense vehicle producers. Qatar owns a significant stake in the company. The new site will produce Altay main battle tanks (MBTs), military and commercial vehicles, and engines of various platforms. Altay is Turkey’s third generation main battle tank, developed under the Altay National Tank project in 2005. Turkey intends to build 250 Altay MBTs and ultimately produce 1,000 new tanks in four separate lots of 250 units. The Altay tank uses an advanced computerized Volkan-III modular fire-control system and is equipped with a 120mm L/55 smoothbore gun.
Bulgaria’s parliament approved a government plan to enter into talks with the US on a potential deal for eight F-16 fighter jets in order to replace its Russian MiG-29s. 130 lawmakers voted in favor of the plan. The update will bring the country’s Air Force in line with NATO standards. 84 voted were against entering into discussions with the US and preferred the other two options on the table: Sweden’s Saab Gripen jets and Italy’s second-hand Eurofighters. Lockheed Martin’s F-16V Block 70 is the newest F-16 production configuration and includes the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. The question of which warplanes to buy has been vexing successive governments in Bulgaria for more than a decade.
The British Royal Air Force (RAF) holds its annual Cobra Warrior exercise in September at Coningsby Air Base in Lincolnshire and it features a premiere: Israeli Air Force aircrew and fighter jets are to take part in a joint exercise with the Royal Air Force in Britain for the first time. The exercise is the culmination of the advanced Qualified Weapons Instructor course, and usually also includes crew and aircraft from other allied air forces who fly together with the British teams in complex combat scenarios. Last year, German and Italian aircraft joined the RAF. Recent British-Israeli defense cooperation has included the training of British personnel on the use of Israeli weapons systems acquired by Britain: the Watchkeeper WK450 drone, the Exactor ground-based missile, and the Litening targeting pod carried by RAF Typhoon and Tornado aircraft.
The Royal Thai Army (RTA) is seeking cabinet approval to acquire more VT-4 main battle tanks (MBTs) made by the China North Industries Corporation (Norinco). If the government approves the proposal, the RTA will own 52 VT-4s. The VT-4 main battle tank, previously known as the MBT-3000, is armed with a 125 millimeter smoothbore cannon to engage armored personnel carriers, main battle tanks, infantry forces, military installations, light vehicles and low-flying helicopters. A remotely operated 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun comprise the secondary armament. At the end of 2017, Thailand became the first VT-4 export partner, with a 28 tank delivery.
Watch: This is the Stealth Bomber Patrolling Near China to Prevent a Fight
Latest updates[?]: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the establishment of a BMC production and technology base in the northwestern province of Sakarya. The $180 million facility is set to become the country’s biggest defense investment in recent years. Once all phases are completed, it is supposed to employ 10.000 people. BMC is one of Turkey’s commercial and defense vehicle producers. Qatar owns a significant stake in the company. The new site will produce Altay main battle tanks (MBTs), military and commercial vehicles, and engines of various platforms. Altay is Turkey’s third generation main battle tank, developed under the Altay National Tank project in 2005. Turkey intends to build 250 Altay MBTs and ultimately produce 1,000 new tanks in four separate lots of 250 units. The Altay tank uses an advanced computerized Volkan-III modular fire-control system and is equipped with a 120mm L/55 smoothbore gun.
South Korea’s XK2
Turkey’s tank fleet is currently made up of American M-48s and M-60s, some of which have been modernized with Israeli cooperation into M-60 Sabra tanks, plus a large contingent of German Leopard 1s and Leopard 2s. That is hardy surprising. America and Germany are Turkey’s 2 most important geopolitical relationships, and this is reflected in Turkey’s choice of defense industry partners. The country’s industrial offset requirements ensure that these manufacturers have a long history of local partnerships to draw upon.
In recent years, however, a pair of new players have begun to make an impact on the Turkish defense scene. One was Israel, whose firms specialized in sub-systems, upgrades, and UAVs. The other is the Republic of [South] Korea, who has made inroads in the Turkish market with turboprop training aircraft, mobile howitzers… and now, main battle tanks.