Jan 11, 2019 04:52 UTC
The Czech company LOM Praha agreed to buy four L-39NG
next generation jet training aircraft from Aero Vodochody in 2020. The order ist valued at $49.2 million. LOM Praha military aircraft maintenance, repair, overhaul, and training provider will be the launch customer for the L-39NG and has an option to buy two additional aircraft. The company’s machines are used for pilot training services. The L-39NG
is a single-engine two-seated aircraft, that achieves a speed of 750 kilometers per hour. The first pre-serial machine took off for the first time last December. Serial production is scheduled to begin in 2020.
Runway Buzz: L-159As
Czechoslovakia originally ordered 72 of Aero Vodochody’s sub-sonic L-159A single-seat light attack jets. Their preceding L-39/59 Albatros trainer and light attack aircraft family became the world’s most popular jet trainers during the Cold War, and the L-159A Advanced Light Combat Aircraft was positioned as a modern derivative, offering full combat capability and compatibility with western weapons. The resulting aircraft filled a useful niche for the Czechs, but its overall success always depended on exports.
Unfortunately, the Soviet Union’s demise lost the Albatros family its global market niche, and killed the military aid subsidies that had helped promote it. Worse, the L-159’s program cost grew from CZK 20-30 billion to over 51 billion Koruna. That left the Czech government in a bind. In response, they kept 24-35 jets for operational use, and have been trying to sell off 36-47 of the L-159As (one aircraft has been lost) since 2002. They also moved to privatize state-owned Aero Vodochody, which took place in November 2006.
A few 2-seat L-159T conversions have been performed with CzAF funding, as a demonstration of their potential to become dual-role trainer/attack aircraft. That has helped Aero tout the planes to Afghanistan, Bolivia, Colombia, Georgia, Indonesia, Iraq, and Nigeria. Their breakthrough, such as it is, came elsewhere.
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Jan 10, 2019 05:00 UTC
The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support contracted McRae Industries Inc. with $9.9 million for flame-resistant combat boots. McRae Industries’ Footwear division provides quality combat boots to the US Army. During the Vietnam War McRae received a contract award from the US government to manufacture military combat boots for the US Army using the “direct molded sole” (DMS) design. The award is a firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Work will be performed in North Carolina and is scheduled to be completed by January 8, 2020.
Clark Nexsen won a potential five-year, $60 million contract from the US Navy to provide multi-discipline, architect-engineering services in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic area of responsibility (AOR). The Work includes designing, building, planning, repairing, altering or demolishing various Navy or government facilities. Facilities include, but are not limited, personnel housing facilities, training facilities, and industrial maintenance facilities. Projects involve architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, civil, landscape design, fire protection, commissioning and interior design. Clark Nexsen received a $528.9 initial task order to create preliminary designs and assess planning requirements for a corrosion control and paint facility. The company is scheduled to complete the task in March. Work for the contract is scheduled to be completed by January 2024.
Middle East & Africa
The Pakistan Army’s artillery corps inducted a locally developed rocket as part of its multiple rocket launchers. The A-100 is a 300 mm, 10-tube multiple rocket launcher, developed by Beijing-based China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. The A-100 rocket is 7.3 meters long, weighs 840 kg, carries a 235 kg warhead, and is stabilized by spin, thrust, and stabilizing fins. It has a range of over 100 kilometers. The Pakistan Army is surrounded by two hostile neighbors on the Eastern and Western side. The rockets will mainly be stationed towards India, which lies on the Eastern side.
The French defense procurement agency along with Dassault Aviation conducts a low visibility test campaign of the Neuron UCAV demonstrator at the agency’s flight testing facility at Istres airbase. The Neuron unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAF) demonstrator is being developed with international cooperation, led by Dassault Aviation. The current campaign is the UCAV’s fourth low observability campaign and aims to study the employment of aircraft like Neuron against airborne sensors, ground radars, and shipborne systems.
Former head of the Royal Navy, Admiral Lord West questions the UK government’s commitment to buying F-35B Lightning stealth jets. In September 2018 F-35B aircraft have landed on deck of the HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time. Lord West finds it necessary to purchase enough of the necessary variant for both Queen Elizabeth class-carriers and to have an operational unit for training and repair. Having fewer than 90 F-35B jets. The United Kingdom is currently holding 16 F-35B jets at RAF Marham in Norfolk and in the United States. In November 2018 the British Defense Secretary announced, the UK would order 17 more aircraft.
Indonesia ordered 17 additional medium-lift helicopters for the armed forces from the country’s primary defense contractor PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI), Jane’s reports. The contract includes eight Airbus Helicopters H225Ms for the Indonesian Airforce (TNI-AU) and nine Bell 412EPIs for the Indonesian Army (TNI-AD). The H225M is a long-range tactical transport military helicopter. The twin-engined aircraft can carry up to 29 seated troops. The Bell 412EPI is a Bell Helicopter and an upgrade to the basic Bell 412EP helicopter, providing an electronically controlled PT6T-9 engine and Bell BasiX-ProTM integrated glass cockpit display system.
Chengdu Aircraft Research and Design Institute completed its turbine-based combined cycle (TBCC) engine development phase. The Chengdu Aircraft Research and Design Institute is a Chinese design institute, which offers aircraft design and multidisciplinary research services for the aerospace industry. The TBCC engine is intended for use in hypersonic vehicles. It combines a turbine and a scramjet engine and offers an ideal single-engine solution to achieving the shift from low speed to hypersonic speed. The engine will allow an aircraft to fly five to six times faster than the speed of sound.
Two more Russian Mil Mi-17V-5 “Hip-H” medium transport helicopters were delivered to the Royal Thai Army (RTA), Jane’s reports. The Mi-17V-5, produced by Kazan Helicopters is designed to transport cargo inside the cabin and in external sling. It can be deployed in troop and arms transport, fire support, convoy escort, patrol, and search-and-rescue (SAR) missions. The RTA already operates five Mi-17V-5 platforms and ordered the current two Mil Mi-17V-5s back in September 2017 with the contract signed in December of the same year. The platforms were delivered in December 2018.
Watch: HMS Queen Elizabeth concludes fast jet trials with F-35s
Jan 10, 2019 04:58 UTC
The French defense procurement agency along with Dassault Aviation conducts a low visibility test campaign of the Neuron UCAV
demonstrator at the agency’s flight testing facility at Istres airbase. The Neuron
unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAF) demonstrator is being developed with international cooperation, led by Dassault Aviation. The current campaign is the UCAV’s fourth low observability campaign and aims to study the employment of aircraft like Neuron against airborne sensors, ground radars, and shipborne systems.
The European nEUROn project joins Britain’s Taranis UCAV, Russia’s MiG SKAT, Boeing’s X-45 Phantom Ray, and the US Navy’s X-47 UCAS-D program as unmanned aircraft projects with fighter-substitution potential.
Multinational projects are often fraught affairs, and Europe’s stealth Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) had its own close calls. In November 2005, a Forecast International report on the future UAV market saw political trouble coming for the proposed 6-nation nEUROn project, unless the partner nations could get their act together and agree. In the end, the project got rolling with committed funding of EUR 535 million and counting, and the French DGA (Délégation Générale pour l’Armement) procurement agency acting as the program executive. This FOCUS article covers the Neuron program’s 3-fold goals, envisioned platform, program structure and schedule, and ongoing contracts and developments. In the wake a Franco-British joint UCAV development memo, Britain’s Taranis project has been added to this article in a separate coverage stream.
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Jan 10, 2019 04:54 UTC
Two more Russian Mil Mi-17V-5 “Hip-H” medium transport helicopters were delivered to the Royal Thai Army (RTA), Jane’s
reports. The Mi-17V-5
, produced by Kazan Helicopters is designed to transport cargo inside the cabin and in external sling. It can be deployed in troop and arms transport, fire support, convoy escort, patrol, and search-and-rescue (SAR) missions. The RTA already operates five Mi-17V-5
platforms and ordered the current two Mil Mi-17V-5s back in September 2017 with the contract signed in December of the same year. The platforms were delivered in December 2018.
Thailand has been an American defense industry customer for many decades, but recent purchases have begun to diversify its sources. A 2005 deal for Russian SU-30s fell through, but instead of buying more F-16s, the Thais chose Sweden’s JAS-39 Gripen and Saab’s Erieye AWACS turboprops. Chinese tanks are being supplemented with Ukrainian BTR-3 Armored personnel carriers, and Thai soldiers may be found carrying Russian SA-18 Igla man-portable anti-aircraft missiles. Now this trend has extended to the helicopter fleet.
With many of its aged Bell 212 and UH-1H Hueys grounded due to maintenance issues, the Thai government was looking to beef up its helicopter fleet with new equipment, even as it planned a $30 million upgrade and refurbishment program for some of its 150 or so Hueys officially in inventory.
Rather than buying Bell 412s like the Air Force, or the UH-60 Blackhawks that equip many other American allies, the Thai Army has picked a different platform: Russia’s Mi-17s – and will take the money from the Huey upgrade program in order to double the Mi-17 helicopter order to 6…
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Jan 09, 2019 05:00 UTC
The US Naval Air Systems Command awarded L-3 Technologies with a $12.6 contract modification to manufacture, test, deliver, manage, and support the common data link Hawklink AN/SRQ-4 systems for the MH-60R aircraft. The Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopter is equipped for a range of missions including anti-submarin warfare, anti-surface warfare, search-and-rescue, naval gunfire support, surveillance, logistics support and personnel transfer. AN/SRQ-4 is the shipboard element of a situational awareness system that links the MH-60R helicopter with surface warships in the area. The L3 Technologies’ next-generation AN/SRQ-4 provides Command/Control, sensor data transfer, data link operation and comprehensive built-in test. CDL Hawklink offers real time exploitation of aircraft sensors, extending situational awareness over the horizon. L3 Technologies’ Communication Systems produce network and communication systems, secure communications products, radio frequency components, satellite communication terminals and space, microwave and telemetry products. The products include secure data links that are used to connect a variety of space, airborne, ground and sea-based communication systems and are used in transmission, processing, recording, monitoring and dissemination functions. Work is scheduled to be finished by December 2020.
The US Navy contracted General Dynamics with $91.4 million for the planning and execution of maintenance and upgrades to the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). The George H.W. Bush is a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier of the US Navy, named after the 41st president of the United States, who was a naval aviator during World War II. Northrop Grumman built the aircraft carrier using a modular construction of 161 super-lift sections. The George H.W. Bush is part of Carrier Strike Group 2 and spent 119 days at sea in 2018. It was designed as a transitional ship between the Nimitz Class and the Ford Class. As such, CVN 77 has been a candidate for development, evaluation, and incorporation of a range of advanced technologies and acquisition reform initiatives. The contract funds the 2019 dry-docking planned incremental availability of the vessel, which includes the planning and execution of depot-level maintenance, alterations, and modifications that will update and improve the ship’s military and technical capabilities.
For the first time Chile showcased the Elbit Systems Hermes 900 medium-altitude long endurance UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) that it acquired from Israel in 2011. The Chilean Airforce highlighted the roles of several of its aircraft in fighting recent wildfires. Chile was Israel’s first export customer for the Hermes 900. The UAV was shown on static display at Quintero Air Base. The Hermes 900 is designed for tactical missions, has an endurance of over 30 hours and can fly at a maximum altitude of 30,000 feet. It is currently assigned to surveillance and monitoring.
Middle East & Africa
Israel is looking into the loss of a canopy from a Boeing F-15 Eagle Combat aircraft during a training flight at 30,000 feet last week. A twin-seat F-15 ‘Baz’ (Falcon) suffered an explosive canopy separation. The pilots radioed the control tower, slowed their flight, began an orderly descent and landed safely at the Nevatim Airbase east of Beersheba. All training flights on the F-15 are currently on hold. The F-15 Eagle is a twin-engined, all-weather tactical fighter aircraft weighing up to 30 tons. The fighter is armed with air-to-air missiles that can be launched from beyond visual range, and has air-to-ground capability to penetrate hostile air and ground defenses to deliver up to 24,000lb of precision ordnance.
The Netherlands ended its F-16 mission in the Middle East. Six F-16 aircrafts deployed by the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) operated from Al-Azraq in Jordan since January 2018. They supported troops on the ground and conducted more than 3,000 missions using their weapons about 2,100 times to attack targets such as vehicles, logistic nodes, and weapon positions of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and eastern Syria. The F-16 is a single-engine supersonic multi-role fighter aircraft developed by Lockheed Martin for the US Airfare. The dutch F-16s remain available in support of NATO.
Singapore abandoned its F-15 training plans in New Zealand. The Ministry of Defense was looking to use the uncongested airspace of New Zealand to train Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) crews on the Boeing F-15SG Eagle combat aircraft. The decision follows nearly two years of discussions between the two countries. The training was supposed to be conducted in Ohakea, in Manawatu on the North Island. The Singapore Ministry of Defense gave no specific reasons why the proposal was cancelled.
The Indian Navy establishes a new naval airbase on its Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory. Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba will commission the new Base christened as the INS Kohassa on January 24. The Indian Navy wants to extend the base into a bigger air base in future. The airbase will be able to handle Helicopter and Dornier Aircraft and will initially feature a 1,000 meter long runway, which will later be extended to 3,000 meters to enable operations to be carried out by fighters and other aircraft.
Watch: Breaking: Israeli F-15 Fighter Jet Loses Canopy at 30,000 Feet
Jan 09, 2019 04:48 UTC
The Indian Navy establishes a new
naval airbase on its Andaman and Nicobar Islands territory. Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba will commission the new Base christened as the INS Kohassa on January 24. The Indian Navy
wants to extend the base into a bigger air base in future. The airbase will be able to handle Helicopter and Dornier Aircraft and will initially feature a 1,000 meter long runway, which will later be extended to 3,000 meters to enable operations to be carried out by fighters and other aircraft.
India’s dysfunctional political and procurement systems have created another security crisis for its military, by creating a growing risk that a number of its ships will have weakened defenses against aerial attack.
The problem stems from the government’s inability to issue a follow-on contract for Barak-1 missiles, last ordered in October 2000 when India bought 9 systems and 200 missiles in a pair of deals with IAI and RAFAEL worth INR 15.1 billion (then around $326 million). The blockage is delaying key upgrades, and missile stocks for existing ships are critically low and shrinking. As usual, the culprit is a combination of a bureaucratic culture divorced from operational needs, inability to make decisions, and overly rigid rules.
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Jan 08, 2019 05:00 UTC
The US Army awarded Avon Protection Systems with a $92.7 million firm-fixed-price contract for the joint service aircrew mask. The deal sees US Air Force pilots wearing the new M69 aircrew mask and includes related accessories and support. The contract runs for an initial five years plus two further one-year option periods. Avon Protection anticipates receiving the first order under this contract shortly with deliveries expected to commence in the second half of the current financial year. Work is scheduled to be finished by December 21, 2024 and locations as well as funding will be determined with each order.
The Naval Surface Warfare Center contracted Fairbanks Morse Engine with $13.6 million for engineering, logistics and program management services in support of the Navy diesel engine systems. Work also includes technical services and engine training. Fairbanks Morse Engine is a subsidiary of Enpro Industries and was previously contracted to build the four main propulsion diesel engines for the LPD-30, the Navy’s first LPD Flight 2 class ship with the engines scheduled to be delivered in the second and third quarters of 2020 to Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Work for the new contract will be performed in Wisconsin, California and Virginia and is expected to be completed by January 2024.
The pentagon assigned the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) global transportation and distribution and North American regional warehousing to The Defense Logistics Agency and US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM). The assignment is based upon data submitted by the F-35 partner nations, Foreign Military Sales customers, and Pentagon Providers and is part of a series of assignments that designated airframe, propulsion, and component repair maintenance, repair, overhaul, and upkeep provides across F-35 Global Solution’s three-region construct. The global F-35 fleet has nine partner nations (US, UK, Turkey, Australia, Italy, Canada, Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark) and three foreign military sales customers (Israel, Japan, South Korea).
Middle East & Africa
The Indian Airforce (IAF) will construct 108 Next-Generation Hardened Aircraft Shelters (NGHAS) for its fighter fleet at several of its bases in northeastern India. The NGHASs cost an estimated total of $788 million and will be built at Tezpur, Chabua, and Hasimara to protect IAF fighters such as the Sukhoi Su-30MKI as well as 18 of the 36 Rafale combat aircraft New Delhi ordered from France in 2016. China has ramped up activity in the Tibet Autonomous Region, which overlooks Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Ladakh. The new hangars are designed to protect the fighters even from a direct hit by a 2,000 lb bomb.
The Ukraine adds a modernized interceptor vessel to the Azov Sea flotilla, Jane’s reports. On January 2nd an upgraded Project UMS-1000 PC 12 M-2 high-speed interceptor craft entered service with the State Border Guard maritime detachment at the naval and shipbuilding port of Mariupol. The UMS-1000 are Ukrainian vessels. In December it was announced that 20 new boats for the border guard are going to be manufactured in the Ukraine.
Saab’s second GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft successfully completed its first flight on Thursday. The flight lasted three hours, collecting flight-test data and was operated from the company’s airfield in Linköping, Sweden. GlobalEye is a multi-role airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) solution. It consists of a suite of sensors using Saabs’s Erieye Extended Range (ER) radar and mission system. The aircraft has extended detection range, endurance and manages tasks such as search and rescue, border surveillance, and military operations.
The Chinese company Shen Zhou Ming Da High Technology Co Ltd. (SZMID) is looking for export opportunities for its DZ-02 Pro Portable Jammer Gun, Jane’s reports. The Anti-drone weapon is intended to disrupt unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), such as commercial multi rotor and small fixed-wing UAVS as well as satellite navigation signals BeiDou Galileo, GLONASS, and GPS systems. The system weighs 4.8 kg including the battery and has an overall length of 750 mm with its adjustable stock retracted, a height of 300 mm including the optical sight, and a thickness of 60 mm.
Watch: Rolling out the first GlobalEye AEW&C aircraft – Saab
Jan 08, 2019 04:54 UTC
GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft successfully completed its first flight on Thursday. The flight lasted three hours, collecting flight-test data and was operated from the company’s airfield in Linköping, Sweden. GlobalEye is a multi-role airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) solution. It consists of a suite of sensors using Saabs’s Erieye
Extended Range (ER) radar and mission system. The aircraft has extended detection range, endurance and manages tasks such as search and rescue, border surveillance, and military operations.
In November 2009, Saab announced a 1.5 billion SEK (about $220 million) contract from the United Arab Emirates for 2 of its Saab 340 regional turboprops, equipped with Erieye active-array radars that can scan large airspace volumes, and with related command and control systems. The Saab 340 AEW contract also includes ground equipment, initial spares, and support services.
The UAE is just the latest buyer of Saab’s Erieye system.
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Jan 07, 2019 05:00 UTC
The Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. a $7.7 million contract option modification for the Defense Support Program (DSP) on-orbit satellite and anomaly resolution support. The DSP operates the reconnaissance satellites which form the principal component of the Satellite Early Wing System currently used by the US. The Northrop Grumman-built DSP satellites use infrared detectors that sense the heat from missile plumes against the earth background. The orbiting sentries detect, characterize as well a report ballistic missile launches and see nuclear detonations. Back in September 2018 Northrop Grumman was awarded a $19.2 million modification to the same contract. Work will be completed by September 30, 2019.
The Space and Missile Systems Center, Kirkland Air Force Base, awarded Lockheed Martin with a $52.7 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract modification for engineering, development and sustainment services supporting the Air Force Multi-Mission Satellite operation Center (MMSOC). The MMSOC is an operations center focused on forging a one-of-a-kind acquisition team to demonstrate and field emerging space missions and satellite C2 technologies in a rapid, decisive manner. It is structured to operate a variety of satellite missions, including satellite initiatives without a program office, satellite missions of small scale, new missions transitioning from concept toward full-scale operations as well as all research, development, test and evaluation satellites with operational utility remaining after test and evaluation are complete. The increase provides for continuous services to operate experimental and demonstration satellites, support space and missile research, development, test and evaluation and initial operational test and evaluation. The contract modification is for work within scope of the contract.
The Naval Surface Warfare Center contracted Coffin Turbo Pump Inc. with a $15.5 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity, firm-fixed-priced contract for up to 33 turbine driven main feed pumps for LHD-1 class main propulsion boilers. The Wasp (LHD-1) Class is the US Navy’s large-deck, multipurpose amphibious assault ship. LHD-1 can accommodate the full range of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters, specifically the tiltrotor MV-22 Osprey, the F-35B Lightning II multi-role fighter, conventional landing craft and amphibious vehicles. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division requires the production of a non-commercial main feed pump unit that will be driven by steam turbine on a common solid shaft. Work will be executed in New Jersey and is scheduled to be finished by January 2024.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s Elbit Systems won a contract worth $333 million from the Israeli Ministry of Defense for the supply of ammunitions to the Israeli Defense Forces. Work on the five-year contract will begin in 2026 and it will be a continuation of a multi-year contract. In November, Elbit completed its acquisition of state-owned arms manufacturer Israeli Military Industries (IMI) Systems Ltd..
An example of Turkey’s locally developed Hürkus-C successfully completed flight and firing trials, Jane’s reports. Hürkus-C is the armed version of Hürkus-B training aircraft, both of which were designed and upgraded by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), the country’s pioneering institution in aviation engines. The Hürkus series are being developed to provide close air support to the Turkish Land Forces Command and Gendarmerie General Command in operation areas in addition to meeting the training needs of the Turkish Air Forces. The completion of the trails marks the first flight of the Hürkus-C carrying weaponry and defensive systems to facilitate close air support missions. In 2017 the helicopter conducted its first firing test with a local Roketsan-made Lumtas laser-guided long-range air-to-surface anti-tank missile.
Boeing is going to upgrade Spain’s fleet of CH-47D Chinook helicopters to the F-model configuration. The CH-47F is an advanced multi-mission helicopter for international defense forces. It includes a fully integrated, digital cockpit management system, Common Aviation Architecture Cockpit and advanced cargo-handling capabilities that complement the aircraft’s mission performance. The CH-47F is primarily used by the US Army and its allied nations to transport troops and large loads. It is capable of operating at speeds faster than 175 miles per hour and over long-range flights. The deal with Spain falls under a $181.3 million contract, which Boeing secured with the uS Defense Department back in July. The contract calls for the US military’s purchase of up to 156 Multi-Year II Block I CH-47F Chinook helicopters.
The Indonesian Ministry of National Defense ordered four additional high-speed KCR-60M attackers from state-owned shipbuilding company PT PAL, Jane’s reports. PT PAL (Penataran Angkatan Laut) manufactures ships for military as well as civilian use. The company builds the Sampari-Class fast attack craft (KCR-60M) operated by the Indonesian Navy. The contract for the four additional vessels is worth $195 million. The first craft will be delivered in 2021. Additional boats will be part of an overall effort to reconstitute the class for lower-speed operations.
Fulcrum IT received $128 million labor-hour contract for intelligence work in South Korea. The five-year contract with the US Defense Intelligence Agency includes all-source analysis and operational support in South Korea. It involves the Joint Intelligence Operations Center Korea, U.S. Forces Korea and six divisions in South Korea. Fulcrum IT is a Virginia-based company that works with the federal government to issue artificial intelligence, cyberinformation, intelligence operations, advanced technology and C5ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cryptology, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance). The contract was a competitive acquisition and Fulcrum’s was one out of seven offers.
Watch: CH-147F (CH-47) Chinook Helicopter Engine Startup and Takeoff
Jan 07, 2019 04:58 UTC
Next » Latest updates[?]:
The Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. a $7.7 million contract
option modification for the Defense Support Program (DSP)
on-orbit satellite and anomaly resolution support. The DSP
operates the reconnaissance satellites which form the principal component of the Satellite Early Wing System currently used by the US. The Northrop Grumman-built DSP satellites use infrared detectors that sense the heat from missile plumes against the earth background. The orbiting sentries detect, characterize as well a report ballistic missile launches and see nuclear detonations. Back in September 2018 Northrop Grumman was awarded a $19.2 million modification to the same contract. Work will be completed by September 30, 2019.
Defense Support Program (DSP) satellites have been monitoring the skies as America’s early-warning system for ballistic missile launches since their first launch in 1970. The current Satellite Early Warning System (SEWS) consists of 5 DSP satellites; 3 provide frontline operational service, with 2 available as backups should problems emerge with the primary satellites.
The program’s lifetime has seen the launch of 23 DSP satellites, and improvements to DSP via 5 upgrade sets have allowed those satellites to exceed their design lifespan. The USAF’s fact sheet lists the satellites’ unit cost at $400 million, though they do not mention what fiscal year baseline that figure is linked to. While the DSP satellites successfully detected Iraqi SCUD launches during Operation Desert Storm, testimony before Congress has noted that there are some classes of missiles the DSP constellation has trouble with. The USAF’s way over-budget SBIRS program was created to address that, but the DSP constellation will be up for a long time. This entry will be updated to cover new developments, contracts, and more.
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