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
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
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.
The Naval Air Systems Command contracted Bell-Boeing with a $23.3 million contract to provide flight test sustainment support to V-22 Osprey test, tiltrotor military aircraft – the MV-22. Bell-Boeing is a joint venture between The Boeing Company and Bell Helicopter. Their primary product, the V-22 Osprey, is a family of multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircrafts with both vertical and short takeoff and landing capabilities. Per the terms of the agreement, Bell-Boeing will offer support and provide analysis of light test for five MV-22 aircrafts. Work will be performed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
Eight companies secured $22.5 million ceiling indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts for the formation of a collaborative working group. The contractors are BAE Systems’ information and electronics systems integration business; Boeing’s defense, space and security business; General Atomic’s aeronautical systems business; Harris; Goodrich; Lockheed Martin; Northrop Grumman Systems and Raytheon. They will develop, manage and update a set of Open Architecture Standards for the US Air Force with the goal to promote adaptability, flexibility and expandability as well as support a variety of missions, simplify integration, reduce technical risk and the cost of ownership of weapon system programs, enable reuse and independent development of system elements, and accommodate a range of cybersecurity approaches. Contracting activity is the Air Force Life Cycle management. Work is scheduled to be completed on December 31, 2022.
Middle East & Africa
Raytheon awarded Israeli company Elbit Systems Ltd.’s US Unit Elbit Systems of America LLC with a contract to provide the Two Color Laser System (TCLS) for the Multi-Spectral Targeting System. TCLS is a production component within the electro-optical surveillance system for military airborne platforms, including the next-generation targeting systems onboard unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international high technology company engaged in wide range of defense, homeland security and commercial programs throughout the world. The company operates in the areas of aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, unmanned aircraft systems, advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, EW suites, signal intelligence systems, data inks and communications systems, radio and cyber-based systems.
The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) contracted Raytheon UK with $316.6 million to support the Royal Air Force’s Shadow aircraft fleet. The deal will provide maintenance, airworthiness management, design organization, and supply chain support for the Beechcraft King Air 350CER-based fleet. It was announced in July 2018 that the Shadow R1 fleet was to undergo an upgrade to take it to the Mk2 standard. Under the new support contract, Raytheon will also support aircraft-modification design and integration that will enable it to ultimately upgrade the fleet to the Mk2 standard.
India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas fighter gets the green light for production in an enhanced, battle standard format. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is mandated to produce the LCAs for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The LCA Tejas is an Indian single-seat, single-jet engine, multi-role light fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency. The completion of production of the first aircraft is scheduled to be in late 2019.
China’s future aircraft carriers will see stealth warplanes on their decks, likely the medium-sized fighter jet FC-31. Requests for proposals and tenders issued by the Shenyang Aircraft Design Institute on a range of equipment suitable for a stealth aircraft have heightened anticipation that a variant of the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation’s (SAC) FC-31 combat aircraft is to be developed as China’s next-generation carrier-borne aircraft, Jane’s reports. The Shenyang FC-31 is a twin-engine, mid-size jet fighter.
Watch: Proud! UK to double F-35 fleet that makes Royal Navy and RAF more powerful
The US Army has awarded BAE Systems Ordnance Systems Inc. an $89.5 million contract modification for operations and maintenance of Radford Army Ammunition Plant. The plant is the core propellant manufacturer of the US Department of Defense and was originally built in the 1940s to support the war effort. Today it is the primary supplier of solventless propellant to support direct fire, indirect fire and rocket applications. It is also the only north american manufacturer and supplier of nitrocellulose. Work will be performed in Radford, Virginia and is scheduled to end on December 31, 2019. The US Army has also contracted BAE Systems Ordnance Systems Inc. with an $74.8 million modification for building G-3 NQ/RDX recrystallization construction at Holston Army Ammunition Plant. The Holston Army Ammunition Plant is the major supplier of explosive materials to the U.S. Department of Defense. Work will be performed in Kingsport, Tennessee. The estimated date of completion is November 31, 2021.
The 11th Contracting Squadron, Joint Base Andrews has contractedDynCorp International LLC, Fort Worth, Texas with $75 million for rotary wing aircraft maintenance. The contract provides for services to support all management, personnel, equipment and services needed to perform 811th Operations Group rotary wing flight line maintenance. The 811th Operations Group provides continuous rotary-wing contingency response capability. Work will be performed at Joint Base Andrews Maryland and is scheduled to be completed by the end of June, 2024.
Airbus’ Brazilian subsidiary Helibras has given its third and final H225M helicopter in the combat search and rescue configuration (CSAR) to the Brazilian Navy. The H225M is a long-range tactical support military helicopter, equipped with Saab’s RWS-300 radar warning receiver, LWS-310 laser warning receiver, MAW-300 missile warning receiver and BOP-L chaff and flare dispensers. The helicopters are delivered as part of the Brazilian H-XBR Program which will see Helibras deliver a total of 50 H225Ms to the Brazilian Armed forces.
Middle East & Africa
The Israeli companies Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd. and Aeronautics Ltd. will develop and manufacture advanced drones based on Aeronautics’ Orbiter family of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The five-year agreement involves joint marketing nasals of the systems, starting in Israel with the goal to receive authorization to expand overseas. Rafael is able to cancel the cooperation agreement in case Aeronautic’s ownership structure changes. Aeronautics reported to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) that the new agreement constitutes anchoring and extension of an existing agreement in principle signed 30 months ago.
The german company GIWS (Gesellschaft für Intelligente Wirksysteme mbH) has confirmed that qualification of its relaunched SMArt 155 artillery projectile will be undertaken between 2022 and 2024, Jane’s reports. GIWS is a joint venture company between Diehl Defense and Rheinmetall Weapons. SMArt 155, manufactured by GIWS, is a 155 millimeter artillery round and only one of two 155 mm top attack munitions currently in production in the West. The SMArt carrier shell contains two submunitions with infrared sensor and millimeter wave radar. Extensive trials by the German Army confirmed that SMArt 155 has a dud rate of less than 1 percent. After the end of the qualification period in 2024, there will be a Phase 4 production program until 2027, under which a considerable number is to be procured to replenish supplies.
South Korea’s Army launches a new research institute on artificial intelligence. The AI Research and Development Center under its Training & Doctrine Command will consist of about 50 military and civilian personnel with expertise in AI, big data and other new technologies. The new team will have four offices in charge of developing the concept for the military AI utility, the potential demand for technological applications and collaboration with relevant civilian research institutes and industries.
Watch: Sikorsky – Boeing Future Vertical Lift: The Way Forward
Brazil’s “Project H-X BR” medium transport helicopter competition featured 3 established players: AgustaWestland’s EH101 has found success in Britain, Europe, and Japan, and was chosen as the base for the USA’s VH-71 Presidential helicopter before that program was canceled. Eurocopter’s EC725 Cougar is an updated version of the popular AS332/532 Super Puma, and has been ordered in limited quantities by the French and Mexican governments. An up-to-date version of Russia’s widely used Mi-17 was the 3rd contender; like the Super Puma, Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters are already in wide use within Latin America.
In truth, however, Eurocopter always had an edge. The Brazilian Army’s Aviacao do Exercito already uses the AS532/”HM-3″ Super Puma, basing them in the Amazon at Manaus. Its Navy also uses Super Puma variants: AS332s and AS532s both serve in the Navy as the UH-14, flying from Brazil’s NAe Sao Paulo aircraft carrier, and from the southeastern base of Sao Pedro da Aldeia in support of Brazil’s Marines. Now, Eurocopter’s offering will become Brazil’s medium-lift helicopter across all services… thanks to a new contract.
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a valued $712.5 million order by the US Navy to work on the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter. The Lightning II is a single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed to perform ground-attack and air-superiority missions. Under the agreement Lockheed Martin will develop the aircraft’s Technology Refresh 3 (TR3) System, which will update the computer systems on board the F-35 Lightning II. The TR3 will be designed with full flightworthy certification, production readiness review and fleet release to support low-rate initial production of the 15th Lot of F-35 jets. Work will be carried out in Fort Worth, Texas and is scheduled to be over by March 2023. The F-35 is Lockheed Martin’s largest program, generating 27% of its total sales in the third quarter of 2018.
In order to improve the landing areas within Marine Corps Base Hawaii properties Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., Honolulu is awarded a $15,419,280 firm-fixed-price contract. The landing areas are used for training maneuvers by the MV-22 Osprey aircraft. Th V-22 Osprey is a multirole, tiltrotor combat aircraft combining the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. The Osprey uses two engines positioned on fixed wing tips housed in nacelles that rotate to allow the MV-22 to land and take off vertically, but achieve much faster flight than a helicopter by tilting the nacelles forward while in flight in a configuration similar to a fixed-wing aircraft. Work on the landing areas will take place in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. provides for the converting of the existing landing helicopter assault pad into a landing helicopter dock pad, the construction of a new landing platform dock pad, and the construction of four new concrete landing pads. Work is expected to be completed by August 2020.
Middle East & Africa
The Royal Jordanian Air Force announced that the second of four Mil Mi-26 ‘Halo’ heavy-lift helicopters has been delivered to Jordan from Russia, with two more set to arrive before the end of 2019. Originally developed to respond to containment work after the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl in 1986, the Mil Mi-26T Halo is the largest helicopter in the world. Its maximum take-off weight is 56 tons and it carries up to 82 troops. Jordan ordered four of the current production-standard Mi-26T helicopters in September 2016.
Israel Aerospace Industries started production of the F-35 stealth fighter components for the outer wings, making the fighter jet invisible to radar. Deliveries of the outer wing sets are expected to start as soon as the beginning of 2019. The sets will be manufactured using a unique composite layer of materials called Automated Fiber Placement. The threads, which are three millimeters thick, are what give the wings the ability to escape detection by radar. The contract between IAI and Lockheed Martin to create this production line was signed in 2013. According to an 2016 statement by the company, the production line is scheduled to build a total of 811 pairs of F-35A wings by 2034.
French naval fighter squadron Flottile 17F has completed its transition to the Dassault Aviation Rafale M, Jane’s reports. Flottile 17F, nicknamed “La glorieuse“, previously operated the Super Étendard Modernisé (SEM) aircraft until it was withdrawn from service in 2016. Now the Flottile 17 F has officially joined the French Navy’s two other fighter squadrons, 11F and 12F, in operating the Dassault Aviation Rafale M. The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, multirole fighter aircraft. It has been tasked with fleet air defense, close air support, anti-ship strikes, and air-to-air refueling.
South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has received a contract for the renovation and repair of three KDX-I class destroyers. The Gwanggaeto the Great Class (KDX-I) destroyers, Designed as multimission surface combatants, were built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) for the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN). Three destroyers replaced the older ex-US Navy ships of the ROKN. DSME also unveiled a contract for the construction of one LNG carrier for an unnamed Oceania company. The total value of the contracts is about $230 million.
HMAS Hobart, Australia’s first-of-class warfare destroyer demonstrated its ability to conduct co-operative fleet-area air defense operations. The destroyer, which was commissioned in September 2017, was deployed to the coast of San Diego to test its combat and weaponry system, including a series of at-sea trials known as the combat system qualification trials (CSSQT). The trials confirm the Royal Australian Navy’s capacity to cooperate with the US Navy in high-intensity combat operations.
Watch: Finally! Here’s America’s new fastest military Helicopter