Feb 28, 2019 05:00 UTC
The Navy awarded a $25.2 million contract modification to Raytheon for delivery of Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile spares. Under the modification Raytheon will provide All-Up-Round spares to support the recertification effort for the Tomahawk missile system. The company initially won a $303.7 million in 2016 from the military branch to supply Tomahawk Block IV missiles and spares. The Tomahawk is a long-range, subsonic cruise missile that can be launched from a ship or submarine and is able to fly into heavily defended airspace more than 1,000 miles away to conduct precise strikes on targets. The US and its allied militaries used the GPS-enabled precision weapon more than 2,300 times in combat, and flight-tested it 550 times. The recertification program of the Tomahawk will expand the missile’s service life until 2040. Work under the contract modification will take place in various places around the continental US, Canada and the UK. It is expected to be completed by October next year.
Strategic Systems Programs contracted Lockheed Martin with a $846 million modification for large diameter rocket motors, associated missile body flight articles and related support equipment for the Navy Intermediate Range Conventional Prompt Strike Weapon System flight test demonstrations. The modification includes design, development, construction and integration. The system allows the US to strike targets anywhere within an hour. The CPGS weapons are not substitutes for nuclear weapons, but supplement US conventional capabilities and serve as an effort at deterrence. The Navy conducted the first test of the system in 2017 on the Ohio-class submarines. They are nuclear-powered submarines and form the sole class of ballistic missile submarines currently in service with the US Navy. Four Ohio-class underwater crafts have been converted to guided-missile submarines to carry conventional weapons by modifying missile tubes. Work under the contract modification will take place in Littleton, Colorado and is expected to be finished on January 1, 2024.
Northrop Grumman offers to replace the obsolete radar on the US Air Force (USAF) Boeing B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers with its AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) system. The USAF wants to upgrade the entire B-52 fleet with a new radar system. It is looking at several options to satisfy its Radar Modernization Program to replace the B-52’s now obsolete Northrop Grumman AN/APQ-166 mechanically-scanned radar. The AN/APG-83 system is also known as the Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR). A version of SABR has been developed for the B-1B fleet. According to Northrop Grumman, SABR provides a reliable, cost-effective, off-the-shelf, low-risk radar upgrade solution for multiple platforms. The Air Force launched the Radar Modernization Program for its 76 aircraft bomber fleet in February 2016. A competition is set to be launched this year.
Middle East & Africa
The US Air Force contracted Cargo Transport System, Kuwait with a $10 million modification that provides continued stevedoring and related terminal services to the 595th Transportation Brigade. The modification includes vessel loading, vessel discharge, receipt of cargo, disposition of cargo, stuffing/unstuffing of cargo, intra-terminal transfer of cargo, inland transportation of cargo, customs clearance, yard management as well as management expertise. Cargo Transport operates as a freight forwarding and logistics company. It offers export services, such as freight forwarding and logistics, consulting, container stuffing, blocking and bracing, door to door service, export documentation and licenses, freight management, agent network, staging, inventory control, air and ocean charters, letter of credit processing and banking, and cargo insurance. Work will take place in ports of Kuwait from March 9 until September 8.
ELTA Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) won a contract with the Israeli Navy to supply four ELM-2248-Star radars for its four new Sa’ar-6 corvettes. The ELM-2248 MF-STAR Multi-Function Digital Radars are based on Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology. The Sa’ar-6 class corvettes are four German-made warships ordered for the Israeli Navy in 2015. They are tasked to protect Israel’s economic zone and secure its critical naval infrastructure, such as natural gas rigs against missiles, rockets and enemy aircraft. The MF-STAR is to be installed on the ship’s mast. It comprises four conformal phased array S-Band antennas providing 360 degrees coverage. The Israeli Navy expects the German-built corvettes to enter service by 2022.
BAE Systems delivered the first four BvS10 all-terrain vehicles to Austria. The delivery is part of a contract signed in 2016 for 32 armored personnel carriers. The vehicles were handed over during two ceremonies last week in the Austrian states Tyrol and Salzburg. Austrian Defense Minister Mario Kunasek attended the celebrations alongside representatives of the Swedish government and BAE Systems Hägglunds, the Sweden-based manufacturer of the BvS10. The first set of vehicles will be fielded by the Austrian Armed Forces’ 24th Infantry Battalion, a battalion of the 6th Mountain Infantry Brigade, which plays a leading role in the European Union Mountain Training Warfare Initiative as well as the 2nd Engineer Battalion, which can provide combat support in mountainous terrain. The BvS10 is an All Terrain Armored Vehicle. The Austrian APC variant of the BvS10 is fitted with a number of specific features including a 360 degree Observation Camera System with six Day/Infrared cameras and displays in the front and rear of the cabin for greater situational awareness. Also featured is the latest Remote Controlled Weapon Station, which can be operated by both the Gunner and the Commander. It is foldable to allow for swift transportation in the field. BAE Systems expects final deliveries to conclude later this year.
CHC Australia completed the roll-out of six new generation Leonardo AW139 aircraft in order of replacing the S-76 SAR helicopter fleet of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The AugustaWestland AW139 is a 5-seat medium-sized twin-engined helicopter purposed for several different roles, such as VIP/corporate transport, offshore transport, fire fighting, law enforcement, search and rescue, emergency medical service, disaster relief, and maritime patrol. The AW139 aircraft are search and rescue configured with four-axis auto hover, allowing them to hover over water at night. The new AW139 aircraft will be in addition to the current AW139 night vision goggle capable, four-axis auto hover machine currently servicing the Australian Navy since May 2017.
Watch: US Army releases first image of new M1A2C tank with active protection systems
Feb 28, 2019 04:50 UTC
BAE Systems delivered the first four BvS10
all-terrain vehicles to Austria. The delivery is part of a contract signed in 2016 for 32 armored personnel carriers. The vehicles were handed over during two ceremonies last week in the Austrian states Tyrol and Salzburg. Austrian Defense Minister Mario Kunasek attended the celebrations alongside representatives of the Swedish government and BAE Systems Hägglunds, the Sweden-based manufacturer of the BvS10. The first set of vehicles will be fielded by the Austrian Armed Forces’ 24th Infantry Battalion, a battalion of the 6th Mountain Infantry Brigade, which plays a leading role in the European Union Mountain Training Warfare Initiative as well as the 2nd Engineer Battalion, which can provide combat support in mountainous terrain. The BvS10
is an All Terrain Armored Vehicle. The Austrian APC variant of the BvS10 is fitted with a number of specific features including a 360 degree Observation Camera System with six Day/Infrared cameras and displays in the front and rear of the cabin for greater situational awareness. Also featured is the latest Remote Controlled Weapon Station, which can be operated by both the Gunner and the Commander. It is foldable to allow for swift transportation in the field. BAE Systems expects final deliveries to conclude later this year.
A Viking comes ashore
The BvS10 is the successor to the wildly popular Bv206, 11,000 of which have been sold to 40 countries around the world – including the USA (M978). Readers may have seen these vehicles elsewhere, too, as a number of Bv206s have post-military careers at ski resorts, in industries like mining and logging, etc. The new BvS-10 is larger and more heavily armored; it’s in use in Britain, France and the Netherlands as a key armored vehicle for their respective Marines, has been bought by Sweden, and is under evaluation elsewhere. International interest includes imitators: Singapore’s Bronco ATTC is a BVS10 competitor, and Finland and Norway have their own local Bv206 variants.
What makes this unusual-looking vehicle family and design so popular? They aren’t like Humvees or similar wheeled mainstays. They aren’t full armored personnel carriers, either – they’re armored, but Bv family vehicles can’t take the kind of punishment that a Bradley or LAV can absorb. Instead, the secret to their success lies in a remarkable all-terrain capability, and their ability to fill a rare and critical role: air-portable and amphibious infantry enhancement. These success factors are discussed below, along with contracts and key developments related to this vehicle family.
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Feb 27, 2019 05:00 UTC
The US Navy awarded L-3 KEO a $19.3 million contract modification for the production of the Universal Modular Mast, which serves as a lifting mechanism for the Virginia class mast payloads. The Universal Modular Mast is standard equipment for above-water sensors on U.S. and international submarines. It is a non-hull penetrating mast for Navy Virginia-class fast-attack submarines and Ohio-class guided missile submarines that can host five different sensor configurations: the photonics mast, the multi-function mast, the integrated electronic mast, the high-data-rate-mast, and the photonics mast variant. The Virginia class or SSN-774 class are nuclear powered fast attack submarines. The submarines form the Navy’s new undersea warfare platform designed to seek and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships as well as project power ashore. Work under the contract will take place in Italy as well as Massachusetts and is scheduled to be finished by August 2021.
The US Air Force contracted Rolls-Royce with a $19.5 million modification for C-130J Propulsion long-term sustainment. The C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft equipped with Rolls-Royce AE 2100 D3 turboprop engines with Dowty R391 composite scimitar propellers, digital avionics, and reduced crew requirements. This technology has improved performance over its C-130E/H predecessors, such as 40 percent greater range, 21 percent higher maximum speed, and 41 percent shorter takeoff distance. The delivery order provides for funding Option II flying hours. Work will take place at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia as well as various locations that support C-130J Propulsion long-term sustainment and is expected to be completed by the end of January next year.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli industrial drone maker Airobotics is moving its manufacturing to the US. The company will lay off at least 20 of its 140 employees in Israel and additional employees in its offices in Australia, where it has 60 employees. Airobotics laid off 25 employees in Israel last November, when it had 170 employees in Israel. Already then, Airobotics announced it was relocating most of its operations, including its global headquarters, to Scottsdale, Arizona. The company manufactures automated industrial drones that are used for inspection, surveying and mapping, and security and emergency response applications. The restructuring is supposed to meet growing demand in the US, Australia and other areas in Asia-Pacific. Airobotics’ research and development center will remain in Israel.
Britain awarded Rolls-Royce a $307 million contract to maintain nuclear submarines. Until 2022, Rolls Royce will provide support and advice for systems on board the fleet of Trafalgar, Vanguard and Astute class submarines. The new deal, known as the Nuclear Propulsion Lifetime Management (NPLM) contract, forms part of a wider suite of contracts with Rolls-Royce to provide naval reactor plant design, support, advice and components to the submarine build program and provide enabling services such as infrastructure and IT. The British Defense Ministry also revealed the name of the third Dreadnought submarine, which will be called the HMS Warspite. The name Warspite goes back to 1595 and was the last “great ship” to be built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The newest submarine is expected to see service in the early 2030s, and will be the eighth Royal Navy ship to carry the name Warspite.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) awarded French company Thales a contract to supply 70-mm rocket launchers to the Indian Armed Forces (IAF). The deal provides for 135 rocket launchers for 33 attack helicopters. Eighteen of the army’s advanced light helicopters and 15 of the Air Force’s light combat helicopters will be equipped with four 12-tube rocket launchers. The company produces the rocket launchers using composite material, making them an average of 50 percent lighter than metal launchers, and eliminating corrosion issues. The launchers are suited for use on both light and combat helicopters. Munitions available for use with the launchers range from conventional rockets to Thales’ laser-guided variant. Thales is present in India since 1953 with headquarters in New Delhi, including in defense, transport, aerospace and security markets.
China revealed a concept for a heavy infantry fighting vehicle (HIFV) based on the VT4 MBT, Jane’s reports. China North Industries Corporation presented the concept for the vehicle at the IDEX 2019. The model based on the VT4 export main battle tank includes engines relocated to the front of the hull from the rear, making space for infantry dismounts. The VT4 MBT is armed with a 125mm smoothbore cannon to engage armored personnel carriers, main battle tanks, infantry forces, military installation, light vehicles, and low-flying helicopters. The gunner and commander of the VT4 tank are provided with stabilized thermal imaging sights for identification and recognition of targets. An armament for the new HIFV is provided in the form of the turret from the tracked ZBD-04A IFV that is in service with China’s People’s Liberation Army.
Watch: Meet the T-Rex: The F-22 Raptor Transforms Into a Bomber
Feb 27, 2019 04:52 UTC
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) awarded
French company Thales a contract to supply 70-mm rocket launchers to the Indian Armed Forces (IAF). The deal provides for 135 rocket launchers for 33 attack helicopters. Eighteen of the army's advanced light helicopters and 15 of the Air Force's light combat helicopters
will be equipped with four 12-tube rocket launchers. The company produces the rocket launchers using composite material, making them an average of 50 percent lighter than metal launchers, and eliminating corrosion issues. The launchers are suited for use on both light and combat helicopters. Munitions available for use with the launchers range from conventional rockets to Thales' laser-guided variant. Thales is present in India since 1953 with headquarters in New Delhi, including in defense, transport, aerospace and security markets.
How safe are the Indian Army’s aging fleets of Chetaks (Aerospatiale SA316 Alouette III) and Cheetahs (SA315B Alouette II/III mix)? These old designs have consistently proven themselves in high altitude operations, and remain useful as long as their airframes remain safe. The problem is that at their age, the safety margin is pretty slim. Or worse.
In 2003, India issued an RFP for 197 light helicopters estimating a deal worth between $500-$600 million to buy 60 helicopters outright, with the remaining 137 being built under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Eurocopter’s AS550 C3 Fennec and Bell Textron’s 407 competed in the second and final round of summer trials, and as 2007 ticked toward a close, it looked like we had a winner. As often happens in India, however, the process ended up completely derailed. A new RFP out for a successor “Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter program” (RSH) went out in 2008, and testing was done in 2010. Has the RSH competition gone the way of the 1st aborted contract, even as India’s high altitude border posts struggle for adequate support?
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Feb 26, 2019 05:00 UTC
The Navy contracted Harris Corp. a $168.8 million modification to build onboard jammer systems for the F/A-18 fighter planes. The modification exercises an option for the procurement of 78 full-rate production 78 AN/ALQ-214 A(V)4/5 Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures Onboard Jammers for use on the F/A-18C/D/E/F models. The system is a next-generation radio frequency integrated countermeasure system, replacing the V3 variation. It combines receivers, as well as active countermeasures, to form an electronic shield around combat aircraft. The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet are twin-engine, carrier-capable multirole fighter aircraft variants based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The Super Hornet has a new, 25% larger airframe, larger rectangular air intakes, more powerful GE F414 engines based on F/A-18’s F404, and an upgraded avionics suite. The F/A-18C and D models are the result of a Hornet block upgrade in 1987, incorporating upgraded radar, avionics, and the capacity to carry new missiles such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile and AGM-65 Maverick and AGM-84 Harpoon air-to-surface missiles. The countermeasure system responds to threats with a series of measures designed to protect the aircraft from detection, and responds to threats fired at the aircraft. Additionally, the option provides for the procurement of 16 weapon replacement assemblies, 1A(V)4 receiver/processors and 27 WRA2 A(V)4 modulators. Work will take place in New Jersey, California, and other locations in the USA and is expected to be finished in May 2022.
Raytheon will participate in a missile defense radar sense-off to test designs that could be included in the US Army’s integrated Air and Missile Defense System under development. With the sense-off the Army is resetting the approach for the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, or LTAMDS, program that has struggled to bring about a new radar for over a decade. Raytheon revealed that its LTAMDS candidate is a new design, developed from scratch to meet latest defense requirements. Raytheon’s LTAMDS proposal features gallium nitride (GaN) components in its architecture. The GaN design allows for higher power throughput, with greater efficiency than some of the older circuit designs, such as those that used gallium arsenide (GaAs) components. The LTAMDS trial is scheduled to take place in the May or June this year.
Middle East & Africa
Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSB) signed a contract with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for a Heavy Class Attack Helicopter Project on Friday. The value of the contract was not disclosed. The helicopter, which may be designated T130, will have two engines driving a five-blade main rotor, with a tandem armored cockpit configuration for pilot and gunner. There will be a modular avionics package, which includes a four-axis autopilot and helmet-mounted displays for the crew. The Heavy Class Attack Helicopter Project was launched to meet requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces in this field. It aims to design and produce an effective and advanced attack helicopter capable of carrying a large useful load, resistant to challenging environmental factors and equipped with state-of-the-art technology target tracking and imaging, electronic warfare, navigation, communications and weapon systems. The project will play an important role in reducing external dependency of Turkey’s defense sector.
The Belarusian Army handed four MiG-29 aircraft to the Serbian Army as part of military technical aid. The MiG-29 is twin-engine jet fighter aircraft. It has hydraulic controls and a SAU-451 three-axis autopilot. Belarus’ Aircraft Repair Plant will undertake repairs and upgrade of the MiGs according to Serbian Air Force needs. Primarily the navigation system will be modernized. The two countries engage in various military and economic projects together and Belarus’ military technical aid is very important to Serbia. This year the countries will perform in the Belarusian-Serbian-Russian exercise „Slavic Brotherhood“ in Serbia.
Germany’s Rheinmetall and Britain’s BAE Systems are creating a joint UK based military vehicle design, manufacturing and support business. The Joint Venture will be located at the BAE System’sTelford facility. Rheinmetall will purchase a 55% stake in the existing BAE Systems UK based combat vehicles business, with BAE Systems retaining 45%. Once approvals have been completed in the first half of 2019, the Joint Venture will be known as Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land. In addition to managing and growing the existing combat vehicle support business, the intent is for the new Joint Venture to play a major role in the delivery of the British Army’s new Mechanized Infantry Vehicle and other strategic combat vehicles programs.
Russia is ready to discuss deliveries of Sukhoi Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jets to India. The Su-57 is stealth, single-seat, twin-engine, multirole, jet fighter designed to destroy all types of air targets at long and short distances and hit enemy ground and naval targets, overcoming its air defense capabilities. It combines the functions of an attack plane and a fighter jet. The use of composite materials and innovation technologies and the fighter’s aerodynamic configuration ensure the low level of radar and infrared signature. While India displays interest in the Su-57, Russian company Rostec wants the Indian Air Force to determine how much the plane fits into their general concept and what they want to focus on.
Watch: U.S. Navy Makes Next Two Ford-Class Aircraft Carriers ‘More Lethal’