The US Navy contracted Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems $20 million to design and support the AN/BLQ-10 Electronic Warfare (EW) system for new-construction and in-service submarines. The deal includes engineering and technical services for the design, development, testing, integration, technology insertion/refreshment and system support of the EW. The AN/BLQ-10 submarine EW provides automatic detection, classification, localization, as well as identification of potentially hostile radar and communications signals at sea. The program is adopting an open-architecture, incremental development process that fields hardware and software technology insertions every two years. The system is for Virginia-, Los Angeles-, and Seawolf-class fast-attack submarines, Ohio-class conventional guided-missile submarines, and future Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarines. Work under the contract will take place in New York and Virginia and is scheduled to be completed by February next year.
The Navy awarded Boeing a $17.8 million contract modification to procure two additional F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, modified to extend the service life of the aircraft. The Super Hornet is a twin-engine, carrier-capable, multirole fighter aircraft that is able to carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons. The E model of the aircraft is a single seater, and the F model is a two-seater. The F/A-18E/F s operational in 10 U.S. Navy Carrier Air Wings. Work under the modification will be performed in Missouri and California and is expected to be finished by October next year.
Two Australian F/A-18A Hornets arrived in Canada on Saturday. The two Hornets are the first of up to 25 aircraft that will be sold to Canada along with spares and support equipment. The Canadian government acquired the 30-year old jets in order of filling a capability gap affecting the Royal Canadian Airforce’s ability to simultaneously meet NORAD and NATO obligations. Originally, Canada had intended to supplement its fleet of 85 Boeing CF(F/A)-18 A/B fighters with 18 new Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets. This plan was cancelled in favor of the Australian Hornets when Boeing accused Canada’s Bombardier of receiving unfair subsidies from Ottawa. Before the aircraft can be integrated into the Canadian fleet of CF-188 Hornets, they will undergo several modifications in Mirabel, Quebec. They have to be brought to the same operational configuration as the Canadian CF-188 Hornets. This means cockpit and communications upgrades, a night vision imaging system, a sniper targeting pod, landing gear modifications, a new ejection seat as well as the Air Force paint scheme.
Middle East & Africa
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) are reportedly developing their first light attack aircraft. The defense company Calidus is manufacturing the so called B250, which is currently being tested. The aircraft has multi-role capabilities for modern and asymmetrical warfare, including close air support, counter-insurgency, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It can also serve as a basic and advanced trainer. The plane, which is built out of carbon fiber, is on show at the ongoing International Defence Exhibition (Idex) in Abu Dhabi. Calidus is a relatively new but fast-growing Abu Dhabi based defense-technology company currently working on strengthening the capabilities of the UAE defense industry.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unveiled a new loitering munition. The so called Mini Harpy is a tactical system that can be launched from land-, marine- as well as helicopter-borne platforms. The munition is electrically powered and can loiter in ranges of up to 100 km for up to two hours. IAI designed the system to provide operators with maximum control, including abort and re-attack capabilities. It also offers detection of broadcast radiation with electro-optical capabilities. It weighs 45 kg and is able to carry a shaped charge of approximately 8 kg. The Mini Harpy will be displayed for the first time at the Aero India Exhibition in Bangalore this week.
Pilatus delivered a PC-24 to the Swiss government, which it had ordered in 2014. The brand-new PC-24 Super Versatile Jet replaces a business jet supplied by a North American manufacturer and previously used for government flights. The Swiss Air Force will operate the aircraft for the Swiss government. The government jet sports a modern, white-grey livery with striking Swiss cross on the tail fin plus the words “Swiss Air Force”. Pilatus is a Swiss aerospace manufacturer producing STOL aircraft and military training aircraft. The PC-24 business jet is a low-wing cantilever cabin monoplane powered by two Williams FJ44-4A turbofans, each mounted in a nacelle on the side of the rear fuselage. The aircraft will be used primarily for travel within Europe. The PC-24 has a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,704 kilometers) and flies at a speed of 440 knots (815 kilometers per hour).
India requested for an urgent shipment of 21 MiG-29 „Fulcrum“ fighters from Russia. The Fulcrum is a twin-engine fighter aircraft developed by the Mikoyan design bureau as an air superiority fighter in the 70s. The MiG-29 aircraft are commonly outfitted to use a range of air-to-surface armaments and precision munitions. India was the first international customer of the MiG-29. The Indian Air Force (IAF) placed an order for more than 50 MiG-29s in 1980 while the aircraft was still in its initial development phase. In January 2010, India and Russia signed a $1.2 billion deal under which the Indian Navy would acquire 29 additional MiG-29Ks. Acquiring MiGs is considered the cheapest way to quickly replenish the diminishing strength of the IAF, which used to have 38 fighter squadrons but now struggles to keep that number above 30, far below the government-approved figure of 42. Delivery terms of the 21 MiG-29s are currently under negotiation.
Watch: Finally!! The first serial Su-57 will be delivered to the Russian Aerospace Force in 2019
Strategic Systems Programs contracted Charles Stark Draper Laboratory with $191 million for the production of TRIDENT II D5 Strategic Weapon System MK6 Guidance Equivalent Units. Draper Laboratory is a development organization that designs, develops, and deploys technological solutions for security, space exploration, healthcare, and energy sectors. The company specializes in the areas of positioning, navigation, and timing solutions, autonomous systems, precision instrumentation systems, microelectronic components and systems, fault-tolerant systems, secure and assured systems, human systems technology, image and data analytics techniques, biomedical solutions, and materials engineering and microfabrication. The TRIDENT is a submarine-launched ballistic missile equipped with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles. In 2002, the United States Navy announced plans to extend the life of the submarines and the D5 missiles to the year 2040. This so called D5 Life Extension Program wants to replace obsolete components at minimal cost by using commercial off the shelf hardware. The new system had to fit into the space within the missile used by the previous system, constraining design in terms of volume and electrical and mechanical interfaces. The upgraded guidance system will maintain compatibility with other subsystems provided by a number of other companies, while staying on schedule and within budget. Work under the contract is scheduled to be finished by the end of July, 2022 and will take place in Massachusetts, Florida, and Texas.
The Air Force awarded Apogee Engineering $28.2 million for Space Logistics Infrastructure Support Services (SLISS)-2. The contract provides services to the Space and Missile System Center Space Logistics Directorate and related space organizations. Apogee Engineering is a sales rep firm in the industrial and petrochemical market. The SLISS-2 contract will be used to acquire non-personal services in support of various missions, command, control, communications and intelligence activities within Air Force Space Command. The deal will also provide logistical support to various space organizations such as Air Force Satellite Control Network, Space Lift Range System, Global Positioning System, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, Military Satellite Communications, and Space Based Infrared Systems. Work under the contract will take place at the Peterson and the Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado and is scheduled to be completed by February 28, 2025.
Middle East & Africa
The US Army contracted Boeing with a $12.9 million foreign military sales deal for post-production support services for the Qatar Armed Forces Apache helicopters. The AH-64 Apache is a twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement and a tandem cockpit for a crew of two. The AH-64E features improved digital connectivity, the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, more powerful T-700-GE-701-D engines with upgraded face gear transmission to accommodate more power, capability to control UAVs, and improved landing gear. The AH-64E was formerly known as the AH-64D Block II. In July 2012, Qatar requested the sale of 24 AH-64D Apache Block III helicopters, with associated equipment, training, and support. The sale was a approved on 27 March, 2014.
Lockheed Martin targets the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the sale of the Falcon Air Defense System. The US defense firm Lockheed Martin and security firms Diehl Defence and Saab unveiled Falcon, a short and medium range air defense system at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX). They hope the UAE will be the first customer. The new missile system was developed in response to a request from the UAE, which seeks to replace Lockheed’s Hawk Air Defense System. The Falcon is designed to counter threats such as unmanned aerial systems carrying lethal payloads, cruise missiles, and fixed and rotary winged aircraft capable of delivering ordnance at extended ranges. The missile integrates Diehl’s 40-kilometer range infra-red imaging system tail and vector-controlled interceptor and vertical launcher, with Saab’s 360-degree Giraffe radar system and Lockheed’s SkyKeeper command and control battle manager.
Last week the French Air Force and Navy successfully conducted the first two Meteor missile test firings from Rafale fighters. Intended for air superiority missions, the Meteor air-to-air missile is powered by a ramjet and capable of intercepting very long-range targets. Personnel from the Air Force Experimental Assessment Center and the Navy’s Airborne Experimental Center operated the Rafale aircraft, in close collaboration with the Directorate-General of Armaments DGA. Both firings were achieved thanks to the implementation by DGA of the test range, including security, instrumentation, target operation, and the replay of the launches from its site on Levant island.
Japan’s first amphibious assault force became fully operational after the Amphibious Rapid deployment Brigade was certified during the Iron Fist 2019 Exercise in California, Jane’s reports. Iron Fist, held in Southern California, was one of two training exercises between the US Marine Corps and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force this month. Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers with the newly minted 1st Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade took part in the Iron Fist exercises, which included tasks in sharpshooting, amphibious reconnaissance and landing missions, and other areas.
Watch: Here’s The U.S. Navy’s New Stealth Destroyer’s: A Laser-Armed Warship?
The Navy tapped GE Aviation Systems LLC with $68.2 million for G2/G3 generator converter units repair for the F/A-18 Super Hornet. The F/A-18 is a twin engine, mid-wing, multi-mission tactical aircraft. All F/A-18s can be configured quickly to perform either fighter or attack roles or both, through selected use of external equipment to accomplish specific missions. GE Aviation designs, develops, and manufactures jet and turboprop engines, components, and integrated systems for military, commercial, business and general aviation aircraft, and ship propulsion applications. The current deal includes a three-year contract with one two-year option period which, if exercised, will rise the total value of the contract to $87,116,502. Seventy percent of the work will occur in Coronado, California, while the remaining 30 percent will take place in Vandalia, Ohio. Work is scheduled to be completed by February 2024.
Saab will supply the US Army with the latest version of the Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon. The Carl-Gustaf or M3E1 recoilless rifle is an 84 mm man-portable reusable anti-tank weapon. It can fire six rounds per minute. The new weapon is fully backwards compatible with all ammunition types, including future ones, and weighs significantly less than its M3 predecessor. The M4 reduces the launcher weight from 10 kg to less than 7 kg. The first weapon will be delivered this year at a cost of $19 million. In all, the Pentagon can place orders for approximately $40.8 million with the Swedish-based company.
Space and Missile Systems Center Remote Sending Systems Contracting Division contracted Tecolote Research $38.8 million to support acquisition and financial operations at the US Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center. The deal provides the remote sensing systems directorate to execute integrated program management for a broad range of acquisition, financial, and administrative capabilities of space-related research, development, production, sustainment and lifecycle acquisition activities. The center is part of the Air Force Space Command and employs an estimated 6,300 people including military, civilians and contractors at Los Angeles Air Force Base and other locations worldwide. Work will take place in El Segundo, California and is scheduled to be completed by August 17, 2024.
Middle East & Africa
The US Army awarded PAE Government Systems with a $27.6 million contract modification for contractor logistics support efforts to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. The purpose of the fund is to provide assistance to the security forces of Afghanistan to include the provision of equipment, supplies, services, training, facility and infrastructure repair, renovation and construction, and funding. The United States has been training and equipping the Afghan military and security forces since 2001. PAE Government Services, Inc. provides professional engineering services. The Company offers military aircraft and vehicle maintenance, infrastructure, software solutions, logistics, and base support services. Work will take place in Hikia, Afghanistan and is expected to be finished by August 30, 2022.
Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group started work on the center-wing box (CWB) replacement effort for 14 UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Lockheed Martin C-130J/C-130J-30 Hercules, Jane’s reports. The Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The RAF fields both the short-bodied C-130J (designated C5 in RAF service) and long-bodied C-130J-30 (C4) variants of the Hercules. The Hercules family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. The CWB sits atop the aircraft’s main fuselage and forms the attachment point for the outer wings and the inboard engines.
The Polish Defense Minister, Marius Blaszczak signed a contract for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). The deal worth $414 million approved the sale of 20 HIMARS launchers and related equipment. According to the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the sale of HIMARS launchers and related equipment to Poland aimed to strengthen security in the region. The system will be delivered by 2023. The first Polish HIMARS unit will be organized similarly to US Army HIMARS units.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out an exercise involving about 140 fighter jets and attack helicopters in a fire power demonstration close to the border with Pakistan. The exercise came two days after the Pulwama attack, in which a vehicle-borne suicide bomber attacked a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel. In the so called Vayu Shakti exercise, the IAF showcased fire power capability of indigenous platforms like Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, Advanced Light Helicopter and efficacy of Akash surface-to-air missile and Astra air-to-air missile. The Vayu Shakti was planned in advance and the drill was a demonstration of the force’s capability to hit targets with pinpoint accuracy and carry out missions at short notice.
Watch: In action: How smart the uk MQ-9 Reaper combat drone.
The Navy awarded Lockheed Martin with a 14.5 million contract modification to provide for initial lay-in of repair materials for seven F-35 Lightning II systems at various depots in support of the Air Force, Marine Corps, non-US DOD participants, and Foreign Military Sales customers. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine stealth multirole fighters. The global F-35 program is the largest and most advanced military aircraft program in the world. More than 3,000 F-35 aircraft will be produced by 2030 for a number of countries. Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, the UK, and the US are the original partner countries in the F-35 program. Work under the modification will take place in Orlando, Florida; Fort Worth, Texas; Jackson, Mississippi; Windsor Locks, Connecticut; St. Louis, Missouri; and East Aurora, New York, and is scheduled to be completed in July 2024.
The US Navy’s Military Sealift Command contracted Detyens Shipyards $10.5 million for a 50-calendar day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul and dry docking of USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12). Detyens Shipyards operates a commercial shipyard on the East Coast of the US. It provides ship repair and conversion services. The USNS William McLean is a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship. The Lewis and Clark class of dry cargo ship is a class of 14 Combat Logistics Force underway replenishment vessels. Work under the contract includes clean and gas-free tanks, voids, cofferdams and spaces, main engine and electric motor maintenance, 10-year crane maintenance and recertification, dry-docking and undocking, propeller shaft and stern tube inspect, freshwater (closed loop) stern tube lubrication, underwater hull cleaning and painting, 2.5-year bow thruster maintenance and tunnel grating modification, renew flight deck nonskid, and auxiliary pre-stage area refrigeration installation. Work will take place in North Charleston, South Carolina, and is expected to be finished by July 16 this year.
Middle East & Africa
The Israeli Ministry of Defense will buy seven AW-119 Koala training helicopters from Italian defense contractor Leonardo in a multi-billion dollar deal. The contract, estimated at $350 million and also includes 20 years of aircraft maintenance, also has Rome buying an equivalent value of Israeli military technology. The AW-119, known in Israel as Sayfan will replace the Air Force’s current Bell 206 training aircraft. Israeli defense contractor Rafael beat out US defense contractors Bell and Airbus to win the Israeli tender in today’s deal. According to reports, Italy wants to purchase $70-80 million in anti-tank missiles from Rafael.
Defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is in talks with Colombia for the sale of Barak-8 missile systems. Barak-8 is an Indian-Israeli surface-to-air missile designed to defend against any aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as well as ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and combat jets. Barak-8 incorporates a state-of-the-art phased array multi-mission radar, two-way data link, and a flexible command and control system, enabling users to simultaneously engage multiple targets day and night and in all weather conditions. The missile was tested for the first time in mid 2018 when it intercepted a small drone simulating an enemy craft. The system extends the range of Israel’s aerial defense. It is being jointly developed by the Defense Research & Development Organisation, IAI, Israel’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, Elta Systems, Rafael and other companies. According to reports, one of the catalysts for Colombia’s interest in advanced air defense systems is the crisis in Venezuela. IAI did not want to comment on the issue.
The USA provided the Lebanese Army with a $16 million APKWS laser-guided rocket kit. The APKWS is a design conversion of Hydra 70 unguided rockets with a laser guidance kit to turn them into precision-guided munitions. The Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System laser-guided rockets are a key component for the Lebanese Air Force’s new A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft. APKWS is about one-third the cost and one-third the weight of the current inventory of laser-guided weapons, has a lower yield more suitable for avoiding collateral damage, and takes one quarter of the time for ordnance personnel to load and unload. The A-29 Super Tucano is a turboprop light attack aircraft with weapons including precision-guided munitions. According to the US Embassy in Lebanon, the current delivery demonstrates the US government’s firm and steady commitment to support the Lebanon Army.
Royal Air Force (RAF) Marham is the first UK Airbase powered by green energy. The Defense Infrastructure Organisation worked collaboratively with Amey, the Crown Commercial Service Utilities & Fuels Company, DIO’s electricity supplier EDF and their supply chain partner Future Biogas on the project for EDF to supply baseload power to RAF Marham since 2015. The energy provided by the new biogas plant is sustainable, green and provides substantial financial savings over grid-imported energy to the airbase. The biogas plant will provide annual savings of $371,191. The plant increases power resilience at RAF Marham by providing multiple pathways to electrical resources.
Indonesia and South Korea entered the final stages of negotiations for a follow-on order of the Type 209/1400 diesel-electric submarines, according to Jane’s. An agreement with South Korean company Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) is expected in the upcoming months. The contract is valued to be worth $1.2 billion when finalized. Jakarta signed a $1.1 billion deal for three Type 209/1400 submarines with DSME in December 2011. Two submarines under this contract have been delivered, while a third is awaiting launch in Surabaya. The Type 209 submarines are a class of diesel-electric attack submarines armed with eight bow 533 mm torpedo tubes and 14 torpedoes. Ships utilized by South Korea can be armed with 28 mines in place of torpedoes and Sub-Harpoon missiles.
Watch: Most Feared! America’s Super fighter jets to join UK’s new Supercarrier first operational mission
The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division awarded Northrop Grumman Systems a $27.3 million contract in support of Lot 9 and 10 P-8A production. The P-8A Poseidon is a military aircraft that conducts anti-submarine warfare (WSA), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and shipping interdiction, with an early warning self-protection ability. The deal includes integration, testing, delivery, and performance as the lead systems integrator for the AN/AAQ-24 Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures System and the ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management System. The AN/AAQ-24 system is a directional infrared countermeasure system. It consists of a missile warning system, an integration unit, a processor, and laser turrets. The ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management System controls a wide variety of equipment, including warning systems, jammers, countermeasures dispensers, and missile warning systems. In the last couple of years, production of the ALQ-213 has been revitalized by its selection to equip the US Navy’s Poseidon multimission maritime aircraft. The current contract for production is for the US Navy and various Foreign Military Sales customers like Australia and the UK. Work will take place in Illinois and is scheduled to be completed by February 2021.
The US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) contracted Raytheon with a $15 million modification for Silent Knight Radar Operational Flight Program (OFP) development, field service representative support and engineering services in support of the USSOCOM fixed wing aircraft. The Silent Knight Radar system’s terrain following/terrain avoidance technology provides the pilot with terrain maps as well as climb or dive cues. The contract for the Silent Knight Radar system was originally awarded to Raytheon in 2007. The system’s projected platforms include the MH-47G Chinook, the MH-60M Blackhawk Special Operations helicopter, MC-130 transports, and CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. The modification completes OFP software delivery for the CV-22. The CV-22 is a multi-mission, tiltrotor aircraft with vertical as well as short takeoff and landing capabilities. Work will continue to take place at the Raytheon facility in McKinney, Texas, and is scheduled to be finished by December 2021.
Middle East & Africa
The Israeli Ministry of Defense and the Israel Innovation Authority granted Mobilicom $1.2 milliton to create a solution focusing on the development of cyber technologies using Artificial Intelligence as an add-on module for drones and unmanned platforms. Mobilicom Limited is a hi-tech company that designs, develops, and delivers various communication solutions for mission critical and remote mobile private networks. Its products and technologies are based on an approach that merges 4G and Mobile MESH technologies. Under this grant, Mobilicom is planning to develop an anti-hijacking and anti-spoofing system for commercial and industrial drones and robotics. It will enable autonomous drone cyber security without intervention by an operator in real-time.
Ahead of its first operational mission, Britain’s HMS Queen Elizabeth was bolstered with the Phalanx 1B Weapon System. The Phalanx is a rapid-fire, computer-controlled, radar-guided gun that is able to defeat anti-ship missiles and other close-in threats on land and at sea.The 1B variant’s configuration augments the Phalanx system’s proven anti-air warfare capability by adding a forward-looking infrared sensor. It allows the system to be used against helicopters and high-speed surface craft at sea while the land-based version helps identify and confirm incoming dangers. Because of the Phalanx’s distinctive barrel-shaped radome and its automated nature, it is sometimes known by the nickname R2-D2 – based on the Star Wars character. HMS Queen Elizabeth will boast three Phalanx 1B computer-controlled guns, which can empty a 1,550-round magazine at 4,500 rounds-per-minute.
The Dutch Ministry of Defense awarded Thales a contract for nine Multi Mission Radars (MMR) designed for artillery, air surveillance, air defense, and security applications. The MMR – marketed as the GM200 MM/Compact – is the latest version of the T- and S-band active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar family, developed for ground applications including air surveillance, weapon locating, and counter-battery missions. The MMR sees and records targets easily and in real-time. Its radar is fully automatic, designed to detect, track, and classify a large number of targets including rockets, artillery shells, mortar rounds, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), aircraft, helicopters, and cruise missiles. The value of the contract was not disclosed. The radars will be delivered to the Royal Netherlands Army starting 2021.
The Indian Ministry of Defense called for Expressions of Interest (EoI) related to the planned procurement of 111 aircraft via its Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH) requirement, leading up to a request for proposal. The Naval Utility Helicopter is set to replace the Indian Navy’s Hindustan Aeronautics Chetak helicopters. Potential candidates could include the Airbus Helicopters AS565, Bell 429 and the Sikorsky S-76. The expression of interest calls for 16 examples to be produced overseas, and the remaining 95 in India. Whilst Indian companies have been given two months to respond to the EoI, the foreign manufacturers get three months to respond due to the nature of inputs required.
Latest updates[?]: The Indian Ministry of Defense called for Expressions of Interest (EoI) related to the planned procurement of 111 aircraft via its Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH) requirement, leading up to a request for proposal. The Naval Utility Helicopter is set to replace the Indian Navy’s Hindustan Aeronautics Chetak helicopters. Potential candidates could include the Airbus Helicopters AS565, Bell 429 and the Sikorsky S-76. The expression of interest calls for 16 examples to be produced overseas, and the remaining 95 in India. Whilst Indian companies have been given two months to respond to the EoI, the foreign manufacturers get three months to respond due to the nature of inputs required.
(click to view larger)
In September 2008, Flight International reported that India’s defence ministry has issued a tender for “advanced multirole naval helicopters” to several manufacturers around the world, including AgustaWestland, EADS and Sikorsky. The initial RFP reportedly covered 16 helicopters, with a potential expansion to 60 helicopters.
The problem, as usual, is that nothing happened for years, while critical Indian defenses were left rotting. India’s naval sphere of influence is growing, and the country purchased long-range P-8i jets to improve its territorial coverage. Unfortunately, that can’t paper over a glaring hole in India’s defenses. The Navy currently has many high-end ships without serious naval helicopter capability. Few of their Russian Ka-28s are still fit for service, and their small and aged Sea King fleet faces both technological and airframe limitations. It’s a terrible policy for a country that continues to add high-cost, high-value ships to its fleet, in a region with more and better submarines.
Finally, by the end of 2014 India indicated interest in expediting its initial naval multirole helicopter acquisition.
The Naval Warfare Center Weapons Division awarded Raytheon a $88.4 million contract for the modification and upgrade of the sensor system software and hardware of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft to incorporate updates, improvements, and enhancements of tactical capabilities. The deal includes technical support for hardware and software anomaly investigation, design, development, documentation, integration, test, and evaluation of systems and support equipment. The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet are twin-engine, carrier-capable, multirole fighter based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The Super Hornet is able to carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons. The Growler is a specialized version of the Super Hornet. It is a carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft with the ability to perform escort jamming as well as the traditional standoff jamming mission. Work under the contract will take place in El Segundo, California and is scheduled to be finished by February 2024.
The Navy contracted the management consulting firm McKinsey with a $15.7 million modification in support of the F-35 Lightning II affordability campaign for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. The F-35 Lightning II was designed to be an affordable 5th Generation fighter. The program received considerable criticism for cost overruns during development and for the total projected cost of the program over the lifetime of the jets. By 2017, the program was expected over its lifetime (until 2070) to cost $406.5 billion for acquisition of the jets and $1.1 trillion for operations and maintenance. The modification provides for maturation of the current effort through expansion and refinement of existing scope, including strategic sourcing, senior leadership team offsite, and major contract actions. Work will take place in Arlington, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by June this year.
Middle East & Africa
Turkey launched its first test and training ship on February 9 at Tuzla shipyard near Istanbul. The ship, which was previously unnamed, is called A-591 TCG Ufuk. Ufuk is 99.5 meters long, 14.4 meters wide, displaces 2,400 tonnes, and has a draft of 3.6 meters. It can attain a speed in excess of 18 kt and has a landing pad that can accommodate a 10-tonne helicopter. Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan describes the ship as the country’s first „intelligence corvette“. The ship will have an endurance at sea of 45 days, allowing it to detect threats to Turkish national security instantly and without interruption. Turkish defense technology and engineering company STM is the main contractor in the Ufuk corvette project, with Aselsan developing its command-and-control, electronic, and test/training systems. The commissioning of TCG Ufuk is scheduled for July 2020.
Spain joins France and Germany on the project to build a new combat fighter plane in replacement of the Eurofighter and the Rafale. The Future Combat Air System (FCAS) launched in July 2017 and also plans to include drones and cruise missiles. Just last week the French and German Defense Ministers Florence Parly and Ursula von der Leyen signed the first ever contract to Dassault Aviation and Airbus for the FCAS. The new fighter jet will replace the Eurofighter which is assembled in Germany, Britain, Spain and Italy, and the French Rafale around 2040 and will compete with the US F-35 or its successor. Spain, where Airbus’s military transport planes are assembled, had sent a letter in December to Paris and Berlin asking to be associated with the project.
The US Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $211.9 million contract modification for incorporation of remaining Baseline J7 scope for new-construction DDG Aegis Weapons System J7 Baseline development and integration in support of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). Per the deal, Lockheed Martin will provide full operational capability at the development test sites, integration of Japanese domestic ship systems, support and provision of technical manuals, logistics, and staging activities. Lockheed is developing an Aegis Baseline 9.C2 (BMD 5.1) variant computer program, referred to as J7, for deployment on Japan’s Aegis destroyers—which is a centralized, automated, command-and-control weapon system used to rapidly detect and track more than 100 targets at once. Aegis is the world’s most advanced combat system. The computer-based command and decision providing ability is the key element of the AEGIS combat system. The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system is the primary sea-based component of the U.S. missile defense system. Work will take place in the USA as well as Japan and is scheduled to be completed by October 2021.
Despite the controversy, the Rafale fighter jet procurement process is on schedule and the first aircraft will be delivered to the Indian Air Force in September this year. The delivery of the aircraft is set to take place in France and will be brought to India. The French twin-engine, multirole fighter was one of six aircraft competing in the Indian Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft competition, which was a competition to supply 126 multirole combat aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF). In 2012 the IAF announced Rafale as the preferred bidder. However, this sparked a political controversy.
Watch: TYPE 26 FRIGATE BRITAIN – HOW CAPABLE IS IT ?
The Navy contracted General Dynamics NASSCO-Bremerton with a $34.3 million modification for repair and alteration requirements for USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) dry-docking planned incremental availability (DPIA). The USS Carl Vinson is the USA’s third Nimitz-class carrier. The Nimitz-class consists of ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. The ships under this class were the largest warships built and in-service until USS Gerald R. Ford entered the fleet in 2017. The USS Carl Vinson had its maiden voyage in 1983 and underwent refueling and overhaul between 2005 and 2009. The DPIA is the opportunity in the ship’s life cycle to conduct repairs and alterations. Just at the end of last month the aircraft carrier sailed into Sinclair Inlet bringing its crew of 3,000 to a new homeport and venue for revitalization. The Vinson is set to become the first aircraft carrier in the Navy to deploy with a squadron of F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters as part of its full air wing compliment. Work under the order will fully be performed in Bremerton and is scheduled to be finished by July next year.
The US Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) awarded a $17 million contract to Vigor Marin Inc. for a 75-calendar day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul and dry docking of USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7). USNS Carl Brashear is a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship delivered to the Navy by General Dynamics on March 4, 2009. Lewis and Clark Class T-AKE dry cargo/ammunition ships are 210 meters in length and 32.2 meters in beam, with a design draft of 9.12 meters. Vigor Marine provides vessel construction and repair services including dry-docking, structural repair, welding, machinery repair, diesel engine repair, shaft seal replacement, tube renewal among others. Work for this contract, which will take place in Portland, Oregon will entail clean and gas-free tanks, voids, cofferdams and spaces, propulsion motor and cooler, main generator maintenance and cleaning, high voltage switchboard and emergency switchboard cleaning, five-year main engine flex hose replacement, dry-docking and undocking, propeller shaft and stern tube inspect, freshwater stern tube lubrication, underwater hull cleaning and painting, freeboard cleaning and painting, sea valve replacements, renew flight deck nonskid, and reverse osmosis unit sea-chest installation. Work is scheduled to be completed by May 15 this year.
The Naval Sea Systems Command awarded Donjon Marine Co. with a $10.4 million order to provide pumping assets (equipment and personnel) to Puerto Rico to assist with pumping operations designated by the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE). Donjon Marine Co. provides marine services. It offers dredging, marine salvage, heavy lift transport, tug/barge transportation, demolition as well as pollution control and remediation services. The company also provides land-based metals recycling, demolition, and landfill remediation/site management services. In addition, it offers shipbuilding and repair services, such as dry-docking, barge construction, vessel conversion, repowering, maintenance, steel fabrication, steel assembly, and other related services. The current contract modification is under Zone A Salvage Services Contract. The Action is in response to a salvage services request from ACOE to provide pumping assets given hurricane season commencement and anticipated near-term heavy rainfall. Work will take place in Puerto Rico and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
The Air Force contracted Textron Aviation Defense with a $10.4 million modification to supply 12 T-6C aircraft maintenance and pilot training support to Argentina. The contract includes interim contractor support for maintenance. The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a single-engine turboprop aircraft. The Argentine Air Force received the first four of 12 T-6C in October 2017 from Textron Aviation. Textron delivered another two in June 2018. Argentina purchased the aircraft to replace Embraer EMB-312 Tucano to train its military pilots. Contractor will provide supplies and services to provide for the replacement of current training aircraft fleet and the enhancement of the Argentina Air Force surveillance and border security mission. Work will be performed in Wichita, Kansas, and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s Elbit Systems will supply 15 Armored Mortar Carriers to the Philippine Army as part of the Horizon 2 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program, which is the phase covering the years 2018 to 2022. The Cardom 120mm Recoil Mortar System will be mounted on the Army’s M113 armored vehicles. The system has a range of 7,000 meters and a maximum fire rate of 16 rounds per minute. It can be used in “shoot and scoot” manner and can be operated by two or four crewmen. Another part of the deal is the platform where the Cardom mortars will be installed, and Elbit will deliver 15 refurbished and upgraded M113A2 tracked armored vehicles. The deal will also include Elbit’s Combat NG Battlefield Management System, which is already in use with the Philippine Army. The Combat NG is a command, control, communications and intelligence system designed to improve artillery and air defense unit’s ability to engage targets by improving its target engagement speed and accuracy, provide real-time situational awareness, and provide coordination capability with other forces. The project is a Government-to-Government deal between the Philippines and Israel.
L3 ASV successfully delivered a long-endurance autonomous vessel known as the C-Enduro to the British Royal Navy. The C-Enduro is utilized to collect data at sea. It uses energy harvesting technology combined with an efficient self-righting hull. The 4.8-meter autonomous vessel is equipped with 10 sensors combining scientific and hydrographic survey equipment. The USV will be used for military data gathering trials by the Royal Navy’s Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic Capability program. This project marks the fourth delivery of a C-Enduro vessel, and previous successful missions include an 11-day over-the-horizon marine science mission north of Scotland for the National Oceanography Center.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) tasked the Indian Air Force for selection and training of 10 crew members for India’s first human spaceflight program known as Gaganyaan. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is to train 10 candidates for the mission, of which the ISRO will pick three finalists for the maiden space journey. The first two stages of training will take place IAF’s Institute of Aerospace Medicine. The final phase is set to take place abroad. Institute of Aerospace Medicine is the only institute in India and south east Asia that conducts research in aerospace medicine and trains airmen and pilots. It is affiliated to the Armed Forces Medical Services. The Center will be responsible for the implementation of the Gaganyaan project, which involves end-to-end mission planning and development of engineering system for crew survival in space.
After India officially received four Ch-47 Chinooks from the US, the helicopters arrived in the country and were offloaded at the Mundra port of Gujarat. The CH-47 is a twin-engined, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helo that will provide the Indian Armed Forces (IAF) with unmatched strategic airlift capability across the spectrum of combat and humanitarian missions. The IAF currently has 15 Chinook helicopters on order. The arrival of the helicopters happened ahead of schedule, which proves Boeing’s commitment to delivering on its promise of modernizing the Indian Defense Forces.
Watch: Special Force Surprise: UK to purchase Two Future Littoral Strike-Ships (FLSS)
Latest updates[?]: The Navy contracted General Dynamics NASSCO-Bremerton with a $34.3 million modification for repair and alteration requirements for USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) dry-docking planned incremental availability (DPIA). The USS Carl Vinson is the USA’s third Nimitz-class carrier. The Nimitz-class consists of ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. The ships under this class were the largest warships built and in-service until USS Gerald R. Ford entered the fleet in 2017. The USS Carl Vinson had its maiden voyage in 1983 and underwent refueling and overhaul between 2005 and 2009. The DPIA is the opportunity in the ship’s life cycle to conduct repairs and alterations. Just at the end of last month the aircraft carrier sailed into Sinclair Inlet bringing its crew of 3,000 to a new homeport and venue for revitalization. The Vinson is set to become the first aircraft carrier in the Navy to deploy with a squadron of F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters as part of its full air wing compliment. Work under the order will fully be performed in Bremerton and is scheduled to be finished by July next year.
CVN 70: Homecoming
Osama Bin Shot, Osama Bin Buried. (May 3/11)
In November 2005, Northrop Grumman Newport News in Newport News, VA was awarded a $1.94 billion cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for accomplishment of the FY 2006 mid-life refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of the Nimitz Class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson [CVN 70]. The ship was commissioned in 1982, and this effort shall provide for the accomplishment of the overhaul, alterations, repair, maintenance, and refueling of CVN 70 and its nuclear reactor plants to ensure continued safe operation of the ship. According to GlobalSecurity.org, the Carl Vinson is scheduled to remain in service until 2032.
It’s interesting to note that the US DoD comptroller’s FY 2007 “<http://www.defenselink.mil/comptroller/defbudget/fy2007/fy2007_weabook.pdf>Program Acquisition Costs by Weapon System” document lists split-funding of the CVN 70 RCOH over FY 2006-2007, with a total cost of $2.89 billion. So, how does this $1 billion discrepancy resolve itself? What about all those contracts before FY 2006? And how did the program go, now that the USS Carl Vinson has returned to the fleet at last?
The Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Repair awarded General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works with a $15.6 million contract modification for LCS Planning Yard Services. The work is for the USS Jackson and future Independence-variant littoral combat ships. Planning yard services include design, material kitting, logistics, planning and execution. The work is specifically for waterjet assembly battle spares for the littoral class ships. The shipyard uses the waterjet cutting machine to fabricate new parts or replace worn parts while the ships are being maintained. The USS Jackson is the third Independence-class littoral combat ship to be built and the second Independence-class ship to carry standard 7 meters long rigid-hulled inflatable boats and improvements in corrosion protection and propulsion over the original Independence design. Work under the modification will take place in Virginia and Maine and is scheduled to be completed by March 2021.
The Naval Sea Systems Command contracted General Dynamics Mission Systems with a $14.5 million modification to exercise options for Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement (SEWIP) Block 1B3 full-rate production. SEWIP is an evolutionary acquisition and incremental development program to upgrade the AN/SLQ-32(V) electronic warfare system. The AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare Suite or „slick-32“ is the primary electronic warfare system utilized by the US Navy. The system achieves EW objectives by providing full threat band frequency coverage, instantaneous azimuth coverage, 100 percent probability of intercept and simultaneous response to multiple threats. It can detect aircraft search and target radars well before they detect the ship. SEWIP provides enhanced shipboard electronic warfare for early detection, analysis, threat warning, and protection from anti-ship missiles. SEWIP Block 1 focuses on obsolescence mitigation and special signal intercept. Work will take place in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and is expected to be finished by May next year.
The Naval Surface Warfare Center awarded Leidos Inc. $33 million to develop Digital Video Surveillance Tech in support of the Navy’s efforts to modernize guided missile ships. The DDG modernization program includes a full spectrum of technical support and supplies for Navy bases, shipyards, repair facilities and contractor facilities within the continental US. The USA’s Guided Missile Destroyers include the Arleigh Burke-class the and Zumwalt-class destroyers. The Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Philadelphia Division coordinates and plans technical and engineering support services for the DDG modernization initiative. Work is scheduled to be complete by February 2024 and will take place in Reston, Virginia.
The Navy contracted Boeing with $23.1 million for the repair of various avionics equipment used on the F/A-18 aircraft. The Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet are twin-engine, carrier-capable, multirole aircraft variants based on the McDonnell F/A-18 Hornet. Work will take place in Lemoore, California and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is scheduled to be finished by December 2021. Working capital funds in the amount of $23,108,547 will be obligated at the time of the award and funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Middle East & Africa
The US Navy contracted Bell Helicopter a $240.3 million contract modification for the manufacture and delivery of 12 Lot 16 Ah-1Z aircraft for Bahrain under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The DoD’s FMS program facilitates sales of U.S. arms, defense equipment, defense services, and military training to foreign governments. The Bell AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine attack helicopter that features a four-blade, bearingless, composite main rotor system, uprated transmission, and a new target sighting system. At the time the sale was approved, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said Bahrain would use the AH-1Z to improve its capacity to deter regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense. The sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major Non-NATO ally which is an important security partner in the region.
Russia’s Beriev A-100 early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft made its first flight as part of the preliminary flight test program. Beriev A-100 is a Russian-built airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft based on the Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A strategic military transporter. The aircraft is developed to replace the Beriev A-50 in the Russian Aerospace Forces service. The external shape of the A-100 is similar to the A-50, with the main radar array housed in a rotating dome mounted on two struts above the fuselage. The mass production of the aircraft is scheduled from 2020.
South Korea and Spain are launching negotiations on a proposed deal to swap Spanish military transport planes with Korean trainer jets. Talks are expected to start this month. In November, Spain proposed to Korea to trade some of its A-400M Airbus transport planes for KT-1 and T-50 trainer jets produced by Korea Aerospace Industries. The A-400M Atlas is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It can also perform aerial refueling, and medical evacuation when fitted with appropriate equipment. The KAI KT-1 Woongbi is a single-engined, turboprop, basic training aircraft. It is the first completely indigenous Korean aircraft ever developed. The Kai T-50 is a supersonic advanced trainer and light combat aircraft. Spain has reportedly ordered 27 A-400Ms from Airbus but has decided to sell 13 of them, four to six to Korea. The country received consent from Airbus. In return, Spain hopes to get 30 KT-1s and 20 T-50s. If the deal was realized it would mark South Korea’s first export of aircraft to Europe.
The US Army Contracting Command awarded Textron Systems with a $7.1 million contract modification for contractor logistics support of the One System Remote Video Terminal (OSRVT) for Australia. The OSRVT delivers dismounted troops full-motion video and telemetry from the aircraft’s payload, just as it can be seen from the ground control station. It is able to receive information from a very wide range of UAVs and sources. The modification is part of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, Maryland and is expected to be completed by May 7 this year.
Watch: U.S. Navy’s New, More Lethal Frigate is coming into Focus