The US Navy awarded Raytheon Space Airborne Systems $58 million for repair services for the APG-79 active electronically scanned array radar system used on the F/A-18 Super Hornets. The deal has Raytheon fix 25 weapon repairable assemblies for the AN/APG-79. The APG-79 AESA radar system utilizes active electric beam scanning, which provides nearly instantaneous track updates and multi-target tracking capability. It features an entirely solid-state antenna construction, which improves reliability and lowers the cost compared to a traditional system. The radar allows the Super Hornet crew to fire the AIM-120 AMRAAM, while at the same time guiding several missiles to several targets widely spaced in azimuth, elevation or range. Its X-band radar allows for higher resolution imaging, helping with target identification and discrimination. Raytheon delivered the first low rate production APG-79 radar set to Boeing Integrated Defense Systems in Saint Louis on January 13, 2005. Up to 415 radar sets were expected to follow the first one to outfit US Navy’s Super Hornets beginning in September 2006. On 28 June 2005, Boeing awarded Raytheon a $580 million multi year procurement contract for 190 APG-79 radars to equip the US Navy’s F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft. Raytheon will perform work in Forest, Mississippi and will approximately be finished by March 2022.
The Air Force tapped CAE USA with a $7.3 million modification to support the KC-135 Aircrew Training System. The KC-135 Stratotanker is a military aerial refueling aircraft that features four turbofans, mounted on 35-degree swept wings. The tanker platform enhances the Air Force’s capability to accomplish its primary mission of global reach. The turbofans power the KC-135 to takeoffs at gross weights of up to 322,500 pounds. A cargo deck above the refueling system can hold a mixed load of passengers and cargo. Depending on fuel storage configuration, the KC-135 can carry up to 83,000 pounds of cargo. CAE USA is the prime contractor in the KC-135 Aircrew Training System program and connects the KC-135 simulator fleet to a virtual network where they can train with other aircrews in simulators representing various platforms to provide virtual air refueling. The KC-135 aircrew training devices help train more than 3,500 KC-135 aircrews annually. The current modification provides for collective bargaining agreement wage adjustments resulting from Fair Labor Standards Act and Service Contract Act, and brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $464,618,081. Work will take place at Altus Air Force Base, Air Reserve Base, Pittsburgh Air National Guard Base and various other locations and is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year.
Middle East & Africa
BlueForce won a $12.3 million task order from the US Air Force for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) English Language Training outside the continental US program. BlueForce is a global professional services firm focusing on Department of Defense and Department of State clients. Back in 2016 BlueForce won an award to provide English Language Training to RSAF military students. The company mobilized a team of 86 ELT instructors to Saudi Arabia. Work for the new task order will be performed at King Abdul Aziz Base, Saudi Arabia, and is scheduled to be finished by January 3, 2024. Foreign Military Sales funds in the full amount are being obligated at the time of award.
The US Department of State approved a deal for Belgium to procure General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9B SkyGuardian Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The proposed sale also includes related equipment and the cost is estimated at $600 million. The approval specifically covers four SkyGuardian medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and two fixed ground control stations (GCSs), as well as sensors, ancillary equipment, training, and a five-year support package. Belgium plans to use the SkyGuardian for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) in support of national, NATO, United Nation-mandated, and other coalition operations. The SkyGuardian is a next-generation, type-certifiable variant of Predator B (MQ-9B) multi-mission remotely piloted aircraft. It can carry out missions such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), maritime patrol, border surveillance and disaster relief.
According to Reuters, Germany’s social democratic and junior coalition party, SPD wants to allow some arms exports to Saudi Arabia. Germany had imposed a weapon embargo on Saudi Arabia due to the situation in Yemen as well as concerns about the country’s role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The ban was actually scheduled to end on March 9, but at the beginning of the month, it was reported, that Germany would extend the embargo until the end of March. Germany’s security council will decide whether to extend the ban on Wednesday. SPD’s wish to allow exports is not likely to be received well by its conservative coalition partners. The move would however ease concerns from Britain and France, that the ban may threaten joint tank, combat jet and drone development.
The Royal Australian Navy’s second Hobart-Class Air Warfare Destroyer, HMAS Brisbane, has completed trials to validate a number of its weapons systems including the Aegis combat system. The tests also included the Seaworthy Assurance Trials (SWATs) and lasted over a period of three weeks. The successful completion of the trials ensured Brisbane can now provide positive assurance to the Chief of Navy that she is capable of operating in a range of different scenarios. The Aegis Weapons Systems were tested in several areas, and functions of the ship were assessed, from the propulsion and organic services to the combat and weapons systems. The Hobart-class is the first class of Australian surface combatants to be built around the Aegis combat system. The Hobart-Class will replace the Adelaide-Class Frigates. They feature an overall length of 47.2 meters (483 ft), a maximum beam of 18.6 meters (61 ft), and a draught of 5.17 meters (17.0 ft).
The Royal Malaysian Air Force’s Sukhoi fleet won a new lease of life, for the next 15 years, under a $539.5 million full refurbishment package. Two squadrons of 18 Sukhoi Su-30MKM, based at Gong Kedak in Terengganu, are being given a full refurbishment package which includes service life extension for the Flankers’ airframe, avionics, weapons systems and overhaul of its engines, until 2035. The SU-30MKM is a supermaneuverable fighter that carries missile approach warning sensor (MAWS) and laser warning sensor (LWS) manufactured by South African company Avitronics. It can carry up to 8,000 kg of weapons and payloads over 700 nmi unrefueled combat radius.
Raytheon won a $9.1 million contract modification for the DDG 1000 ship class. The deal exercises options for integrated logistics support and engineering services. The DDG 1000 or USS Zumwalt is a guided missile destroyer designed to fulfill volume power and precision strike requirements. According to a report updated in October 2018, the Zumwalt ship incorporates a significant number of new technologies, including an integrated electric-drive propulsion system and automation technologies enabling its reduced-sized crew. The DDG 1000 combat systems provide offensive, distributed and precision firepower and long ranges in support of forces ashore, while incorporating signature reduction, active and passive self-defense systems and enhanced survivability features, the Department of Defense stated on Tuesday. Just recently, the USS Zumwalt left for British Columbia, Canada to link with the Royal Canadian Air Force and showcase the US Navy’s newest class of destroyers. However, as Bloomberg reports, the Navy’s $23 billion program to build the DDG 1000 destroyers comes with a 5 year delay. The first ship of the class is scheduled for a September delivery, which is more than five years later than originally scheduled and 10 years after construction began. The ship isn’t expected to have an initial combat capability until September 2021, which is at least three years later than planned. Raytheon’s will perform work under the current modification in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and is expecting to be finished by March 2020.
The US Air Force contracted Sierra Nevada Corp. $317 million for the Precision Strike Package program. The Precision Strike Package is a modular kit developed in order to provide close air support, armed reconnaissance, and armed over-watch capability for Special Operations Forces C-130s. The system consists of precision guided munitions, a medium-caliber gun, electro-optical/infrared sensors, special operations forces-specific communications equipment, and an integrated fire control and mission management system. The deal specifically provides contractor logistics support for the Precision Strike Package in support of the AC-130W and AC-130J. The AC-130 gunship is a heavily armed, long-endurance ground attack variant of the C-130 Hercules transport fixed wing aircraft. The AC-130W Stinger, formerly known as the MC-130W Dragon Spear is a modified C-130H used by the Air Force for close air support, air interdiction and force protection. The AC-130J Ghostrider is a modified version of the MC-130J aircraft and is supposed to replace the legacy AC-130H/U aircraft of the US Air Force. Lockheed Martin will deliver 37 AC-130J Ghostrider aircraft to the Air Force Special Operations Command by 2025. Sierra Nevada will perform work for the Precision Strike Package program at Cannon Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field and expects completion by September 30, 2026.
Raytheon announced on Tuesday, that the company along with the US Army completed a successful preliminary design preview for the DeepStrike surface-to-surface missile. This will move the weapon closer toward its first flight scheduled for later this year. The DeepStrike missile was developed for the Army’s Precision Strike Missile requirement. According to Raytheon, the missile will offer low-cost solution, double the firepower, defeat fixed land targets at 300-499 kilometers, improve lethality and target set over current systems and provide flexibility in the future battlespace. The DeepStrike missile will be compatible with two launch systems of the US Army, the M270 multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) and M142 high-mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS). Previous program milestones include the successful integration of DeepStrike’s new launch pod missile container into the Army’s M142 HIMARS and M270 MLRS launchers. During the Preliminary Design Review, the Army evaluated every aspect of the new missile’s design, from its advanced propulsion system and innovative lethality package to its guidance system.
Middle East & Africa
The Israeli Ministry of Defense awarded Elbit Systems a contract to provide Automatic SPH Gun Systems to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The deal for the fully automatic self-propelled howitzer gun systems is worth approximately $125 million. According to Elbit Systems the new automatic howitzer is capable of automatic loading and laying, it automatically selects the required projectile, propellant and fuze, loads them and lays the gun to optimally engage targets. The new system is supposed to enhance the effectiveness of the artillery formation of the IDF while reducing the number of soldiers in each platform and significantly reduce life-cycle costs. The Ministry of Defense and Elbit Systems want various US companies including Elbit Systems of America, LLC, to work under an additional contract for the howitzer gun systems program. The current contract also includes the supply of training simulators and will be performed over a 12-year period.
Raytheon won a deal to offer APY-10 Radar Systems for Poseidon Jets from the Naval Air Systems Command. The contract modification is worth $39.7 million and the company will acquire three APY-10 Radar System production kits for the US Navy as well as four for the UK government and five for the government of Norway. The task is to support the production of Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft’s Lot 10 with Raytheon’s AN/APY-10 state-of-the-art maritime, littoral and overland surveillance radar. The AN/APY-10 is fully integrated into Boeing’s Mission Control and Display System for control, display and data distribution on the Poseidon. It is also the only system of its type to provide a dedicated short exposure submarine periscope detection mode as well as ultra-high resolution imaging modes for maritime and overland operations, delivering uncompromised performance in every operational environment. The P8-A Poseidon is a long-range, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare aircraft for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. In 2015 Raytheon won a multi-year contract worth $153 million from the US Navy to manufacture 53 AN/APY-10 maritime, littoral and overland surveillance radars for its fleet of the Poseidon. Last year, the UK procured eight APY-10 radar systems for their P-8As. Work under the contract modification is scheduled to be completed in September 2022. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $39,718,809 will be obligated at time of award.
The US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center contracted General Atomics Aeronautical Systems $9.2 million for the UK MQ-9 Reaper contractor logistics support effort. The deal provides for ongoing sustainment of the UK MQ-9 fleet. The MQ-9 Reaper is a remotely piloted medium-altitude, long endurance aircraft designed for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance, and attack missions. The UK purchased two MQ-9A Reapers in 2006 and a third one in 2007. The same year, the drones began operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan. By May 2011, five Reapers were in operation and a further five on order. This week, MAG Aerospace won $11.4 million for ongoing sustainment, management, development and network administration of the UK MQ-9 Reaper Operations Centers. The Netherlands also procured four MQ-9 systems from the US Air Force at the beginning of the week. General Atomics will perform work under the current contract at multiple stateside and international locations, and is expecting to be finished by June 30, 2019. The award involves 100 percent foreign military sales to the government of the United Kingdom.
Thales announced on Tuesday, that Malaysia will launch the second generation of its military VHF radio with Sapura Thales Electronics (STE). STE is a joint venture with Sapura and Thales. The so called TRC 5200 is fully indigenous to Malaysia. According to Thales, the first-generation of handheld radios was a huge commercial success with over 5,000 units sold worldwide to countries in Asia, Middle East, Africa and South America. As reported by local media, the company is eyeing the Middle East and North Africa as potential markets for this latest military tactical VHF radio.
The Australian government wants to purchase the second of a planned fleet of at least six Northrop Grumman Triton MQ-4C Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Jane’s reports. The second platform will be acquired through a co-operative program with the US Navy and is supposed to compliment the Royal Australian Air Force’s P-8A Poseidon. The Triton is a high-altitude long endurance aircraft that will be used for maritime patrol and other surveillance roles. Supporting missions up to 24 hours, the Triton is equipped with a sensor suite that provides a 360-degree view of its surroundings for over 2000 nautical miles. The first UAV is scheduled to be introduced into service in mid-2023 with all six planned to be delivered by late 2025 and based at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia.
Watch: US Military Deploys Marines in South China Sea as Tensions Soar (We must show China our)
Latest updates[?]: The US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center contracted General Atomics Aeronautical Systems $9.2 million for the UK MQ-9 Reaper contractor logistics support effort. The deal provides for ongoing sustainment of the UK MQ-9 fleet. The MQ-9 Reaper is a remotely piloted medium-altitude, long endurance aircraft designed for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance, and attack missions. The UK purchased two MQ-9A Reapers in 2006 and a third one in 2007. The same year, the drones began operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan. By May 2011, five Reapers were in operation and a further five on order. This week, MAG Aerospace won $11.4 million for ongoing sustainment, management, development and network administration of the UK MQ-9 Reaper Operations Centers. The Netherlands also procured four MQ-9 systems from the US Air Force at the beginning of the week. General Atomics will perform work under the current contract at multiple stateside and international locations, and is expecting to be finished by June 30, 2019. The award involves 100 percent foreign military sales to the government of the United Kingdom.
The US Navy awarded Austal USA a $261.8 million contract modification for two additional Expeditionary Fast Transport Ships (EPFs). The modification provides for design and construction and will also definitize the long-lead-time material undefinitized contract actions for EPF 13 and 14. Australian Shipbuilder Austal builds EPF ships in support of the EPF program by the Navy. The 14-ship EPF program has been worth over $2 billion. According to the DOD, the EPF class provides high-speed, shallow-draft transportation capability to support the intra-theater maneuver of personnel, supplies and equipment for the US Navy, Marine Corps, and Army. The vessels are to join coalition force operations of the Army and Navy. The Spearhead-Class EPF ships’ main roles include transportation of troops, military vehicles, cargo and equipment for a range of global missions. They will also support military logistics and humanitarian relief operations. The construction of EPF 13 will start in late 2019 and after that the construction of EPF 14 will commence in the middle of 2020, extending the EPF program to 2022.
The Defense Logistics Agency contracted General Dynamics $93 million for the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 1 system. The WIN-T Increment 1 was originally known as the JOINT Network Node Network program and is the Army’s high-speed, high-capacity tactical communications network to distribute classified and unclassified information by means of voice, data, and real-time video. Increment 1 is a stationary network for command posts and units. It provides a full range of at-the-halt data, voice, and video communications. Work under the five-year-contract will take place in Massachusetts and is scheduled to be completed by March 24, 2024.
Raytheon announced on March 25, that the company will develop a new version of the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar on the U2 Dragon Lady. The US Air Force awarded Raytheon the $320 million undefinitized contract. The ASARS-2B is the radar used on the Dragon Lady reconnaissance aircraft. It contains an active electronically scanned array antenna and is designed to double the surveillance range of the U2. The advanced radar also maintains the mapping and imagery resolution of the existing ASARS-2A system. ASARS-2A is a high-resolution, multimode, long-range, air-to-ground radar that can support all-weather operations during day or night. ASARS-2B provides operators with critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data. The U2 Dragon Lady is a single-jet engine, ultra-high altitude reconnaissance aircraft designed for minimum airframe weight. Built from the profile of a traditional sailplane with a long-tapered wing, the plane was designed in the mid-1950s as reconnaissance on Soviet military Activity.
Middle East & Africa
The US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division tapped Insitu Inc. with $17.5 million to support ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) sites in Afghanistan. The delivery order provides for technical services, training, site survey and activation teams, and program management to sustain. The Boeing Insitu ScanEagle is a long-endurance, low-altitude UAV used for reconnaissance. The ScanEagle carried a stabilized electro-optical and infrared camera on a lightweight inertial stabilized turret system, and an integrated communications system having a range of over 62 miles. The UAV is launched using a pneumatic launcher known as the „SuperWedge“ launcher. In 2015 Insitu won an award to deliver eight ScanEagle systems to Afghanistan and in 2017 the company was tapped for delivery of five more. In March last year, it was reported that Afghanistan is to receive eight additional UAVs by March 2019. 95 percent of work under the current contract will be performed in Afghanistan and 5 percent in Bingen, Washington. The scheduled completion date is March 2020.
The US Department of State approved a possible sale to Morocco of F-16C/D aircraft. The cost of the deal is estimated at $3.8 billion. Morocco has requested to purchase 25 F-16C/D Block 72 aircraft and other related equipment. According to a press statement, the proposed 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 that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in North Africa. Morocco already operates an F-16 fleet and also requested an upgrade of the 23 aircraft to the F-16V configuration. The prime contractor for the sale and the upgrade is Lockheed Martin. According to the company, the F-16 Block 70/72 is the newest and most advanced F-16 configuration to date, with a structural life more than 50 percent beyond that of previous F-16 aircraft.
The budget committee of the German parliament approved $28 million in funding to upgrade German Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks as well as the same amount for procurement of 155 mm ammunition for the Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000 self-propelled howitzer. According to a statement from the Ministry of Defense, 101 Main Battle Tank Leopard 2 variants A6M A2 and A6 are to be brought to a similar design level as the latest version Leopard 2 A7V. The aim is to adapt to the Leopard 2 A7V in terms of operation and logistics. The tanks’ systems will be standardized to make them more effective, increase protection, and allow for the exchange of crews. 32,000 DM121 shells for the PzH 2000 are to be delivered in a total of eight procurements.
India inducted four CH47 Chinooks heavy-lift helos into the Indian Air Force. The Chinook choppers will be used for various military purposes including deploying of troops and machinery at high-altitude locations along the India-Pakistan border. With this, India will join a long list of 19 countries including the US, UK, Japan, and South Korea that deploys the twin-engined, heavy-lift helicopters. India bought 15 Chinooks at a prize of $1.5 billion. The whole fleet is expected to be inducted by March next year. The CH-47 Chinooks are multi-mission heavy-lift transport helicopters. They will be used to transport troops, artillery, supplies, equipment on the battlefield, ammunition and even barrier materials. They can also be used as disaster relief, search and recovery operations, medical evacuation, fire-fighting and civil development.
Latest updates[?]: The Defense Logistics Agency contracted General Dynamics $93 million for the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 1 system. The WIN-T Increment 1 was originally known as the JOINT Network Node Network program and is the Army’s high-speed, high-capacity tactical communications network to distribute classified and unclassified information by means of voice, data, and real-time video. Increment 1 is a stationary network for command posts and units. It provides a full range of at-the-halt data, voice, and video communications. Work under the five-year-contract will take place in Massachusetts and is scheduled to be completed by March 24, 2024.
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As the Army’s tactical portion of the USA’s Global Information Grid (GIG) network, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) is designed to help deployed forces tap into that global network and its databases, collectors, and connections to national agencies. At present, this requires multiple private networks, or outright forward deployment of representatives from the agencies in question. If it can be done at all.
WIN-T has absorbed the program formerly known as the Joint Network Node, and another 3 fielding increments will gradually add key capabilities to the system. Increment 1/ JNN is widely fielded, Increment 2 is being fielded, and R&D contracts are beginning fleshing out Increment 3.
Morocco’s combat air force currently flies 2 squadrons of old F-5 fighters, and 2 squadrons of only slightly newer Mirage F1s. T-37 light jets serve as high-end trainers. Their neighbor and rival Algeria flies MiG-23s of similar vintage, but the Force Aérienne Algérienne also flies SU-24 Fencer and SU-25 Frogfoot strike aircraft, plus even more modern and capable MiG-29s, and is receiving multi-role SU-30MKAs as part of a multi-billion dollar weapons deal with Russia.
Morocco can’t beat that array. Instead, they’re looking for replacement aircraft and upgrades that will prevent complete overmatch, and provide a measure of security. Initially, they looked to France, but key reversals have handed most of this modernization work to the United States.
The US Missile Defense Agency awarded Boeing a $4 billion contract modification to Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) and Development and Sustainment Contract (DSC). The modification will extend the DSC period from January 2018 to December 2023. The GMD is designed specifically to counter long-range ballistic missiles threatening the US homeland. It uses a three-stage booster, giving the necessary “legs” to perform intercepts over great distances. This range gives GMD by far the greatest coverage area of any US missile defense system, defending all fifty states and Canada. The modification also includes the delivery of a new missile field with 20 silos and two extra silos in a previously constructed missile field at Fort Greely in Alaska. The Missile Defense Agency is also deferring the production of 20 additional Ground Based Interceptors (GBIs) due to the deal associated with not meeting the entrance criteria for the Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV) critical design review. GBIs are silo-launched and intercept ballistic missiles in their midcourse, while they are outside of the atmosphere and at their highest trajectory. The missile consists of a multi-stage rocket booster and a kinetic kill vehicle, which makes interception of ballistic missile warheads possible using hit-to-kill technology. The definitized part of the modification provides for technical capabilities to improve a state-of-the-art missile defense system in order of ensuring that defensive capabilities remain relevant and current. These efforts include Boost Vehicle (BV) development; providing GBI assets for labs and test events; development, integration, testing and deployment of ground systems software builds to address emerging threats; development and fielding of upgraded launch support equipment; expanded systems testing through all ground and flight testing; cyber security support and testing; and, operations and support via performance based logistics approach. Work will take place within the US.
Northrop Grumman won a $245 million contract modification from the Naval Sea Systems Command to support the Expeditionary Warfare Program Office. The modification provides for the Joint Counter-Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (JCREW) Increment 1 Block 1 (I1B1) systems full-rate production. JCREW devices are high-power, modular, programmable, multiband radio frequency jammers designed to deny enemy use of selected portions of the radio frequency spectrum. Northrop Grumman was selected to work on the JCREW 3.3 program, which has been replaced by the JCREW I1B1 development, but the terms can be used synonymously. According to the Department of Defense, the JCREW I1B1 system is the first-generation system that develops a common open architecture across all three capabilities and provides protection for worldwide military operations. This integrated design maximizes commonality across all capabilities, reduces life cycle costs and provides increased protection against worldwide threats. Work will take place in San Diego, California and is scheduled to be finished by January 2021.
The Bolivian Air Force will upgrade its UH-1H „Huey“ helo for counter-narcotics operations. As Jane’s reports the government approved a budgetary increase of $6.8 million on March 19. UH-1H is a multimission, medium-lift helicopter. Actually called Iroquois, the helicopter played an important role in the Vietnam War, in which 7,000 aircraft were deployed. The UH-1 was actually the first turbine-powered helicopter produced for the US Military. Under the upgrade for Bolivia, 11 of the Bolivian Air Force’s 15 helos will be modernized to Huey II standard. Combining a modernized airframe of the basic UH-1H helicopter and Bell 212 components, the Huey II upgrade offers lower direct maintenance costs and greater mission flexibility. It is equipped with new features such as increased horsepower, crashworthy seats, multifunctional interior, new wiring and digital cockpit. The helicopter has a two-blade, semi-rigid main rotor and a two-blade tail rotor. It is also equipped with a new skid type landing gear.
Middle East & Africa
The US Air Force awarded AAR Airlift Group a $34 million task order modification that provides continued support of NATO Air Command-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command. According to the DOD, services include dedicated rotary wing air transportation to move passengers, cargo, and human remains as well as perform casualty evacuation in support of the Afghan Air Force within Afghanistan. The Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command advises, and assists within Afghan security institutions to develop resource management capability. The Command helps Afghanistan develop a sustainable, effective and affordable National Defense and Security Forces in support of the Afghan Government. The order is to be performed over the next year.
The UK will acquire five Boeing 737-based E-7 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system aircraft. As reported by Flight Global, the UK Ministry of Defense confirmed the $1.98 billion contract that will lead to the replacement of the Royal Air Force’s current Boeing 707-based E-3D Sentry fleet, on March 22. Designed for the Royal Australian Air Force under “Project Wedgetail” and designated E-7A Wedgetail, the E-7 is based on a standard Boeing 737 NG airliner modified to carry a sophisticated Northrop Grumman active electronically-scanned radar. The L-band electronically scanned AEW and surveillance radar is located on a dorsal fin on top of the fuselage, dubbed the “top hat”, and is designed for minimal aerodynamic effect. Last year the UK wanted to proceed with a non-competitive selection of the E-7 with the Ministry of Defense having been keen to acquire an operationally-proven system to replace its current assets.
The US Air Force awarded General Atomics a not-to-exceed $8.9 million contract action for the France MQ-9 Block 1 Weapons integration effort. The Foreign Military sale comes under an undefinitized contract action for the production and integration of the kits for the remotely piloted aircraft. The Reaper has a range of 1,150 miles up to 50,000 feet in altitude with a takeoff weight of 10,500 pounds. In 2013, the French ordered two MQ-9 Reaper medium-altitude long endurance drones to replace its Harfang drones. Last November, the US Air Force awarded General Atomics Aeronautical Systems a $263.4 million contract for production of the Reaper. Work under the contract action will take place n Poway, California and is expected to be complete by September 30, 2020.
According to reports, Turkish defense company ASELSAN will equip Turkey’s F-16 with a new nose radar. The F-16 AESA Nose Radar Development Project was launched to meet the need for modernization of the radars of the F-16 aircraft in the Air Force Command inventory with new generation radars that have Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) antenna technology. Turkey acquired its first F-16 Fighting Falcons in the 80s. Last month, it was reported that the new electronics warfare system for the Turkish F-16s, the SPEWS-II developed by ASELSAN, had successfully completed tests and entered into use.
Watch: Should Canada resize type 26 warship to meet Canada’s needs?
Latest updates[?]: The US Missile Defense Agency awarded Boeing a $4 billion contract modification to Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) and Development and Sustainment Contract (DSC). The modification will extend the DSC period from January 2018 to December 2023. The GMD is designed specifically to counter long-range ballistic missiles threatening the US homeland. It uses a three-stage booster, giving the necessary “legs” to perform intercepts over great distances. This range gives GMD by far the greatest coverage area of any US missile defense system, defending all fifty states and Canada. The modification also includes the delivery of a new missile field with 20 silos and two extra silos in a previously constructed missile field at Fort Greely in Alaska. The Missile Defense Agency is also deferring the production of 20 additional Ground Based Interceptors (GBIs) due to the deal associated with not meeting the entrance criteria for the Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV) critical design review. GBIs are silo-launched and intercept ballistic missiles in their midcourse, while they are outside of the atmosphere and at their highest trajectory. The missile consists of a multi-stage rocket booster and a kinetic kill vehicle, which makes interception of ballistic missile warheads possible using hit-to-kill technology. The definitized part of the modification provides for technical capabilities to improve a state-of-the-art missile defense system in order of ensuring that defensive capabilities remain relevant and current. These efforts include Boost Vehicle (BV) development; providing GBI assets for labs and test events; development, integration, testing and deployment of ground systems software builds to address emerging threats; development and fielding of upgraded launch support equipment; expanded systems testing through all ground and flight testing; cyber security support and testing; and, operations and support via performance based logistics approach. Work will take place within the US.
GMD launch, 2001
The USA’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program uses land-based missiles to intercept incoming ballistic missiles in the middle of their flight, outside the atmosphere. The missiles are currently based at 2 sites in the USA: 4 at Vandenberg AFB in California, and 20 (eventually 26) at Fort Greely in Alaska.
The well-known Patriot missiles provide what’s known as terminal-phase defense options, while longer-reach options like the land-based THAAD perform terminal or descent-phase interceptions. Even so, their sensors and flight ranges are best suited to defense against shorter range missiles launched from in-theater.
In contrast, GMD is designed to defend against intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). It depends on tracking that begins in the boost phase, in order to allow true mid-course interception attempts in space, before descent or terminal phase options like THAAD and then Patriot would be tried. In order to accomplish that task, GMD missiles must use data feeds from an assortment of long-range sensors, including satellites like SBIRS and DSP, some SPSS/BMEWS huge early-warning radars, and even the naval SBX radar.
The US Navy awarded Boeing a potential $4 billion contract modification for 78 F/A-18 Super Hornets. The F-18 Super Hornet is a twin-engine, multirole fighter capable of carrying air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. The deal provides for the full-rate production and delivery of 61 F/A-18E and 17 F/A-18F aircraft for fiscal years 2018 through 2021. The F/A-18E is the single-seat variant and the F/A-18F is the tandem-seat variant of the Super Hornet. According to reports Boeing will start converting Block II Super Hornets to Block III in the next ten years. The Block III update consists of structural and sensor upgrades. It also adds the ability to receive and transfer large amounts of sensor data with other Super Hornets and the Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. A second-generation infrared search and track (IRST) radar will allow the aircraft to detect and track enemy aircraft without giving away its own position by using its radar. The Block III update also comes with a Rockwell Collins Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT) radio and an advanced processor, which allows two or more F/A-18E/Fs to share IRST sensor data, giving a single fighter enough information to use for a targeting solution. Work under the contract modification will take place in the US and Canada and is scheduled to be completed in April 2024.
The Naval Air Systems Command contracted Northrop Grumman Systems with a $37.5 million modification in support of the E-6B Mercury aircraft. The deal includes procurement and delivery of seven MR-TCDL B-Kits, one Mission Avionics Systems Trainer B-Kit, and associated A- and B-Kit spares for the MR-TCDL upgrade. The Multi-Role Tactical Common Data Link (MR-TCDL) provides real-time networking connectivity to warfighters and commanders by enabling extremely fast exchange of data via ground, airborne and satellite networks. The E-6B Mercury is a modified version of the E-6A Mercury, which is a command post and communications relay aircraft. The E-6B features battle staff positions and an airborne launch control system equipped with land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. Last month, an E-6B was damaged while being moved out of a Hangar at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Work for the contract modification will take place in Utah, California, Boston, and Massachusetts and will likely be completed in October 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Boeing handed over the first of 24 AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters to Qatar last week. Qatar initially requested the helos in 2012, with the contract being signed in 2016. The Apache is a twin-turboshaft attack helicopter that features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems. The AH-64 was designed to perform in front-line environments, and to operate at night or day and during adverse weather conditions. Systems on the Apache include Target Acquisition and Designation System, Pilot Night Vision System, passive infrared countermeasures, GPS, and the IHADSS. The AH-64E is the latest version of the AH-64 and is also called the Apache Guardian. The gunship comes with new sensors, avionics and has improved night operation capabilities. Furthermore, the AH-64E helicopter can control a couple of UAVs. Weapons requested by Qatar in the original Foreign Military Sales notification included AGM-114R Hellfire laser-guided missiles, FIM-92H Stinger missiles with air-to-air launchers, and 70 mm Hydra air-to-surface rockets. The first Apache was handed over during a delivery ceremony at a Boeing plant in Arizona.
Two Bombardier Global 6000 business jets arrived in Turkey in order to be fitted with airborne stand-off jammers (Air SOJ). The Air SOJ is also known as the Remote Electronic Support/Electronic Attack Ability and has been initiated by the Turkish Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) to develop electronic warfare special mission aircraft. It is developed by Turkish defense company Aselsan. The system will be designed to detect, identify, jam, and spoof enemy communication systems and radars so that they cannot be used against friendly platforms. The Global 6000 business jet is part of the Bombardier Global Express family, which are large cabin 11,100 km range jets. It entered service in 2012. Defense Industries Presidency Chairman Ismail Demir and representatives of Turkish Aerospace Industries, Aselsan, Air Forces Command and Bombardier, examined the aircraft at TAI facilities. Under an agreement signed in August 2018, the SSB contracted Aselsan to develop and deliver four Air SOJ systems to the Turkish Air Force Command between 2023 and 2027.
During an event launched by British Minister for Defense Procurement, Stuart Andrew, companies from all over the UK came together in the first opportunity for suppliers to engage with the Government and Team Tempest partners over the future of Combat Air System development in Great Britain. The Tempest is a proposed stealth fighter aircraft to be designed and manufactured in the UK. A consortium named „Team Tempest“, consisting of the UK Ministry of Defense, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Leonardo and MBDA is developing the future fighter. The Tempest program aims to harness and develop UK capabilities that are critical for Next Generation Combat Air capability and to retain the UK’s position as a globally competitive leader through understanding of future concepts, technologies and capabilities. The recent event in Farnborough aimed for its participants to build connections and take part in a series of briefings outlining the capabilities and skills needed to shape the future of Combat Air System delivery in the UK
Japan is planning to extend the range of it ASM-3 air-launched anti-ship missile, Jane’s reports. The country wants to develop long-range air-to-surface cruise missiles to bolster defense capabilities. The ASM-3 is a supersonic anti-ship missile that was jointly developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and the Japanese Ministry of Defense to replace Japan’s 93 series of missiles. The missile is expected to be carried by Japan’s F-2 multirole fighters. However, a new advanced mission computer for the F-2 is yet to be made and the missile cannot yet be integrated with the aircraft. The Mitsubishi F-2 is a multirole fighter that entered service in 2008. On October 2018, it was reported, that Japan wants to replace its F-2 fighter with a indigenously made aircraft after rejecting proposals from Lockheed Martin, Boeing and BAE Systems. The domestic cruise missiles are also intended for use on the new fighters that will replace the F-2 after its retirement in 2030.
Watch: Japanese New Generation Concept, Advanced Stealth Fighter Aircraft
The US Air Force contracted Goodrich Corp. with $92.9 million to help develop ISR Sensor technology. The deal includes Hyperspectral Imaging, AgilePod®, Standoff High Resolution Imaging Next Era, and Multi-Mode Lidar research and development. The company will help the Air Force Research Laboratory examine and integrate electro-optical, infrared, radio frequency, multispectral and hyperspectral imaging, lidar and related Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems. Goodrich Corporation supplies aerospace components, systems, and services for the commercial and general aviation airplane, and defense as well as space markets. The company provides a range of actuators, including primary and secondary flight controls, helicopter main and tail rotor actuation, engine and nacelle actuation, utility actuation, precision weapon actuation, and land vehicle actuation products, landing gear systems, and aircraft wheels and brakes. Work for the contract will take place in Westford, Massachusetts and is scheduled to be completed by September 29, 2025.
The Naval Air Systems Command awarded Boeing a $326.3 million Delivery Order to develop, integrate and test Increment 3 Block capabilities into the P-8A aircraft for the US Navy as well as the government of Australia. The P-8A Poseidon is derived from Boeing’s 737-800 and designed for anti-surface and submarine warfare, broad-area maritime missions, littoral operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It features the Raytheon APY-10 multi-mission surface search radar. Work under the deal will take place in Washington, New York, Illinois, California, Maryland, Arizona, Missouri as well as Florida and is expected to be finished in March 2024.
Raytheon’s Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR) will begin live testing at Wallops Island Test Facility, the company announced on Tuesday. The EASR is the newest sensor in the US Navy’s SPY-6 family of radars. It is the Navy’s next generation radar for aircraft carriers and amphibious warfare that provides simultaneous anti-air and anti-surface warfare, electronic protection and air traffic control capabilities. The radar just recently completed subsystem testing at Raytheon’s Near Field Range in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Raytheon is building two variants of EASR: a single-face rotating array designated AN/SPY-6(V)2 for amphibious assault ships and Nimitz class carriers, and a three fixed-face array designated AN/SPY-6(V)3 for Ford class aircraft carriers and the future FFG(X) guided missile frigates. According to Raytheon, the radar will undergo system-level testing, tracking a variety of aircraft through the end of 2019 once it is up and running.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s Missile Defense Organization and the US Missile Defense Agency successfully completed a series of interception tests with the David’s Sling weapon system. Israeli company Rafael carried out the experiments at a test site in southern Israel. During the trials, advanced capabilities of the David’s Sling missile system were tested in a new version developed for a number of scenarios to simulate future threats the system may face during a confrontation. David’s Sling is a joint Israeli-US project, with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems collaborating with US defense contractor Raytheon. The weapon system is also called „Magic Wand“ and became operational in 2017. It is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets, as well as cruise missiles fired with ranges of 40 to 300 km.
The US Air Force sent six B-52 long-range bombers to the UK for a series of training activities over Europe. The aircraft along with 450 airmen arrived at Royal Air Force Fairford on Thursday. The United States has deployed strategic bombers in Europe at least once a year since 2014. The current deployment marks the largest deployment of the bombers to Europe since Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. The Boeing B-52 is a long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber that has been utilized by the US Air Force since the 1950s and can carry conventional as well as nuclear weapons. The current training activities will test how the bombers can conduct missions out of Fairford and will familiarize aircrews with operations over Europe, including the Norwegian Sea, Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean.
KT Consulting won an $11.9 million firm-fixed-price task order for F-16 Weapons System support. The contract involves a Foreign Military Sale to Singapore. The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine, supersonic multirole fighter. Early fighters could be armed with up to six AIM-9 Sidewinder, heat-seeking, short-range air-to-air missiles (AAM), and radar guided AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range AAMs. The recent versions of the aircraft support AIM-120 AMRAAM. The Republic of Singapore Air Force operates 62 F-16 Fighting Falcons, all of which are advanced F-16C/D block 52 aircraft. These aircraft are equipped with state-of the-art armament, including AIM-120 AMRAAM as well as presumably the Israeli Python 4 missile linked to a DASH-3 Helmet Mounted Sight. Work will take place at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico and is scheduled to be finished by March 31, 2024. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $4,435,581 and Singapore National Funds in the amount of $34,969 are being obligated at the time of award.
The Naval Air Systems Command awarded Lockheed Martin a $264.7 million modification for additional operation and technical services in support of the government of Korea’s F-35 Lightning II program. The stealth F-35A is supposed to provide the Republic of Korea (ROK) with enhanced capability to protect safety and security. The ROK signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance between the US and Korea for 40 F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing variant jets with initial deliveries beginning in 2018. The first Korean F-35A made its debut in March 2018. It is expected that the aircraft will start to deliver to Chongju Air Base in spring 2019. Work under the modification will take place in Fort Worth, Texas and is scheduled to be completed in June 2020. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $264,655,025 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Watch: Beijing to build another base in the South China Sea despite threats from American