The Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Repair awarded General Dynamics multiple contracts worth $191 million for post delivery services for the US Navy’s USS South Dakota (SSN 790). The USS South Dakota is a nuclear powered Virginia-Class submarine. The Virginia-Class attack submarine is the U.S. Navy’s newest undersea warfare platform and incorporates the latest in stealth, intelligence gathering and weapons systems technology. The South Dakota is part of the Third Block or “Flight“, which began construction in 2009. Block III subs feature a revised bow with a Large Aperture Bow sonar array, as well as technology from Ohio-Class ships. General Dynamics won a $76 million contract for planning and execution efforts and alterations, $60 million to provide additional support and services, and $55 million for installation of the Stern Area System during USS South Dakota’s (SSN 790) post-delivery work period. Work will take place in Groton, Connecticut and is scheduled to be finished by December 2020.
The USS Charleston entered the Navy’s fleet as the 16th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) during a commissioning ceremony in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday. The LCS-18 is an Independent-Class Littoral Combat Ship built by Austal. The ship is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform that can operate in near-shore environments, as well as open-ocean. The Charleston is the ninth Independence-variant littoral combat ship, which consists of even-numbered hulls. It is able to defeat asymmetric anti-access threats, such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The USS Charleston was christened in August 2017 and delivered to the US Navy last year following the completion of acceptance trials. The LCS-18 is scheduled to be homeported in San Diego, California. The Navy still has one LCS contract to award.
Middle East & Africa
The US Missile Defense Agency contracted Lockheed Martin $945.9 million in the first down payment for a $15 billion buy of missile defense systems by Saudi Arabia. The deal provides for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The THAAD system is designed to shoot down short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, including weapons of mass destruction, in descent or reentry. Lockheed will provide THAAD foreign military sales KSA Phase I long lead items, obsolescence, tooling and test equipment, key personnel, line requalification activities, initial training development, System Integration Lab and testbeds, three-level maintenance concept, exportability and early engineering development. The US State Department approved the sale of the defense system to Saudi Arabia in October 2017. Work will take place within the US and the contract’s performance period is from February 28, 2019 through October 31, 2026.
Rheinmetall completed a series of comprehensive trials with a new weapon station at its test center in Zürich, Switzerland. The weapon station, in combination with a laser, demonstrated its speed and precision in tests conducted in December 2018. Drones and mortar rounds were successfully engaged at operationally relevant ranges. The laser weapon station is part of Rheinmetall’s efforts to transform laser weapon technology into a fully functional weapon system. According to the company, the system consists of four main components: the laser source, beam director with the telescope, and coarse tracker. The mobile weapon station can mechanically point the laser towards the target. During the tests, the laser weapon station was combined with a beam director and advanced lasers. It can also be combined with an upcoming 20 kW laser source. The assemblies are modular and scalable in design and are equally suitable for ground, air and naval operations. Rheimetall also declared, that it now has all of the principal assemblies for a future laser weapon system at its own disposal.
The US Naval Surface Warfare Center contracted Corvid Technologies LLC $223.3 million for Navy Sub-Orbital Flight Vehicles. The company will provide hardware, equipment and components needed to produce sub-orbital flight vehicles for the US Navy, other government organizations and Japan. The flight vehicles are exo-atmospheric rocket-based vehicles specifically configured to deliver payloads and test articles into a flight regime of interest for systems under test. Corvid Technologies LLC provides computational physics analysis support to defense and automotive industries. It specializes in computational fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, shock physics, styling and surfacing, and large scale prototyping and development. Japan will provide $8 million at the time of the award through the foreign military sales (FMS) program. Work is scheduled to be completed by February, 2024.
Boeing introduced its newest Unmanned Platform, called the Boeing Airpower Teaming System. Boeing Australia designed the system, which is the company’s largest investment in a new aircraft outside the US. The Australian Defense Minister unveiled a model at the Australian International Airshow. The Boeing Airpower Teaming System will complement and extend airborne missions through smart teaming with existing military aircraft. The Australian Government and Boeing will produce a concept demonstrator called the Loyal Wingman – Advanced Development Program that will provide key learnings toward the production of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System. According to Boeing, the Boeing Airpower Teaming System will provide fighter-like performance, measuring 11.7 meters. It will be able to fly more than 2,000 nautical miles. The System integrates sensor packages onboard to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and electronic warfare. It uses artificial intelligence to fly independently or in support of manned aircraft while maintaining safe distance between other aircraft.
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The Navy awarded Austal USA a $13.6 million contract modification for the 11th and 12th Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ships. The modification provides for the incorporation of a structural bow section engineering change proposal. The Spearhead-Class EPF is a Navy-led shipbuilding program. The class was previously designated as Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV). The EPF ships provide high-speed, shallow-draft transportation capability to support the intra-theater maneuver of personnel, supplies, and equipment for the Navy, Marine Corps and Army. The EPF program received Milestone A approval in May 2006. On 16 September 2016, Austal won a contract to design and construct EPF-11 and EPF-12. In 2015, the USNS Spearhead, the lead ship of the class, experienced bow-damage from rough seas requiring more than a half-million dollars to repair. It was determined that a design change recommended by Austal to the Navy late in the design phase in order to save weight has resulted in a weakened bow structure. The current modification is an undefinitized contract action for implementation of change to the bow structure on EPF 11 and EPF 12 on the DD&C Contract Line Item for each respective ship. Work will take place in Alabama, Mississippi, and Massachusetts and is scheduled to be finished by July this year.
The Navy contracted Chemring Ordnance $10.4 million for the manufacture, assembly, test, and delivery of 57mm High Explosive – Point Detonating (HE-PD) cartridges. The 57mm HE-PD Cartridge is a 57mm/70, electrically-primed cartridge designed to function in the 57mm MK 110 Gun Mount (GM). The MK 110 GM is employed on the Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class as well as the Coast Guard Legend-class National Security Cutters (NSC). The LCS is a fast, highly maneuverable, networked surface combat ship designed to satisfy the requirement for shallow draft vessels. The NSC is the largest and most technically advanced class of cutter designed for the US Coast Guard under the Deepwater program. The contract is to develop and produce 57mm HE-PD cartridges intended for combating surface and ground targets. The cartridge consists of a high explosive projectile with the ability to point detonate, a brass cartridge case loaded with propellant charge, and an electric primer. Chemring Ordnance designs, develops, and manufactures ordnance, pyrotechnic, and other munition components for military, homeland security, and first responders. The company offers 40mm low and high velocity ammunition, pyrotechnic marking, smoking, signaling, and tactical illumination devices, battlefield effects simulators, hand grenade fuses, and other ammunition components. Work under the contract will take place in Perry, Florida and is scheduled to be completed by February 2021.
The Missile Defense Agency awarded Lockheed Martin a $830.6 million contract modification for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) element development and support services. THAAD is an anti-ballistic missile defense system established to shoot down enemy ballistic missiles in their descent phase by intercepting and destroying them. The THAAD interceptor carries no warhead, but relies on its kinetic energy of impact to destroy the incoming missile. The program is similar to the Navy’s sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. The new contract modification exercises an option for additional incremental development, support to flight and ground test programs, and responsive support to requirements to sustain the Ballistic Missile Defense System throughout its life cycle. Work will take place in Sunnyvale, California, and Huntsville, Alabama. Completion dates for work are expected under future task order awards.
Middle East & Africa
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) presented the ADA-O, a variant of the ADA system, which addresses GPS jammers to ensure GPS availability for land platforms. ADA is an advanced turnkey solution that hardens avionic systems against GPS jamming. It ensures the availability of GPS- and GNSS-based navigation, communication, and EW systems even under direct, electronic attack from GPS jammers or other methods of interference. The ADA involves the use of advanced digital processing techniques that provide a high-level of immunity in severe and dynamic multi-jammer scenarios. IAI recently won a contract to provide the ADA system for an unknown Asia-Pacific country. With the new ADA-O variant the land platform can be integrated into a range of platforms, providing operational response capabilities for telecom, navigation and C2 systems. The system supports end users such as armored vehicles, artillery, C2 centers, and communication carriers.
Airbus delivered the first upgraded Tranche 1 Eurofighter to Spain. The company performed the upgrade at its facilities in Getafe near Madrid, Spain. The enhancements included the introduction of hardware modifications, which support the Operational Flight Program 02 (OFP-02) developed by Spain’s Armament and Experimental Logistics Centre (CLAEX). The company also integrated Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 equipment on the aircraft, including a computer symbol generator, digital video and voice recorder, laser designator pod and maintenance data panel. CLAEX will use this first single-seat Eurofighter, to be followed by a second two-seat aircraft currently undergoing the upgrade, as a test aircraft for the qualification of these new capabilities that will be implemented on the Air Force’s fleet of 15 Tranche 1 Eurofighters. The Eurofighter Typhoon is a project with four European nations, the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain as founding members.
The US Air Force contracted Polish aircraft manufacturer Polskie Zaklady Lotnicze $19 million to deliver a pair of PZL Mielec M28 short take-off and landing (STOL) light transport aircraft to Nepal. The PZL M28 Skytruck is a twin-engined high-wing strutted monoplane with an all-metal airframe, twin vertical fins and a tricycle fixed landing gear. The Nepalese Army Air Wing already has one M28 in its inventory, which was donated by the Polish Air Force in 2004. The aircraft crash-landed at Kolti Airport in 2017. The award to the Polish aircraft manufacturer covers two of the latest Block 5 aircraft, as well as services and support. The aircraft are scheduled to be delivered to Kathmandu by December 20. Work will take place in Mielec, Poland.
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) prepares to retire its Bell 429 helicopters, Jane’s reports. The RAN progressively transitioned its naval aviation training operations to the Airbus EC-135T2+ helicopter. The EC135 T2+ is a member of the H135 family of light twin-engine helicopters. Airbus delivered the final EC135 T2+ to Australia in 2016. The RAN previously operated a fleet of three Bell 429s to prepare its pilots for the MH-60R Seahawks or the MRH-90 helicopters. These helicopters were leased from a Raytheon-Bell partnership under a $26 million deal signed in September 2011. The final Bell 429 made its last public appearance at the Avalon Airshow 2019.
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Latest updates[?]: The Navy contracted Chemring Ordnance $10.4 million for the manufacture, assembly, test, and delivery of 57mm High Explosive - Point Detonating (HE-PD) cartridges. The 57mm HE-PD Cartridge is a 57mm/70, electrically-primed cartridge designed to function in the 57mm MK 110 Gun Mount (GM). The MK 110 GM is employed on the Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) class as well as the Coast Guard Legend-class National Security Cutters (NSC). The LCS is a fast, highly maneuverable, networked surface combat ship designed to satisfy the requirement for shallow draft vessels. The NSC is the largest and most technically advanced class of cutter designed for the US Coast Guard under the Deepwater program. The contract is to develop and produce 57mm HE-PD cartridges intended for combating surface and ground targets. The cartridge consists of a high explosive projectile with the ability to point detonate, a brass cartridge case loaded with propellant charge, and an electric primer. Chemring Ordnance designs, develops, and manufactures ordnance, pyrotechnic, and other munition components for military, homeland security, and first responders. The company offers 40mm low and high velocity ammunition, pyrotechnic marking, smoking, signaling, and tactical illumination devices, battlefield effects simulators, hand grenade fuses, and other ammunition components. Work under the contract will take place in Perry, Florida and is scheduled to be completed by February 2021.
The Legend Class National Security Cutters were the largest ships in the The US Coast Guard’s massive $25 billion Deepwater meta-program, and served as its flagship in more ways than one. The 418 foot, 4,400 ton ships will be frigate-sized vessels with a 21 foot draughts, and are rather larger than the 379 foot, 3,250 ton Hamilton Class High Endurance Cutters (HECs) they will replace. Controversies regarding durability and potential hull fatigue, as well as significant cost overruns, have shadowed the new cutter’s construction. The program has survived, and is pushing toward its end in a few years – but will the number of ships bought be enough to help the USCG?
This DID FOCUS Article covers the Legend Class cutters’ specifications, program history, and key events…
Strategic Systems Programs contracted Lockheed Martin with a $28.6 million modification in support of the integration of the TRIDENT II (D5) Missile and Reentry Subsystems into the Common Missile Compartment for the Columbia Class and United Kingdom Dreadnought programs. The modification exercises options for engineering efforts. The TRIDENT II D5 fleet ballistic missile is a three-stage, solid-propellant, inertial-guided missile that can carry multiple independently targeted reentry bodies for a maximum range of over 7,360 kilometers. The Trident II D5 guidance system directs the missile on a rectified trajectory counterbalancing for submarine’s awkward position, in-flight effects and internal guidance calibratable parameters, upon launch of the missile. The guidance system works as the reference for maintaining missile stability and activating the reentry body separation for a ballistic trajectory. The Columbia Class submarine is an upcoming class of submarines aimed to replace Ohio Class ballistic missile submarines, whose remaining boats will be decommissioned, one per year, beginning in 2027. The Columbia-class will take over the role of submarine presence in the United States’ strategic nuclear force. The first submarine is scheduled to begin construction in 2021 and enter service in 2031. A total of 12 submarines are planned. Each submarine will have 16 missile tubes, each carrying one Trident II D5LE missile. The UK Dreadnought Class is the replacement for the TRIDENT II D5 Royal Navy’s missile carrying Vanguard Class submarines. Work under the modification will take place in California, Florida, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and is expected to be finished by March 31, 2021.
The Navy awarded L-3 Communications a $21.4 million contract modification to support the Navy T-45 aircraft, aircraft system and related support equipment. The T-45A/C Goshawk is the US Navy’s two-seat advanced jet trainer that was selected to meet the US Navy requirement for an undergraduate jet pilot trainer to replace the TA-4J Skyhawk and T-2C Buckeye. The aircraft is a navalized version of the BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainer, selected by the Royal Air Force and flown by the Red Arrows acrobatic display team. It has a single pylon installed under each wing for carrying bomb racks, rocket pods or auxiliary fuel tanks. The Goshawk is powered by a single Rolls-Royce navalized Adour mk871 twin-spool non-afterburn turbofan engine. The contract modification exercises an option for organizational, intermediate, and depot level maintenance, logistics, and engineering support. Support includes services, equipment, tool, direct material, and indirect material required to support and maintain flight, test and evaluation operations. Work will take place in Texas, Mississippi, and Florida and is scheduled to be completed in September this year.
The US Air Force contracted Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control with a $13.3 million modification for SNIPER Comprehensive Advanced Targeting Pod. This Targeting Pod provides positive target identification, autonomous tracking, GPS coordinate generation, and precise weapons guidance from extended standoff ranges. It is a single, lightweight targeting pod with much lower aerodynamic drag than its predecessors. Due to its image processing that allows aircrew to detect, identify and engage tactical-size targets outside the range of most enemy air defenses, it holds a crucial role in the destruction of enemy air defense missions. The current modification provides for the software enhancements and data for the development of the E4.X Operational Flight Program. Work will take place in Orlando, Florida among other places within the USA and is expected to be finished by February 28, 2021.
Middle East & Africa
The Egyptian satellite EgyptSat-A, which is owned by Egypt’s National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences and built by RSC Energia, a Moscow-based aerospace contractor, was launched from the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan. EgyptSat-A is Egypt’s third Earth observation satellite. The country decided to join the world space club, and the decision to build and launch the EgyptSat-A satellite is a significant step to achieve this strategic goal. The Egyptian satellite program has both scientific and military implications. The development and launch of EgyptSat-A boost Egyptian-Russian relations which have been growing closer in many fields. RSC Energia produced the vast majority of components for EgyptSat-A, compared to EgyptSat-2 where 60 percent of the components were manufactured in Egypt. The satellite is prized at about $100 million and weighs more than a ton when fully fueled. A Soyuz-2-1b/Fregat rocket lifted off the EgyptSat-A on February 21, 2019. The Soyuz-2 rockets are modernized vehicles based on the Soyuz-U and its predecessors, with digital flight controls and upgraded engines.
Germany released tender documents for the Bundeswehr’s heavy-lift helicopter (Schwerer Transporthubschrauber, STH). The Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support issued the documents on February 28, which set out the performance and programmatic details for the STH requirement to procure 44-60 helicopter for the German Luftwaffe. Back in November, the German government announced, that a newly developed helicopter to replace the 70 incumbent Sikorsky CH-53G/GS/GA/GEs would not be an option. However, the Boeing CH-47E and Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion would be an appropriate purchase for Germany. According to the released tender, parties have until May 14 to respond to the release. A request for proposal will then be issued shortly after.
The US Missile Defense Agency awarded Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems Division a $10 million contract modification for engineering and design support services for the Aegis Ashore (AA) Japan Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Technical Assistance Case. The modification prepares for the AA Japan Main Case. The Aegis Ashore is a land-based component of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, that provides missile defense against short to intermediate-range ballistic missiles. On December 19, 2017, the Cabinet of Japan approved a plan to purchase two Aegis Ashore systems equipped with the Gallium Nitride AESA radar to increase the country’s self-defense capability against North Korea, using SM-3 Block IIA missiles. Work under the modification will take place in New Jersey, and is expected to be completed by October 31 this year.
The US Naval Air Systems Command awarded Boeing a $428.9 million modification for long-lead material and activities in support of 16 P-8A Poseidons. The award includes the complete orders for South Korea and New Zealand. The US government approved the sale of four P-8As to New Zealand in May 2017. The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) is procuring the aircraft to replace its aging Lockheed Martin P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft. South Korea’s procurement was approved in September 2018, with the Republic of South Korea Air Force (RoKAF) also looking to replace its fleet of aging P-3 Orions. The modification covers long-lead material and activities in support of four aircraft for New Zealand and six for South Korea. It also covers six further aircraft for the US Navy. The P-8 Poseidon is a militarized version of the 737-800ERX that conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction. The aircraft is the U.S. Navy’s next-generation maritime surveillance aircraft. Work under the contract modification will take place within the continental US and is scheduled to be completed in June next year.
Singapore plans to buy an initial four F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin. The country is looking to replace its F-16 fleet. Its fleet of around 60 F-16 jets, which first entered service in 1998, will be retired soon after 2030. Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Friday, the Ministry will issue a Letter of Request (LOR) to the US regarding the purchase. The LOR will request an initial acquisition of four F-35s, with the option of a subsequent eight. With Southeast Asia’s largest defense budget, the wealthy city-state is a key prize for global arms companies as it looks to invest in new technology and upgrade its equipment.
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Latest updates[?]: The US Air Force contracted Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control with a $13.3 million modification for SNIPER Comprehensive Advanced Targeting Pod. This Targeting Pod provides positive target identification, autonomous tracking, GPS coordinate generation, and precise weapons guidance from extended standoff ranges. It is a single, lightweight targeting pod with much lower aerodynamic drag than its predecessors. Due to its image processing that allows aircrew to detect, identify and engage tactical-size targets outside the range of most enemy air defenses, it holds a crucial role in the destruction of enemy air defense missions. The current modification provides for the software enhancements and data for the development of the E4.X Operational Flight Program. Work will take place in Orlando, Florida among other places within the USA and is expected to be finished by February 28, 2021.
Sniper XR Targeting Pod
In a recent address to Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control employees in Orlando, FL, USAF Aeronautical Systems Center Commander Lt. Gen. William R. Looney praised Lockheed Martin’s Sniper XR Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) following the system’s recent successful deployment in Iraq. Ten of the U.S. Air Force Sniper pods were shipped to Lakenheath, England, and installed aboard Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles. These Sniper pods have now flown in more than 450 missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The Navy tapped General Dynamics Mission Systems with a $34.7 million contract modification to help maintain an Austal-built Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). Under the two year order General Dynamics will support maintenance of command, control, communications, computers, combat and intelligence systems of the Austal Independence variant LCS. The company will provide resource management, program planning, installation, modernization, training, cost and schedule control and software development services for the LCS. Austal’s Independence variant Ship is a high-speed, agile, multi-mission combatant that delivers superior seakeeping and performance. It is an open ocean capable vessel, but is designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in the coastal water battlespace. General Dynamics was the prime contractor for LCS 2 (USS Independence) and LCS 4 (USS Coronado). However, Austal has been the Prime contractor for all Independence variant from LCS 6 onward. For the LCS program, Austal teamed up with General Dynamics Mission Systems. As the ship systems integrator, General Dynamics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the ship’s electronic systems including the combat system, networks, and seaframe control. Work under the modification will take place in Massachusetts as well as various shipyards and is scheduled to be completed by February 2021.
The Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $14.1 million contract modification for the development of the F-35 Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS). The AGCAS is an on-board system that prevents controlled flight into terrain. The system utilizes various sensors that monitor how the aircraft is performing and whether the pilot is still in control of the aircraft. If a pilot loses consciousness, AGCAS kicks in. It uses GPS, terrain data and spatial awareness to recognize when the jet is heading toward the ground or a mountain, and if it gets to the specifically calibrated point at which it is likely too late for a pilot to react to that fact, the system intervenes and pulls the jet up on its own before returning control to the pilot. Work will take place in Fort Worth, Texas and is scheduled to be finished by March next year.
Middle East & Africa
The US Air Force awarded Collins Aerospace a $47.6 million contract modification that provides Foreign Military Sales (FMS) partner nations Jordan, Qatar and Bahrain an ordering vehicle for the DB-110 Tactical Reconnaissance Pod program. Collins Aerospace designs, produces, and supports communication and aviation systems worldwide. The company offers a certified pod for F-16 and other fast-jet applications. With an integrated DB-110 sensor, this pod offers advantages over competing systems by relying on dual-environmental conditioning systems, to provide robust ground cooling and operations over a wide range of altitudes. The modification includes the following procurement of DB-110 reconnaissance pods, program infrastructure, airborne data link terminals, surface terminal equipment, mobile ground stations, fixed ground stations, transportable ground stations, and data and travel in support of orders. Work will take place in Westford, Massachusetts and has an expected completion date of November 14, 2023.
Israeli company Elbit Systems’ new Terrain Following/Terrain Avoidance (TF/TA) system is operational following extensive flight testing and verification by Special Operations pilots aboard C-130 aircraft. The system is part of the C-130 avionics upgrade program. It enables military transport aircraft to safely conduct low altitude flights in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), significantly extending their operational envelop. The C-130 is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft that is capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings. The C-130 Hercules is the longest continuously produced military aircraft at over 60 years, with the updated C-130J Super Hercules currently being produced. The TF/TA system combines high-resolution ground mapping data from an onboard Terrain-Following Radar that is complemented by a Digital Terrain Elevation Database, offering high maneuverability.
The Czech Ministry of Defense contracted Saab to expand the Czech’s instrumented Saab GAMER laser based training capability. The order is valued at $11.7 million. Deliveries will start at the end of the year. Saab will modernize the existing system and deliver new crucial functions within soldier-equipped training systems under the contract. The company will also be responsible for vehicle-based systems with ballistic and real-time of flight simulation, as well as solutions related to urban terrain training. With the new upgraded Tactical Training System, the Czech Army and the military police, will receive a large number of additional capabilities in training exercises. The Czech Army acquired the first Instrumented Saab GAMER system in 2011 for the Pandur IFV and performed upgrades during 2016 for laser code interoperability (U –LEIS). The British, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch and US Armed Forces are already using Saab’s laser simulators.
The Australian Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin signed an agreement for Australian F-35 Sovereign Sustainment Contracts. This will facilitate Australian industry’s expanded involvement in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program and ensures the long-term sustainment of the country’s F-35A Lighting-II Joint Strike Fighter fleet. The agreement includes details about intellectual property, technical data and software arrangements with Lockheed Martin entities for direct sovereign sustainment contracts. A settled framework will help address the complexities associated with intellectual property, technical data and software under the global F-35 Program. According to the CEO of Lockheed Martin Australia, the new agreement provides a big opportunity for industrial and economic growth.
Northrop Grumman Australia and the Italian company Leonardo are partnering up to build and maintain troop carrier aircraft for New Zealand. They signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide Leonardo’s C-27J aircraft to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). The two companies will jointly bid the Air Force’s incoming Future Air Mobility Capability (FAMC) Program. Through the partnership, Leonardo aims to bring a whole-of-life sustainment approach to the C-27J. Both companies will prepare a roadmap for future modernization and upgrades using reach-back and sovereign capabilities. The RNZAF can utilize the C-27J to perform a wide range of airlift missions in adverse environmental conditions, including humanitarian aid, disaster relief, transport, and search and rescue.
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Latest updates[?]: Northrop Grumman Australia and the Italian company Leonardo are partnering up to build and maintain troop carrier aircraft for New Zealand. They signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide Leonardo’s C-27J aircraft to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). The two companies will jointly bid the Air Force’s incoming Future Air Mobility Capability (FAMC) Program. Through the partnership, Leonardo aims to bring a whole-of-life sustainment approach to the C-27J. Both companies will prepare a roadmap for future modernization and upgrades using reach-back and sovereign capabilities. The RNZAF can utilize the C-27J to perform a wide range of airlift missions in adverse environmental conditions, including humanitarian aid, disaster relief, transport, and search and rescue.
When the WALRUS super-heavy cargo airship was canceled, combat commanders complained that front-line airfields were often too short for the C-130 Hercules that make up the USAF’s tactical transport fleet. Delays in buying a small cargo aircraft to fill that role were making that problem worse. Starved of useful help due to USAF-sponsored delays, and the lack of appropriate aircraft in the USAF, the Army carried on with its aging C-23 Sherpas, and repurposed aircraft like the unprotected C-12 Hurons, in order to ferry troops, supplies, and/or very small vehicles within its theaters of operations.
The Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) could have been worth up to $6 billion before all was said and done, and the finalists were a familiar duo. After EADS-CASA’s CN-235 and a shortened version of Lockheed Martin’s C-130J were disqualified for failing to meet requirements, JCA became yet another international competition between EADS-CASA’s C-295M & Alenia’s C-27J. The C-27J team eventually won the delayed decision in June 2007, and prevailed in the subsequent contract protests from their rivals. What remained unclear was exactly what they had won. The joint-service decision and contract announcement didn’t end the inter-service and Congressional politicking, and the contractor side was equally fractious. This FOCUS article covers the JCA competition, and subsequent developments – including the Pentagon’s 2012 push to end the program, and sell its planes.