Northrop to deliver Air Refueling Kits for Hawkeye | Saab reveals Updates on Brazil’s Gripen Program | Dutch F-16 shot itselfApr 08, 2019 05:00 UTC
The Navy tapped Boeing with $36.8 million providing for 82 end item equipment for the F/A-18 aircraft’s Return-to-Readiness Initiative. The F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet is a twin-engine, supersonic, all weather multirole fighter jet, capable of performing day/night striking with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance and forward air control and tanker missions. Work will take place in St. Louis, Missouri and is scheduled to be completed in March 2021.
Northrop Grumman won $9.7 million from the Navy to deliver five aerial refueling kits for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. The Advanced Hawkeye is the Navy’s carrier-based airborne early warning, battle management, command, and control aircraft. The turboprop aircraft is able to take off using an aircraft carrier catapult and carries on its back a large, disk-like radar that has the ability to track threats at long ranges. According to Northrop Grumman, the E-2D gives the warfighter expanded battlespace awareness, especially in the area of information operations delivering battle management, theater air and missile defense, and multiple sensor fusion capabilities in an airborne system. In 2017, the Hawkeye successfully performed its first aerial refueling when it received its first in-flight fuel transfer from a tanker aircraft. Work under the contract modification will take place within the US and England and the company expects work to be finished in March next year.
The Office of Naval Research contracted Science Applications International with $19 million for the Armed Reconnaissance Vehicle At the Edge. The advanced high-risk technology development „At the Edge“ is part of the Armed Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV) program. The future ARV will be able to fight for information on a complex and contested battlefield using an automatic rapid-fire medium-caliber cannon, remotely operated medium-caliber machine gun, and open-architecture advanced vetronics to include sensors, communications, and battlefield networking. The project seeks to build two ARV variants — a base model and an At The Edge model — to evaluate technologies, performance, and battlefield concepts. The company will perform work in Reston, Virginia and expects work to be finished by March 31, 2021.
During the LAAD 2019 Defense & Security exhibition, Saab revealed details of the current development status of the F-39 Gripen, the multi-mission fighter aircraft developed in a partnership between Sweden and Brazil. According to Mikael Franzén, head of Saab Brazil’s business unit, the Swedish and the Brazilian Gripen fighters will have the same configuration for the displays, harmonizing the programs. This would mean great savings to the aircraft maintenance and in future software development. The transfer of technology program also continues to advance. So far, 165 Brazilian engineers have been trained in Sweden and completed their technology transfer program. The Gripen’s FTI (Flight Test Instrumentation) aircraft is due to take flight for the first time in 2019.
Middle East & Africa
Sierra Nevada won $42.7 million for A-29 training in support of the Afghanistan Air Force. The A-29 Super Tucano is a turboprop light attack aircraft that can operate in Afghanistan’s high temperatures and in extremely rugged terrain. With a highly maneuverable fourth-generation weapons system, it is capable of delivering precision guided munitions. In 2015, eight combat-ready Afghan pilots as well as maintenance personnel graduated after a year of training with the US Air Force at Moody Air Base. The Air Force delivered 20 Super Tucanos to Hamid Karzai International Airport in 2016. As of May 11, 2018, A-29 Super Tucano pilots have supported approximately 30 Afghan ground missions, successfully dropping over 50 laser guided bombs on enemy targets. Work, which includes A-29 pilot and maintenance training, will be performed at Moody Air Base as well as in Afghanistan and Sierra Nevada expects work to be completed by the end of 2023.
Local media reports, that a Dutch F-16 fighter jet shot itself with its own autocannon during a military exercise. The jet suffered considerable damage, but the pilot was unharmed. The incident already happened in January and has been investigated ever since. A pair of the fighter jets were training together and shooting ground targets with their six-barrel Vulcan autocannons. It is still unclear how the aircraft managed to hit itself. The Royal Netherland Air Force was one of four European Participating Air Forces and one of five countries to build the F-16 locally. The Air Force operates a fleet of 68 aircraft. In the interception role, Netherland’s F-16s are equipped with AIM-9N, -9L, and -9M Sidewinder AAM’s. AIM 120 AMRAAM missiles are used for longer-range interceptions. All F-16 units have Mk82/84 bombs and cluster weapons.
According to a press release, Russian Helicopters, which is a part of the Rostec State Corporation, successfully completed preliminary flight tests of the Mi-26T2V helicopter. Conducted at the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant in Tomilino, near Moscow, the flight test confirmed initial airworthiness for the helicopter, which has a lift capacity of 20 tonnes and features a modern NPK90-2V avionics suite that considerably enhances its controllability and enables it to be flown in automatic mode. The chopper is being prepared to be handed over to the Russian Ministry of Defense to do joint official tests. The newest modernization variant of the Mil Mi-26 made its maiden flight in August 2018.
The US Army Contracting Command awarded Raytheon $9 million for support of the Patriot Air Defense System in Taiwan. The Patriot missile system is a ground-based air defense missile system designed to detect, track and engage unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles, and short-range and tactical ballistic missiles. Countries with the Patriot System can train together and also operate together in combat. The deal is a Foreign Military Sales contract. Raytheon will perform work in Taipei, Taiwan and expects to be finished by April 3, 2024.
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