Sikorsky won a $23.4 million contract to maintain and overhaul the UH-60 Blackhawk. The medium lift utility helicopter is used for a variety of roles including troop transportation. The A model of the twin-engine chopper was designed to to serve in utility, air assault, medevac, command and control, and reconnaissance roles. The UH-60A entered service with the US Army in 1979. This was followed by the fielding of electronic warfare and special operations variants of the Black Hawk. Improved UH-60L and UH-60M utility variants have also been developed. Sikorsky will complete work for the current contract until April 17, 2023.
The US Navy awarded EFW a $17.8 million contract modification to procure 132 V-22 integrated avionics processors for the Navy and Air Force. The V-22 Osprey is a joint service multirole combat aircraft that can take off, land and hover like a helicopter and, once airborne, it can convert to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight. Since entering service with the US Marine Corps and Air Force, the Osprey has been deployed in transportation and medevac operations over Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Kuwait. In 2010, Bell-Boeing designed a new integrated avionics processor that resolved electronics obsolescence issues, added new network capabilities, and increased data throughput for the Osprey’s legacy Mil-STD-1553 avionics data bus. In 2017, EFW won an $8 million contract for V-22 integrated avionics processors. Work under the current modification will take place in Israel and Texas and is scheduled to be finished in February 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) plans to push its Anka-Aksungur medium-altitude long-endurance drone into series production early next year, Jane’s reports. The company is reportedly expanding the testing envelope of its internally funded air vehicle development. The Anka-Aksungur is a twin-engine UAV that features a twin-boom airframe design supported by a retractable undercarriage and incorporating forward-mounted PD170 twin-turbocharged engines developed by Tusa? Engine Industries with input from General Electric, followed by a set of high-mounted wings with slight dihedral and terminating in vertical stabilizers joined by a horizontal tailplane. TAI started the Anka-2 project to develop a new UAV with higher payload. The high-range drone should operate at mid-altitude and would be utilized for roles such as reconnaissance, surveillance and attack. In March it was reported that the drone had completed its maiden flight.
Polish shipbuilder Nauta Shiprepair Yard launched the hull of Swedish Navy’s new signal intelligence (SIGINT) ship. The launching ceremony took place in Gdynia, Poland on April 17. Outfitting and equipment installation will take place at Nauta Shiprepair Yard, after which the vessel will undergo harbor and sea trials. The ship will then sail to Saab’s shipyard in Karlskrona to complete outfitting of special systems. According to Saab, the ship will be 74 meters long, displace 2,200 tonnes and will replace HSwMS Orion which was launched in 1984. The new ship will be given the name HSwMS Artemis.
According to local reports, NATO for the first time launched Italian Air Force Eurofighters based at Gioia del Colle Air Base on April 9. The mission was to intercept a civilian airliner that lost communications with civilian air traffic control over Croatia and was heading south towards Montenegro and Albania. It was established that the loss of communications was related to a misunderstanding between civilian air traffic control and the airliner crew. After resuming regular contact with the civilian controllers, the airliner continued to proceed to its destination to Hurghada, Egypt. On December 16, 2005, the F-2000 Typhoon reached initial operational capability with the Italian Air Force. The Italian Air Force uses the Eurofighter Typhoon as the main nation’s asset for air defense and coalition missions.
Japan’s first F-35A stealth fighter reportedly made seven emergency landings in the months prior to crashing in the Pacific Ocean last week. The Japanese Air Force started using its fleet of 13 F35As in January. On April 9, the first plane of Mitsubishi assembly crashed. Of the 13 planes provided by the United States to Japan, five have been forced to make emergency landings in seven incidents. The plane that crashed made two of the emergency landings. Final assembly of four of the error reporting planes, including the fighter that went missing, was carried out in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. The other aircraft was built and assembled in the US. The crashed fighter reportedly had issues with its cooling and navigation systems twice. Japan grounded its fleet of 13 F-35As in the wake of the crash.
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Lockheed Martin Space won an $879 million contract to support the US Air Force in maintaining re-entry system and vehicle subsystems for the intercontinental ballistic missile platform. The potential 11-year contract includes maintenance, sustainment, developmental and production engineering, aging surveillance, alteration and software maintenance support for Minuteman III RS/RV equipment. The ICBM is a strategic weapon system using a ballistic missile of intercontinental range. The Minuteman III ICBM is currently the US Air Force’s only operational land-based strategic nuclear missile and can reach targets more than 6,000 miles away. Missiles are dispersed in hardened silos to protect against attack and connected to an underground launch control center through a system of hardened cables. Launch crews, consisting of two officers, perform around-the-clock alert in the launch control center. Lockheed will perform work in Pennsylvania and Utah and expects completion by June 4, 2030.
The Navy awarded Huntington Ingalls a $28.4 million contract modification in support of Follow Yard Class services for the Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) Class destroyer program. The deal provides liaison and technical support, engineering, design, and configuration management, systems engineering team, turnkey, special studies, baseline management, and crew indoctrination and orientation. Arleigh Burke Class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships and can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. The guided missile destroyers are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century. Ingall’s has delivered 31 Arleigh Burke ships to the Navy. Work under the modification will take place within the US and is scheduled to be finished by April next year.
Middle East & Africa
Boeing won a $30.1 million contract modification to continue the Phase I design maturity, analysis, and test planning for the Stand-off Land Attack Missile – Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) production line in support of Saudi Arabia. The SLAM-ER is a low-cost, low-risk upgrade to the SLAM, which is designed to provide surgical strike capability against high-value, fixed land targets, ships in port, or ships at sea. It can be launched from safe standoff ranges of more than 150 nautical miles. Under the modification Boeing will also redesign obsolete parts to replace obsolete, nearly obsolete or uneconomical parts to support SLAM-ER weapon system production and improve future sustainment. Work will take place within the continental US and is expected to be finished in July this year. Foreign Military Sales funds in the full amount will be obligated at time of award.
The US Navy awarded Raytheon $72.2 million to support the US-Germany Guided Missile Tech Improvement Program. The contract modification provides design agent and engineering services for the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) MK-31 Guided Missile Weapon System Improvement Program. The MK-31 RAM system is a cooperative development and production program conducted jointly by the US and the Federal Republic of Germany under memoranda of understanding. The RAM system is designed to destroy anti-ship missiles. Its passive radio frequency and infrared guidance design provide high-firepower capability for engaging multiple threats simultaneously. Under the program, the company will help maintain the current RAM weapon system and provide design, systems, software maintenance, reliability, maintainability, quality assurance and logistics engineering support. Work will take place in the US and is scheduled to be complete by September 2022.
The final batch of SU-35 „Flanker-E’“ multirole fighter aircraft arrived in China. The country has been the first foreign buyer of Russian Su-35 fighter aircraft. The contract worth about $2.5 billion on the deliveries of 24 generation 4++ fighter jets to China was signed in 2015. The deal also includes the delivery of ground equipment and reserve engines. The Su-35S generation 4++ supersonic fighter jet performed its debut flight on February 19, 2008. The fighter jet is a derivative of the Su-27 plane. The Su-35S weighs 19 tonnes, has a service ceiling of 20,000 meters, can develop a maximum speed of 2,500 km/h and has a crew of one pilot. The fighter jet’s armament includes a 30mm aircraft gun, up to 8 tonnes of the weapon payload (missiles and bombs of various types) on 12 underwing hardpoints. The Su-35S has been in service with the Russian Army since 2015.
The Indian Army approved the import of 240 Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Spike MR anti-tank guided missiles and 12 launchers, Jane’s reports. The buy is part of an „emergency purchase“. The Spike MR is a man-portable missile system designed for urban warfare, ground support and special missions. It operates in Fire & Forget mode for autonomous-guided medium-range target engagement of up to 2.5 km. The missile uses an advanced electro-optic CCD/IIR seeker, sophisticated tracker, and a highly precise guidance system. The equipment is being procured under the recently enhanced financial powers of the Army’s Vice Chief of Staff, who now has the authority to acquire goods and materiel worth$71.8 million without prior approval from the Ministry of Defense.
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Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., won a $201.9 million modification from the US Navy to obtain long lead parts and materials needed to produce lot 14 propulsion systems for the F-35 aircraft. Pratt & Whitney’s F135 propulsion system powers all three variants of the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft. It is an afterburning turbofan. The system was developed with efforts to create a stealthy STOVL strike fighter for the US Marine Corps. The modification is in support of the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, non-US DOD participants and Foreign Military Sales customers. Pratt & Whitney will perform work in the US and the UK and is expecting completion in April 2022.
The US Navy awarded two contracts for repair work on the F-18 aircraft. The first contract goes to Sierra Nevada Corp., which won $13.5 million to repair the beacon transmitter and beacon receiver of the Hornet aircraft. Sierra Nevada will perform work in Sparks, Nevada and expects completion by April 2024. International Enterprise Inc. won a $7.3 million modification to repair the multipurpose color display replacements of the Hornet. Work under this modification will take place in Talladega, Alabama and is expected to be finished by August 2020.
General Dynamics ordered the Sea Giraffe AMB naval radar from Saab for the US Navy. The radar, designated AN/SPS-77 will be installed in the newest Littoral Combat Ships LCS 36 and LCS 38. The ships will be named USS Kingsville (LCS 36) and USS Pierre (LCS 38). The Sea Giraffe AMB is a medium range, multi-role surveillance radar optimized for detecting small air and surface targets with high update rate in all kinds of environments, including the littorals. It will assist the commander in all kind of naval warfare and give the operators maximum time to react to incoming threats. Saab received the first order for a Sea Giraffe AMB for the LCS in 2005. Since that time, Saab has continuously developed the standard Giraffe AMB sensor. Saab will carry out the work in Syracuse, NY in the US and Gothenburg, Sweden.
Middle East & Africa
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) launched an innovative solution that connects all platforms on the battlefield, whether they are manned or unmanned. The so called OPAL relies on the creation of a decentralized communication cloud for all platforms on the ground, in the air, and at sea, to allow real-time information sharing. This allows all members to exchange relevant information in order to achieve a comprehensive operational picture of the battlefield. According to IAI, the OPAL solution provides a range of proven capabilities and operational flexibility, which allows for optimal utilization of the available resources to maximize effectiveness for a wide range of missions. OPAL is installed in a variety of advanced fighters, attack helicopters, refueling aircraft, UAVs, ships, Command and Control centers, as well as mobile and fixed base stations.
The Bahrain Defense Force revealed it has been operating Oshkosh M-ATV light armored vehicles in Yemen, Jane’s reports. The Oshkosh M-ATV is a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle. The vehicle provides superior crew protection by incorporating an armor system from Plasan North America, which developed the armor system in use on more than 5,000 current MRAP vehicles and for the Armored Cab Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacements (MTVR) in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bahrain was not previously known to operate the M-ATV.
The UK and India signed a renewed Defense Equipment Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The two countries have agreed to “redouble efforts” to identify mutual defense requirements and collaborate on solutions, the UK Ministry of Defense said in a statement. The MoD also indicated that a focus of the agreement will be to explore opportunities in naval systems. By collaborating and exploiting procurement opportunities together, both nations will be able to benefit from technological and manufacturing capabilities as well as support long-term cooperation between their defense and security industries.
The US State Department approved a potential Foreign Military Sale to Taiwan for the continuation of a pilot training program and maintenance and logistics support for the F-16 aircraft. The deal is valued at $500 million. The latest sale follows an announcement last week that a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract has been awarded to Raytheon to refurbish radar for Taiwan’s naval vessels for a total cost of nearly $50 million and a $9 million contract to develop and upgrade Taiwan’s Patriot missile defense system over the next five years. Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) has requested the possible sale for the continuation of the pilot training program and maintenance/logistics support for F-16 aircraft currently at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.
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Latest updates[?]: The US State Department approved a potential Foreign Military Sale to Taiwan for the continuation of a pilot training program and maintenance and logistics support for the F-16 aircraft. The deal is valued at $500 million. The latest sale follows an announcement last week that a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract has been awarded to Raytheon to refurbish radar for Taiwan's naval vessels for a total cost of nearly $50 million and a $9 million contract to develop and upgrade Taiwan’s Patriot missile defense system over the next five years. Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) has requested the possible sale for the continuation of the pilot training program and maintenance/logistics support for F-16 aircraft currently at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.
F-16F “Desert Falcon”
The most advanced F-16s in the world aren’t American. That distinction belongs to the UAE, whose F-16 E/F Block 60s are a half-generation ahead of the F-16 C/D Block 50/52+ aircraft that form the backbone of the US Air Force, and of many other fleets around the world. The Block 60 has been described as a lower-budget alternative to the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, and there’s a solid argument to be made that their performance figures and broad sensor array will even keep them ahead of pending F-16 modernizations in countries like Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore.
The UAE invested in the “Desert Falcon’s” development, and the contract reportedly includes royalty fees if other countries buy it. Investment doesn’t end when the fighters are delivered, either. Money is still needed for ongoing training, fielding, and equipment needs – and the UAE has decided that they need more planes, too. This DID article showcases the F-16 Block 60/61, and offers a window into its associated costs and life cycle, including dedicated equipment purchases for this fighter fleet.
The Air Force awarded Boeing a $21.6 million contract modification for GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator, also known as a „bunker buster“ bomb. The bunker buster is a precision-guided, 30,000 pound bomb employed only by the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. Once released from the bat-winged bomber, the MOP is guided to targets by GPS and a pair of stubby fins. It was designed to attack deeply buried bunkers and tunnels and carries 5,300 pounds of explosives. GBU-57 was first tested in 2009. The modification provides for sustainment work. Boeing will perform work in Missouri and expects completion by July 18, 2023.
According to Jane’s, the Navy is continuing to evolve the MQ-8C vertical take-off and landing unmanned aerial vehicle. The MQ-8C is the Bell 407-based variant of the Fire Scout. It is designed to be deployed from ground and naval platforms to perform missions including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cargo resupply, and communications relay. It provides naval forces with extended over-the-horizon intelligence-gathering capability. The MQ-8C variant has an increased flight time and extended payload capacity as well as a larger airframe than previous variants. The US Navy selected Northrop Grumman as the prime contractor to develop and produce up to eight next-generation MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned air systems in April 2012. It also awarded a $71 million contract to Northrop Grumman in March 2013 to build a further six MQ-8C helicopters. Modifications currently under development include the introduction of a Link 16 datalink to enhance the UAV’s ability to network the Lockheed Martin MH-60 Naval helicopter. This will enable the crew to receive data being collected by the Fire Scout directly instead of relaying it via the Littoral Combat Ship.
Middle East & Africa
According to reports, Philippines’ president Duterte announced that Jordan will donate a third attack helicopter to the Philippines. The Jordanian government earlier donated two Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters that are supposed to strengthen counterterrorism measures in the Philippines. The choppers will be delivered in July this year. The AH-1 Cobra is a two-blade, single-engine attack helicopter. Jordan obtained 24 AH-1Fs in the late 1980s, and in 2001 obtained nine additional ex-US Army Cobras. In 2010, Jordan transferred 16 AH-1F helicopters to Pakistan, under a US-sponsored support program that provided Islamabad with 40 AH-1 refurbished helicopters.
The Russian Armed Forces will soon start to receive the S-350 and S-500 air defense systems. The development of the S-500 has reached its final stage. The S-500 is a long-range anti-ballistic missile system with a planned range of 500-600 kilometers. The system will carry various missiles. These missiles will have various ranges and will be used against different targets. The S-350 Vityaz air defense system just recently passed the government’s certification tests and the manufacturing of the first serial set has begun. It is meant for hitting aerodynamic and ballistic targets. One system is armed with twelve air defense missiles. The S-500, the S-350 feature high mobility and are able to deploy to and function in unprepared positions.
The Philippine Navy inspected the country’s first two anti-submarine choppers in the UK. According to reports, the test and pre-delivery inspection of the AW-159 Wildcat was going smoothly. In 2016, the country contracted AugustaWestland with a $114 million contract to manufacture the helicopters at the manufacturer’s Yeovil, UK site. The deal also includes training and support. The Wildcat is in service with the UK’s Royal Navy and Army Air Corps. The AW159 Wildcat features a ferry range of 963 kilometers and has an endurance of one-and-a-half hours, or four-and-a-half hours when provided with auxiliary fuel. It has a range of 777 kilometers and is capable of travelling at speeds of 291 kilometers per hour. The two AW159s will join Manilla’s modest naval rotorcraft fleet, which consists of five AgustaWestland AW109Es.
China’s Marine Lizard amphibious combat unmanned surface vessel completed successful factory acceptance tests on April 8 at Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group’s Shuangliu shipyard. The amphibious drone ship is the world’s first armed amphibious drone boat which military analysts said could be used in land assault operations and is capable of forming a combat triad with aerial drones and other drone ships. Wuchang Shipbuilding’s Module Company division also handed over the first pre-production hull for the Marine Lizard to Qingdao Wujiang Technology Company for systems integration and further development. The Marine Lizard USV is under joint development by Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group and Qingdao Wujiang Technology Company. In ship form, the 12-meter-long Marine Lizard is a trimaran propelled by a diesel-powered hydrojet and can reach a maximum speed of 50 knots while maintaining stealth. When approaching land, the amphibious drone ship can release four continuous track units hidden under its belly, and travel at 20 kilometers an hour on land,
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Latest updates[?]: The Air Force awarded Boeing a $21.6 million contract modification for GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator, also known as a „bunker buster“ bomb. The bunker buster is a precision-guided, 30,000 pound bomb employed only by the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. Once released from the bat-winged bomber, the MOP is guided to targets by GPS and a pair of stubby fins. It was designed to attack deeply buried bunkers and tunnels and carries 5,300 pounds of explosives. GBU-57 was first tested in 2009. The modification provides for sustainment work. Boeing will perform work in Missouri and expects completion by July 18, 2023.
During the Second World War, attacking heavily protected targets like U-boat pens and protected “V-weapon” facilities was a key challenge. Enter a brilliant British engineer named Barnes Wallis, fresh off the dam-busting “Upkeep” bouncing bomb. His next trick was a 12,000 pound weapon called the “Tallboy,” a streamlined, spin-stabilized bomb with a claimed terminal velocity of Mach 1 when dropped from 20,000 feet. That mass, carrying 5,200 pounds of Torpex D1 explosive, made a crater 80 feet deep x 100 feet across when it hit. By 1945, Wallis’ next “Earthquake bomb” was in production – the 22,000 pound “Grand Slam.” His creations made short work of U-boat pens.
These bombs went out of fashion with the advent of nuclear weapons, but if you wait long enough, fashion comes around again. Enter the USA’s new GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP). Despite additional funding, and October promises of accelerated deployment, the MOP did not arrive by mid-2010, as planned. Development continues, however, including a set of upgrades ordered in 2012 that are aimed at closing the gap against specific targets…
The Navy tapped Boeing with $93.6 million to supply eight Wideband Satellite Communication (SATCOM) kits for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The deal includes the manufacture as well as test, installation, integration and qualification of the kits. The Wideband Global SATCOM system or WGS is a high-capacity, high-speed SATCOM link that will augment and eventually replace Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) and Global Broadcast Service (GBS) satellites as soon as all six satellites are up and ready for use. The new technology provides increased capabilities for C4ISR, battle management, and combat support information purposes by improving satellite bandwidth and communication. The Navy uses The Boeing P-8 Poseidon aircraft, which will be receiving the upgrades, for anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and blockade purposes. The aircraft includes electronic support measures to detect, locate, analyze, and intercept sources of electromagnetic energy, such as combat vehicles, ships, or aircraft, to protect from potential threats. Adding WGS will improve the P-8A’s ability to detect electromagnetic sources because it can recognize foreign frequencies that other satellite communications systems cannot detect. Boeing will perform work in Washington, Maryland, and Missouri and is expecting completion in April 2024.
Sikorsky won a $9.5 million contract modification to upgrade the Mission Communications System of the VH-92A presidential helicopter. The modification is for the integration of the Mission Communications System Version 3.0 hardware changes. Sikorsky will perform work in Patuxent River, Maryland and is expecting completion in April 2020. The VH-92 is currently under development and is supposed to replace the Marine Corps’ Marine One US Presidential transport fleet. According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office, the VH-92A program will cost less than initially anticipated. The cost has declined from $5.18 billion to $4.95 billion since 2014. The Navy previously attempted to replace this aging fleet starting in 2002, selecting a variant of the AgustaWestland AW101 called the VH-71. However, the Navy terminated the contract in 2009 due to schedule delays, performance issues, and a doubling of cost estimates, from $6.5 billion to $13 billion. The VH-92A program has also seen some delays. Specifically, the Milestone C review to authorize low-rate initial production has been pushed back five months, from January to June 2019, and the initial operational test and evaluation start has been pushed back from October 2019 to March 2020. An initial operational capability decision is now anticipated in October 2020, three months later than originally expected.
Middle East & Africa
The Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose reportedly arrived in Bahrain to start a three-year mission. The Duke Class ship, that was commissioned in 1994 started its 47,000 mile journey six months ago from her home in Plymouth, sailing via the Pacific and Indian Ocean to reach the Gulf. The Montrose will conduct patrols related to drug trafficking in the Indian Ocean, support counter-terrorism and counter-smuggling operations, and work with Middle East and allied Navies to ensure the safety and security of the region. According to the ship’s Commanding Officer, this deployment „marks a significant milestone“ for the UK’s operations in the Middle East.
The Ukrainian 1L220UK counter-battery radar successfully completed field tests, the company UkrOboronProm announced. The Zaporizhia-based Iskra research center designed the indigenous counter-battery radar. The Ukranian Armed Forces conducted the tests. The new 1L220UK mobile weapon locating system is designed to detect and track incoming artillery and rocket fire to determine the point of origin for counterbattery fire. The tests, which took place at one of the ranges of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, allowed to confirm the technical specifications of the 1L220UK, which significantly exceeds the counter-battery radars, which are now in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine. 1L220UK is intended for reconnaissance positions of enemy artillery.
The US will temporarily deploy the THAAD anti-missile protection system in Romania this summer. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense will be used by NATO for its Ballistic Missile Defense systems while the international alliance’s existing Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System goes through several-week-long maintenance and updates. THAAD will support the ongoing Aegis Ashore Romania mission at Naval Support Facility Deveselu as part of the existing US and NATO BMD mission. Once in place, NATO’s Allied Air Command will assume operational control of THAAD for the duration of its mission. The scheduled update to Aegis Ashore Romania is part of regular updates taking place on all US Aegis systems. The THAAD is an anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to shoot down short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase by intercepting with a hit-to-kill approach.
Indonesia signed a $1.02 billion contract with South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) for three Type 209/1400 diesel-electric submarines. The vessels will be a follow-on to the country’s Nagapasa class. The submarine will accommodate 40 crewmembers and include eight launchers capable of shooting torpedoes, mines and missiles. For the first vessel under the new contract, which will be the fourth-in-class overall, two of the SSK’s six modules will be constructed by PT PAL in Surabaya, while DSME will build the remaining four in South Korea. The Indonesian-built modules will be shipped to Okpo for assembly. For the second submarine, PT PAL will construct four of the six modules in Surabaya, with DSME constructing the remaining two in Okpo. As with the first vessel, modules that have been constructed in Surabaya by PT PAL will be shipped to South Korea for final assembly. For the third vessel in the contract, PT PAL initially proposed to build the entire submarine.
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Latest updates[?]: Indonesia signed a $1.02 billion contract with South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) for three Type 209/1400 diesel-electric submarines. The vessels will be a follow-on to the country’s Nagapasa class. The submarine will accommodate 40 crewmembers and include eight launchers capable of shooting torpedoes, mines and missiles. For the first vessel under the new contract, which will be the fourth-in-class overall, two of the SSK’s six modules will be constructed by PT PAL in Surabaya, while DSME will build the remaining four in South Korea. The Indonesian-built modules will be shipped to Okpo for assembly. For the second submarine, PT PAL will construct four of the six modules in Surabaya, with DSME constructing the remaining two in Okpo. As with the first vessel, modules that have been constructed in Surabaya by PT PAL will be shipped to South Korea for final assembly. For the third vessel in the contract, PT PAL initially proposed to build the entire submarine.
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Indonesia sites astride one of the world’s most critical submarine chokepoints. A large share of global trade must pass through the critical Straits of Malacca, and the shallow littoral waters around the Indonesian archipelago. That makes for excellent submarine hunting grounds, but Indonesia has only 2 “Cakra Class”/ U209 submarines in its own fleet, relying instead on frigates, corvettes, and fast attack craft.
South Korea’s Daewoo, which has experience building U209s for South Korea, has been contracted for Cakra Class submarine upgrades. Even so, submarine pressure hulls have inflexible limits on their safe lifetime, due to repeated hydraulic squeezing from ascending and descending. The Indonesians have expressed serious interest in buying 3-6 replacement submarines since 2007, with French, German, Russian, South Korean, and even Turkish shipyards in the rumored mix. Other priorities shoved the sub purchase aside, but a growing economy and military interest finally revived it. South Korea was the beneficiary, but further orders may be in store.
Northrop Grumman won a $3.2 billion order from the US Navy for 24 more E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. The E-2D is the latest variant of the E-2, the Hawkeye carrier-based AEW&C aircraft. It is an all-weather airborne early warning aircraft that provides real-time tactical intelligence in maritime combat zones. The Advanced Hawkeye is assigned aboard aircraft carriers and provides airborne early warning and command and control to carrier air wing. The E-2D can act as a sensor to guide the fleet’s weapons onto targets that other aircraft and ships can not locate. Also it warns of incoming anti-ship missile attacks. The aircraft was approved for full-rate production in 2013. In 2014 the US Navy ordered 25 E-2D aircraft. Work under the modification will take place within the US and France and is scheduled to be completed in August 2026.
The Pentagon awarded the first contracts to build a wall on the border to Mexico. The US Army Corps of Engineers awarded SLCSCO $789 million for wall construction in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Army funds in the amount of $388.9 million were obligated at the time of the award. Barnard Construction won $187 million for primary pedestrian wall replacement in Yuma, Arizona. Army funds in the amount of $93.5 million were obligated at the time of the award. Work for both contracts is scheduled to be completed in fall next year. The contracts mark the first funds the Pentagon has doled out after Trump declared a national emergency in February to reallocate billions of dollars in federal money to construct additional barriers on the US-Mexico border. Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Jamie Davis said, the deal will provide the El Paso sector with 46 miles of “30-foot bollard fencing and a five-foot anti-climb plate.” He added that 11 miles of “18-foot bollard fencing and a five-foot anti-climb plate” will be built at the Yuma sector.
Middle East & Africa
Rockwell Collins won a $30.9 million Foreign Military Sales contract to produce a Transportable Blackhawk Operations Simulator training device for the Saudi Arabian National Guard. The Transportable Blackhawk Operations Simulator is a flight simulator that provides high-fidelity flight training device capability for UH-60L and UH-60M helicopters. The simulator’s cockpit has the identical form, fit and function as the cockpit in the actual aircraft. It flies with the actual aircraft avionics software and flight dynamics data. Back in July 2018, it was reported, that Saudi Arabia was seeking to expand its Blackhawk fleet following the announcement of a $193.8 million firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales contract for 17 UH-60Ms in January 2018. Rockwell Collins will perform work in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Israeli defense company Elbit Systems won a $30 million two-year contract to deliver the precise Guided Mortar Munition STYLET to an Asian-Pacific country. The SYTLET is a multi-mode GPS/INS-guided 120mm Guided Mortar Munition designed for tactical combat units and Special Forces. It has a range of 1000-8500m. Elbit Systems introduced the new round into its portfolio in order to meet demands for high-precision guided munitions that are also economically efficient.
The Romanian Piranha 5 completed a static and dynamics test, according to a General Dynamics European Land Systems press release. The successful live firing test, which took place on March 28, is an important step in the Piranha 5 Program. The company stated that a fully equipped PIRANHA 5 performed a series of static and dynamic shooting tests with a 30 mm system in order to demonstrate its capability. The Mowag Piranha 5 fighting vehicle is armed with the Elbit UT30MK2. The ELBIT unmanned turret exceeded customer requirements and this milestone qualifies the system for Romanian requirements. Earlier this month it was reported that the Piranha 5 Program was facing delays due to General Dynamics not delivering the first batch of 30 vehicles on time.
The Australian Army ordered more Carl-Gustaf ammunition from Saab for $18.1 million. The Carl-Gustaf system is a multi-role, man-portable artillery system that allows the infantryman to defeat armored vehicles with add-on armor protection, destroy landing craft and bunkers, blast breach holes through brick and concrete walls, knock out concealed troops, and deploy a smoke screen. The Australian Army has ordered the newest version of the system – Carl-Gustaf M4. The CGM4 features a lightweight, flexible design incorporating titanium-made components and improved carbon fiber wrapping. The recoilless rifle offers enhanced agility and tactical flexibility, allowing military forces to engage multiple tactical targets. Already in September 2018, the Army ordered the Carl-Gustaf M4 from Saab. Deliveries are expected to take place next year.
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Latest updates[?]: Rockwell Collins won a $30.9 million Foreign Military Sales contract to produce a Transportable Blackhawk Operations Simulator training device for the Saudi Arabian National Guard. The Transportable Blackhawk Operations Simulator is a flight simulator that provides high-fidelity flight training device capability for UH-60L and UH-60M helicopters. The simulator’s cockpit has the identical form, fit and function as the cockpit in the actual aircraft. It flies with the actual aircraft avionics software and flight dynamics data. Back in July 2018, it was reported, that Saudi Arabia was seeking to expand its Blackhawk fleet following the announcement of a $193.8 million firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales contract for 17 UH-60Ms in January 2018. Rockwell Collins will perform work in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Latest updates: Fleet upgrades to UH-60L; Final helis make Saudi Arabia one of the last UH-60L customers.
UH-60L: Leaving the LZ
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On July 20/06, the US DSCA announced Saudi Arabia’s official request to buy 24 UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters, plus spares and support. The UH-60L Black Hawk is currently the USA’s mainstay utility helicopter, serving in various configurations in all operating theaters and theaters of war; the upgraded UH-60M is just ramping up production, and is the subject of a 2010 DSCA request to equip Saudi Arabia’s National Guard.
Saudi Arabia recently issued the final piece of that contract.