Latest updates[?]: 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.
Guided, portable anti-tank weapons have become a ubiquitous feature of the modern battlefield, but there’s still a role for good old fashioned panzerfaust rockets. For a soldier who needs to take out light vehicles at close range, blast enemy strongpoints, etc., these systems offer all the capability you can ask for, without all of the extra weight and cost. Less weight means more rounds carried, and less cost translates into more rounds bought. Taken together, they ensure more available firepower when it’s needed most. During 1989 operations in Panama, for instance, the 66mm LAW rocket was used so often as a building entry weapon that it was known as the “Ranger Key.”
Saab’s Carl Gustaf system and its range of 84mm rocket shells have become popular all over the world, with over 40 customers. Australia became one in 2009, and has continued to place orders associated with their LAND 40, Phase 2 project. Their system also has one particular twist…
The Navy awarded $33.4 million to Raytheon to supply the Naval Warfare Center in Philadelphia with up to 28 electronic throttle control units (ETCU) and auxiliary components in support of the Virginia Class program. The deal has Raytheon provide replacement ETCU hardware, which is currently obsolete and can no longer be efficiently supported. The Virginia Class are attack submarines. The Navy’s newest undersea warfare platform is designed to seek and destroy enemy subs as well as surface ships. Virginia Class boats can carry up to 24 torpedoes and Tomahawk cruise missiles. They can be deployed for a wide range of operations including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, special operations forces support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare, and mine warfare missions. According to the DoD, the proposed contract includes the hardware fabrication for new construction platforms and all back-fit systems to mitigate parts obsolescence, update and maintain the ETCU technical data package, and design verification testing on limited production units for quality assurance. Work is scheduled to be completed by April 2024.
BAE Systems won an $8.1 million contract modification from the Navy for USS Wichita (LCS 13) post-shakedown availability (PSA). The Wichita is a Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ship. The 378-foot highly maneuverable lightweight combatant features a steel monohull with a draft of only 13 feet allowing access to more ports and locations than other ship designs. LCS warships are designed to perform humanitarian aid and rescue, anti-submarine warfare, minesweeping, defending against piracy and drug trafficking, small assault transport and deterrence, while operating in shallow coastal waters known as the littorals. The Navy commissioned the ship in January this year. The PSA encompasses all of the manpower, support services, material, non-standard equipment and associated technical data and documentation required to prepare for and accomplish the PSA. The work to be performed will include correction of government-responsible trial card deficiencies, new work identified between custody transfer and the time of PSA and incorporation of approved engineering changes that were not incorporated during the construction period. BAE Systems will perform work in Jacksonville, Florida, and is expecting to be finished by March 2020.
Middle East & Africa
The US Navy contracted Al Qabandi United with $30 million for vehicle lease services. According to the DoD, the deal provides for non-tactical vehicles for transportation purposes in support of the Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait as well as surrounding tenant units. Al Qabandi United Company is a private General Trading, Supplying, and Contracting firm established in 1993. The company will perform work at the Ali Al Salem Air Base. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $16,000 are being obligated on a task order at the time of award.
Raytheon won $47.4 million from the US Navy to procure 62 LAU-115 and 68 LAU-116 guided missile launchers for the government of Kuwait to enable the F/A-18 aircraft to carry and launch AIM-120 and AIM-9X missiles. This deal also includes 99 LAU-115 and 100 LAU-116 guided missile launchers for the US Navy. The LAU-115 and LAU-116 provide the structural and electrical interfaces that allow the F/A-18 aircraft to carry and launch missiles such as Sparrow, Sidewinder and the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). The LAU-115 are rail launchers designed for carry and launch AIM-7 missiles from the F/A-18 aircraft. The launcher is suspended from the BRU-32 bomb rack on wing stations. The LAU-7 launchers or LAU-127 launchers may be attached to the sides of the LAU-115 to carry AIM-9 or AIM-120 missiles. The LAU-116 provides for the launch of the AIM-7 series Sparrow missile from the F/A-18A aircraft. The LAU-116A/A is also capable of launching the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile. Two launchers, one on the left hand and one on the right hand, are installed in the underside of the aircraft fuselage at stations 4 and 6.
The US Air Force awarded Textron Aviation Defense a $15.4 million modification for the completion of the reconstitution of 15 T-6A aircraft. According to the DoD, the deal provides for a schedule extension to complete the reconstitution of 15 T-6A aircraft and procure cartridge actuated devices and propellant actuated devices. The contract is a Foreign Military Sale to Iraq. The T-6A military trainer provides performance and handling characteristics that will safely lead the student from ab-initio through primary and well into advanced training curricula. The Iraqi Air Force awarded HBC with a contract for eight T-6A trainers in August 2009. A second contract for seven more was awarded in September 2009, bringing the total to 15. The first four T-6A trainers were delivered to Iraqi Air Force in December 2009.
Thales announced that Switzerland selected the company for an Image Intelligence System. Thales will supply elements of an Image Intelligence (IMINT) Center built around the Thales MINDS / SAIM system. The MINDS / SAIM platform is designed to digitally process real-time data feeds from all types of sensors using advanced processing tools to address issues arising from the volume of data and diversity of sources. According to Thales, MINDS / SAIM will enable the Swiss Armed Forces to precisely target the data they need to process and to identify threats, thanks to a set of highly sophisticated tools based on AI and other technologies. MINDS (Multisensor image Interpretation and Dissemination System) is described by Thales as a combat-proven solution providing real-time digital acquisition and processing of raw data from all EO/IR sensors including wet films, SAR and MTI radars. Deliveries of the Image Intelligence System will begin in early 2020.
The State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Japan regarding 56 Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB missiles for an estimated cost of $1.2 billion. Also included are missile canisters, US Government and contractor representatives’ technical assistance, engineering and logistical support services as well as other related elements of logistics and program support. Prime Contractor for the Missile System will be Raytheon. For the canisters BAE Systems will be the prime contractor. The supersonic SM-3 Block IB interceptor is an upgraded variant of the original SM-3 missile fitted with an enhanced two-color infrared seeker and features an upgraded steering and propulsion capability. The SM-3 Block IB, first flight tested in 2011, is designed to destroy incoming short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile targets in midcourse. The weapon system became first operational with the Navy in 2014.
Watch: This Is the Iconic European Fighter Jet That Can Operate Anywhere
The Air Force awarded Boeing a $91.3 million contract modification for a super high-speed computer intended to improve the F-15’s electronics warfare capability. The modification provides for the production and integration of the Advanced Display Core Processor II (ADCPII) boxes into the F-15 platform. The ADCP II is also known as Suite 9. According to Boeing, it is the world’s fastest flight mission computer, capable of processing up to 87 billion instructions per second. In 2016, the F-15E tested the flight computer during a flight on July 8 at Florida’s Eglin Air Force Base. The ADCP II is part of a wider $12 billion modernization program taking place across the range of Eagle types being flown in the USAF inventory. The F-15 Eagle is a twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter aircraft. It is the Air Force’s primary fighter jet aircraft and intercept platform. The Eagle’s air superiority is achieved through a mixture of unprecedented maneuverability and acceleration, range, weapons and avionics.
DRS Laurel Technologies won a $53.7 million supply contract in support of the guided-missile destroyer (DDG) modernization program. The deal includes cost reimbursable services for the repair station console (RSC). According to the DoD, the RSC installation is accomplished in whole or in phases that minimize interruption in ship operating schedules while maximizing the capacity of type Commander and Naval Sea System Command agencies to upgrade and modernize hull, mechanical as well as electrical and electronic systems. DRS Laurel will deliver supplies to various Navy bases, shipyards, repair and contractor facilities. The DDG program commenced with the USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) in mid-2010, to provide comprehensive mid-life upgrades that will ensure Arleigh Burke class ships maintain mission relevance. With an expected life of 35 years or more, the sustained maintenance and modernization of these ships is crucial to their continued role as an essential component of surface warfare. The Navy modernization program provides a full spectrum of technical support encompassing all phases of the alteration/installation process. DRS Laurel Technologies will perform in Virginia and various other places and expects to be finished by April 2024.
The Navy contracted Hamilton Sundstrand with $11.1 million for repair of the processor signal utilized on the Super Hornets. The F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III or Advanced Super Hornet is the newest highly capable, affordable and available tactical aircraft manufactured by Boeing. The Super Hornet Block III comes equipped with Distributing Targeting Processor Network (DTP-N) and Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT). These are a computer and a big data platform that work together to aid in even more efficient movement and management of data within assets. The Block IIIs sensors along with the APG-79 AESA Radar coupled to DTP-N and TTNT systems plots information on the Advances Cockpit System making it easy for aircrews to view and manage information. A key capability of the aircraft is the installation of the Raytheon AN/APG-79 multimode AESA tactical radar which has passive detection, active radar suppression modes of operation to provide air-to-air, air to ground, targeting, tracking and self-protection. This radar provides critically important data. Work will take place in Windsor Locks, Connecticut and is scheduled to be completed by April 2024.
Middle East & Africa
Local media reports that the French Army started to withdraw its troops from Iraq. According to officials, the French artillery group, which was deployed on the Iraqi-Syrian border against the Islamic State (IS) group, has completed its mission. The 150-strong Task Force Wagram, an artillery battle group armed with three Caesar 155 mm howitzers, was deployed in Iraq since September 2016 alongside the anti-jihadist coalition. French Army Caesars participated in the liberation of the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Qayarah Forward Base. They then were deployed along the Iraqi-Syrian border, near the Iraqi city of al-Qaim, in support of the Syrian Democratic Forces (FDS).
Finland shortlisted Saab as a Combat System provider for the Finnish Squadron 2020 program. The potential contract would have Saab provide and integrate the Finnish Navy’s four new Pohjanmaa Class corvettes within the Squadron 2020 program. The program is a project by the Finnish Navy. Its aim is to replace the seven vessels the Navy will decommission. Four modern corvettes will be procured to replace the vessels to be decommissioned. All of the Finnish Navy’s current vessels feature at least one system from Saab, with the majority of vessels operating several systems from Saab. According to the company, Saab has not yet signed any contract or received an order relating to Squadron 2020.
Thales announced, that the company together with the Kalyani Group have formalized a new collaboration for the design, development and manufacture of next generation weapons systems for the Defense and Law Enforcement sectors in India and abroad. The two companies have inked an agreement for the joint venture. According to the company, the collaboration will leverage Thales’s more than 100 years of experience in the design, development and manufacture of the world’s leading defense systems. The agreement was signed onboard the HMAS Canberra.
The Australian Army successfully tested its new Sensor-fused Munition for Artillery (SMArt) 155mm round. The projectile was tested during Exercise Chimera, conducted on 24 and 25 March, at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area near Rockhampton, Queensland. The SMArt 155 is a fire and forget artillery round that is very effective in GPS denied environments and against targets with large target location errors (TLE). It uses high performance explosively formed penetrator (EFP) technology and a multi-mode sensor suite to provide predictable and precise lethal areas of effects in all weather and environments. According to the Australian Department of Defense, the SMArt 155 projectile will provide the army with the ability to effectively engage and destroy heavy armored fighting vehicles, such as main battle tanks, at operationally significant ranges, in all weather and terrain.
Watch: China Third aircraft carrier taking shape in Shanghai
Leidos won a $19.4 million ceiling cost-reimbursement contract for system integration and field testing of a laser weapon system at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. Specifically, the deal is for the advancement of laser weapon system technology through research and development of systems as well as evaluating performance in relevant operational environments. The Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate at Kirtland Air Base develops technologies in laser systems, high power electromagnetics, weapons modeling and simulation as well as directed energy and electro-optics for space superiority. With its laser programs the lab is trying to achieve a laser weapon system that can operate in all flight regimes against targets that are approaching at supersonic speeds, which must be intercepted at significant range, according to a report. By 2021, the Air Force plans to test laser weapons from fighter jets to destroy high-value targets, conduct precision strikes and incinerate enemy locations from the sky. Work is scheduled to be finished by April 2022.
Lockheed Martin contracted Saab to deliver Sea Giraffe AMB 3-D surveillance radars to the Royal Canadian Navy’s two new Protecteur Class Joint Support Ships. According to a press release by Saab, the Sea Giraffe AMB will form part of the command management system for the new ships. The Sea Giraffe Agile Multi Beam (AMB) is a C-band maritime 3D mid-range multifunction radar. The radar provides airspace reconnaissance and simultaneous target tracking, weapon system targeting and high-resolution navigation. The Sea Giraffe AMB has been optimized for use on the Swedish Visby Class corvettes and the Independence Class US Coast Guard. The AMB contains a number of independent elevation-angle antenna beams. Saab will perform work in Gothenburg, Sweden and Halifax, Canada with deliveries scheduled between 2020 and 2022.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli Weapons Industries (IWI) introduced a new assault rifle during the LAAD 2019 exhibition in Brazil, local media reports. The so called Carmel is a conventional configuration rifle, which is offered in four different barrel lengths: 267mm, 305mm, 368mm and 406mm. The rifle features special steels, aviation grade aluminum and high impact polymers for high performance in small unit operations across a wide range of environments and different combat scenarios. It has a rotating bolt system and is equipped with picatinny rails on all sides to allow 100 percent compatibility with any available sights, devices or accessories. The weight of the rifle without a magazine or sight is 3.3 kg.
Britain will send its F35B aircraft on their very first overseas deployment this year. According to the British government, the aircraft will make their way from Royal Air Force home station Marham in Norfolk to Cyprus. This marks an important milestone for the F35B’s journey to become fully operational. The deployment will see personnel from the Royal Air Force as well as the Navy gain vital experience in maintaining and flying the aircraft in an unfamiliar environment. Britain currently owns 17 F-35B aircraft, and plans to procure 138 over the life of the program. The country plans for the jets to hit targets in Syria as soon as this summer, the Times reported last December.
German defense company Rheinmetall won a $122.8 million contract from the German Bundeswehr to deliver 32,000 rounds of artillery ammunition. The deal includes an option for a further 11,000 for $41.7 million. The ammunition ordered by the Bundeswehr is the 155mm DM121. At the end of March, the German parliament approved $28 million in funding for procurement of 155 mm ammunition for the Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000 self-propelled howitzer. The DM121 can attain ranges of up to 30 kilometres and can also be used in training as well as field exercises. According to Rheinmetall, the DM121 is capable of penetrating a several-centimeter-thick wall of reinforced concrete before detonating in controlled fashion on the opposite side. Rheinmetall Waffe Munition will produce the 155mm artillery ammunition for the five-year-contract in Unterlüß, Germany.
According to Jane’s, South Korean company Korean Aerospace Industries started ground-based engine trials of the Light Attack Helicopter (LAH) it developed for the Republic of Korea Army. The LAH, developed around the Airbus H155 twin-engined platform, features a turreted 20 mm Gatling-gun under its nose, stub wings provisioned to carry rocket pods as well as a nose-mounted electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor, fuselage- and tail-mounted missile warning receivers, and upwards-directed exhausts for a reduced IR signature. The 214 LAHs that are currently being produced are scheduled to enter into service in 2022/2023.
Watch: Here’s How F-35 Technology Would Be Compromised If Turkey Also Had the S-400 Anti-Aircraft System
Latest updates[?]: Lockheed Martin contracted Saab to deliver Sea Giraffe AMB 3-D surveillance radars to the Royal Canadian Navy’s two new Protecteur Class Joint Support Ships. According to a press release by Saab, the Sea Giraffe AMB will form part of the command management system for the new ships. The Sea Giraffe Agile Multi Beam (AMB) is a C-band maritime 3D mid-range multifunction radar. The radar provides airspace reconnaissance and simultaneous target tracking, weapon system targeting and high-resolution navigation. The Sea Giraffe AMB has been optimized for use on the Swedish Visby Class corvettes and the Independence Class US Coast Guard. The AMB contains a number of independent elevation-angle antenna beams. Saab will perform work in Gothenburg, Sweden and Halifax, Canada with deliveries scheduled between 2020 and 2022.
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As part of its spate of military modernization announcements issued just before Canada Day (July 1) 2006, the Canadian government issued an RFP that began the process of defining and building 3 “Joint Support Ships.” The aim was to deliver 3 multi-role vessels with substantially more capability than the current Protecteur Class oiler and resupply ships. In addition to being able to provide at-sea support (re-fueling and re-supply) to deployed naval task groups, the new JSS ships were envisioned as ships that would also be capable of sealift operations, as well as amphibious support to forces deployed ashore.
This was expected to be a C$ 2.9 billion (USD $2.58 billion) project. This article describes the process, the industry teams participating, and some of the issues swirling around Canada’s very ambitious specifications. Specifications that ultimately sank the whole project, twice, in a manner that was predictable from the outset. Leaving Canada’s navy with a serious problem, as its existing ships were forced into retirement. Will another go-round in 2012-13 help any? And what will Canada do in the meantime?
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.
Watch: US & Philippines Discussing Deploying Rockets in China Sea After Presence of Hundreds Chinese Ships
Latest updates[?]: 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.
As Brazil started boosting its defense budgets in past years, its Navy and Army received funds to replace broken-down equipment, while new fighters will be a critical centerpiece of the Forca Aerea Brasileira’s (FAB) efforts.
Boeing’s F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, France’s Dassault’s Rafale, Saab’s JAS-39 Gripen NG were picked as finalists. But after repeated stalling, for years the question was whether Brazil would actually place an order, or fold up the competition like the ill-fated 2011 F-X process. At the end of 2013, Brazil unexpectedly picked the Swedish offer, thanks to its offsets, price, and lack of diplomatic baggage. An initial contract is now in place, and this Spotlight article takes you through the competition, choices, and ongoing developments in a country that seems likely to become the world’s largest Gripen fleet.
The Air Force contracted Northrop Grumman with $22 million for engineering services on the T-38 Talon and F-5 Tiger II trainer aircraft. The T-38 is a two-seat twinjet supersonic jet trainer. It was the world’s first supersonic trainer when it first entered service in the 60s. Until 1972, nearly 1,200 aircraft were produced. 500 are still operational. Northrop produced a replacement wing for the Talon, which will help extend the trainer’s service life until at least 2020. Student pilots train supersonic techniques, aerobatics, formation, night and instrument flying and cross-country navigation with the help of the T-38A. The F-5 is a twin-engine tactical fighter, that had its maiden flight in 1963. Northrop Grumman built more than 2,600 Tiger II fighters. The US Navy operates the F-5 in its adversary squadrons to simulate enemy aircraft in aerial combat training exercises. The US Air Force used the F-5 in a similar training role. The F-5 now serves as the primary trainer for F-16s, F/A-18s, F-15s or Mirage aircraft. Work under the current contract will take place in Clearfield, Utah, and is scheduled to be finished by March 31, 2024.
The Air Force and Raytheon will work together on modernizing the Space Command and Control System (SPADOC). The Air Force is planning to replace the SPADOC, which reached the end of its planned service life, with modern systems that will simplify operations and provide greater space situational awareness and collision avoidance capabilities. The Command-and-Control system is designed to monitor and track space debris. The new emulated environment, SPADOC Emulation Analysis Risk Reduction, known as SPEARR, will reduce cooling and power consumption and requires minimal maintenance.
Middle East & Africa
According to Reuters, Turkish pilots are still training in the US in the midst of the dispute between the two countries over F-35 delivery. Just a few days ago, it was reported, the US had halted its deliver of F-35s to Turkey due to Turkey’s plans to buy the Russian S-400 air defense systems. Vice President, Mike Pence even warned, that Turkey could risk its NATO-membership if it went ahead with the procurement. The S-400 is designed to detect and shoot down stealth fighters like the F-35. Planting the air-defense system on Turkish soil could, by means of its powerful radar, help Moscow discover the the vulnerabilities of the F-35s that Turkey intends to acquire.
Israeli’s Netline Communication Technologies won a tender by the Spanish Ministry of Defense for the supply of frequency jammers to neutralize roadside IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). The tender itself consists of two parts: an open public part, and a part consisting of classified elements. The order, worth $73.4 million, should be fulfilled by 2023. The first stage of the tender will include the installation and testing of jammers on twelve vehicle types. The equipment by Netline is designed to jam the communication between the receiver attached to the explosive charge and the remote control unit used to initiate the blast, thereby preventing the activation of the IED.
The US Navy awarded CFM International a $13.5 million contract modification for a spare P-8A Poseidon jet engine in support of the government of the UK. The Poseidon is a military aircraft that conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and shipping interdiction. The aircraft can cruise at high altitude at nearly 926km/h (500kt) and loiter at a speed of 333km/h (180kt) over the sea at 60m. It has two CFM International CFM56-7B27A high-bypass turbofan engines, each rated at 120kN. CFM International, a West Chester company, won a $3.2 billion jet engine order for the Latin American low-cost carrier Viva Air just a few days ago. Work for the modification awarded by the Naval Air Systems Command will take place in France and Ohio and is supposed to be complete in January next year. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $13,247,329 are being obligated at time of award.
The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) outlined plans for a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), Jane’s reports. The FGFA is part of the so called Project AZM. The PAC established a new office to lead the Project AZM. Additionally, a new aerospace complex – named Aviation City, that was launched in 2017 to support Project AZM and other national military aerospace requirements – aids the development program. PAC also outlined several specialist project teams, including an engineering management and support office, an Aviation Design Institute, a Mission Electronics Design Institute, an Aero Structures Design Institute, an Advanced Technologies Center, and a Flight Test Center. that it will establish in collaboration with other national agencies as part of the Aviation City initiative.
The US Navy contracted Vigor Marine $14.8 million in support of the USNS Yukon, a Henry J. Kaiser Class Replenishment oiler. The Kaiser Class Ships carry jet fuel, diesel fuel and lubricating oil as well as fresh and frozen provisions, stores, potable water and other items. The ships perform underway replenishment of US Navy warships and aircraft aboard the aircraft carriers. The Yukon was laid in 1991, launched in 1993 and entered service in March 1994. During the 81-calendar day shipyard availability, work will include general services, miscellaneous steel repair, starboard main engine 12K overhaul, various pump overhauls, lifeboats davit repair and maintenance, tank preservation, air compressor groom, steel replacement on level doors, flight deck non-skid renewal and tank deck overhead preservation. Work will take place in Portland, Oregon and is scheduled to be completed by July 15, 2019.
Sikorsky won a $7.3 million contract modification in support of CH-53K low-rate initial production. The CH-53K King Stallion helicopter will serve as a critical land and sea based logistics connector. In April 2006, the Marine Corps signed a contract for 156 CH-53K aircraft valued at $18.8 billion with deliveries to be completed by 2021. The Marine Corps now plans to receive 200 helicopters at a total cost of $25 billion. The modification includes production systems engineering and program management services for calendar year 2019 in support of CH-53K low-rate initial production. Work will take place in Stratford, Connecticut and is scheduled to be finished in February 2020.
Saab won a contract to produce multispectral static camouflage systems for the Canadian Army. The contract contains a Woodland version Ultra-Lightweight Camouflage Screen (ULCAS). According to Saab, the ULCAS is an advanced multispectral camouflage net that provides unrivaled signature protection for vehicles and other objects in static positions. ULCAS provides protection against reconnaissance as well as sensors working in relevant parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. The multispectral screen makes multiple or single layers of conventional camouflage products for different requirements virtually redundant, says the company. Deliveries of the order are scheduled to take place this year.
The Air Force reportedly halted deliveries of the KC-46 Pegasus tanker once again. The reason for the halt are foreign objects in closed compartments. Just last month the Air Force first stopped deliveries for the same reason. Deliveries resumed several days later after Boeing agreed to an additional inspections plan. The decision to stop the Pegasus delivery once more was made on March 23, but this week inspectors kept identifying additional foreign object debris and other areas, in which Boeing did not meet quality standards. Boeing has so far delivered seven KC-46s to the Air Force. The Pegasus is a widebody, multirole tanker, that is able to refuel allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures.
Middle East & Africa
According to Jane’s, South African defense company Denel will restructure and exit some operations in order to return to profitability after several years of losses. The company plans to ask South African government for $197.2 million recapitalization and to negotiate with the Department of Defense to achieve a sustainable baseload of orders. On March 30, Denel and Airbus reached a mutual agreement to transfer the manufacturing of aircraft parts for the A400M military airlifter out of Denel. The company may close Aerostructures entirely. Denel and Airbus, however, will continue to collaborate in other areas and intend to build, expand and strengthen their strategic industrial partnership.
Lebanon reportedly received six ScanEagle UAS from the US on Tuesday. The $11 million ScanEagle acquisition was one of three Building Partner Capability programs that US officials announced for Lebanon in December 2017. The ScanEagle delivers high-quality imagery for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. It is a small, long-endurance, low-altitude UAV that carries 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 drone has a flight endurance of over 20 hours.
Italian firearms manufacturer Beretta will build new types of guns in Romania. The company will partner with Romania’s Plopeni Mechanical Plant, a subsidiary of the state defense association Romarm. One of the assault weapons produced will be the ARX 160. Both guns will be delivered for the domestic as well as the export market. The ARX 160 is composed of an upper and lower receiver, both manufactured mostly from polymer, and operates through a short-stroke position. It features an ambidextrous safeties, magazine release bolt release and charging handle, as well as the ability to change which side spent casings are ejected, a quick-change barrel which can be removed and replaced in seconds without any tools, Picatinny rails, and foldable telescope stock.
The US State Department approved a potential Foreign Military Sale to India. Under the possible deal, India will receive 24 MH-60R Multi-Mission helicopters for an estimated cost of $2.6 billion. According to a report, the sale will provide India the capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay. The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin. The MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopter is equipped for a range of missions including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, search-and-rescue, naval gunfire support, surveillance, communications relay, logistics support and personnel transfer and vertical replenishment.
Watch: UK to Buy two new autonomous mine-hunter vessels with cutting-edge sonars.
The US Air Force contracted Boeing $250 million for the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guidance kit services for the Air Force, Navy and allies. The deal will have Boeing Defense Space and Security build the JMAD and supply Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition technical services, aircraft integration and sustainment. The JDAM is a guidance tail kit that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into accurate, adverse weather smart munitions. JDAM enables employment of accurate air-to-surface weapons against high priority fixed and relocatable targets from fighter and bomber aircraft. Boeing has manufactured more than 260,000 JDAM guidance kits at its production facility in St. Charles since 1998. The JDAM was first used during Operation Allied Force in the Balkans in 1999. Laser JDAM is operational on US Air Force F-15Es and F-16s, and US Navy F/A-18s and A/V-8Bs. The contract also includes JDAM/LJDAM-specific activities like technical services, aircraft integration, and sustainment. Work will take place in St. Louis and is expected to be complete by March 2029.
The US Navy awarded Moog Inc. $84.8 million in support of the V-22 Osprey. The deal provides repair work for three items on the V-22 aircraft. The Boeing V-22 Osprey is a multirole combat aircraft utilizing tiltrotor technology in order of combining vertical performance with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. It can take-off, land and hover like a chopper and once airborne it is able to convert into a turboprop airplane. Moog designs, manufactures, and integrates precision motion and fluid controls and systems for original equipment manufacturers and end users in the aerospace, defense, and industrial markets. The company is the supplier of the Osprey Flight Control Actuation. Moog is providing the design, manufacture and integration of 17 Primary Flight Control Actuators including the main rotor Swashplate, Flaperon and Elevator. Work, which will take place in New York and North Carolina, is expected to be finished by March 2022.
Middle East & Africa
The US has halted shipments of F-35 parts to Turkey due to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s insistence to buy the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system. The S-400 Triumf is an anti-aircraft weapon system designed to threaten the world’s most advanced fighters, including the F-35. Turkey is a partner in the Joint Strike Fighter Program. The decision comes after months of warnings by the US. It’s one more step toward ending the actual aircraft sale. According to Reuters, the next shipment of training equipment, and all subsequent shipments of F-35 related material, had been canceled. Turkey plans to acquire up to 100 of the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35A to replace its Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons.
Lockheed Martin won an additional $2.5 billion contract for the production of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors for Saudi Arabia as part of a $15 billion deal for the defensive ballistic missile systems. Lockheed is to provide interceptors and associated one-shot devices to support the US government as well as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The THAAD system is an anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to shoot down short-medium, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase with a hit-to-kill approach. The THAAD Weapon System is able to intercept incoming missiles both inside and just outside of the Earth’s atmosphere at a range of 200 kilometers, which mitigates the effects of weapons of mass destruction before they reach the ground. The ability to intercept both inside and outside the atmosphere makes THAAD an important part of layered missile defense concepts. Lockheed will provide 44 THAAD launchers, 360 missile interceptors, 16 THAAD Fire Control and Communications Mobile Tactical Station Group units and seven AN/TPY-2 THAAD radars for Saudi Arabia. In November, the United States and Saudi Arabia formalized terms for the sale of the THAAD launchers, missiles and related equipment. Work will take place in Texas, California, Alabama, Arkansas, and is expected to be completed on April 1, 2026.
The Strategic Systems Programs awarded Lockheed Martin Space an $18 million contract modification to provide support for the Trident II Fleet Ballistic Missile System of the UK. The modification includes engineering and technical support services, and deliverable materials. The deal is to support technical planning, direction, coordination, and control to ensure that UK Fleet Ballistic Missile Program requirements are identified and integrated to support planned milestone schedules and emergent requirements. The Trident II or Trident D5 is a submarine-launched ballistic missile carried by the US Ohio and four UK Vanguard Class Submarines. It is a three-stage rocket with each stage containing a solid-fuel rocket motor. The contract modification also provides for re-entry Systems UK resident technical support, operational support hardware, and consumable spares. According to the DoD, UK Funds in the amount of $17,976,489 will be obligated on this award. Lockheed will perform work within the US and the UK. The expected level-of-effort completion date is March 31, 2020, and the deliverable items completion date is June 30, 2021.
In other F-35-related news, the US Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $151.3 million modification for the delivery of 21 F-35 Lightning II Lot 14 low-rate initial production aircraft to the governments of Australia and Norway. 15 platforms will go to Australia and six to Norway. Australia will pay $108.2 million under a cooperative agreement. The international partner funds in the full amount will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Australia received its first F-35 in December. The contract modification also provides for long-lead items for the manufacture of the aircraft. Work will take place in the US, the UK, and Japan and is expected to be finished in December 2022.
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