May 21, 2019 04:56 UTC
The Navy awarded
Boeing a $163.9 million modification to continue modernizing the US Navy's F/A-18E/F fighter jet fleet under the service life modification program. The deal will extend the operational service of 10 Super Hornets
from 6,000 flight hours to 10,000 flight hours. It is the second US Navy contract for Super Hornet Service Life Modification. In a press release
, program director Dave Sallenbach said, „the Service Life Modification program is making great strides as we’ve already inducted seven Super Hornets into the program, and will deliver the first jet back to the Navy later this year“. Boeing will perform work in St. Louis, Missouri and San Antonio, Texas. Work is scheduled to be completed in May 2021.
The US Navy flies the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet fighters, and has begun operating the EA-18G Growler electronic warfare & strike aircraft. Many of these buys have been managed out of common multi-year procurement (MYP) contracts, which aim to reduce overall costs by offering longer-term production commitments, so contractors can negotiate better deals with their suppliers.
The MYP-II contract ran from 2005-2009, and was not renewed because the Pentagon intended to focus on the F-35 fighter program. When it became clear that the F-35 program was going to be late, and had serious program and budgetary issues, pressure built to abandon year-by-year contracting, and negotiate another multi-year deal for the current Super Hornet family. That deal is now final. This entry covers the program as a whole, with a focus on 2010-2015 Super Hornet family purchases. It has been updated to include all announced contracts and events connected with MYP-III, including engines and other separate “government-furnished equipment” that figures prominently in the final price.
Continue Reading… »
May 20, 2019 05:00 UTC
Bell Boeing won a $42.2 million contract modification for fleet software sustainment of the V-22 flight control system. The order includes engineering and technical support for the Osprey. The V-22 Osprey is the world’s first production tiltrotor aircraft, blending the vertical flight capability of a helicopter with an airplane’s speed, range, altitude and endurance. The modification combines purchases for the Marine Corps of $25.5 million and the Air Force of $13 million. Ninety-three percent of work will take place in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania and the remaining seven percent will occur in Fort Worth, Texas. The Pentagon expects the company to fulfill the order by June 2021.
The Navy awarded BAE Systems a $36.7 million contract for demonstration and development of the Dual Band Decoy capability. BAE Systems will demonstrate a new Dual Band towed decoy to help US Navy F/A-18E/F jet fighter-bomber pilots avoid modern sophisticated enemy radar-guided anti-aircraft missiles. The Dual Band Decoy towed decoy project was launched in June last year. It seeks to meet an urgent Navy need to protect crews of area-penetrating attack jets like the Super Hornets from enemy radar-guided missiles that operate on two separate frequencies, such as X-band and S-band. The Dual Band Decoy capability will leverage existing and projected contractor technologies and expand capabilities relative to the currently fielded Integrated Defense Electronic Countermeasures AN/ALE-55 Fiber Optic Towed Decoy and AN/ALE-50 Advanced Airborne Expendable Decoy used on the F/A-18E/F aircraft. Work will take place in Nashua, New Hampshire and is scheduled to be completed in August 2021.
Lockheed Martin won a $12.7 million modification for post delivery support of the USS St. Louis. The USS St. Louis or LCS-19 is a Freedom Class littoral combat ship of the US Navy. In December, the Navy christened the ship in Marinette, the 10th Freedom-class LCS built by Lockheed Martin’s Fincantieri Marinette Marine. In all, six Freedom Class ships are under construction and two are in the pre-production phase. The company will plan and implement deferred design changes that have been identified during the construction period. The corrections and upgrades are needed to support St. Louis Sailaway and follow-on post delivery test and trials period, the DoD announced on Thursday. Lockheed will perform work within the US and scheduled completion date is in December next year.
Middle East & Africa
According to TASS, Angola received all 12 Su-30K fighters from the Aviation Repair Plant of Belarus. The aircraft were modified to the Su-30SM standard and are able to fire the RVV-AE (NATO AA-12) air-to-air missile. Alexander Vorobey, Deputy Director for Development of the 558th ARZ said that two SU-30K fighters were transported to Angola in April thus completing the agreement for 12 Su-30K for the Angolan Air Force. The Russian SU-30 is a twin-engine, two-seat supermaneuverable fighter aircraft. The new SU-30SM standards are equipped with 12 points of suspension of aviation weapons and can use guided aircraft missiles such as anti-ship X-31A, anti-radar X-31P, and air-to-air class RVV-AE. To protect against high-precision weapons, each Angolan fighter is equipped with a satellite jamming station.
Belarus reportedly shows interest in buying Russian-made air defense systems, including Pantsir-S self-propelled hybrid gun/missile air-defense systems and the Tor-M2 self-propelled surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. Alexander Mikheyev, head of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport told this information to TASS at the HeluRussia 2019 exhibition on Friday. The Pantsir-S gun/SAM system was designed for the strategic defense of high-value targets. The Tor missile system is an all-weather low-to-medium altitude, short-range surface-to-air missile system. The TOR-M2 / M2E is designed to attack aircraft, helicopters, aerodynamic UAVs, guided missiles and other components of high precision weapons flying at medium, low and extremely low altitudes in adverse air and jamming environment.
The US State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale of SM-2 Block IIIB Standard missiles to South Korea. The deal is valued at $313.9 million. The State Department has cleared the Republic of Korea to procure up to 94 rounds of SM-2 Block IIIB Standard Missiles and twelve MK 97 MOD 0 Guidance Sections for SM-2 Block IIIB. Also included is technical assistance: training and training equipment; publication and technical data; and related logistics support, and other related elements of logistics and program support. South Korea’s military already uses the SM-2, and is in the process of building more missile defense capable destroyers that use the weapons.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the State Department cleared Japan to procure 160 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), and one AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM guidance section. If approved by Congress, the sale would be worth $317 million. The deal includes containers, weapon support and support equipment, spare and repair parts. The sale will provide Japan with “a critical air defense capability to assist in defending the Japanese homeland and US personnel stationed there,” according to the agency.
Watch: This Robotic M1 Abrams Tank Can Smash Through Enemy Defenses
May 20, 2019 04:58 UTC
Bell Boeing won
a $42.2 million contract modification for fleet software sustainment of the V-22 flight control system. The order includes engineering and technical support for the Osprey. The V-22 Osprey
is the world's first production tiltrotor aircraft, blending the vertical flight capability of a helicopter with an airplane's speed, range, altitude and endurance. The modification combines purchases for the Marine Corps of $25.5 million and the Air Force of $13 million. Ninety-three percent of work will take place in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania and the remaining seven percent will occur in Fort Worth, Texas. The Pentagon expects the company to fulfill the order by June 2021.
In March 2008, the Bell Boeing Joint Project Office in Amarillo, TX received a $10.4 billion modification that converted the previous N00019-07-C-0001 advance acquisition contract to a fixed-price-incentive-fee, multi-year contract. The new contract rose to $10.92 billion, and was used to buy 143 MV-22 (for USMC) and 31 CV-22 (Air Force Special Operations) Osprey aircraft, plus associated manufacturing tooling to move the aircraft into full production. A follow-on MYP-II contract covered another 99 Ospreys (92 MV-22, 7 CV-22) for $6.524 billion. Totals: $17.444 billion for 235 MV-22s and 38 CV-22s, an average of $63.9 million each.
The V-22 tilt-rotor program has been beset by controversy throughout its 20-year development period. Despite these issues, and the emergence of competitive but more conventional compound helicopter technologies like Piasecki’s X-49 Speedhawk and Sikorsky’s X2, the V-22 program continues to move forward. This DID Spotlight article looks at the V-22’s multi-year purchase contract from 2008-12 and 2013-2017, plus associated contracts for key V-22 systems, program developments, and research sources.
Continue Reading… »
May 20, 2019 04:52 UTC
The US State Department approved
a possible Foreign Military Sale of SM-2 Block IIIB Standard missiles
to South Korea. The deal is valued at $313.9 million. The State Department has cleared the Republic of Korea to procure up to 94 rounds of SM-2 Block IIIB Standard Missiles and twelve MK 97 MOD 0 Guidance Sections for SM-2 Block IIIB. Also included is technical assistance: training and training equipment; publication and technical data; and related logistics support, and other related elements of logistics and program support. South Korea’s military already uses the SM-2, and is in the process of building more missile defense capable destroyers that use the weapons.
SM-2 Launch, DDG-77
(click to view larger)
Variants of the SM-2 Standard missile are the USA’s primary fleet defense anti-air weapon, and serve with 13 navies worldwide. The most common variant is the RIM-66K-L/ SM-2 Standard Block IIIB, which entered service in 1998. The Standard family extends far beyond the SM-2 missile, however; several nations still use the SM-1, the SM-3 is rising to international prominence as a missile defense weapon, and the SM-6 program is on track to supplement the SM-2. These missiles are designed to be paired with the AEGIS radar and combat system, but can be employed independently by ships with older or newer radar systems.
This article covers each variant in the Standard missile family, plus several years worth of American and Foreign Military Sales requests and contracts and key events; and offers the budgetary, technical, and geopolitical background that can help put all that in context.
Continue Reading… »
May 20, 2019 04:50 UTC
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency
, the State Department cleared Japan to procure 160 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM)
, and one AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM guidance section. If approved by Congress, the sale would be worth $317 million. The deal includes containers, weapon support and support equipment, spare and repair parts. The sale will provide Japan with "a critical air defense capability to assist in defending the Japanese homeland and US personnel stationed there," according to the agency.
AIM-120C from F-22A
(click for test missile zoom)
Raytheon’s AIM-120 Advanced, Medium-Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM) has become the world market leader for medium range air-to-air missiles, and is also beginning to make inroads within land-based defense systems. It was designed with the lessons of Vietnam in mind, and of local air combat exercises like ACEVAL and Red Flag. This DID FOCUS article covers successive generations of AMRAAM missiles, international contracts and key events from 2006 onward, and even some of its emerging competitors.
One of the key lessons learned from Vietnam was that a fighter would be likely to encounter multiple enemies, and would need to launch and guide several missiles at once in order to ensure its survival. This had not been possible with the AIM-7 Sparrow, a “semi-active radar homing” missile that required a constant radar lock on one target. To make matters worse, enemy fighters were capable of launching missiles of their own. Pilots who weren’t free to maneuver after launch would often be forced to “break lock,” or be killed – sometimes even by a short-range missile fired during the last phases of their enemy’s approach. Since fighters that could carry radar-guided missiles like the AIM-7 tended to be larger and more expensive, and the Soviets were known to have far more fighters overall, this was not a good trade.
Continue Reading… »
May 17, 2019 05:00 UTC
Boeing won a $13.4 million contract modification support of the AN/USQ-82(V) family of systems consisting of the Data Multiplex System, Fiber Optic Data Multiplex System, and Gigabit Ethernet Data Multiplex System (GEDMS). The modification provides for design agent and technical services. Boeing will provide advanced and highly specialized technical engineering to assist with system sustainment, cybersecurity enhancement, configuration management, development, qualification and integration of systems, testing and technical support to manufacturing and repair vendors. Essentially, GEDMS is a Government Furnished Equipment build-to-print system, where no commercially adequate products satisfy the design requirements. AN/USQ-82(V) systems are installed and deployed on US Navy DDG 51-class destroyers, in the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense systems, on ships of three countries under Foreign Military Sales cases, in different Navy and FMS land-based test sites, and are also being installed on new-construction LHA 8 and new FMS Japan and Korean DDGs. The GEDMS network transfers inputs and outputs for the Burke-class destroyer’s machinery control systems, damage control system, steering control system, Aegis combat system, navigation displays, and interior communications alarms and indicators. Boeing will perform work within the US and scheduled completion date is in March next year.
The US Air Force has successfully demonstrated a new Combat Support Wing concept during a recent deployment to Kinston Regional Jetport. F-15Es from the 4th Fighter Wing were refueled and rearmed by three teams of airmen who are from different career fields in the service. Weapons loaders showed that they could drive a refueling truck while security forces demonstrated they could refuel the aircraft. Avionics specialists were tasked with base security. The concept supports National Defense Strategy priorities to evolve innovative operational concepts and enhance lethality in contested environments. If fielded, it could give the Air Force the ability to quickly deploy in smaller, more efficient and agile teams to austere and potentially contested areas.
Northrop Grumman together with the US Marine Corps successfully completed an initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) for the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) Blocks 1 and 2, the company said in a press release. The milestone demonstrates the suitability and viability of the system, and indicates that the Marine Corps is ready to operate and field G/ATOR Blocks 1 and 2 in their current configuration. The AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR is an advanced, multi-mission active electronically scanned array radar that provides comprehensive real time, 360° situational awareness. The radar system is designed to help soldiers detect and take action against complex, modern threats.
Middle East & Africa
Lockheed Martin teamed up with Israeli defense company Rafael to develop, market, manufacture as well as support Rafael’s Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective (SPICE) guidance kits for the US market. The Israeli SPICE is an EO/GPS guided guidance kit for converting air-droppable unguided bombs into precision guided bombs. It has been in use since 2003. It is combat-proven and in service with the Israeli Air Force and several other nations worldwide. The teaming agreement covers the SPICE 1000 and SPICE 2000 kit variants. Over 60 percent of SPICE is already manufactured in the US in eight states.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin wants to purchase 76 Su-57 before 2028. The Sukhoi Su-57 is the country’s first indigenously designed and built fifth-generation stealth fighter jet. According to TASS, Putin said in a defense meeting: “The 2028 arms program stipulated the purchase of 16 such jets, we have agreed to purchase 76 such fighters without the increase in prices in the same period of time.” Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported that manufacturers reduced prices for both the aircraft and the equipment by 20%, which provided the opportunity to purchase more of these jets.
British Typhoons were launched twice in two days after taking over the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission in Estonia. On Wednesday, the aircraft intercepted two SU-27 fighters and an IL-22 and escorted the formation towards Russia. On Tuesday, British Typhoon fighters scrambled out of Ämari Air Base in Estonia in response to two Russian SU-27 fighter aircraft and one IL-22 aircraft that were flying along the Baltic coast heading towards Kaliningrad. Britain took over the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission from the German Air Force last month.
China will soon commission its first homemade aircraft carrier, according to local reports. China introduced the domestically made carrier two years ago and delayed Sea Trials were conducted in 2018. The Sea Trials successfully tested the warship’s propulsion system, combat and supply capabilities. The Type 001A may be the first homemade, but it is the second overall aircraft carrier of China, the first one was purchased from Ukraine and refitted. The second domestically developed aircraft carrier is already being built with reports saying it will be the first with catapults.
Watch: U.S. Marines with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion participates in the Robotic Complex Breach Concept