May 24, 2019 04:52 UTC
In order of coping with expanding air vehicle inventory, the French Air Force is introducing
a new UAV pilot training. The French Air Force is planning to have 24 MQ-9 Reaper MALE UAVs
operational by 2030, generating a requirement for 80 to 100 crews. To cope with this expansion the service will establish a new course into its flying schools. Students will fly the Cirrus light aircraft
and the Grob 120
basic trainer before moving on UAV Operational Conversion Squadron and the 1/33 Belfort to acquire the particular tactical know-how required to operate the Reapers. The MQ-9 Reapers are remotely piloted vehicles and the first hunter-killer UAVs designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance. Up until now the 1/33 Belfort UAV Squadron flew five GA-ASI MQ-9 Reapers. The first two Reapers to enter French service are designated Block 1 and use US equipment.
Harfang UAV, DGA
France is wondering what to do about its next high-end UAV buy. They bought mini-UAVs off the shelf, but turned to a build-in-partnership approach for their current set of Predator-class Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) machines. That sacrificed some fielding speed and cost more, in order to build the industrial capabilities of key French firms. Unfortunately, their Harfang/ SIDM IUAV Program to field an IAI Heron derivative hit some snags. Harfangs have been very useful in several conflicts now, but the fleet isn’t keeping up with France’s growing land and naval needs. Which leads to the question: what’s next?
The answers to that question remain unclear, several years after French efforts began. What is becoming clear is that France needs UAVs of this type. By mid-2013 a request for MQ-9s came. Will it be more than a stopgap?
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May 23, 2019 05:00 UTC
Q.E.D. Systems won a $19.6 million contract modification in support of Navy amphibious ship classes LPD 17, LSD 41 and LSD 49. The deal provides for advanced planning services in support of Chief of Naval Operations-scheduled availabilities, continuous maintenance availabilities (CMAVs), inactivation CMAVs, sustainment availabilities, phased modernization availabilities, re-commissioning availabilities, continuous maintenance and emergent maintenance windows of opportunity. The LPD 17 USS San Antonio is the lead ship of the San Antonio Class. The San Antonio Class is the latest Class of US Navy amphibious force ships. The LSD 41 or USS Whidbey Island is part of the Whidbey Island Class and the LSD 49 or USS Harpers Ferry is part of the Harpers Ferry Class dock landing ships. Q.E.D. systems will perform work in Virginia, California, and Washington and the Pentagon expects work to be finished by May next year.
The Air Force awarded Raytheon a $24.5 million contract modification for the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) System Improvement Program. The deal includes software architecture and design risk reduction efforts to counter evolving threats. AMRAAM is an active radar-guided intercept missile with inherent electronic protection capabilities for air-to-air applications against massed penetration aircraft. AMRAAM has been in service since 1991, and was designed to replace the AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missile. Work will take place in Tucson, Arizona and is scheduled to be complete by September 30, 2022.
Middle East & Africa
Elbit Systems delivered its BrightNite System for Puma 330 helicopters of an Air Force of a NATO country after it was declared operational. The BrightNite system adds a multi-spectral, multi-sensor array – fusing multiple day and night thermal cameras – installed in the helicopter’s nose, to obtain a panoramic picture arc in front of the pilot. This picture is displayed in real-time to the pilots using binocular display. BrightNite utilizes unified location-based information culled from a wide Field Of View to display crystal clear images, regardless of visibility conditions. The system can present information to multiple pilots simultaneously on an intuitive multi-functional display.
According to reports, Turkey has sent the first soldiers to Moscow to start training on the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system. Defense Minister Hulusi Akar announced that more soldiers would be sent to Russia in the coming months to learn how to operate the Russian hardware. Turkey’s planned purchase of the S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft weapon system has soured relations between the US and Turkey with the US even threatening Turkey with exclusion from the F-35 program in case Turkey went through with the S-400 deal.
The British Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyer HMS Duncan carried out anti-submarine and air defense training in an exercise with eight other countries and 57 ships, helicopters and aircraft. The HMS Duncan is the sixth Type 45 Destroyer and was deployed in 2018 as the Flagship of NATO Task Group SNMG2, returning in July. The Type 45 Destroyers built for the Royal Navy are primarily designed for anti-aircraft and anti-missile warfare. For the exercise, dubbed Mare Aperto, the ship spent two weeks off the coast of Italy, where it provided air and surface defenses as the exercise moved through the Messina Straits which divide Sicily and mainland Italy. The exercise is focused on training and testing the abilities of the Commanders and Staff of the Naval Squadron, in conducting operations in areas of international crisis. Through the reproduction of a scenario characterized by a multidimensional threat and with increasing difficulty, ships and crews practice the main activities of fighting on the sea and from the sea such as anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and anti-ship activities, fighting illicit trafficking, crisis management in environments with conventional and asymmetric threat.
South Korea’s second Dokdo Class helicopter carrier started Sea Trials, Jane’s reports. The Dokdo Class Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) ships of the Korean Navy act as a command and control platform for the maritime mobile fleet and supports three-dimensional landing operations as well as maritime air operations. The Navy launched the lead ship, the ROKS Dokdo, in July 2005 and commissioned it two years later. Dokdo is the largest vessel in the South Korean Navy. The hull is divided into four decks to accommodate helicopters, assault amphibious vehicles, landing craft air cushion, tanks and trucks. The second ship will be named ROKS Marado once commissioned. Marado is a 199 meter long LPH ship that displaces 14,500 tonnes and features a through-deck flight operations area with five landing spots. It is able to carry up to 10 UH-60 helicopters, about 700 embarked troops, and 10 main battle tanks and associated support vehicles.
Watch: US Battleships sails in disputed-island at The South China Sea amid trade-tensions
May 23, 2019 04:52 UTC
South Korea’s second Dokdo Class helicopter carrier started Sea Trials, Jane’s
reports. The Dokdo Class
Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) ships of the Korean Navy act as a command and control platform for the maritime mobile fleet and supports three-dimensional landing operations as well as maritime air operations. The Navy launched the lead ship, the ROKS Dokdo, in July 2005 and commissioned it two years later. Dokdo is the largest vessel in the South Korean Navy. The hull is divided into four decks to accommodate helicopters, assault amphibious vehicles, landing craft air cushion, tanks and trucks. The second ship will be named ROKS Marado once commissioned. Marado is a 199 meter long LPH ship that displaces 14,500 tonnes and features a through-deck flight operations area with five landing spots. It is able to carry up to 10 UH-60 helicopters, about 700 embarked troops, and 10 main battle tanks and associated support vehicles.
Australia isn’t the only Pacific Rim country looking to modernize its Navy these days. China’s rapid shipbuilding program and work on its aircraft carrier project gets a lot of attention – but just to the east, South Korea is fielding its own AEGIS-equipped “air warfare destroyer,” while picking up new capabilities via a new class of amphibious assault LHD ship. Sound familiar? Hobart and Canberra Class, meet the KDX-III King Sejong Class AEGIS destroyer (launched May 2007) and the new “LPH” Dokdo Class LHD (commissioned July 2007).
The 199-meter, 18,860-ton Dokdo Class officially has the less aggressive designation of LPH (landing platform, helicopter), but its well deck and amphibious assault capabilities place it within the LHD category…
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May 22, 2019 05:00 UTC
General Dynamics’s subsidiary, Electric Boat, won a $497 million modification to grow the industrial base to support development and construction of the Columbia, and Virginia-class submarines as well as Ford-class aircraft carriers. The deal is part of the integrated enterprise plan and multi-program material procurement and production backup units, with the goal to support vendor stability and gain economic efficiencies. The contract will improve sub-tier vendor stability based on production economies for major components. This will subsequently help in reducing risk related to the Columbia, Virginia and Ford Class programs. Additionally, to support the increased demand associated with the Navy’s force structure assessment, the nuclear shipbuilding industrial base is significantly ramping up production capabilities. Electric Boat will perform work through December 2031 in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Virginia and other undisclosed locations.
Raytheon successfully completed technical testing during the US Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor sense-off at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the company said in a press release. Raytheon announced plans to participate in the sense-off back in February. The sense-off is supposed to help come up with design concepts for a new missile defense radar since the Army decided last year to reset the approach for the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, or LTAMDS, program that has struggled to bring about a new radar for well over a decade. 5 days ago it was reported, that the Army has begun competition for a new air and missile defense system with the release of a request for proposals asking for prototypes to replace the Patriot AMD system. „Raytheon’s clean-sheet approach and decades-long investments in gallium nitride technology allowed us to demonstrate and deliver a mature solution that will meet the Army’s initial operational capability“, vice president of integrated air and missile defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business, Tom Laliberty said in the company’s news release. Raytheon’s LTAMDS demonstrated key mission capabilities to service members, validated the maturity of its design, acquired and tracked a variety of threat-representative targets, demonstrated advanced capabilities, and showcased ease of maintenance and sustainment during the sense-off.
The State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale of MK 54 lightweight torpedoes to Canada. The deal is valued at $387 million. Canada had requested to buy 425 MK 54 lightweight torpedo conversion kits. The country intends to upgrade its current MK 46 torpedoes to MK 54 to be used on the Royal Canadian Navy’s Halifax class ships, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CP-140 Aurora aircraft, and the CH-148 maritime helicopters. The sale also includes torpedo containers, recoverable exercise torpedoes with containers, fleet exercise section and fuel tanks, as well as air launch accessories for fixed wing, torpedo spare parts, training, publications, support and test equipment, US government and contractor engineering, and technical and logistics support services.
Middle East & Africa
Saudi Arabia claimed on Monday that it had intercepted two ballistic missiles, fired by Houthi rebels and headed for Mecca. This comes at a time of heightened tensions between Tehran and Gulf Arab states and a roughly four-year conflict in Yemen largely seen as a proxy war between the two sides. „Royal Saudi Defence Forces spotted aerial targets flying through restricted areas in the provinces of Jeddah and Taif and dealt with them as required by the situation“, a Saudi coalition spokesman said. In a tweet, Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Washington said the two missiles had been intercepted in Mecca province, which includes Jeddah and Taif. Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement denied the reports.
The investigations into Austria’s Eurofighter purchase may come to an abrupt end once more as the coalition between the conservatives and the right-wing FPÖ collapsed on the weekend. The 2002 purchase of Austria’s Eurofighter Typhoons has been investigated due to a possible corruption scandal involving bribes in the amount of around $111.6 million. The current investigation committee is already the third on this matter. Investigation committees have to cease interrogations when the date of new elections is announced. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has announced a snap election on Saturday, after a video-scandal surrounding vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache forced him to end the coalition. However, a specific date for the new elections has not yet been declared. In 2017, the second investigation into the Eurofighter scandal has ended the same way, when snap elections were announced following the collapse of the coalition between the social-democratic SPÖ and the conservatives.
Greece received 70 Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed reconnaissance helicopters and one Boeing CH-47D Chinook heavy-lift helo. The Hellenic Army purchased the OH-58Ds through the US Excess Defense Articles program. The shipment consists of 36 fully equipped aircraft, plus 24 that lack certain avionics, navigation, and communication equipment, and will be dedicated to training. The remaining 10 airframes are to be used for spares. Six of the helicopters came ready to fly. The deal for the Kiowa Warriors is valued at $44,2 million.
The Indian Army (IA) is looking to procure new light machine guns (LMG). A team of Indian Army officials is visiting three countries, namely Bulgaria, Israel and South Korea to evaluate 7.62 mm LMGs. The IA has an immediate requirement for 16,400 LMGs. India will invite either all three countries, or at least two, to India for confirmatory trials using indigenously made LMG ammunition before shortlisting one weapon system for purchase, starting price negotiations, and signing the deal.
Watch: Sukhoi Su-30SM: Best fighter jet in the world
May 22, 2019 04:52 UTC
The investigations into Austria’s Eurofighter purchase may come to an abrupt end
once more as the coalition between the conservatives and the right-wing FPÖ collapsed on the weekend. The 2002 purchase of Austria’s Eurofighter Typhoons
has been investigated due to a possible corruption scandal involving bribes in the amount of around $111.6 million. The current investigation committee is already the third on this matter. Investigation committees have to cease interrogations when the date of new elections is announced. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has announced a snap election on Saturday, after a video-scandal
surrounding vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache forced him to end the coalition
. However, a specific date for the new elections has not yet been declared. In 2017, the second investigation into the Eurofighter scandal has ended the same way, when snap elections were announced following the collapse of the coalition between the social-democratic SPÖ and the conservatives.
w. IRIS-T missiles
In 2003, Austria signed a EUR 2 billion contract to receive 18 EADS Eurofighters plus required support (just over $2.5 billion, or about $140 million per plane). The aircraft were already under construction in Germany when the 2006 election results forced the leftist SPO party, whose campaign promises included canceling the fighter deal, into the Austrian government coalition.
That shift led to a fraught series of negotiations within Austria, and then with EADS. The 2 sides played a game of billion-dollar chicken, leading to a settlement in 2007. The Eurofighter’s rough ride in Austria seemed to be over with delivery of the 15th and final aircraft in 2009, but controversies continue.
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May 22, 2019 04:50 UTC
70 Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior
armed reconnaissance helicopters and one Boeing CH-47D Chinook
heavy-lift helo. The Hellenic Army purchased the OH-58Ds through the US Excess Defense Articles program. The shipment consists of 36 fully equipped aircraft, plus 24 that lack certain avionics, navigation, and communication equipment, and will be dedicated to training. The remaining 10 airframes are to be used for spares. Six of the helicopters came ready to fly. The deal for the Kiowa Warriors is valued at $44,2 million.
YRH-70 test, 2005
The US Army’s Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) program aimed to replace around 375 Bell Textron OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters, after the $14.6 billion RAH-66 Comanche program, was canceled in 2004. Instead, the Army would buy a larger number of less expensive platforms, with reduced capabilities. Bell Helicopter Textron initially won the ARH competition with a militarized version of its highly successful 407 single-engine commercial helicopter, but despite significant private investment after Army funding stopped in March 2007, spiraling costs killed the ARH-70 in October 2008.
What hasn’t changed is the battlefield need for on-call, front-line aerial surveillance and fire support. With its existing OH-58D stock wither wearing down, or shot down, the Army needs to do something. But what? The eventual answer: scrap the Kiowa fleet for a combination of attack helicopters and UAVs.
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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 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
May 16, 2019 05:00 UTC
Lockheed won an $18.5 million modification that authorizes the procurement of Diminishing Manufacturing Sources redesign activities in support of the F-35 aircraft. The F-35 is a 5th-generation multi-role stealth fighter that is is being acquired by the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps to replace and supplement much of their air fleets. Partner nations such as Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia and others are participating in the program. The program has been troubled by a long list of delays, software and hardware problems and cost overruns. It is anticipated to serve as the primary US stealth fighter platform, alongside the F-22 Raptor, for decades to come. In August Lockheed received a $171.7 million modification to support redesign of the air system on Lot 11 of the F-35 Lightning II. Work under the current modification will take place in Fort Worth, Texas and is scheduled to be finished in January 2024.
The Brazilian Air Force will likely receive its first Embraer E-99M airborne early warning and control aircraft in early 2020, Jane’s reports. The E-99 or EMB-145 AEW&C aircraft’s mission system is developed around the Ericsson ERIEYE active, phased-array pulse-Doppler radar and is integrated with an onboard command and control system. Electronic surveillance measures for monitoring communications and non-communications activities are also integrated with the system. The first AEW&C aircraft was delivered to the Brazilian Air Force in July 2002 and deliveries were completed in December 2003. In 2013, Embraer won a $144 million contract to modernize Brazil’s E-99s. The E-99 modernization includes upgrades to the aircraft’s electronic warfare and electronic support measures suites and command and control systems, as well its Saab Microwave Systems PS-890 Erieye surveillance radar system. Two E-99s are undergoing modernization to the configuration E-99M.
Middle East & Africa
The US Navy awarded Boeing a $10.9 million contract modification supporting the Harpoon Block II missiles for Saudi Arabia. The modification provides for obsolescence redesign efforts in support of production and delivery. The Harpoon all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile can be installed on the P-3 Orion, the P-8 Poseidon, the AV-8B Harrier II, the Hornet as well as the B-52H Bombers. Block II intends to to offer an expanded engagement envelope, enhanced resistance to electronic countermeasures and improved targeting. Boeing will perform work within the US. The scheduled completion date is in August this year.
Germany and the Netherlands are reportedly suspending military training operations in Iraq as the United States warned of increased threats from Iran-backed forces amid an escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran. A German official said Berlin had no indications of its own of any impending attacks on Western interests by Iran and said the training programs could resume in the coming days. Germany has 160 soldiers involved in training Iraqi forces trying to contain Islamic State militants. The Netherlands has 169 military and civilian personnel in Iraq, including about 50 in Erbil, where they are helping to train Kurdish troops. On Wednesday, the US State Department recalled non-emergency personnel from Iraq and advised US citizens against traveling to the country, saying the ongoing standoff with Iran had increased the risk of terror attacks or kidnapping. The US recently announced it would deploy a US carrier strike to the Persian Gulf, citing troubling actions by Iran.
The last three Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 Thunder Block II multirole combat aircraft are scheduled to arrive for the Pakistan Air Force by the end of June. The JF-17 Thunder is single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft utilized primarily by Pakistan for aerial reconnaissance, ground attack and aircraft interception. Pakistan’s first Thunder aircraft was rolled out in 2009. The Pakistan Air Force ordered additional 12 platforms in 2017. The JF-17s are currently on the Aircraft Manufacturing Factory final assembly line. Approximately 25 Block II variants of the JF-17 were being manufactured in Pakistan annually. Production will be terminated in favor of the upcoming JF-17 Block III. Block III production will start later this year. There is yet to be made a decision, which radar will be integrated into the aircraft.
The Indian Navy’s fourth Scorpene Class submarine, INS Vela, has launched on Monday. It is one of six Scorpene Class stealth subs built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders as part of Project 75 under a technology transfer partnership with Naval Group. As part of the technology transfer pact, Naval Group offers technical support to MDL in the field of construction, integration and tests of submarines in India. The Scorpene Class Ships can be used to perform various tasks, including anti-surface, anti-submarine warfare, long-range strikes, special operations or intelligence gathering. Prior to delivery to the Navy, the submarine will be put through trials and tests, both in harbor and at sea. After the tests, equipment and machinery on-board will be integrated.
Watch: Philippine Army receives first batch of upgraded M113A2 RCWS equipped APC from Elbit Systems
May 15, 2019 05:00 UTC
The US Navy awarded Boeing a $139.8 million modification to continue manufacturing precision laser guidance sets for the Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). Boeing received a $357.8 million contract in 2015 to manufacture precision laser guided sets for the Navy, the US Air Force and multiple Foreign Military Sales clients. The JDAM is a low-cost guidance kit that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into accurately guided “smart” weapons. The kit consists of a new tail section that contains an inertial navigation system/global positioning system (INS/GPS) and body strakes for additional stability and lift. The company will supply the military service with 12,000 additional JDAM kits. Work will take place in the US and is expected to be completed in April 2020.
Raytheon Missiles Systems won 101.3 million to build the tactically launched and optically tracked wireless-guided missiles, or TOW. The company will build the radio-controlled anti-tank missiles for the US Army. The weapon system includes TOW 2A, TOW 2B Aero and TOW Bunker Buster versions. It is deployed by more than 40 international Armed Forces and integrated on more than 15,000 ground, vehicle and helicopter platforms. According to Raytheon, the TOW missile enables ground forces to achieve overmatch against adversary armored and wheeled systems, regardless of the environment or conditions. Raytheon has delivered more than 700,000 TOW weapon systems and expects upgrade programs will extend the missile’s life cycle beyond 2050. They were first produced in 1970. The company will perform work in Tucson and expects completion on August 31, 2022.
Middle East & Africa
The Israeli Navy deployed its Helicopter Long-Range Active Sonar (HELRAS) equipped Seagull in an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise. According to Elbit, the Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) systems have superior mine counter measures (MCM) capability. The Seagull facilitates end-to-end mind hunting operations, including detection, classification, location, identification and neutralization of bottom, moored and drifting sea mines while taking the sailor out of the mine field. The HELRAS is a naval helicopter undersea sensor that can detect submarines up to 12 kilometers. A HELRAS dipping sonar was recently converted for operation onboard the Seagull. The exercise, which was conducted together with the Hellenic Navy, demonstrated that operating a dipping sonar onboard such a vessel significantly increases the operational working time while substantially enhancing detection capabilities and the effectiveness of Anti-Submarine Warfare.
Saab will provide the UK Royal Navy with its AUV62-AT anti-submarine warfare training system. The company received the order together with UK-based QinetiQ. AUV62-AT provides real-time warfare exposure to the ASW units of Naval Forces. The training system helps ASW units to conduct cost-efficient training activities, while avoiding the use of submarines. It resembles a real submarine in a range of ASW scenarios and can be deployed in operator training activities, as well as the evaluation of sonar and other command control systems. The procurement follows a period of testing and evaluation together with QinetiQ and the Royal Navy.
According to reports, South Korea’s early warning systems may not have detected North Korean missiles tested last week. Reasons for the Peace Eye airborne early warning and control aircraft, and early warning systems on Aegis ships not detecting the missiles are currently being investigated. North Korea’s missiles flew 260 miles and 170 miles. They were launched from Kusong in the northwest last Thursday. South Korea just recently approved plans for the next batch of Aegis destroyers. A contract for the construction of the destroyers is scheduled to be signed with Hyundai Heavy Industries later this year. South Korea’s Peace Eye fleet started deployment in 2011-2012. A total of four aircraft are deployed in the network, but one aircraft is undergoing maintenance.
Lockheed Martin will not sell its F-21 fighter jet to any other country in the event of India placing an order of 114 planes. The company specifically configured the F-21 for the Indian Air Force. Lockheed would produce the fighter in India together with Tata. Lockheed Martin, which has a longstanding relationship of 25 years in India, unveiled the F-21 during the Aero India show in Bengaluru in February, saying it will address the Indian Air Force’s unique requirements. The newest offer is an attempt by the company to pitch itself ahead of its US, European and Russian competitors for the deal.
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