May 03, 2019 05:00 UTC
The Air Force and Raytheon successfully conducted an exercise involving high-energy microwaves and guided lasers to shoot down drones. Raytheon’s advanced high power microwave (HPM) and mobile high energy laser (HEL) systems engaged and defeated multiple unmanned aerial system targets. The high energy laser system uses invisible beams of light to shoot down aerial targets, and the high-powered microwave bursts disrupt drone guidance systems. Its primary advantages are speed and a low cost per engagement. The weapons have been mounted on all-terrain vehicles specially made by Minnesota’s Polaris Industries for the military. Raytheon and the US. Air Force Research Laboratory have partnered on a $2 million contract to test and demonstrate high-power microwave and counter-UAV technologies.
The US Air Force conducted an airstrike targeting terrorist organization Islamic State’s assets at Wadi Ashai, Iraq using the F-35A Lightning II aircraft for the first time. The conventional take-off and landing fighter jets, performing the strike in support of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, used a Joint Direct Attack Munition to conduct the air strike to take out an entrenched Daesh tunnel network and weapons cache deep in the Hamrin Mountains. The strike marked the first combat employment of the F-35A. The F-35A aircraft were recently deployed from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, US, to Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE and joined the Combined Forces Air Component team in the CENTCOM area of operations (AOR) last month.
Collins Aerospace announced that it had supported the first end-to-end flight of General Atomic Aeronautical Systems’ MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft in civil airspace. The flight took place at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona on March 12. General Atomics used the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics system as part of the interface for the flight’s ground control station. The integration of the FAA-certified Pro Line Fusion into UAS ground control stations helps to bring together a multitude of data inputs such as weather, airspace information, mission data, SAR pattern flight management and notice to airmen notifications, providing real-time mission optimization and a common operating picture for the operator.
Middle East & Africa
Turkish company Aselsan finished integration of the PULAT Active Protections System to Turkish Army’s M60T main battle tanks. Aselsan developed PULAT to meet the emerging demand to protect against the increase of rocket (RPG) and anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) threats against tanks. PULAT detects anti-tank missiles or rockets approaching to the platform with its high technology radar and disables them at optimum range from the platform by utilizing Hard-Kill method. ASELSAN has also been developing the AKKOR active protection system for ALTAY main battle tanks. The system is currently undergoing field tests and will be delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces along with mass production ALTAY main battle tanks.
Aselsan introduced another new technology at the IDEF 19 in Istanbul, which started on April 30. The Turkish company showcased an active electronically scanned array (AESA) design that is being pitched for integration on the Turkish Air Force’s F-16 fleet. According to the company, the radar will be able to perform non-co-operative and automatic target recognition, while also featuring protection against radar frequency jamming, and has electronic support and electronic attack functions. Aselsan sees the radar competing with systems such as Northrop Grumman’s APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar on the domestic and export market.
Raytheon won a $159 million contract to support large-scale, live training exercises at the US Army’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) in Hohenfels, Germany. Raytheon developed the Mobile Instrumentation System technology that enables the distributed training. On the ground at JMRC, Raytheon provides a range of services including training area instrumentation, after action reviews and battlefield effects to increase training realism. The US Army Garrison Hohenfels Training Area is the largest US Army Europe maneuver training area and comes under the command of the Commanding General, Joint Multinational Training Center, Grafenwoehr.
In the May issue of Combat Aircraft Magazine, Journalist Angad Singh states that the French Rafale will most likely win India’s 2019 tender for 110 new warplanes. Since India already once ordered 36 Rafales as part of an earlier fighter tender, he explains: “With 36 aircraft already on order and the infrastructure in place for an additional 36, a case could certainly be made that training, basing and sustainment costs for additional aircraft would not be an impossible burden.“ This would be bad news for Lockheed Martin as the company is developing a new variant of its iconic F-16 single-engine fighter in order to compete in the tender. Other candidates for the Indian tender are the Saab Gripen from Sweden, the European Eurofighter Typhoon, the MiG-35 from Russia and the Boeing Super Hornet from the United States.
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May 02, 2019 05:00 UTC
Northrop Grumman won a contract action with a not-to-exceed-value of $132.3 million to integrate the Department of Navy Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) system onto aircraft for the US Navy, Army, and the governments of the UK and Norway. The deal provides necessary hardware and systems technical support, analysis and studies for the integration work. The LAIRCM system enhances individual aircraft survival through improved aircrew situational awareness of the electromagnetic threat environment. The fundamental requirement for the LAIRCM system is to provide protection against man-portable, shoulder-fired and vehicle launched infrared guided missiles. Hardware for the procurement includes 283 advanced threat warning sensors, 79 control indicator unit replaceables, 52 -2103 signal processors, 120 infrared missile warning sensors, 91 Guardian Laser Transmitter Assemblies (GLTAs), 13 multi-role electro-optical end-to-end test sets, 190 GLTA shipping containers, 46 high capacity cards, 10 LAIRCM signal processor replacements smart connector assemblies, and 123 personal computer memory card, international association cards. Northrop will perform work within the US and expected completion date is in June 2021.
Boeing won a $21.1 million delivery order to procure inlet retrofit kits for the T-45 aircraft. The deal also includes support equipment and special tooling and engineering as well as logistics support for installations. In January, the US Navy tapped Boeing with a $56.7 million contract for T-45 support. The T-45 Goshawk is a highly modified version of the British BAE Systems Hawk land-based training jet aircraft. The T-45 was selected to meet the US Navy requirement for an undergraduate jet pilot trainer to replace the TA-4J Skyhawk and T-2C Buckeye. It features a new forward fuselage deepened to house a new twin-wheel nose gear, redesigned main gear units, a taller fin and tailplane of increased span, a single ventral fin, fuselage side-mounted airbrakes, an arrester hook and small fins ahead of and below the tailplanes. Work for the delivery order will take place in Patuxent River, Maryland and is scheduled to be completed in July next year.
Middle East & Africa
Jane’s reports that new Algerian aerial vehicles carried out an airstrike on April 28 and 29. The two El Djazair UAVs successfully engaged with a target in a mountainous area. This was the first time the Ministry of National Defense in Algeria announced a UAV strike. The target was identified by an El Djazair 54 and engaged with two El Djazair 55s. On December 20, 2018, the Algerian National People’s Army conducted air operations at the Central Air Polygon in Hassi Bahbah, located in the region of Ain Ouessara in central Algeria. It deployed four reconnaissance drones, armed and manufactured in Algeria.
Sweden could approve an extension of operations with the Saab Gripen C/D beyond 2030. This would increase the size of Sweden’s fighter inventory beyond the 60 E-model examples currently on order for its Air Force. The Air Force holds an active fleet of 100 Gripen. Saab has been awarded to produce 60 new-generation E-model fighters for the service, with operations to commence early in the next decade. Gripen C/D is a new-generation, multi-role combat aircraft currently in operation with the Air Forces of Sweden, South Africa, Hungary, Czech Republic and Thailand. Stockholm could confirm the decision to extend Gripen C/D operations on May 14, when it publishes its next long-term defense bill.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd resumed flight tests of the HJT-36 Sitara twin-seat aircraft. Testing had been put on hold for three years after the aircraft encountered problems on the spin test flights in 2016. HAL developed the Sitara for the Intermediate Jet Trainer program, which aims to produce a direct replacement for the Indian Air Force Kiran. The production of the Kiran ended in 1989. HAL received a 1999 contract to develop the HJT-36 Sitara as an intermediate trainer successor, but the firm has missed its 2007 in-service date very badly, and a number of crashes have raised concerns. The aircraft that flew recently features a repositioned vertical fin and other design changes. It is possible that, if the new configuration proves up to customer expectations, the Indian Air Force may buy 73 serial examples. Working out remedies to improve spin characteristics for an otherwise promising and mature design required extensive wind testing on scale models. During the past three years, HAL also addressed issues of excessive airframe weight, while its program partners in Russia had more time to improve the engine that powers the HJT-36.
India’s Ministry of Defense awarded a $901.5 million contract to Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers to build eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASWSWC) vessels for the Indian Navy. The vessels will be equipped with advanced integrated platform management systems including propulsion, auxiliary, power generation, distribution and damage control machinery. They will have a speed of 25 knot and will be capable of full-scale sub surface surveillance of coastal waters and coordinated ASW operations with aircraft. The first ASWSWC will be delivered within 42 months, followed by two vessels per year. The performance period for the project is seven years.
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May 01, 2019 05:00 UTC
Boeing won $5.7 billion for Pegasus Combat Capability (PC2) enhancements. According to the DoD, work will include a broad range of post-production related non-recurring and recurring requirements centered on KC-46 air vehicle needs. The Pegasus KC-46 is a refueling tanker that was developed from the Boeing 767 jet. Boeing was first contracted to build four KC-46A aircraft under the $3.9 billion KC-X contract awarded by the USAF in 2011. The Air Force took delivery of the first two Pegasus aircraft in January this year. However, in March debris issues occurred and acceptance was stopped. Deliveries were resumed last week. Boeing will perform PC2 work in Seattle and the scheduled completion date is April 28, 2029.
The Navy tapped Lockheed Martin with a $1.1 billion contract in support of the F-35 Lightning II. The deal is a cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price, cost share contract that includes ground maintenance activities, action request resolution, depot activation activities, Automatic Logistics Information System operation and maintenance, reliability, maintainability and health management implementation and support, supply chain management, and activities to provide and support pilot and maintainer initial training. The contract is in support of the F-35 Lightning II for the Air Force, Navy, non-US DoD participants and Foreign Military Sales customers. FMS partners are Israel, Japan and the Republic of Korea. Work will take place within the US and the UK and is expected to be finished in December 2022.
Northrop Grumman will provide product support and software support activity efforts for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. The Navy awarded the company a $38.8 million contract modification. Earlier this month Northrop won a $3.2 billion deal to buy 24 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye surveillance aircraft. The twin-turboprop airborne early warning aircraft had its first flight in August 2007. The Advanced Hawkeye features the new AN/APY-9 radar, radio suite, mission computer, integrated satellite communications, flight management system, improved T56-A-427A engines, and a glass cockpit. Northrop will perform work under the modification within the US and is expecting completion in April 2020.
Middle East & Africa
Boeing was tapped for post-production system support including product support of the Apache aircraft for the Saudi Arabia National Guard. The Foreign Military Sales contract modification awarded by the US Army is worth $39.5 million. In 2008, the US approved the purchase of 12 AH-64Ds requested by Saudi Arabia. In October 2010, Saudi Arabia requested a further 70 AH-64Ds to improve its ability to effectively protect its borders. Boeing will perform work under the modification in the US and Saudi Arabia. Work is expected to be finished by April 29, 2020.
PAE Government Systems won an $8.2 million Foreign Military Sales modification for the National Maintenance Strategy Ground Vehicle Support effort for Afghanistan. In 2017, the company won a National Maintenance Strategy contract to support the US Army’s mission in Afghanistan. The contract was slated to run five-and-a-half years with a base value of $142 million. Work under the current modification will take place in Kabul, Afghanistan and is scheduled to be finished by the end of August, 2022.
Rheinmetall won a contract from the Dutch Armed Forces to modernize their Bergepanzer 3 Büffel armored recovery vehicles. The BPz3 was jointly developed by the Bundeswehr and the Netherlands based on the Leopard 2. „Starting immediately, Rheinmetall will completely overhaul the Royal Netherlands Army’s Bergepanzer 3 Büffel ARVs, bringing them up to the latest technological and tactical standard. This will extend the service life of these tried-and-tested combat support vehicles through the year 2040“, Rheinmetall stated. The exact value of the contract, signed on April 18, was not disclosed. In a first phase, four vehicles will get a combat performance upgrade. The first vehicles are scheduled to be delivered to the Netherland in the beginning of 2021.
According to Jane’s, Russia donated two Mil Mi-8MT „Hip-H“ multirole medium helicopters and nine upgraded BRDM-2M 4×4 reconnaissance vehicles to Kyrgyzstan. The choppers are supposed to increase transport and search-and-rescue capabilities of the military in Kyrgyzstan. The reconnaissance vehicles, which are reportedly of the same configuration as those delivered to Laos in January, are to enhance maneuverability of ground troops. According to the Russian government, the donated equipment has an estimated value of $5.9 million.
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