BAE Systems together with Serco Inc. and Scientific Research Corporation each won combined contracts by the US Navy valued at $1.8 billion to support the branch’s shipbuilding programs, including communications and computers systems aboard vessels. The work will be performed aboard new construction aircraft carriers and large deck amphibious ships, including refueling and complex overhaul ships. The programs require integrated work on integrated command, control, communications, computers and intelligence systems (C41). This includes logistics, integration, engineering, procurement, fabrication, assembly, test, inspection, zone integration and installation. Throughout the duration of the awarded contracts, the total obligated amount on orders for all of the awarded contracts combined will not exceed $747,097,000. Seventy-three percent of the work will be performed in Newport News, Virginia, 17 percent in Charleston, South Carolina and 10 percent in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Work is expected to be completed by June 2029.
On its way to its new homeport in Florida, the future Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ship USS Billings suffered damage after hitting another vessel in Montreal, Canada on June 24. The ship was awaiting its formal commissioning and the hope is that this incident will not delay its entry into service. The Billings struck the geared bulker Rosaire Desgagnes after it lost control for still unknown reasons. There were no reported injuries to personnel on either ship. There is no word yet about potential damage to the Rosaire Desgagnes. Construction of the future Billings began in 2014 and she was launched in 2017. The Navy officially took delivery of the Billings back in February. Lockheed Martin is the contractor. The ship left the shipyard for Mayport earlier in June. After delivery, new Freedom Class LCSs must sail through the Great Lakes and up the St. Lawrence Seaway in order to get out into the Atlantic Ocean and then make their way to their future homeports.
Middle East & Africa
Jane’s reports that a French Gazelle helicopter crashed while flying near the border of Mali and Niger under the auspices of Operation ‘Barkhane’. The incident occurred in mid-June. All three personnel onboard were reportedly immediately rescued. After a controlled crash landing, the two pilots were extracted by being strapped to the landing gear of an Airbus Tiger attack helicopter. The third person, a special forces soldier, destroyed the damaged Gazelle before being exfiltrated in another helicopter. Operation Barkhane is an insurgent operation in Africa’s Sahel region that started in August 2014. It consists of a 3,000-strong French Force.
The Russian defense ministry confirmed the purchase of 76 Su-57 multirole fighter jets under a contract with Sukhoi Company at the Army 2019 Forum. The jets will be supplied by 2028. Already in May, president Putin said that Russia planned to purchase 76 SU-57s instead of 16 by 2028 without increasing the price. The Sukhoi Su-57 is the country’s first indigenously designed and built fifth-generation stealth fighter jet. It can destroy all air, ground, and water surface targets.
Germany finished evaluating the Mikado (Mikoraufklärungsdrohne) UAV. The quadrocopter is powered by four brush and gearless electric motors. When disassembled, Mikado can be stored together with the ground station and the operating unit in a special backpack and transported by a soldier. The system includes batteries that allow up to six flights. The drone is used for reconnaissance in the local area to locate objects, identify and provide an optimal situation image. The Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support tasked the Bundeswehr Technical Center for Aircraft and Aeronautical Equipment with the evaluation of the quadcopter’s characteristics, carrying out the assessment at the Feilenmoos test site in May 2019 in cooperation with the Air Force Center of Aerospace Medicine. The system underwent a special reconnaissance-mission, during which it had to find and identify different targets in the visual and infrared spectrum. Based on the results of this initial test, further tests will be performed.
South Korea has finished development of a 120 mm self-propelled mortar system that has been integrated into an M113 tracked armored personnel carrier (APC). The self-propelled system, development of which began in March 2014, has successfully met all the requirements set by the South Korean military following final tests and evaluations. According to the Defense Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA), final tests and evaluations confirmed that the new system met all the military requirements and is to replace aging 107-mm mortars. Developed for the Republic of Korea Army by several South Korean companies under $35.7 million, the integrated mortar system has a strike range 2.3 times that of the aging M30 107 mm rifled mortar it is expected to replace.
Watch: The Most Aggressive F-22 Raptor Demo ever in Skyfest 2019
BAE Systems won a $14.1 million firm-fixed-price contract modification for an upgraded MK45 Mod 4 gun mount. The 5-inch MK 45 light weight gun mount system is fired aboard guided missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke and CG-47 Class ships. The MK 45 gun was developed as a lighter weight, more easily maintained replacement for the MK 42 5″/54 caliber gun mount. It is designed to engage surface and air targets and to provide naval surface fire support for expeditionary operations. The modification also includes for the MK45 associated components. The contract will provide all necessary material and services required to overhaul and upgrade MK 45 gun mounts to support AEGIS Modernization and Arleigh Burke new construction requirements. BAE Systems will perform work in Louisville, Kentucky, and is expected to be finished by October 2023.
Sikorsky will provide engineering services for the H-60 Blackhawk under a $91.3 million hybrid contract. The deal also features other support services for all versions of the Blackhawk four-bladed twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter. The Blackhawk is the primary medium lift helicopter for the US Army that performs a wide range of missions encompassing Air Assault, MEDEVAC, CSAR, Command and Control, and VIP transport. The newest version of the Army’s premier combat utility helicopter, the UH-60M, ensures compatibility with the US Army’s Future Force. It aims to improve the Forces’ effectiveness, reduce their vulnerability and allow for future growth, while lowering operating and support costs. At the beginning of the month it was reported that Sikorsky had tested a retrofit technology kit for the first time to operate a Blackhawk helicopter with full-authority, fly-by-wire flight controls. Estimated completion date for work under the new contract is June 27, 2019.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli, US and UK F-35 stealth fighter jets participated in a joint exercise over the eastern Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday, Israel Defense reports. The exercise called „Tri-Lightning“ was a one-day defensive counter air exercise involving friendly and adversary aircraft from the three participating countries and consisted of active and passive air defense operations. The Israeli Defense Forces emphasized that the exercise was pre-scheduled as part of the annual training graph and constitutes a unique opportunity for the joint training of the fifth-generation combat aircraft. Additionally, the exercise enabled the cooperation between the Air Forces and the development of joint capabilities.
Saab just inked a framework agreement with the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV) in order of providing the Swedish Armed Forces with the Carl-Gustaf 84 mm man-portable reusable anti-tank weapon. The FMV can place orders in a ten-year-period under the agreement. It allows FMV to make quick and cost effective purchasing on behalf of the Swedish Armed Forces with a minimum of red tape. In addition, the Estonian and Latvian Armed Forces are also allowed to purchase under this framework agreement. The Carl-Gustaf provides high tactical flexibility through its wide range of ammunition types. It is fully optimized for dismounted soldiers who need a light-weight, and high-impact weapon. Saab unveiled the Carl-Gustaf M4 in October 2014 during AUSA, the Association of the US Army in Washington DC.
Russian company Kalashnikov launched its next-generation kamikaze drone, local reports say. The reconnaissance and attack drone can autonomously locate and destroy hostile targets in the air, on land and in the water. The drone is dubbed „Lancet“. The Lancet was the second high-precision attack drone presented by ZALA AERO, a subsidiary of the Kalashnikov group, this year. According to ZALA, the weapon system has already been tested. Earlier at the IDEX exhibition in Abu Dhabi, the Kalashnikov presented the „Kubik“ kamikaze drone. However, this drone did not have a television channel guidance.
India’s Ministry of Defense has sent Requests for Expression of Interest (REoIs) to local shipyards inviting them to participate in the long-deferred Project-75 India that aims to domestically construct six diesel-electric attack submarines equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems for the Indian Navy. The REoIs were sent out on June 20. The shipyards have two months to respond to the REoI. Project-75I is the second project after the procurement of 111 armed light naval utility helicopters and 24 naval multirole helicopters, under the MoD’s SP model. The Defense Acquisition Council, the Indian MoD’s principal procurement body chaired by the country’s defense minister, has approved the procurement of the six new SSKs back in January.
Watch: US Military and NATO forces allies crossed Europe For Stability
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy megarocket successfully launched 24 satellites into orbit. The launch, which was part of a complex government mission, marked several firsts for the SpaceX team. It was the first nighttime launch for the Falcon Heavy, the first time this kind of government mission used two SpaceX boosters that have been flown before and the first time ever the military used the world’s most powerful weapon. The rocket blasted off at 2:30 am EDT on June 25. It was the Falcon Heavy’s third overall flight. The rocket carried payloads for universities, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the nonprofit organization The Planetary Society. The aim of the launch was for the rocket to release the satellites in three different orbits over a period of hours. The satellites will orbit Earth near the equator, taking measurements of the tropics and subtropics, and monitoring the ionosphere for the effects of solar storms. Additionally, the Defense Department and NASA will operate the satellites. Some are intended to conduct space environmental monitoring, communications and advanced space technologies. SpaceX founder Elon Musk called the mission the „most difficult“ ever for the company. While the overall launch was successful, SpaceX had to face one mishap: the center core of the rocket crashed into the ocean instead of landing on the drone ship „Of course I love you“. It is unclear why the center core missed its target. The disappointment was evident in the SpaceX headquarters during the livestream as initial celebration gave way to silence after the center core crashed.
L3 Technologies won a $73.7 million contract in support of the submarine photonics mast programs. The deal provides for repair, upgrades and overall services. A photonics mast is a sensor on a submarine that functions much like a periscope but without requiring a periscope tube. This prevents water leakage in the event of damage. The Navy started fitting photonics masts to the Virginia Class submarines in 2004. The Naval Sea Systems Command contracted L-3 with $48.7 million in 2015 to develop and build a new, slimmer version of its photonics mast for the Virginia Class submarines. In the boats, traditional periscopes have been supplanted by two Photonics Masts that house color, high-resolution black and white, and infrared digital cameras atop telescoping arms. L3 will perform 98 percent of the work in Northampton, Massachusetts and is expected to be finished by June 2025.
Middle East & Africa
Qatar’s $6.4 billion deal with the UK in 2018 to supply Qatar with 24 Typhoon fighter jets was the largest UK export credit deal ever, the recent UK Export Finance report shows. In the UKEF report, it says: „As well as being its centenary, this has also been a record year for UKEF, with the largest amount of business underwritten in a single year for decades. This included support for the biggest transaction in its history, worth nearly £5 billion for the export of defence equipment to Qatar. As well as supporting BAE Systems, MBDA UK and their thousands of UK employees and suppliers, this contract will strengthen our own defence capabilities and those of an important strategic ally“. According to Jane’s the provision of credit to Qatar continues the UKEF’s trend in recent years to engage primarily with the defense materiel requirements of countries from the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
Lockheed Martin won a $561.8 million FMS contract to Bahrain, Poland and Romania for the Army tactical missile guided missile. The contract for the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, includes guided missiles and a launching Service Life Extension Program, or SLEP III. According to Lockheed, the rounds will include sensor technology that provides the recently qualified Height-of-Burst capability. They will produce the rounds at the company’s Precision Fires Production Center of Excellence in Camden, Arkansas. Lockheed is expanding its Camden manufacturing facilities to include the capability to produce ATACMS and other upcoming missiles. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2022.
MBDA Germany and Lockheed Martin’s joint venture, the TLVS bidders consortium, submitted its proposal to develop, test and deliver TLVS, Germany’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defense system, MBDA said in a news release. The tender proposes an efficient four-phased approach that includes development, integration, testing and delivery of a fielded multi-mission system. The TLVS (Taktisches Luftverteidigungssystem) is designed to replace Germany’s aging, sectored Patriot systems. It will be the first-ever integrated air and missile defense system able to simultaneously detect, track and intercept multiple threat sets, including medium and short-range threats with full 360-degree coverage. According to MBDA, the fielded unit will deliver new capabilities and significant performance enhancements well beyond the MEADS program and all known systems. The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) program is aimed to replace Patriot missiles in the United States, the older Hawk system in Germany, and Italy’s even older Nike Hercules missiles.
India’s Ministry of Defense approved the procurement of 10 more Boeing P-8I Neptune long-range maritime multi-mission aircraft for the Indian Navy for a total of $3 billion. The proposed P-8Is are expected to supplement 12 similar platforms, eight of which were ordered in 2009 for $2.1 billion and delivered by 2015. The other four were ordered in 2016 for $1.1 billion and are scheduled for delivery from 2021. The actual contract is scheduled to be signed early next year. First, the deal will have to be cleared by the Defense Acquisition Council, which is headed by defense minister Rajnath Singh and includes the three chiefs and the defense secretary, and then, by the Cabinet Committee on Security, which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and includes the finance, defense, home and external affairs ministers.
Watch: SpaceX successfully launches Falcon Heavy rocket
Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems won a $96.6 million contract modification for the initial production of the Silent Knight Radar system for the US Special Operations Command. The Silent Knight Radar is a terrain following, terrain avoidance system designed to increase the situational awareness of aircraft and helicopters in low visibility conditions. Silent Knight is claimed to be 30 percent lighter than previous airborne systems and to require less power, which means a lower probability of detection/interception. The system includes a range of new applications, including navigation support systems and threat detection and identification. The radar also features ground mapping and weather detection capabilities. The contract modification increases the ceiling to $300 million for continued low-rate initial production of the radar system for rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. Raytheon will perform work in McKinney and Forest, Mississippi, and is scheduled to be complete by October 2022.
Leidos won a $72.8 million contract to help the US Navy build a wide area surveillance technology to support antisubmarine warfare missions. The company will specifically develop the Transformational Reliable Acoustic Path System (TRAPS) for the Navy’s Maritime Surveillance Systems Program Office. The TRAPS capability complements fixed surveillance systems and the surveillance towed array sensor system. It provides flexible and responsive wide area surveillance for theater antisubmarine warfare commanders worldwide. Work will take place in Long Beach, Mississippi, and is scheduled to be finished by June 2022.
The Navy tapped Lockheed Martin to build elements of the Virginia Class submarines. The firm-fixed-price, cost contract is valued at $16.3 million and has the company build multifunction modular masts for the submarines’ Block V hull, which can be extended by sections, depending on the requirements of the vessels’ strike capabilities. The Virginia Class of nuclear powered fast attack submarines is the US Navy’s latest undersea warfare platform. Block V subs incorporate the Virginia Payload Module (VPM), an added section of the ship, which will extend the hull by 84 feet and boost its strike capabilities. Virginia Class submarines with Block V armaments are capable of carrying Tomahawk cruise missiles. The VPM will increase the number of torpedoes and Tomahawk missiles the Virginia class can carry. 70 percent of the work will take place in Nashua, new Hampshire, and 30 percent in Syracuse, New York. Scheduled completion date is in June next year.
Middle East & Africa
The US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center awarded Northrop Grumman a $17.8 million contract for sustainment services in support of the Lebanese Air Force Armed Caravan Program. The Cessna 208 Caravan is an American single-engined turboprop, fixed-tricycle landing gear, short-haul regional airliner and utility aircraft. The airplane is able to seat between and fourteen passengers. The aircraft is also used for cargo operations. The Lebanese Air Force currently holds three Cessna AC 208 for reconnaissance and ground attack roles. The deal provides field service representatives, repair and return, calibration, support equipment and spares. Work will take place in Beirut, Lebanon. Scheduled completion date is June 30, 2021.
Jane’s reports that the Czech Republic is planning to procure two C295 transport aircraft, and upgrade 33 T-72M Main Battle Tanks as well as a flight planning system. The Czech Defense Minister submitted three contracts with a combined value of $176.6 million. Airbus reportedly offered the Czech Republic the two C295s for 2020-21, with the possibility of deferring payment until 2022-23, the original delivery dates. The T-72M4CZ MBTs were produced in the Czech Republic in 2003-2006 under a Russian license. The tank`s outdated components, including fire-control systems and control units, will be replaced. Work will be conducted at the state-owned company VOP CZ’s plant through 2023.
Two German Eurofighter Typhoons collided and subsequently crashed in the northeast of Germany, reportedly killing one of the pilots. According to the German Air Force, the aircraft were taking part in an air combat exercise when they collided and crashed near Laage Air Base. The German newspaper „Die Welt“ called the incident „the worst crash in the history of the Eurofighter“. It is yet unknown, what caused the collision. The accident comes in the midst of the Luftwaffe’s plans to procure more Eurofighters. The old models of the German Eurofighters are to be replaced by modernized variants. The cost for one Eurofighter is roughly valued at $148 million.
FlexDecks Inc. won a $17.2 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for up to 40 V-22 and 40 MV-22B maintenance wing platform stands in support of the Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy as well as the government of Japan. The first Japanese V-22 Osprey multi-mission tilt-rotor aircraft Block C type rolled out on August 24, 2017 at the Bell facility in Amarillo, Texas. In January 2015, Japan’s parliament had approved a defense budget with funding for five V-22s. In September 2018, the Japanese Ministry of Defense decided to ya href=https://www.janes.com/article/83299/tokyo-to-delay-deployment-of-osprey-tiltrotors-amid-local-opposition>delay the deployment of the first five MV-22B aircraft it had received due to local opposition.
Watch: Indian Defence Updates : India Starts 6 Next Gen SSN,M-88 Core Kaveri For AMCA,MPATGM By 2021
Latest updates[?]: Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems won a $96.6 million contract modification for the initial production of the Silent Knight Radar system for the US Special Operations Command. The Silent Knight Radar is a terrain following, terrain avoidance system designed to increase the situational awareness of aircraft and helicopters in low visibility conditions. Silent Knight is claimed to be 30 percent lighter than previous airborne systems and to require less power, which means a lower probability of detection/interception. The system includes a range of new applications, including navigation support systems and threat detection and identification. The radar also features ground mapping and weather detection capabilities. The contract modification increases the ceiling to $300 million for continued low-rate initial production of the radar system for rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. Raytheon will perform work in McKinney and Forest, Mississippi, and is scheduled to be complete by October 2022.
US SOCOM MH-47E
Your mission is to fly from 20-100 feet off the ground, at flight speeds, regardless of rain, snow, or dark of night. These journeys often take place within countries that either don’t want you there, or prefer not to admit that you ever were there. Hostile fire is a distinct possibility. You are very probably a special operations pilot, and the most important tool in whatever aircraft you’re flying is something called a terrain following/terrain avoidance (TF/TA) system that helps keep your plane at the requisite height above ground – without hitting trees, ships, and other obstructions.
As the holiday season approaches, US SOCOM is working on a new present for its future pilots. Raytheon Company Precision Attack and Surveillance Systems in McKinney, TX received a Cost Plus Incentive Fee (CPIF) contract with a potential maximum value of $164.2 million for system design and development of the Silent Knight Radar (SKR) in support of the U.S. Special Operations Command. Up to 6 low-rate initial production units are included as an option, and work will be performed in McKinney, TX from Jan. 1, 2007 through Dec. 30, 2013 (H92222-07-C-0041).
Leidos won a $30 million cost-plus-fixed fee contract modification for integrated logistic support, fleet support and life cycle sustainment of the US Navy’s AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 surface ship Undersea Warfare Systems. The AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 is a combat system that’s able to search, detect, classify, localize and track undersea contacts and to engage and evade submarines, mine-like small objects and torpedo threats. It is the primary undersea warfare system used aboard US Navy surface combatants. The system uses active and passive sonar to conduct anti-submarine warfare search. The acoustic energy received is processed and displayed to enable operators to detect, classify, localize, and track threat submarines. Leidos will perform work within the US as well as Japan and Spain and is expected to be finished by June next year.
The Naval Sea Systems Command awarded Austal a modification for Littoral Combat Ship Class design services. The deal also includes integrated data and product model environment (IDPME) support. The IPDME will enable the Navy to access enterprise data management, visualization, program management applications, and network management and control. According to the Department of Defense, the company will provide efforts to support Littoral Combat Ship Class ships, including but not limited to technical analyses, non-recurring engineering, configuration management, software maintenance and development, production assessments, and diminishing manufacturing sources and seaframe reliability analysis. The Littoral Combat Ship is a set of two classes of relatively small surface vessels designed for operations near shore by the US Navy. Work under the modification will take place in Alabama and Massachusetts and is scheduled to be complete by June 2025.
The Naval Air Systems Command tapped Bell Boeing Joint Project Office to facilitate additional structural improvements, tooling assessment, and test aircraft retrofit tooling in support of the V-22 Nacelle Improvement effort. The contract modification provides for non-recurring engineering. Bell-Boeing’s V-22 Osprey is a joint service multirole combat aircraft utilizing tiltrotor technology to combine the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. With its rotors in vertical position, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter. It is the first production tiltrotor aircraft. Bell Boeing wants to increase Osprey mission readiness rates by 10 to 12 percent by removing eight of the 10 wiring interface boxes on the aircraft’s nacelles, changing wiring types, and through nacelle structural upgrades, such as latch changes. The fleet’s readiness rate has been below 60 percent. 84 percent of the work will take place in Fort Worth, Texas with a scheduled completion date in August next year.
Middle East & Africa
General Electric won a $24.9 million modification by the US Naval Air Systems Command to procure 72 F-414-GE-400 engines for the F/A-18 Super Hornets of the Navy and the government of Kuwait. 24 will be for the US Navy and 48 for Kuwait. The General Electric F414 is an afterburning turbofan engine. The contract also includes two spare and six test F414-GE-400 install engines devices for the government of Kuwait. Kuwait will underwrite 69 percent of the figure, or $17.5 million, under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work, which will take place in Evandale, Ohio, is scheduled to be finished in December next year.
The US confirmed that Iran shot down an American Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk. While Iran claimed the drone had violated Iranian airspace, the US insists that the aircraft had been over international waters at the time. The attack comes in a time of tensions between Iran and the US. Last week, the US announced it wants to send 1,000 additional troops to the region. It has already sent an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers. Jane’s reports that shooting down the Global Hawk might have confirmed that Iran has developed highly capable surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems in recent years. Iran credited a 3 Khordad, one of several new indigenous surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, with the shootdown. There are no fixed SAM sites within range of the shootdown location, affirming the claim that a mobile system like the 3 Khordad was used in the engagement.
The 47th annual Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise came to an end on Friday in Kiel, Germany. The annual maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic region is one of the largest exercises in northern Europe. It started on June 9. The US Navy’s 2nd Fleet was leading the two-week-exercise. Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as NATO partner nations Finland and Sweden, participated and completed 389 serials, a planning term for a coordinated military exercise. During the exercise, a UK-led Maritime First Responder Force took to sea for the first time. The nine-nation Joint Expeditionary Force (Maritime) was formally created a year ago. The BALTOPS 2019 exercise is the second of three phases of the Baltic Protector Deployment 2019. UPI reports that BALTOPS ended with the start of “Kiel Week,” an annual sailing competition which draws millions of tourists to the city of Kiel.
The Bangladesh Air Force ordered additional surplus ex-Royal Air Force C-130J Super Hercules. It previously had ordered two units from the UK. Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group will undertake the support contract. The new Super Hercules aircraft will improve Bangladesh’s overall airlift and logistics capability. The procurement also allows the Bangladesh Air Force to retire older C-130B Hercules it acquired second hand from the US in 2004. The C-130J is expected to become the most capable airlift asset of the BAF.
Watch: U.S. Navy Successfully Tests Upgraded RAM Missile
Lockheed Martin won a $76.7 million modification in support of the AEGIS development and test sites operations. The option is for continued technical engineering, configuration management, associated equipment/supplies, quality assurance, information assurance and other operation and maintenance efforts at the Combat Systems Engineering Development Site, SPY-1A Test Facility and Naval Systems Computing Center. The deal also provides for continued site maintenance and planned improvements of the sites for AEGIS Combat System and Aegis Weapon System upgrades to CG-47 and DDG-51 class ships through the completion of Advanced Capability Build 20 and Technology Insertion 16, in addition to AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense and FMS requirements. The AEGIS Weapon System is a centralized, automated, command-and-control and weapons control system that was designed as a total weapon system, from detection to kill. The modification combines purchases for the US Navy and Missile Defense Agency as well as the governments of Japan, Australia, South Korea and Norway. Work is scheduled to be complete by June 2020.
The US Navy contracted Ultralife with $10 million to procure Universal Vehicle Adapter radio battery chargers, MRC-UVA-V1, in support of the Family of Special Operations Vehicles Ground Mobility Vehicle and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected platforms. The MRC-UVA-V1 is a handheld radio charging solution for vehicle communications. The Mine Resistant Ambush Protected family of vehicles provides soldiers with highly survivable multimission platforms capable of mitigating improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades, explosively formed penetrators, underbody mines and small arms fire threats which produce the greatest number of casualties in Overseas Contingency Operations. Ultralife will perform work in Newark, New York and is expected to be complete in June 2024.
Middle East & Africa
The US Army Contracting Command awarded Sikorsky a $15 million contract modification to procure the Post Green DD250 aircraft support, storage and maintenance for UH-60M aircraft for the Saudi Arabian Ministry of the National Guard. The UH-60M is a variant of the Black Hawk medium-lift utility helicopter. The UH-60M has multi-mission capabilities and features a new airframe, advanced digital avionics and a powerful propulsion system. It can be used to perform tactical transport, utility, combat search-and-rescue, airborne assault, command-and-control, medical evacuation, aerial sustainment, search-and-rescue, disaster relief and fire-fighting. In July 2017, Sikorsky secured a $3.8 billion contract from the US Department of Defense to deliver 142 UH-60M helicopters for the US Army and 115 helicopters to the National Guard of Saudi Arabia. Sikorsky will perform work in Stratford, Connecticut and estimated completion date is April 30, 2022. Foreign Military Sales funds in the full amount were obligated at the time of the award.
Thales announced that it won a contract to design and build the ground segment for the next-generation Syracuse 4 satellite communication system for the French armed forces. Syracuse 4 is a geostationary military satcom program designed to replace the Syracuse 3A and Syracuse 3B satellites currently in orbit. According to Thales, Syracuse 4 will benefit from Thales’s expertise in satellite communication systems, which the company has built up as a technology orchestrator and integrator in France and internationally. It will rely on the System21 highly secure transmission system to guarantee the availability and confidentiality of all communications and protection against jamming, interference, interception, detection and cyberattacks. This contract will enable French Armed Forces to meet their initial strategic capability objectives for the Scorpion vehicle program, the Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier and the Rafale combat aircraft.
According to local reports, Bulgarian president Rumen Radev warned the government not to cut the F-16 fighter aircraft package. The government is in negotiations with the US on the acquisition of new F-16 fighter jets. Radev wants to make sure that the aircraft’s combat capabilities will not be cut back for the sake of lowering the price. The president is a skilled fighter pilot who headed the Bulgarian Air Force before being elected President and Commander-in-Chief. “Every move down and trimming back of this package already leads to the impossibility of achieving the airplane’s operational capabilities, so I expect the government to ensure that there is no cut in the combat capabilities, and Bulgarian taxpayers will not give their money in vain,” Radev said. The government has already received a concrete offer for the acquisition of eight F-16 Block 70 fighter aircraft, It however hopes to reduce it to about $1.2 billion in the framework of negotiations.
The New Zealand government said it has made progress in its program to procure Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from the US government. New Zealand agreed to procure four P-8A aircraft in July 2018. It said at that time that the acquisition – including training systems, infrastructure, and introduction into service costs – would total $1.5 billion. A factsheet released last week states that delivery of the first P-8A to the RNZAF is expected by April 2023 with initial operating capability achieved by July of the same year. The entire fleet of four aircraft is slated to reach final operating capability by 2025.
The US Navy completed guided flight tests for Raytheon’s Block 2A short-range, surface-to-air missile, the company announced in a press release This means the missile is ready for the Navy and Raytheon expects to deliver the RAM Block 2A by the end of the year. The RAM is a supersonic, lightweight, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget weapon. It is designed to destroy anti-ship missiles. The Block 2 variant has a larger rocket motor, advanced control section and an enhanced RF receiver capable of detecting the quietest of threat emitters. The improvements make the missile two and a half times more maneuverable, with one and a half times the effective intercept range, Raytheon says. The RAM is deployed on more than 165 ships in 11 countries, ranging from 500-ton fast attack craft to 95,000-ton aircraft carriers. The tests occurred at the Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, California, and from the Navy’s self-defense test ship off the coast of Southern California.
Lockheed Martin announced that it finished a demonstration of its radar solution for the US Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) program during a Sense-Off at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. In May, the Army requested proposals for prototypes after it had struggled to procure a new radar for its integrated air and missile defense system meant to replace the Patriot AMD system. Lockheed Martin completed a two-week-series of exercises showcasing how its new solution will meet the Army’s requirements for the LTAMDS system, while providing additional deployment strategies for the air and missile defense mission.
FlightGlobal reports that the US Air Force is still finding foreign object debris insight KC-46 Pegasus refueling tankers. Tools, rubbish and left-over parts, including loose nuts, are being found since Boeing first delivered the refuelers in January and revamped its inspection process. Assistant secretary of the Air Force, Will Roper cited „cultural issues“ as the root of the problem. Air Force stopped accepting the planes from Boeing in February until its inspection process was changed. Deliveries resumed in March and were halted again after the Air Force found more debris. Will Roper says, he expects all of the KC-46s are going to have foreign object debris.
Middle East & Africa
Israel will replace its own refueling tankers. The country made the first step towards replacing its old Boeing-707 tankers by submitting a Letter of Request to the US Government, for the acquisition of two new Boeing KC-46 refueling tankers. The request is for the acquisition of two aircraft with an option for the future acquisition of an additional six. Israel Defense reports that Airborne refueling tankers are vital for the Israel Air Force to extend its long strategic reach. They provide the Air Force with the ability to reach countries within the third, distant circle.
Saab relaunched the HMS Uppland. The Uppland is a Gotland Class Submarine. Two ships of the class now have concluded comprehensive mid-life upgrades. The Swedish Navy’s diesel-electric subs are the world’s first submarines to feature a Stirling engine air-independent propulsion system. This extends their underwater endurance from a few days to weeks. The mid-life upgrades saw the submarines receive an additional 2 meter hull section to accommodate the third generation of the Stirling air-independent propulsion engine and a diver lock-out chamber in addition to combat management and ship management systems upgrades. The updated version of Uppland and her sister ship Gotland are paving the way for the next generation of Swedish air independent propulsion submarines: the Blekinge Class, or A26.
The Philippine Navy commissioned two Leonardo AW159 Lynx Wildcat helicopters and four Korean Amphibious Assault Vehicles in a ceremony on June 17 at the Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Cavite City. The AW159 are part of a $101 million deal signed with Leonardo in 2016. They feature anti-submarine warfare capabilities and will serve with the Naval Air Wing’s Squadron MH-40 at the Danilo Atienza Air Base. The helicopters will be deployed from the José Rizal Class frigates, the first of which was launched on May 23 at the Ulsan facility of South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries. The four Korean Amphibious Assault Vehicles were ordered in April 2016 from South Korean defense company Hanwha Techwin.
A Kawasaki military transport aircraft of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force accidentally dropped 81mm mortar with supplies from the air during training in Shizuoka Prefecture. The incident happened during the training of the Ground Self-Defense Force 1st Airborne (Kuu Tei) team over the Higashi-Fuji Training Center. A C-1 transport aircraft accidentally dropped the mortar system. Though the accident was not life-threatening, the Self Defense Force announced they would do their best to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
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Latest updates[?]: Saab relaunched the HMS Uppland. The Uppland is a Gotland Class Submarine. Two ships of the class now have concluded comprehensive mid-life upgrades. The Swedish Navy’s diesel-electric subs are the world’s first submarines to feature a Stirling engine air-independent propulsion system. This extends their underwater endurance from a few days to weeks. The mid-life upgrades saw the submarines receive an additional 2 meter hull section to accommodate the third generation of the Stirling air-independent propulsion engine and a diver lock-out chamber in addition to combat management and ship management systems upgrades. The updated version of Uppland and her sister ship Gotland are paving the way for the next generation of Swedish air independent propulsion submarines: the Blekinge Class, or A26.
A26 SOF concept
Submarines remain the ultimate maritime insurance policy, which is why so many countries treat the ability to build or design them as a strategic capability. Sweden is trying to recover from a disastrous pair of assumptions in the early 21st century, and preserve both their industrial capabilities and their country’s defenses.
The narrow, shallow Baltic seas present their own special challenges, but Swedish designs have proven themselves very capable. In order to field their next-generation design, however, Sweden may have to do something unusual: partner with other countries…
The US Air Force awarded the federal Canadian Commercial Corporation a $10.4 million firm-fixed-price contract for C5M Super Galaxy Communication, Navigation, and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management Production. The C5M strategic transport aircraft is a modernized version of the C5 Galaxy. Lockheed Martin manufactured the aircraft to extend the capability of the C-5 fleet to remain in service at least until 2040. The C-5M Super Galaxy transport aircraft achieved initial operational capability in February 2014. The aircraft set 89 world aeronautical records to date. Work will take place in Ottawa, Canada and is scheduled to be complete by the end of October this year.
Raytheon won a $29.6 million delivery order, which provides for the upgrade of the Block IV Tomahawk missile equipment. The upgrade includes test equipment like the system Integration Laboratory, the Air Vehicle System Integration Laboratory, hot-benches, automated flight test equipment and associated test equipment. Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles can launch from a ship or a submarine and can fly into heavily defended airspace more than 1,000 miles away to conduct strikes on targets with minimal collateral damage. The cruise missile is designed to circle for hours above or away from its target and change course on command. The Tomahawk is also able to send an image of its target to controllers right before it hits the target. The latest Block IV variant includes a two-way satellite data-link that enables the missile to be retargeted in flight to pre-programmed, alternate target. Raytheon will perform work within the US and is expected to finish in June 2021. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
Middle East & Africa
The Jerusalem Post reports that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) is holding a large-scale drill simulating a multi-front war. The drill started on Sunday and also premiers the F-35i Adir stealth fighter jet. The F-35i Adir is the result of the Israeli procurement of F-35 Lightning II. The first nine Israeli aircraft became operational in 2017. The Adir will be the only F-35 variant to enter service heavily tailored to a foreign country’s specifications. Israel’s multi-front drill also includes all aircraft from combat squadrons, helicopters and transport planes as well as troops from the Aerial Defense Division and the IAF control units. The drill is aimed at improving the readiness and efficiency of the IAF to cope with a multi-front wartime scenario including numerous attacks over a short period of time as well as assistance to ground forces, who are full partners in the drill.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems won a $91 million contract to support the UK’s MQ-9A Contractor Logistics Support Phase IV Program. The deal provides for depot repair, life cycle sustainment, and software maintenance services. The Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle is able to perform remotely controlled autonomous flight operations. The UK operates Reapers since 2006. In 2007 the UK’s defense ministry deployed the MQ-9A to Afghanistan. Since 2014 the Royal Air Force’s Reapers are part of the Operation Shader, the United Kingdom’s contribution to US-led military intervention against the Islamic State. The drone has an endurance of over 27 hours, a speed of 240 knots true airspeed, can operate at an altitude of up to 50,000 feet, and has a 1,746 kg payload capacity that includes 1,361 kg of external stores. General Atomics will perform work under the new contract in Poway, California and is expected to be finished by September 30, 2021. The contract involves 100 percent FMS funds to the UK.
Jane’s reports that the Indian Air Force wants to limit the use of its aging fleet of Antonov An-32 ‘Cline’ transport aircraft. Just recently an AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force with 13 people on board crashed 33 minutes after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Arunachal’s Menchuka, killing all 13 service personnel. Senior Indian Air Force officers said, the Force plans to curtail operations of the service’s 105 Soviet-era An-32s in the country’s Himalayan regions and over the Bay of Bengal due to safety concerns. Four fatal accidents involving the twin-engine turboprop transporter, resulting in the deaths of 54 service personnel and civilians, have taken place since the early years of the AN-32’s services for the Indian Air Force.
The Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac Class frigate HMAS Arunta (II) has reportedly rejoined the fleet after having undergone a 20-month-long Anzac Mid-Life Capability Assurance Program upgrade at the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson, Western Australia. The Arunta is the first of eight ships of the class to have completed the extensive upgrade. She returned in early June to its home port of Fleet Base West where she rejoined the fleet. The 118 meter-long ship, which was commissioned in December 1998, will soon start to conduct work-ups and testing the new equipment on board.
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