Northrop Grumman Systems won a $958 million firm-fixed-price contract to deliver 30 full-rate production Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar systems for the US Marine Corps. The deal includes spares parts and retrofit kits. The AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR system provides multi-faceted detection and tracking capabilities to support engagement of a wide range of hostile threats, and offers robust air traffic control capabilities to ensure the safety of Marines worldwide. The G/ATOR comes in two distinct software variants: Block I conducts air defense and surveillance missions for aviation command and control squadrons, and Block II targets the source of incoming artillery and other ground-based fires. The radar is able to detect low-observable targets with low radar cross sections such as rockets, artillery, mortars, cruise missiles and drones. Northrop will perform work within the US and is expected to be finished by January 13, 2025.
The US Navy contracted Bath Iron Works with a $61.7 million modification in support of the DDG 51 Class destroyers. The deal is for lead years services, which is a broad category encompassing necessary engineering support and configuration, baseline upgrades and new technology support, data and logistics management, analysis, acceptance trials, post-delivery test and trials and other elements of supporting construction of DDG 51 Class destroyers. DDG 51 Arleigh Burke destroyers are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. Destroyers can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups. The ships use the Aegis Combat System and the SPY-1D multifunction radar array. The ships were designed to use Tomahawk and other surface-to-air missiles and engage in antisubmarine warfare. Majority of the work under the contract modification will take place in Maine and is scheduled to be completed by June next year-
Middle East & Africa
Iran unveiled a new defense system called the „Khordad 15th“. The weapons system was displayed in a ceremony attended by Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami in Tehran, during which he said that it could detect targets as far away as 150 kilometers and hit several targets with the indigenous “Sayyad-3” missiles. According to reports, the missile system is a high-precision weapon capable of flying at low altitudes and able to carry a significant payload. Iran has worked in recent years to build its own weapons locally, rather than relying on foreign actors. Iran’s missile program was among the reasons cited by US President Donald Trump for leaving the 2015 nuclear deal last year and reimposing crippling sanctions. Recently Trump said he would be willing to reopen talks as long as Iran agreed to give up nuclear weapons.
China turns to the Ukraine to upgrade its military, the Washington Post reports. Chinese investors are reportedly asking staff at a Ukrainian aircraft engine factory about record-keeping and planning, the setup of production lines and the interplay between workshops. China is looking to upgrade its military and has found a willing partner in Motor Sich, because it can supply warplane engines as well as the know-how to possibly make a Chinese-built version in the future. Motor Sich has lost its biggest market, specifically supplying engines for military helicopters and other aircraft, after the Eastern Ukrainian War broke out in 2014.
According to local reports, Kazan will be finishing up the upgrades of the Ansat helicopter next year. Ansat is a light twin-engine gas turbine multi-purpose helicopter with 7-9 seats. The fuselage has a pair of doors in pilot’s cab, and a pair of upwards and downwards opening side doors in transport compartment. After the seats have been removed, it can take 1000 kg of cargo inside. On external hook, it can take 1300 kg of load. The Kazan Helicopter Plant is upgrading the Ansat light multipurpose helicopter at the moment. Work is carried out in two stages: the first block of modernization was completed in 2018, the second will be finished next year. The company also continues work on starting a serial production of the modernized Ansat.
After the sudden crash of a Japanese F-35 into the Pacific Ocean in April, reports now saw this was caused by „spatial disorientation“ of its pilot. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force jet disappeared from radar while on a training mission with three other F-35s off northern Japan on April 9. There was no indication from the jet’s pilot, Maj. Akinori Hosomi, of any problems with the aircraft before contact was lost. The Ministry of Defense said Monday that Hosomi, a 41-year-old with 3,200 hours of flight experience, essentially flew the stealth fighter straight into the ocean during the night training mission. About 15 seconds lapsed between the pilot’s last communication and loss of contact with the plane. “We believe it highly likely the pilot was suffering from vertigo or spatial disorientation and wasn’t aware of his condition”, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said in a briefing.
Watch: The F-35 Could Intercept a N. Korean Missile Launch – but it Could Bring an All-Out Fight
Latest updates[?]: Northrop Grumman Systems won a $958 million firm-fixed-price contract to deliver 30 full-rate production Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar systems for the US Marine Corps. The deal includes spares parts and retrofit kits. The AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR system provides multi-faceted detection and tracking capabilities to support engagement of a wide range of hostile threats, and offers robust air traffic control capabilities to ensure the safety of Marines worldwide. The G/ATOR comes in two distinct software variants: Block I conducts air defense and surveillance missions for aviation command and control squadrons, and Block II targets the source of incoming artillery and other ground-based fires. The radar is able to detect low-observable targets with low radar cross sections such as rockets, artillery, mortars, cruise missiles and drones. Northrop will perform work within the US and is expected to be finished by January 13, 2025.
The US military’s long run of unquestioned air superiority has led to shortcuts in mobile land-based air defenses, and the US Marines are no exception. A December 2005 release from Sen. Schumer’s office [D-NY] said that:
“Current radar performance does not meet operational forces requirements… consequences could potentially allow opposing forces to gain air and ground superiority in future operational areas.”
One of the programs in the works to address this gap is the AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR mobile radar system. It’s actually the result of fusing 2 programs: the Multi-Role Radar System (MRRS), and Ground Weapons Locator Radar (GWLR) requirements. When the last G/ATOR software upgrade becomes operational, it will replace and consolidate numerous legacy radars, including the AN/TPS-63 air surveillance, AN/MPQ-62 force control, AN/TPS-73 air traffic control, AN/UPS-3 air defense, and AN/TPQ-36/37 artillery tracking & locating radar systems.
General Dynamics won a $25.6 million firm-fixed-price contract to produce MK 46 Modification 2 Gun Weapon Systems for use on modern Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and Landing Platform Dock (LPD) ships. MK46 30mm all-weather, day/night, fully stabilized weapon system is a remotely operated system that uses a high-velocity cannon for shipboard self-defense against small, high-speed surface targets. It is the main deck gun for LPD-17 ships and is the secondary gun battery for LCS, and Zumwalt Class ships. The contract is for the procurement of two 30mm MK 46 MOD 2 GWSs for the LCS Surface Warfare Mission module, two 30mm MK 46 MOD 2 GWSs for the LPD-29, two 30mm MK 46 MOD 2 GWSs for the LPD-30, and associated spare parts. General Dynamics will perform work within the US and is expected to be finished by September 2021.
Sikorsky has flown its Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) technology aboard a UH-60A Black Hawk testbed helicopter for the first time. The company said in a press release that the flight took place on May 29 and it marked the official start to the flight test program for the soon-to-be optionally piloted aircraft. “This is the first full authority fly-by-wire retrofit kit developed by Sikorsky that has completely removed mechanical flight controls from the aircraft,” Lockheed Martin said. The OPV trials are part of a wider effort led by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to demonstrate unmanned helicopter operations under its Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System program. Follow-on flight testing aims to include envelope expansion throughout the summer leading to flights without any pilots in 2020.
Middle East & Africa
Five Rafales for the Qatari Amiri Air Force arrived at Dukhan Air Base on June 5. Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was on hand to welcome the pilots and the jets home. Qatar inked a number of major arms deals after Riyadh and its allies the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain announced a total economic boycott of Doha in June 2017. Qatar ordered 24 of the Rafales from France in 2015, adding 12 more last year. It also has an option to buy 36 more. In February, France formally handed the first of the aircraft over to Qatar in a ceremony in Merignac, southwestern France, where the planes are built. Qatar has separately inked deals with France for 50 Airbus A321 passenger planes as well as a deal with Britain to buy Typhoon fighters.
Aero Vodochody delivered three new L-159T2 light attack/trainer aircraft to the Czech Republic. The new T2 twin seat aircraft, which made its maiden flight in 2018, has a newly built central and forward fuselage, and is fully NVG compatible. The L-159 aircraft is operated by Czech Air Force, Iraqi Air Force and US company Draken International. According to reports, the cockpit has a multi-function display and upgraded version of the VS-20 ejection seat, while the aircraft offers single-point pressure refueling capability and carries self-protection systems in the form of countermeasures and a radar warning receiver. This makes the trainer perfect to train for the fleet of Gripens that student pilots move onto.
Finnish defense and aerospace group Patria has acquired Belgian aircraft propulsion maintenance operation Belgium Engine Center (BEC) from AIM Norway, said an official press release from Patria. BEC is a military jet engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) center that services the Pratt & Whitney F100 engine which powers F-15 and F-16 aircraft around the globe. The center also provides material management services for those engines. BEC has its operating base in Herstal in Belgium, and has about 90 employees. AIM Norway acquired BEC in 2016. The acquisition comes after Patria acquired Norwegian aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul specialist AIM Norway in partnership with Kongsberg of Norway in December 2018.
The Japanese defense ministry plans to deploy a radar-equipped Aegis Ashore unit in the Ground Self-Defense Force’s Araya training area in Akita, the capital of the prefecture. However, officials found several mistakes in the survey documents that supported the need to deploy missile interceptors in Akita, local news reported Thursday. The defense ministry said on May 27 that 19 other candidate sites were “unfit” for Aegis Ashore deployment, Jiji Press reported. The government survey in question included errors for terrain data on nine other areas that provided comparisons to the designated site. The US State Department approved the Aegis Ashore systems purchase to Japan in January. Total cost of the system is estimated at more than $2 billion.
Watch: China’s first sea launch: Long March-11 launches from a ship at sea
L-3 Communications Integrated Systems won a fixed-price-incentive-firm contract for aircraft avionics upgrades on 176 C-130H Hercules military transport aircraft. The deal is worth $499.6 million. The contract covers engineering and manufacturing development, as well as training and logistics requirements. The Hercules was originally designed as a troop, medevac, and cargo transport aircraft and is able to user unprepared runways for takeoff and landing. It is now used for gunship, airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol and aerial firefighting. The 40 variants of the aircraft, which include the C-130J Super Hercules, are used by more than 60 countries. Work will primarily be performed at L-3 Communications’ Waco, Texas, facility, with an expected completion date of Sept. 30, 2029.
The US Air Force awarded Universal Propulsion a $92 million contract to supply the Modernized ACES II Electronic Sequencer for the ejection seat on US as well as Foreign Military Sales aircraft. ACES II is an ejection seat system that senses the conditions of the ejection, such as airspeed and altitude, and selects the appropriate drogue and main parachute deployments to minimize the forces on the occupant. It is used on Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, General Dynamis F-16 Fighting Falcon, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, Rockwell B-1 Lancer, WB-57, and Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit aircraft. Bahrain, Belgium, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates are the foreign military sales customers. Universal Propulsion will perform work in Fairfield, California, and is expected to be finished by August 2026.
Middle East & Africa
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will unveil the new tactical Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) of the Heron Family – the T-Heron – in the upcoming Paris Air Show. Ground Forces and Coast Guard as well as other protection forces will be able to use the T-Heron. It is designed for tactical missions on the battlefield and features a high level of flight safety and reliability. It reportedly is also resistant to extreme weather conditions. With its advanced, certified and proven Rotax engine, the drone can reach a maximum altitude of 24,000 feet and a top speed of 120 knots. The new UAV is capable of carrying several payloads simultaneously of up to 180 kg. The T-Heron will use the same automatic takeoff and landing capability as its family members, but will also be able to deploy from unprepared runways, so will not have to rely on being operated from airfields and can instead be forward deployed as required.
According to reports, the German Army finished its firing training for the Rafael Spike LR anti-tank guided missile. Spike is a fire-and-forget missile with lock-on before launch and automatic self-guidance. It has an imaging infrared seeker. Rafael has sold over 30,000 Spike missiles to 31 countries around the world. The German training involved the firing of 54 live Spike missiles by gunners using the new Spike integrated control launch unit (ICLU) launcher. Complex firing scenarios, like beyond-line-of-sight engagements, retargeting mid-flight, firing in total darkness in infrared, as well as having to cope with adverse weather conditions, like intense rain and strong winds were part of the exercise.
An Apache Attack Helicopter landed on the deck of the UK Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, for the first time, to commence its preliminary ship integration testing on June 3. The Apache that conducted the first landing belonged to the British Army’s Attack Helicopter Force (AHF) and assigned to 656 Squadron Army Air Corps. Under Joint Helicopter Command, the Attack Helicopter will begin a series of tests and evaluations in a so called Platform Ship Integration Testing, or PSITs for short. The visit is also part of the commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
China successfully launched its first sea-based rocket. A Long March-11 solid propellant carrier rocket blasted off at 12:06 pm from a mobile platform. It is China’s first space launch from a sea-based platform and the 306th mission of the Long March carrier rocket series. The rocket reportedly also carried two communications satellites courtesy of China 125, a Beijing-based technology company that plans to launch hundreds of satellites to provide global data networking services. About six minutes after the launch into space, five commercial satellites and a pair of “technical experiment” probes – called Bufeng, or Wind Catchers – reached their designated orbits.
Watch: Incredible: F-35B vs AV-8B Harrier II Short Takeoff & Vertical Landing
Lockheed Martin won a $56.9 million contract modification to procure Mk 48 Mod 7 guidance and control (G&C) sections and Mk 48 Mod 7 Common Broadband Advanced Sonar System (CBASS). The company will also produce Functional Item Replacement (FIR) kits, spares and production support material, apart from offering related engineering services and hardware repair support, for G&C sections and CBASS kits. The MK 48 Mod 7 CBASS is an upgraded version of the MK 48 Advanced Capability Mod 6 Advanced Common Torpedo, manufactured by Raytheon. Lockheed Martin’s MK 48 Mod 7 CBASS torpedo is the US Navy’s most potent anti-surface and anti-submarine weapon in use aboard allied submarines. The torpedo has been designed to be exceedingly lethal and effective against threats operating in deep and shallow waters. Work will take place in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and is scheduled to be finished by March 2021.
Raytheon announced that it completed the final developmental test of the latest generation of the Ship Self Defense System or SSDS, Integrated Combat System for the USS Gerald R. Ford or CVN 78. Mike Fabel, Raytheon’s SSDS program manager said that the successful dual-target test would demonstrate the maturity of the Ship Self Defense System ICS and paves the way for operational testing to begin. SSDS is an open, distributed combat management system in service on US carriers and amphibious ships. The CVN 78 SSDS Integrated Combat System incorporates several elements including Raytheon’s dual band radar, Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM), and the Rolling Airframe Missile. The USS Gerald R. Ford is the lead ship of the Ford Class Carriers. Gerald R. Ford is equipped with an AN/SPY-3 and an AN7SPY-4 active electronically scanned array multi function radar.
Middle East & Africa
The US Air Force awarded Textron Systems a $24.3 million contract action for AC-208 contract logistics support and maintenance training for Afghanistan. The AC-208 Eliminator Armed Caravan is an advanced reconnaissance and ground attack aircraft. The Air Force awarded the aircraft’s manufacturer Orbital ATK a firm fixed price contract worth $86.4 million to supply Afghanistan with seven AC-208 Eliminator aircraft. The aircraft will be delivered to the Afghanistan Air Force under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The AC-208 deliveries are expected to conclude in 2019. Textron Systems will perform work Kabul, Afghanistan, and is expected to be finished by May 31, 2020.
Elbit Systems announced that its German subsidiary will supply the E-Lynx Soldier Radio Systems to the German Army. The E-Lynx soldier radios will come in handheld and vehicular configurations. According to Elbit, the radios provide forces with the capability to use several voice groups in a single channel and fast data services and enable effective closing of the sensor to shooter loop and accurate monitoring of forces location based on radio integrated Blue Force Tracking (BFT) capability. The systems will be used at the platoon and company levels and will be installed onboard various combat vehicles including the SPz PUMA.
The US State Department approved a possible sale of F-16C/D Block 70/72 aircraft to Bulgaria. The deal is worth $1.7 billion. Prime contractor will be Lockheed Corporation, Bethesda, Maryland. The sale would bring a US fighter platform to an Eastern European member of NATO, marking a recent continuance in the shift from dependence upon Russian-based equipment dating back to the Cold War era when imposition of Soviet puppet states and its Warsaw Pact counter-NATO edifice dominated the region. Bulgaria had initially hoped to finalize a deal for the F-16s in 2018 allowing for deliveries to run through 2021, with in-service capability initially achieved by 2020. If a deal is reached in the coming months, these timeframes will be pushed out by a year or two. The F-16 Block 70/72 is the newest and most advanced F-16 production configuration. Capability upgrades include the advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar with a new avionics architecture, and structural upgrades to extend the structural life of the F-16s by more than 50 percent.
South Korea and New Zealand signed an agreement to collaborate on defense development and production activity. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said that DAPA minister Wang Jung-hong and New Zealand’s Secretary of Defense Helene Quilter signed a memorandum of understanding in Seoul. In April, South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. launched New Zealand’s future fleet tanker/replenishment vessel, called Aoteaora. It will likely be delivered and commissioned in 2020.
Watch: High Alert : Why the Legendary F-15 Might Be Poised for an Epic Comeback
Latest updates[?]: The US Air Force awarded Textron Systems a $24.3 million contract action for AC-208 contract logistics support and maintenance training for Afghanistan. The AC-208 Eliminator Armed Caravan is an advanced reconnaissance and ground attack aircraft. The Air Force awarded the aircraft’s manufacturer Orbital ATK a firm fixed price contract worth $86.4 million to supply Afghanistan with seven AC-208 Eliminator aircraft. The aircraft will be delivered to the Afghanistan Air Force under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The AC-208 deliveries are expected to conclude in 2019. Textron Systems will perform work Kabul, Afghanistan, and is expected to be finished by May 31, 2020.
Latest updates: 22-month support contract for the Caravans.
Cessna 208B to Kirkuk
“Bird Dogs for the Iraqi Air Force” has covered the growth of Iraq’s primary trainer fleet of Cessna 172 and 208Bs, alongside surveillance and even attack variants of the same aircraft. Now, Afghanistan is beginning the same process, and needs primary training aircraft for new air force candidates. Soon, they may need more.
Active military use of “grasshopper”/ “bird dog” aircraft is merely the re-invention of doctrines that worked very well in World War 2, Korea, and Vietnam. The combination of lower tech, lower prices, and lower crash rates than UAVs will continue to give “bird dog” aircraft a military role as light cargo planes, spotters, and even attack aircraft in countries that are watching their budgets…
Lockheed Martin won a $29.3 million contract modification to produce TB-37 Multi-Function Towed Array production units, accessories, shipping products, and spare modules for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations aboard surface warships. The TB-37, part of the AN/SQQ-89(V) Undersea Warfare/Anti-Submarine Warfare Combat System, is a next-generation passive and active sonar receiver configured as a long 3-inch-diameter array that can be towed behind surface ships. It is for Arleigh Burke Class destroyers, Ticonderoga Class cruisers, the Littoral Combat Ships, and Zumwalt Class land-attack destroyer. It is able to operate at a variety of depths to enable surface warships to detect and localize enemy submarines attempting to hide in different ocean layers of varying temperatures and salinity. Lockheed will perform work in New York, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Scheduled completion date is in June 2021.
The US Navy awarded Sierra Nevada Corp. a $9.8 million task order for the AN/SPN-46(V) landing system upgrade program. The deal addresses obsolescence issues, system degraders, deficiency correction and cybersecurity implementation. The AN/SPN-46(V) is a Precision Approach and Landing System. It is capable of controlling up to two aircraft simultaneously in a “leapfrog” pattern because of two dual-band radar antennas. As each approaching aircraft being assisted by the system lands, another can be “acquired”. Work will take place in St. Inigoes, Maryland and is scheduled to be finished by May next year.
Lockheed Marin won a $9.3 million order for post shakedown availability on the Navy’s future USS Billings or LCS-15. The Billings is a Littoral Combat Ship currently undergoing sea trials. It is the 17th littoral combat ship delivered to the Navy and eighth of the Freedom variant to join the fleet. She will be commissioned on August 3 in Key West, Florida and will be tasked with near-shore multi-purpose missions that utilize her ability to deploy and recover landing craft and helicopter. A vessel is typically not committed to any timetables or tasks until it completes its shakedown cruise. While the ship is assigned to the industrial activity for this purpose, this period is known as an “availability”. The awarded deal provides advance planning, accomplishment and emergent availabilities. Work will take place within the US and is expected to be completed by January 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Russia’s Ministry of Defense will soon be able to establish permanent missions within its counterparts in the Central African Republic and Sudan. Jane’s reports that the country has signed agreements with the African States that will run for seven years and will automatically renew if they are not terminated. The aim is to resolve military issues, provide training, and support the acquisition and maintenance of equipment.
The Belarusian company AGAT Control Systems will soon finish the Berkut-3, a Group 1-class drone. The UAV reportedly has a wingspan of 3 meters and a maximum take-off weight of 11 kg, and has the ability to carry a 2 kg payload. It can be assembled within 10 minutes and launched and recovered via a catapult and a parachute respectively. It is equipped with a combined inertial navigation system (INS) and GPS/GLONASS satellite navigation receiver. The system also includes a digital still camera, infrared camera, or TV camera – ground control station (GCS), datalink, and a ruggedized storage container.
Insitu won $47.9 million to deliver ScanEagle drones to four US allies in Asia. The company will deliver 34 ScanEagles to Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. The order also provides for spare payloads, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools, training, technical services and field service representatives for each nation. The drone delivers high-quality imagery for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). The UAV is based on Insitu’s SeaScan miniature robotic aircraft and draws on Boeing’s systems integration, communications and payload technologies. It carries either an electro-optical or an infrared camera. Both are inertially stabilized. Insitu will perform 70 percent of the work under the new contract in Bingen, Washington as well as at multiple shore and at sea locations, including nine percent in Malaysia, five percent each in Philippines and Vietnam, and four percent in Indonesia. Expected completion is in March 2022.
Indonesia could get Su-35 supplies as soon as the end of the year, according to Russian reports. Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu stated that Jakarta would not cancel the contract on jet supplies despite the US sanctions against Russia. The sanctions aim to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for the 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, involvement in the Syrian war, and interference in the 2016 US presidential election. In February last year Indonesia signed contracts for the purchase of 11 SU-35s. The Defense Ministry has already signed all the necessary paperwork. However, the Trade Ministry and Finance Ministry are still in the process of approval. Indonesia is the second country after China to buy Su-35 aircraft from Russia. The Asian nation wants the fighter jets to replace its ageing fleet of F-5 Tigers.
An AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force with 13 people on board reportedly went missing on Monday afternoon around 33 minutes after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Arunachal’s Menchuka close to the border with China. According to the IAF the aircraft took off from Jorhat 12:27 pm, and its last contact with the ground control was at 1 pm. The IAF has deployed C-130J and AN-32 aircraft next to two Mi-17 choppers while the Indian Army has pressed into service advance light helicopters to locate the missing Antonov AN-32 aircraft. The AN-32 is a Soviet Union-origin twin-engine turboprop transport aircraft. The IAF was the aircraft’s launch customer.
Watch: High Alert : U.S. Air Force deploys F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft to Poland
The US Air Force awarded D&D Machinery a $8.9 million contract for the C-17 Globemaster program. The deal is for the Aircraft Engine Ground Handling Trailer, which is required to incorporate I-beam rails to interface with the rollers on the engine cradle. The C-17 is a high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed transport aircraft, that can carry large equipment, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain. The US Air Force ordered its last C-17 in 2010. In 2012, a single C-17 was ordered to replace an aircraft that had been destroyed. The estimated total cost over the lifetime of the aircraft’s program is $328 million to $368 million. Work under the contract will take place in San Antonio, Texas and has a scheduled completion date of September 18, 2023.
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems won a $7.5 million contract modification in support of the Navy’s AH-1Z helicopters. The company will build 37 A/A49E-7(V4) gun turrets for the US Navy’s as well as the government of Bahrain’s Vipers. The Bell AH-1Z Viper is an American twin-engine attack helicopter, based on the AH-1W SuperCobra, that was developed for the United States Marine Corps as part of the H-1 upgrade program. The AH-1Z features a four-blade, bearingless, composite main rotor system, uprated transmission, and a new target sighting system. The major components of the A/A49E-7(V4) are the M197 20MM rotary gun, gun turret, control system and ammunition handling system. The A/A49E-7(V4) gun turret system is chin mounted on the AH-1Z chopper providing the capability to position, feed, and fire the M197 20MM rotary gun. It provides air-to-air and air-to-ground capability. GenDyn will perform work under the contract modification in Maine, Vermont, and is expected to finish work by January 2022.
Middle East & Africa
The US Navy awarded General Atomics a $36.5 million modification for nine months of Group 5 unmanned air system intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance services. Group 5 indicates that the unmanned aerial vehicles are in the largest category of Defense Department classifications at greater than 1,320 pounds and functioning at altitudes above 18,000 feet. Specifically, the services are for Task Force Southwest and Marine Corps operations utilizing contractor-owned/contractor-operated MQ-9 unmanned air systems. Task Force Southwest is an American operation in Afghanistan under NATO’s Operation Resolute. It conducts security force assistance to train, advise, and assist missions to enable credible and sustainable Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in southwestern Afghanistan. The drones can carry precision guided bombs and missiles. The Reapers provide a wide-area persistent surveillance capability with the help of the so called Gorgon Stare System, which consists of nearly 370 individual cameras that can simultaneously grab imagery across a 40-square mile zone. Analysts can combine those images into a single mosaic map and look for significant changes or patterns of activity and track vehicles and personnel movements over large areas. General Atomics will perform work within the US and outside the continental US. Scheduled completion date is in February next year.
Belarus presented its 9m318 surface-to-air missile prototype at MILEX 2019 defense exhibition in Minsk earlier this month. Jane’s reports, that the missile, developed by OKB TSP Scientific Production Limited Liability Company, can engage high-speed maneuverable aerodynamic targets with low radar cross-section, including fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, tactical ballistic, anti-ship, cruise, and air-launched missiles, and surface and radio-emitting ground targets in an electronically contested environment. The 9M318 rocket is actually developed for the Buk-MB3 medium-range anti-aircraft missile system that can hit objects at a distance of up to 70 kilometers and at an altitude of up to 25 kilometers.
Malaysia plans to replace its S-61 helicopter. Royal Malaysian Air Force chief General, Affendi Buang said that the service is looking at a range of helicopters including the EC725. However, Buang recently visited Russia to have a closer look at the Yak-130, which is another possible procurement for Malaysia. However, the acquisition of the lightweight aircraft is still not certain. Malaysia received the first S-61 in 1967. The Eurocopter EC725 is a long-range tactical transport helicopter specially developed to meet a French Air Force requirement for a helicopter for combat search and rescue operations. It made its maiden flight in 2000. The chopper can carry 28 troops or 12 stretchers. Alternatively it can carry 5,670 kg of payload internally. External payload capacity is around 4,500 kg.
According to Northrop Grumman, the company completed its first delivery of an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye to the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force on March 29. The Japan Ministry of Defense chose the Northrop Grumman E-2D as its next airborne early warning requirement in November 2014. The Advanced Hawkeyes will help the Japan Air Self-Defense Force in surveilling and securing the country’s airspace but also its territorial waters. They can detect aircraft and ships. The APY-9 Radar fitted in the E-2D has an effective range of over 500 km or 270 nautical miles. Japan previously operated the Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye since 1983 and is the largest E-2 operator outside the US.
Watch: IDET 2019 International Fair of Defence and Security Technology Exhibition Brno Czech Republic Day 1
Latest updates[?]: Malaysia plans to replace its S-61 helicopter. Royal Malaysian Air Force chief General, Affendi Buang said that the service is looking at a range of helicopters including the EC725. However, Buang recently visited Russia to have a closer look at the Yak-130, which is another possible procurement for Malaysia. However, the acquisition of the lightweight aircraft is still not certain. Malaysia received the first S-61 in 1967. The Eurocopter EC725 is a long-range tactical transport helicopter specially developed to meet a French Air Force requirement for a helicopter for combat search and rescue operations. It made its maiden flight in 2000. The chopper can carry 28 troops or 12 stretchers. Alternatively it can carry 5,670 kg of payload internally. External payload capacity is around 4,500 kg.
Malaysia’s Bermana News reports that Eurocopter has received a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from the Malaysian Defence Ministry for 12 EC725 Cougar medium search and rescue (SAR) helicopters. Negotiations for the EC725s had been suspended in October 2008, in the wake of the financial crisis; at the time, they were not supposed to resume until 2011. At the April 2010 Defence Services Asia (DSA) show in Kuala Lumpur, however, Defence minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reportedly signed a letter-of-acceptance. Eurocopter is now working with the government to finalize the contract, which is expected to happen when Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak returns from overseas and the cabinet has a chance to meet and sign off on the deal.
The EC725s would replace the existing fleet of about 20 aged S-61 Sea King/”Nuris”, and are expected to arrive in 2012-2013. The reported deal figure is MYR 1.6 billion ($500 million). EC725s, and their civilian EC225 counterparts, are used by several countries in the region for SAR work. China operates a couple, as does the Japanese Coast Guard. Indonesia has ordered 2, and Taiwan is believed to have ordered 3 EC225s, with an option for 17 more.
Malaysia is also reportedly shopping for attack helicopters. Contenders mentioned so far include Eurocopter’s dedicated Tiger scout/attack helicopter, which also serves in Australia, and versatile S-70 Black Hawk utility helicopters than can be armed with advanced “Battlehawk” kits. Malaysia’s Bernama News | Defense World | Flight International | Singapore’s Straits Times.
Contracts and Events
June 3/19: Replacing S-61? Malaysia plans to replace its S-61 helicopter. Royal Malaysian Air Force chief General, Affendi Buang said that the service is looking at a range of helicopters including the EC725. However, Buang recently visited Russia to have a closer look at the Yak-130, which is another possible procurement for Malaysia. However, the acquisition of the lightweight aircraft is still not certain. Malaysia received the first S-61 in 1967. The Eurocopter EC725 is a long-range tactical transport helicopter specially developed to meet a French Air Force requirement for a helicopter for combat search and rescue operations. It made its maiden flight in 2000. The chopper can carry 28 troops or 12 stretchers. Alternatively it can carry 5,670 kg of payload internally. External payload capacity is around 4,500 kg.