Lockheed Martin won a $13.4 million contract modification to provide US Trident II Strategic Weapon System efforts for the navigation subsystem. The Trident II D5 is a three-stage, solid-propellant, inertial-guided ballistic missile that can carry multiple independently targeted re-entry bodies for a maximum range of over 7,360km. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the Navy’s Trident missile prime contractor, developed and produced the missile and support equipment. The company also supplies technical and logistical support at sites where the missiles are deployed. The Trident II D5 LE Program is intended to extend the service life of the weapon system until 2042, to match the hull life of the Ohio Class submarine. Earlier this month Lockheed won an $11.5 million modification for Strategic Weapon System efforts for the navigation subsystem. Work will again take place in Mitchel Field, New York. Estimated completion date is December 31, 2022.
The Naval Air Systems Command tapped Lockheed with a $32.1 million modification for modification and retrofit of delivered F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters for the Air Force. The deal procures modification kits and special tooling. The contract will cater to the US Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, non-Department of Defense participants and Foreign Military Sales customers. The F-35 Lightning is a supersonic, multi-role fighter jet that represents a quantum leap in air-dominance capability, offering enhanced lethality and survivability in hostile, anti-access airspace environments. Currently, it is being used by the defense forces of the United States and 11 other nations. The F-35 is Lockheed Martin’s largest program that generates more than 25% of its total sales. Lockheed will perform work in Fort Worth, Texas and estimated completion date is in June 2025.
Middle East & Africa
Jane’s reports that Iran withdrew the S-300 long-range air-defense system. Satellite images show that that system, which was deployed to Asaluyeh in May, has been withdrawn. The S-300s are Russian missile systems. Originally purchased in 2007, Iran’s S-300 order was blocked until April 2015 when the Kremlin lifted its self-imposed ban on the sale due to the international lifting of some sanctions against Iran. The country purchased and received an unknown number of S-300s in 2016, it was fully tested and implemented in 2017. Iran deployed a full S-300PMU-2 battery to an airfield in Asaluyeh from its base near Bushehr, enabling it to cover the central Gulf. The withdrawal could be seen as a sign that Tehran no longer sees an imminent escalation of tensions in the Gulf.
The crew of the HMS Lancaster moved back on board the ship after a two year overhaul in Devonport, the UK Defense Journal reports. The sip also known as the „Red Rose“ has undergone extensive upgrades mirroring the major changes across the frigate flotilla, such as the new Artisan 3D radar, improved navigational radar and new-generation Sea Ceptor missile system as the ship’s shield against air attack. The Sea Ceptor is a sea-based supersonic missile defense system developed for the British Royal Navy. The system will initially be mounted on Type 23 frigates.The Lancaster will now sail back into her homeport of Portsmouth during December. She will then enter the trials phase. Queen Elizabeth launched the Duke Class Type 23 frigate ship in May 1990.
India gives up its plan to upgrade Jaguar’s engines. The country has decided that upgrading the Jaguar’s engines with Honeywell’s F-125IN is an expensive option and therefore will shelve the idea. Instead, the service could turn to buying more Su-30MKIs. The Print reports that the Rolls-Royce Adour 811 engines of the 1980s vintage twin-engine aircraft have seen 15-30 per cent reduction in thrust. This means the Jaguar cannot carry its full load. “The price quoted by Honeywell and the HAL for ‘re-engining’ is just too high. For the price of two such upgrades, we can get one basic Rafale,” a source said and added: “One plan is to order more Su-30 MKIs to replace those fighters that would be grounded. As far as role is concerned, one Sukhoi can play the same role as two Jaguars“.
The Japanese government is launching satellite to intercept foreign countries’ military satellites in the event of an emergency, the Japan News reports. The plan is part of efforts to strengthen deterrence amid a rapidly increasing military threat in outer space, as seen in the development by China and Russia of satellites that can attack others. The decision is to be made by the end of the fiscal year so it can be launched mid-2020. The government is considering introducing a type of satellite that can disable the operations of other countries’ military satellites.
Watch: Tour of U.S. Navy’s Norfolk Naval Station and Shipyards – May 2019
Raytheon won a $199.6 million firm-fixed contract for MK 15 Close-In Weapon System or CIWS upgrades and conversions, system overhauls, and associated hardware. CIWS is a fast-reaction terminal defense against low- and high-flying, high-speed maneuvering anti-ship missile threats. At sea, Phalanx is designed to defeat anti-ship missiles and “close-in” threats that have pierced other lines of defense. On land, as part of the US Army’s counter-rocket, artillery and mortar systems, it detects and destroys incoming rounds. It also helps provide early warning of attacks. The Phalanx weapon system is installed on all US Navy surface combatant ship classes and on those of 24 allied nations. The land-based version is forward deployed and has been used in combat. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $367,195,456.
The US Air Force awarded Raytheon Missile Systems a $47.9 million contract for 469 Maverick units. According to the company, the Maverick is a precision-attack missile for the air, naval and marine forces of 30 countries. Maverick is certified for use on more than 25 aircraft, including helicopters, fighters, attack and patrol aircraft. More than 69,000 missiles have been produced to date, and more than 6,000 have been used in combat, with 93 percent accuracy. The missile’s guidance software provides attack capability around-the-clock against fixed high-value targets, high-speed moving and maneuvering armored vehicles, ships and fast boats, and targets of opportunity. Targets of opportunity provide all-altitude point-and-shoot flexibility ideally suited for time-critical strike in urban close air support and maritime operations. Raytheon will perform work in Tucson, Arizona. Estimated completion date is September 30, 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Syria claimed it shot down a missile that was fired toward the area of Masyaf in the Hama governorate on Thursday night, Israel Defense reports. The missile was reportedly fired from the direction of northern Lebanon toward the Masyaf area, which has been repeatedly targeted in recent years in attacks attributed to Israel. Israel is thought to have shifted to launching missiles from Lebanon into Syria to avoid Syrian air defenses in recent months. The area around Masyaf, which is thought to be used as a base for Iranian forces and pro-Iranian militias has been repeatedly targeted in recent years in attacks widely attributed to Israel.
Northrop Grumman won a $7 million follow-on contract for the Royal Netherlands Air Force AN/ALQ-131 (V) electronics countermeasures pod upgrade. Northrop Grumman has fielded more than 1,600 ALQ-131 pods, which used state-of-the-art technology to successfully protect aircrews and aircraft in every conflict since becoming operational in the 1980s, the company states. The AN/ALQ-131 Electronic Countermeasures Pod provides electronic countermeasures protection for USAF, ANG, AFRES, and FMS country aircraft. Northrop will perform work in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Estimated completion date is February 15, 2022. This program is focused on the redesign of the ALQ-131 Digital Receiver Exciter and ALM-256 Intermediate Level Support Equipment. The contract involves 100% Foreign Military Sales to the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
Japan’s Ministry of Defense approved the purchase of 42 F-35B fighters. According to Asahi Shimbun, each aircraft is expected to cost $132 million. Funding will be made available for the purchase of 18 jets. The government indicated late last year that it intended to acquire the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft, but no formal decision had been made until now. The F-35B aircraft is manufactured by Lockheed Martin. On May 27, US President Donald Trump said at a press conference following talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Japan plans to buy 105 F-35 fighters. The F-35B is a single-engine fifth-generation fighter aircraft. It is the first aircraft to combine stealth technology with STOVL capabilities and supersonic speeds.
The Australian government handed over a Guardian Class patrol vessel to Samoa. The boat, dubbed the Nafanua II , was handed over to representatives from the Samoan government at Henderson, Western Australia on August 16. The delivery is part of the Pacific Patrol Boat replacement component of the $1.35 billion Pacific Maritime Security Program, which is designed to enhance maritime security cooperation across the South Pacific. Under this program, Australia will deliver 19 Guardian Class patrol boats to 12 Pacific Island countries by the end of 2023. The Police Maritime Wing of the Samoan Police Service will operate the Nafanua II.
Watch: Laser weapons of the Turkish defense industry technology Turkey able to shoot down drone
Latest updates[?]: The US Air Force awarded Raytheon Missile Systems a $47.9 million contract for 469 Maverick units. According to the company, the Maverick is a precision-attack missile for the air, naval and marine forces of 30 countries. Maverick is certified for use on more than 25 aircraft, including helicopters, fighters, attack and patrol aircraft. More than 69,000 missiles have been produced to date, and more than 6,000 have been used in combat, with 93 percent accuracy. The missile’s guidance software provides attack capability around-the-clock against fixed high-value targets, high-speed moving and maneuvering armored vehicles, ships and fast boats, and targets of opportunity. Targets of opportunity provide all-altitude point-and-shoot flexibility ideally suited for time-critical strike in urban close air support and maritime operations. Raytheon will perform work in Tucson, Arizona. Estimated completion date is September 30, 2021.
AGM-65E onto F/A-18
Raytheon is restarting its production line to produce AGM-65E2/L laser-guided Maverick missiles, and will also upgrade existing stocks, in response to demand from the front lines. The AGM-65 rose to its greatest prominence during Desert Storm, when many of TV’s missile-eye views of air strikes came from Mavericks. In truth, it was produced in 3 versions: TV-guided (AGM-65A/B/D/H), Imaging Infrared (AGM-65G) guided, and laser-guided (AGM-65E). Production continues for the TV and IIR variants, but the Marines’ AGM-65E laser-guided version had gone out of production.
The AGM-65 Maverick was the first general purpose fire-and-forget tactical air-to-ground missile in service with the U.S. Air Force. The JAGM program initially proposed to replace it, but program changes ensured that Maverick remains the default American option for jet fighter precision-guided missile strikes out to around 20+ km / 12 nmi. While IIR and TV guidance allow precision attacks, laser guidance generally offers the best accuracy of the 3 against ground targets. Likewise, there are circumstances in which a fully-powered missile is a better choice than an unpowered gliding bomb. The following story from Iraq illustrates…
Honeywell International won a $110.9 million contract modification to revitalize engines of the US Army’s Abrams tanks. The modification provides spare parts for the Honeywell-made AGT1500 gas turbine engine for the M1 Abrams family of vehicles. Honeywell’s AGT1500 engine provides superior acceleration and mobility to the M1 Abrams, making it the platform of choice for the US Army, Marine Corps, National Guard, and many international allies. The new agreement is part of the Army’s Total Integrated Engine Revitalization or TIGER program to meet the Anniston Army Depot production of the Advanced Gas Turbine 1500 engine for the Abrams tanks and TIGER field repair site requirements. Work will take place in Phoenix, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of February 22, 2022.
Lockheed Martin won a $56 million deal for combat system engineering support on the Ship Self-Defense System (SSDS). Under the contract, the SSDS combat system engineering agent and software design agent primary deliverables will be SSDS tactical computer programs, program updates and associated engineering, development and logistics products. The contract will manage the in-service SSDS configurations as well as adapt and integrate new or upgraded war-fighting capabilities. Lockheed will perform work in Moorestown, New Jersey and San Diego, California. Estimated completion date is in December.
Middle East & Africa
Jane’s reports that images have shown at least one Israeli Navy Saar-5 corvette has the new IAI-Elta ELM-2258 Advanced Lightweight Phased Array or ALPHA radar. The radar system is based on unique full digital AESA technology by ELTA Systems Ltd., a Group and Subsidiary of IAI (IAI/ELTA) and is an integral part of the combat systems installed on the missile ships. ALPHA is a rotating AESA radar, capable of producing a large number of simultaneous beams for maritime and aerial targets, and to provide a high quality situation picture in the most extreme marine environment. The radar can perform several tasks at the same time, such as: detection and classification of naval targets, tracking of a large number of targets, and integration into guided missile systems for defense and attack. Israeli Naval sources told Jane’s in 2017 that the Saar 5 corvettes Hanit and Eilat would receive the radar as part of an upgrade that would also see the integration of the new Barak 8 surface-to-air missile.
The Bulgarian Ministry of Defense on August 8 reportedly transferred $1.2 billion to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DCSA) for 8 Lockheed F-16 Block 70 fighters and related equipment, Bulgarian media said. Last month, the government gave the nod to the long-pending deal for the procurement of 8 F-16 jets to replace the aging fleet of MiG-29 jets of the Bulgarian Air Force. The aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by 2023. The Bulgarian Ministry of Defense said the DSCA’s confirmation of receipt marks the related contracts’ entry into force and the beginning of their implementation.
The US Navy contracted Lockheed Martin with a $80 million modification for AEGIS Modernization (AMOD) production requirements. The deal covers the production, test and delivery of multi-mission signal processor equipment sets; electronic equipment fluid cooler; AEGIS Weapon System AMOD Upgrade equipment; Kill Assessment System 5.1 equipment; AEGIS spares; Australia Combat Systems Engineering Development Site; and AEGIS Ashore Japan Sites equipment. The upgrade is for the US Navy as well as the governments of Japan and Australia under the Foreign Military Sale program. The Aegis Combat System is an integrated naval weapons system using radar and computer technology to track and guide weapons in destroying enemy targets. The project was started by the US Navy in 1964 to defend ships from missile threats, and with constant upgrades is now a feature on over 100 US and NATO ships, as well as those of Australia, Norway and South Korea. It is also an integral part of NATO’s European missile defense system. Work under the modification is expected to be complete by November 2023.
The Trump Administration approved the F-16 fighter jet deal to Taiwan. The deal is worth $8 billion. According to the Washington Post, the move will likely anger China amid the deepening trade dispute between Washington and Beijing. The DoS reportedly submitted the package to Congress for informal review late Thursday, and it is not expected to meet opposition. This would be the largest and most significant sale of weaponry to Taiwan in decades. The State Department has not yet publicly commented on the proposed arms sale to Taiwan. “We are aware of media reports regarding a possible sale of F-16 fighter aircraft to Taiwan,” a State Department official said on August 16. “As a matter of policy, the US government does not comment on or confirm potential or pending arms sales or transfers before they have been formally notified to Congress.”
Watch: Philippine Army Self Propelled System Acquisition Project
Latest updates[?]: Lockheed Martin won a $56 million deal for combat system engineering support on the Ship Self-Defense System (SSDS). Under the contract, the SSDS combat system engineering agent and software design agent primary deliverables will be SSDS tactical computer programs, program updates and associated engineering, development and logistics products. The contract will manage the in-service SSDS configurations as well as adapt and integrate new or upgraded war-fighting capabilities. Lockheed will perform work in Moorestown, New Jersey and San Diego, California. Estimated completion date is in December.
Right now, in many American ships beyond its Navy’s top-tier AEGIS destroyers and cruisers, the detect-to-engage sequence against anti-ship missiles requires a lot of manual steps, involving different ship systems that use different displays. When a Mach 3 missile gives you 45 seconds from appearance on ship’s radar to impact, seconds of delay can be fatal. Seconds of unnecessary delay are unacceptable.
Hence Raytheon’s Ship Self Defense System (SSDS), which is currently funded under the US Navy’s Quick Reaction Combat Capability program. It’s widely used as a combat system in America’s carrier and amphibious fleets. That can be challenging for its developers, given the wide array of hardware and systems it needs to work with. Consistent testing reports indicate that this is indeed the case, and SSDS has its share of gaps and issues. It also has a series of upgrade programs underway, in order to add new capabilities. Managing these demands effectively will have a big impact on the survivability of the US Navy’s most important power projection assets.
Rockwell Collins Simulation and Training Solutions won a $31.1 million contract modification or one E-2D Hawkeye Integrated Training System III Weapons Systems Trainer and one Aircrew Procedures Trainer, including technical data. The Hawkeye is an advanced all-weather, carrier-capable tactical Early Warning Aircraft. The Advanced Hawkeye is assigned aboard aircraft carriers and provides airborne early warning and command and control to carrier air wing. The E-2D can act as a sensor to guide the fleet’s weapons onto targets that other aircraft and ships can not locate. Also it warns of incoming anti-ship missile attacks. Rockwell will perform work in Norfolk, Virginia and estimated completion is in April 2024.
The US Air Force announced that the last pair of new wings for 173 A-10 Thunderbolt planes was successfully installed last week. “From a warfighter point of view, bringing this program to a successful conclusion was a significant accomplishment for the entire enterprise team,” said Stephen Zaiser, director of the 571st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. The Air Logistics Complex’s 571st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron swapped wings on 162 A-10s as part of the A-10 Enhanced Wing Assembly replacement program. The remaining 11 were installed at Osan Air Base in the Republic of Korea. The $2 billion project is to remove and replace the wings on the planes.
Middle East & Africa
Jane’s reports that Iran unveiled its first indigenously developed mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle (MRAP) on August 13. According to the magazine the Raad was unveiled in a ceremony held at the Defense Industries Organization in Isfahan and is a more advanced version of the Toufan. The Toufan was developed to provide Iranian forces with a highly mobile vehicle that is capable of carrying out logistics and combat missions in all possible theaters of war. It is ambush protected with ballistic protection to resist land mines, improvised explosive devices, and steel core bullets.
The first steel to be used in Britain’s HMS Cardiff, an anti-submarine frigate, was ceremonially cut in a Glasgow-area shipyard on Wednesday. It marked the start of construction of the second of eight Type 26 Global Combat Ships, also known as City Class, or C-Class Ships for the British Navy. The cutting-edge frigates for the Royal Navy will replace the current anti-submarine warfare Type 23 frigates and provide advanced protection to the Continuous at Sea Deterrent and Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and offer unrivaled anti-submarine warfare capability.
During a telephone briefing on August 13, General Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of the US Air Force in Europe, Air Forces Africa, and NATO’s Allied Air Command told Journalists that the deployment of a squadron of US Air Force F-35s to Europe “allowed us to integrate this fifth generation platform into various exercises and training sorties with our allies and partners“. The US Air Force in Europe has been preparing to base F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in the UK through a series of activities with NATO countries. In July the USAF together with the UK Ministry of Defense’s Infrastructure Organisation broke ground during a ceremony on a new Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II infrastructure at RAF Lakenheath.
After the current protests in Hong Kong, Thailand’s military has prepared a plan to evacuate its citizens living in Hong Kong in case the security situation there deteriorates. Bloomberg reports that the Air Force is ready to deploy two planes, a Lockheed C-130 Hercules and an Airbus A340, if the Thai government orders an evacuation. The Hercules is a turboprop transport aircraft. The aircraft is able to land and takeoff from unprepared runways. Hong Kong citizens have been protesting against a bill allowing extraditions to China. The protests are already lasting for 11 weeks and have made headlines due to the police clashing with demonstrators at Hong Kong’s airport. Flights had been cancelled at the beginning of the week, because of the violence of the protests.
Watch: Mikoyan MiG-35 – The Last Chance For MiG To Find The Glory Of The Past
Lockheed Martin in Florida won a $99 million deal by the US Air Force for Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) Foreign Military Sales production support. The contract provides for lifecycle support for all efforts related to JASSM and any JASSM variants in the areas of system upgrades, integration, production, sustainment, management and logistical support. The JASSM is a low observable standoff air-launched US cruise missile. It is a large, stealth, long-range weapon with a 1,000 pound armor-piercing warhead that entered service in 2009. Work will take place in Orlando, Florida and estimated completion date is in August 24.
The US Marine Corps is moving one step closer towards operating its own MQ-9 fleet with the first two Marines graduating from the Basic Sensor Operator Course on August 9. „The graduation of these two lance corporals is a small step in their training,” Marine Liaison to the 558 FTS Major Matthew Bailey said. “It’s probably lost on them how important it is, but this is a major milestone for the Marine Corps UAS community. The two marines will be assigned as sensor operators for the MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aircraft System. The MQ-9 Reaper is the primary offensive strike Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for the US Air Force. Given its significant loiter time, wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons, it provides a unique capability to perform strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets. The Marine Corps in March laid out plans to establish their own MQ-9 Force. The Marine Corps has been on a path to expand it’s UAS assets and enhance intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. This brings the push for expanding into group five UAS’. Group five UAVs can weigh in above 1320 pounds, normally fly higher than 18,000 feet above sea level, and at any speed. These assets can stay in the air longer, with a much larger payload, and observe a much larger area.
Middle East & Africa
Spartan Air Academy Iraq won a $31.5 million task order for continued Air Academy training in support of the Iraqi Air Force. Spartan Air Academy Iraq, LLC, was formed in 2014 to support the establishment of an air academy in Iraq. The launch of the Iraq Air Academy was held at Balad Air Base February 21, 2018. It was attended by senior officials from the US Government, Government of Iraq, and Spartan Air Academy Iraq, LLC. The US is invested in Iraq’s F-16 program where pilots are trained, and the maintenance and security of the F-16s are carried out by American contractors. Iraq will receive a new batch of F-16 fighter jets over the course of next year. The Spartan Air Academy will perform work at Balad Air Base, Iraq. Estimated completion date is July 8 next year.
According to a press release by Raytheon, Bahrain inked an agreement to purchase the company’s Patriot air and missile defense system. This allows the US government to begin contract negotiations with Raytheon for production of an undisclosed quantity of systems and missiles. “Raytheon’s Patriot Integrated Air and Missile Defense System will ensure the Kingdom of Bahrain is well equipped to defend against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and manned and unmanned aircraft,” said Ralph Acaba, president of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. Patriot is a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather air defense system to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft. It is in service throughout the US, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Poland, Sweden, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Spain and Taiwan.
BAE Systems announced in a news release that their ‘revolutionary’ new mission planning software will be rolled out to the Royal Air Force by November 2020. The software, named Sceptre, will be used throughout a mission, from the initial plan, to the execution of it, to the debrief. BAE says it’ll allow users on the ground to “make better, more informed decisions” to support the flight crew. The RAF plans to initially use it primarily to support its Typhoons. BAE Systems developed and funded Spectre internally. The value of the contract with the Ministry of Defense is yet to be released.
India Times reports that India’s Ministry of Defense approved the procurement of locally developed Next Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (NGMMCBs) and software-defined radios (SDR) for the Indian Navy. The SDR is a complex and state of the art communication system, which has been indigenously designed and developed by the Defense Research Development Organisation, Bharat Electronics Ltd and Weapons Electronics System Engineering Establishment. The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) announced that an undisclosed number of NGMMCBs fitted with the BrahMos surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile, would be deployed along India’s coastline. The DAC also approved amendments to the Defense Procurement Procedure, 2016, to make it easier to do business in the defense sector.
Watch: AMERICA MOVING FAST IN HYPERSONIC WEAPONS TECHNOLOGY !!
Austal USA won a cost-plus fixed-fee task order in support of the post shakedown availability (PSA) of the Littoral Combat Ship USS Tulsa or LCS 16. The deal provides for accomplishment of advance planning, material procurement and accomplishment of work. It includes all of the manpower, support services, material, non-standard equipment and associated technical data and documentation required to prepare for and accomplish the PSA. Work will also include correction of government responsible trial card deficiencies, new work identified between custody transfer and the time of PSA and incorporation of approved engineering changes that were not incorporated during the construction period which are not otherwise the building yard’s responsibility under the ship construction contract. The USS Tulsa is part of the Independence Class Littoral Combat Ships. The ship was commissioned in February. The Tulsa is assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1. The PSA is an industrial activity availability assigned to correct deficiencies found during the shakedown cruise or to accomplish other authorized improvements. Austal will perform work in Seattle, Washington and is expecting to finish work by April next year.
The US Army has signed a contract to buy two sets of Iron Dome missile intercepting units. Defense News reports that the deal for the Iron Dome systems, which will be part of the US Army’s interim cruise missile defense capability, is set in stone. The service had an urgent capability gap for cruise missile defense on an interim basis. The Army will now figure out delivery schedules and details in terms of taking receipt of the systems. The Iron Dome is the world’s most-used system, intercepting more than 1,900 incoming targets with a success rate exceeding 90 percent since being fielded in 2011. Iron Dome detects, assesses and intercepts a variety of shorter-range targets such as rockets, artillery and mortars. It is effective day or night and in all weather conditions including low clouds, rain, dust storms and fog. It features a first-of-its-kind multi-mission launcher designed to fire a variety of interceptor missiles.
Middle East & Africa
Israel Defense reports that Israel asked the US Navy for the price and availability of the V-22 Osprey. An article by Aviation Week says Israel has a requirement for 12 to 14 tilt-rotors. Israel’s Defense Ministry has issued a price and availability request to the US Navy’s international programs office. The Osprey takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter and flies horizontally like a fixed-wing aircraft, and is intended primarily for special operations and forces. The helicopter is self-deployable worldwide, with a ferry range over 2,100nm. Normal operating range is up to 1,100nm. The tilt-rotor aircraft is available in three configurations: the Combat Assault and Assault Support MV-22 for the USMC and the US Army; the long-range special operations CV-22 for US Special Operations Command; and the US Navy HV-22, for combat search and rescue, special warfare and fleet logistic support.
German defense contractors Rheinmetall and MBDA Deutschland will build a high-energy laser for installation aboard a German Navy Ship. This marks the first time the German military has entered the arena of laser weapon development. Rheinmetall said in a press release: „Now, for the first time ever, this capability is to be investigated under quasi-operational conditions using a demonstrator installed onboard a German corvette“. The United States first began development of non-lethal lasers for military use in 2014. Rheinmetall also stated that lasers are capable of engaging targets at the speed of light with extreme precision and minimal collateral damage. The two companies agreed to build, integrate, and test a laser demonstrator for the German Navy’s K130 corvette. Rheinmetall and MBDA said they are awaiting the release of the performance specifications by Germany’s Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-service Support, before determining the details and division of labor.
Jane’s reports that Great Britain awarded Industry teams led by Blue Bear Systems Research, Boeing Defence UK, and Callen-Lenz to complete the preliminary design of a low-cost unmanned combat aircraft that can operate alongside manned fast jets as part of future air power mix. The UK’s Project Mosquito is a Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Air technology demonstrator initiative. It is intended to generate evidence in order to inform a potential future ‘Loyal Wingman’ requirement. The Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Air (LANCA) merged from the 2015 studies undertaken by the UK Defense Science and Technology Laboratory to understand how innovative combat air technologies and operating concepts might offer radical reductions in system cost and development time. According to Jane’s, the acquisition strategy for Project Mosquito is split into two phases: Phase I, which lasts for 12 months and covers preliminary system design, and Phase II, which will see a downselect to one or two teams to further mature their designs, complete manufacturing of the technology demonstrator, and complete a limited flight-test program.
Indian media reports that Intelligence Agencies have spotted at least three Pakistan Air Force transport aircraft C-130 bringing equipment to Skardu Air Base. Pakistan is expected to deploy JF-17 fighter aircraft at Skardu Air Base. The Intelligence Agencies are keeping a close watch on the activity at the Base. In the past, Pakistan has used the Air Base to support its Army operations on the border with India. It has been one week since the Narendra Modi government made moves to end special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories and the situation between India and Pakistan is tense.
Latest updates[?]: Indian media reports that Intelligence Agencies have spotted at least three Pakistan Air Force transport aircraft C-130 bringing equipment to Skardu Air Base. Pakistan is expected to deploy JF-17 fighter aircraft at Skardu Air Base. The Intelligence Agencies are keeping a close watch on the activity at the Base. In the past, Pakistan has used the Air Base to support its Army operations on the border with India. It has been one week since the Narendra Modi government made moves to end special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories and the situation between India and Pakistan is tense.
FC-1/ JF-17, armed
The FC-1/ JF-17 Thunder is a joint Chinese-Pakistani project that aimed to reduce Pakistan’s dependence on western firms for advanced fighters, by fielding a low-cost multi-role lightweight fighter that can host modern electronics and precision-guided weapons. It isn’t a top-tier competitor, but it represents a clear step up from Pakistan’s Chinese MiG-19/21 derivatives and French Mirage III/V fighters. This positioning addresses a budget-conscious, “good enough” performance market segment that the West once dominated, but has nearly abandoned in recent decades.
Pakistan has fielded JF-17s in squadron strength, with more on order and a Block II R&D program nearing completion. India’s competing Tejas fighter is overcoming project delays by looking to foreign component sources, but Pakistan and China remain out front with their offering, even though they began their project much later than India did. Pakistan and China have even set up a joint JF-17 marketing agency to promote export sales, which hasn’t paid off as quickly as they had hoped, but it would be unwise to count them out just yet…
Lockheed Martin announced that the AEHF-5 protected communication satellite is now in transfer orbit. The launch on August 8 was successful and the AEHF-5 is now responding to the US Air Force’s 4th Space Operations Squadron’s commands. According to Lockheed, the squadron began “flying” the satellite shortly after it separated from its United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket approximately 5 hours and 40 minutes after the rocket’s successful 6:13 am ET liftoff. The Advanced Extremely High Frequency 5 or AEHF-5 satellite is the fifth addition to the Air Force’s Advanced Extremely High Frequency constellation. The satellites are built by Lockheed Martin and are used to relay secure communications for the Armed Forces of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the Netherlands. The first AEHF satellite was launched in 2006 and the most recent, the AEHF-4 in October 2018. The sixth and final AEHF satellite is expected to launch later this year.
The Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire is the first guard base to receive a next-generation KC-46A Pegasus refueling tanker plane. The refueling tanker flew into the Pease Air National Guard base late Thursday afternoon. The Pegasus is developed from a Boeing 767 passenger plane. It is replacing KC-135 Stratotankers in the US Air Force fleet of refueling planes. The Air Base will receive three KC-46As per month for four months. The KC-46A can refuel any fixed-wing plane, foreign or domestic made, while both planes are airborne. It can also accommodate a mix of passengers, including patients and cargo. Boeing had been three years behind schedule on the Pegasus program before deliveries began. The Air Force halted deliveries a couple of times due to debris in the plane. Last week, Lockheed received a $55.5 million contract modification for engineering work on a redesign of the plane’s boom telescope actuator.
Middle East & Africa
Elbit Systems will upgrade tanks and supply radio systems for an Army of an unspecified country in South East Asia. The 32-month deal is valued at approximately $80 million. According to Elbit, the company will supply Fire Control Systems and Electric Gun and Turret Drive Systems for tanks and advanced radio systems from the E-LynX family in several configurations, including hand-held and man-packed radios for infantry soldiers and vehicular radios for Armored Fighting Vehicles. The E-LynX tactical solution is a 4TH generation communication solution provided by Elbit Systems. The software-defined radio (SDR) offers a secure and reliable tactical communications solution to all echelons – from the individual soldier on the battlefield to deployed headquarters.
Craig Hoyle from Flight Global reports that the final Eurofighter Tranche 3 for the UK Royal Air Force has made its second flight and will be delivered to the customer by end of the year. The Royal Air Force has an active fleet of 116 Typhoons, the oldest of which are 14 years old. Under current plans, the type should remain in UK service until 2040, operating alongside its short take-off and vertical landing Lockheed Martin F-35Bs. The same news report also said that Qatar has requested to accelerate the delivery of its own Eurofighters. The jets will start arriving in 2022 and most of the 24 jets on order will be delivered in 2023. The final aircraft will reach home in 2024.
Lockheed Martin Australia issued a call for local companies to register interest in participating in its program to develop the combat system for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) fleet of next-generation Attack Class submarines. The company said the call to engage with local industry relates to the preliminary design and research and development phase of the combat system program. Australia’s Future Submarine Program is the largest defense capital investment program in Australia’s history and is a truly national endeavor. Design of the Future Submarine has commenced, with platform construction due to begin in 2022-23 and the first Future Submarine likely to enter service in the early 2030’s. Specific requirements detailed by Lockheed Martin Australia include “novel methods for reliable communications on an unstable platform”; “emerging technologies for improved autonomous celestial navigation”; “distributed underwater sensor networks and their impact on submarine operations”; and “novel methods to integrate compressive sensing techniques”.
Jane’s reports that the relationship between India and Pakistan has been increasingly tense since New Delhi announced on August 5 its decision to scrap the special constitutional status it had granted to its portion of the disputed northern region of Jammu and Kashmir about 70 years earlier. Pakistan has expelled India’s High Commissioner to Islamabad, adding that its own envoy, who has yet to assume the position, would not move to India because of New Delhi’s revocation of Article 370 in the Indian constitution. This statute had granted the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir special powers since the early 1950s to make its own laws and fly its own flag.
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