Latest updates[?]: 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 USA’s new Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites will support twice as many tactical networks as the current Milstar II satellites, while providing 10-12 times the bandwidth capacity and 6 times the data rate transfer speed. With the cancellation of the higher-capacity TSAT program, AEHF will form the secure, hardened backbone of the Pentagon’s future Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) architecture, with a mission set that includes nuclear command and control. Its companion Family of Advanced Beyond-line-of-sight Terminals (FAB-T) program will give the US military more modern, higher-bandwidth receiving capabilities, and add more flexibility on the front lines. The program has international components, and partners currently include Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands.
This article offers a look at the AEHF system’s rationale and capabilities, while offering insight into some of the program’s problems, and an updated timeline covering over $5 billion worth of contracts since the program’s inception.
Lockheed Martin won a $176.3 million contract in support of the AEGIS SPY-1 Weapon System. The deal is for the repair of 1,672 different head-of-family part numbers. It is a five-year contract with no option periods. The AN/SPY-l radar system is the primary air and surface radar for the Aegis Combat System installed in the Ticonderoga (CG-47) and Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) Class warships. It is a multi-function phased-array radar capable of search, automatic detection, transition to track, tracking of air and surface targets, and missile engagement support. It is capable of providing tracking and discrimination data for ballistic and cruise missiles, aircraft, and other air or space breathing threats. Lockheed will perform work under the new contract in Moorestown, New Jersey and work will be done by August 2024.
General Dynamics won a $15.2 million delivery order for the Virginia Class USS Washington or SSN 787. The order includes planning, material procurement and repair work. The nuclear-powered fast attack submarine is built by Huntington Ingalls and General Dynamic’s Electric Boat Division. Virginia Class submarines operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, special operation forces support, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. General Dynamics will perform work in Groton, Connecticut. Work is estimated to be finished by December this year.
Middle East & Africa
Local media reports that Israel is providing intelligence and other unspecified assistance for “Operation Sentinel,” the US-led naval mission to bolster security for vessels in the Strait of Hormuz. Israel’s Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz revealed that the Middle Eastern country is involved in the mission to protect trade routes in the Gulf. Katz also instructed the Foreign Ministry to work with all relevant parties in Israel and the US government to ensure that Israel is integrated into the Gulf security, according to the report, following a recent visit to Abu Dhabi in which he discussed the “Iranian threat” with a senior Emirati official. Iran has reacted negatively to Israel’s involvement in Operation Sentinel. The country threatened to counter Jerusalem’s presence in the region in self-defense after Israel’s FM reportedly said it was helping secure Strait of Hormuz.
The Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defence site in Romania has completed its upgrade, NATO announced. The work was completed on August 9 and the THAAD battery that had been temporarily deployed there will be relocated. The update is part of the United States European Phased Adaptive Approach to ballistic missile defense, which was announced in September 2009. A release by Nato said that the update, which has been taking place across the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system fleet, did not provide any offensive capability to the Aegis Ashore missile defense system. Aegis Ashore is the land-based variant of the Navy’s Aegis Weapons System and the centerpiece of Phases II and III of the European Phased Adaptive Approach.
The US State Department approved a a possible Foreign Military Sale of MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters to South Korea. The deal is valued at $800 million. The sales proposal includes the 12 helicopters, plus associated engines, multimode radars, sonar and targeting systems, sonobouys, communications equipment, and training and support. South Korea seeks to add anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare capability and capacity to the Navy. Back in January 2017, the country’s military procurement arm, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, announced that it planned to procure 12 more maritime ASW helicopters to complement an earlier 2012 purchase of eight AW159 Lynx Wildcats.
According to Jane’s, a second batch of four Boeing AH-64E(I) Apache Guardian helicopters arrived in India. The helicopters for the Indian Air Force arrived at the Hindon Air Force Station on the outskirts of New Delhi on July 30. The choppers are part of a $2.02 billion order placed by the service for 22 of these platforms in 2015. Boeing delivered all eight platforms a few weeks before schedule. The delivery of the remaining 14 Apache Guardians is scheduled to be completed by 2020. The AH-64E (I) is the customized version of the Apache helicopter. Modifications were made to suit the IAF’s future requirements. The helicopter is designed to offer significant capability in mountainous terrain. The service can use the chopper to conduct precision attacks at standoff ranges and operate in hostile airspace with threats from the ground.
The US Navy contracted Data Link Solutions with a $75 million modification for the Block Upgrade II retrofit of Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) low volume terminals (LVTs). The MIDS LVT is a low-cost fighter terminal with flexible, open-architecture designs. It provides the critical airborne, ground, and maritime link that allows for simultaneous coordination of forces and situational awareness in battlefield operations. The MIDS program was inaugurated via a Memorandum of Understanding amongst the founding MIDS nations, namely Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and the United States. The terminals provide secure, high-capacity, jam-resistant, digital data and voice communications capability for Navy, Air Force and Army platforms, and for Foreign Military Sales customers. Work will take place in Wayne, New Jersey and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Estimated completion date is in December 2026.
Oceaneering International won a $34.3 million firm-fixed-price contract for the Virginia Class submarine sail racetracks, payload tube loading platforms and multiple all-up-round canister special support equipment ladder kits with shipping crates. The Virginia Class new attack submarine is an advanced stealth multimission nuclear-powered submarine for deep ocean anti-submarine warfare and littoral (shallow water) operations. The lead ship, Virginia was laid down in September 1999, launched in August 2003 and commissioned in October 2004. It underwent a three-year operational evaluation before operational deployment. Oceaneering will perform work under the support contract in Chesapeake, Virginia. Estimated completion date is in August 2024.
Middle East & Africa
Jane’s reports that Iraq has only one operable Chinese-made CH-4 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The country actually acquired more than 10 CH-4s, but only one was fully mission capable because of maintenance problems, the news platform cited a US inspector general report. The country’s defense ministry purchased the drones in 2015. The CH-4 was developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), on the basis of the previous model, the CH-3. According to its developer, the CH-4 has better basic performance than that of the US-based General Atomics’ MQ-1 Predator, an industry leader, and is more competent in reconnaissance, surveillance, and strike missions. According to Jane’s, the CH-4 is not the only problematic UAV type in Iraq’s inventory. The fleet of more than 10 US-made Insitu ScanEagle UAVs flew only two sorties between March 1 and June 30, because of a combination of Iraqi training in the United States, a lapse in maintenance contracts, and problems with signal interference.
Germany has grounded its Tiger attack helicopter fleet due to defective material being used in a vital component in the main rotor, the German newspaper Spiegel reports. The Bundeswehr is struggling with technical difficulties regarding the helicopter fleet. After a warning from the industry, no Tiger Helicopter will take off for the time being. Airbus is building the Helicopters, which provide UHT multi-role fire support for the German Army. The Tiger has the distinction of being the first all-composite helicopter developed in Europe; even the earliest models also incorporate advanced features such as a glass cockpit, stealth technology, and high agility to increase its survivability. Airbus now informed all of its customers that bolts may have been installed in the rotor control, which do not meet the usual standards and could brake during flight. In order to evaluate the situation, the Bundeswehr has called an Air Safety Committee meeting.
China could eventually arm its H-6K bomber with hypersonic weapons that can destroy hostile military hubs 3,000 kilometers away within minutes, Global Times reports. Together with advanced J-20 stealth fighters, H-6Ks could devastate the enemy’s fighting capability even before a war gets fully underway, analysts said. The H-6K is not a stealth warplane, nor does it have outstanding speed to penetrate deep into hostile territory. However, it is equipped with very advanced weapons including air-launched cruise missiles, enabling it to attack targets far away, Wang Ya’nan, chief editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times on Tuesday. The main mission objective of China’s H-6K bomber is to strike key strategic points deep within enemy territories. The Xian H-6K entered service in 2009. China operates at least 15 of these new bombers.
According to Reuters, Saudi Arabia’s government has approved a law to improve the way it procures contracts and services by saving money, making the process fairer, and boosting local bidders. On August 1, 2019, a new Government Tenders & Procurement Law was published. Historically, the degree of risk and its allocation under contracts concerning Saudi government projects has been heavily influenced by the mandatory requirements of Saudi public procurement regulation. Among other changes, the new law introduces flexibility in the price of contracts and compensations in the case of increases in raw material prices, custom duties and taxes. It also prioritizes small and medium enterprises.
Watch: Colombian Navy test fired SSM 700K Haeseong anti-ship missile from FS 1500 Almirante Padilla
Latest updates[?]: The US Navy contracted Data Link Solutions with a $75 million modification for the Block Upgrade II retrofit of Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) low volume terminals (LVTs). The MIDS LVT is a low-cost fighter terminal with flexible, open-architecture designs. It provides the critical airborne, ground, and maritime link that allows for simultaneous coordination of forces and situational awareness in battlefield operations. The MIDS program was inaugurated via a Memorandum of Understanding amongst the founding MIDS nations, namely Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and the United States. The terminals provide secure, high-capacity, jam-resistant, digital data and voice communications capability for Navy, Air Force and Army platforms, and for Foreign Military Sales customers. Work will take place in Wayne, New Jersey and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Estimated completion date is in December 2026.
Link 16 Display
(click to see situation)
What one sees, all see. Jam-resistant Link-16 radios automatically exchange battlefield information – particularly locations of friendly and enemy aircraft, ships and ground forces – among themselves in a long-range, line-of-sight network. For example, air surveillance tracking data from an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft can be instantly shared with fighter aircraft and air defense units. More than a dozen countries have installed Link 16 terminals on over 19 different land, sea, and air platforms, making it an interoperability success story.
While recent advancements may make AESA radars the future transmitters of choice, Link 16 is the current standard. The Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals (MIDS LVTs) were developed by a multinational consortium to provide Link 16 capability at a lower weight, volume, and cost than the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS). This free-to-view DID Spotlight article throws a spotlight on the program, explaining Link 16, and covering associated contracts around the world.
Latest updates[?]: Germany has grounded its Tiger attack helicopter fleet due to defective material being used in a vital component in the main rotor, the German newspaper Spiegel reports. The Bundeswehr is struggling with technical difficulties regarding the helicopter fleet. After a warning from the industry, no Tiger Helicopter will take off for the time being. Airbus is building the Helicopters, which provide UHT multi-role fire support for the German Army. The Tiger has the distinction of being the first all-composite helicopter developed in Europe; even the earliest models also incorporate advanced features such as a glass cockpit, stealth technology, and high agility to increase its survivability. Airbus now informed all of its customers that bolts may have been installed in the rotor control, which do not meet the usual standards and could brake during flight. In order to evaluate the situation, the Bundeswehr has called an Air Safety Committee meeting.
Tiger HAP & HAC
Eurocopter’s Tiger had always had a very odd setup in that it came in two seemingly incomplete versions (HAP scout and HAC/UHT anti-tank), whose respective deficiencies severely limited multi-role flexibility and hence exports. The new Tiger HAD (Helicoptere Appui Destruction) variant fixes those deficiencies, and looks set to become the default version for new-build EC665 Tiger exports.
The HAD project began in December 2005, as the EU’s OCCAR organization for armament cooperation signed a formal contract in Bonn, Germany and set out initial procurement numbers for Spain. This was followed by the French DGA’s announcing the restructuring of its own 80-helicopter order, and each customer has made its own choices as the new variant has gone from concept to initial delivery.
Lockheed Martin won a $16.5 million contract modification to procure consumable parts and material, technical publications and engineering services in support of the C/KC-130J aircraft. The KC-130J is an aerial refueling tanker and the latest in the line of combat proven KC-130 Hercules tanker technologies. The new KC-130J builds on proven tanker designs while taking full advantage of tremendous technological and performance improvements inherent in the basic C-130J aircraft. The C-130J features a glass cockpit, digital avionics and a new propulsion system with a six-bladed propeller. Lockheed will perform work in the US, Kuwait and Japan. Estimated completion date is in December this year.
The Navy contracted Hydroid Inc. with $15.8 million for engineering support and training services for the MK 18 Family of UUV Systems. The Unmanned Underwater Vehicles are. The Navy asked Hydroid in May to upgrade the underwater drones under a potential $47.9 million contract. Hydroid’s smaller MK18 MOD1 Swordfish UUVs possess a small side-scan sonar. It’s also used for basic hydrographic profiling, however, which is a very useful as a baseline before mine countermeasures work begins. Their MK18 MOD 2 Kingfish UUVs are typically used for mine countermeasures work, and are typically launched from ships, but they can also be hand-launched by teams in 11m RHIBs. The current deal includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $84,024,996. Work will take place in Pcasset, Massachusetts and is scheduled to be complete by August next year.
Middle East & Africa
Netline Communications Technologies announced Tuesday the supply of C-Guard Reactive Jamming (RJ) Manpack system to the Israeli military. The system is already being operated by ground forces in NATO countries, as well as in Asia and Africa. The C-Guard RJ Manpack system detects and prevents IED (Improvised Explosive Device) activation attempts. The system creates a secured zone around the troops, reacting to real-time situational electronic warfare (EW) threats by both detecting the threat and providing an immediate response of jamming RF signals that are attempting to detonate the IED. An IED Jammer essentially blocks radio signals used to detonate a remote controlled improvised explosive device or RCIED. Also known as an RF Jammer, this high powered IED Jammer saturates the environment with radio frequency pulses of electromagnetic energy.
The Ukraine is reportedly evaluating the possibility of buying the Brazilian Embraer EMB-314 light attack aircraft. The Head of the Ukrainian Air Force, Col. Gen. Sergii Drozdov, was recently in Brazil, where he participated in a four-ship EMB-314 flight. The EMB-214 Super Tucano can be used for both the trainer role and as a light attack aircraft. While the aircraft would not be an effective deterrent against the Russian military, Ukraine may find the aircraft useful for patrolling separatist-controlled territory in its east. Infodefensa reported that aircraft could help the Ukrainian Air Force bridge gaps, given that available funding for new fighter jets is limited.
Bulgaria’s Ministry of Defense sent requests for proposals (RfPs) to four companies for the procurement of 150 wheeled armored vehicles to equip battalion-size battlegroups for a mechanized brigade, Reuters reports. The companies Rheinmetall-Krauss-Maffei Wegmann joint venture ARTEC, Patria, Nexter, and General Dynamics European Land Systems-Mowag – have until 31 October to submit their bids. The European country is asking manufacturers to provide bids by Oct. 31 as the Black Sea country plans to pick a winner by Dec. 20. According to Reuters, NATO has encouraged its eastern members to develop, buy and operate new alliance equipment.
Koreatimes reports that South Korea will take delivery of the RQ-4 Unmanned Air Vehicles that it ordered back in 2014 next month. Just recently, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) approved a support package to South Korea for those RQ-4s. The RQ-4 Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance Unmanned Aircraft System with an integrated sensor suite that provides intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, capability worldwide. Global Hawk’s mission is to provide a broad spectrum of ISR collection capability to support joint combatant forces in worldwide peacetime, contingency and wartime operations. The Global Hawk complements manned and space reconnaissance systems by providing persistent near-real-time coverage using imagery intelligence, or IMINT, and signals intelligence, or SIGINT, sensors. South Korea and the US agreed on the deal in 2014. The agreement included four RQ-4B Global Hawk aircraft, two spare engines and ground control equipment. The price is estimated at around $222.7 million
Watch: M1A2 Abrams tanks take part during exercise Agile Spirit 2019 in Georgia
Latest updates[?]: The Ukraine is reportedly evaluating the possibility of buying the Brazilian Embraer EMB-314 light attack aircraft. The Head of the Ukrainian Air Force, Col. Gen. Sergii Drozdov, was recently in Brazil, where he participated in a four-ship EMB-314 flight. The EMB-214 Super Tucano can be used for both the trainer role and as a light attack aircraft. While the aircraft would not be an effective deterrent against the Russian military, Ukraine may find the aircraft useful for patrolling separatist-controlled territory in its east. Infodefensa reported that aircraft could help the Ukrainian Air Force bridge gaps, given that available funding for new fighter jets is limited.
T-27: Smoke & Mirror
Brazil has kicked off the LAAD 2013 expo with a pair of announcements related to their Super Tucano fleet. The first is a 5-year, BRL 252 million (about $127.4 million) contract for Embraer to support the FAB’s 92 remaining “A-29″/EMB-314 Super Tucanos, of the 99 originally purchased. Programa de Suporte Logístico Integrado (PSLI) is a fixed-price contract with performance requirements, mirroring Britain’s recent advances in reducing support costs using “contracting for availability.” PLSI covers materials and planning, supplies for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, repairs, and overhauls of components, support for the landing gear and propeller groups, and specialized technical support. The basic service package is BRL 223 million, with BRL set aside for unexpected services. Embraer.
Boeing won a $32.1 million contract modification for the performance of damage tolerance analysis on the P-8A aircraft to determine damage tolerance rating. The P-8A Poseidon is designed to support maritime surveillance, anti-submarine warfare and anti-ship warfare operations. The P-8 also conducts shipping interdiction and early warning self-protection ability which involves carrying torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It is able to drop and monitor sonobuoys. It is also designed to operate in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Under the modification Boeing will provide non-destructive inspections for structural components on the P-8A aircraft. Work will take place in Washington, Missouri and Alabama and is scheduled to be completed in March 2023.
Harris Corp. won an $18.7 million firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement and repair of various radios and associated communications equipment for the Tactical Air Control Party – Modernization (TACP-M) program. The success of close air support also depends on the equipment and communication tools they Airmen use.TACP-Modernization, an Air Force Life Cycle Management Center-owned program, is the driving force responsible for acquiring and equipping battlefield Airmen with such tools. This technology has the capability to interface with ground forces, CAS aircraft, UHF satellites, remotely piloted aircraft and command and control intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms. The Harris Corp. Radios and related equipment have proven interoperability within the existing TACP-M architecture. They are hardware that provide tactical communications in a man-pack portable kit that is designed to be packed into a bag or case that can be easily carried or worn by the user. Each of the radios has unique properties. The deal supports the Air Force TACP-M program’s Air Support Operations Center Gateway Systems, Gateway Lite Systems, Stryker Systems, Mobile Communication Systems and Dismounted Systems.
Middle East & Africa
Elbit Systems announced that it has finished extensive testing and carried out a series of successful capability demonstrations of its innovative Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV), as part of the CARMEL Future Combat Vehicle project of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The Carmel Program was launched three years ago as a multi-year program for the development of advanced technology to upgrade the IDF’s combat vehicles – producing an agile, effective, innovative, compact, easy-to-maneuver vehicle with relatively low costs. The purpose of the program was to develop the technology necessary for the “combat field of the future,” maintaining operational superiority via technological superiority. Israel’s three largest defense companies – Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Elbit Systems, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems – were asked to develop their own Carmel prototypes using M113 APCs. The Carmel Program will develop capabilities that will gradually be installed on the Israel Defense Forces’ Merkava Mk 4, the next-generation Barak tank, the Namer tracked armored personnel carrier (APC), and the Eitan wheeled APC. Israel’s Defense Ministry will also begin developing an AFV that incorporates the new capabilities at an unspecified time in the future.
The UK and Rolls-Royce signed a contract to provide maintenance for the engines of Typhoon fighter jets. The deal is valued at $425.9 million. The contract will provide support for the Eurojet EJ200 jet engine until 2024, Reuters reports. The company will also be required to provide modules, spares and accessories to support the Typhoon fleet. “Not only will this contract help to maintain our world-class jets, it secures 175 jobs across the UK and boosts the skills base our world-leading defense industry relies upon,” junior defense minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan was quoted by the news agency.
South Korea declared publicly that it will not allow the United States to deploy Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF)-range missiles in the country. After speculations that the Asian country could be a candidate site for US missiles, after Washington pledged to deploy them in the region and elsewhere to maintain deterrence after withdrawing from an anti-missile treaty with Russia, local media reported that the Korean government had no official discussions on the possible introduction of intermediate missiles.
India conducted a test-launch of its indigenous Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRASM). The Diplomat reports that the test was held on a launch site in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. It was successful. The missile is designed for canisterized storage aboard a transporter-erector-launcher vehicle. QRASM has a range of 30 kilometers and uses solid rocket propellant. The QRASM entered testing two years ago, with its first test taking place on June 4, 2017. A test in December 2017 failed.
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HEBCO Inc. won an $80 million deal for A-10 technical order sustainment. The contract is for 10 years of non-personal technical services of technical order sustainment activities by providing technically accurate and up-to-date digital data. The A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single-seat, twin turbofan engine, straight wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic for the United States Air Force. The A-10, sometimes also called „Warthog“ served in the Gulf War during Operation Desert Storm, the American led intervention against Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, where the A-10 distinguished itself. With a variety of upgrades and wing replacements, the A-10’s service life can be extended to 2040. HEBCO will perform work in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Clearfield, Utah. Estimated completion date is August 1, 2030.
The Air Force awarded Boeing a $55.5 million contract modification for KC-46 engineering, manufacturing and development. The Boeing KC-46 Pegasus is a military aerial refueling and strategic military transport aircraft developed by Boeing from its 767 jet airliner. The new KC-46 fleet is planned to replace the US Air Force’s aging fleet of Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers. In April 2019, the company was awarded a $5.7 billion contract for a new fleet of the aircraft with combat capabilities. The KC-46 has completed receiver certification testing with Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft this year. The San Antonio Express News reports that the KC-46 „has been plagued by critical deficiencies that include the plane’s ability to refuel stealth aircraft without damaging them“. The Air Force even stopped accepting the KC-46 twice after debris was found in the planes. These issues have cost the USAF more than $300 million and forced it to limit some refueling operations. Under the current modification, Boeing will perform work in Seattle through February 2021.
Middle East & Africa
According to local reports, Turkey plans to use air-to-surface missiles initially developed for the F-35 on locally developed national combat aircraft and drones. Turkey’s industry and technology minister, Mustafa Varank said on Saturday that the SOM-J cruise missile jointly developed by the US and Turkey, will be deployed on local air assets following Ankara’s exclusion from the F-35 program. The SOM-J is a next-generation, medium-range, all-weather, air-to-surface standoff cruise missile. Stealthy and precise, the SOM-J is designed for use against heavily defended, high-value anti-surface warfare and land targets. These include surface-to-air missile sites, exposed aircraft, strategic assets, command and control centers and naval vessels. The SOM-J can be integrated into the Ak?nc? UAVs produced by leading unmanned air system manufacturer Baykar Makina. The Ak?nc? system can reach an altitude of 40,000 feet and has the capability of flying for 24 hours straight. It has the capacity for a useful load of up to 350 kilograms.
Ukraine’s Air Force completed drills over the Black Sea, the ArmyInform Agency reports. The service finished the tactical flight training which included various action scripts of subdivisions of the air brigade. The MI-14 and Ka-27 helicopters as well as the airplanes An-26 participated in the training. During the weekly exercises, the crews were engaged in mastering pilots’ skills, and worked out search and rescue, first aid and evacuation elements. The culmination of the military exercises was the search and tracking of “enemy” submarines by members of the Naval Air Force, followed by bombing and torpedo strikes.
On August 1, Russia kicked off the the second in a new series of power projection exercises in the Baltic Sea, Tass reports. The exercise, called „Ocean Shield 2019“ includes 49 combat ships, 20 support vessels, and 58 aircraft drawn from the Baltic, Black Sea, and Northern fleets and the Caspian Flotilla, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence. The Ocean Shield Naval Drills will last from August 1 to August 9 in the Baltic Sea under the direction of Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov. The exercises practice the deployment of the Navy’s inter-fleet grouping and the skills of commanding the fleet’s forces. It will also check the Navy’s capability to defend Russia’s national interests.
Indonesia managed to equip its Su-30 fighter with an Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) pod. The rest of the fighter fleet are already using western ACMI pods. The SU-30 is a multirole two-seater fighter. Indonesia ordered two Su-30MKK aircraft in 2003, a further three Su-30MK2 aircraft in August 2007 and six more Su-30MK2 in January 2012. ACMI pods record an aircraft’s in-flight data. The ACMI consists of four subsystems: Control and Computation, Transmission Instrumentation, Airborne Instrumentation, Advanced Display and Debriefing or Individual Aircrew Display.
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Lockheed Martin won a $18.8 million cost-plus award-fee order to provide engineering as well as management services for LCS-15 post shakedown availability, the Department of Defense announced on Thursday. The LCS-15 or USS Billings is one of the Navy’s newest warships. The vessel has a helicopter pad, a ramp for small boats and can be used by small assault forces. Post Shakedown Availability is an industrial activity availability assigned to correct deficiencies found during the shakedown cruise or to accomplish other authorized improvements. Lockheed Martin will provide 62,462 man-hours level of effort and work specification, pre-fabrication and material. Estimated completion date is in January 2021. On Saturday Lockheed also announced that the Navy commissioned LCS-15. This places the USS Billings into active service.
The Navy awarded EFW a $7.2 million delivery order to procure 15 Fast Characterization Tools, 15 Helmet Kit Modification Fixtures, 15 Ready Room Texters and 20 Night Vision Goggle Modification Kits for the V-22 Color Helmet Mounted Display System. The V-22 Osprey is a joint-service, medium-lift, multimission tilt-rotor aircraft developed by Boeing and Bell Helicopters. The flight crew have a pilot’s night-vision system and a Honeywell integrated helmet display. The delivery order also provides drawing packages and the upgrade of five Fast Characterization Tools. Work will take place in Israel and the US and is expected to be finished in October next year.
Middle East & Africa
Raytheon won a $36.3 million contract modification for the Qatar Early Warning Radar (QEWR). The Early Warning Radar will add long-range detection to Qatar’s layered Integrated Air and Missile Defense architecture, which includes Patriot systems and an Air Defense Operation Center. EWR strengthens a defense shield built on the Patriot system because it detects a threat at very long range. That provides extra warning time to alert command centers and cue fire control systems. In 2017, Raytheon was awarded $1.1 billion to build the Early Warning Radar System for Qatar. Work under the modification will take place in Massachusetts and estimated completion date is in August 2023.
Raytheon will train the Afghanistan Air Force in aircraft maintenance. The company will develop a new training program for the US Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation under the $108 million contract, called Afghanistan Air Force Aircraft Maintenance Training, or AMT. The new program, which will be directed by the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan and Train Advise Assist Command-Air, falls under a contract awarded to Raytheon last year by the US Army Contracting Command. The purpose of the overall, multi-award contract was to have Raytheon provide training and readiness across the US Army up to joint task force levels.
The UK Ministry of Defense and Raytheon signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop new UK Space capabilities. The company will join Team ARTEMIS, which is a collaboration between government and industry formed to fast track the launch of a small satellite constellation and enhance the UK’s sovereign space capability. “Raytheon provides advanced satellite-based mission planning and data processing capabilities to governments around the world,” said Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. Raytheon’s many decades of experience in developing space systems will be a significant boost to the MOD’s space plans and their commitment to launch a small satellite demonstrator within a year with Team ARTEMIS Industry.
North Korea test-fired two short-range projectiles into the East Sea on August 2, BBC reports. It was the country’s third such test launch since July 25. The string of tests are being seen as a reaction to planned military exercises between South Korea and the US. South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) said in a statement that the projectiles were launched at 0259 and 0323 h local time, respectively, from the Yonghung area in South Hamgyong Province. The projectiles flew about 220 km at a top speed of Mach 6.9 and reached an altitude of around 25 km before falling into the East Sea. North Korea’s latest launches came just one day after Pyongyang announced that it test-fired what it described as a new type of “large-calibre multiple launch rocket system” on July 31.
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