Latest updates[?]: The US Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $24.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to develop the first production unit fabrication and qualification of the TB-37X Multi-Function Towed Array (MFTA) System. The legacy TB-37/U MFTA is an integral part of the AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 Undersea Warfare Combat System Improvement Program for the Arleigh Burke Class guided missile destroyers (DDG-51), Ticonderoga Class missile cruisers (CG-47) and Zumwalt Class destroyers. The TB-37X MFTA shall incorporate next-generation telemetry to mitigate reliability and obsolescence issues experienced with the legacy TB-37/U MFTA. The TB-37X will be deployed on additional platforms, including Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and Next Generation Guided Missile Frigates (FFG(X)). Lockheed will perform work in Liverpool, New York; Millersville, Maryland; Marion, Massachusetts; Cleveland, Ohio; and Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is expected to be completed by October 2026.
Naval technologies have advanced on many fronts, but one of the most significant is the growing roster of diesel-electric submarines that boast exceptional quietness. Some of the newer AIP (Air-Independent Propulsion) models even have the ability to operate without surfacing for a week or two at a time. In exercises against the US Navy, diesel-electric submarines have successfully ‘killed’ their nuclear counterparts, and in 2006, a Chinese submarine reportedly surprised a US carrier battlegroup by surfacing within it.
The US Navy is slowly moving to beef up anti-submarine capabilities that had been neglected since the end of the Cold War, and other navies are also beginning to adjust. One of the first areas that requires attention is improved detection. That means wider coverage areas, longer baselines, better sonar and other detection systems, and greater use of small unmanned platforms on the surface and underwater. With UUV/USV platforms still maturing, and almost every advanced navy except the Chinese getting smaller due to the cost of new warships, towed systems are a natural place to start.
Latest updates[?]: India's Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) has delivered another license-built Kalvari or Scorpène Class diesel-electric submarine to the Indian Navy. The vessel, which will be in service as INS Khanderi once commissioned, was handed over on September 19 at a delivery ceremony in Mumbai. Khanderi is the second of six boats ordered under an $3.2 billion contract signed with Naval Group (then known as DCNS) in October 2005 under India's Project 75 submarine program. The program's first-of-class, INS Kalvari , was commissioned in December 2017.
India’s submarine fleet currently consists of 16 boats: 10 Russian SSK Kilo (Sindhugosh) Class, 4 locally built SSK U209 (Shishumar) Class, a leased nuclear-powered Improved Akula Class SSN from Russia (INS Chakra), and its own INS Arihant SSBN. Most of the Kilos have been modernized, but readiness rates for India’s existing submarine fleet sits below 40%, and the U209s will have trouble lasting much beyond 2015. With Pakistan acquiring modern submarines, and Chinese submarine building exploding, expanding India’s submarine fleet became an obvious national priority.
In 2005, India confirmed that it would buy 6 Franco-Spanish Scorpene diesel submarines, with an option for 6 more and extensive technology transfer agreements. Unfortunately, 7 years after that deal was signed, “Project 75” has yet to field a single submarine. A poor Indian procurement approach, and state-run inefficiency, are pushing the country’s entire submarine force toward an aging crisis. This DID FOCUS article covers the Scorpene deal and its structure, adds key contracts and new developments, and offers insights into the larger naval picture within and beyond India.
Boeing won a $30.8 million contract to establish organic depot and intermediate level maintenance repair capability of the Consolidated Automated Support System Operational Test Program Sets for Stores Management System components in support of the P-8A Poseidon Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft. The Navy’s Consolidated Automated Support System (CASS) Family of Testers, managed by the Naval Air Systems Command is the Navy’s standard ATE for support of electronic systems and is also a Department of Defense designated ATS Family. The P-8A Poseidon is the US Navy’s multi-mission maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. It efficiently conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and humanitarian response. The P-8A Poseidon incorporates the 737-800 air frame, -900 wings, a weapons bay and pylons, and operates with a smaller crew. Boeing will perform work in St. Louis, Missouri, and Cedar Rapids, Michigan. Estimated completion will be in September 2024.
The US Navy awarded Raytheon a $25.5 million contract for critical design review of the Tomahawk Weapons System Military Code to include studies, analysis, design, development, integration and test of hardware and software solutions. Additionally, the contract provides for the identification of the kit bill of materials, fabrication, assembly, integration, test and documentation of an AGR5 kit. The Tomahawk is a mature missile weapons system with Block II and III, C and D versions in fleet use. These two variants of Tomahawk cruise missile are distinguished by their warhead; TLAM-C has a conventional unitary warhead, and TLAM-D has a conventional submunitions (dispense bomblets) warhead. Raytheon will perform work in California and Arizona and expected completion will be in March 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Saudi Arabia’s government on Wednesday presented what it called “material evidence” it says proves Iran was responsible for coordinated attacks at two Saudi oil-producing areas last weekend, putting on display the burned remains of mechanical drones and cruise missiles. Saudi Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki said 25 drones and missiles were used to hit the Khurais oil field and an oil processing plant in Abqaiq on Saturday. They included delta wing drones and Ya Ali cruise missiles, which he said are both built in Iran and used by its Revolutionary Guard Corps. The spokesman, however said it is still unknown precisely where the actual strikes originated. The Saudi ambassador to Britain said earlier Wednesday he was nearly certain Tehran was responsible.
The UK Chief of Defense Intelligence is looking to open-source intelligence (OSINT) to transform how his organization operates, Jane’s reports. Publicly available data will be the backbone of the UK military’s situational awareness in future conflicts and crises, according to the country’s Chief of Defense Intelligence (CDI), Lieutenant-General James Hockenhull. The civilian Deputy Chief of Defense Intelligence is responsible for Defense Intelligence analysis and production. “Publicly available data is the future backbone of situational awareness,” said Hockenhull at the DSEI conference on September 11, describing data as crucial to understanding what is happening in an increasingly confused and fast-moving world.
Dassault will hand over to India its first Rafale fighter on October 8. The new chief of the Indian Air Force is expected to be at the hand-over ceremony in Merignac. Rajnath Singh will travel to Merignac in France along with senior Air Force officials for the induction ceremony. The ceremony was supposed to take place on September 19 but it was deferred due to last-minute changes in the program. India ordered 36 Rafale jets from France in a deal worth $8.2 billion in September 2016. While the formal induction will happen on October 8, the first batch of four Rafale jets will fly to their home base in India only next April-May. All 36 fighter planes will arrive by September 2022.
An Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole air superiority fighter has test fired the country’s first domestically designed and developed beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM), designated Astra, as part of ongoing user trials off the coast of Odisha in eastern India on September 16. According to the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD), the missile successfully destroyed its test target. “The live aerial target was engaged accurately demonstrating the capability of first indigenous air-to-air missile,” the MoD said in a press release. The Astra BVRAAM is expected to be officially inducted by the end of 2019. Limited serial production of the Astra BVRAAM began already in 2017.
Watch: DSEI 2019 Naval Coverage Day 3: Type 31e, Babcock, Thales, SEA, GDMS, Nexter
BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair won two contracts with a combined worth of $170.7 million for the execution of two Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers extended dry-docking selected restricted availability (EDSRA). The first contract is for the USS Decatur or DDG 73 and is valued at $86.1 million. The second contract is worth $84.6 million and is for the USS Stethem or DDG 63. The availabilities will include a combination of maintenance, modernization and repair. Both are Chief of Naval Operations scheduled EDSRA. The purpose is to maintain, modernize and repair the destroyers. Both deals are “long-term” availabilities and were solicited on a coast-wide (West-Coast) basis without limiting the place of performance to the vessel’s homeport. BAE will provide the facilities and human resources capable of completing, coordinating, and integrating multiple areas of ship maintenance, repair and modernization for USS Decatur. Work under both contracts will take place in San Diego, California. Estimated completion will be in October next year.
General Dynamics won a $21.2 million delivery order for a selected restricted availability on USS Stockdale or DDG 106. The Stockdale is an Arleigh Burke Class missile destroyer. Stockdale was christened on May 10, 2008 by Admiral Stockdale’s widow, Sybil, and delivered to the Navy on September 30, 2008. The deal is to execute depot-level maintenance, alterations and modifications that will update and improve the ship’s military and technical capabilities. The Arleigh Burke Class of destroyers is built around the Aegis Combat System. Work will take place in San Diego, California. Estimated completion will be in May 2020.
Middle East & Africa
The US Navy awarded Boeing an $11.4 million contract modification, which exercises an option for Phase I design maturity, analysis and test planning for the Stand-off Land Attack Missile – Expanded Response production for the government of Saudi Arabia under a Foreign Military Sale. The AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER is an advanced stand off precision-guided, air-launched cruise missile produced by Boeing Defense, Space & Security for the United States Armed Forces and their allies. SLAM-ER is capable of attacking land and sea targets medium to long range (155 nautical miles/270 km maximum). The SLAM-ER relies on GPS and infrared imaging for its navigation and control, and it can strike both moving and stationary targets. Boeing will perform work within the US and estimated completion date is in October this year.
United States Marine Inc won a $9.5 million contract modification for eight 11 meter Naval Special Warfare rigid-hull inflatable boats, eight forward looking infrared systems, ship spare parts and other technical assistance for the Egyptian Navy. The deal is in support of the government of Egypt. United States Marine Inc. will perform work in Gulfport, Mississippi and expected completion is by December 2020.
Schiebel has completed a five-day maritime surveillance demonstration of its Camcopter S-100 vertical takeoff and landing Unmanned Air System (UAS) from the Finnish Border Guard offshore patrol ship Turva. Conducted in the Gulf of Finland in late August, the flight trials saw the Camcopter S-100 UAS execute a series of vignettes including search, location, and recognition of objects, as well as surveillance for situational awareness. Missions were flown from Turva during both day and night. The Camcopter S-100 was selected for the shipboard trials because of its outstanding reputation as a proven and reliable UAS for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The S-100, a compact unmanned helicopter, offers a high degree of versatility and is well known to accommodate a wide variety of innovative and market-leading payloads, tailored to meet customers’ specific requirements.
Gulfstream Aerospace won a $31.9 million task order for the Gulfstream aircraft order and contractor logistic support (CLS) for the Philippines Air Force. This order is for the purchase of one Gulfstream aircraft, parts, tooling and two years of CLS for sustainment of the aircraft. Gulfstream, a subsidiary of General Dynamics has produced more than 2,000 aircraft since 1958. Gulfstream’s current range consists of the G280, G350, G450, G500, G550, G600, and G650, G650ER. Gulfstream Aerospace will perform work under the task order in Manila, Philippines and is expecting completion by May 31, 2022.
Watch: U.S. ARMY BEGINS TESTING BLADE OF THE LATEST COUNTER DRONE SIMTEM (MRAP)VEHICLE
Hydroid won a $52.3 million contract modification for production support for the MK 18 family of Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Systems. The MK18 program supports UUV systems. Dubbed Mk 18 Mod 1 and Mod 2 Kingfish within the US Navy service, Hydroid’s Remus 100 and 600 UUVs feature a modular design which enables the Navy to easily reconfigure their sensors for mission specifics. The biggest Remus 600 has a mission endurance of nearly 70 hours with speeds up to 5 knots at depths up to 600 meters. The Kingfish uses side scan sonar to search and discover objects of interest. Developed since 2003, the Remus 600 has a range of 286 nautical miles with its increased payload. Hydroid will perform work in Pocasset, Massachusetts and estimated completion will be in April 2024.
The US Navy awarded Bell Boeing Joint Program Office a $14.5 million modification, which exercises an option to procure support to implement capability defect packages and problem reports in accordance with work package task lists in support of V-22 fleet sustainment efforts. The V-22 Osprey is a joint service multirole combat aircraft and the world’s first production tiltrotor aircraft blending the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. The V-22 has entered service with the US Marine Corps and US Air Force, and is set to join the US Navy in the early 2020s. The company said the Osprey “has proven to be a survivable and transformational platform in the most challenging environments on the planet.” The V-22 is built jointly by Bell Helicopter Textron and Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Work will take place at Ridley Park, Pennsylvania and Fort Worth, Texas. Estimated completion will be in June 2021.
Middle East & Africa
MD Helicopters announced that it will ship six of its MD 530F light attack helicopters to Kenya by the end of the year. The company made the revelation in a press release regarding the award of a logistic support contract for those helicopters. “We are pleased MD Helicopters was selected to provide mentorship, maintenance expertise, and Pilot and Maintainer training to the Kenya Defence Forces,” said Lynn Tilton, MD Helicopters, Inc. Chief Executive Officer. Kenya had ordered the six helicopters to re-equip the army’s 50th Air Cavalry Battalion. Once fielded, they will be flown against al-Shabaab and in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). According to MDHI’s contract notification for Kenya, the helicopters will be fitted with the FN Herstal Weapons Management System; the DillonAero Mission Configurable Armament System (MCAS); the DillonAero fixed-forward sighting system; 62 mm ballistic armor protection; FN Herstal 12.7 mm HMP 400 machine gun pods; and M260 seven-shot pods for 70 mm rockets. They will also feature an enhanced communication system that includes the Harris RF-7850A and the Rockwell Collins HF-9000D radios.
The EU has established a new agency within the European Commission to deal with Europe’s fragmented defense industry, Defense News reports. It will have France’s former defense minister in charge. Sylvie Goulard is expected to be nominated in a European Parliament hearing, and then lead the directorate starting in November. The development of the agency is seen by some as a signal that Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming European Commission President and former German defense minister, seeks to have Europe take more responsibility for its own defense. However, the appointment has fueled concerns that ever closer EU integration on defense could trigger renewed turf wars between member states, NATO and the United States.
Northrop Grumman won a $16.2 million contract modification that provides non-recurring engineering to incorporate Phase II of the Multifunctional Information Distribution System/Joint Tactical Radio System on the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. The modification is in support of the government of Japan. The Japanese Ministry of Defense selected the E-2D in 2014 to enhance the JASDF’s AEW&C capabilities and to supplement the service’s aging fleet of 13 E-2C Hawkeye AEW aircraft, as well as the four Boeing E-767 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft currently deployed by the JASDF.The Advanced Hawkeye is a twin-turboprop, carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning aircraft. In June 2019, Japan took delivery of its first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Northrop will perform work in Florida, Virginia, and other locations within the US as well as Japan. Estimated completion will be in December 2021.
South Korea is planning to showcase F-35A stealth fighters to the public for the first time during the Armed Forces Day ceremony next month to officially mark their introduction into the country, local media reports. So far, the country has brought in eight F-35As, beginning with two in late March, under a plan to deploy a total of 40 fifth-generation jets through 2021. Officials said that the Armed Forces Day ceremony, to be held on October 1, will take place at the Air Force’s 11th Fighter Wing base in the southeastern city of Daegu, and F-35s could be mobilized for the ceremony that would include ceremonial flyby and the display of key military assets. The F-35A is the conventional take-off and landing model of the F-35 Lightning II.
Watch:SIDEWINDER PHILIPPINE AIR FORCE DELIVERY COMPLETE
Northrop Grumman Systems won a $57.5 million contract modification for engineering support services for the Joint Counter Radio—Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare Increment One Block One Systems full-rate production. The deal is in support of the Expeditionary Warfare program office. The JCREW I1B1, formerly known as JCREW 3.3, is the first-generation system that develops a common open architecture across all three capabilities and provides protection for worldwide military operations, officials say. The integrated design for RF jammers makes the most of commonality across all capabilities, reduces life cycle costs, and provides increased protection against worldwide threats, Navy officials say. It is for the US Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, and is under supervision of Naval Sea Systems Command. The current option exercise is for Engineering Support Services for JCREW to introduce new technologies; address diminishing material and depot repairs to keep JCREW systems viable for future production as well as maintain operational readiness for the field. Work will take place in San Diego, California and estimated completion will be in September next year.
VAW-120 now has an aerial refueling capable E-2D when the first such aircraft arrived at NAS Norfolk on September 9. Besides VAW-120, two operational fleet squadrons will be transitioned to aerial refueling capable E-2Ds by 2020. The aerial refueling capable E-2D joined the “Greyhawks” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 120. VAW-120 is a Fleet Replacement Squadron. “This is an important day for naval aviation as we continue to increase our capabilities and maintain our competitive edge in the skies,” said Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, Rear Adm. Roy Kelley. “This capability will extend the endurance of Hawkeyes, increasing the Navy’s battlespace awareness and integrated fire control – both from the air and the sea.”
Middle East & Africa
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unveiled a new electro-optical system called POPSTAR, which is capable of detecting small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, at the DSEI 2019. The defense show was held in London from September 10-13. The POPSTAR is a member of IAI’s Plug-in Optronic Payload (POP) family. The system is designed for both military uses, such as border surveillance and protecting civilian sites such as airports. It consists of an electro-optical system that can be mounted on a tripod or vehicle and rotates to scan an assigned sector to detect and then track flying objects.
UK-based SubSea Craft unveiled its new VICTA-class diver delivery unit (DDU) at the 2019 Defense exhibition DSEI 2019 in London. The DDU, which is based around a monohull design constructed of carbon fiber and Diab core, combines the features of a long-range insertion craft with those of a swimmer delivery vehicle to provide the capability to travel on the surface at high speed before diving to covertly approach a target. Specifically designed around the operator, its 30 kt+ speed, 250 nm endurance and 2-minute transition between surface and sub-surface, enables delivery of 8 operators and their equipment to their objective mission-ready before recovering them.
Steller Systems and Thales have launched their design for TX Ship, a ground-breaking vessel that will help Navies transition to unmanned operations. The design, which was officially unveiled at DSEI 2019, is designed to operate unmanned, but with the intention of operating as a lean-manned vessel with 15 crew in the first instance. Successful and continued operation of TX Ship will give forward thinking Navies a clear route to gain confidence in, and to move towards, fully unmanned autonomous naval operations in a cost-effective manner. TX Ship is a fully sensorized multi-role trimaran, capable of operating at reach, alone or as part of a task group. The ship possesses an unusual high capacity, fully-automated mission bay capable of hosting and deploying a large number, and multiple types, of manned or unmanned mission packages.
Last week, China and Thailand signed a new shipbuilding pact. The agreement put the focus on ongoing efforts by the two countries to further boost the defense aspect of their wider bilateral relationship despite the issues they continue to face in doing so. In a signing ceremony held in China’s capital Beijing on Monday, the Royal Thai Navy signed a shipbuilding agreement with state-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation for a Type 071E amphibious transport dock. The Type 071E is an export variant of the Type 071, or Yuzhao LPD, currently in service with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy. The PLAN has six Type 071s in service, with two more being built at the company’s Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai.
Watch: DSEI 2019 Turkish defense industry SSB defense military equipment innovations exhibition London UK
Walsh Federal LLC won a $49.8 million contract for the construction of P426 Littoral Combat Ship Logistics Facility at Naval Station Mayport. Work under the deal will provide for construction of a new four story, Phase II building, and renovations to the existing Phase I building. The two buildings will house the ashore component of administrative functions for deployed and in-port LCSs, as well as a portion of the training component. According to the DoD, the project also includes improvements to Bailey Avenue that will connect P426 to a new parking deck to be designed and constructed under a separate contract. The Littoral Combat Ship is a set of two classes of relatively small surface vessels designed for operations near shore by the USN. Work will take place in Jacksonville, Florida, and is expected to be finished by August 2021.
The Defense Logistics Agency Aviation awarded Bell Helicopter a maximum $8.9 million delivery order. The deal is for the H-1 aircraft tail rotor blades. More than 16,000 UH-1 Huey utility helicopters have been produced by Bell since service entry in 1958. The UH-1N entered service with the US Marine Corps in 1971. The UH-1Y utility helicopter is fully marinized and capable of shipboard operations worldwide, including take-off, landing, refueling and rearming. The helicopter is securable for deck movement up to Sea State 5. Missions include airborne command and control, aeromedical evacuation, troop transport, transport of supplies and equipment and search and rescue. Under the US Marine Corps H-1 program, 100 UH-1N Huey utility helicopters were remanufactured by Bell Helicopter to the UH-1Y grade and 180 AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters to AH-1Z grade. The UH-1Y and AH-1Z have a very high level of commonality which reduces the manufacturing and procurement costs. The helicopters have a common four-bladed, composite, hingeless, bearingless main rotor system and tail rotor, engine, avionics, software, controls and displays. Bell Helicopters will perform work under the new delivery order in Texas. Estimated completion will be in January 2023.
Middle East & Africa
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has acquired a 50% stake in Israeli aerospace engineering company Kanfit, local media reports. The deal is valued at tens of millions of shekels. Kanfit will now become a subsidiary of Rafael. Founded in 1986, Kanfit is considered a leading global supplier for UAV components. The company manufactures primary and detailed parts, subassemblies, and ready-to-fly assemblies across the entire production chain. Kanfit’s owners Shai and Shula Fine will keep a 50% stake in the company following the deal. Earlier this month, Rafael and its partner, Israeli businessman Avihai Stolero, completed the acquisition of drone-maker Aeronautics, leading the latter to delist from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The deal, valued at approximately $243.5 million, leaves each partner with a 50 percent stake in Aeronautics.
The UK Royal Air Force reportedly wants to sell off its four BAe 146 jet transports. Two of these are currently configured specifically for VIP missions, including flying around members of the country’s Royal Family, as well as senior government and military officials, while the remaining pair are set up as small airlifters. Over the years, the four-engine jet aircraft, which have excellent short takeoff and landing capabilities and rough field performance, have flown missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Exclusively operated out of RAF Northolt by 32 (The Royal) Squadron, the BAe 146 is primarily tasked in the Command Support Air Transport role. Two 146 variants are operational, the VIP-configured CC.Mk 2 and the Quick Change (QC) C.Mk 3, which can be rapidly converted between passenger and cargo configurations.
Taiwan is working quickly to clear the hurdles for the purchase of 66 F-16s from the United States, Bloomberg reports. Local lawmakers are expected to approve a draft bill to create a special budget for the purchase. The bill is likely to be cleared by end of next month. The department on August 20 formally notified the US Congress that it approved the F-16 sale, which includes munitions, defensive electronics and a top-of-the line fire-control radar that would allow precision-guided missiles and bombs to be launched from greater distances. Once the deal is approved by Congress — and there has been no sign it will be blocked — Taiwan must submit a formal Letter of Offer and Acceptance that would be translated into a signed contract with delivery dates.
India’s Defense Research and Development Organization or DRDO reportedly successfully test fired its new Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile System. It was reportedly the third successful test of the indigenous anti-tank guided missile. The test firing took place at a firing range in Kurnool located in the state of Andhra Pradesh in southeastern India. “The missile was launched from a man portable Tripod launcher and the target was mimicking a functional tank,” a statement says. “The missile hit the target in top attack mode and destroyed it with precision.” According to DRDO, all the mission objectives were met. Previous test launches took place in September 2018 at the Ahmednagar test range in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. The MPATGM, a third-generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), has been under development by DRDO in partnership with Indian defense contractor VEM Technologies Ltd. for the past four years.
Latest updates[?]: The UK Royal Air Force reportedly wants to sell off its four BAe 146 jet transports. Two of these are currently configured specifically for VIP missions, including flying around members of the country's Royal Family, as well as senior government and military officials, while the remaining pair are set up as small airlifters. Over the years, the four-engine jet aircraft, which have excellent short takeoff and landing capabilities and rough field performance, have flown missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Exclusively operated out of RAF Northolt by 32 (The Royal) Squadron, the BAe 146 is primarily tasked in the Command Support Air Transport role. Two 146 variants are operational, the VIP-configured CC.Mk 2 and the Quick Change (QC) C.Mk 3, which can be rapidly converted between passenger and cargo configurations.
The BAe-146 is an elegant 4-engine regional jetliner, optimized for short haul or regional routes, and able to handle even short take-off or unimproved runways. It has a reputation for quiet operation, and a range of about 1,800 miles/ 2,900 km under good conditions. Almost 400 of these planes were built from 1983-2002, but it’s probably best known as the Royal Family’s “CC2” VIP jet. The RAF will soon be ferrying troops and cargo with it as well; its 2 CC2s will be joined by a pair of converted BAe-146-200QCs, whose mission brief will include trips into Afghanistan.
Britain’s Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) buy was prompted by pressure on its transport fleet. The RAF’s 7-plane C-130K Hercules fleet will be retired from use by the end of 2012. Bad timing, that, as Britain needs to remove its troops and equipment from Afghanistan. Worse, the RAF’s first Airbus A400M transports aren’t even scheduled for delivery until 2014, let alone operational use in combat zones. Enter the BAe-146M solution, which the firm began promoting at DSEi 2009…
The Marine Corps announced a successful naval exercise in the Philippine and East China seas and in Okinawa, Japan, on Wednesday. According to a release, the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Amphibious Squadron 11 conducted a large-scale series of operations in a naval expeditionary combined-arms maneuver, involving Wasp Amphibious Ready Group ships to shore in action conducted between August 9 and August 19, a Marine Corps statement said. Prior to seizing the airfield at Ie Shima Training Facility, Reconnaissance Marines with the 31st MEU’s Amphibious Reconnaissance Platoon conducted a high altitude low opening parachute jump onto the island to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance of the area. After the reconnaissance team finished surveilling the airfield, Marines with Echo Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion,1st Marines, vertically inserted via MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft from the USS Wasp more than 250 miles away, rapidly seizing the objective in just over one hour.
KPMG LLP won three contracts with a combined worth of $24.5 million for US Marine Corps audit support services. Each contract calls for financial improvement and audit readiness support services to the Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps, with an estimated completion date in September 2020. The work will be concentrated on the Marine Corps’ “Acquire to Retire,” “Plan to Stock,” “Procure to Pay” and “Order to Cash” business mission areas, with the contract later moving to the Marine Corps Installations Command Headquarters. The first of the three contracts announced Tuesday, for $8.57 million, calls for audit support services largely at Arlington, Virginia, where the Marine Corps has several administrative facilities. The second deal is for $7.97 million and the third is worth $7.9 million.
Middle East & Africa
The US Department of State approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Morocco of various TOW-2A missiles. The deal is valued at $776 million. Morocco had requested a possible sale of 2,401 TOW 2A, Radio Frequency Missiles (BGM-71-4B-RF); and 28 TOW 2A, Radio Frequency Missiles (BGM-71-4B-RF), Fly-to-Buy missiles for lot acceptance testing; and 400 M220A2 TOW Launchers and/or 400 M41 Improved Target Acquisition System (ITAS) Launchers. Also included are missile support equipment; Government furnished equipment; technical manuals/publications; spare parts; tool and test equipment; training; US Government technical and logistical support, contractor technical support, and other associated equipment and services. The BGM-71 TOW (Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) is an American anti-tank missile. The TOW 2 is an upgraded version of the TOW. This weapon system is composed of new and more capable BGM-71D missile, new reusable launcher, missile guidance set, and sight system.
The State Department also approved another possible Foreign Military Sale to Morocco of additional F-16 ammunition for an estimated cost of $209 million. The Government of Morocco had requested a possible sale of 5,810 MK82-1 Bombs; 300 MK84-4 Bombs; 105 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) KMU-572F/B Tail Kits; 180 MXU-651B/B Air Foil Groups (AFG), GBU-10; 4,125 MXU-650C/B AFGs, GBU-12; 4,305 MAU-169L/B Computer Control Groups (CCG), GBU-10,-12,-16; and 5,178 FMU-152 Fuzes. Also included are flares M-206, Flares MJU-7A/B, Impulse Cartridges BBU-36, Impulse Cartridges BBU-35/B, Bomb Sensor DSU-33C/B, chaff, bomb components, spares, repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, engineering technical and support services, and other related elements of logistics, transportation, and program support.
The DoS approved a possible FMS to Poland F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft with support. The deal ist worth $6.5 billion. Poland had requested to buy 32 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) Aircraft and 33 Pratt & Whitney F-135 Engines. While Congress can still act to block the sale, it’s expected to run smoothly through Capitol Hill. Poland formally sent its request for the F-35 in May with the goal of replacing its legacy MiG-29 and Su-22 fleets. Procuring the F-35 is part of a broader defense modernization effort from Warsaw, which will see the country spend $47 billion by 2026 on new equipment. Poland is one of only a handful of NATO members that spends the NATO recommended 2% of GDP on defense. It also meets the other NATO target of spending more than 20% of its defense budget on equipment.
Boeing won a $45.8 million delivery order to procure P-8A aircrew trainings system production concurrency upgrades for the US Navy and the government of Australia. Boeing’s P-8A is an aircraft designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, maritime surveillance and reconnaissance missions, capable of broad-area maritime and littoral operations. It is also effective at search and rescue missions. Majority of the work related to this deal will take place in St. Louis, Missouri, and Jacksonville, Florida. Estimated completion will be in December 2022.
Watch: DSEI 2019 Naval Coverage Day 2: Naval Platforms and New Ship Designs
Latest updates[?]: The US Department of State approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Morocco of various TOW-2A missiles. The deal is valued at $776 million. Morocco had requested a possible sale of 2,401 TOW 2A, Radio Frequency Missiles (BGM-71-4B-RF); and 28 TOW 2A, Radio Frequency Missiles (BGM-71-4B-RF), Fly-to-Buy missiles for lot acceptance testing; and 400 M220A2 TOW Launchers and/or 400 M41 Improved Target Acquisition System (ITAS) Launchers. Also included are missile support equipment; Government furnished equipment; technical manuals/publications; spare parts; tool and test equipment; training; US Government technical and logistical support, contractor technical support, and other associated equipment and services. The BGM-71 TOW (Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) is an American anti-tank missile. The TOW 2 is an upgraded version of the TOW. This weapon system is composed of new and more capable BGM-71D missile, new reusable launcher, missile guidance set, and sight system.
Despite modernization that has led to advanced anti-armor weapons like the Javelin and Hellfire fire and forget guided missiles, the wire-guided, operator-controlled BGM-71 TOW missile family remains a mainstay thanks to modernization, specialization, improved sighting systems, and pre-existing compatibility with a wide range of ground vehicles. TOW remains the US Army and Marine Corps’ primary heavy anti-tank/ precision assault weapon deployed on more than 4,000 TOW launch platforms including HMMWV jeeps, the Army’s M1134 Stryker ATGM variant and M2/M3 Bradley IFVs; the Marines’ LAV-AT wheeled APC and SuperCobra attack helicopters; and numerous foreign vehicles. Designation Systems notes that more than 620,000 BGM-71 missiles of all versions had been built for all customers by 2001.
Raytheon Co. in Tucson, AZ was recently awarded a pair of contracts that illustrate its continued production and maintenance work on these missiles.