L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace won a $30 million contract modification for contractor logistics support of the Air Force C-12 fleet. The Beechcraft C-12 Huron is based on the Super King and 1900 series platforms and serves with the United States military as a utility transport among other roles. The Beechcraft Super King Air civilian utility aircraft forms the basis of the US military’s C-12 “Huron” military-minded hauler. The type was introduced in 1974 and maintains an active presence in the air fleets of the United States Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines. Work will take place in Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, as well as other places in the US, Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Columbia, Egypt. Ghana, Hondura, Hungary, Nairobi, Kenya, Morocco, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, Norway sonf Japan. Estimated completion will be by December 31, 2020.
Huntington Ingalls Industries announced that it delivered the fast-attack submarine, the ninth Virginia Class vessel it has built, to the US Navy ahead of its commissioning next year. The nuclear-powered vessel completed sea trials earlier this month, and is the Navy’s 18th Virginia Class submarine, the company announced. The commissioning of the USS Delaware is scheduled for April 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. Delivery to the Navy was made on Friday. The submarine will be the seventh Navy vessel to carry the state’s name. The purchase of at 20 more Virginia Class vessels, replacing the Los Angeles Class, is planned through 2043. They are designed for open-ocean and littoral missions, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, special operation forces support, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, irregular warfare and mine warfare missions.
Middle East & Africa
Israel Defense reports that the Egyptian Navy wants to upgrade its Submarine warfare capabilities, which could potentially pose a threat to Israel. As part of its expedited force build-up process of the last decade, the Egyptian Navy is interested in improving its submarine warfare capabilities. The Egyptians are conducting negotiations with the Chinese regarding the acquisition of additional submarines. The Egyptian Navy embarked on an expedited force build-up process about ten years ago. As part of this process, the Egyptians acquired four U-209 type submarines from Germany; surface vessels from the US, Russia, Germany and France; cutting-edge missile and torpedo systems; anti-aircraft systems; Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) helicopters; communication, command and control systems; upgrading of old vessels and more.
In 2021, HMS Queen Elizabeth will deploy with two frigates, two destroyers, a nuclear submarine and support vessels. The HMS Queen Elizabeth will be escorted by two Type 45 destroyers, two Type 23 frigates, a nuclear submarine, a Tide Class tanker and RFA Fort Victoria. The ship will also carry 24 F-35B jets, including US Marine Corps aircraft, in addition to a number of helicopters. Prior to the deployment, it is understood that the Queen Elizabeth carrier strike group will go through a work-up trial off the west Hebrides range sometime in early 2021. It is understood that the 2021 deployment will see the Carrier Strike Group sail in the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf and end up in the Pacific.
The Republic of China Army officially retired its UH-1H fleet on October 30 and declared the UH-60M fleet fully operational. A ceremony was held at Tai Chung Lung Hsiang base to mark the event, local media reports. The UH-1 has been in service on the island for 50 years. It will be replaced by the UH-60. H-1 Iroquois is a military medium-sized general-purpose helicopter designed and built by Bell Helicopter in the United States, UH-1 is designed for multi-purpose, from performing transportation and supply operations to attack missions and its U stands for utility. The UH-1 was the first turbine-powered helicopter to enter production for the United States military.
The US State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Japan for the upgrade of up to ninety-eight F-15J aircraft to a Japanese Super Interceptor (JSI) configuration for an estimated cost of $4.5 billion. The F-15J is the Japanese version of the McDonnell Douglas F-15C and is manufactured under license by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. McDonnell Douglas and the F-15 product line were purchased by Boeing in 1997. As part of the modernization package, the government of Japan is asking for 103 Raytheon APG-82(v)1 active electronically scanned array radars; 116 Boeing Advanced Display Core Processor II mission system computers; and 101 BAE Systems ALQ-239 digital electronic warfare systems to be installed in the F-15J fleet.
Watch: During Training with the Philippines, US Amphibious Vessels Test New Concepts!
Lockheed Martin won a $7 billion modification, which provides for the procurement of additional 114 F-35 aircraft. The deal, which updates an earlier procurement contract, covers aircraft and other considerations for the Defense Department as well as F-35 partner nations and other foreign customers. Of the 114 aircraft in the agreement, 48 are F-35As for the Air Force; 20 are Marine Corps F-35Bs; and nine are Navy F-35Cs. The US will receive 77 total aircraft, while 15 F-35As will go to Australia, 12 F-35As will go to Norway, and eight F-35As and two F-35Bs will go to Italy. The contract also covers funds to supply parts that have become harder to find, as well as software data, safety items, engineering services, and more. Lockheed will partner with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems on the bulk of the work. Estimated completion will be in March 2023.
The US Navy awarded IAP Worldwide a $84.6 million contract modification, which exercises an option to provide logistics services in support of the E-6B aircraft and the requirement for parts industry management and support equipment maintenance for the E-6B aircraft. The Navy’s E-6B Mercury is based on a Boeing 707 commercial plane. The aircraft is part of the Navy’s “Take Charge and Move Out” community. The USA’s E-6 Mercury “survivable airborne communication system” airplanes support their Navy’s SSBN ballistic missile submarine force and overall strategic forces. Work will take place in Oklahoma, Nebraska, California and Maryland and is scheduled to be finished in November 2020.
Middle East & Africa
Turkey and Russia are currently negotiating to finalize a potential deal on the Russian made SU-35 fighter aircraft. „The talks have quite matured,” a senior Turkish procurement official told Defense News on the condition of anonymity. “A deal does not appear to be too distant.” Ankara and Moscow are reportedly also discussing potentially co-manufacturing a few components of the jets. If penned, an Su-35 deal will be Turkey’s second major purchase of weapons systems from Russia. To the dismay of its NATO allies, Turkey acquired the Russian-made S-400 long-range air defense system. The S-400s were delivered to the Turkish military in August. The Su-35 is a 4.5-generation aircraft.
On the evening of October 26, 2019, in Syria’s Idlib Province, a US special operations raid occurred, in which Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died at his own hands. He was the founder and leader of the Islamic State militant group. The Pentagon now announced that multiple AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles had been used to destroy the Islamic State group leader’s hideout in Syria following the raid that resulted in his death. In addition to JASSMs, US Forces used guided bombs, Hellfire missiles, miniguns, and other small-arms fire on the compound. News agencies published photographs of the site taken after the raid that show piles of rubble, with no free-standing buildings left. The incident marked the second time JASSMs have been used in Syria. In April 2018, B-1 bombers launched 19 of the missiles at the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons production facilities as part of a large strike, which also included 57 Tomahawk missiles. JASSM family missiles are guided by a combination of GPS/INS positioning en route, and Imaging Infrared (IIR) for final targeting. They carry a dual-mode penetrator and blast fragmentation warhead at subsonic speed, in a body shape designed to have a very low radar profile.
European country Bulgaria is planning to upgrade its T-72M1 main battle tanks (MBTs) in the near term while continuing rolling overhauls, Jane’s reports. The T-72M1 overhauls are being carried out at the Bulgarian TEREM-Khan Krum plant in Targovishte, a subsidiary of the TEREM EAD holding company. The standard T-72M1 weighs around 43 tonnes and is powered by the V-46-6 diesel developing 780 hp that gives a power-to-weight ratio of 18.1 hp/tonne. This gives a maximum road speed of 60 km/h, with a speed on a dirt road of 35 to 40 km/h.
The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) last operational Adelaide Class guided-missile frigate, HMAS Melbourne, was decommissioned in a ceremony held on October 26 at its home port of Fleet Base East, Garden Island in Sydney. During its 27 years in service the 4,260-tonne frigate was deployed on operations to the Middle East eight times and earned battle honors for service in East Timor, the Persian Gulf, and Middle East. The 138-meter warship was the only missile frigate left in the fleet of six, after HMAS Newcastle was decommissioned in June. Her departure will make way for a more modern fleet of warships.
Watch: BIDEC 2019 Bahrain International Defense Exhibition Manama army show daily News Day 1
Pakistan’s November 2006 purchase of 500 AIM-120C AMRAAM missiles created counter-pressure on the subcontinent, and reportedly had India looking for 120km BVRAAMs (Beyond Visual Range Air-Air Missiles). Missiles with this notional head-on range would far outstrip the 60km of the AIM-120C, and even the 60-90km (36-54 miles) reported for the Russian AA-12/R-77 ‘AMRAAMski’ that India already deploys. Indeed, this figure would be closer to the ramjet-powered Meteor under development via MBDA.
“There are moves also to start indigenous development of such long-range missiles by DRDO with possible foreign collaboration,” a DRDO source reportedly said.
As it happens, India has elected to pursue a wholly indigenous, and less ambitious project, called ‘Astra’…
The US Air Force has decided to buy two to three A-29 and AT-6 light attack aircraft. The final request for proposal was published on October 24. The A-29 will be deployed at Hurlburt Field, Florida, by Air Force Special Operations Command to develop an instructor pilot program for the Combat Aviation Advisory mission. The contract award is expected to be end of the year. The AT-6 will be going to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, for continued testing and development of operational tactics and standards for exportable, tactical networks by Air Combat Command. The propeller-driven planes will be part of the Light Air Support program of the Air Force, which seeks a light counter-insurgency, ground attack and reconnaissance aircraft. The Air Force and US Navy have flown both planes since 2017 to assess their capabilities.
The USS Gerald R. Ford completed a five-day pierside exercise, the US Navy announced, although it may not be ready for service until 2024. The “fast cruise,” a final exercise in the ship’s 15-month Post Shakedown Availability series of tests, put Navy personnel into scenarios that tested their ability to respond to challenging situations while still at the Huntington Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding site in Virginia. Upcoming tests include the Full Ship Shock Trial, in which explosives are detonated near a new Navy vessel to simulate near-misses in a battlefield environment to test the validity of the ship’s construction.
Middle East & Africa
Turkish president Erdogan and Russian president Putin agreed on a 10-point plan under which Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) will be removed from most of the Syrian border east of the Euphrates river. From Tuesday on, Russian and Turkish forces will start to patrol a narrower, 10 kilometer strip of land in northeast Syria. Ankara views the YPG as a terrorist organization linked to Kurdish insurgents in southeast Turkey. Its Syrian offensive, launched after President Donald Trump pulled out 1,000 US troops from the area, drew criticism from Turkey’s NATO allies. Russia has already warned the YPG that it will face the full force of Turkey’s army, the second biggest in NATO, if it fails to withdraw its fighters and weapons from the designated area in northeast Syria within the agreed deadline.
The Royal Air Force has retired its Short Tucano at RAF Linton-on-Ouse after 30 years of service. They were trainer planes for pilots wanting to progress onto fast jets. As 72 Squadron will move from North Yorkshire to Wales, the Tucano’s replacement aircraft, the Texan, will enter service. The plane was first built in Belfast and conducted its maiden flight in Brazil in 1986. “The Tucano represents a different generation of aircraft, where the cockpits have instruments that look like clocks,” explained Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston.
The Czech Republic became the sixth country to join the European Union/NATO Multinational Multi Role Tanker Transport Fleet (MMF). NATO announced on October 24 that the country had joined Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Norway in operating eight Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft in an attempt to offset some of Europe’s reliance on the United States for aerial-refueling services. This initiative was launched by the Netherlands and Luxembourg in 2016 and aims to boost the ability of European allies to refuel aircraft in mid-air. The initiative has been supported by NATO and the European Union. The aircraft are owned by NATO and procured by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency through the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation.
The Indian Air Force testifired two BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles on October 21 and October 22. The Diplomat reports that the aim of the test launches was to validate the IAF’s ability to hit targets at a distance of up to 300 kilometers with pinpoint accuracy. The missiles were fired in operational configuration to assess mission readiness and swift deployment of the tactical missile over long distance. The BrahMos is a derivative of the Russian-made P-800 Oniks over-the-horizon supersonic anti-ship cruise missile with a range estimated at between 300 to 400 kilometers. It is thought to be capable of reaching top speeds of up to Mach 3.
Watch: Defense security news TV weekly navy army air forces industry military equipment October 2019 V4
Latest updates[?]: The US Air Force has decided to buy two to three A-29 and AT-6 light attack aircraft. The final request for proposal was published on October 24. The A-29 will be deployed at Hurlburt Field, Florida, by Air Force Special Operations Command to develop an instructor pilot program for the Combat Aviation Advisory mission. The contract award is expected to be end of the year. The AT-6 will be going to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, for continued testing and development of operational tactics and standards for exportable, tactical networks by Air Combat Command. The propeller-driven planes will be part of the Light Air Support program of the Air Force, which seeks a light counter-insurgency, ground attack and reconnaissance aircraft. The Air Force and US Navy have flown both planes since 2017 to assess their capabilities.
The USA needs a plane that can provide effective precision close air support and JTAC training, and costs about $1,000 per flight hour to operate – instead of the $15,000+ they’re paying now to use advanced jet fighters at 10% of their capabilities. Countries on the front lines of the war’s battles needed a plane that small or new air forces can field within a reasonable time, and use effectively. If these 2 needs are filled by the same aircraft, everything becomes easier for US allies and commanders. One would think that this would have been obvious around October 2001, but it took until 2008 for this understanding to even gain momentum within the Pentagon. A series of intra-service, political, and legal fights have ensured that these capabilities won’t arrive before 2015 at the earliest, and won’t arrive for the USAF at all.
The USA has now issued 2 contracts related to this need. The first was killed by a lawsuit that the USAF didn’t think they could defend successfully. Since February 2013 they have a contract that they hope will stick. The 3 big questions are simple. Will the past be prologue for the new award? Will there be an Afghan government to begin taking delivery of their 20 planes much beyond 2014? And will another allied government soon need to use this umbrella contract for its own war?
Honeywell International won a $77.1 million contract modification for an additional three years of pricing in support of the F/A-18 aircraft. The F/A-18 “Hornet” is a single- and two-seat, twin engine, multi-mission fighter/attack aircraft that can operate from either aircraft carriers or land bases. The F/A-18 fills a variety of roles: air superiority, fighter escort, suppression of enemy air defenses, reconnaissance, forward air control, close and deep air support, and day and night strike missions. The F/A-18 Hornet replaced the F-4 Phantom II fighter and A-7 Corsair II light attack jet, and also replaced the A-6 Intruder as these aircraft were retired during the 1990s. Honeywell will perform work in Arizona and estimated completion is in October 9, 2022.
Lockheed Martin won a $148.4 million order, which procures durability testing support for the certification of the F-35B aircraft variant to a minimum of 8,000 flight hours/30 year service life in support of the Marine Corps and non-Department of Defense participants. The effort includes the test article configuration, the test article build, the test plan, the testing itself, and teardown and analysis. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather, stealth, fifth-generation, multirole combat aircraft, designed for ground attack and air-superiority missions. The F-35B is the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the aircraft. Work will take place in Texas, California and Samlesbury in the UK. Estimated completion is in July 2032.
Middle East & Africa
Jane’s reports that a Patriot fire unit has been deployed for the first time at one of the sites being constructed for the air defense system in Qatar. Located at the southwest of Al-Udeid Air Base, the site has been under construction since early 2018. The AN/MPQ-65 radar and four launchers appeared on their pads between October 19-21. Raytheon has been awarded two contracts together worth $250 million to deliver an Air and Missile Defense Operations Center (ADOC) to Qatar. The Patriot system is in use with 16 countries for integrated air and missile defense.
The US Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $12.4 million undefinitized contract action contract for C-130J support. The deal will provide long term sustainment (LTS) for France’s C-130-J aircraft. Critical components of LTS support include program management support; spares, supply support services; support equipment; diminishing manufacturing sources, sustaining engineering services, sustaining engineering/technical services, field services representatives (FRS), logistics service representatives, contract field team, FSR deployment/travel, technical order updates; technical order print and distribution; country standard time compliance technical orders; depot maintenance; aircraft modifications; and data and configuration management programs. The global community of Super Hercules operators recently surpassed two million flight hours. Work will take place in Marietta, Georgia, and at French Air Bases and is expected to be completed by January 1, 2023.
General Atomics won a $17.9 million contract action for the France MQ-9 Block 5 weaponization and Foreign Military Sales Pod Integration effort. The deal provides for the weaponization of the French Air Force MQ?9 Block 5 aircraft and integration of the FMS Pod onto the French Air Force MQ?9 Block 5 aircraft. The MQ-9 Reaper is a UAV capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations. It is the first hunter-killer UAV designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance. The UAV, which is sometimes also called Predator B, has an endurance of over 27 hours, a speed of 240 knots true airspeed, can operate at an altitude of up to 50,000 feet, and has a 3,850 pound payload capacity that includes 3,000 pounds of external stores. Work will take place Poway, California, and estimated completion is in November 30, 2021.
The Uzbekistan Ministry of Defense said on October 24 that it has tested the Chinese-made FD-2000 air defense missile system. The testing was carried out at the Kulkuduk training ground. The military unit of the Air Defense Forces and the Air Force based in the Kashkadarya province together with senior command officers took part in the first practical test of an HQ-9/FD- 2000 at the Kulkuduk training ground in the Navoi province. The FD-2000 is an advanced long-range air defense missile weapon system designed and manufactured by the Chinese Defense Company CPMIEC.
Watch: Naval Group launches first digital defense intervention frigate FDI for French Navy Naval industry
Terma North America won a $60 million deal for A-10 3D audio. This contract provides for up to 328 3D audio systems for the A-10. The A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single-seat, twin turbofan engine, straight wing jet aircraft. Its nickname is „Warthog“. After years of trying to retire the Warthog, the US Air Force is now investing money to keep more of the attack jets flying for another decade. Work under the audio contract will be performed by a subcontractor in the US and Denmark as indicated in the contract award and is expected to be completed by February 28, 2024.
Northrop Grumman won a $8.9 million delivery order, which procures non-recurring engineering support for the integration of the AN/AAQ-24 on multiple Department of Defense aircraft platforms for the Army. According to the DoD, the engineering effort includes platform integration of modernized survivability equipment, maintainability, interface improvements and software to effective utilize the AN/AAR-61(V)1 more effectively. Derived from the AN/AAQ-24(V) Nemesis, the AN/AAQ-24(V) LAIRCM is a directed infra red (IR) countermeasures system, designed to safeguard large transport and rotary-wing aircraft from a range of IR-guided missile threats, using a laser pointer-tracker. Work will take place in Rolling Meadows and estimated completion will be in January 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Jane’s reports that Saudi Arabia is looking to mobilize foreign militaries against Iran. On October 21, Saudi Arabia hosted the military chiefs of staff from the five other Gulf Cooperation Council states and several friendly countries. They reportedly talked about how to defend the region from Iranian aggression. Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Jordan, the Netherlands, Pakistan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States attended the conference.
General Atomics won a not-to-exceed firm-fixed-price undefinitized contract modification for the United Kingdom MQ-9B Protector program. The contract modification provides for the design, development, integration and component level testing of additional capabilities being added to the baseline program. The MQ-9B SkyGuardian is the latest variant of the MQ-9 series RPAS currently operated by the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, and soon Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium. MQ-9B adds several key enhancements to the proven MQ-9 series allowing for better performance, lower operating and sustainment costs and access to all classes of airspace. General Atomics will perform work in Poway, California. Estimated completion will be by August 31, 2021.
The Nepali Army is set to receive $21 million in unspecified disaster-relief materials from China over the next three years as part of a move aimed at advancing strategic and diplomatic ties between Beijing and Kathmandu. Reuters reports that Nepali Defense Minister Ishwar Pokhrel signed the aid agreement with his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe on October 20 during a week-long visit to Beijing, which followed a trip to Kathmandu by Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 12: the first visit by a Chinese president to Nepal in more than two decades. Nepal and China signed several agreements during Xi’s visit, including two connectivity projects that the Nepali government hopes will eventually reduce its dependence on India.
Slovenian light aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel announced on October 17 that it has completed delivery of the 194 Virus SW 80 ‘Garud’ light training aircraft the Indian Ministry of Defencse had ordered in October 2015. In total, the Indian Air Force received 72 of these trainers, while the Indian Navy received 12 and the National Cadet Corps 110 units. The Pipistrel Virus SW 80 is a light, high-speed aircraft developed by Pipistrel, a company based in Slovenia. The aircraft serves the requirement of a light trainer aircraft. It can be customized according to special mission requirements, long-range flights, and geographical survey operations.
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Raytheon announced the delivery to the US Air Force of the first high-energy laser system to counter drone threats. The company received a $23.8 million contract in August to build two high-energy laser systems, as well as a $16 million contract for a microwave counter-drone system known as the Phaser. The laser uses a variant of Raytheon’s Multi-Spectral Targeting System and an electro-optical/infrared sensor to detect and track drones before engaging and neutralizing the threat. The HELWS, or High Energy Laser Weapons System, then can shoot down a drone. At the Association of the United States Army annual meeting in Washington, DC, this week, Raytheon executives said one of the high-energy laser systems has already been delivered to the Air Force, and the other will follow shortly. It will represent the first overseas deployment for the system, a milestone as major defense companies scramble to deliver smart solutions to counter a growing and diverse threat from enemy drones.
UPI reports that the US Army together with a leading organization of unidentified flying objects researchers agreed to a study of UFO material to improve Army ground vehicles. TTSA, whose membership includes former punk rocker from the band Blink-182 Tom Delonge, former Lockheed Martin Skunk Works exec Steve Justice and former Department of Defense Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) official Luis Elizondo, played a role in the high-profile release of videos purportedly showing military pilots encountering „unidentified aerial phenomena“in the past few years. The group announced that it had entered a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) to advance TTSA’s materiel and technology innovations in order to develop enhanced capabilities for Army ground vehicles. Officials at the CCDC’s Ground Vehicle System Center subsequently confirmed to the Drive hat such an agreement had been struck. The center did not immediately return Gizmodo’s request for comment.
Middle East & Africa
The State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Bahrain to refurbish the Oliver Hazard Perry Class ship with support for an estimated cost of $150 million. Bahrain had requested refurbishment of the Oliver Hazard Perry Class ship, spares, support, training, publications, and other related elements of logistics and program support. However, the principal contractor supporting the refurbishment has not yet been selected for this potential sale. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Goodrich Corp. – Collins Aerospace won a $9.9 million contract modification for the spare parts buy for DB-110 reconnaissance pods. The modification provides for the purchase of a necessary additional quantity of spare parts for the Reconnaissance Systems Program in support of the Royal Saudi Air Force DB 110 pods. Collins Aerospace DB-110 dual-band airborne reconnaissance sensor, a derivative of the SYERS system, combines visible and infrared imaging capabilities in a compact, lightweight design. The system has proven its performance in demonstrations worldwide on both manned and unmanned platforms. Work under the contract modification will take place in Worcestershire in the UK as well as Westford, Massachusetts, and is expected to be complete by December 21, 2021. The contract involved 100 percent Foreign Military Sales to Saudi Arabia.
US Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has disclosed that United Arab Emirates as well as the UK are seeking to buy CH-47s from Boeing. The UAE will be getting 10 while 14 are to be sold to Britain. A formal letter of acceptance could be offered to the UK next spring. “I believe we will be in the position here very shortly to take the next step for notification to Congress of a proposed sale of 10 additional Chinooks to the UAE, with the UK likely to buy an additional 14“, Bloomberg Quint cited McCarthy. “I’m personally involved with those efforts.” The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engined, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter developed by rotorcraft company Vertol and by Boeing Vertol.
Indonesia wants to secure a deal with the government to procure Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft, Jane’s reports. The country also wants to facilitate industrial co-operation in relation to the platform. Air Commodore Novyan Samyoga, the chief of information in the TNI-AU, had previously confirmed to Jane’s that the service has identified the platform as a priority procurement given the age of some of the service’s existing transport aircraft. In the first phase of the procurement, the TNI-AU is expected to procure five platforms if sufficient funding is available.
Watch: ARRIVAL OF COBRA ATTACK HELICOPTER PHILIPPINE AIR FORCE
Northrop Grumman Systems won a $18.3 million contract modification for the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System. This order procures material kits and retrofit labor to incorporate the Integrated Functional Capability (IFC) 4.0 configuration into one retrofit ground segment and fully fund the IFC 4.0 retrofit install labor for aircraft B10. Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C UAS provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) over vast ocean and coastal regions. The UAV is designed to perform continuous maritime surveillance, conduct search and rescue missions, and to complement the Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. The Triton IFC 4.0 project seeks to upgrade the Triton UAV with multi-intelligence capabilities that include SIGINT, such that Triton IFC 4.0 UAVs could replace the Navy’s fleet of EP-3 aircraft. The EP-3 aircraft are based on the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion four-engine turboprop airframe. Work under the contract modification is expected to be complete by February, 2021.
Advanced Structural Technologies won a $17.6 million contract modification for manufacture and supply of M1 Abrams tank aluminum road wheel inserts. The M1 Abrams main battle tank has been the mainstay of the US Army’s armor branch. Heavily armored, powered by a gas turbine engine and equipped with a powerful 120-millimeter gun, the M1 has proven to be an adaptable tank capable of fighting from the rolling hills of southern Germany to the deserts of Iraq. In the wake of MBT-70 the Army tried again to develop a new tank, a design that was eventually known as the XM-1 and later the M-1. The new tank would incorporate major advances in firepower, protection and mobility, but committing to an ultimate design would involve heated battles—and compromises—between all three. Work under the wheel inserts contract modification will take place in Oxnard, California. Estimated completion will be on October 21, 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Development of the South African AHRLAC aircraft is back in track since the approval of a business rescue plan on October 21. Paramount Group announced that the plan “will secure the future of the AHRLAC aircraft as well as its employees, and will see the resumption of sales, marketing, and manufacturing of the aircraft to customers around the world. The rescue plan, which was released on August 23, envisaged consolidation of the various subunits in the Aerospace Development Corporation (ADC), which develops, manufactures, and delivers AHRLAC, into a single business owned by Paramount Group through two new South African-based entities.
Lithuania says it will start negotiations with the US for the purchase of six UH-60 Black Hawks to replace its aging Mi-8 fleet. The Ministry of National Defense says the Letter of Offer and Acceptance is expected to be signed by the end of 2020. The first helicopter should arrive in the country in 2024. “Currently the Lithuanian Armed Forces continues to use for its tasks three operational soviet-made Mi-8 whose airworthiness deadline is very near, and three AS365 N3+ Dauphin helicopters that are mainly used for search and rescue operations and environmental protection surveillance in the territory of Lithuania. We have to change the remnant Mi-8 Soviet platform to a western technology for military tasks,” Minister of National Defense Raimundas Karoblis says. A market analysis that was done according to the criteria formulated by the Lithuanian Armed Forces has revealed that the UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopter offered by the United States of America meets the demands for a replacement in the most optimal way.
Russia wants to market a new variant of the MiG-35 multirole combat aircraft geared towards the export market, Jane’s reports. Russian Aircraft Corporation or RAC reportedly said that a version of the aircraft modified with anti-corrosion parts for hot and humid operations, a different outer-mould line, an open-systems architecture, an electro-optic/infrared search and track sensor, and a new active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar has been developed for the international market. The aircraft however could also be a very interesting proposal for African nations looking for a cost-effective combat aircraft.
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force is engaged in Exercise Shinyuu Maitri 2019 with the Indian Air Force this month. Local News reports say, one of the highlights of the exercise is the capture of an airfield together with special forces from both countries. The week-long exercise began on October 17 and involves C-130J and C-130H aircraft from the two countries. The focus of the exercise is to achieve joint mobility and tactical interoperability between the two Forces.
Watch: Indian Defence Updates : 10,000 Cr Akash Mark1S Order,New 3rd Gen ATGM,APU For T-90,New EW Approved
The US Navy completed the process of transitioning from P-3C Orion to the P-8A Poseidon earlier this month as the “Fighting Marlins” of Patrol Squadron FORTY returned to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash. The conclusion of a six-month rotational deployment on October 10, 2019, marked the final active duty deployment for the P-3C Orion, which served as the US Navy’s airborne anti-submarine warfare and maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) force for more than five decades. After post-deployment leave, the Fighting Marlins will begin the final of 12 active duty squadron transitions to the more modern and capable P-8A Poseidon. The US Navy will continue to operate its intelligence collection variant, the EP-3E, for several years along with reserve component operations before the official retirement of all P-3 variants.
Rocket startup company Firefly Aerospace said Friday it will partner with Aerojet Rocketdyne, a defense and aircraft contractor. One of the first projects on which the two will collaborate is 3D printing of Firefly’s engines, according to the announcement. Firefly plans to launch its first rocket, named Firefly Alpha, in 2020, and also plans to build a rocket plant near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The company is aiming at small and medium launchers to low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous orbit and the moon. “We’re excited to work with Aerojet Rocketdyne under this new collaborative agreement because of their extensive experience and the unique mission solutions they offer. Combined with our already mature Alpha design, our cooperation with Aerojet Rocketdyne is a significant differentiator in the small to medium launch vehicle market and will enable rapid performance increases of the Alpha vehicle,” said Firefly CEO Tom Markusic.
Middle East & Africa
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed one of its Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime multimission aircraft to the Middle East in support of the International Maritime Security Construct aimed at assuring the safety and protection of maritime navigation in the Gulf region. Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds announced in an October 18 statement that the aircraft’s advanced patrol surveillance capabilities will be used to support the safe transit of naval and merchant vessels, and thus provide “a modest but meaningful contribution” to the mission. The P-8A is expected to remain in the region until the end of November. A series of incidents in the Strait of Hormuz have led to a US-led multinational effort to enhance maritime security in the region. The arrival of the P-8A Poseidon is in line with the Australian Government’s commitment to the coalition.
The four-country EuroDASS consortium, which consists of UK’s Leonardo, Italy’s Elettronica, Germany’s Hensoldt, and Spain’s Indra, has outlined its vision of a next-generation electronic warfare (EW) suite for the Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft. Global Flight reports, that the industry partners launched plans for a so-called Praetorian Evolution, or “Evo” package of capabilities. Known as Praetorian Evolution, the future Defensive Aids Subsystem (DASS) builds on the Typhoon’s existing Praetorian DASS but introduces a new all-digital architecture and expands electronic warfare functionality beyond platform self-protection. EuroDASS has developed its roadmap independent of the Praetorian Long Term Evolution (LTE) study activity awarded earlier this year, although Praetorian Evolution work is expected to inform LTE outputs.
Taiwan’s program to upgrade 142 Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) F-16A/B fighter aircraft to the latest F-16V configuration is back on track. Defense Minister, Yen Teh-fa told lawmakers that all problems with the Ministry of National Defense’s Phoenix Rising Project, which was launched in 2016 and aims to upgrade 142 ROCAF A/B Fighting Falcon combat aircraft to the F-16V configuration by 2023, have been resolved, the South China Morning Post reports. The program is being carried out by Lockheed Martin and its local partner AIDC, with the first upgraded F-16V aircraft being delivered to the RoCAF in October 2018. First unveiled at the Singapore Airshow in 2012, the F-16V features the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a new Raytheon mission computer, the Link 16 datalink, modern cockpit displays, an enhanced electronic warfare system, and a ground collision avoidance system.
Japan’s Board of Audit has found that the US has been behind schedule in delivering military equipment ordered by the Japan Self-Defense Force, the Japan Times reports. It found that only 40 percent of the flight computers ordered for the F-2 fighter have been delivered and some computers ordered nine years ago have yet been shipped. Delays also forced Maritime Self-Defense Force to hold back repairs for its Harpoon anti-ship missiles. The board on Friday urged the Defense Ministry to negotiate with the US side so that such delays will be resolved as soon as possible. In its survey, the audit board looked at Japan’s defense equipment procurement from the United States in four fiscal years through the end of March 2018. The F-2 support fighter aircraft is a multi role single engine fighter aircraft principally designed for the Japan Air Self Defence Force, the result of a joint Japan and USA development program.
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