Northrop Grumman Tapped For MQ-4C Support | Development Of South African AHRLAC Back on Track | Russia To Market Export Variant of MiG-35Oct 23, 2019 05:00 UTC
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.
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