Raytheon won a $123.5 million contract modification for fiscal 2020 production of AEGIS Weapon System Fire Control System MK 99 equipment, AEGIS modernization production requirements, and associated engineering services. These services are in support of DDG 51 Class Flight III destroyers and the Spanish Navy’s F-110 program. The modification covers the production of the AEGIS BMD Kill Assessment Ordnance Alteration Kits and Solid State Switch Assembly (SSSA) Special Test Equipment (STE) as well. The AMOD program fields combat system upgrades that will enhance the Anti-Air Warfare and Ballistic Missile Defense capabilities of AEGIS equipped DDG 51 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers. Arleigh Burke Class destroyers are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. Destroyers can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups. Work will take place in Massachusetts, Virginia, Rhode Island, and California. Estimated completion is in April 2023.
The Navy tapped DMR Consulting with a $9 million modification to exercise the option for the depot level repair, overhaul and modification for the MK-105 Magnetic Minesweeping Gear. This option exercise is for depot level repair and maintenance of the MK105 Magnetic Minesweeping Gear. The MK105 Magnetic Influence Minesweeping System, better known as the “sled,” is a high-speed catamaran hydrofoil platform, which is towed behind the MH-53E helicopter and is used to sweep magnetic influence mines. The MH-53E is used primarily for Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM), with a secondary mission of shipboard delivery. Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM) missions include mine sweeping and ancillary spotting, mine neutralization, floating mine destruction, channel marking, and surface towing of small craft and ships. Work will take place in Panama City, Florida and estimated completion will be by December 2020.
Middle East & Africa
Israel Defense reports that Iran introduced two new Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in service with the Naval Forces. The first UAV, designated Simorq, was unveiled in early December 2019 by the commander of the Iranian Navy, Hossein Khanzadi. The UAV, which closely resembles Elbit Systems’ Hermes 450, is the naval mission version of the Iranian Shahed-129 UAV. The Shahed-129 has been operational with the Naval and Aerial Forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The vehicle has an endurance of up to 24 hours, a maximum range of 1,500 kilometers and a flight altitude of 24,000 feet. It was adapted for employment by the Iranian Navy in the role of maritime surveillance – detecting vessels far away from the Iranian shore.
A Russian Mi-28 Attack Helicopter crashed on December 11, about 2.5km from Korenovsk airfield. Two crew members were killed. The helicopter was carrying out a training flight at that time. The aircraft had no ammunition on board. Mi-28 Night Hunter, known as Havoc is an attack helicopter analogous to the US Apache. The Night Hunter is a modern attack helicopter designed to carry out search and destroy operations against tanks, armored and un-armored vehicles, and enemy personnel in combat, as well as low-speed airborne targets. It can operate night and day, and in adverse weather conditions.
Lockheed Martin won a $18.1 million contract modification, which provides for the maintenance and operation of the Australia, Canada, United Kingdom Reprogramming Laboratory (ACURL). This effort includes sustainment support for all ACURL systems to include consumables for the F-35 aircraft in support of the governments of Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. At present, Lockheed Martin’s supersonic, multi-role fighter jet, F-35, is being used by the defense forces of the United States and 11 other nations. According to Forecast International, a total of 3,401 fighter aircraft are expected to be produced from 2019 through 2028. Notably, the total number of fighters to be produced over the next decade is 17.2% higher than the number of aircraft produced during the previous 10 years. F-35 is anticipated to be the largest fighter program over the next decade. Location of performance is Eglin, Florida and work is expected to be finished in February 2021.
The Royal Australian Air Force received its 12th Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime multimission aircraft, according to a 13 December statement by the Department of Defence in Canberra. The aircraft arrived the previous day at RAAF Base Edinburgh, completing the fleet for No 11 Squadron, said the DoD. Australia is acquiring the P-8A and the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System to replace its fleet of Lockheed AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. Canberra has committed to procuring 15 P-8As, 12 of which have been approved for acquisition. The remaining three aircraft are going through the approval process.
Watch: HMS Prince Of Wales Commissioned Into The Royal Navy Fleet | Forces TV