The Pentagon is considering leasing aerial refueling tankers to mitigate Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker delivery delays to the US Air Force. General Stephen Lyons said hat the aerial refueling force element across the command is the most stressed. USTRANSCOM is a unified, functional combatant command that provides globally integrated mobility operations and support to the 10 other US combatant commands and military services. An advantage of leasing tanker capability, he said, would be immediately relieving tanker pressure as the USAF continues to retire Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers and McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extenders. But Gen Lyons said a disadvantage would be that these leased tankers could not be used in contested or combat environments. Gen Lyons is specifically concerned that the continuing retirement of legacy tankers, combined with insufficient KC-46s, would result in a significant decrease of “taskable tails.” Douglas Birkey, executive director of the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies, told Jane’s on 29 January that these are aircraft that can be tasked by the tanker airlift control centre at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois to perform mission requirements.
Boeing and Embraer received the penultimate regulatory clearance to permit the companies to form two joint ventures in the fields of commercial and military aerospace. The companies reported on January 27 that they have received unconditional approval from the General-Superintendence of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense in Brazil. CADE is Brazil’s national competition authority and an executive agency of the government. Boeing and Embraer said in a statement on the CADE decision that “unconditional clearance has now been granted in Brazil, United States, China, Japan, South Africa, Montenegro, Colombia, and Kenya”. The creation of the joint ventures awaits a decision from the European Commission.
Middle East & Africa
Israel Aerospace Industries announced on that it will unveil the Heron MK II at the Singapore Airshow next month. The company said in a press release that the Heron MK II has long-range observation sensors and radars, allowing it to perform Standoff Capability, gathering intelligence from tens of kilometers away without crossing borders. Fitted with a Rotax 915 iS engine, the Heron MK II can reach an altitude of 35,000 feet, a maximum speed of 140 knots and can remain in the air for 45 consecutive hours. The Heron MK II is a strategic and versatile aircraft capable of carrying diverse payloads.
The US Army awarded AECOM Management Services a $17 million contract modification for Army Prepositioned Stock (APS-2) logistics support services in support of maintenance, supply and transportation at Mannheim and Dulmen, Germany. AECOM provides professional technical services to the United States government, state, local, and non-US governments and agencies, and commercial customers. The company’s services include consulting, planning, architecture, engineering, construction management, project management, asset management, environmental services, and design-build services. Work under the modification will take place in Mannheim and Dulmen, Germany. Estimated completion date is November 20, 2020.
Italy’s Fregata Europea Multi-Missione (FREMM) multimission frigate Emilio Bianchi was launched at Fincantieri’s Riva Trigoso shipyard in Genoa on 25 January 2020. The frigate is the 10th and last FREMM ordered by the Italian Navy under the Franco-Italian FREMM program co-ordinated by the Organization for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR). The company added that the launch will be followed by the fitting of equipment on Emilio Bianchi at the Muggiano shipyard in La Spezia before its delivery scheduled for 2021.
Last week, Australia’s defense secretary paid a working visit to Brunei, the first by an individual in his position. The engagement highlighted the ongoing efforts by both sides to continue to develop the defense aspect of their relationship. Australia and Brunei have long had a defense relationship as part of their wider bilateral ties, which date back to when Brunei gained its full independence from Britain in 1984. Australia’s Secretary of Defense Greg Moriarty was in Brunei for what was characterized as the first working visit by a sitting defense secretary to the Southeast Asian state. Moriarty’s visit consisted of a series of interactions. In terms of meetings, during his short trip, he met with a wide range of senior officials including the commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF), the chief of staff of the RBAF, the director of intelligence, the commander of the Royal Brunei Navy, the permanent secretary of Brunei’s defense ministry, and the second minister of defense.
Watch: NOVOSIBIRSK – RUSSIA LAUNCHES ONE OF THE MOST FORMIDABLE SUBMARINE IN THE WORLD !
Lockheed Martin won a $185 million deal for follow-on full rate production of Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program AN/SLQ-32(V)6, AN/SLQ-32A(V)6 and AN/SLQ-32C(V)6 systems. The Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program or SEWIP is an evolutionary acquisition and incremental development program to upgrade the existing AN/SLQ-32(V) electronic warfare system. SEWIP provides enhanced shipboard electronic warfare for early detection, analysis, threat warning and protection from anti-ship missiles. AN/SLQ-32(V)6 is the latest fielded variant of the AN/SLQ-32. It incorporates receiver, antenna and combat system interface upgrades developed under the SEWIP Block 2 ACAT II program and adds the High Gain High Sensitivity adjunct sensor developed under the SEWIP Block 1B3 ACAT II program. Work will take place in New York and Pennsylvania. Expected completion will be by April 2022.
Gulfstream Aerospace won two contract modifications for C-20 and C-37 fleet sustainment. One valued at $80.1 million and the other at $18.7 million. The deal is for exercise of Option Year Three, to include issuance of task orders for one year extension of contract term to support the C-20 and C-37 fleet for the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard; funding uninterrupted continuation of contractor.logistics. The C-20 is the military version of the civilian Gulfstream III and IV aircraft. The C-20 serves as a primary lift aircraft for high-ranking US military and civilian officials. The C-20G (Gulfstream III) is an all-weather, long-range, high speed aircraft powered by two Rolls-Royce Spey MK511-8 turbofan engines with thrust reversers. The aircraft has an executive compartment with accommodations for five passengers and a staff compartment with accommodations for eight passengers. The C-37 aircraft contains a modern flight management system with a worldwide satellite-based Global Positioning System. The C-37A is based upon the high-altitude, intercontinental Gulfstream V aircraft, capable of cruise operations from 41,000 to 51,000 feet. Work will take place in Georgia as well as Italy, Germany, Maryland, Hawaii and Washington DC. Expected completion date is January 31, 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Algeria lost a Su-30MKA on January 27. The aircraft crashed during a night training mission in Oum El Bouaghi district. Both crew members did not survive. The Algerian fighter jet has crashed on a night training exercise in the east of the North African country killing both of its crew. Officials opened an investigation of the crash. It is the second air crash in this province. On February 2014, a C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft crashed into a mountainous district, killing 77 people on board. The latest and worst air disaster in the history of Algeria dates back to April 2018, as 257 people, including soldiers and members of their families, were killed after an Ilyushin Il-76 military airplane crashed down shortly after taking off from Boufarik military airport, 30 km southwest of Algiers.
The United States handed over a new hangar to the Nigerian Air Force at Air Base 201 in Agadez, US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced. Local citizens took part in forging the hangar. The US State Department funded the project. The hangar includes an engine maintenance room as well as storage, tool, and training areas. The Nigerien Air Force is expected to receive a C-130 in late February, it was revealed in December 2019, when the US handed over 13 new Mamba armored vehicles to the army. The Mambas appeared to be the latest MK7 version made by Osprea Logistics.
Portugal and Romania has officially signed an agreement for the sale of five F-16s to Romania. The official ceremony took place at Monte Real Air Base on January 27. The fighters will be updated by OGMA and the first two will arrive in Romania in June. This will be followed by two jets in October and the last one will reach Romania in 2021. The sales package is worth $142 million. The deal includes, in addition to the F-16 fighters, technical conversion to Romanian specifications and the work of the Portuguese Air Force in Romania for information transmission and maintenance.
Vedomosti is reporting that Vietnam has placed an order for at least 12 Yak-130 jet trainers. The contract is reportedly worth $350 million. The article added that the jets will be assigned to the 915th aviation training regiment. Previously, at the International Air and Marine Exhibition (LIMA-2017), the Vietnamese high-level military delegation had visited the site of the Yak-130 combat training ground. This is the type of aircraft that has been rumored by the Russian and international media that Vietnam is planning to buy. The Yak-130 combat trainer was selected as the winner of the trainer competition of the Voyenno Vozdushnyye Sily, Russian Federation Air Force, in April 2002. The aircraft is also actively marketed for export by Yakovlev, the Irkut company, and by Rosoboronexport. The Yak-130 is of classical swept-wing and empennage monoplane design and light alloy construction with carbon-fibre control surfaces. Kevlar armour protection is fitted to the engines, cockpit and avionics compartment.
Watch: Indian Defence Updates : INS Kavaratti Delivery,Tauras Rifle Production,L&T Amur Class P-75I Deal
Latest updates[?]: Lockheed Martin won a $185 million deal for follow-on full rate production of Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program AN/SLQ-32(V)6, AN/SLQ-32A(V)6 and AN/SLQ-32C(V)6 systems. The Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program or SEWIP is an evolutionary acquisition and incremental development program to upgrade the existing AN/SLQ-32(V) electronic warfare system. SEWIP provides enhanced shipboard electronic warfare for early detection, analysis, threat warning and protection from anti-ship missiles. AN/SLQ-32(V)6 is the latest fielded variant of the AN/SLQ-32. It incorporates receiver, antenna and combat system interface upgrades developed under the SEWIP Block 2 ACAT II program and adds the High Gain High Sensitivity adjunct sensor developed under the SEWIP Block 1B3 ACAT II program. Work will take place in New York and Pennsylvania. Expected completion will be by April 2022.
The US Navy’s AN/SLQ-32 ECM (Electronic Countermeasures) system uses radar warning receivers, and in some cases active jamming, as the part of ships’ self-defense system. The “Slick 32s” provides warning of incoming attacks, and is integrated with the ships’ defenses to trigger Rapid Blooming Offboard Chaff (RBOC) and other decoys, which can fire either semi-automatically or on manual direction from a ship’s ECM operators.
The “Slick 32” variants are based on modular building blocks, and each variant is suited to a different type of ship. Most of these systems were designed in the 1970s, however, and are based on 1960s-era technology. Unfortunately, the SLQ-32 was notable for its failure when the USS Stark was hit by Iraqi Exocet missiles in 1987. The systems have been modernized somewhat, but in an era that features more and more supersonic ship-killing missiles, with better radars and advanced electronics, SLQ-32’s fundamental electronic hardware architecture is inadequate. Hence the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP).
Latest updates[?]: Vedomosti is reporting that Vietnam has placed an order for at least 12 Yak-130 jet trainers. The contract is reportedly worth $350 million. The article added that the jets will be assigned to the 915th aviation training regiment. Previously, at the International Air and Marine Exhibition (LIMA-2017), the Vietnamese high-level military delegation had visited the site of the Yak-130 combat training ground. This is the type of aircraft that has been rumored by the Russian and international media that Vietnam is planning to buy. The Yak-130 combat trainer was selected as the winner of the trainer competition of the Voyenno Vozdushnyye Sily, Russian Federation Air Force, in April 2002. The aircraft is also actively marketed for export by Yakovlev, the Irkut company, and by Rosoboronexport. The Yak-130 is of classical swept-wing and empennage monoplane design and light alloy construction with carbon-fibre control surfaces. Kevlar armour protection is fitted to the engines, cockpit and avionics compartment.
Russia’s air force (VVS) aged badly in the wake of the Cold War, and the recapitalization drought soon made itself felt in all areas. One of those areas involved advanced jet trainers, which form the last rung on the ladder before assignment to fighters. Russia’s Czech-made L-29 and L-39 trainers were left with questionable access to spare parts, and a competition that began in the 1990s finally saw Yakolev’s Yak-130 collaboration with Italy’s Finmeccanica beat the MiG-AT in 2002. Unfortunately, Russian budget realities allowed orders for just a dozen early production Yak-130s, even as the VVS’s L-39 fleet dwindled drastically.
The Yak-130’s multi-mission capabilities in training, air policing, and counterinsurgency make it an attractive option for some customers beyond Russia. Initial export successes helped keep Yak-130 production going in those early years, mostly via a confirmed order from Algeria (16). In December 2011, however, Russia finally placed a significant order that got production started in earnest. Russia continues to promote the aircraft abroad, and now that the plane’s future is secure, interest and orders are picking up…
National Technologies Associates won a $104.9 million deal in support of the Presidential Helicopters Program Office, Helicopter Marine Squadron One (HMX-1), and Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Twenty-One (HX-21). The contract is specifically for contractor logistics; research, development, test and evaluation; limited engineering and aircraft maintenance support on designated aircraft. The Presidential Helicopters Program Office has the responsibility of providing current and future (VXX) safe and timely helicopter transportation for the President and Vice President of the United States, heads of state and other official parties. Work will take place in Maryland and Virginia and is expected to be complete in February 2025.
The US Army awarded Boeing a $54.4 contract modification for retrofit kits and software development for the Apache Attack Helicopter. The Apache is a twin-engined army attack helicopter. It entered service with the US Army in 1984 and has been exported to Egypt, Greece, Israel, the Netherlands, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the UK. The US Army has more than 800 Apaches in service. The US military first used the Apache in combat back in 1989 in Panama. It was also used in Operation Desert Storm and has supported low intensity and peacekeeping operations worldwide including Turkey, Bosnia and Kosovo. Boeing will perform work under the modification in Mesa, Arizona. Estimated completion date is November 30, 2021.
Middle East & Africa
The US Air Force has confirmed that one of its Bombardier E-11A aircraft was lost in Afghanistan. The aircraft went down in Taliban-controlled territory in eastern Afghanistan on January 27. The service has four of these aircraft carrying the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node. It is unclear how many people were on board. Taliban social media accounts have posted unverified footage showing a burnt-out plane with US Air Force markings. The E-11A is an electronics surveillance aircraft used to bridge communications on the battlefield. Given the mountainous and rugged terrain in Afghanistan, the E-11A is essential for transmitting communications between ground units, commanders as well as other assets in the region. The aircraft is assigned to the 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.
Lockheed Martin started building the first F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter for Denmark. Production began at its Fort Worth production facility in Texas. According to the company, the forward fuselage of aircraft L-001, the first of 27 F-35As destined for the Royal Danish Air Force entered production the week prior. Completion of this aircraft is scheduled for late 2020. Having selected the F-35A to replace its Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons in 2016, Denmark decided in 2018 to hedge payments of $3.7 billion so that the country’s department of defense could acquire the aircraft at a fixed price in its local currency, the Krone.
Croatia has lost a OH-58D on January 27 when the helicopter crashed off the country’s coast during a training flight. One pilot has been confirmed killed, while search is underway for the second crew member. The military helicopter crashed into the Adriatic Sea during a training flight. Reportedly the helicopter crashed between the island of Zlarin and the coastal town of Zablace near Sibenik. Croatia reportedly obtained 16 Kiowa Warrior helicopters, made between 2010 and 2012, as a donation from the United States in 2016.
The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday his country will form a space defense unit to protect itself from potential threats as rivals develop missiles and other technology, noting that the new unit will work closely with its American counterpart recently launched by President Donald Trump. The Space Domain Mission Unit will start in April as part of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force, Abe said in a policy speech marking the start of the year’s parliamentary session. He also said that Japan must defend itself from threats in cyberspace and from electromagnetic interference against Japanese satellites. Concerns are growing that China and Russia are seeking ways to interfere, disable or destroy satellites.
Watch: WHY U.S NAVY’s CAPABILITIES ARE UNMATCHED ? DEFENSE UPDATES
The MQ-4C Triton has arrived in Guam, the US Pacific Fleet announced. Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP) 19, the first Triton UAS squadron, will operate and maintain two aircraft as part of an early operational capability to further develop the concept of operations and fleet learning associated with operating a high-altitude, long-endurance system in the maritime domain. The MQ-4C Triton is a broad area maritime surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aircraft system unveiled by Northrop Grumman for the US Navy. The UAS will complement the Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force family of systems, delivering SIGNET (signals intelligence), C4ISR and maritime strike capabilities.
The US Army secretary along with senior Army officials are expected to visit Sikorsky’s facility in West Palm Beach, Florida on February 20 to view a flight demonstration of the SB-1. Developers from Bell Textron demoed their part-aircraft, part-helicopter, the Bell V-280 Valor, to leaders, who will ultimately choose the force’s newest chopper. In addition to the Valor, the Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant is expected to demo as well and show further airlift capabilities next month at Sikorsky’s facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. The SB-1 Defiant is a technology demonstrator for a medium-lift utility helicopter. Future uses of this type of air vehicle could include attack and assault, troop transport or MEDEVAC. The fuselage of Defiant will be made of composite materials for achieving superior strength and weight reductions. It will integrate a retractable type landing gear for less drag during flight.
Middle East & Africa
After the Israeli Defense Ministry and the Finance Ministry reached an agreement on a budget increase for the Israeli Defense Forces, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett announced on January 26, that he has approved the IDF’s multi-year plan, called “Momentum”. According to an agreement between the IDF, the Defense Ministry and the Finance Ministry, the IDF was granted an additional budget of about $577.9 million for a period of two years. “The ‘Momentum’ multi-year plan is intended to create a more flexible, smarter and deadlier IDF. The plan is based on the principle of quickly and powerfully defeating the enemy on multiple and complex fronts. The plan uses the advantages of the State of Israel and its power, while taking a discerning view of the challenges and risks, first and foremost the Iranian threat. We will not be deterred. On the contrary, we will continue to act, at any time and anywhere,” Bennett said.
The first full-scale conversion course of five French Navy helicopter pilots graduated on January 17 at Lanvéoc-Poulmic Air Base, Jane’s reports. The ceremony confirms that the fleet of four leased Airbus Helicopters Dauphin N3s is now fully up to speed. The four helicopters have been introduced to temporarily replace the outdated Aerospatiale Alouette IIIs in service with 22 Squadron until the Airbus Helicopters H160M Guépard enters service in 2028. The French Navy has decided to further increase the number of Dauphins in service by leasing an extra 12 aircraft from Héli-Union. The additional aircraft will enable the service to retire the Alouette III and operate a more modern type offering better payload and range.
HMS Glasgow, a Type 26 Frigate in build for the Royal Navy on the Clyde, is starting to look shipshape. The Type 26 represents the future backbone of the Royal Navy. Eight of the class are planned, starting with HMS Glasgow. The UK Government say they are committed to eight of the type, this was outlined in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review. The Type 26 program currently employs more than 1,200 people in the UK supply chain, with a number of contracts already in place for the manufacture of major equipment for the first three ships. In total, there are already 33 UK and international companies working in the supply chain to deliver the Type 26 ships.
Royal Thai Air Force chief Maanat Wongwat says his service has up to four C-130s on standby in case the government wants to evacuate 64 Thais now in Wuhan, China. Each aircraft will have medical teams on board. Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said on Sunday the government was considering a plan to help Thai citizens in Wuhan. The chinese city is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, which began in december and now counts 80 deaths as well as thousands of people infected. Thailand’s evacuation plan will be clearer when the Rapid Response Center comprising officials from several agencies holds talks on Monday at the Foreign Ministry.
Watch: ZIRCON HYPERSONIC MISSILE DELAYED JUST LIKE MANY OTHER RUSSIAN WEAPON SYSTEMS !
Rolls Royce won a $69.1 million deal for the T56 Engine Component Improvement Program (CIP). The T56 Engine CIP establishes a prioritized list of projects each calendar year to include developing engineering changes to the engines, developing organizational, intermediate and depot level repairs as needed, and designing modifications to existing support equipment as well as initiating new support equipment designs as required by engine driven changes. The T56 family military turboprop is the leading large turboprop engine globally by a number of units sold and has over 230 million operating hours. It was originally developed by the Allison Engine Company for the Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport entering production in 1954. It has been a Rolls-Royce product since 1995 when Allison was acquired by Rolls-Royce. The T56 is a robust, reliable turboprop engine operating in military and civil aircraft worldwide. The engine’s commercial version, the T56 501-D, is the world-leading large turboprop engine. Work will take place in Indianapolis, Indiana and is scheduled to be finished by December 31, 2029.
Vigor Marine won a 15.3 million contract or a 75 calendar-day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul and dry-docking of USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10). Vigor Marine is a commercial repair and modernization subsidiary of Vigor Industrial. The shipyard offers eight drydocks, more than 15,000 feet of pier space and tens of thousands of square feet of superior indoor facilities to serve vessels of nearly any size. The USNS Charles Drew is a Lewis and Clark Class dry cargo ship of the United States Navy, built in 2009. The Navy vessel was delivered to Military Sealift Command on 14 July 2010 and began conducting missions for MSC in spring 2011, mainly operating in the Pacific Ocean. Work will take place in Portland, Oregon. Expected completion will be by May 9, 2020.
Middle East & Africa
The Pentagon’s semiannual report “Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan” revealed that Washington plans to provide CH-47 helicopters to Afghanistan’s Special Mission Wing. The report says the Pentagon has approved the plan and the Wing’s Mi-17s will be replaced by the Chinook by 2023. It states that “The United States continued to provide the ANDSF the necessary equipment and training to improve their capacity during this reporting period and focused advisory efforts at the “point of need” with reliable security partners to increase their effectiveness.” “DoD continued to provide additional combat aircraft to the Afghan Air Force and plans to provide CH-47 Chinook helicopters to the Special Mission Wing to support its counter-terrorism operations and replace its Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters,” the report also said. The NATO-led Train, Advise, Assist Mission officials had earlier said that the alliance would step up efforts to triple the size of the Afghan Air Force by 2023.
HMS Queen Elizabeth has sailed from her home port of Portsmouth to conduct training with UK F-35 Lightning jets in home waters, local media reports. The ship is sailing to conduct Carrier Qualifications as well as Landing Signal Officer qualifications with 207 Squadron, the UK’s F-35 Lightning training squadron. HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Commanding Officer, Captain Angus Essenhigh, said in a news release: “It is a real honor for me to be taking HMS Queen Elizabeth to sea for the first time as her new Commanding Officer. This period at sea will build on the successes of the Westlant 19 deployment, providing a fantastic opportunity for the ship to further its generation towards carrier strike, and will train and qualify UK F-35 pilots in UK waters for the very first time.”
Last week, Thailand’s Navy chief, Admiral Luechai Ruddit, paid his introductory visit to Singapore in his current capacity. The trip underscored the defense ties underway between the two Southeast Asian states amid wider regional and domestic developments. Thailand and Singapore have a defense relationship that includes exchanges, visits, and exercises, as well as components such as an overseas training area for Singapore in Thailand, one of several arrangements that the city-state has with select partners, and minilateral and multilateral interactions including those within the ASEAN framework, the Cobra Gold exercises and trilateral drill with India. Luechai’s trip lasted from January 20 to January 22 and consisted of a series of interactions. He met with a range of Singaporean officials including Chief of Defense Force Melvyn Ong, Chief of Navy Lew Chuen Hong, and Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen.
Longbow LLC won a $235.8 million hybrid Foreign Military Sales contract to South Korea, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. The deal provides for procurement of production support services for the Fire Control Radar System for the Apache attack helicopter. The Apache Longbow Fire Control Radar provides air crews with situational awareness beyond maximum engagement ranges and can be used for a variety of roles and missions. Its primary combat targeting modes include Ground Target Mode, Air Targeting Mode and a Maritime Targeting Mode for the AH-64E. Work locations will be determined with each order. Estimated completion date is January 31, 2025.
Latest updates[?]: Rolls Royce won a $69.1 million deal for the T56 Engine Component Improvement Program (CIP). The T56 Engine CIP establishes a prioritized list of projects each calendar year to include developing engineering changes to the engines, developing organizational, intermediate and depot level repairs as needed, and designing modifications to existing support equipment as well as initiating new support equipment designs as required by engine driven changes. The T56 family military turboprop is the leading large turboprop engine globally by a number of units sold and has over 230 million operating hours. It was originally developed by the Allison Engine Company for the Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport entering production in 1954. It has been a Rolls-Royce product since 1995 when Allison was acquired by Rolls-Royce. The T56 is a robust, reliable turboprop engine operating in military and civil aircraft worldwide. The engine’s commercial version, the T56 501-D, is the world-leading large turboprop engine. Work will take place in Indianapolis, Indiana and is scheduled to be finished by December 31, 2029.
T56 turboprop engine
(click to view larger)
There’s a lot of focus on the latest programs and purchases. It’s certainly justified given the sums at stake, but it can lead casual observers to ignore a major source of funding and profits: service and support for existing equipment.
Northrop Grumman won a $217.2 million modification, which provides for Battlefield Airborne Communications Node payload operation and support for payload equipment and services. Under the contract, Northrup Grumman will support payload equipment and services for the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, a US Air Force relay and gateway system carried by the EQ-48 and Bombardier E-11A aircraft. The node enables real-time information flow across the battlespace in line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight operations. Work will take place in San Diego and at undisclosed overseas locations, with an expected completion date of January 23, 2021.
Florida Ordnance Corp. won a $48,6 million deal for M88 Recovery Vehicle diesel cylinder heads. This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received. The M88 is one of the largest ARVs currently utilized by the US Armed Forces. There are currently three variants, the M88, M88A1 and M88A2 HERCULES. The Hercules series was introduced during the 1960s. The M88 series of vehicles were capable to refuel M1 tanks from their own fuel tanks, but this was to be used as a last resort due to the possibility of clogging the AGT-1500’s fuel filters. The fuel pump draws fuel from the bottom of the fuel cell, and with it, all of the sediment that has accumulated with time. Work under the new deal will take place in Florida. Estimated completion date is March 26, 2026.
Middle East & Africa
The US Army awarded Scientia Global Inc. a $12.2 million Foreign Military Sale to Iraq. The deal is to procure combat effective Digital Mobile Radio Tier III equipment, development, deployment, training and support services. Scientia Global, Inc. was founded in 2002. The company’s line of business includes providing professional engineering services. Work will take place in Erbil, Iraq as well as Melbourne, Florida. Expected completion date is April 29, 2022.
Aero Vodochody expects a near doubling of its revenues year-on-year in 2020, attributable in part to backlog orders for maintenance, repair, and overhaul of military aircraft including the L-39 Albatros jet trainer. The Czech aerospace company has what it describes as a “unique order backlog” for MRO services of the legacy L-39 for 35 aircraft in Asia and Africa, as well as maintenance work for the Czech air force’s L-159 light attack/advanced trainer fleet. To this end, revenues are set to increase during 2020 as these contracts come to fruition, which the company expects to total approximately $220–265 million.
Boeing confirmed that its AH-64E Apache attack helicopter has been down-selected for a potential program in Bangladesh. Company officials confirmed the development, which points to growing defense ties between the South Asian country and the United States, in a media briefing on January 21. Boeing’s Terry Jamison, senior manager for global sales and marketing for attack and cargo helicopter programs, said the program in Bangladesh is proceeding through a US Foreign Military Sale. He added that Bangladesh is looking to procure the AH-64E through a competitive-bidding process through which the Boeing platform had beaten competitors “on price”. Boeing officials indicated that cost efficiencies in the Apache program were being achieved through economies of scale and the certainty of long-term modernization. About 1,200 Apaches are in operation in global markets, said officials, and the platform has been identified by the US government to undergo modernization through the late 2040s.
China’s indigenously developed J-20 stealth fighter jet would be controlling skies this year, according to The News. The country has announced its plan to develop nine types of aircraft, conducting maiden flights for four types of aircraft, and receive a production permit for one type of aircraft in 2020. Chinese military enthusiasts are reportedly eagerly expecting the new, homemade warplanes to debut in 2020, naming the next-generation aircraft carrier-based fighter jet and the carrier-based early warning aircraft as their top wishes.
Watch: Here Comes the New F-16 Fighter: Thanks to F-22 and F-35
Latest updates[?]: Northrop Grumman won a $217.2 million modification, which provides for Battlefield Airborne Communications Node payload operation and support for payload equipment and services. Under the contract, Northrup Grumman will support payload equipment and services for the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, a US Air Force relay and gateway system carried by the EQ-48 and Bombardier E-11A aircraft. The node enables real-time information flow across the battlespace in line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight operations. Work will take place in San Diego and at undisclosed overseas locations, with an expected completion date of January 23, 2021.
In late June 2009, the USAF awarded Northrop Grumman Defense Mission Systems Inc., of San Diego, CA an urgent requirement contract for its Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) System. Under current plans, Northrop Grumman will help the USAF deploy BACN in up to 4 “E-11” Bombardier BD-700 Global Express (see also BACN-modified photo) ultra-long-range business jets, and in up to 4 EQ-4B Global Hawk Block 20 UAVs, for sustained deployment through 2015.
BACN is an airborne communications relay that extends communications ranges, bridges between radio frequencies, and “translates” among incompatible communications systems. That may sound trivial, but on a tactical level, it definitely isn’t.