Saab announced that the company had started assembly production of its section of the T-7A aircraft, the advanced trainer developed and produced together with Boeing for the United States Air Force. Production began on January 10, 2020. The Swedish company is responsible for the development and production of the aft fuselage section for the advanced trainer, with seven aft units being produced in Linköping, Sweden for final assembly at Boeing’s US facility in St. Louis, Missouri. The USAF announced the T-7 Red Hawk as winner of the USAF Advanced Jet Trainer competition in 2018. Formerly known as T-X, Boeing named the fighter T-7 Red Hawk in September, 2019. The T-7A Red Hawk introduces capabilities that prepare pilots for fifth generation fighters, including high-G environment, information and sensor management, high angle of attack flight characteristics, night operations and transferable air-to-air and air-to-ground skills.
Lockheed Martin announced in a press release that two US Air Force F-35s were integrated with the US Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System, providing an airborne sensor capability to successfully detect, track and intercept near simultaneous air-breathing threats in a test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. In December 2019, the F-35s were used as sensors during an IBCS live fire test against multiple airborne targets for the first time. Linking F-35s to IBCS via the Multifunction Advanced Data Link provided enhanced situational awareness and weapons-quality track data to engage airborne targets. The proof of concept demonstration reportedly used experimental equipment developed by Lockheed Martin, including the Harvest Lightning Ground Station and IBCS adaptation kit. The F-35 is a stealthy, supersonic multi-role fighter.
Middle East & Africa
Elbit Systems said it completed a successful field demonstration of its patented Hydrop system. The system is a solution enabling high-altitude high-precision aerial firefighting. The field demonstration reportedly took place recently as part of an exercise led by the Israel Fire and Rescue Authority. During the exercise two Air Tractor aircraft from the Israeli Fire Fighting Squadron were directed to extinguish a burning field, from as high as 500 ft.. The Israeli company claims its Hydrop system allows crews to operate safely at night for the first time. Most aviation authorities ban low-altitude water drops during darkness for safety reasons. Elbit carried out its demonstration with the Israeli firefighting squadron late last year, using two of the squadron’s Air Tractor AT-802F aircraft. A total of 1.6t of 140g biodegradable liquid pellets were released over a burning field in a “computed ballistic trajectory”. It says the exercise achieved “a precise hit”, with saturation of between 1 lit and 2 lit.
The German Bundeswehr commissioned Rheinmetall to take further measures to extend the service life of the Marder infantry fighting vehicle. “In order to keep the tracked vehicles ready for use in the coming years, the drive train of the 71 Marder 1A5 vehicles will be replaced“, the company said in a press release. Rheinmetall will be supplying the German military with a total of 78 conversion kits as well as vehicle tool kits and special tools, logistical support, an initial store of spare parts, and training and instruction. The deal is worth approximately $122 million. As a first step in replacing the drivetrain, a new powerpack will be installed in all of the vehicles, which will boost the Marder’s engine output from 600 to over 750 HP.
Japan will launch its eighth Intelligence Gathering System reconnaissance satellite into space on January 27. This satellite will be equipped with an electro-optical camera. Japanese satellite and space industry company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) announced that an MHI H-IIA satellite launch vehicle will send the IGS reconnaissance satellite into orbit from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture. The IGS satellite will reportedly carry an electro-optical camera. Japan currently operates five high-resolution synthetic aperture radar imaging and two electro-optical IGS satellites that monitor military activities by North Korea and China, to include ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests, naval activities in the South China Sea, East China Sea, the Sea of Japan, and the Western Pacific Ocean.
India’s Ministry of Defense approved the procurement of indigenously developed equipment worth $716.6 million for the Indian Army on January 21. The MoD’s Defense Acquisition Council gave the OK for the acquisition of an undisclosed number of electronic warfare (EW) systems that will be designed by the state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation and manufactured locally. The IA will deploy these systems in the country’s plains and desert regions to provide comprehensive electronic support and counter-measure capabilities to field formations.
Watch: LOCKHEED MARTIN TO ARM U.S NAVY LITTORAL COMBAT SHIP USS LITTLE ROCK WITH LASER WEAPON
The USS Gerald R. Ford left port in Norfolk to begin aircraft compatibility testing off the East Coast, the Navy announced. The ACT started Thursday It is meant to continue testing of systems for aircraft to launch and land on the vessel. It started in earnest, the Navy said in a press release, with an E-2D as the first aircraft to land on the carrier as it departed from port. The Ford is intended to replace Nimitz Class carriers. However it had troubles with cost overruns and delays. The Ford logged 747 launches and arrestments to date. This will be the first time the T-45 Goshawks, E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes and E/A-18G Growlers aircraft will launch and recover from the aircraft carrier.
The Brazilian Army released its strategic plan paper covering the period from 2020 to 2023, Jane’s reports. The document directs the Force’s investment effort over the next four years, continuing the Army’s transformation process. The document reportedly covers 15 main actions and a total of 34 overall measures over a range of areas mainly comprising the acquisition of equipment including field artillery howitzers, soldier gear, small arms, unmanned ground and air vehicles armored multi-role boats, transport and attack helicopters, air surveillance radars, simulators, cruise missiles, guided rockets, utility aircraft, medium-altitude air defense systems, mortars, anti-armor weapons and 4×4 armored vehicles.
Middle East & Africa
The Malian Armed Forces received a batch of seven Streit Typhoon mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles that were delivered by an An-124-100 transport aircraft on January 16. A Malian government statement said the vehicles are the first of 130 that are being procured from the United Arab Emirates, of which 30 are expected to be donated by Abu Dhabi. This is the largest order that Mali has placed for armored vehicles placed to date. The FAMa is already a user of Streit vehicles having received Pythons and Gladiators in 2018. The Typhoon is a 4×4 vehicle with STANAG Level 2 armor as standard, although the manufacturer claims this can be increased to Level 4 if required. It is able to accommodate up to 10 soldiers, including a driver and front passenger. On the following day, the European Union (EU) ambassador in Mali handed over 13 Arquus Bastion 4×4 armored vehicles, including at least one configured as an ambulance, to the FAMa during a ceremony conducted at the Kati military camp.
According to Russian media reports, Russia will build three prototypes of its next-generation nuclear-capable strategic bomber, dubbed Tupolev PAK DA for evaluation and testing. Citing a research and development contract between the Russian government and the Tupolev design bureau signed at the end of 2017, Izvestia newspaper offered a number of new details surrounding the Russian Air Force’s next-generation strategic bomber. The bomber will reportedly be manned by a crew of four. Preliminary tests of the three prototypes have been scheduled for April and are expected to be concluded by the fall of 2025. This will also include the bomber’s maiden flight. State trials are set to begin in February 2026, which are expected to last for around two years.
Indian defense contractor Larsen & Toubro has delivered 51 K9 Vajra-T 155mm / 52-calibre tracked self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) to the Indian Army. The 51st Vajra-T, which is a variant of the Hanwha Defense K9 Thunder SPH, was handed over to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the company’s Armored System Complex (ASC) located in the Indian state of Gujarat. Spread over 40 acres within L&T’s 755-acre Hazira Manufacturing Complex, the ASC manufactures and integrates advanced armored platforms such as self-propelled artillery howitzers, future infantry combat vehicles (ficv), future ready combat vehicles or future main battle tanks. It features high-end machinery and automation aids, feeder shops, and a full-fledged mobility test track for acceptance and qualification of armored vehicles. The contract also includes an associated engineering support package (ESP) that covers spares, documentation and training and maintenance transfer of technology to the Army Base Workshop.
According to media reports, India’s Strategic Forces Command has begun receiving 42 Su-30MKI air dominance fighters modified to carry air-launched BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. This will significantly enhance the striking power of the air leg of India’s nuclear triad. The Sukhoi Su-30 MKI is a twin-seater, highly maneuverable, fourth-generation multirole combat fighter aircraft built by Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau and licensed to India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The plane will serve as the backbone of India’s Air Force through 2020 and beyond. Delhi has already acquired around 200 jets, and eventually plans to acquire 282 of them. The Brahmos is jointly developed by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia. Capable of traveling at speeds of Mach 3.0, the Brahmos is the fastest cruise missile in the world. As Russia and India Report explained, “The BrahMos’ 3000 km per second speed – literally faster than a bullet – means it hits the target with a huge amount of kinetic energy. In tests, the BrahMos has often cut warships in half and reduced ground targets to smithereens.”
Watch: 10 Newest Military Armored Vehicles In The World
Raytheon won a $442.3 million deal for the force element terminal (FET) development effort. The contract provides for the design, development, testing, integration, and logistical support of a FET system that will transition the B-52 and RC-135 hardened communication terminals from the Military Strategic Tactical Relay satellite communications satellite constellation to the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite constellation. According to the US Air Force’s latest strategic bomber guidance document, the B-52H Stratofortress are no longer approved to carry nuclear gravity bombs. There have long been concerns that the B-52 lacks the capability to penetrate modern air defenses to deliver a nuclear strike with gravity bombs. The B-52 Stratofortress entered into service in the 1950s. With the Cold War in full swing, the bomber became an integral part of the US’ nuclear deterrent as a part of the Nuclear Triad, alongside intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear-armed submarines. Decades later the aircraft is still integral in this role. Boeing RC-135 is a four engine, medium weight reconnaissance aircraft designed and manufactured by Boeing Defence and Integrated Systems for the USAF. Work will take place at Raytheon’s facilities in Marlborough, Massachusetts; and Largo, Florida, and is expected to be completed by August 2023.
Lockheed Martin won a $9.8 million contract modification for engineering services in support of the Hellfire Missile and Joint Air-to-Ground Missile. The Hellfire is an air-to-ground, laser guided, subsonic missile with significant anti-tank capacity. It can also be used as an air-to-air weapon against helicopters or slow-moving fixed-wing aircraft. Hellfire can be used as an air-to-air or an air-to-ground missile. The Air-to-Ground (AGM)-114 provides precision striking power against tanks, structures, bunkers and helicopters. The Hellfire missile is capable of defeating any known tank in the world today. It can be guided to the target either from inside the aircraft or by lasers outside the aircraft. Work will take place in Orlando, Florida. Estimated completion date is January 15, 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Turkey’s Gokdogan (Peregrine) beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile has been test-fired for the first time, the Defence Industries Research and Development Institute (SAGE) of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey said in a video on January 10. The missile was fired from an F-16 wing on the ground, hitting its aerial target. It is scheduled to enter service with the Turkish Air Force Command in 2021, replacing the US-built Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).
Leonardo’s Falco Xplorer has made its maiden flight from Trapani Air Force Base on January 15. The flight time was approximately 60 minutes. Xplorer is the largest variant of the Falco family. They design the Xplorer to support multiple missions such as persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), all-weather, maritime and theatre multispectral surveillance, border patrolling, law enforcement, illegal immigration prevention, and environment monitoring. Each Falco Xplorer unit comprises a ground control system, ground data terminal, support equipment, and two aircraft. For its maiden flight, Falco Xplorer S/N0001 took off from Trapani Air Force base on January 15, cruised over the Gulf of Trapani in a dedicated fly zone, for around 60 minutes and then returned to base, landing safely. The maiden flight is a significant milestone which has been achieved through technical and engineering support, at the test flight planning stages and with other related activities, by the Italian Air Force Test Flight Center.
A news report says Greece has agreed to deploy a Patriot air defense missile unit to Saudi Arabia. The deal apparently follows the agreement of the foreign ministries of Greece and Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago to boost the latter’s air defense in light of the recent strikes against the facilities of the state-owned Aramco oil company. It is reportedly also seen as a result of Washington’s pressure on Athens for a Greek presence in the Persian Gulf. Greece had twice responded negatively to previous American requests to send a frigate to join a naval force in the region under US leadership. Patriot (MIM-104) is a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather air defense system to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft. It is produced by Raytheon in Massachusetts and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Florida.
The US Department of State has approved a potential $1.5 billion Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Australia of long-lead items, engineering development activities and other defense services to support the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) Surface Combatant Program, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on January 15. The government in Canberra had requested to procure these items and services from the United States to support the program, which includes the modernization of the RAN’s three Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers and the construction of the first three of nine Hunter Class frigates, according to the DSCA.
Watch: Indian Defence Updates : 3500 Km K4 SLBM Test, Supersonic Sea Ceptor For Navy,ADA-HAL ORCA Fighter
Latest updates[?]: Raytheon won a $442.3 million deal for the force element terminal (FET) development effort. The contract provides for the design, development, testing, integration, and logistical support of a FET system that will transition the B-52 and RC-135 hardened communication terminals from the Military Strategic Tactical Relay satellite communications satellite constellation to the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite constellation. According to the US Air Force’s latest strategic bomber guidance document, the B-52H Stratofortress are no longer approved to carry nuclear gravity bombs. There have long been concerns that the B-52 lacks the capability to penetrate modern air defenses to deliver a nuclear strike with gravity bombs. The B-52 Stratofortress entered into service in the 1950s. With the Cold War in full swing, the bomber became an integral part of the US’ nuclear deterrent as a part of the Nuclear Triad, alongside intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear-armed submarines. Decades later the aircraft is still integral in this role. Boeing RC-135 is a four engine, medium weight reconnaissance aircraft designed and manufactured by Boeing Defence and Integrated Systems for the USAF. Work will take place at Raytheon's facilities in Marlborough, Massachusetts; and Largo, Florida, and is expected to be completed by August 2023.
Nimrod R1 & E-3D AWACS
Land and sea surveillance, and electronic surveillance, are missions no government can ignore. To keep its capabilities, Great Britain launched a parallel set of efforts to update its Nimrod fleet. One multi-billion pound program sought to upgrade 12 of its unique Nimrod Mk2 maritime patrol aircraft to Nimrod MRA4 status. The other effort, named Project HELIX, sought to keep its related Nimrod R1 electronic and signals intelligence/ relay aircraft fleet flying until 2025.
Both failed. The Nimrod MR2 fleet was retired in 2010, with several almost-complete MRA4s scrapped, leaving Britain with no long-range maritime surveillance aircraft. The first sign of trouble for the Nimrod R1s was an October 2008 DSCA request, conveying Britain’s official $1+ billion request to field 3 RC-135V/W Rivet Joint ELINT/SIGINT aircraft. That, too, became final, and the R1s will now leave service in 2011 – to be replaced by a joint RAF/USAF “Airseeker” program centered on the RC-135W Rivet Joint.
Lockheed Martin won a $19.4 million contract modification to exercise options for the procurement of eight multi-function modular masts for new-construction Virginia Class submarine Block V hulls. Virginia Class subs are designed for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions, including anti-submarine warfare and intelligence gathering operations. The Block V submarines include some significant upgrades and changes when compared to the Virginia-class submarines already built. Work will take place in New Hampshire and New York. Estimated completion date is in September 2023.
The US Army awarded Sig Sauer a $10 million contract to manufacture ammunition for use in the branch’s bolt-action sniper rifle. The contractor will manufacture MOD 0 .300 Win Mag ammunition at its facility in Jacksonville, Ark. The contract also funds production of MK 248 MOD 1 ammunition for the military. In 2011, the Army transitioned from the 7.62mm to the .300 Win Mag round, providing the new round to sniper teams in Afghanistan. The new round allows snipers to engage targets from 1,200 meters as opposed to the 800-meter range of the older M24 sniper system.
Middle East & Africa
Raytheon won a $9 million delivery order, which provides for repair and sustainment services for 155 high-speed anti-radiation missiles in support of the Air Force, the government of Morocco and the government of Turkey. The HARM is an air-to-surface anti-radiation missile designed to home in on electronic transmissions coming from surface-to-air radar systems. It can detect, attack and destroy a radar antenna or transmitter with minimal aircrew input. Work will take place in Tucson, Arizona. Estimated completion is in December, 2020.
Sweden has decided not to sell its General Electric F414G engine that powers the Gripen E to the United States for scheduled servicing. It has now decided that the engines will be serviced at Trollhättan instead. All F404 engines for the Swedish Gripen C/Ds are currently maintain at Trollhättan. The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. The Swedish Armed Forces commissioned the Swedish Defense Material Administration to establish technical support and maintenance for RM16 / F414 for Gripen E at GKN in Trollhättan. This means that technical support and maintenance down to component level will be co-located in the Trollhättan for the JAS 39 Gripens engines
The French defense procurement agency Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) has signed a deal with Thales and Thales Alenia Space to conduct a concept study regarding intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) applications for a Stratobus-type platform, Thales announced on January 8. Stratobus is a stratospheric airship high altitude pseudo satellite (HAPS) designed by Thales and Thales Alenia Space. It is intended to fly at an altitude of more than 65,500 ft. Stratobus can be used for different missions including ISR and communications both for civilian and military purposes. The study launched by DGA will include an operational concept study for an ISR mission including exercises simulating its use in theaters of operation. A full-scale demonstrator concept will also be studied.
Faced with a continuing financial resource crunch, the Indian Navy is cutting back on some of its procurement plans. The move will reportedly affect the service’s long-delayed modernization and operational efficiency. Faced with a continuing financial resource crunch, the Indian Navy (IN) is cutting back on some of its procurement plans: a move that, according to senior officers, will adversely affect the service’s long-delayed modernization and operational efficiency. The Navy has reduced its long-standing requirement for 12 mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) to eight and for 10 Russian-made Kamov Ka-31 Helix early warning and control (AEW&C) helicopters to just six platforms. The Indian Ministry of Defense had approved the acquisition of the MCMVs and Ka-31s in February 2015 and May 2019, respectively, but a steadily declining monetary outlay has resulted in the service procuring fewer platforms than expected.
Watch: Indian Defence Updates : INS Visakhapatnam Gets Next-Gen Barak,2nd BrahMos Order,INS Vikrant Trials
Raytheon Missile Systems won a $10.6 million contract modification for Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Production Lot 33 spares. The modification provides for the production Air Force and Navy spares. The AMRAAM missile is a versatile and proven weapon with operational flexibility in a wide variety of scenarios, including air-to-air and surface-launch engagements. In the surface launch role, it is the baseline weapon on the NASAMS launcher. In the air-to-air role, no other missile compares to the AMRAAM missile. The weapon’s advanced active guidance section provides aircrew with a high degree of combat flexibility and lethality. Its mature seeker design allows it to quickly find targets in the most combat challenging environments. Work will take place in Tucson, Arizona. Estimated completion date is in March 21, 2022.
Gen. John Raymond was sworn in as the highest-ranking leader of the newly-created U.S. Space Force Tuesday. Vice President Mike Pence swore Raymond in as Chief of Space Operations in a formal ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, just weeks after President Donald Trump signed a bill designating Space Force as the sixth branch of the military. “The first decision the president made after establishing the Space Force was deciding who should be its first leader,” Pence said. “I was around when the President made that decision and I can tell you, he never hesitated. He knew right away there was no one more qualified or more prepared from a lifetime of service than Gen. Jay Raymond to serve as the first leader of the Space Force.”
Middle East & Africa
Egypt now has the capability to aerial refuel combat aircraft, Janes’s reports. An official video released by the Ministry of Defense shows ‘buddy-buddy’ systems fitted to Air Force MiG-29M ‘Fulcrum’ fighters. The video is supposed to highlight capabilities of the Egyptian Armed Forces. It shows a pair of MiG-29Ms equipped with centerline hose-and-drogue units preparing to offload fuel to two Dassault Rafale combat aircraft. The ‘buddy-buddy’ system seen fitted to the MiG-29M in the video is called the PAZ-MK Refueling Pod. According to its manufacturer, Zvezda-NPP, it was designed to increase the range of carrier-borne MiG-29K/KUB aircraft, as flown by the Russian and Indian Navies.
The Royal Canadian Air Force is contributing to NATO’s Operation Reassurance Air Task Force enhanced air policing mission over Romania with five Boeing CF-188 Hornet fighters. Canada has aircraft, personnel, and resources standing by on quick reaction alert. NATO calls on the RCAF to scramble aircraft when it wants to identify or intercept an aircraft flying in the vicinity of NATO airspace over the Romanian flight information region. Canada’s Air Task Force-Romania had just completed its four-month NATO enhanced Air Policing mission in Romania. ATF-Romania is the air component of Operation Reassurance Canada’s contribution to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.
Lockheed Martin won a $32.9 million modification for contractor logistics support to the Taiwan F-16 Peace Phoenix Rising program. This modification provides for contractor logistics support, repair and return and diminishing manufacturing source management services for Taiwan F-16s Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar. The People’s Republic of China Air Force’s operates around 142 F-16 A/B fighter aircraft and is looking to expand its fleet. The RoCAF received the first upgraded aircraft in October 2018. The remaining deliveries are expected to be completed by 2023. Work will take place in Texas and Taiwan and estimated completion will be on December 31, 2025.
During a planned live-firing exercise by Russia, one of its Iskander-M ballistic missile flew beyond 600km and landed outside its designated target area. The missile is said to have been fired from Kapustin Yar for the Makat firing range in Kazakhstan. However, the missile ended up in the Bayganinsky district. The SS-26 Stone or “Iskander” is a road-mobile short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) with a range of up to 500 km. Using a common transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) and support vehicles, the system can also fire the 9M728 (R-500, SSC-7) and 9M729 cruise missiles. Russia began development of the SS-26 in the late 1980s to replace the OTR-23 “Oka” SRBM.
Watch: CYCLE: NLCA-TEJAS’s has taken off from INS VIKRAMADITYA | What parameters being collected for TEDBF?
AugustaWestland won a $176.5 million deal for the production and delivery of 32 TH-73A aircraft, initial spares, peculiar support equipment, flyaway kits, hoists, sling loads, data in excess of commercial form fit function/operations maintenance instructional training data as well as ancillary instructor pilot and maintenance personnel training. Work will take in Pennsylvania and Texas. Estimated completion date is in October 2021. The TH-73A is the Navy’s new training helicopter. The new helo will meet advanced rotary-wing and intermediate tiltrotor training requirements for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Airbus Helicopters won a $37.7 million firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract provides performance-based logistics support to include ground and repair maintenance of five UH-72 aircraft, sustaining engineering required to maintain UH-72 Federal Aviation Administration certification, the incorporation of US Navy Test Pilot School specific modifications, and the support to provide ground and flight training for the UH-72/EC-145 aircraft. The UH-72 Lakota is the US Army’s multi-mission helicopter. It fulfills the Army’s requirements for speed, range and overall performance. The Lakota is a version of the H145 family multi-mission helicopter. Work will take place in Maryland and is expected to be completed by January 2025.
Middle East & Africa
The first Eurofighter combat aircraft configured for Kuwait made its maiden flight towards the end of 2019, the company announced. Instrumented Series Production Aircraft (ISPA 6), equipped with the Kuwait Air Force configuration, departed the Flight Test Centre of Leonardo Aircraft Division in Turin-Caselle on December 23, 2019. As written by Eurofighter, ISPA 6 is the most advanced iteration of the aircraft to date, and while other elements have previously been flight tested, this is the first time that all of the enhancements have been brought together. ISPA 6 is the first to fly the Captor E-Scan Radar with Phase Enhancement 3 b (P3Eb), for which Kuwait is to be the launch customer. Other enhancements for Kuwait include the Lockheed Martin Sniper advanced targeting pod, the introduction of the DRS-Cubic ACMI P5 combat training pod and an enhanced Very High Frequency (VHF) Omni-Directional Range navigation aid.
Japan has dispatched two P-3 maritime patrol aircraft to the Middle East from Naha Air Base on January 11. The aircraft will be used to patrol the Gulf of Aden, the northern Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. They are deployed at Djibouti. Defense Minister Taro Kono said at the base on the day: “In addition to antipiracy operations, you will engage in new missions. Peace and stability in the Middle East are extremely important for the international community. Do your duty with courage and pride.” The MSDF aircraft were dispatched based on the “survey and research” provision stipulated in the Defense Ministry Establishment Law.
Switzerland has issued a second request for proposal (RFP) for its Air2030 requirement to procure new combat aircraft and ground-based air defense (GBAD) systems. The supplementary solicitation, which came about 12 months after the first RFP, was issued by the country’s Armasuisse defense procurement agency on January 10. For the requirement to replace the Swiss Air Force’s current Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II and Boeing F/A-18 Hornet fleets, Air2030 is considering the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Saab Gripen E, and Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). For the GBAD requirement, Air2030 is considering the Eurosam SAMP/T and Raytheon Patriot.
The South Korean Navy has allowed its AW-159 naval helicopters to resume flying this month after the fleet was grounded in November 2019. Steps were taken to ground the fleet after November 23 when one of the rotorcraft had an issue with its vibration damper. Investigations have determined that the cause was due to fatigue-based cracking in the part. Seven helicopters are cleared for flying except the mishap aircraft. The Navy planned to resume flights as of January 3, 2020, for all seven of the helicopters besides the one in which the problem was observed. The damper connects the helicopter’s blades with its body and serves to absorb vibrations to prevent shuddering of the fuselage.
Watch: Indian Defence Updates : 1st FICV Protoype Ready,UK AMCA Engine Offer,Desi Excalibur Production
Boeing won a $14 million delivery order for spare items in support of the Flight Control Surfaces utilized on 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. It 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 aircraft has a digital control-by-wire flight control system which provides excellent handling qualities, and allows pilots to learn to fly the airplane with relative ease. At the same time, this system provides exceptional maneuverability and allows the pilot to concentrate on operating the weapons system. A solid thrust-to-weight ratio and superior turn characteristics combined with energy sustainability, enable the F/A-18 to hold its own against any adversary. Boeing will perform work in Missouri. Estimated completion date is May 30, 2022.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded Lockheed Martin a $31.9 million contract to support the Operational Fires Integrated Weapon System Phase 3 program, which will enable capabilities for a mobile, ground-launched tactical weapon delivery system capable of carrying a variety of payloads to a variety of ranges. OpFires, a joint DARPA/US Army program, aims to develop and demonstrate a novel ground-launched missile system equipped with hypersonic tactical boost glide vehicles that can penetrate modern enemy air defenses and rapidly and precisely engage critical time sensitive targets in contested environments. The first two phases of the program focus on the propulsion technologies required to deliver diverse payloads a variety of ranges. Lockheed will perform work in Texas, Alabama, Ohio, West Virginia, Washington and Arkansas. Expected completion date is January 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Advanced Electronics Co. won a $17 million contract modification for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) F-15SA Cyber Protection System (CPS) and Related Facilities program. This modification provides for three years of in-Kingdom Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) for the CPS. The scope of this contract effort will include the extension of existing CLS support for three additional years, as well as related mobilization, de-mobilization, transportation and housing expenses for CLS personnel. The contract is a foreign military sales acquisition through the US and Saudi Arabia, authorized in 2015 as part of an agreement that also authorized the sale and upgrade of several F-15 variant aircraft to the kingdom. Advanced Electronics is a Riyadh-based electronics research and manufacturing firm, specialized in advanced electronics research for defense and communication. It was established in 1988 under the directives of the government of Saudi Arabia. The company will perform work at RSAF facilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Expected completion date is May 31, 2022.
Vectrus Systems won a $134.5 million modification for Kuwait base operations and security support services. Work will be performed in Camp Arifjan. Vectrus Systems provides electronic, communication, and defense systems. The company offers composite aerospace structures, defense surveillance, mobile radar, networked communication, acoustic systems, and composite tanks. Exelis Systems serves the clients worldwide. Expected completion date is September 28, 2020.
Three major UK nuclear weapons and submarine infrastructure projects have been hit by 115% cost increases and faced delays of more than 19 months to over six years, according to the UK’s National Audit Office (NAO). In a report published on January 10, the spending watchdog revealed that more than two thirds of the GBP1.35 billion (USD1.76 billion) in cost overruns on UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) funded projects can be attributed to program management or commercial issues. The Ministry Of Defense’s “poor management” of Britain’s nuclear weapons program has led to rising costs and lengthy delays, according to the government spending watchdog. The report said that all of the projects were started before their full requirements or design maturity was settled, resulting in remedial activity costing GBP647 million. Other cost overruns were attributed to contractors’ failure to deliver to time or quality requirements (GBP87 million), changes to project management or commercial approach (GBP151 million), additional contractor fees (GBP114 million), unforeseen events (GBP11 million), and other factors (GBP339 million). The project to build the new Project Mensa nuclear warhead assembly and disassembly facility at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) operated site in Burghfield in Berkshire has run up GBP1.072 billion or 146% in extra costs since it was launched in 2011, according to the report. AWE is a partnership between Lockheed Martin, Jacobs Engineering, and Serco.
The US State Department has approved a potential $2.75 billion Foreign Military Sale of Lockheed Martin F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) as well as associated spare parts, logistics, and training support to Singapore. DSCA also revealed that the proposed package includes up to 13 Pratt & Whitney F135 engines including one initial spare, unspecified electronic warfare, communications, and navigation systems, the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) maintenance and logistics planning suite, software development and integration, and training equipment. Singapore would be the fourth country in the Asia Pacific region to operate the F-35, after Australia, Japan, and South Korea – should the sale proceed. It would also represent a brand new STOVL capability for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), which has never operated such aircraft.
Watch: THE NEW LASER BASED AIR DEFENSE WILL WORK ALONG WITH IRON DOME !
Boeing won a $42.3 million modification, which exercises an option for integrated logistics services and site activation support of P-8A aircraft for the Navy and the government of Australia. The P-8A Poseidon 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. The US. fiscal 2020 defense budget has allocated major war-fighting investments worth $57.7 billion for aircraft. The financial plan also includes an investment plan of $1.5 billion for 6 P-8A Poseidon jets. Such proposed inclusions highlight BDS segment’s solid prospects, which in turn, are likely to boost the company’s profit margin. Work will take place in Washington, Oklahoma, and Australia. Estimated completion date is in September, 2021.
The US Army is buying an unspecific number of SPIKE Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) missiles for its Apache helicopters Defense News reports. This was disclosed by Brig. Gen. Wally Rugen on January 8. The US Army has chosen the Israeli made long-range Spike precision missile to use on attack helicopters as an interim solution for greater stand-off capabilities during future operations. While Apache helicopters can currently take out targets like enemy tanks, light bunkers and personnel from some 12 km. away with the Hellfire Anti-Tank Guided Missile, the US Army wants a missile capable of striking from a longer distance. Developed and produced by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the SPIKE s a fifth generation precise electro-optical missile with a range of up to 25 kilometers.
Middle East & Africa
The Israel Ministry of Defense announced that its investment in laser technology has led to a breakthrough that paves the way for the development of weapons that “will prompt a strategic change in the defense capabilities of the state of Israel”. The MoD said the breakthrough was the result of collaboration between its Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), the companies Rafael and Elbit Systems, and academic institutions. It announced the launch of three programs for the further development of laser demonstrators: a ground-based system designed to complement the Iron Dome counter-rocket system, a mobile ground system for protecting personnel in the field, and an airborne system to intercept threats above cloud-cover and provide wide-area coverage.
Russia’s TGE has shown the model of a quad tiltrotor drone that it is developing for the Russian Navy to President Putin, local media reports. Using electric propulsion, the drone is said to have a range of 2,000km with a top speed of 500km. According to the president of TGE, Ilya Rashkin, the drone is able to overcome 2000 kilometers at a speed of 500 kilometers per hour. Back in September it was reported, that Russia is planning to design its own tiltrotor aircraft like the USA’s V-22 Osprey.
UK aerospace engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce is developing “world-first” technology for the Tempest future fighter project, the company announced on January 10. The effort, which has to date been running for five years, is geared towards managing “unprecedented levels of electrical power demand and thermal load … within the context of a stealthy aircraft.” The goal is to provide both the thrust to propel the aircraft and the electrical power required for all the systems, while managing the resulting thermal loads. According to Rolls-Royce, the Tempest effort builds on earlier work to address future aircraft power demands. In 2014 it designed an electrical starter-generator that was fully embedded in the core of a gas turbine engine, now known as the Embedded Electrical Starter Generator (E2SG) demonstrator program.
The indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Aircraft (N) Mk1 has made a successful arrested landing on the India’s biggest warship INS Vikramaditya on January 11. “With this feat, the indigenously developed niche technologies specific to deck based fighter operations have been proven,” Indian Navy Spokesperson Vivek Madhwal told IANS. This will now pave the way to develop and manufacture the twin engine deck based fighter for the Indian Navy, he said. The Navy has created an aircraft carrier setting on the ground at its air base in Goa to operate these deck-based fighters, which use ski jump to take off and are recovered by arrestor wires on a carrier or STOBAR (short takeoff but arrested recovery) in Navy parlance.
Watch: LCA Navy(Naval Tejas) 1st Time Landed on INS Vikramaditya
Latest updates[?]: The indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Aircraft (N) Mk1 has made a successful arrested landing on the India's biggest warship INS Vikramaditya on January 11. "With this feat, the indigenously developed niche technologies specific to deck based fighter operations have been proven," Indian Navy Spokesperson Vivek Madhwal told IANS. This will now pave the way to develop and manufacture the twin engine deck based fighter for the Indian Navy, he said. The Navy has created an aircraft carrier setting on the ground at its air base in Goa to operate these deck-based fighters, which use ski jump to take off and are recovered by arrestor wires on a carrier or STOBAR (short takeoff but arrested recovery) in Navy parlance.
Adm. Gorshkov: Before.
This free-to-view DID Spotlight article offers an in-depth look at India’s troubled attempt to convert and field a full-size aircraft carrier, before time and wear force it to retire its existing naval aviation and ships.
India faced 2 major challenges. One was slipping timelines, which risked leaving them with no aircraft carriers at all. The other challenge involved Vikramaditya’s 3-fold cost increase, as Russia demanded a re-negotiated contract once India was deeper into the commitment trap. The carrier purchase has now become the subject of high level diplomacy, involving a shipyard that can’t even execute on commercial contracts. A revised deal was finally signed in March 2010, even as deliveries of India’s new MiG-29K naval fighters got underway – but now Russia still has to make good. This article tracks the changes India is making to its new aircraft carrier, key characteristics, and a full history of contracts and events affecting this carrier and its planned aircraft contingent.