Lockheed Martin Tapped For F-35 Support | US Troops Killed In Afghanistan Attack | DoS Approves AGM-158C Sale To AustraliaFeb 11, 2020 05:00 UTC
Lockheed Martin won a $347.7 million contract modification, which procures long lead materials, parts, components and support necessary to maintain on-time production and delivery of 43 lot 15 F-35 aircraft for non-Department of Defense participants and Foreign Military Sales customers. The F-35 is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather, stealth multirole aircraft. Just last week Poland signed a deal worth $4.6 billion to procure 32 to procure 32 F-35 combat aircraft. The F-35 program has had its ups and downs in the las couple of years. The Pentagons test office’s annual report on DoD programs for example found that the aircraft has 873 unresolved deficiencies from ongoing issues with the aircraft’s gun on the US Air Force variant, to a number of outstanding software problems. However, a recent poll conducted by Air Force Technology, shows that the majority of its readers are still in favor of the F-35. Work under the contract modification will take place in Texas, California, Florida, New Hampshire, Maryland, the UK and Japan.
Once again, the US Army trying to develop a replacement for its M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle fleet. However, this time, service leaders said they will not be fixated on set requirements or a firm fielding date. Bruce Jette, the army’s assistant secretary for acquisition, logistics, and technology (ASA[ALT]), and Army Futures Command (AFC) head General Mike Murray announced on February 7 that the service is restarting its Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) prototyping competition with a release of a market survey. The move comes just weeks after the service scraped the initial competition that called for the service to begin fielding the OMFV in 2026.
Middle East & Africa
CNN reported that two US troops were killed and six were wounded in an apparent insider attack in Afghanistan. The soldiers were involved in a firefight on February 8 in Sherzad district, Nangarhar province. The wounded service members are receiving medical treatment at a US facility. Between 12,000 and 13,000 U.S. troops are currently serving in Afghanistan. At the end of January the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction reported that the number of attacks initiated by the Taliban were the highest in the fourth quarter of 2019 than during any quarter since 2010. According to the same report, the number of American military casualties in 2019 – 23 deaths and 192 injuries – were the highest they have been since January 2015.
The Permanent Secretary for Defense recently informed the Public Accounts Committee hat the first Type 31 Frigate will be in the water by 2023 and that the in-service date will be in 2027. Earlier statements however had indicated that the in-service date would be 2023. According to the February 2020 update of the Naval Shipbuilding research briefing in the House of Commons Library, the approved in-service date for the Type 31 frigates is now 2027. The paper says: “On 20 January 2020 the MOD informed the Public Accounts Committee the approved inservice date for the first ship is 2027: Evaluation of the Preferred Bidder’s schedule and deliverability assessment has confirmed that Ship 1 will be in the water in 2023, with all ships accepted off-contract by the end of 2028. The IAC [Investment Approvals Committee] has approved the InService Date of Ship 1 for May 2027.” The Ministry of Defense also reportedly told the Commons Library “the competition we held demonstrated that no bidder could achieve a ship in the water before 2023” but suggested to the author that the in-service date could be earlier than 2027.
The US government has given the green light for Australia to buy up to 200 AGM-158C, Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs). The Foreign Military Sale package is estimated to be worth nearly $990 million and includes eleven ATM-158C LRASM Telemetry Variant (Inert). Australia had requested to buy up to 200 AGM-158C, Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs); and up to eleven ATM-158C LRASM Telemetry Variant (Inert). Also included are DATM-158C LRASM, Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM-158C LRASM), containers, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, US Government and contractor representatives technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.
India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) received the initial operational clearance for its Light Utility Helicopter, meaning that the company will now begin series-production of the single-engined platform. HAL said in a statement that three LUH prototypes had “cumulatively completed” over 550 test flights in diverse climatic conditions, including cold, hot, and humid weather, but did not provide a timeline. The company stated that the LUH’s “endurance and reliability” were further established after the platform flew for 7,000 km over 17 days from Bangalore to undertake “hot weather and high-altitude trials [in western and northern India] without any abnormalities”.
Watch: ONE EA18G GROWLER CREW OF U.S NAVY FLEW TWO OTHERS SIMULTANEOUSLY IN SEMI AUTOMATED MODE !