Boeing won a $7.6 million contract modification to provide generator feeder fault protection for the Apache helicopter. The Apache attack helicopter was developed by Boeing for the US Armed Forces. 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 and the UK. Work under the modification will take place in Mesa, Arizona. Estimates completion date its December 31, 2024. US Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.
Ophir Corp. won an $11.3 million contract for repair of the B-2 pilot alert assembly and laser energy monitor. The B-2 Spirit is a low-observable, strategic, long-range, heavy bomber capable of penetrating sophisticated and dense air-defense shields. It is capable of all-altitude attack missions up to 50,000ft, with a range of more than 6,000nm unrefueled and over 10,000nm with one refueling, giving it the ability to fly to any point in the world within hours. The cockpit accommodates two crew members. It is equipped with a color, nine-tube, electronic flight instrumentation system (EFIS), which displays flight, engine and sensor data and avionics systems and weapons status. Work will take place in Littleton, Colorado. Expected completion date is May 25, 2025.
Middle East & Africa
The Belgian government will decide by July whether to send four F-16s to Jordan in October to support Operation Inherent Resolve. The F-16s would be deployed in Jordan for a year, starting in October, along with 95 soldiers, as part of the international operation “Inherent Resolve” to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The deployment would be the third of its kind for Belgium. Operation Inherent Resolve is the US military’s operational name for the military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Lockheed Martin is contracted $13.2 million for modernized target acquisition sight/pilot night vision sensor refurbishment. According to Lockheed, the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) is a long-range, precision engagement and pilotage solution for day, night and adverse weather missions. Fiscal 2010, 2018 and 2019 aircraft procurement (Army); and 2010 Foreign Military Sales (United Kingdom) funds in the amount of $13,210,610 were obligated at the time of the award. Work will take place in Orlando, Floria. Estimated completion date is May 31, 2022.
EXP Federal won a $25 million contract for architect and engineering services for construction and renovation project in the Republic of Korea. EXP Federal provides engineering design, construction management, interior, landscape, urban design, surveying, and master planning services. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order. Estimated completion date is November 24, 2023. US Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District, is the contracting activity.
Taiwan’s deputy defense minister Chang Zhe-Ping has confirmed to legislators that Taipei has decided to acquire the coastal road-mobile variant of the Boeing Harpoon Block II missile. Chang said the missiles should enter service with the Navy’s Hai Feng squadron in 2023. When asked, why the country chose to buy the American weapon when the existing Hsiung Feng II & III missiles are already in service, Chang clarified that studies showed that more missiles are required to destroy 50 percent of the invading force from China. This can only be achieve rapidly by buying new missiles from abroad.
Watch: The Eurofighter Typhoon Isn’t Stealthy—But F-22 Pilots Like It
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics won a $16 million deal, which procures support to manage diminishing manufacturing sources in support of the F-35 program for the Air Force, Navy and non-Department of Defense participants. The F-35 program has been supported by an international team of leading aerospace majors. Notably, Northrop Grumman NOC rendered its expertise in carrier aircraft and low-observable stealth technology to this program. BAE Systems’ BAESY short takeoff and vertical landing experience, and air systems sustainment supported the jet’s combat capabilities. These features have enabled F-35 jet to dominate the combat aircraft market buoyed by solid demand as evident from the program’s frequent contract wins, both from Pentagon and other US allies. For instance, this January, Lockheed clinched a reimbursable contract worth $1.93 billion for providing a consortium of services involving the F-35 program. Work under the new cost-plus-fixed-fee order will take place in Fort Worth, Texas. Estimated completion will be by June 2020.
The Department of Defense will lift the stop-movement order it issued earlier this spring in stages rather than keeping it in place through June 30. Officials announced this shift on May 26. Under this, some installation will be able to accept transfers immediately, according to Matt Donovan, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper had issued the order on travel in March and extended it in April. Moving forward, individual installations will be able to lift travel and moving restrictions depending on local conditions, Donovan said. Troops, families and other DoD personnel will now be able to travel within the United States and some other countries provided their destinations have removed shelter-in-place orders and shown a 14-day reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases, as well as reports of flu-like or COVID-like symptoms.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s Elbit Systems reported its consolidated results for the quarter ended March 31, 2020. The company provided US-GAAP results as well as additional non-GAAP financial data to provide investors with a more comprehensive understanding of the company’s business results and trends. Bezhalel Machlis, president and CEO of Elbit Systems, commented: “In the first quarter, we witnessed positive momentum across our markets, receiving more than $1.8 billion in orders from customers around the world. These orders contributed to a record backlog of $10.8 billion, growing by 8% over the last quarter of 2019, and providing Elbit Systems with good revenue visibility.” He also mentioned the current pandemic: „As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, since March we have made significant changes to the way we work in order to protect the health and safety of our employees around the world, while at the same time maintaining business continuity in order to deliver our products and services to our customers as planned. This includes utilizing our healthy balance sheet to secure our supply channels and maintaining adequate levels of inventory to enable us to continue deliveries to customers“. Elbit’s net income totalled $63.5 million in the quarter ending on 31 March, up 25% from the same period last year. Increased sales of military aircraft equipment and last year’s acquisition of the Harris Night Vision business from L3Harris Technologies lifted Elbit Systems’ revenue by 5% to $1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2020
A US Navy P-8A flying in the Eastern Mediterranean on May 26 was intercepted by two Russian Su-35 fighters. The intercept was deemed unsafe by the Americans as the two fighters were flying close underneath the wings of the maritime patrol aircraft. Russian pilots flew in an unsafe and unprofessional manner while intercepting a US Navy P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, US 6th Fleet said. The intercept the third such incident in two months, Navy officials said. The US Navy P-8A was flying over international waters in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea when it was intercepted by two armed Russian Sukhoi Su-35 aircraft. For 65 minutes, the Russian pilots simultaneously flew close to each wing of the P-8A, restricting the P-8A’s ability to safely maneuver, according to a Navy statement.
Indra will enhance the ground-based air defense capabilities of the Spanish Air Force with a radar modernization contract received on May 27. The Ministry of Defense deal will see the company update the identification, friend or foe (IFF) systems of its Lanza 3D ground-based radars, as used by the EdAE’s aerial surveillance squadrons. “With this upgrade, the systems will comply with the most recent NATO interoperability standards, which will soon be mandatory for military aircraft and ground systems,” Indra said, adding, “These are systems capable of interrogating an aircraft over 470 km away to identify it, and determine whether or not it is a threat.” According to the company, its contract with the Spanish MoD will run for three-and-a-half years, and comes with the associated logistic support in the EdAE’s EVAs and in the Logistic Transmissions Center (CLOTRA, in Spanish). This ensures that the systems will be operational throughout their life-cycle of at least 15 years.
A report by Korean Herald says Indonesia has failed to make its annual payment for the development of the KF-X fighter. The country was supposed to pay $405 million last month. Indonesia is responsible for 20 percent of the plane’s development cost and it has been delaying payments for a few years. Korea Aerospace Industries, the country’s only aircraft manufacturer, is currently co-developing next-generation fighters with Indonesia. Launched in 2016, the KF-X project aims to develop a next-generation fighter jet and mass-produce 180 units by 2026.
Watch: GETTING READY – AMERICA’S ‘SUPER DUPER MISSILE’ WILL TAKE ON RUSSIA & CHINA !
The Air Force announced that it has removed the minimum height requirement for officer applicants who wish to fly. According to service, the change, which took effect May 13, is part of an effort to encourage a more diverse pool of applicants to pursue careers in aviation. “We’re really focused on identifying and eliminating barriers to serve in the Air Force,” said Gwendolyn DeFilippi, assistant deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. DeFilippi, who chairs the Department of the Air Force Barrier Analysis Working Group, explained, “This is a huge win, especially for women and minorities of smaller stature who previously may have assumed they weren’t qualified to join our team.” Under the pervious Medical Standards Directory requirement, an individual who wanted to become a pilot had to have a standing height between 5’4″ and 6’5″ and have a sitting height between 34 and 40 inches. The previous height screening criteria eliminated about 44 percent of American women between the age of 20 and 29, the Air Force said.
The US Space Force requested flexibility from Congress to purchase and use satellites, saying it needs more agility to keep pace with adversaries. A 23-page report to Congress from the US Air Force, the current parent of the Space Force, explains an “alternative acquisition system” for the Space Force. The report, released this week, envisions an overhaul of the tools needed to acquire new space hardware, with less reporting to Congress, allowing it to operate with more agility in the face of completion from other countries. Congress mandated a retooling of the Space Force acquisition system when it created the new branch of the military in December.
Middle East & Africa
US Africa Command issued a statement on the recent deployment of Russian fighters to Libya. It has also made available images of those Russian aircraft, which had their markings removed to hide their Russian origin. The press release disclosed that the jets had transited in Syria. Besides MiG-29s, there were also photos of Su-24, Su-34 and Su-35 fighters available for download. “Russia is clearly trying to tip the scales in its favor in Libya. Just like I saw them doing in Syria, they are expanding their military footprint in Africa using government-supported mercenary groups like Wagner,” said US Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, US Africa Command. “For too long, Russia has denied the full extent of its involvement in the ongoing Libyan conflict. Well, there is no denying it now. We watched as Russia flew fourth generation jet fighters to Libya, every step of the way. Neither the LNA nor private military companies can arm, operate and sustain these fighters without state support – support they are getting from Russia.”
The UK Royal Navy completed a series of live firing trials of the new Martlet lightweight precision strike missile from a Wildcat HMA2 helicopter. Undertaken at the UK Ministry of Defense Aberporth Range on the west coast of Wales, the firings, which were conducted as part of the UK’s Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon program, demonstrated the integration of the Martlet system onto the Wildcat platform ahead of service entry. The system is due to enter service with the RN in January 2021, according to the Defense Equipment Plan 2019 financial summary released in February 2020.
South Korea’s Maritime Operation Helicopter (MOH) batch-2 competition has run into a roadblock as the current pandemic prevents South Korean military officials from traveling to Italy and United States to evaluate the bids. Italy’s Leonardo is hoping to secure another order for its Wildcat helicopter while Lockheed Martin entered the race late by offering the MH-60R. The Defense Acquisition Program Administration, the South Korean agency handling the tender, said negotiations were continuing.
China’s AVIC says its AG600 amphibious airplane will be making its first amphibious take off from sea surface in the second half of this year. The milestone flight is expected to take place off Qingdao. The aircraft first flew in December 2017 and made a water take off and landing on October 20, 2018 from a reservoir. The AVIC develops the AG600 to meet the needs of China’s emergency rescue and natural disaster prevention and control.
Watch: JAPAN SANCTIONS BIGGEST DEFENSE BUDGET EVER ! 3 WAYS IT PLANS TO TAKE ON THE CHINESE MILITARY
The Commemorative Air Force Inland Empire Wing planned a massive 17-aircraft flyover of Los Angeles on May 25 to mark Memorial Day and salute COVID-19 essential workers. The Air Force honors both veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice and healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis with the flyover Monday.
The US Navy completed its investigation into the fatal crash of a VFA-151 F/A-18E which killed the pilot on July 31, 2019. Lt. Cmdr. Charles Z. Walker was navigating through the Star Wars canyon in California’s Death Valley National Park when his jet slammed into a wall not far from seven French tourists. The report stated that the “flight profile created conditions where the processing time and subsequent reaction time required of the pilot made it difficult for the aircraft to exit the canyon safely.” Walker was not current in low altitude training and he was required to fly at least 500 feet above ground level. Investigators also did not find evidence that Walker was flying at a low altitude for thrills. All seven French tourists suffered burns from the fire started by the crash.
Middle East & Africa
South African state defense firm Denel recently said it could not pay salaries for May and wages for June and July were at risk, highlighting the gravity of its financial position. Despite a slight easing of South Africa’s lockdown restrictions this month, Denel is running a reduced operation. The company is one of a number of struggling state enterprises the government has been keeping afloat with bailouts but are now being battered by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Denel Chief Executive Danie du Toit said in a separate statement the company was in ongoing conversations with the government “to find solutions to the current crisis.”
The Royal Air Force’s 617 Squadron, the Dambusters, are preparing to deploy aboard aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth next time. Squadron personnel as well as Lightning Team UK members are getting ready to go into isolation so that they will not pass COVID-19 to sailors aboard the warship. The preparation to deploy has seen a number of added challenges as different processes and measures have been put in place to ensure that members of 617 Squadron and supporting personnel do not pass the coronavirus to the crew of the carrier, which has already had a period of isolation at sea. The squadron and personnel will all be tested for the virus and on confirmation of a negative result will be allowed to enter the quarantine area.
Starting May 25, the Austrian army is conducting a large-scale flight exercise. Eurofighter jets will complete daily supersonic test flights for almost two weeks. From May 25th to June 5th, the Eurofighter pilots of the Austrian Armed Forces will train supersonic intercept maneuvers. Two supersonic flights per day are scheduled between 8am and 4pm, Monday through Friday. According to the army, the purpose of the training is „the close and time-critical coordination between military pilots, radar control officers and military and civil air traffic control. Furthermore, the pilots train under real physical stress, which cannot be simulated. The training is indispensable for a working Austrian airspace surveillance. It serves to continue to ensure safe flight operations in all cases.”
According to Defense News, the Indian Air Force is overhauling its plan to induct 114 medium-weight multirole fighters. Reportedly, a senior service official said the aircraft will be built in India with significant foreign technology transfer and no foreign procurement. The effort will cost about $17 billion under the Make in India economic policy. The multirole fighters will be manufactured by domestic private defense companies with one of the original equipment manufacturers approved by the government. The process for selecting contractors is yet to begin, but a Ministry of Defense official said the businesses will be selected within three years.
Watch: Super Hornet vs Eurofighter | Best of Aviation
Boeing again won a $13.2 million modification to exercise options in support of the AN/USQ-82(V) program for DDG-51 class new construction, DDG-51 Class modernization, operations and maintenance, research and development and Foreign Military Sales (FMS). AN/USQ-82(V) program is a control system network. Its purpose is to transfer mission critical data to and from users associated with combat, navigation, aviation, power, propulsion, steering, damage control systems and alarms and indicating. DDG 51 Arleigh Burke 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 Huntington Beach, California. Estimated completion will by May 2021.
Austal USA won an $8.2 million contract modification for Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) industrial post-delivery support for LCS 26. Austal USA will provide shipboard support to implement approved engineering change proposals, approved government-responsible deficiencies identified during test and trials, crew-related activities and preventative maintenance. Austal will also provide program management support and logistics support for technical documentation affected by the work performed. LCS 26 will be an Independence Class LCS. Work will take place in Mobile, Alabama and Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Estimated completion will be by March 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Morocco will acquire missiles and missile defense systems from the defense industry consortium MBDA France, the Moroccan defense ministry said on Wednesday. Government approval of the contract came after Morocco received a $211 million loan in February from the French banking group BNP Paribas. France supplies about 44 percent of Morocco’s weapons needs, the United States supplies most of the rest, and relations between France and Morocco, a French colony until 1956, have long been cordial. The missiles, to be manufactured by Boeing will be used on Morocco’s F-16 fighter planes to enhance its capabilities in effective defense of critical sea lanes.
For the first time, the B-1B has flown over Sweden. The milestone occurred on May 20 when a pair from the 28th Bomb Wing flew to the Nordic Region. Aerial refueling support from a KC-135 from the 100th Air Refueling Wing and a Dutch KC-10 allowed the bombers to make the trip without stopping. The B-1s were also escorted by Typhoon fighters from the Royal Air Force as they flew over the United Kingdom. And they flew tactical sorties with Norwegian F-35s, and flew a low approach over Ørland Air Station, the home of Norway’s F-35 fleet.
According to Flight Global, Boeing named STS Aviation Services as its conversion partner for the Royal Air Force’s future fleet of five 737NG-based E-7A Wedgetail surveillance aircraft, after Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group withdrew from the project. Marshall had signed a contract for preparatory work with Boeing in July 2019 to support risk-reduction activities, ahead of modification work converting 737 Next Generation commercial airframes to the E-7 military standard. This was initially set to take place at Marshall’s Cambridge facilities in early 2021. However, it will now play no further part in those planned developments. Boeing said the narrowbodies will be prepared for military service using a hangar at Birmingham airport which was previously occupied by Monarch Aircraft Engineering (MAEL). Following the first aircraft’s arrival at the STS conversion site next January, Boeing expects to be able to start deliveries to the RAF in 2023. Extensive updates will include adding a Northrop Grumman Mesa radar atop the single-aisle’s fuselage, integrating work stations for 10 onboard mission system operators, and installing self-protection equipment.
The State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States TECRO of 18 MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology (AT) Heavy Weight Torpedoes (HWT) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $180 million. TECRO had requested to buy eighteen MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology (AT) Heavy Weight Torpedoes (HWT). Also included are spare parts, support and test equipment, shipping and shipping containers, operator manuals, technical documentation, training, US Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics support. According to the DSCA, the proposed sale will help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region.
Watch: Defense security news TV weekly navy army air forces industry military equipment May 2020 Episode 2
Viasat and Data Link Solutions each won a $998.8 million deal for the production, retrofits, development and sustainment of the Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) terminals. Currently, there are three variants of MIDS JTRS terminals: the Concurrent Multi-Netting-4, the Tactical Targeting Network Technology and the F-22 variant. The MIDS JTRS terminal is a line-of-sight radio system for collecting and transmitting broadband, jam-resistant, secure data and voice across a variety of air, sea and ground platforms. These terminals will continue to be procured, sustained and updated for future growth, including JTRS advanced networking waveforms such as: multifunction advanced data link, intra-flight data link and other advanced networking waveforms. The MIDS JTRS terminals make use of high-speed jam-resistant Link-16 tactical data exchange network. The Link 16 allows for real-time transfer of combat data, voice communications, imagery, and relative navigation information between dispersed battle elements, using data encryption and frequency hopping to maintain secure communications. The system facilitates the exchange of data over a common communication link, allowing participants to obtain and share situational awareness information and interoperate within the battlespace. Viasat will perform work in Carlsbad, California. Data Link Solution will perform work in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Expected completion is by May 2025.
The Air Force announced that its Nuclear Weapons Center is breaking up the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Systems Directorate into two new directorate teams: the Minuteman III Systems Directorate and the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, or GBSD, Systems Directorate. “This restructuring is a natural progression of the Air Force’s increasing focus on the modernization of the ICBM, the third leg of our strategic nuclear triad,” said Maj. Gen. Shaun Morris, AFNWC commander and Air Force program executive officer for strategic systems. The NWC synchronizes all aspects of nuclear materiel management on behalf of Air Force Materiel Command in support of Air Force Global Strike Command, with more than 1,300 personnel assigned to 18 locations around the world. The Minuteman III Systems Directorate will be led by Col. Luke Cropsey, currently the ICBM Systems director. The GBSD Systems Directorate will be led by Col. Jason Bartolomei, who is currently the system program manager for GBSD and will continue to serve in that role.
Middle East & Africa
Elbit Subsidiary Cyberbit won a $70 Million Investment from US firm Charlesbank Capital. The investment is seen as recognition of Cyberbit’s leading market position and the growth potential of the company’s platform that provides training on how to effectively mitigate cyberattacks and improve team performance. As a result of the investment and sale of equity holdings, Elbit Systems became a minority shareholder in Cyberbit. Claridge Israel L.P., an existing shareholder of Cuberbit, which invested $30 million in Cyberbit in June 2018, also participated in this round of investment. The Cyberbit Range product is said to deliver a hyper-realistic experience that replicates a real-world cyberattack by immersing trainees in a virtual security operations center, where they use commercial security tools to respond to live, simulated attacks. The platform delivers over 100,000 training sessions annually on 5 continents.
France’s Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly disclosed that the replacement for aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle will start sea trials in 2036 and enter service in 2038. The ship will be built at Saint-Nazaire. Parly was there for the steel cutting ceremony for new replenishment ships for the French Navy. The characteristics of the future successor to the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier have not yet been defined. “Let’s not limit our horizon or our imagination. We must not re-do the identical but seek the most ingenious, the most useful and the most effective capacities. Let us make this aircraft carrier a real forward base for our navy”, asked Minister Florence Parly at the last Euronaval exhibition. It however seems accepted that this future aircraft carrier could be more imposing than the current Charles-de-Gaulle.
Lithuanian, German and Norwegian Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) carried out training with Royal Air Force Eurofighters and Spanish F/A-18s at Kazl? R?da training ground on May 11. The German and Norwegian JTACs are part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Lithuania. The British and Spanish air force contingents operate from Šiauliai Air Base and help guard the skies over the Baltic region as part of NATO’s Air Policing mission. NATO’s battlegroup in Lithuania is composed of around 1,200 personnel from Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Norway. The battlegroup is part of the biggest reinforcement of the Alliance’s collective defense in a generation.
India announced Saturday that global companies can now invest up to 74 percent in the country’s defense manufacturing units, up from 49 percent, without requiring any government approval. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressed hope that the new policy will attract foreign companies with high-end technologies to set up their manufacturing bases in India in collaboration with Indian companies. Sitharaman’s announcement came as part of reforms Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is implementing to revive India’s economy, which has been shattered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Watch: Indian Defence Updates : 114 Rafale Confirmed,BrahMos To Indonesia,1st Dhruv-MK3 Test,150 Micro RPAS
Latest updates[?]: Viasat and Data Link Solutions each won a $998.8 million deal for the production, retrofits, development and sustainment of the Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) terminals. Currently, there are three variants of MIDS JTRS terminals: the Concurrent Multi-Netting-4, the Tactical Targeting Network Technology and the F-22 variant. The MIDS JTRS terminal is a line-of-sight radio system for collecting and transmitting broadband, jam-resistant, secure data and voice across a variety of air, sea and ground platforms. These terminals will continue to be procured, sustained and updated for future growth, including JTRS advanced networking waveforms such as: multifunction advanced data link, intra-flight data link and other advanced networking waveforms. The MIDS JTRS terminals make use of high-speed jam-resistant Link-16 tactical data exchange network. The Link 16 allows for real-time transfer of combat data, voice communications, imagery, and relative navigation information between dispersed battle elements, using data encryption and frequency hopping to maintain secure communications. The system facilitates the exchange of data over a common communication link, allowing participants to obtain and share situational awareness information and interoperate within the battlespace. Viasat will perform work in Carlsbad, California. Data Link Solution will perform work in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Expected completion is by May 2025.
PRC-154 with 75th RR
The Pentagon’s JTRS (Joint Tactical Radio System) aimed to replace existing radios in the American military with a single set of software-define radios that could have new frequencies and modes (“waveforms”) added via upload, instead of requiring multiple radio types in ground vehicles, and using circuit board swaps in order to upgrade. Trying to solve that set of problems across the entire American military meant taking on a very a big problem. Maybe too big. JTRS has seen cost overruns and full program restructurings, along with cancellation of some parts of the program.
JTRS HMS (Handheld, Manpack & Small Form-Fit) radios, for use by the individual solder, have survived the tumult, and are now headed into production. They offer soldiers more than just improved communications, and have performed in exercises and on the front lines. Now, production is ramping up.
BAE Systems announced a $26.7 million Navy contract to fit its infrared countermeasures system onto KC-130J cargo and refueling planes. The contract calls for the installation of the Navy’s Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures system, or LAIRCM, the aircraft. The system is a defensive warning package combining a missile warning system and infrared laser jammer countermeasure system to protect the aircraft from guided missiles. Up to 19 KC-130J planes of the Navy will receive the system, which will be installed in Crestview, Florida., in conjunction with Vertex Aerospace LLC. The KC-130 series, built by Lockheed Martin, is capable of aircraft carrier landings despite its size, and is in use by the militaries of 17 countries. France received its second, a refueling plane, in February.
More than 2900 sailors assigned to USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) have returned on board the ship and they have started simulating being at sea while moored at Naval Base Guam. The simulation, also known as fast cruise, allows the crew to test critical systems required to sustain the ship under normal underway conditions. The next important step is to go out to sea to commence carrier qualification flights for Carrier Air Wing 11. The exercise was announced as the branch also said over the weekend that 13 sailors aboard the carrier tested positive for COVID-19 after recovering from illness and one was diagnosed with tuberculosis. The ship has been in Guam since late March, after an outbreak of the virus forced the crew to be placed in isolation or quarantine at US Naval Base Guam. Personnel slowly returned to the ship until early May, when some displayed cough and fever, symptoms of the illness. Some also displayed body aches and headaches, which are expanded COVID-19 symptoms, slowing the crew’s return to the ship.
Middle East & Africa
Alexandria Shipyard launched the fourth and final Gowind 2500 Class corvette for the Egyptian Navy at its facilities. The 102 m ship, named Luxor (986), is the third corvette of the class to be built by the yard under a contract for four Gowind 2500 corvettes signed with French shipbuilder Naval Group in 2014. Under the terms of the agreement, the first of class was built by Naval Group at its yard in Lorient, northwest France, with the follow-on ships to be built at ASY under a transfer of technology arrangement. Gowind 2500 corvettes have a single mast offering 360° surveillance capability. They can accommodate an 11t helicopter and UAS on a helicopter deck. Each vessel has a displacement of 2,600t and is 102m in length. It can operate with a crew of 65 and can also simultaneously accommodate 15 passengers.
British Chinook helicopters have now completed 2000 hours of flying in support of the French military counter insurgency operation in Mali, West Africa. Chinooks began operating in Mali with the French military during July 2018 and since then have moved over one-thousand tonnes of freight and over twelve-thousand passengers. The Chinook helicopters bring a unique logistical capability to the operation, allowing French ground forces to operate more effectively across the region. Currently the helicopters are being flown by aircrew drain from 18(B) Squadron.
Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems won a $22.3 million Aegis Combat Weapon System development contract, which covers multiple Aegis Weapon System baselines and platforms. Under this modification, the contractor will continue performing engineering design support services necessary for continuation of planning efforts and risk reduction efforts required to maintain initial operational capability schedule to support the Aegis Ashore Japan Foreign Military Sales main case. The work will take place in Moorestown, New Jersey, with an expected completion date of July 31, 2020. Funds from the government of Japan in the amount of $22,300,000 are being obligated at the time of award.
South Korea says it has decided to postpone a tri-service maritime live-fire exercise this week due to unfavorable weather conditions. The biannual drill was suppose to take place off the southeastern coast of Uljin starting from today. Local media outlets however speculate that the decision was done so to appease North Korea which had reacted angrily to a Navy-Air Force joint drill in the Yellow Sea earlier this month.
Watch: Fincantieri’s FREMM Wins US Navy FFG(X) Frigate Competition – Part 3: FMM Shipyard Expansion Plan
S&K Aerospace won a $30.9 million deal for the repair, overhaul and upgrade of 361 commercial common items used on the P-8A Poseidon. The Poseidon is a maritime aircraft, which has an active multi-static and passive acoustic sensor system, inverse synthetic aperture radar, new electronic support measures system, new electro-optical/infrared sensor and a digital magnetic anomaly detector. Boeing delivered its 100th P-8A to the US Navy in mid may. The P-8 is a proven long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and coastal operations. A military derivative of the Boeing 737 Next-Generation airplane, the P-8 combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the battle space. S&K Aerospace will perform work in various contractor supplier locations and Byron, Georgia. Estimated completion will be by May 2025.
Boeing won a $13.2 million deal for the AN/USQ-82(V) Program in support of DDG-51 Class new construction, DDG-51 Class modernization and Foreign Military Sales cases. The AN/USQ-82(V) delivers data networking to enable critical and real-time control system communications throughout the Arleigh Burke Class destroyer. The AN/USQ-82(V) family of shipboard networking systems consists of the Data Multiplex System (DMS), the Fiber Optic Data Multiplex System (FODMS), and Gigabit Ethernet Data Multiplex System (GEDMS). It transfers inputs and outputs for the Burke-class destroyer’s machinery control systems, damage-control system, steering control system, Aegis combat system, navigation displays, and interior communications alarms and indicators. The contract combines purchased for the Navy and the governments of Japan and Australia. Work will take place in Smithfield, Pennsylvania and is expected to be finished by August 2021.
Middle East & Africa
NATO’s Multinational MRTT Fleet will take delivery of its first two A330 MRTT aircraft next month. The handover is at the Main Operating Base in Eindhoven. The third and fourth aircraft are currently under conversion at the Airbus Defense facilities in Getafe, Madrid. The fifth A330 was flown from Toulouse to Getafe earlier this month. Six countries have signed up for the program to operate 8 aircraft. The contract includes options for 3 more tankers.
An undisclosed customer contracted Saab to deliver an unspecified number of Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C). The systems, which will be hosted aboard a Saab 2000 twin-turboprop aircraft, are valued at $160 million and will be delivered between 2020 and 2023. While Saab declined to provide further details, the nature of the system, the contract value, and the delivery timelines all indicate that the order is likely to be for between two and three systems. Given that Saab’s primary AEW&C offering is the Bombardier 6000/6500-based GlobalEye, utilizing the Erieye Extended-Range (ER) radar, it is likely that the Saab 2000-based platforms are for a follow-on customer looking to augment their existing fleet, rather than a new customer looking to acquire the latest solution.
Raytheon Missiles and Defense won a $17.4 million modification for the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile program. This modification provides for procurement of two new final assembly test sets and upgrade of two existing final assembly test sets. The AMRAAM system is designed to function as a baseline weapon for the NASAMS missile launcher and engage in air-to-air as well as surface-launch combat. Thirty-seven countries have adopted the weapon to date. Work will take place in Tucson, Arizona. Expected completion date is May 21, 2023.
The Philippine Navy’s future BRP José Rizal multirole frigate left the facilities of South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in the southeastern coastal city of Ulsan en route for the Philippines, according to a statement by the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN). The 107.5 m long frigate, which was launched on May 23, 2019 and is the first of two warships of the class built by HHI, is expected to arrive in the Philippine province of Zambales five days later on the first anniversary of the ship’s launch, after which an official acceptance ceremony is set to be held.
Watch: RAYTHEON TO DEVELOP RAMJET POWERED LONG RANGE SHELL FOR US MILITARY’s 155 MM CANNONS !
Latest updates[?]: NATO’s Multinational MRTT Fleet will take delivery of its first two A330 MRTT aircraft next month. The handover is at the Main Operating Base in Eindhoven. The third and fourth aircraft are currently under conversion at the Airbus Defense facilities in Getafe, Madrid. The fifth A330 was flown from Toulouse to Getafe earlier this month. Six countries have signed up for the program to operate 8 aircraft. The contract includes options for 3 more tankers.
Voyager & friends
Back in 2005, Great Britain was considering a public-private partnership to buy, equip, and operate the RAF’s future aerial tanker fleet. The RAF would fly the 14 Airbus A330-MRTT aircraft on operational missions, and receive absolute preferential access to the planes. A private contractor would handle maintenance, receive payment from the RAF on a per-use basis – and operate them as passenger charter or transport aircraft when the RAF didn’t need them.
The deal became politically controversial, and negotiations on the 27-year, multi-billion pound deal charted new territory for both the government, and for private industry. Which may help to explain why a contract to move ahead on a “Private Financing Initiative” basis had yet to be issued, and procurement had yet to begin, over 7 years after the program began. In March 2008, however, Britain issued the world’s largest-ever Defence Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract. This FOCUS Article describes the current British fleet, the aircraft they chose to replace them, how the new fleet will compare, the innovative deal structure they’ve chosen, and ongoing FSTA developments.