The Air Force deployed four B1-B Lancer bombers and 200 airmen to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, from Texas for training operations. Three Lancers flew to Guam while one flew east of Japan to conduct training with US Navy assets operating in the region before heading to Andersen AFB, the Air Force said in a statement. The aircraft and personnel are part of the 9th Bomb Squad, 7th Bomb Wing of Dyess Air Force Base in Texas. The length of the deployment was not announced. B-1s, which can carry a larger missile payload than B-52 bombers, were last deployed to the Indo-Pacific region in 2017. “Deployments like this allow our airmen to enhance the readiness and training necessary to respond to any potential crisis or challenge across the globe,” Col. Ed Sumangil, 7th Bomber Wing commander, said in the statement. “It also provides a valuable opportunity to better integrate with our allies and partners through joint and combined operations and exercises.”
Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Missiles & Defense will partner to develop the Defense Department’s next missile interceptor, the companies announced. The joint effort is in pursuit of of a US Missile Defense Agency contract to replace the Redesigned Kill Vehicle program, which was abruptly cancelled in August 2019. Two bidders will be selected to compete for the Next Generation Interceptor program, a $664.1 million project of the MDA. The Pentagon formally issued a request for proposals in April, and will accept bids until July 31.The US military currently uses Raytheon’s Exo-Atmospheric Kill Vehicle, which uses a ground-based interceptor missile to boost it to an intercept trajectory. It then separates from the boost vehicle and using its own rockets to correct the trajectory, collides with an incoming warhead, known as hit-to-kill.
Middle East & Africa
The Israel’s Ministry of Defense ordered 6.6-pound drones for its ground forces working in urban areas. The Rafael Spike Firefly is a “loitering munition,” also known as a kamikaze drone or suicide drone, a category in which the single-use munition loiters airborne in a target area, searches for targets, and attacks once one is located, exploding on contact. The munition weighs about 6.6 pounds. It fills a niche between cruise missiles and unmanned combat aerial vehicles, although the system chosen by the IDF is notably small and transportable by a single soldier.
General Dynamics Electric Boat won a $60.6 million contract to provide US Trident II Strategic Weapon System (SWS) ship alterations and United Kingdom SWS ship alterations for Strategic Systems Program shipboard integration installations. The Trident missile is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) equipped with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV). Originally developed by Lockheed Missiles and Space Corporation, the missile is armed with thermonuclear warheads and is launched from nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). Trident missiles are carried by fourteen United States Navy Ohio-class submarines, with American warheads, as well as four Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines, with British warheads. The missile is named after the mythological trident of Neptune. Work will take place Washington, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Scotland and England. Estimated completion will be by April 2024.
Serbia’s 3rd missile battalion of the 250th Air Defense Missile Brigade has been equipped with the Pantsir-S1E self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile system. Serbian President Aleksandar Vu?i? visited the unit on the 21st anniversary of the shot down of USAF chief of staff Gen. David Goldfein on May 2. Goldfein’s F-16 was hit by a S-125 missile fired by the unit.
Boeing Australia has rolled out the first of three Loyal Wingman prototype unmanned aircraft. The aircraft will make its maiden flight this year. It’s the first of three prototypes for Australia’s Loyal Wingman Advanced Development Program, and the first aircraft to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years. Loyal Wingman drones are meant to provide fighter-like performance with the capacity to fly more than 2,000 nautical miles (2,300 statute miles). The prototype unveiled today will now begin ground testing, with taxi tests and flight tests due later this year.
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Northrop Grumman Systems won a $27.4 million contract modification to exercise options to procure integrated bridge and navigation systems for the DDG-51 (guided missile destroyer) New Construction Ship Program and DDG-51 Midlife Modernization Program with physical throttles kits and engineering services. The Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) Class guided missile destroyers provide a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface environments. These ships respond to Low Intensity Conflict/Coastal and Littoral Offshore Warfare (LIC/CALOW) scenarios as well as open-ocean conflict independently or as units of Carrier Strike Groups (CSG), Surface Action Groups (SAG), and Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESG). Work will take place in Charlottesville, Virginia. The integrated bridge and navigation system is a hull, mechanical and electrical upgrade. It is part of the comprehensive plan to modernize the DDG-51 class to ensure the ships remain combat relevant and affordable throughout their life. Estimated completion will be by August, 2021.
Raytheon won $17.2 million for dual band radar systems engineering in support of CVN 78. According to the company, the dual band radar is the first radar system in the US Navy fleet capable of operating on the S-band and X-band frequency at the same time. DBR systems allow unmanned operation of and uses commercial off-the-shelf technology for signal and data processing. CVN 78 is the lead ship of her class of aircraft carriers. Work will take place in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Estimated completion will be by February 2022.
Middle East & Africa
Point Junction Car Rental won a $95 million contract for lease vehicle services at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, the Pentagon announced. This is a non-personal services contract to provide vehicle lease service for the Expeditionary Logistic Readiness Support Squadron. Completion date is November 30, 2024. Work is the result of a competitive acquisition with 21 offers received. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $30,713 will be obligated at the time of award.
The German Navy reported that its U212A diesel submarine U33 had moved to Kiel earlier the same day to be placed in drydock after the crew found a leak while at sea the previous week. ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems’ Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft shipyard, which built the submarine, will repair the leak in one of the U33’s torpedo tubes, which could not be precisely located at sea, the German Navy said. The German Navy expects the U33 to return to sea no later than May 11 to continue normal operations.
Lockheed Martin won a $19.5 million contract modification for the procurement of the Korean Gun Computing System development, software, and hardware and subassemblies for installation. The modification will finalize the Korean Gun Computing System interface design specifications for the integration with the Aegis combat system. The Aegis Combat System is an American integrated naval weapons system. The heart of the system is the AN/SPY-1, an advanced, automatic detect and track, multi-function phased-array radar. Work will take place South Korea, New Jersey and Florida. Expected completion will be by July 2026.
DRS Laurel Technology won a $11.8 million modification to exercise options for procurement of AN/USQ-82(V) hardware in support of DDG-51 (guided missile destroyer) class new construction, DDG-51 class modernization, and Aegis Ashore Japan. Aegis Ashore is the land-based variant of the Navy’s Aegis Weapons System. The 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, alarms indicating and damage control systems. Work will take place in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Estimate completion will be by August 2021.
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Lockheed Martin won a $6.1 billion contract for incidental services, hardware, facilities, equipment and all technical, planning, management, manufacturing and testing efforts to produce Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target (PATRIOT) Advanced Capability-3 missiles, missile segment enhancement configuration and associated ground support equipment and spares. The PATRIOTs in question, commonly known as “PATRIOT PAC-3,” comprise only the missile portion of the PATRIOT air defense system. Lockheed peer Raytheon produces the missile’s launcher system and its radar tracker. In addition to the US military, nine allied nations, including Bahrain, Germany, Japan, Korea, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Sweden, and the United Arab Emirates have signed agreements to procure PAC-3 MSE interceptors from Lockheed. Work will take place in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Massachusetts, Texas and Pennsylvania. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2027.
Honeywell International won a $11 million contract for the purchase and repair of one spare part supporting the AN/TPQ-50 Counterfire Target Acquisition Radar System. The AN/TPQ-50 is a US Army Program of Record that provides early warning for indirect fire and counterfire target acquisition support. The system has proven to be exceptionally effective at providing early warning and location of rocket and mortar threats facing the warfighter. The AN/TPQ-50 is part of the LCMR family of radars that SRC produces for counterfire missions. Work will take place in Florida. Estimated completion date is April 29, 2025.
Middle East & Africa
Kratos Technology & Training Solutions won a $16.1 million contract supporting all levels of In-Kingdom Royal Saudi Naval Forces training, logistical and advisory services in support of the Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity. Kratos Technology & Training Solutions, Inc. provides information technology services. The Company delivers management software products, as well as offers implementation and consultative services. The contract will include a six-month base period with an additional three-month period option and a 15-day period for demobilization which, if exercised, will bring the total value to $25.6 million. Saudi Arabian funds in the amount of $16.1 million will be obligated at the time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Saudi Arabian funds will be used under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will take place in Saudi Arabia and California. The base period of performance is expected to be complete by November 2020; if options are exercised, work will be complete by February 2021.
Lockheed Martin won a $129.2 million contract modification, which procures the kits required for modification and retrofit activities of delivered Air Force and government of Norway F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. In November 2008, the Norwegian government selected the F-35 as the replacement for the F-16 fleet. And in September 2015, the first F-35A was unveiled before Norwegian and US government officials and Lockheed Martin leadership at a formal ceremony at the Lockheed Martin production facility in Fort Worth, Texas. Work will take place in Nashua, New Hampshire; Fort Worth, Texas; and Baltimore, Maryland. Work is expected to be complete by April 2025.
The DoS approved a possible Foreign Military Sale for six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $1.5 billion.The AH-64E Apache is a twin-seat, twin-turboshaft attack helicopter. The E variant is a recent upgrade, expanding the engine, armament, and on-board connectivity capabilities. The E variant is capable of controlling unmanned aerial vehicles and has a greater payload capacity along with more sophisticated datalinks. The Philippines is considering either the AH-1Z or the AH-64E to modernize its attack helicopter capabilities. The proposed sale will assist the Philippines in developing and maintaining strong self-defense, counterterrorism, and critical infrastructure protection capabilities. The Philippines will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment and support into its armed forces.
The DoS also approved a Foreign Military Sale to the Philippines of six AH-1Z attack helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $450 million. The AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine attack helicopter that is smaller than the Apache and a lower payload capacity. The Philippines armed forces would incorporate the proposed attack helicopters for use in counterterrorism and critical infrastructure protection missions. The United States has supported the Philippines in counterterrorism in recent years, including with logistical and intelligence support. Both proposed sales “will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South-East Asia,” the DSCA noted in its releases.
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Latest updates[?]: Honeywell International won a $11 million contract for the purchase and repair of one spare part supporting the AN/TPQ-50 Counterfire Target Acquisition Radar System. The AN/TPQ-50 is a US Army Program of Record that provides early warning for indirect fire and counterfire target acquisition support. The system has proven to be exceptionally effective at providing early warning and location of rocket and mortar threats facing the warfighter. The AN/TPQ-50 is part of the LCMR family of radars that SRC produces for counterfire missions. Work will take place in Florida. Estimated completion date is April 29, 2025.
Firefinder radars track the path of incoming shells, rockets, mortars, etc., and calculate the point they were fired from. Raytheon’s TPQ-36 radar is specifically designed to counter medium range enemy weapon systems out to a range of 24 kilometers, while the TPQ-37 can locate longer-range systems, and even surface launched missiles, out to 50 kilometers. Michael Yon, embedded with 1-24 (“Deuce Four”) in Mosul, offered a first hand description of counter-battery radars’ effect on enemy tactics in 2005.
Better radar technologies offer a number of potential advantages for this role, including wider fields of view and less maintenance. Not to mention fewer disruptive, time-sucking false positives for deployed troops. In September 2006, Lockheed Martin began a contract to deliver their “Enhanced AN/TPQ-36” (EQ-36) radars. Despite the close official name and designation, this was a wholly new radar system, from a different company. Orders have begun to accumulate, along with deployments – and, finally, a less confusing designation change to AN/TPQ-53.
Physical Optics won a $17.8 million order, which provides non-recurring engineering for the production, test, integration and delivery of the T-45 Head-Up Display (HUD) and its associated internal software. The T-45A/C Goshawk is the US Navy’s two-seat advanced jet trainer. The aircraft is jointly manufactured by Boeing and BAE Systems. The T-45A was selected to meet the US Navy requirement for an undergraduate jet pilot trainer to replace the TA-4J Skyhawk and T-2C Buckeye. The TA-4J was retired in 2003 and the T-2C in August 2008. Work will take place in Torrance, California. Estimated completion date is in April 2022.
An initial report by the US Air Force into the use of contractor-operated boom-type tankers has found legal, regulatory, and financial challenges. Thus, Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett has given Air Mobility Command another 60 days to better understand those legal and financial issues. The service was keen to have a contractor-operated boom-type tanker support aerial refueling for test and training missions. Private companies are supposed to supply one aircraft equipped with boom and hose and drogue refueling for refueling duties at around 1,100 sorties a year.
Middle East & Africa
The US Army has named FN America LLC and Colt’s Manufacturing Co. LLC as competitors in its $383.3 million contract to supply M16 rifles to Afghanistan, Iraq, Grenada, Lebanon and Nepal. The M16A4 is the fourth generation of the M16 series of military rifles. The US has approved the sale of 80000 and 4400 M16A4 rifles to Iraq in 2008 and 2017, and 891 of them to Afghanistan in 2016. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of April 28, 2025. Starting 2015, the US military began replacing the M16 with a shorter and lighter version, the M4 carbine.
CFM International won a $13.6 million contract modification, which exercises an option to procure one CFM56-7B27AE commercial-off-the-shelf engine for the government of the United Kingdom. CFM International is a joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines. The joint venture has delivered 30,700 engines to more than 570 operators and has 13,700 engines in backlog. Work will take place in France, North Carolina and is expected to be complete by April 2021. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $13,582,486 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Saab has successfully completed the first air trials with its new fighter X-band Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, which will be offered as a new addition to Saab’s PS-05/A radar family. Saab continues to develop core AESA technology and has now successfully completed the first air trials with the new X-band AESA radar. The trials were flown successfully, collecting data while detecting and tracking objects. The radar is designed for fighter aircraft and can be adapted to a variety of platforms. As Saab previously announced, a version of the new AESA antenna has been sold to the US. Government customer. “This is an important step in the development of our new fighter AESA radar. We see great possibilities for the radar, and its modular, adaptable and scalable design means it can also be used for a range of other applications”, says Anders Carp, SVP and head of Saab’s business area Surveillance.
South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has launched the fourth of eight Daegu (FFX-II) Class guided-missile frigates on order for the Republic of Korea Navy. Named Donghae, the 122.1 m-long warship entered the water during a ceremony held on April 29 at HHI’s facilities in the southeastern coastal city of Ulsan, and is expected to be handed over to the service in late 2021. The Daegu class is a larger variant of South Korea’s six Incheon (FFX-I) Class ships, the first of which entered service in 2013. The class has an overall beam of 14 m, a standard displacement of 2,800 tonnes, and a full-loaded displacement of 3,650 tonnes. Each FFX-II ship is powered by one Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine engine and two Leonardo DRS permanent magnet motors driven by MTU 12 V 4000 diesel-generator sets in a combined diesel-electric or gas (CODLOG) configuration. Each of the ships can attain a maximum speed of 30 kt.
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Latest updates[?]: South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has launched the fourth of eight Daegu (FFX-II) Class guided-missile frigates on order for the Republic of Korea Navy. Named Donghae, the 122.1 m-long warship entered the water during a ceremony held on April 29 at HHI's facilities in the southeastern coastal city of Ulsan, and is expected to be handed over to the service in late 2021. The Daegu class is a larger variant of South Korea's six Incheon (FFX-I) Class ships, the first of which entered service in 2013. The class has an overall beam of 14 m, a standard displacement of 2,800 tonnes, and a full-loaded displacement of 3,650 tonnes. Each FFX-II ship is powered by one Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine engine and two Leonardo DRS permanent magnet motors driven by MTU 12 V 4000 diesel-generator sets in a combined diesel-electric or gas (CODLOG) configuration. Each of the ships can attain a maximum speed of 30 kt.
FFX: Jeonbuk launch
South Korea currently owns some of the world’s best and most advanced shipyards. That civilian strength is beginning to create military leverage, and recent years have seen the ROK take several steps toward fielding a true open-ocean, blue water navy. Their new KDX-II destroyers, KDX-III AEGIS destroyers, LPX amphibious assault ships, and KSS-I/KSS-II (U209/U214) submarines will give the nation more clout on the international stage, but what about the home front? North Korea’s gunboats have launched surprise attacks on the ROK Navy twice in the last decade, while its submarines continue to insert commandos in South Korean territory, and committed acts of war by sinking ROKN ships. To the west, Chinese fishing rights are a contentious issue that has led to the murder of a Korean Coast Guard official on the high seas.
Hence the Future Frigate Experimental (FFX) program. It aims to build upon lessons learned from ROK naval shipbuilding programs in the 1980s and 1990s, and replace 37 existing ships with a modern class of upgunned inshore patrol frigates. A contract to build the lead FFX frigate Incheon was issued in December 2008, and South Korea continues to work to define the program, including the forthcoming Batch II design.