Latest updates[?]: Viasat won a maximum $8.9 million deal for AV-8B spare parts. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 US Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a three-month contract with no option periods. Using military service is Navy. The Harrier II Plus (AV-8B), manufactured by BAE Systems and Boeing, is a VSTOL fighter and attack aircraft operational with the US Marine Corps, the Spanish Navy and the Italian Navy. The Harrier II Plus extends the capabilities of the Harrier with the introduction of a multi-mode radar and beyond-visual-range missile capability. Location of performance is California, with a September 30, 2020, performance completion date.
AV-8B Harrier II
The USA’s AV-8B Harrier IIs have gone from the most accident-prone fighter aircraft in the fleet to a much safer jet whose hover capability and LITENING surveillance and targeting pods proved extremely effective in the urban warfare scenarios of Iraq. In 2007, the USA, Italy and Spain signed a Harrier Integrated Supply Support (HISS) performance-based support deal, worth up to $400 million.
Is this a step forward in terms of contracting for support? Is the British contracting model of comprehensive through-life support on its way across the Atlantic? The answers are yes, and not exactly.
Lockheed Martin won a $7.3 million deal for Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) Operational Realtime Combat Analysis (ORCA) Increment Two. The deal provides for enhancements to the software package known as the JASSM ORCA Increment Two. The JASSM is an autonomous, long-range missile developed and produced by Lockheed Martin. This conventional, air-to-ground and precision standoff missile was designed primarily for the US Air Force (USAF). The 2,000lb class weapon offers high capability and precision in destroying stationary as well as relocatable targets. Work will take place in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Expected completion date will be by June 14, 2021.
Honeywell International won a $27.3 million deal for aircraft generator auxiliary power units in support of the Blackhawk helicopter platform. This was a limited acquisition as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1 (a)(2). The Blackhawk, developed by Sikorsky, has been operational in the US Army since 1978. The helicopter is qualified as a launch platform for the laser-guided Hellfire anti-armor missile. The Black Hawk can carry 16 Hellfire missiles using the external stores support system (ESSS). The ESSS has the capability of carrying a 10,000lb payload of missiles, rockets, cannons and electronic countermeasures pods. The helicopter can also accommodate additional missiles, supplies or personnel inside the cabin. Work will take place in Arizona. Estimated completion date is June 15.
Middle East & Africa
South Korea will be dispatching its KC-330 for its first overseas mission this month when one aircraft will be used to rotate the 707th Special Mission Group contingent in United Arab Emirates. The 707th Special Mission Group is an elite counter-terrorism unit of the Republic of Korea Army Special Warfare Command. Since 2011, the 707th Special Mission Group has maintained a 170-strong Akh unit in the UAE to help train local troops. This upcoming deployment is to bring the 17th batch there. South Korea bought 4 A330s Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) in 2015 and induct the first into service in January 2019.
The Israeli Ministry of Defense and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) recently produced the country’s first 3D-printed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The joint program by the MoD’s Flight Technologies Department, part of the Directorate for Defense Research and Development, and IAI has seen the production of the SkysPrinter UAV and a successful test flight in December 2019. The UAV is electrically powered. It was made from 26 parts printed using metal, nylon, carbon, and complex materials. These were assembled together with glue and fasteners without the need for specialized tools. SkysPrinter’s body is 1.65 m-long, has a wingspan of 1.5 m, and a take-off weight of 7 kg, according to the Ministry of Defense.
The Belarus Ministry of Defense has inducted two Rosa-RB active phased array radars into service. The unit is able to function even if the enemy active and passive jamming. Military experts from the defense Ministry of Belarus explained that precision missiles are considered a serious striking force among the armies of the world. These shells capable of hitting a target, avoiding obstacles created by the natural terrain. Developer “Rosa-RB-M” made “KB Radar”.
Japan abruptly suspended plans to deploy its US-developed Aegis Ashore missile defense system on Monday, citing technical issues and mounting costs. “In view of the cost and time for the deployment, we will halt the process,” Defense Minister Taro Kono said to reporters. The system uses the Lockheed Martin Aegis Weapon System and the Raytheon Standard Missile for tracking and defending against incoming threats. Japan intended to deploy it to counter threats from North Korean missiles, but increasing problems raised the $2.15 billion estimated cost to over $4 billion, including purchase cost and an expected 30-year use.
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The US Navy awarded BAE Systems a contract to produce multiple types of Vertical Launching System (VLS) canisters for $955 million. “The new five-year VLS contract has a total lifetime maximum value of $955 million. The initial contract was awarded in February with $24 million funded, followed by contract modifications of $99 million and $43 million received in March and May respectively. Options on the contract include additional canister types for future Navy production requirements,” the company said in a statement. VLS canisters serve in a multifaceted role as containers for missile shipping and storage as well as launch tubes when loaded into the VLS. They also provide identification and firing support to multiple missile types, including the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile, Standard Missile-2, Standard Missile-3, Standard Missile-6, and the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile. Under this latest contract, BAE Systems will produce canisters not only for the US fleet but also for allied nations under a Foreign Military Sales program.
Last month, the 576th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron applied the popular “ghost” paint scheme to another F-16C assigned to the 64th Aggressor Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base. Joining #84-1220, which was the first jet to get the new scheme, is #86-0299. This jet is a newer Block 32D aircraft. Whereas a typical F-16 paint job would take 12 days, this ghost scheme took 12 people working over 18 days on three different shifts to apply blue, black, two different grays and red paint to the aircraft.
Middle East & Africa
A leaked video confirmed that personnel from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are operating Russian-made Pantsir-S1 air defense systems in Libya, according to Operation Burkan al-Ghadab, the co-ordinating body for forces fighting for the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) against the rival Libyan National Army (LNA). The Free Libya channel broadcast the short video, which appears to show an Emirati officer, instructing forces from the self-styled Libyan National Army, led by renegade commander Khalifa Haftar , to bomb a GNA target. The recording also shows the Emirati officer inside the Russian-made Pantsir S1 air defense system in eastern Libya.
A plan to remove one-third of US soldiers currently stationed in Germany was confirmed by the outgoing US ambassador to Germany. “American taxpayers no longer feel like paying too much for the defense of other countries,” said Ambassador Richard Grenell in an interview. He added that plans include US troop reductions in Japan and South Korea. Earlier this month Grenell formally resigned as ambassador to join Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. There are more than 34,000 U.S. military personnel stationed in Germany, including 20,000 from the Army and 13,000 from the Air Force, a Pentagon deployment report indicated.
Saab has together with the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV) and Swedish Armed Forces have conducted the first tests with the Saab Lightweight Torpedo (SLWT) from a corvette and a submarine. The tests are the first of its kind for the new torpedo and were undertaken during February and March 2020 at sea ranges outside Karlskrona, on Sweden’s east coast in the Baltic Sea. The tests were conducted from a Gotland-class submarine and from a Visby-class corvette. The purpose of the firings was to verify that the torpedo can be safely launched from the vessels, which also included verification of the integration on the vessels as well as SLWT’s target seeker.
Japan has finished the deployment of the PAC-3 MSE interceptors at four of its bases between March and June this year. This was disclosed by General Yoshinari Marumo, Chief of the Air Staff of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, during a press briefing on June 12. The four locations are: JGSDF Camp Narashino; JASDF Hamamatsu Base; JASDF Ashiya Base and JASDF Tsuiki base. The deployment of the new missile interceptors were supposed to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics, previously scheduled to be held this year.
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Scientific Systems won a $9.6 million order, which provides for continuing improvement of the software development processes to enhance cybersecurity and software safety for the Image Based Navigation for Vertical Take-off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Shipboard Landing program in support of the MQ-8 Fire Scout Unmanned Air Vehicle. This is a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase III for research and development performed under the SBIR topic numbers N112-127, N03-025 and AF06-149. The MQ-8 Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle system is comprised of ground control stations, up to three MQ-8B Fire Scout air vehicles, and associated control handling and support equipment. The VTUAV system is designed to operate from air-capable ships with initial deployment on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and will provide a significant improvement to organic surveillance capability. Work will take place in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Estimated completion date is June 2023.
Harper Construction won a $65.2 million contract for the design and construction of a high-bay maintenance hangar for the Bell Boeing V-22 aircraft at Naval Base Coronado. The contract also contains one unexercised option and two planned modifications, which will increase the cumulative contract value to $66,148,955, if exercised. The work to be performed provides for the design and construction of a steel-framed and high-bay maintenance hangar for aircraft, to include one and a half modules of hangar space and associated airfield pavement for aircraft ingress and egress to hangars. The new facility will contain high-bay space, shops and maintenance space, operation, training, administrative space and supporting site infrastructure improvements. The project also includes construction of a hangar access apron. The option, if exercised, provides for reconstruction of the existing north parking lot. The planned modifications, if issued, provide for furniture, fixtures and audiovisual equipment. The V-22 Osprey is a joint-service, medium-lift, multimission tilt-rotor aircraft developed by Boeing and Bell Helicopters. Boeing is responsible for the fuselage, landing gear, avionics, electrical and hydraulic systems, performance and flying qualities. Bell Helicopter Textron is responsible for the wing and nacelle, propulsion, rotor, empennage (complete tail system), ramp, overwing fairing and the dynamics. Work will take place in San Diego, California. Expected completion date will be in January, 2023.
Middle East & Africa
Eight Israeli F-16s were damaged in a flood this January, while five were quickly brought back to service, repairs to 3 aircraft took longer. On June 12, the Israeli Air Force declared that all three aircraft are now serviceable. The commander of AMU (Aerial Maintenance Unit), tasked with repairing the jets, said Lockheed Martin could not provide instructions on how to repair those planes. His men had to come up with the repair procedures based on the unit’s comprehensive knowledge and experience.
The French Navy on Friday announced the test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile on Friday by the last submarine in its fleet to receive a missile upgrade. Reportedly, the missile crossed the Atlantic Ocean, striking an area at sea nearly 400 miles east of Puerto Rico. The launch, from the submarine Le Temeraire in Audierne Bay, off the coast of Brittany near western France, was conducted in relative secrecy. Congratulations later were announced by French Defense Secretary Florence Parly and French Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Christophe Prazuck. The sub is one of four in the French Navy with the “SSBN” classification, indicating the capability of firing nuclear ballistic missiles underwater.
Lockheed Martin won a $183.8 million contract modification, which incorporates additional operation, security and technical services in support of the F-35 Lightning II program for the Republic of Korea. Seoul inked a $6.4 billion deal for 40 F-35A jets in 2014, of which it has received eight until now. According to reports, the country is planning to add 20 more F-35 jets to its fleet of fighter planes. Work will take place in Fort Worth, Texas. Expected completion will be by January 2021.
Lockheed Martin won a $375.5 million contract modification, which provides non-recurring efforts to design and develop unique hardware and software for the Multi-Role Helicopter MH-60R development program for the government of India. The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-blade, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. The MH-60R Seahawk is the Royal Australian Navy’s next generation submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare helicopter. In May, Sikorsky has finalized a $905 million deal to build two dozen MH-60R maritime utility helicopters for India, the largest defense contract that parent company Lockheed Martin has signed with the country. Work will take place in Owego, New York and Stratford, Connecticut. Expected completion date will be by June 2025.
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BAE Systems won a $58.7 million contract, which provides for the manufacture, test and delivery of 239 Mode 5 capable RT-1763C/D AN/APX-111(V) combined interrogator transponders and 397 spare shop replaceable assemblies for the F/A-18 Super Hornet series and Boeing EA-18G Growler warfare aircraft for the Navy and the government of Canada. The US Navy F/A-18 E and F Super Hornet maritime strike attack aircraft, manufactured by Boeing, flew for the first time on November 29 1995. The Super Hornet is about 25% larger than its predecessor, the F/A-18C/D, but contains 42% fewer structural parts. EA-18G Growler is an airborne electronic attack aircraft, which operates from either an aircraft carrier or from land-bases. The Growler was developed as a replacement for the United States Navy EA-6B Prowler aircraft that entered service in 1971 and is approaching the end of operational life. Work will take place in New York and Texas. Estimated completion date will be by December 2025.
The 400th V-22 Osprey was delivered to the Department of Defense, manufacturer Bell Textron Inc. announced on Wednesday. The newest tiltrotor VTOL, or vertical takeoff and landing, CV-22 variant for Special Operations Forces was received by the US Air Force at Hurlbut Field, Florida., home of the 1st Special Operations Group, on June 2. The first V-22 Osprey flight occurred in 1989. The Army, Marines, Navy and the Japan Self-Defense Forces use the aircraft, and Israel, India, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates are considering purchase.
Middle East & Africa
Lockheed Martin won a $1 billion contract modification 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 Advanced Capability-3 missiles. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. The modification includes foreign military sales to Bahrain, Germany, Poland, Qatar, Romania, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. Lockheed received a $6 billion deal in late April to deliver PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement interceptors and related equipment across fiscal years 2021, 2022 and 2023. Work will take place in Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Texas. Estimated completion date is October 31, 2024.
General Dynamics Mission Systems won a $104.2 million deal for fiscal 2020-2023 Columbia (US01) and Dreadnought ballistic missile submarine class development, production and installation requirement. The Columbia Class program is meant to design and build 12 new ballistic missile submarines to replace the Navy’s current force of 14 aging Ohio Class boats. Dreadnought Class nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines are being constructed by BAE Systems at its Barrow-in-Furness shipyard in Cumbria, UK, for the UK Royal Navy.The Dreadnought class will replace the Vanguard class submarines from 2028 onwards and will host the United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent. Work will take place in Massachusetts, the UK, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Work is expected to be complete by November 2024.
Six Italian Air Force F-35 fighter aircraft have landed at Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, for a six-week NATO deployment. “Air Policing is a very important duty for the Alliance. In that regard, even in these difficult times, Italy is deploying F-35 fighters to Iceland to fulfil its task,” said Colonel Michele Cesario, Commander of the Italian F-35 detachment in Iceland after the arrival of the fighter aircraft at Keflavik Air Base. This is the second time after the spring of 2019, that Italy has deployed its fifth generation fighter aircraft to the Allied mission providing interceptor capabilities to safeguard Icelandic airspace.
Taiwan has flown the T-5 Yung Yin or Brave Eagle advanced jet trainer and light fighter aircraft that it has indigenously developed to equip the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF). The milestone saw the supersonic twin-seat Taiwan Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (AIDC) aircraft depart Ching Chuan Kang Air Base and fly for approximately 20 minutes. The first flight came about nine months after the new aircraft was rolled out in September 2019. At that time, it was referred to as Blue Magpie rather than Brave Eagle.
Watch: Defense security news TV weekly navy army air forces industry military equipment June 2020 Ep. 1
General Dynamics won a $17.7 million contract modification for the US Ship Harry S Truman (CVN-75) fiscal 2020 extended continuous incremental availability. The USS Harry S. Truman is the eighth Nimitz Class aircraft carrier of the US Navy. The Truman will be returning home mid-month after remaining at sea the past few months to protect the crew from COVID-19 following a deployment to the Middle East. In early April, the Navy decided to keep the Truman Carrier Strike Group at sea in the Atlantic for the “sustainment phase” where the group would remain safe from COVID-19 and in a high readiness state in case they were called upon to quickly deploy again. An extended continuous incremental availability (ECIA) includes the planning and execution of depot-level maintenance, alterations and modifications that will update and improve the ship’s military and technical capabilities. The fiscal 2020 U.S. Ship Harry S. Truman ECIA is comprised of 117 total work items. The nuclear aircraft carrier’s (CVN) private sector maintenance addresses the maintenance, repair and modernization efforts for CVN 68 Class home, ported-in and visiting the Hampton Roads, Virginia, area, as well as for selected non-nuclear propulsion plant repairs while coordinating with the Naval Supervising Activity, Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), to properly integrate their efforts with nuclear propulsion plant work conducted by NNSY. Work will take place in Portsmouth, Virginia. Estimated completion will be by January 2021.
On Twitter, Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Michael Gilday, announced that he has directed staff to begin preparing an order that would prohibit the Confederate battle flag from all public spaces and work areas aboard Navy installations, ships, aircraft and submarines. Also on Tuesday, Army leadership expressed an openness to renaming posts named in honor of the Confederacy. “The order is meant to ensure unit cohesion, preserve good order and discipline, and uphold the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment,” Gilday wrote. The Navy told Politico that the service is “open” to renaming the service’s 10 bases and facilities that are named after Confederate leaders. Installation and symbols like statues of Confederate leaders have come under renewed national scrutiny in the last five years and again in the two weeks since the death of George Floyd.
Middle East & Africa
Turkey agreed in principle with Russia to procure a second batch of S-400 air defense systems, local news reports. This will include a road map for achieving joint production and technology transfer to Turkey. The deployment of the first batch of S-400 air defense systems was delayed due to the global pandemic and was not complete by April 2020 as previously planned. Despite this setback, Turkey assured that eventually the systems will be deployed and used in spite of the US threats of sanctions against the country.
The United Kingdom deployed operational Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning Strike Fighters aboard the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier for the first time. Four aircraft from the Royal Air Force’s 617 Squadron, known as ‘the Dambusters’, arrived on HMS Queen Elizabeth on June 9 following the earlier embarkation of support personnel from the unit. As noted by Commander Air on board Queen Elizabeth, Commander Ed Phillips, the arrival of the first operational jets marks a major milestone in the standing-up of the UK’s carrier strike capability ahead of the ship’s first operational deployment in 2021. According to the RN, Queen Elizabeth will now enter an intense period of flying having just successfully completed four weeks of basic sea training. The aim is to demonstrate that the F-35Bs can successfully defend the aircraft carrier by delivering combat air patrols and being ready to launch at short notice.
Lockheed Martin won a $70.2 million contract to support Aegis development for the Navy, as well as the governments of Japan, South Korea and Norway. The deal funds Aegis weapon system upgrades to the USS Ticonderoga and USS Arleigh Burke as well as Aegis ballistic missile defense and foreign military sales requirements. It also supports continued technical engineering, configuration management, associated equipment/supplies, quality assurance, information assurance and other operations and maintenance efforts required for the Aegis development and test sites. The Aegis combat system is capable of simultaneous operations against multi-mission threats: anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare. It was first installed on the USS Ticonderoga, which was commissioned in 1983, and is still used on Ticonderoga and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. Work will take place in Moorestown, New Jersey. Expected completion date is in June 2021.
An An-124 cargo plane has delivered an Anasis 2 communications satellite on June 8 to Cape Canaveral. The military communications satellite will be launched into space aboard a Falcon 9 rocket next month. The satellite was previously designated as KMilSatCom 1 and is owned by the South Korean government. Seoul bought the satellite as part of the offset arrangements for its purchase of F-35As. Lockheed Martin subcontracted the manufacture of the satellite to Airbus. Anasis 2 is based on the Eurostar E3000 spacecraft platform.
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Bath Iron Works won a $42.7 million contract modification to exercise options for the accomplishment of lead yard class services for the DDG 51 Class destroyer program. 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. This option exercise is for lead yard services (LYS) for the DDG 51 Class destroyer program. LYS provides necessary engineering, technical, material procurement and production support; configuration; class flight and baseline upgrades and new technology support; data and logistics management; lessons learned analysis; acceptance trials; post-delivery test and trials; post shakedown availability support; reliability and maintainability; system safety program support; material and fleet turnover support; shipyard engineering team; turnkey; crew indoctrination, design tool/design standardization, detail design development, and other technical and engineering analyses for the purpose of supporting DDG 51 Class ship construction and test and trials. In addition, DDG 51 Class LYS may provide design, engineering, procurement and manufacturing/production services to support design feasibility studies and analyses that modify DDG 51 Class destroyers for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programs sponsored by the Department of the Navy and the Department of Defense. Work will take place in Maine and other locations. estimated completion date is in June 2021.
A fault in the launch system kept planes from launching from the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford during a five-day test, the Navy said. The Ford was at sea for testing of communications and data systems, as well as flight operations, over the weekend, but was unable to launch planes for five days. A fault in the power-handling system connecting the ship’s turbines to its EMALS — Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System — was discovered on June 2 and not rectified until June 7, allowing flyoffs by the Carrier Air Wing. The cause of the fault remains under investigation.
Middle East & Africa
Iran has continued to increase its stockpiles of enriched uranium and remains in violation of its deal with world powers, the United Nations’ atomic watchdog said Friday. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported the finding in a confidential document distributed to member countries and seen by The Associated Press. Accordingly, Iran’s total stockpile of low-enriched uranium amounted to 1,571.6 kilograms (1.73 tons), up from 1,020.9 kilograms (1.1 tons) on February 19. Iran signed the nuclear deal in 2015 with the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia. Known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, it allows Iran only to keep a stockpile of 202.8 kilograms. The IAEA reported that Iran has also been continuing to enrich uranium to a purity of 4.5 percent, higher than the 3.67 percent allowed under the JCPOA. It is also above the pact’s limitations on heavy water.
Georgia’s Defense Minister Irakli Garibashvili says his country is capable of producing and selling the Su-25 attack jet. “We have absolutely all the resources, technical, intellectual or human, to be able to restore, produce, and sell the Su-25,” Garibashvili said in an interview on Palitranews tv channel. The majority of Su-25 in service were produced by Tbilisi Aircraft Manufacturing in Georgia before the end of the Soviet Union.
Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems won a $37.5 million contract modification for additional Aegis combat system engineering, computer program maintenance, in-country support, staging support and implementation studies in support of current and future Foreign Military Sales Aegis shipbuilding programs in support of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Republic of Korea Navy, Spanish Armada, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Norwegian Navy, with scope available to support other potential FMS customers. This modification will provide for additional Aegis combat system engineering, computer program maintenance, in-country support, staging support and implementation studies in support of current and future shipbuilding programs for Japan, Korea, Spain, Australia, Norway and other potential FMS customers. The Aegis FMS programs that will be supported include the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kongo and Atago Class ships, Republic of Korea Navy KDX III Class ships, Spanish Armada F-100 and F-110 program, Royal Norwegian Navy F310 Class ships and Royal Australian Navy Hunter and Hobart Class ships. Work will take place in New Jersey, Japan, South Korea, Norway and Australia. Expected completion will be by September 2020.
An engine issue that emerged last year on the Kawaski T-4 jet trainer has yet to be fully rectified, leaving the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) with insufficient numbers of training aircraft. This has forced the Blue Impulse aerobatic team to fly only 4-ship formations as the other serviceable aircraft had to be made available for training of pilots. The root cause was a baffle on the Ishikawajima-Harima F3-IHI-30 turbofan engine, which needs to be replaced. A T-4 from Misawa was forced to shutdown an engine in-flight last year after severe vibrations occurred. Investigators determined that the baffle needs to be switched out but the process of replacing 200 engines in service takes a long time.
Watch: China Shocked: US warship steams through Taiwan Strait Amid Tension with China
Northrop Grumman Systems won a ceiling $11.4 million contract modification for left-hand and right-hand wing tips for the T-38 weapon system. The T-38 Talon is a twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer used in a variety of roles because of its design, economy of operations, ease of maintenance, high performance and exceptional safety record. Work will take place in Stockton, California. Expected completion is in July 2027.
The strike group led by aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman will return to Norfolk, Virginia after several months at sea, the Navy announced on Friday. The vessel left Norfolk, its home port, in November for deployment to the Middle East. Several ships in its strike force, which includes the Ticonderoga Class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy and the Arleigh Burke Class guided missile destroyers USS Lassen, USS Forrest Sherman and USS Farragut, have been at sea longer through multiple extensions of their deployment. In April, the strike group was kept at sea in the Atlantic Ocean for a “sustainment phase” in which crew members could remain safe from the pandemic but in a high readiness state. Sustainment phases are generally conducted pierside.
Middle East & Africa
The Air Force announced that it has deployed troops from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings, flying F-35A aircraft, into combat to support the United States in the Middle East. The 421st Fighter Squadron departed Utah’s Hill Air Force Base on May 20 for Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates to support Central Command in the region, the Air Force said. This marks the third deployment for the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings in about 12 months.
For the first time American B-1B Bombers conducted a joint training with Norwegian and Swedish fighter jets in Swedish airspace. Norway said that the exercise is “one of the largest of its kind, and several allied and partners trained along with the US B-1B”. The Norwegian military says such joint flight missions are of high priority. “Today we have conducted complex flight operations with advanced systems, both on the ground and in the air,” says Lieutenant Colonel Ståle Nymoen. He is the commander of the 332 squadron which operates the F-35s from Ørland airbase. Norway, as one of NATO’s founding members, points to the United States as the most important ally for defending Norway in case of a crisis or conflict.
The Navy destroyer USS Russell completed a transit of the Taiwan Strait, the waterway between China and Taiwan, on Thursday and Friday, officials said. The Arleigh Burke Class guided missile destroyer made the voyage days after China’s newest aircraft carrier, Shangdong, left the area and sailed northward for sea trials in the Yellow Sea. “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows,” Cmdr. Reann Mommsen, US 7th Fleet spokesperson told USNI.
A delivery contract for 1,500 tons of steel plate, for prototypes of the Australian Navy’s Hunter Class frigates was signed, BAE Systems announced. BlueScope Steel AIS will supply the steel to ASC Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia, to construct five ship blocks in the prototyping phase of the program. The blocks will then test processes, systems, tools, and facilities before the start of construction, in 2022, of the first of nine planned frigates.
According to media reports, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has approved the development of a new close in weapon system for the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy. The CIWS-II program will defend ROK Navy surface vessels against anti-ship missiles and fast attack craft. The Close-in Weapon System (CIWS)-II is set to be developed between 2021 and 2030 for $289 million. It will reportedly feature a 30 mm Gatling-type gun and a new active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.
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As Asia-Pacific nations invest in submarines, serious regional players also need to invest in anti-submarine capabilities. Aircraft like the P-8A Poseidon are great, but nothing really replaces dedicated and capable ASW ships. Their opponents’ anti-ship missiles are also experiencing a jump in capability, so a secondary air defense role isn’t optional. Australia’s 2 remaining FFG-7 Adelaide-class frigates have finished an expensive and somewhat rickety systems upgrade, but they fall short of what’s needed, and won’t last all that much longer. The Adelaide-class will soon be succeeded by 3 new Hobart-class AWD. The RAN’s 8 ANZAC-class frigates are receiving much smoother ASMD air defense upgrades that will make them quite useful, but their service life will begin ebbing around 2024. Hence Australia’s SEA 5000 Future Frigate program, which may receive an early push from issues with Australia’s naval industrial base…
Austal won a $7.7 million contract for the accomplishment of post shakedown availability (PSA) for the littoral combat ship (LCS) US Ship Oakland (LCS-24). Work includes correcting government-responsible trial card deficiencies, new work identified between custody transfer and the time of PSA and incorporating the approved engineering changes that were not incorporated during the construction period (which are not otherwise the building yard’s responsibility under the ship construction contract). The LCS is a set of two classes of relatively small surface vessels designed for operations near shore by the US Navy. LCS-24 is the 12th Independence-variant littoral combat ship. Last month, the ship successfully completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico. Work will take place in San Diego, California. Estimated completion date will be by December 2021.
General Electric won a $180.6 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract, which procures commercial depot level services for the repair and overhaul of T700-GE-401/401C turbo shaft engines, cold section modules and power turbine modules for the Navy H-60 Seahawk helicopter as well as the Marine Corps H-1 Cobra and Bell UH-1 Huey aircraft. The General Electric T700-GE-401 was the first engine qualified under the rigorous US Navy salt ingestion tests, where it proved its suitability for naval operation. The Sea Hawk is a twin-engine helicopter. It is used for anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, drug interdiction, anti-ship warfare, cargo lift, and special operations. The H-1 Cobra is a two-blade rotor, single-engine. Th Huey is a utility military helicopter. Work will take place in Wingsfield, Kansas. Expected completion will be by June 2025.
Middle East & Africa
France says it has killed the leader of al-Qaeda in North Africa, Abdelmalek Droukdel, in an operation in Mali. Defense Minister Florence Parly said Droukdel along with members of his inner circle had been killed in the north of the country on Wednesday. French forces had also captured a senior Islamic State group commander in Mali in an operation in May, she said. As head of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Droukdel was in charge of all affiliates in North Africa and also commanded al-Qaeda’s Sahel affiliate, Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM).
According to media outlets quoting an anonymous senior defense official report that Trump has ordered the Pentagon to withdraw 9,500 of the 34,500 troops permanently assigned to Germany as part of a longstanding arrangement between the two countries. Defense officials said they had no immediate comment on the subject and referred questions to the White House National Security Council, which did not respond to queries. The reduction plan, pushed by US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, has been closely held within the White House. Grenell has also served for the past several months as acting director of national intelligence, following Trump’s firing of his predecessor, acting director Joseph Maguire, over concerns about Maguire’s staff’s loyalty.
A Indonesian Army Mi-17V5 helicopter has crashed on June 6 in Kendal district. The helicopter is assigned to the Army Aviation Education Center and was on a training flight. Four out of the nine people on board were killed. “The helicopter was flying very low and getting lower until it crashed with a very loud sound,” said Eka, a witness quoted by Kompas TV. “Two passengers escaped before it crashed and after that there were three or four explosions.”
A former Air India 777-300ER airliner that is slated to be the VVIP transport for the Indian government has arrived at Fort Worth. The aircraft was photographed in its new official livery. The plane will be used to ferry the President and the Prime Minister of the country. It will arrive in India and will be put out on the field this year. The Indian Air Force has made several visits to the Boeing facility where they frequently contributed with the progress and development of the aircraft.
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