General Dynamics Missions Systems won a $13.6 million contract modification to exercise an option for engineering support for ongoing development, test and production of the Surface Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (SMCM UUV) program, also known as Knifefish. The Knifefish program will provide persistent volume and bottom mine hunting capability in a contested environment. This option exercise is for engineering support hours to support a number of efforts, including test and evaluation, engineering change proposal development and upgrade initiatives. The Knifefish is an autonomous unmanned water vehicle. It is a propeller-driven minesweeping robot. Work will take place in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and Michigan. Estimated completion will be by September 2021.
Lockheed Martin won an $861.7 million modification, which exercises options to procure eight Lot 14 F-35A Lightning II repositioned aircraft as a result of the Republic of Turkey’s removal from the F-35 program, and six Lot 14 F-35A aircraft for the Air Force. Additionally, this modification establishes undefinitized line items that provides recurring engineering in support of the modification of the eight Lot 14 F-35A Lightning II repositioned aircraft to a full operationally capable F-35A Air Force configuration. Lockheed Martin has marketed the F-35 successfully to 14 countries over nearly 20 years. Subtracting Turkey’s canceled program for 100 jets, Lockheed still boasts commitments from 13 countries to buy nearly 3,220 F-35s, with deliveries projected out to 2046. Work will take place in Texas, California, United Kingdom, Florida, New Hampshire, Maryland, California and various locations within the continental US. Expected completion date will be by May 2026.
Middle East & Africa
According to Elbit Systems, the Israeli Defense Forces recently initiated a series of brigade level exercises in Elbit Systems’ new Brigade and Battlegroup Mission Training Center. The new training center immerses commanders, headquarters staff and two subordinate command levels in high-fidelity combat situations in actual battle zone territory. It presents commanders and their staff with a realistic operational picture, enables them to operate a range of assets, compels them to respond to real-time changes and requires them to cope with tactical communications that are realistically impacted by various effects.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense finalized a contract for a new Skynet military satellite in a $628.5 million deal with Airbus Defense and Space. The contract calls for launch and ground support of the latest Skynet 6A telecommunications satellite, which is regarded as an improvement of military communications capability — and is an update to the current Skynet 5 system. A new generation of communications spacecraft, a $7.5 billion upgrade, is expected at the end of the decade. The deal has been in the works since 2017, when Airbus was chosen as a preferred supplier and received a preliminary contract for the new system. The satellite will be developed and assembled in Britain, with a planned launch date of 2025.
As a part of Saab’s plan to create a hub for participation in the future Combat Air Systems program (FCAS); Saab will be creating a new FCAS center in the UK. The center forms part of Saab’s long term plans for the UK market to develop indigenous capabilities, invest in research and development and grow intellectual property. Saab is committed to build a long term relationship with the UK related to FCAS by investing initially 50 MGBP. The UK and Sweden signed a MoU on FCAS co-operation in July 2019. Saab is leading Sweden’s FCAS industrial participation in close co-operation with Sweden’s Ministry of Defense.
Japan is reportedly immediately scrambling fighter jets against all Chinese military aircraft taking off from an air base in Fujian Province, as tensions continue between the two countries over the Senkaku Islands. China has escalated its pressure campaign against Japan’s Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea in recent months, using increased maritime and air operations and heightened administrative and enforcement claims. Beijing claims the islands, which Japan administers, as the Diaoyu Islands. Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force planes have been flying above the East China Sea from sunrise to sunset every day to monitor Chinese military aircraft moves, the sources said. Before Japan reviewed its policy early last year, it used to scramble fighter jets against Chinese military aircraft approaching its airspace.
Watch: INDIAN NAVY HOLDS NAVAL EXERCISE WITH ‘USS NIMITZ’ CARRIER STRIKE GROUP- CLEAR MESSAGE TO CHINA !