Lockheed Martin won a $14.1 million contract modification for AN/SLQ-32(V)6 design agent engineering services. The AN/SLQ-32 is a shipboard electronic warfare suite built by Raytheon and the Hughes Aircraft Company. It is currently the primary electronic warfare system in use by US Navy ships. AN/SLQ-32(V)6, the latest fielded variant of the AN/SLQ-32, incorporates receiver, antenna and combat system interface upgrades developed under the SEWIP Block 2 ACAT II program and adds the High Gain High Sensitivity adjunct sensor developed under the SEWIP Block 1B3 ACAT II program. Work will take place in Syracuse, New York, and is expected to be completed by November 2021.
Three National Guard bases and a Navy Reserve base were selected to receive new C-130J Super Hercules cargo planes, the US Air Force announced. Louisville Air National Guard Base in Kentucky, McLaughlin ANGB in West Virginia and Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Texas are set to start receiving eight new aircraft each in the coming year. Savannah ANGB in Georgia is also scheduled to receive C-130Js “if they become available in the future,” officials said in a press release. The Lockheed Martin-built planes are improvements over earlier C-130 variants they will replace, and offer reduced manpower requirements and operating and support costs, providing life-cycle cost savings, the Air Force said. The C-130J climbs faster and higher, flies farther at a higher cruise speed, and takes off and lands in a shorter distance than its predecessors.
Middle East & Africa
Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller made a surprise visit to Somalia Friday in the last of a four-country tour as President Donald Trump contemplates a draw down of counterterrorism troops there. Miller, who replaced Mark Esper on November 9, was making his first trip abroad in the position. The US military has about 700 troops in the country. Miller was visiting neighboring Djibouti as part of his scheduled trip when he took a flight to Somalia without traveling press. Officials said he is believed to be the first defense secretary to visit the country.
The final test firing trial of the Sea Venom/ANL missile was completed November 17 at the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) test site at Ile du Levant. The final qualification trial tested the missile’s advanced target discrimination within a complex and cluttered naval scenario, MBDA says. Soon to start equipping the Royal Navy’s AW159 Wildcat and Marine nationale’s H160M Guépard shipborne helicopters, the Sea Venom/ANL anti-ship missile is a co-operation project developed under the Lancaster House treaty between France and the United Kingdom.
The governments of India and Sri Lanka are in talks for the donation of one Do 228 maritime patrol aircraft. Another aircraft will be sold to Sri Lanka as well. It has been discussed that the cost of one aircraft is said to be around $8 million. During the discussion, it has been decided to deploy an aircraft currently used by India with Indian pilots and coast guard officers immediately for surveillance operations and to provide the necessary training to the Sri Lankan counterparts. Thereafter, it is planned to deliver the first aircraft of this type manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to Sri Lanka free of charge.
Japan will attempt to launch a military communications satellite today that will relay data collected by its optical and radar-imaging reconnaissance satellites. This new satellite replaces the Data Relay Test Satellite (DRTS) that was decommissioned in 2017. It has a Laser Utilizing Communication System (LUCAS) that allows a network throughput of 1.8 gbps. The Optical Data Relay Satellite payload aboard this mission will be used to relay data collected by Japan’s fleet of Information Gathering Satellites (IGS) – including both optical and radar-imaging reconnaissance spacecraft – back to Earth for analysis.
Watch: This Is Why the C-130 Is Such a Badass Plane
Latest updates[?]: Lockheed Martin won a $14.1 million contract modification for AN/SLQ-32(V)6 design agent engineering services. The AN/SLQ-32 is a shipboard electronic warfare suite built by Raytheon and the Hughes Aircraft Company. It is currently the primary electronic warfare system in use by US Navy ships. AN/SLQ-32(V)6, the latest fielded variant of the AN/SLQ-32, incorporates receiver, antenna and combat system interface upgrades developed under the SEWIP Block 2 ACAT II program and adds the High Gain High Sensitivity adjunct sensor developed under the SEWIP Block 1B3 ACAT II program. Work will take place in Syracuse, New York, and is expected to be completed by November 2021.
The US Navy’s AN/SLQ-32 ECM (Electronic Countermeasures) system uses radar warning receivers, and in some cases active jamming, as the part of ships’ self-defense system. The “Slick 32s” provides warning of incoming attacks, and is integrated with the ships’ defenses to trigger Rapid Blooming Offboard Chaff (RBOC) and other decoys, which can fire either semi-automatically or on manual direction from a ship’s ECM operators.
The “Slick 32” variants are based on modular building blocks, and each variant is suited to a different type of ship. Most of these systems were designed in the 1970s, however, and are based on 1960s-era technology. Unfortunately, the SLQ-32 was notable for its failure when the USS Stark was hit by Iraqi Exocet missiles in 1987. The systems have been modernized somewhat, but in an era that features more and more supersonic ship-killing missiles, with better radars and advanced electronics, SLQ-32’s fundamental electronic hardware architecture is inadequate. Hence the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP).
Northrop Grumman Systems won a $4.8 billion deal for Global Hawk development, modernization, retrofit and sustainment activities for all Air Force Global Hawk variants. The contract provides for management, including program, business and technical areas; engineering efforts, including configuration management, data management, reliability, availability and maintainability, and related areas of concern such as technical refresh, diminishing manufacturing sources, etc.; studies and analyses; design, development, integration, test and evaluation; contract/production line closeout/shutdown; training; sparing; overseas contingency operations support; fielding; cyber security/information assurance; interoperability support; facilities modifications/renovation; integrated logistics support; requirements management specification management; and quality assurance. The USAF has 31 Block 20, 30, and 40 Global Hawk HALE UAVs in its inventory. The RQ-4 Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system with an integrated sensor suite that provides intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, capability worldwide. Global Hawk’s mission is to provide a broad spectrum of ISR collection capability to support joint combatant forces in worldwide peacetime, contingency and wartime operations. Work will take place in San Diego, California. Estimated completion date is September 30, 2030.
Perspecta Engineering won a $9.7 million deal, which provides engineering services in support of test and evaluation and systems engineering activities related to Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense on behalf of the Missile Defense Agency. The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system is a US Department of Defense Missile Defense Agency program. It is developed to provide missile defense against short to intermediate-range ballistic missiles. It is part of the US national missile defense strategy. Work will take place in Hawaii, California and Virgina. Estimated completion is November 2025.
Middle East & Africa
According to Stars and Stripes, Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller is serving Thanksgiving meals to troops in the Middle East this week during his first international trip as the Defense Department begins the transition to President-elect Joe Biden’s administration. With the official switch to a new administration less than two months away and only being on his new job for a couple of weeks, Miller was already part of a major decision last week to reduce the US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Great Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that the UK will routinely deploy a ‘permanently available, ready to fight’ Carrier Strike Group. Having two aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, allows for one to be available at short notice year round. The additional funding announced by the Prime Minister will also support the purchase of three new Fleet Solid Support ships and the development of a new multi-role research vessel.
South Korea’s government approved the production of more than 200 Korean Tactical Surface to Surface Missiles (KTSSM). The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) says the missile is designed to destroy long-range artillery pieces hidden in underground tunnels. During the defense project promotion committee presided over by Defense Minister Suh Wook, the government approved the plan to produce more than 200 units of the Korean Tactical Surface to Surface Missile (KTSSM) by 2025, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
The Russian Defense Ministry successfully carried out a check of its antiballistic missile (ABM) system. A recently-released video shows the interception in the skies above Kazakhstan’s Sary-Shagan testing ground. According to Lieutenant General Andrey Demin, commander of the 1st air and missile defense army of the Russian aerospace forces, the missile “reliably confirmed its characteristics” by successfully hitting the simulated target. The Defense Ministry described the interceptor as intended to defend against air and space attacks. Earlier this month, the US successfully tested the SMM 3 interceptor against a simulated ICBM. Following the test, Moscow accused Washington of providing “false information” about its capabilities.
Watch: Most Advanced Of U.S Military Technology : RQ-4 Global Hawks.
The US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) has down selected L3Harris Technologies and Martin UAV for the phase two demonstration of the MI2 technology demonstration. The program’s objective is to identify unmanned air vehicles capable of operating in austere deployed environments without ancillary support systems. Such drones must not require dedicated launch or recovery equipment. Phase 2 demonstrations will take place at Yuma Proving Ground from November 30 to December 18.
BAE Systems won a $197.5 million deal for the execution of the USS Wasp (LHD 1) fiscal 2021 Chief of Naval Operations scheduled docking selected restricted availability. This availability will include a combination of maintenance, modernization and repair of USS Wasp (LHD 1). Under the deal, BAE will drydock and perform maintenance and modernization work on the amphibious assault ship. The company’s last maintenance availability aboard the Wasp was from December 2016 to May 2017, when it added modifications to support Joint Strike Fighter operations. The contract includes options that, if exercised, would bring the total value of the deal to $237.7 million. This is the second time in four years the contractor has been hired to perform significant work on the ship. Work will take place in Norfolk Virginia. Estimated completion will be by May 2022.
Middle East & Africa
A Israeli Air Force flight instructor and his student died on the spot in a field north of Beersheba on November 24 when their G-120 single-engine light aircraft crashed. The two had taken off from the IAF flight school at Hatzerim Airbase in their two-seat Grob G-120 ‘Snunit’ (‘Swallow’) aircraft. An IAF helicopter from the 669 Search and Rescue Unit and Magen David Adom paramedics arrived at the scene of the crash, near the Kibbutz Mishmar Hanegev shortly after the accident and found two men unresponsive. They were later pronounced dead at the scene.
The budget committee of the Bundestag, the German parliament, has approved funding for the German Navy’s new NH90 Sea Tiger frigate helicopter and tank ammunition, as well as for the upgrade of DM2A4 torpedoes and the Bundeswehr’s IT wide area network (WAN). The German Ministry of Defense announced on its website that it had approved $3.2 billion in funding for 31 Sea Tigers, accessories, spare parts, and training. Starting in 2025, the helicopters will replace the German Navy’s Sea Lynx Mk88A frigate helicopters dating from the 1980s. The German MoD said the Sea Tiger would be the Bundeswehr’s only multirole helicopter, providing close protection for frigates, armed with torpedoes and missiles for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare and conducting transport and search and rescue (SAR) missions.
Swiss voters decide on Sunday whether to ban the funding of arms makers, the latest anti-military referendum in the neutral country that hasn’t fought an external war for 200 years. Swiss banks have given loans and hold shares worth nearly $11 billion in companies like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics, according to a study by independent researchers Profundo. The Swiss National Bank (SNB), UBS and Credit Suisse have the biggest exposure, the study said. “An enormous amount of money comes from Switzerland into an industry which profits from death and destruction,” said Julia Kueng, co-president of the Young Greens Party.
Bell Boeing won a $12.8 million contract modification, which exercises options to modify the V-22 aircraft to the government of Japan’s unique configuration requirements. Additionally, the modification exercises options for the production and delivery of nine traffic collision avoidance systems, technical support representation and preservation of aircraft post completion of unique modifications. Last week, the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces kicked off flight operations with the first V-22 aircraft at Kisarazu Air Field, in the Chiba Prefecture, Japan, becoming the first military outside of the US to operate the Osprey. Japan selected and procured the type through foreign military sales (FMS) in 2015. The first two aircraft, JG-1701 and JG-1705, were transported from the US to Iwakuni via ship in May 2020.
Northrop Grumman won a $185.7 million deal for the A-10 Structural Integrity Program Legacy VIII. The deal provides for sustaining engineering services of A-10 aircraft. Services under the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract are intended to support the military branch’s A-10 Aircraft Structural Integrity Program Legacy VII effort. Built by Fairchild Republic Company prior to its acquisition by Northrop, the A-10 aircraft is designed to help USAF perform airborne forward air control and close air support operations. Work will take place in Clearfield, Utah and estimated completion date is November 22, 2030.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics won a $9.3 million contract for the Long Range Systems Division seeking to integrate the Navy Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) into the F-35. The AARGM-ER is a Navy weapon that will provide the F-35A advanced suppression of enemy air defenses/destruction of enemy air defenses capability. The AARGM-ER (Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range) is a further development of the AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missile, used to destroy enemy air defense network. An anti-radiation missile homes in on the electronic transmissions coming from a hostile surface-to-air radar and destroys it. The AARGM-ER was originally developed for the navy carrier-based fighters, equipping its F-35C fighter fleet with a credible long-range weapon, which would further boost their lethality in carrying out SEAD/DEAD (suppression/destruction of enemy air defenses) sorties. With Lockheed Martin bagging the contract, the weapon system would also find its way into the US Air Force’s F-35A CTOL (conventional take-off and landing) fleet. Lockheed Martin is the parent manufacturing company of the F-35 aircraft as well.
Middle East & Africa
Greece and the United Arab Emirates, countries opposing recent Turkish policy, agreed to a strategic partnership on November 23rd. “I am happy to announce the establishment of a strategic partnership to enhance political, economic and cultural cooperation between our countries,” Prince Muhammad bin Zayed announced on Twitter. The clause regarding mutual defense calling for aid if one country’s territorial integrity is threatened, is likely the most significant element of the pact. Although Greece and the UAE do not share a border or belong to a common alliance, each country regards Turkey as a threat. Greece disputed Turkey’s search for minerals and energy in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, claimed by Greece and Cyprus, during the summer.
Armasuisse, which is the Swiss Federal Office for Defense Procurement, announced that it has received the second set of proposals for the country’s Air2030 Neues Kampfflugzeug (New Fighter Aircraft, NKF) as well as ground-based air defense system. The offers to replace the Swiss Air Force’s F-5E/F Tiger II and F/A-18 Hornet fleets were made by Germany for Airbus Eurofighter, France for the Dassault Rafale, and the United States for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning Joint Strike Fighter. The DDPS said the proposals included the prices for 36 and 40 aircraft, including logistics and weapons, as a binding starting point for negotiations with the winning offer after type selection.
The US government donated 100 TOW-2A guided anti-tank missiles to the Philippines on November 23. US National Security Advisor (NSA) Robert C. O’Brien participated in the ceremonial handover of the weapons. The missiles will support the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ efforts to defeat ISIS-East Asia in the Southern Philippines. Following the recent typhoons that ravaged the Philippines and forced thousands of people from their homes, NSA O’Brien announced an additional $3.5 million in US humanitarian assistance to disaster-stricken communities.
Korea Aerospace Industries’ dedicated services company, Korea Aviation Engineering & Maintenance Service launched its new facility in Sacheon, in the south of the country, aiming to position the region as a hub for aerospace maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services. KAEMS, which specializes in both military and commercial aerospace MRO, said the facility will initially be positioned to win regional commercial aerospace contracts as well as those to support military transport aircraft. KAI, manufacturer of military platforms including the T-50 advanced jet trainer aircraft, announced the launch of KAEMS in 2018 and started building the Sacheon plant in 2019. KAI, which is also headquartered in Sacheon, owns a 66.4% stake in the firm.
Watch: How Powerful is TOW Missile & How BGM-71 TOW Anti-Tank Guided Missiles Work?
Latest updates[?]: The US government donated 100 TOW-2A guided anti-tank missiles to the Philippines on November 23. US National Security Advisor (NSA) Robert C. O’Brien participated in the ceremonial handover of the weapons. The missiles will support the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ efforts to defeat ISIS-East Asia in the Southern Philippines. Following the recent typhoons that ravaged the Philippines and forced thousands of people from their homes, NSA O’Brien announced an additional $3.5 million in US humanitarian assistance to disaster-stricken communities.
Despite modernization that has led to advanced anti-armor weapons like the Javelin and Hellfire fire and forget guided missiles, the wire-guided, operator-controlled BGM-71 TOW missile family remains a mainstay thanks to modernization, specialization, improved sighting systems, and pre-existing compatibility with a wide range of ground vehicles. TOW remains the US Army and Marine Corps’ primary heavy anti-tank/ precision assault weapon deployed on more than 4,000 TOW launch platforms including HMMWV jeeps, the Army’s M1134 Stryker ATGM variant and M2/M3 Bradley IFVs; the Marines’ LAV-AT wheeled APC and SuperCobra attack helicopters; and numerous foreign vehicles. Designation Systems notes that more than 620,000 BGM-71 missiles of all versions had been built for all customers by 2001.
Raytheon Co. in Tucson, AZ was recently awarded a pair of contracts that illustrate its continued production and maintenance work on these missiles.
Northrop Grumman Systems won a $10.7 million modification to procure two additional Surface-to-Surface Missile Modules (SSMM) for integration into the Littoral Combat Ship framework. The SSMM fires a Longbow Hellfire missile that will be added to the surface warfare mission module aboard the Littoral Combat Ship. In July 2019 the US Navy successfully completed structural testing of the Longbow Hellfire missile for the Littoral Combat Ship Surface-to-Surface Missile Module. LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of mission packages including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. The Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Work will take place in Huntsville, Alabama; Bethpage, New York and Hollywood, Maryland. Estimated completion will be by November 2022.
The four-nation Malabar 2020 naval exercise, involving the US Navy’s Nimitz Strike Group, concluded successfully Friday, the Navy’s 7th Fleet announced. The exercise began on November 3rd in India’s Bay of Bengal and involved Japanese, Indian, Australian and US maritime forces. It included night operations, air defense exercises, helicopter cross-deck evolutions, carrier landing approaches, underway replenishment approaches, gunnery exercises and antisubmarine warfare exercises to improve interoperability between allies. The strike group led by the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz joined the Vikramaditya Carrier Battle Group of the Indian Navy on Nov.6 for the second phase of the event.
Middle East & Africa
PAE Applied Technologies LLC won a $98 million deal for US Air forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA) electronic warfare operations training and infrastructure maintenance services. The contract provides electronic warfare aircrew tactics evaluation, electronic warfare combat training, operation and maintenance of equipment and electronic warfare range infrastructure maintenance for USAFE-AFAFRICA. The deal’s five-year basic ordering period will wrap up by November 19, 2025, and the Air Force will obligate $8.1 million from fiscal year 2021 operation and maintenance funds following the basic contract. Work in Germany, the U.K. and Italy is scheduled to run through January 31, 2026.
France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom are embarking on a project to develop a new medium multi-role helicopter. The new helicopter will replace existing rotorcraft that are expected to reach the end of their lifespan between 2035 – 2040 period and beyond. A letter of intent for the Next-Generation Rotorcraft Capability, involving the construction of medium multi-role helicopters, was signed by representatives of France, Britain, Italy, Germany and Greece on Thursday. Details, timetables and costs were not revealed, and other NATO countries are welcome to join the consortium. The new capability would be involved in missions including insertion and extraction of special operations forces, transport of cargo and troops, medical evacuation, search and rescue, and anti-submarine warfare. As medium-sized helicopters, they would fit between what NATO describes as light and heavy helicopters.
The US Army formally activated a forward headquarters in Poznan, Poland, on Friday, to command its missions in Eastern Europe. About 200 troops will initially be assigned to the forward position of the recently reactivated and storied Fifth Corps, or V Corps, whose headquarters was established in October at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The Unit at Poznan will be responsible for command and control of assigned and rotational units of US Army Europe and U.S. European Command as troops, it said in a statement. Full rotations are expected to start in 2021, likely around the time of the DEFENDER-Europe 21 exercise planned for the Balkan and Black Sea regions.
An audit into the costs of building two new warships as the alternative for Aegis Ashore has found that it will cost Japan $4.8 billion. The new Maya Class destroyer already costs $1.6 billion each. The new warship will need to be lengthened, raising the tonnage. The figure, shown in an interim report of a private sector study commissioned by the Defense Ministry, is not significantly different from the cost of another offshore replacement proposal also under consideration. The government plans to coordinate around the Aegis ship option as it is viewed as allowing more operational flexibility.
Watch: How powerful is Japan’s new Super-Destroyers that fitted with New Super Weapon?
The US Air Force decided to relocate the AC-130J Ghostrider Formal Training Unit from Hurlburt Field, Florida to Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This is done so that the Air Force Special Operations Command to realign its training mission under Air Education and Training Command and consolidate AC-130 initial and mission qualification training at Kirtland AFB. According to the service, the AC-130J is a highly modified C-130J capable of extremely accurate navigation due to the fully integrated navigation systems with dual inertial navigation systems and global positioning system.
The US Air Force announced on November 20 that it has selected Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama as the preferred location to host the MH-139A Grey Wolf Formal Training Unit. The MH-139 mission will replace the mission of the Air Force Reserve’s 908th Airlift Wing’s aging C-130Hs currently at Maxwell AFB. The MH-139A Grey Wolf is a multi-mission helicopter. It is based on the commercial AW139 helicopter and designed to protect intercontinental ballistic missiles and transport US government officials and security forces.
Middle East & Africa
Marine Group Boat Works won a $48.7 million contract modification in support of the government of Jordan for two 37-meter patrol boats, communications equipment and other technical assistance. The company is a full-service boat construction and superyacht refit facility. This contract is for two 37-meter Patrol Boats, communications equipment and other technical assistance for the Royal Jordanian Navy. Foreign Military Sales in the full amount will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Work will take place in Chula Vista, California, and is expected to be completed by September 2023.
Insitu won a $9.8 million contract modification, which definitizes pricing and exercises options for the procurement of 15 ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles, nine ScanEagle payloads, and three spares lots needed to provide the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and support current ANA ScanEagle efforts. The Boeing Insitu ScanEagle is a small, long-endurance, low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing, and is used for reconnaissance. The ScanEagle was designed by Insitu based on the Insitu SeaScan, a commercial UAV that was intended for fish-spotting. The ScanEagle continues to receive improvements through upgrades and changes. ScanEagle carries a stabilized electro-optical and/or infrared camera on a lightweight inertial stabilized turret system, and an integrated communications system having a range of over 62 miles (100 km); it has a flight endurance of over 20 hours. Work will take place in Washington. Estimated completion will be in July 2021.
A HIMARS Rapid Infiltration (HIRAIN) took place in Romania on November 19. It saw two M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) with 2 launcher crews being deployed from Germany with help from 352nd Special Operations Wing. The 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade (41st FAB) was only reactivated recently and that was the unit’s second live fire event. It was also the first time that US forces have fired HIMARS from land into the Black Sea in Romania. All six personnel left from Ramstein Air Base, Germany early in the morning and were back in Germany on the same day.
The president of Taurus Systems Korea Co. says his parent company hopes to develop a smaller, longer-range Taurus K-2 cruise missile jointly with South Korea. Christoffer Drevstad said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency that the smaller weapon is suitable for aircraft such as the F-16 and FA-50. “We are developing Taurus K-2, which is smaller but has the same or even more performance of the current missile,” Christoffer Drevstad said. The current version of the air-to-ground precision-guided missile is Taurus KEPD 350K with a flight range of 500 kilometers. South Korea bought around 260 units, most of which are fitted on F-15K fighter jets. The weapon, known as a bunker-buster missile, can be used to destroy radar stations and other key facilities in North Korea, according to experts.
Watch: Boeing’s MH-139A Grey Wolf Is A Multi-Mission Helicopter Ready To Serve The U.S. Air Force
Bell Boeing won a maximum $36.5 million contract modification to extend the period of performance for delivery of V-22 spare consumable and depot-level repairable parts. 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. The aircraft operates as a helicopter when taking off and landing vertically. The nacelles rotate 90° forward once airborne, converting the aircraft into a turboprop aircraft. Work will take place in Maryland, Texas and Pennsylvania. Estimated completion date is May 10, 2023.
The US Army will seek solicitations to build the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, a replacement for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. A competitive request for proposals is expected to be released on or about Dec. 18, Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross-Functional Team, said this week. The vehicle’s name derives from one of the features demanded by the Army, which is its capability to engage in close combat and then be piloted remotely after troops disembark. The request for proposals will ask for concept designs, and up to five companies will be awarded contracts in June 2021, with a detailed design expected by early 2023, Coffman said.
Middle East & Africa
The final class of Afghan A-29 students pilots at Moody Air Force Base has graduated on November 13. Kelli Seybolt, deputy under secretary of the Air Force for international affairs said this group was one of the strongest classes in the program, which has saw more than 30 student pilots and 70 maintenance technicians graduating over the past five years.
A three-day exercise between Cyprus and Israel from November 17-19 saw Israeli F-35s flying over Limassol and Paphos to test the local air defense system. Exercise ONSHILOS-GEDEON takes place in the Nicosia FIR. The Cyprus-Israel joint three-day military exercise was completed with absolute success, the Defense Ministry said. The exercise falls under the Bilateral Defense Cooperation Program between the Republic of Cyprus and Israel. The purpose of the exercise was to bring personnel up to speed with tactics and developments in the air defence sector, to increase their combat capability, as well as to gain experience from cooperation with the IAF.
Germany’s defense minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, reinforced her position this week that Europe still depends on United States security guarantees. The United States will remain “the most important ally in security and defense policy,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said in a speech. “Without the nuclear and conventional capabilities of the US, Germany and Europe cannot protect themselves. These are the sobering facts.” Kramp-Karrenbauer reiterated the view that Europe needs US help “for the foreseeable future.” This followed French President Emmanuel Macron “profoundly” disagreeing in an interview on Monday, suggesting that European nations must increase their own defense abilities to earn US respect.
India’s navy received its ninth P-8i surveillance aircraft on Wednesday, manufacturer Boeing Co. reported. The plane is the first delivered under an option contract, signed in 2016, for four additional aircraft, the remaining three of which are expected to arrive in 2021. The Indian navy was the first international customer to receive the plane, in 2013. The P-8i is modified from the Boeing 737-800ERX passenger plane and built originally for the US Navy. It is used in anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction roles. Armed with torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and other weapons, it can drop and monitor sonobuoys, and can operate in combination with Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance drone.
Watch: India should Procure at-least 10 more P-8I | 9TH DELIVERED | 18 in plan
Honeywell International won a $25.7 million deal for the manufacture of four parts associated with the wheels and brakes used in support of the F/A-18 aircraft. This contract includes a three-year base period with no options. F/A-18 Hornet became the nation’s first all-weather fighter and attack aircraft, and was designed for traditional strike applications such as interdiction and close air support without compromising its fighter capabilities. The F/A-18 A-D is employed in Marine Corps fighter attack squadrons, US Navy and Marine Corps Reserve squadrons, the Navy Flight Demonstration Team (Blue Angles), and various other fleet support roles. F/A-18E/F Super Hornet entered fleet service in 1999, as the replacement for the F-14 Tomcat. The Super Hornet is the second major model upgrade since the inception of the F/A-18 aircraft program highly capable across the full mission spectrum: air superiority, fighter escort, reconnaissance, aerial refueling, close air support, air defense suppression and day/night precision strike. The single-seat F/A-18E and the two-seat F/A-18F are high performance, twin-engine, mid-wing, and multi-mission tactical aircraft designed to replace the F/A-18C (single-seat) and F/A-18D (two-seat) aircraft as they reach the end of their service lives and retire. Work will take place in Indiana and is expected to be finished by December 2023.
Testing of a new fan rotor design for the Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan engine has resumed at Arnold Air Force Base. Being carried out at the J2 Engine Test Cell, work had started back in 2019 but put on pause as the cell required scheduled maintenance. “Test results to date have been positive and encouraging, and early results allowed us to complete an AMT (Accelerated Mission Test) with the same newly-designed rotor,” said 2nd Lt. Gregory Landrum, AEDC Jet Engine Test project manager.
Middle East & Africa
According to the Time of Israel, a program designed to teach newly discharged combat soldiers cybersecurity skills and help them find jobs as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on the economy has won an innovation award by the chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Forces. The six-month bootcamp, called Cyber4s, was developed by Scale-Up Velocity, a nonprofit organization that partners with tech firms and academic and training institutions to set up initiatives to help Israel’s tech industry tap into talented human capital.
Lithuania signed for four Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk transport and utility helicopters, the country’s Ministry of National Defence announced. The $213 million procurement, which will be paid off over five years, includes additional equipment, spares, and a training, repair, and logistical support package. The US government is providing $30 million to support the purchase, and has cleared the sale of a further two helicopters should the Lithuanian Armed Forces request them. News of the contract came four months after the US State Department approved the sale to Lithuania of six Black Hawks for $380 million.
Hungary has placed an order for two C-390 cargo planes with Embraer. The planes will be used for air-to-air refueling, tactical airlift and medical evacuation. Embraer says the delivery is to start in 2023. “Following the procurement of personnel air transport capabilities in 2018, we will see the arrival of KC-390 aircraft to Hungary in 2023-24, able to deliver large military loads in an operational environment, as well as providing air-to-air refueling services. We are acquiring a multi-role transport fleet for the Hungarian Defense Forces to fulfill the widest possible range of tasks within the national framework, in a sovereign way, ”said Gáspár Maróth, government commissioner responsible for defense development.
According to news reports, the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) has assigned an officer to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California since October 15. The motive is to coordinate space surveillance between both countries. Japan is preparing to build its own space surveillance system by 2025.
Watch: Embraer KC-390 Impressive Take off (Paris Air Show 2019)