The US Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command announced that it has test fired its Low-Cost Extended Range Air Defense (LOWER AD) missile interceptor. The LOWER AD is part of the Army’s roadmap to modernize its air defense system. The interceptor is design to defeat subsonic cruise missiles and unmanned aerial systems. It fills a capability gap between man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) and high-end Patriot interceptors. The CCDC Aviation & Missile Center is developing and demonstrating the Low-Cost Extended Range Air Defense (LOWER AD) missile interceptor technology that is smaller and less costly than larger systems.
L-3 Electron Devices won a $7.9 million delivery order for the repair of the guided traveling wave tube in support of the F/A-18 aircraft. The F/A-18 Hornet is a single- and two-seat, twin engine, multi-mission fighter/attack aircraft that can operate from either aircraft carriers or land bases. It has a digital control-by-wire flight control system which provides excellent handling qualities, and allows pilots to learn to fly the airplane with relative ease. Two type series of the original Hornet, the A/B and C/D preceded the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, a larger more capable version of the F/A-18 introduced in 1999. Since then the Super Hornet has been updated with “Block II” models and now there’s a “Block III” Super Hornet. Boeing signed a $4 billion contract with the Navy in May 2019 for 78 new-build Block III Super Hornets which should be delivered by spring 2024. Work under the delivery order will take place in California. Estimated completion will be by February 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Boeing awarded a $657.2 million contract action modification for the F-15Q Qatar program. The contract modification provides a comprehensive sparing program and contractor logistics support for the sustainment of the F-15QA aircraft. Back in April, Boeing successfully completed the first flight of the F-15QA fighter developed for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF). According to Boeing, the F-15QA brings to its operators next-generation technologies such as fly-by-wire flight controls, digital cockpit and modernized sensors. Logistical support for training devices and administrative costs are also included in the modification. Work will take place at Al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar.
ESG Aerosystems won a $64.8 million deal to develop a curriculum and facilitate training for P-3 aircrew positions including copilots, patrol plane commander, instructor pilot, flight engineer, instructor flight engineer, and flight currency training in support of Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity’s applicable field units and other program offices and stakeholders. The P-3 Orion is a land-based maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. The contract includes a five-year ordering period with no options and is expected to be completed by November 2025. This effort is 100% funded by Federal Republic of Germany funds under the Foreign Military Sales program. In June 2020, Germany had put a halt to an ongoing midlife upgrade of its fleet of Lockheed Martin P?3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) as it shifted to examining potential replacements. The legacy fleet of eight P-3C Orions were purchased secondhand from Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) stocks in 2005. The first unit entered German service in April 2006 following upgrades to P-3C CUP standard conducted by Lockheed Martin at its facility in Greenville, South Carolina, under a prior contract with the Dutch government. Work under the current contract will take place in Florida. Estimated completion will be in November 2025.
Polish President Andrzej Duda signed an enhanced US-Poland defense cooperation agreement (EDCA) on November 9. He said, the union should grow despite political changes. The agreement calls for establishment of about 5,500 US troops on Polish soil on a revolving basis, and the forward deployment of the US Army’s V Corps in Poznan, Poland. It reinforces the US military presence in Eastern Europe and provides for expansion of Poland’s defense infrastructure and an increase in joint military exercises, Poland’s Presidential Palace announced. “The United States values our strong bilateral relationship with Poland. We look forward to Poland’s swift ratification of the EDCA, which will permit us to implement fully the enhanced defense cooperation envisioned by Presidents Trump and Duda“, the DoS said in a statement.
The first five of 16 Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters ordered for the Philippine Air Force back in 2019 arrived at Clark Air Base, north of Manila. The helicopters were flown from Poland by a Russian Antonov heavy transport plane last November 7 and unloaded at Clark Air Base in Pampanga on November 9.. There was a brief stop in Kuwait. A sixth unit was expected to arrive in December aboard a ship. The DND said the Antonov could carry only five units “and as a result a sixth was loaded on a ship.” The helicopters were part of the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF) combat utility helicopters acquisition project. The Black Hawks were procured through a government-to-government transaction.
Watch: Philippine Air Force S-70i Black Hawk Helicopter Capabilities