Nov 06, 2020 05:00 UTC
The Navy contracted Raytheon Missiles & Defense with a $24.8 million modification for procurement of fiscal 2021 Navy Standard Missile-2 intermediate level provisioned items ordered spares; and to exercise one-year options for fiscal 2021 Standard Missile-2 and Standard Missile-6 repairs and maintenance. The SM-2 is the U.S Navy’s primary surface-to-air defense weapon and is part of the AEGIS Weapon System along Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke Class destroyers. The SM-6, also known as RIM-174, is a ship-launched extended range variant of the anti-air and anti-surface interceptor missile developed by Raytheon Company. It is also a key part of the AEGIS Weapon System. Work will take place in Arkansas, Arizona and California. Expected completion date is in July 2024.
The Blue Angels demonstration flew its F/A-18 A/B/C/D Hornets for the last time on November 4, 2020. The team of planes, formally the US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, has used Hornets for the past 34 years, but transitioned to the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet platform. “We deeply appreciate the expertise and operational knowledge Blue Angels past and present have brought to the team and we look forward to enhancing our operations as we fully transition to flying the Super Hornet,” Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, Blue Angels commanding officer said in a statement The demonstration team began in 1946 as a civilian and military morale-building experiment, and travels to air shows around the world to exhibit aerial maneuvers. It first used the F/A-18A and F/A-18B Hornet platforms in 1986, and transitioned to C and D models, since discontinued, in 2010.
Middle East & Africa
Egyptian and French naval forces carried out a transit naval training session in the northern fleet region of the Mediterranean Sea, Arab News reported. Egypt’s Taba frigate and France’s Jean Bart frigate took part in the joint exercise. The exercise included training on various sailing formations and assessing surface, air, and submarine threats, and setting scenarios to deal with such threats. The training showed the joint naval units’ capability to take their position with high speed and precision, El-Refaie said, adding that the Egyptian and French sides’ high combat experience has been reflected in the exercise.
The government of the Netherlands initiated an armored combat vehicle modernization program worth over 500 million Euros ($590.8 million). One of the stages of modernization that has been decided upon, is adoption of rubber track systems. There are many advantages to what seems like a small change from a steel track to a rubber track. The rubber significantly reduces the operational cost and the weight, which leads to better performance by the vehicle. The new contract that has been signed includes development, manufacturing, testing, validation and supply of implementation kits for training.
According to the Australian Department of Defense, the Royal Australian Air Force is testing safe airdrops of fodder. The Air Mobility Training and Development Unit is clearing a new method of delivering fodder using C-130 Hercules and C-27J Spartan transport aircraft, it said in a statement. It’s a safer method of performing a role last conducted by Air Force in the 1980s and ’90s, according to Commanding Officer of AMTDU Wing Commander Cameron Clark. According to Clark, the new method involves constructing a frangible box around the fodder, reducing the risk from foreign object debris damage to the aircraft. The Airdrop trials at RAAF Base Richmond could help cattle stranded by floodwaters.
BAE Systems responded to a Request for Information (RFI) from the Japanese Ministry of Defense, proposing a package of integration support to Japan’s F-X next generation fighter development program. The response to the RFI, which was issued by the JMOD’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA), outlines technical capabilities across a range of key areas, which BAE Systems can offer into supporting development of the F-X program. “We firmly believe that we can add significant value to the F-X programme. We look forward to further progressing our discussions and we are honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with Japan on this programme,” said Andy Latham, Campaign Delivery Director – Japan, for BAE Systems’ Air business.
Watch: Watch: Blue Angels Final Legacy Hornet Flight 2020
Nov 05, 2020 05:00 UTC
The United States Air Force is reportedly ready to move forward with the second program aimed at renewing its fleet of aerial refuelers, formerly known under the codename KC-Y. Head of Air Mobility Command Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost indicated that the service will be moving forward with the bridge tanker KC-Y acquisition program. The competition will be full and open plus “non-developmental“, meaning it will be based on an existing, proven aircraft, according to an Air Mobility Command spokesperson. The Air Force is defining which capabilities it needs in its next tanker and how it will “immediately follow the existing KC-46A delivery timeline,” she said. KC-Y will replace the KC-135 and bridge the capability gap between the KC-46 and the future tanker KC-Z. The KC-46 Pegasus was due to be withdrawn by 2025. But the development of the tanker exceeded the initial forecast by $3 billion. The aircraft has also encountered numerous technical problems since its delivery.
According to a statement by the US Pacific Fleet, the US participant in the Malabar exercise this year hosted by Indian Navy is the Arleigh Burke Class guided missile destroyer USS John S. MacCain. The Malabar exercise is a quadrilateral naval exercise involving the United States, Japan , Australia, and India as permanent partners. The exercise began in 1992 to advance planning, integration and employment of advanced warfare tactics between participating nations and this year will feature the return of the Royal Australian Navy, according to Navy officials. According to officials, the exercise will include a variety of tactical training, including specific interactions designed to strengthen interoperability between Royal Australian Navy, Indian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and US maritime forces.
Middle East & Africa
The Israeli technology news site CTech reports that the privatization of Israel Aeronautics Industries (IAI) is back on track. According to CTech, the Minister for Cyber and National Digital Affairs David (Dudi) Amsalem called for a meeting of the ministerial committee on privatization to be held on November 15. The ministers are set to approve the issuance of the publicly-owned company’s shares at a planned valuation of $12 billion. The move had been held up recently by the Ministry of Defense, led by Benny Gantz and its director-general Amir Eshel. Officially it was claimed that the delay was due to demands by the Ministry of Digital Affairs and the Government Companies Authority that some of the money for the public issuance go to the state treasury, while the defense ministry officials wanted it to remain in the company’s coffers. IAI provides products and services in aviation and space to the military and civilian markets. In 2019, its revenue totalled $4.1 billion, and 74% of its sales were exports. The company suffers from low profitability, although in 2019 it switched from a loss to an operating profit of $120 million. The privatization process as outlined follows the model of privatizations of aerospace and defense companies in Europe since the 1980s.
The UK started work to convert five Boeing 737 airliners into E-7 Wedgetail airborne early warning Mk 1 (AEW1) platforms for the Royal Air Force. Boeing announced that the first fuselage sections for the first two aircraft to be modified arrived at STS Aviation Services in Birmingham. “Section 46 is the part of the fuselage where the aircraft’s [Northrop Grumman] multirole electronically scanned array (MESA) radar will be installed,” the company said. It also added that the first Section 46 will begin preparation for inclusion into a 737 Next Generation airliner later this month. Boeing UK also noted that parts and tooling will continue to arrive weekly to the Birmingham hangar in preparation for work on the first two aircraft in January 2021. The Wedgetail is an airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) platform. According to Boeing, the UK’s E-7 Wedgetail aircraft is expected to be in service with the Royal Air Force in 2023.
Northrop Grumman Systems won a $57.1 million deal, which provides for the manufacture and delivery of 19 full rate production Lot 14 GQM-163A Coyote supersonic sea skimming targets; 16 for the Navy and three for the government of Japan. Additionally, the contract procures associated technical and administrative data. The GQM-163A Coyote supersonic sea skimming target is designed to provide a cost-effective target to simulate supersonic sea-skimming and other emerging supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, support research into ship defense systems, and support fleet training exercises. The target missile design integrates a four-inlet, solid-fuel ducted rocket ramjet propulsion system into a compact missile airframe 18 feet long and 14 inches in diameter. Work will take place in Arkansas, Arizona, Vermont, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and various other locations within the continental US. Estimated completion will be in December 2023.
An advanced version of India’s Pinaka rocket system successfully underwent a flight-test from Integrated Test Range in Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha, local news reports. A total of six rockets were launched in succession using Pinaka, indigenously developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). According to officials, all of the tests fulfilled the mission objectives. The rockets have been manufactured by Nagpur-based M/s Economic Explosives Limited, to whom the technology has been transferred. According to the DRDO, this advanced version has a longer range with reduced length compared to Mk-1, its earlier variant.
Watch: Watch: DRDO successfully test-fires advanced version of Pinaka rockets
Nov 04, 2020 05:00 UTC
Huntington-Ingalls Industries won a $284.3 million contract modification for the accomplishment of CVN 79 single phase delivery and Joint Strike Fighter (F-35C) capabilities. The contract actions shifts the delivery strategy for the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) from a two-phase delivery to a single phase. It reportedly comes as a result of extensive collaboration with the Navy to support legislative requirements for Kennedy to be delivered with its complete warfare system, including F-35 Joint Strike Fighter capabilities, before the ship is commissioned into the fleet. Kennedy is approximately 76% complete. The ship was launched in December 2019, and currently is undergoing additional outfitting and testing at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division. The ship is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2024. Work will take place in Virginia. Estimated completion will be in June 2024.
Integral Aerospace won a $9.3 million contract modification, which exercises an option for the production and delivery of 72 external fuel tanks in support of the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft. The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is the US Navy’s primary strike and air superiority aircraft. It is an updated version of the F-18C/D, featuring a 20 percent larger airframe, 7,000 lb heavier empty weight, and 15,000 lb heavier maximum weight than the original Hornet. The Super Hornet carries 33 percent more internal fuel, increasing mission range by 41 percent and endurance by 50 percent over the earlier Hornet. The EA-18G Growler is the U.S. Navy’s newest electronic attack aircraft intended to replace ageing EA-6B Prowlers in the service’s fleet. Based on the F-18 E/F Hornet airframe, the two-seater, twin-turbofan aircraft integrates the latest electronic attack technology, including the ALQ-218 receiver, ALQ-99 jamming pods, communication countermeasures, and satellite communications. Work will take place in Santa Ana, California. Expected completion is in May 2022.
Middle East & Africa
New frequency jammers acquired by the Spanish Defense Ministry from Israel’s Netline Communications Technologies have undergone operational evaluation tests at the facilities of La Marañosa Technological Institute (ITM). After finishing the tests, the Defense Ministry started the process of acquiring 51 kits including equipment and accessories. The first batch will arrive before the end of 2020, which will enable the start of the installation in vehicles of the armed forces starting from next year. In total, 334 systems are expected to be acquired. The process of the acquisition of these systems started at the end of 2008.
The Romanian Air Force took delivery of two more F-16 fighters from Portugal. This is the third and fourth aircraft from a batch of five jets bought from Portugal. The last aircraft is expected to be delivered the first quarter of 2021. Once all aircraft are in the country. All 17 jets will be getting the M6XR modifications.
Japan selected Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as the lead contractor of the country’s new fighter jet. The fighter will fly by 2028, with production scheduled for the 2030s. The new fighter will replace the F-2, also built by Mitsubishi, and will incorporate American aerospace technology and know-how. Mitsubishi built a number of famous World War I aircraft, including the A6M “Zero” naval fighter, but Japan stopped developing and producing warplanes after the war. The F-2, is a derivative of the F-16 that Lockheed Martin developed in the 1990s.
Reuters reported that the US State Department could notify Congress on the sale of four MQ-9 Sea Guardian unmanned air vehicles to Taiwan this week. The report said the sale “has crossed a key hurdle in Congress and is at the last stage of approval.” The $600 million deal would be the first such sale since US policy on the export of sophisticated and closely guarded drone technology was loosened by the Trump administration. The formal notification gives Congress 30 days to object to any sales, but this is unlikely given broad bipartisan support for the defense of Taiwan.
Watch: The Enormous USS Ronald Reagan Carrier | Aircraft Carrier: Guardian Of The Seas | Spark
Nov 03, 2020 05:00 UTC
Lockheed Martin won a $724 million contract modification for the Aegis Weapon System (AWS). Under the follow on contract, the contractor will conduct full development and lifecycle engineering for the Aegis Weapon System (AWS) fielding for cruisers, destroyers and Aegis Ashore configurations. The AWS contract will support the following efforts: Aegis Baseline 5.4.1 (Ballistic Missile Defense 4.2) development; BL 9 (BMD 5.X) development; Aegis BMD In-Service support; BMD ground and flight test support; modeling and simulation support; Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex combat system engineering, testing, site support, modernization, technical and logistics support; and Aegis BMD ship installation and planning. The Aegis Weapon System is a centralized, automated, command-and-control and weapons control system. Aegis Baseline (BL) 9 software allows a ship to do both air defense and BMD simultaneously. Work under the modification will take place in New Jersey. Estimated completion will be in February 2024.
The US Navy prepared a draft environmental assessment for home-basing of the MQ-25A Stingray carrier-based unmanned air system at Naval Base Ventura County in Point Mugu, California. The Stingray is an aerial refueling drone. It will serve as a tanker capable of refueling aircraft in flight. The Stingray will also be capable of conducting intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations. The drone first flew on September 19, 2019. Boeing is developing the MQ-25. According to the company, will „provide the needed robust refueling capability thereby extending the combat range of deployed Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler, and Lockheed Martin F-35C fighters“. According to the draft released by the USN, the Stingray will fly approximately 960 flights annually at Point Mugu. The home basing will bring 730 personnel and their family members to the base. A new hangar will be constructed northeast of the base with two taxiways to link to the existing Taxiway B.
Middle East & Africa
At Euronaval Online, which is the digital edition of Euronaval 2020, International naval defense and maritime security industry exhibition, Israel Shipyards presented the SAAR S-72, the new generation of the famous SAAR class Fast Attack Mini Corvettes, Israel Defense reported. The SAAR-72 is a multi-mission vessel using a modular design, in Corvette configuration, she can be used to conduct naval warfare missions. In OPV (Offshore Patrol Vessel), she can be armed with lighter weaponry. It is a stealth multi-purpose corvette derived from the Saar 4.5 missile boats fully designed by Israeli Shipyards. The ship has a length of 72 meters and a displacement of 800 tons. She has an endurance of 21 days with a crew of 50 people including officers and sailors. It can also accommodate 20 passengers or commandos.
According to news reports, the UK Government will take back control of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) following a written ministerial statement by the Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace. The AWE designs, manufactures and supports the UK’s nuclear weapons. For two decades, it has been under privatized management. It is currently run by Lockheed Martin, Serco and Jacob’s Engineering, with Lockheed holding a majority stake in the management consortium. The establishment, based at Aldermaston in southern England, is at the core of British activities toward developing, producing and disassembling nuclear warheads for the Royal Navy’s fleet of Trident missile-armed submarines. Back in February 2020, the Ministry of Defense started the development of a new nuclear warhead to allow the Navy to field an effective deterrent for deployment on the new fleet of Dreadnought Class submarines due to start replacing the existing boats early in the next decade.
According to local media, another three Dassault Rafale fighters will be delivered to India the first week of November. The jets are reported to be arriving on home soil on November 4. With this, the IAF will have eight of the 36 Rafale jets in service. The first batch of five Rafale jets were formally inducted into the No.17 ‘Golden Arrows’ squadron of the IAF on September 10 at the Ambala Air Force station. They arrived in India in July. India has contracted 36 Rafale omni-role fighter jets from France in fly-away condition with 13 India Specific Enhancements (ISE) under a €7.87 billion ($9.1 billion) Inter-Governmental Agreement signed in September 2016. The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft
Northrop Grumman won a $158.4 million contract action to help sustain the Global Hawk RQ-4 aircraft for South Korea. Northrop will provide contractor logistics services and RQ-4 spares as part of the sole-sourced award. The Global Hawk is a high-altitude, remotely-piloted, surveillance aircraft. The RQ-4 UAS has a capacity of more than 30 hours and is designed to gather imagery in real-time and in all weather conditions for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations. The unmanned platform has been deployed for Air Force missions since 2001. Work will take place in the Republic of Korea and Sierra Vista, Arizona. Estimated completion date is February 29, 2024.
Watch: The Navy’s MQ-25 Aircraft Has Old-School Style Stealth
Nov 02, 2020 05:00 UTC
Lockheed Martin won a $73.9 million modification, which exercises an option to provide continued F-35 development lab infrastructure activities as well as recurring administration, maintenance and preparation of the F-35 laboratories to test developed configurations across the F-35 platform. The F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) is a stealthy, supersonic multirole fighter. Work will take place in Texas and is expected to be finished by October 2021.
The US Air Force awarded Raytheon a $192 million deal or Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) field team and lab support. This contract provides support for the AMRAAM system development test activities to include laboratory management, field-team test support, testing and analysis. The AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) is a new generation all-weather, missile manufactured by Raytheon. MRAAM incorporates active radar seeker with mid-course inertial navigation making it less dependent on aircraft’s fire control radar. That capability enables simultaneous AMRAAM launching against different targets. Work will take place in Arizona, Texas, Missouri, Washington, California and Florida. Estimated completion date is September 30, 2030.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli news site Globes says that “several Gulf States” have expressed interest in buying defensive equipment from Rafael. These countries are keen to buy missile defense systems to defend their oil installations from missile attacks. They are also looking at the Trophy active protection system for armored vehicles. These contacts are taking place against the background of the involvement of the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the civil war in Yemen on the side of the government, against the Houthi rebels, who are supported by Iran, says „Globes“. Forces of the Gulf states are fighting in this conflict in the air, on land, and by sea, and the Israeli systems could be very useful.
Russia’s Aerospace Force successfully tested the 53T6M anti-ballistic missile interceptor at the Sary-Shagan proving ground in Kazakhstan, Tass reports. The new interceptor missile of the ABM system reliably confirmed its stated characteristics. “The combat team of the Aerospace Force’s air and anti-ballistic missile defense troops successfully conducted the next test-launch of a new missile of the Russian anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defense system at the Sary-Shagan proving ground (the Republic of Kazakhstan),” the Russian defense ministry said in a statement. Last time, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported about the test-launch of a new interceptor missile from the Sary-Shagan proving ground on July 2, 2019.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced that the US State Department recently approved the potential sale to Australia of more than $46 million worth of Javelin anti-tank guided missiles. The complete package includes two hundred Javelin FGM-148E missiles with US Government technical assistance and other related elements of logistics and program support. According to a notice released on October 30, the proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States. Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific.
A new warship being considered as a replacement for Japan’s Aegis Ashore proposal will be the largest guide missile destroyer for the Japan Self-Defense Force if the project goes ahead. The new warship will be based on the Maya Class but its displacement will be increased to 9,000-tons and the dimensions will be longer. This is to create a better living environment for the crew.
Watch: UNITED STATES WILL DEPLOY COAST GUARD SHIPS IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC TO TAKE ON CHINESE MILITIA !