Latest updates[?]: Goodrich won a $64.2 million contract for the manufacture of surface ship sonar domes to support ship classes DDG-51, CG-47, and FFG-7 antisubmarine warfare requirements. DDG-51 or Arleigh Burke Class is a class of destroyer built around the Aegis Combat system. CG-47 or Ticonderoga Class were the first surface combatant ships equipped with the Aegis Weapons System. FFG-7 is a class of guided missile frigates. Work will take place in Florida. Expected completion date is in September, 2025. If all options are exercised, work will continue through September 2027.
In April 2009 Bath and Ingalls agreed to the Navy’s surface combatant plans, thus heralding a significant restructuring within the American naval shipbuilding community. Under the agreements, the USA would end production at 3 Graf Spee sized DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class “destroyers,” but shift all production from the Congressionally-mandated joint arrangements to General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine, which had already made program-related investments in advanced shipbuilding technologies.
Northrop Grumman (now Huntington Ingalls Industries) would retain its DDG-1000 deckhouse work, but their main exchange was additional orders for DDG-51 Arleigh Burke Class destroyers. Their Ingalls yard in Pascagoula, Mississippi would continue building the DDG-51 destroyers, beginning with 2 ordered in FY 2010-2011.
Latest updates[?]: Raytheon won a $60.5 million deal to exercise options for design agent and engineering support services for the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) MK-31 Guided Missile Weapon System improvement program. The MK-31 RAM Guided Missile Weapon System is a cooperative development and production program conducted jointly by the US and the Federal Republic of Germany under memoranda of understanding. Per the agreement, the company will provide support for the maintenance of current weapon system capability. Additionally, the unit will resolve issues through design, systems, software maintenance, reliability, quality assurance and logistics engineering services. Work will take place in Arizona and Kentucky. Estimated completion will be by December 2021.
Mk-44 firing RAM
The Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) MK-31 guided missile weapon system is co-developed and co-produced under a NATO cooperative program between the United States and German governments to provide a small, all-weather, low-cost self-defense system against aircraft and cruise missiles. The RIM-116 was later called RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), because it spins during flight. To save costs, Designation Systems notes that the RAM was designed to use several existing components, including the rocket motor of the MIM-72 Chaparral, the warhead of the AIM-9 Sidewinder, and the Infrared seeker of the FIM-92 Stinger. Cueing is provided by the ship’s radar, or by its ESM signal tracing suite.
RAM is currently installed, or planned for installation, on 78 U.S. Navy and 30 German Navy ships, including American LSD, LHD, LPD and CVN ship types. This number will grow as vessels of the LPD-17 San Antonio Class and Littoral Combat Ships enter the US Navy, and the LCS will sport an upgraded SeaRAM system that will include its own integrated radar and IR sensors. Abroad, the South Korean Navy has adopted RAM for its KDX-II and KDX-III destroyers, and its LPX Dokdo Class amphibious assault ships; other navies using or buying RAM include Egypt, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, and the UAE/Dubai.
Latest updates[?]: L3Harris Technologies won a maximum $21.7 million deal for P-8 aircraft sonobouy rotary launchers. L3Harris designs and manufactures pneumatic powered sonobuoy launching systems for maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare applications. The Boeing-built P-8A has been designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Work will take place in New York. Performance completion date is March 18, 2024.
Maritime surveillance and patrol is becoming more and more important, but the USA’s P-3 Orion turboprop fleet is falling apart. The P-7 Long Range Air ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) Capable Aircraft program to create an improved P-3 began in 1988, but cost overruns, slow progress, and interest in opening the competition to commercial designs led to the P-7’s cancellation for default in 1990. The successor MMA program was begun in March 2000, and Boeing beat Lockheed’s “Orion 21” with a P-8 design based on their ubiquitous 737 passenger jet. US Navy squadrons finally began taking P-8A Poseidon deliveries in 2012, but the long delays haven’t done their existing P-3 fleet any favors.
Filling the P-3 Orion’s shoes is no easy task. What missions will the new P-8A Poseidon face? What do we know about the platform, the project team, and ongoing developments? Will the P-3’s wide global adoption give its successor a comparable level of export opportunities? Australia and India have already signed on, but has the larger market shifted in the interim?
Lockheed Martin won a $70.8 million contract modification, which provides requirements decomposition through system functional review for the F-35 Super Multi-Function Aircraft Data Link Band 5 receiver warning capability in support of the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and non-Department of Defense participants. Multifunction Advanced Data Link is a fast switching narrow directional communications data link between stealth aircraft. Work will take place in New Hampshire, California, Texas and Maryland. Expected completion will be in June 2023.
Testek LLC won a $38.1 million contract, which is for the production and delivery of up to 42 Aircraft Generator Test Stands (AGTS), 41 for the Navy and one for a Foreign Military Sales customer. The AGTS will be used to conduct full functional testing of the new F/A-18E/F and EA-18G G4 generator converter units, the V-22 Constant Frequency Generator and Variable Frequency Generator, the ALQ-99 Ram Air Turbine Generator and generators tested by the legacy Aircraft Engine Component Test Stand (AECTS) at those sites where the AECTS is being replaced by the AGTS. Work will take place in Michigan and estimated completion date is September 2026.
Middle East & Africa
Afghanistan received a further four Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack turboprop aircraft, with a delivery ceremony held at Kabul International Airport on September 17. The delivery, announced by NATO the same day, brings to 23 the total now fielded by the Afghan Air Force (AAF), of which 18 are in-country with the remainder located at Moody Air Force Base in Virginia. The Super Tucano has been active in Afghanistan from early 2016, since which time it has served as the AAF’s only fixed-wing combat aircraft. The Super Tucano’s range, speed, service ceiling, and availability (coupled with its ability to dispense precision-guided munitions), enables it to operate effectively throughout Afghanistan.
Russia is reviving one of the Soviet-era space concepts, the nuclear-powered space transportation, by building a space tug for a trip to the Moon, Venus and Jupiter. The space tug is part of the Nuklon space complex, a scientist from Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos told TASS. The space tug is being assembled by KB Arsenal under the project name Transport and Energy Module (TEM.) Alexander Bloshenko says the nuclear-powered space tug’s – propelled by electric engines – first flight will be a full-fledged scientific mission that will deliver a research satellite to the Moon and head for Venus. It will then perform a gravity assist maneuver to head towards Jupiter.
Romania officially took delivery of the first set of Patriot air defense missile system on September 18. The country was cleared to buy the system in July 2017. It was reported then that the deal was worth approximately $3.9 billion. A total of seven PAC3+ fire units were bought.
Bangladesh has taken delivery of the third second-hand C-130J that it purchased from Britain. The aircraft arrived at Bangladesh Air Force Base Bangabandhu on September 17. Chief of Air Staff of Bangladesh Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat, and High Commissioner of British High Commission in Bangladesh H. E. Robert Chatterton Dickson were present at the base to welcome the crew.
Watch: 350 STRONG CHINESE NAVY FLEET AGAINST 293 WARSHIPS LOADED U.S NAVY FORCE – ITS QUANTITY vs QUALITY !
Latest updates[?]: Romania officially took delivery of the first set of Patriot air defense missile system on September 18. The country was cleared to buy the system in July 2017. It was reported then that the deal was worth approximately $3.9 billion. A total of seven PAC3+ fire units were bought.
The USA’s MIM-104 Phased Array Tracking Radar Intercept On Target (PATRIOT) anti-air missile system offers an advanced backbone for medium-range air defense, and short-range ballistic missile defense, to America and its allies. This article covers domestic and foreign purchase requests and contracts for Patriot systems. It also compiles information about the engineering service contracts that upgrade these systems, ensure that they continue to work, and integrate them with wider command and defense systems.
The Patriot missile franchise’s future appears assured. At present, 12 nations have chosen it as a key component of their air and missile defense systems: the USA, Germany, Greece, Japan, Israel, Kuwait, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and the UAE. Poland, Qatar, and Turkey have all indicated varying levels of interest, and some existing customers are looking to upgrade their systems.
Boeing won a $41.4 million deal, which provides intermediate level repair capability at Fleet Readiness Centers. Additionally, it provides for the development of support equipment to test and troubleshoot aircraft armament equipment specifically pylons, bomb rack units, sonobuoy launchers, armament control panel and the aft pneumatic source in support of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The P-8A Poseidon, the US Navy’s maritime patrol aircraft, is capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations, and is also successful at search and rescue. Operating with a smaller crew, yet delivering an extended global reach, greater payload capacity, higher operating altitude, open-systems architecture and significant growth potential, the P-8A provides more combat capability. Work will take place in Missouri, Indiana, Washington and Florida. Estimated completion date is in September 2024.
The US Air Force confirmed that it has designed, built and flown at least one prototype of its next-generation fighter jet. Officials revealed that the prototype has begun flight testing Tuesday during the Air Force Association’s virtual Air, Space and Cyber Conference. The development of the prototype happened in secret, and other details will likely remain under wraps due to the classification of the Air Force’s Next Generation Air Dominance Program, which connects air warfare systems that could include fighters, drones and other networked systems.
Middle East & Africa
The Heron UAV, which was developed and built by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), landed on September 16 at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport, becoming the first drone ever to navigate commercial airspace and land at an international airport alongside commercial flights. The UAV took off from Ein Shemer airfield, landed at Ben Gurion, and flew back to Ein Shemer. The takeoffs, flights, and landings were all conducted from the Ein Shemer control station. According to IAI, the historic landing proves the maturity and safety of the company’s Long Runner operating system, which allows UAVs to take off and land automatically on long-haul routes of 1,500 km or more using satellite communications technology and a combination of accurate takeoff and automatic landing capability.
On September 27th, Swiss voters will go to the polls to decide on the purchase of new fighter jets. The Air Force’s $6.4 billion purchase of new fighter jets has been challenged to a referendum by pacifists and left-wing political parties. Parliament has given its approval for the government-backed plans to boost and modernize Switzerland’s Air Defense Capabilities. It is the third nationwide vote in almost 30 years about the acquisition of new military aircraft for the Swiss Air Force. Voters will decide on the credit package alongside four other issues on September 27.
The German Bundeswehr announced that C G Haenel has been selected to supply its new assault rifle. Haenel is offering its MK 556 to replace the Bundeswehr’s G36 assault rifle from Heckler & Koch (H&K). According to the Bundeswehr, the decision was not yet legally effective, leaving open the possibility of an appeal from H&K, which was competing with its HK416 and HK433 assault rifles. The necessary funding for the new assault rifle must be approved by the Bundestag, the German parliament, which the Bundeswehr expected by the end of the year.
The Philippine Air Force lost a Sikorsky S-76A air ambulance on September 16 due to bad weather. The two pilots and two air crew members in the aircraft were killed in the crash. The helicopter belonged to the 545th squadron. They were on their way to Jolo, Sulu to pick up a patient when the helicopter crashed at the village of Upper Manggas.
Watch: Full F-22 Demo: Exclusive Look Inside the Raptor
Latest updates[?]: The Heron UAV, which was developed and built by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), landed on September 16 at Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport, becoming the first drone ever to navigate commercial airspace and land at an international airport alongside commercial flights. The UAV took off from Ein Shemer airfield, landed at Ben Gurion, and flew back to Ein Shemer. The takeoffs, flights, and landings were all conducted from the Ein Shemer control station. According to IAI, the historic landing proves the maturity and safety of the company's Long Runner operating system, which allows UAVs to take off and land automatically on long-haul routes of 1,500 km or more using satellite communications technology and a combination of accurate takeoff and automatic landing capability.
Latest updates: 3rd squadron stands up in the south.
Indian Heron UAV
(click to view larger)
In November 2005, media reports claimed that India was set to purchase some 50 Heron MALE (Medium Altitude, Long Endurance) UAVs from Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) in a deal worth $220 million. They would be put to use carrying out reconnaissance missions on India’s mountainous borders with China and Pakistan, and along India’s long coastal waters. India was said to have been close to sealing the deal in 2004, but it was postponed due to the change in governments in New Delhi.
The Heron’s performance during the December 2004 tsunami apparently clinched the deal. Its performance since, and Chinese aggression on the Indian border, has green-lighted a follow-on contract.
Northrop Grumman Systems won an $8.1 million modification to exercise an option for the production of Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Surface-to-Surface Missile Module (SSMM). The modification authorizes the production of one SSMM unit. The SSMM is a Longbow Hellfire missile that will be added to the surface warfare mission module aboard the LCS. The littoral combat ship (LCS) is a family of surface ships for the US Navy. The LCS is a fast, highly maneuverable, networked surface combat ship, which is a specialized variant of the family of US future surface combat ships known as DD(X). Work will take place in Huntsville, Alabama, Bethpage, New York and Hollywood, Maryland. Expected completion date is in June 2022.
Marvin Engineering won a $132.5 million contract, which provides for the production and delivery of a maximum quantity of 1,339 BRU-32B/A ejector unit rack assemblies and a maximum quantity of 1,056 LAU-127E/A guided missile launchers in support of the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G series aircraft. The LAU-127 is part of a family of single rail missile launchers (MRL or Missile Rail Launchers) which are capable of the carriage and release of either AIM-9 Sidewinder of AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles. Work will take place in California. Expected completion is in September 2027.
Middle East & Africa
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he personally would have “no problem” selling the advanced F-35 fighter jet to the United Arab Emirates, despite objections from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I would have no problem in selling them the F-35, I would have absolutely no problem,” Trump told Fox News in an interview ahead of a signing ceremony at the White House for agreements normalizing relations between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain. Trump also said he would be willing to sell other Middle Eastern countries the same weapons systems sold to Israel. He noted the region’s wealth and said it would be good for the United States and American jobs.
Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth will sail with a task group of nine vessels, including a nuclear submarine. The vessels will participate in the UK’s Carrier Strike Group exercise (GROUPEX) and Joint Warrior 20-2 (JW202). HMS Queen Elizabeth will sail with HMS Kent, HMS Defender, HMS Diamond, HMS Northumberland, RFA Tideforce, RFA Fort Victoria, Dutch Frigate HNLMS Evertsen, American Destroyer USS The Sullivans and an unnamed British nuclear submarines.
A Pakistan Air Force JF-17 has crashed near Pindigheb on September 15. The pilot ejected safely. Martin-Baker also confirmed it was a JF-17 by announcing on Twitter. The jet uses its PK16LE ejection seat. This was the first ejection from a JF-17.
Taiwan has decided to approach Thales and Raytheon as potential suppliers for ship-borne phases array radar that will equip its new missile frigates. The original plane was to use an indigenous AESA radar from National Chung-Shan Institute of Science & Technology (NCSIST). However, the weight of the radar system was found to be too heavy and the design of the warship will have to increase its tonnage from 4,500 to 6,000. The plan is to complete the Hsün Lien naval combat system first in 2021 and then select the radar that can be integrated smoothly with the system. If everything proceeds according to plan, the contract for the radar will be awarded in 2022 and the first warship will be ready in 2026.
Watch: PRECISION STRIKE MISSILE (PRSM) TO HAVE ANTI SHIP ROLE ! CHINESE NAVY ON ITS TARGET
Latest updates[?]: Northrop Grumman Systems won an $8.1 million modification to exercise an option for the production of Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Surface-to-Surface Missile Module (SSMM). The modification authorizes the production of one SSMM unit. The SSMM is a Longbow Hellfire missile that will be added to the surface warfare mission module aboard the LCS. The littoral combat ship (LCS) is a family of surface ships for the US Navy. The LCS is a fast, highly maneuverable, networked surface combat ship, which is a specialized variant of the family of US future surface combat ships known as DD(X). Work will take place in Huntsville, Alabama, Bethpage, New York and Hollywood, Maryland. Expected completion date is in June 2022.
Trimaran LCS Design
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Exploit simplicity, numbers, the pace of technology development in electronics and robotics, and fast reconfiguration. That was the US Navy’s idea for the low-end backbone of its future surface combatant fleet. Inspired by successful experiments like Denmark’s Standard Flex ships, the US Navy’s $35+ billion “Littoral Combat Ship” program was intended to create a new generation of affordable surface combatants that could operate in dangerous shallow and near-shore environments, while remaining affordable and capable throughout their lifetimes.
It hasn’t worked that way. In practice, the Navy hasn’t been able to reconcile what they wanted with the capabilities needed to perform primary naval missions, or with what could be delivered for the sums available. The LCS program has changed its fundamental acquisition plan 4 times since 2005, and canceled contracts with both competing teams during this period, without escaping any of its fundamental issues. Now, the program looks set to end early. This public-access FOCUS article offer a wealth of research material, alongside looks at the LCS program’s designs, industry teams procurement plans, military controversies, budgets and contracts.
The FC-1/ JF-17 Thunder is a joint Chinese-Pakistani project that aimed to reduce Pakistan’s dependence on western firms for advanced fighters, by fielding a low-cost multi-role lightweight fighter that can host modern electronics and precision-guided weapons. It isn’t a top-tier competitor, but it represents a clear step up from Pakistan’s Chinese MiG-19/21 derivatives and French Mirage III/V fighters. This positioning addresses a budget-conscious, “good enough” performance market segment that the West once dominated, but has nearly abandoned in recent decades.
Pakistan has fielded JF-17s in squadron strength, with more on order and a Block II R&D program nearing completion. India’s competing Tejas fighter is overcoming project delays by looking to foreign component sources, but Pakistan and China remain out front with their offering, even though they began their project much later than India did. Pakistan and China have even set up a joint JF-17 marketing agency to promote export sales, which hasn’t paid off as quickly as they had hoped, but it would be unwise to count them out just yet…