Latest updates[?]: Lockheed Martin Corp. won a $67.6 million contract modification for upgrading Singapore’s F-16s. The aircraft are equipped with with Advanced Medium Range air-to-air missiles linked to a DASH-3 Mounted Sight. The deal modifies a contract awarded in 2015 with options that, if exercised, would bring the total value of the contract to $980.4 million. Upgrades for 60 of Singapore's F-16C/D Block 52 Fighting Falcon fighter jets were approved earlier that year through the US Foreign Military Sales program. Work will take place in Fort Worth, Texas and in Singapore. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2023.
In September 2013, Singapore confirmed its much-anticipated intent to upgrade its F-16C/Ds with improved radars and other changes. By January 2014, that was a published DSCA request. There’s no firm timeline just yet, but the proposal is part of wider-ranging military improvements underway in Singapore. It’s also seen as an early example to many other F-16 operators around the world, who respect Singapore’s as a discerning buyer and may wish to do the same thing.
That decision is expected to launch at least 2 fierce competitions. One will be between Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems. The other will be between Raytheon and Northrop Grumman.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems won a $7.8 million contract modification, which provides for Group 5 Unmanned Air System intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance services. The services are in support of outside the continental US Task Force Southwest and US Marine Corps operations utilizing contractor-owned/contractor-operated MQ-9 Unmanned Air Systems. The MQ-9 Reaper is the primary offensive strike Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for the US Air Force. Given its significant loiter time, wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons, it provides a unique capability to perform strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets. Reapers can also perform the following missions and tasks: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, close air support, combat search and rescue, precision strike, buddy-laser, convoy/raid overwatch, route clearance, target development, and terminal air guidance. Work will take place in Yuma, Arizona and Poway, California as well as other locations. Estimated completion date is May 2020.
The US Navy and Boeing announced the delivery of its first tiltrotor CMV-22B Osprey-variant aircraft. The plane will replace the aging C-2A Greyhound fleet of planes. It is designed to transport personnel and cargo from shore to aircraft carriers. The first Navy CMV-22B Osprey was delivered to the Navy at Bell’s manufacturing facilities in Amarillo, Texas. The planes will be based at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California, and Naval Air Station Norfolk in Virginia. The CMV-22B, which first flew in December, carries up to 6,000 pounds for more than 1,150 nautical miles. It’s the only aircraft that can transport major components of the F-35C engine directly to a carrier flight deck, a critical capability for Navy logistics and support.
Middle East & Africa
Jane’s reports that The United Arab Emirates Armed Forces are operating the Norinco SR5 Multiple Rocket Launchers (MRLs). The UAE revealed the MRLs during a parade on February 9, which was attended by the crown princes of all seven emirates, the event was held at Zayed Air Base to celebrate the UAE’s military intervention in Yemen. Personnel from various military branches formed up on a parking apron flanked by military equipment that included an SR5 on each side. The Rocket Launchers were each fitted with six-round pods for 220 mm artillery rockets or King Dragon 60 laser- and GPS-guided surface-to-surface missiles with a maximum range of 70 km. The system can also be fitted with two pods each with 20 122 mm projectiles.
Boeing won a $22.2 million delivery order for the procurement of trailing edge flaps in support of the F/A-18 C-D aircraft. A Trailing Edge is the rear edge of an aircraft’s wing flap where the airflow separated by the Leading Edge, which is a part of the wing that first contacts the air, rejoins. The trailing edge is the location for essential control surfaces. The Hornets won a twin-engine, carrier-capable, multirole fighter aircraft. Work will take place in Emmen, Switzerland and St. Louis, Missouri. Estimated completion will be in February 2023. Switzerland funds in the amount of $10,9 million will be obligated at the time of award and funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Elbit Systems has secured contracts worth about $136 million to provide airborne laser Direct Infra-Red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to undisclosed customers in Asia-Pacific. Elbit Systems will equip fleets of Airbus and Boeing aircraft with DIRCM systems. These systems will come from the Multi Spectral Infrared Countermeasures (MUSIC) family. The company will also provide its infra-red missile warning systems. These contract awards follow recent awards to install DIRCM systems onboard Airbus A400 aircraft of the German Air Force and onboard NATO’s Airbus A330 Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport fleet.
Japan launched an H-IIA rocket carrying an intelligence-gathering satellite from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA’s) launch site at the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture on February 9, local media reports. The optical-imaging satellite, called Information Gathering Satellite Optical 7 (IGS Optical 7), joined seven other IGS satellites – two other optical and five radar-imaging ones – designed to enhance Japan’s reconnaissance capabilities amid what Tokyo has described as a “severe” security environment in the region. Tokyo plans to add two more satellites to the constellation.
Watch: CHINESE DF 21D vs AMERICAN SM6 – THIS IS HOW U.S NAVY WILL COUNTER THE ANTI SHIP MISSILE !
Lockheed Martin won a $347.7 million contract modification, which procures long lead materials, parts, components and support necessary to maintain on-time production and delivery of 43 lot 15 F-35 aircraft for non-Department of Defense participants and Foreign Military Sales customers. The F-35 is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather, stealth multirole aircraft. Just last week Poland signed a deal worth $4.6 billion to procure 32 to procure 32 F-35 combat aircraft. The F-35 program has had its ups and downs in the las couple of years. The Pentagons test office’s annual report on DoD programs for example found that the aircraft has 873 unresolved deficiencies from ongoing issues with the aircraft’s gun on the US Air Force variant, to a number of outstanding software problems. However, a recent poll conducted by Air Force Technology, shows that the majority of its readers are still in favor of the F-35. Work under the contract modification will take place in Texas, California, Florida, New Hampshire, Maryland, the UK and Japan.
Once again, the US Army trying to develop a replacement for its M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle fleet. However, this time, service leaders said they will not be fixated on set requirements or a firm fielding date. Bruce Jette, the army’s assistant secretary for acquisition, logistics, and technology (ASA[ALT]), and Army Futures Command (AFC) head General Mike Murray announced on February 7 that the service is restarting its Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) prototyping competition with a release of a market survey. The move comes just weeks after the service scraped the initial competition that called for the service to begin fielding the OMFV in 2026.
Middle East & Africa
CNN reported that two US troops were killed and six were wounded in an apparent insider attack in Afghanistan. The soldiers were involved in a firefight on February 8 in Sherzad district, Nangarhar province. The wounded service members are receiving medical treatment at a US facility. Between 12,000 and 13,000 U.S. troops are currently serving in Afghanistan. At the end of January the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction reported that the number of attacks initiated by the Taliban were the highest in the fourth quarter of 2019 than during any quarter since 2010. According to the same report, the number of American military casualties in 2019 – 23 deaths and 192 injuries – were the highest they have been since January 2015.
The Permanent Secretary for Defense recently informed the Public Accounts Committee hat the first Type 31 Frigate will be in the water by 2023 and that the in-service date will be in 2027. Earlier statements however had indicated that the in-service date would be 2023. According to the February 2020 update of the Naval Shipbuilding research briefing in the House of Commons Library, the approved in-service date for the Type 31 frigates is now 2027. The paper says: “On 20 January 2020 the MOD informed the Public Accounts Committee the approved inservice date for the first ship is 2027: Evaluation of the Preferred Bidder’s schedule and deliverability assessment has confirmed that Ship 1 will be in the water in 2023, with all ships accepted off-contract by the end of 2028. The IAC [Investment Approvals Committee] has approved the InService Date of Ship 1 for May 2027.” The Ministry of Defense also reportedly told the Commons Library “the competition we held demonstrated that no bidder could achieve a ship in the water before 2023” but suggested to the author that the in-service date could be earlier than 2027.
The US government has given the green light for Australia to buy up to 200 AGM-158C, Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs). The Foreign Military Sale package is estimated to be worth nearly $990 million and includes eleven ATM-158C LRASM Telemetry Variant (Inert). Australia had requested to buy up to 200 AGM-158C, Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs); and up to eleven ATM-158C LRASM Telemetry Variant (Inert). Also included are DATM-158C LRASM, Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM-158C LRASM), containers, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, US Government and contractor representatives technical assistance, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.
India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) received the initial operational clearance for its Light Utility Helicopter, meaning that the company will now begin series-production of the single-engined platform. HAL said in a statement that three LUH prototypes had “cumulatively completed” over 550 test flights in diverse climatic conditions, including cold, hot, and humid weather, but did not provide a timeline. The company stated that the LUH’s “endurance and reliability” were further established after the platform flew for 7,000 km over 17 days from Bangalore to undertake “hot weather and high-altitude trials [in western and northern India] without any abnormalities”.
Watch: ONE EA18G GROWLER CREW OF U.S NAVY FLEW TWO OTHERS SIMULTANEOUSLY IN SEMI AUTOMATED MODE !
Latest updates[?]: Once again, the US Army trying to develop a replacement for its M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle fleet. However, this time, service leaders said they will not be fixated on set requirements or a firm fielding date. Bruce Jette, the army’s assistant secretary for acquisition, logistics, and technology (ASA[ALT]), and Army Futures Command (AFC) head General Mike Murray announced on February 7 that the service is restarting its Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) prototyping competition with a release of a market survey. The move comes just weeks after the service scraped the initial competition that called for the service to begin fielding the OMFV in 2026.
M3A3 Bradley CFV: Charge!
In the 1970s, middle eastern wars demonstrated that tanks without infantry screens were vulnerable to infantry with anti-tank missiles. Unfortunately, armored personnel carriers were easy prey for enemy tanks, and sometimes had trouble just keeping up with friendly tanks like America’s 60+ ton, 50+ mph M1 Abrams. In response, the Americans rethought the armored personnel carrier, taking a page from the Soviet book. They created a more heavily armored, faster “Infantry Fighting Vehicle” named after WW2 General Omar “the soldier’s general” Bradley, and gave it an offensive punch of its own. M2/M3 tracked, armored IFVs can carry infantry – but they also have 25mm Bushmaster cannons, networked targeting sensors, and even TOW anti-armor or Stinger anti-aircraft missiles at their disposal.
Bradley puts on wear
Even well-serviced vehicles must suffer the pangs of age and wear, however, and the pace of electronics breakthroughs is far faster than the Army’s vehicle replacement cycle. The US Army plans to keep its Bradley fleet for some time to come, and new technologies have made it wise to upgrade part of that fleet while renewing the vehicles. Hence the remanufacture program, which complements the restore-only RESET programs.
This free-to-view DII Spotlight article explains the differences between the Bradley variants involved, details the re-manufacture process, offers additional research sources, and covers associated contracts from FY 1999 to the present.
Northrop Grumman won a $172.4 million contract modification, which exercises options for the production and delivery of two MQ-4 Triton Unmanned Air Systems for the Navy, one Navy main operating base, trade studies and associated technical and administrative data. The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is a high-altitude long endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle designed for the US Navy as a surveillance aircraft. The system is intended to provide real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions (ISR) over vast ocean and coastal regions, continuous maritime surveillance, conduct search and rescue missions, and to complement the Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. Work will take place in California, Texas, Virginia, North Dakota and various other location within the US. Estimated completion will be in January 2024.
Electric Boat Corp. won a $7.6 million contract action to perform Phase III of the Virginia Class Main Propulsion Machinery control systems effort. The Virginia Class is a nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine built for anti-sub and anti-surface operations. It is armed with torpedoes, Tomahawk Cruise missiles and is capable of mine-laying operations. It can also deliver special forces teams as it has the ability to operate in shallow or littoral waters. It is the US Navy’s newest undersea warfare platform and incorporates the latest in stealth, intelligence gathering and weapons systems technology. Work will take place in Sunnyvale, California and is scheduled to be finished by March 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Ericsson Helicopters won a $93.6 million contract modification, which provides continued rotary- and fixed-wing airlift support services, including passenger, cargo, casualty evacuation, personnel recovery, air drop and limited door-to-door services to US Africa Command. Work will take place in continental Africa, African island an countries supporting operations in Africa, such as Germany and Italy. Option period of performance is from February 2, 2020 to February 1, 2021. Just recently the chief of US Africa Command made a pitch to maintain the US military presence on the continent, as reports circulate about potential cuts to focus on threats from China and Russia. “I have learned that small investments – a few troops and a few bucks – can go a long way and make a real difference in Africa,” CNN quoted Gen. Stephen Townsend, the head of US Africa Command.
Vectrus Systems Corp. won a $23 million contract modification to provide all personnel, equipment, supplies, transportation, tools, materials, supervision, and other items and non-personal services necessary to perform Area Support Group-Kuwait Dining Facility food services. The Area Support Group-Kuwait is a subordinate command for the United States Army Forces Central Command. Work will take place in Kuwait City, Kuwait and estimated completion date is February 9, 2020.
Lockheed Martin delivered the second and last KC-130J tanker-transport aircraft to France as part of a wider Hercules procurement effort. The tanker variant of the C-130J transport aircraft was handed over to French officials at the Marietta production facility in Georgia on February 4. The event came four months after the first KC-130J arrived at Orléans-Bricy Air Base in France in late September 2019. Prior to receiving its two KC-130Js, France had earlier taken delivery of two ‘stretched’ transport C-130J-30 aircraft. All four aircraft are to be operated by 2/61 “Franche-Comté” 123 at Orléans-Bricy Air Base.
India will start testing a Nirbhay Cruise missile fitted with a small turbofan engine manufactured by Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE). Besides the new engine, a new radio frequency seeker will be tested out as well. The country will probably carry out the first developmental trial of a Nirbhay Cruise missile fitted with an indigenous propulsion system in April. Called the Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM), the weapon, which is essentially the Nirbhay missile fitted with the indigenous Small Turbo Fan Engine (STFE), is being developed by Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) of India’s state-owned Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). ADE has planned two developmental tests using the ITCM to demonstrate the STFE and a new radio frequency seeker.
Watch: RAYTHEON’S EXCALIBUR S SHELL WILL GIVE US NAVY WARSHIPS LONG RANGE & PRECISION STRIKE CAPABILITY !
GE Aviation Systems LLC won a $26.6 million delivery order for the procurement of 101 generator converter units used on 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. The aircraft fills a variety of roles: air superiority, fighter escort, suppression of enemy air defenses, reconnaissance, forward air control, close and deep air support, and day and night strike missions. The F/A-18 Hornet replaced the F-4 Phantom II fighter and A-7 Corsair II light attack jet, and also replaced the A-6 Intruder as these aircraft were retired during the 1990s. Work under the new delivery order will take place in Vandalia, Ohio and is expected to be finished by January 2025.
Breaking Defense reports that the US Navy plans to launch long-range, ship killing missiles from its premiere submarine-hunting aircraft. The paper takes this a a clear sign that the Pentagon is looking for new ways to meet the tyranny of distance in the Pacific theater. Reportedly e a precision weapon equipped with an 1,000-lb warhead able to stealthily penetrate enemy missile defenses will be fitted on a Poseidon P-8 aircraft. The Long Range Anti Ship Missile LRASM has a range disclosed only as over 200 miles, but likely can go much further. The US Navy armed the P-8A with a development of the MK 54 torpedo that can be fired from high-altitude. The first MK 54 torpedo was successfully test-fired by the P-8A Poseidon in October 2011. The integral bomb bay can carry free-fall bombs, Raytheon Mark 54 torpedoes and depth charges. Air-to-surface missiles are installed on the underwing hardpoints.
Middle East & Africa
The Israel Defense Forces has procured the Fire Weaver networked sensor-to-shooter fire control system, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems announced on February 3. Developed jointly by Rafael, Israel’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDRD), and the IDF Ground Forces, Fire Weaver is to be integrated into armoured brigades and become operational this year, the company said in a press release. Fire Weaver integrates weapons and sensors into a network and uses software to assign targets to the most appropriate effectors. A battalion command post equipped with a Fire Weaver fire management terminal has to approve engagements. The Rafael representative explained that the system has a “dual-custody fire-control system”, meaning the operators of both the weapon and the sensor must agree to engage before a target is fired on. The sequence takes five seconds as no radio voice control is needed, he said.
Polish legislator Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska has disclosed that the Polish Air Force is having issues keeping the F-16 and MiG-29 fleet operational. Kluzik-Rostkowska said that the F-16s are being cannibalized for parts to keep the fleet operational. The situation is so bad that only 30-40 percent of the fleet is serviceable. Local media reported in the last months that there are major problems in the post-Soviet MiG-29 and American F-16. The two aircraft are facing troubles, because of their age and lack of spare parts. Additionally, Onet reports that there are only 23 F-16 pilots authorized to fly in all conditions. This means that even with full combat readiness of Polish F-16, only half of them would be able to rise in the air.
Army Reserves made history by mobilizing for their largest ever deployment in a single unit, according to the British Army. Reportedly 240 reservists from 7 RIFLES and 5 RRF have been mobilized as a battlegroup on Operation TOSCA, the codename given to the British contribution to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, one of the longest-running UK operational tours. The British Army says that the 7 RIFLES battlegroup will take over from 27 Regiment RLC (Royal Logistics Corps) and they will spend six months in country before returning in late October and ending the tour with a medals parade.
The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) announced that the Australian Army and the wider Australian Defence Force (ADF) will acquire the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Spike LR2 missile system as its “Long Range Direct Fire Support Weapon capability”. The DoD quoted Chief of Army Lieutenant General Rick Burr as saying that said the acquisition of the system – under the Land 159 Lethality System project – is expected to ensure that the Australian Army is equipped with “a modern and credible dismounted anti-armor guided missile system to target contemporary armored threats”. The Chief of Army also pointed out that “the alignment [of this weapon system] with the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle will also enable the army to deliver improved operational effects for the ADF in sustainment, training, and maintenance”. The Spike LR2 weapon system is being integrated with the Rheinmetall Boxer 8×8 armored vehicle, 211 units of which are on order for the Australian Army under Project Land 400 Phase 2.
Watch: Indian Defence Updates : France Offers 6th Gen NGF,Rudra Cruise System,M-88 Full ToT,5 AMCA Funding
Colonna Shipyards won a $10.5 million deal for a 75-day shipyard availability for the regular post shakedown availability of USNS Burlington (T-EPF 10). The Burlington is the tenth Spearhead Class expeditionary fast transport. EPFs are capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. Each vessel includes a flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. The ships are capable of interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, as well as on/off-loading vehicles such as a fully combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank. Work under the new contract will include Pump Room 1 and 2 renewal, tow modifications, Pump Room 7 and 8, ladder install, bilge preservation main engine rooms, line shaft bearing annual maintenance, freeze protection pipe heat trace instillation, freeze protection mission bay installation, perform annual stern ramp maintenance, install fuel sensors in diesel fuel service system, modify diesel fuel bunking piping, stern ramp upgrades, fire station isolation valves, adaptive force package temporary sensitive compartment information facility installations and temporary sensitive compartment information facility adaptive force package heating ventilation and an air condition upgrade install. Estimated completion date is May 15, 2020,
Boeing won a $15.3 million contract for the production of KC-135 aircraft structural component fittings. The KC-135 Stratotanker is a military aerial refueling aircraft. The primary air fuel transfer method is through the tanker’s flying boom, controlled by an operator stationed at the rear of the fuselage. USAF aircraft have primarily used this boom and receptacle refueling technique. A shuttlecock drogue can be trailed behind the boom and used to refuel aircraft equipped with refueling probes. Aircraft fitted with the boom drogue cannot refuel boom and receptacle aircraft. Work will take place in Missouri and expected completion date is January 31, 2023.
Middle East & Africa
The Malian Armed Forces announced that they received the first batch of 15 Streit Cougar light armored vehicles from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Cougars are the first of 30 vehicles the UAE is donating as part of a wider agreement that also covers the sale of 100 Streit Typhoon mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles. The FAMa said on January 31 that 35 Typhoons have been delivered so far. The cougar is an MRAP and and infantry mobile vehicle. It is able to resist landmines and improvised munitions.
German company Rheinmetall announced that it will soon be supplying the German Bundeswehr with simulation technology that will enable highly realistic training of mechanized infantry units equipped with the Puma IFV. The deal is valued at $156.7 million. At the end of 2019, Rheinmetall received order to this effect from the consortium responsible for the Puma for the AGDUS duel simulator, which had in turn been awarded the contract by the Bundeswehr on December 20. Once the system is ready for full-scale serial production, an option exists for equipping 252 infantry fighting vehicles. Each AGDUS set consists of laser detectors arrayed around the vehicle as well as eye-safe lasers capable of simulating the effects of the Puma’s principal weapon systems, machinegun and MELLS antitank guided missile.
Pacific Air Force has announced that the US Marine Corps will be making flight demonstrations of the F-35B during the Singapore Airshow. An E-2D from VAW-125 will be at the show as well. The show is focused on building strong relations between the Singapore, US and the international community. The Singapore Airshow will be held between February 11 and February 16 at the Changhi Exhibition Center. It is a biennial event that started in 2008. It hosts high-level government and military delegations, as well as senior corporate executives around the world, while serving as a global event for leading aerospace companies and budding players
The Royal Malaysian Air Force will convert two CN-235s into maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) using mission systems provided by the United States. The systems will be installed at PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) later this year. The mission suite is likely to include the Merlin maritime surveillance system developed by Oregon-based Integrated Surveillance and Defense, Inc (ISD). This system has been installed on three CN-235s, two of which are in service with the Indonesian Navy, the other operated by the Indonesian Air Force. The Merlin mission equipment includes a maritime surveillance radar, an electro-optical sensor turret, and an electronic support measures system. The Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF’s) No 1 Squadron operates seven CN-235s in the transport and utility roles.
Watch: B 21 RAIDER STEALTH BOMBER GETTING READY TO TAKE ON RUSSIAN & CHINESE AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS !
Latest updates[?]: German company Rheinmetall announced that it will soon be supplying the German Bundeswehr with simulation technology that will enable highly realistic training of mechanized infantry units equipped with the Puma IFV. The deal is valued at $156.7 million. At the end of 2019, Rheinmetall received order to this effect from the consortium responsible for the Puma for the AGDUS duel simulator, which had in turn been awarded the contract by the Bundeswehr on December 20. Once the system is ready for full-scale serial production, an option exists for equipping 252 infantry fighting vehicles. Each AGDUS set consists of laser detectors arrayed around the vehicle as well as eye-safe lasers capable of simulating the effects of the Puma’s principal weapon systems, machinegun and MELLS antitank guided missile.
Germany has always been known for producing excellent armored vehicles. A combination of features that arguably make it the world’s best tank, and fire sale prices stemming from Germany’s rapid disarmament, have made the Leopard 2 the standard main battle tank in Europe and beyond. The same level of innovation and execution was shown in the late 1960s, when Germany’s Marder became the west’s first Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). Designs like the American M2/M3 Bradley, Sweden’s CV90 family and new SEP, Singapore’s Bionix-II, and Korea’s new XK-21 have stepped far beyond that legacy, however, and even the Russian region has continued to update their BMP designs. Meanwhile, the nature of military operations has changed to emphasize modularity, out of country missions, advanced electronic communications, and strong protection against threats like land mines.
The Marders need to be replaced, and this became a priority even within Germany’s limited defense budget. In response, German armored vehicle leaders Rheinmetall & KMW formed a 50/50 joint venture to design and produce a solution that would address these issues, and return Germany to a leadership position in the tracked IFV field. Enter the new Puma IFV – which has just received a EUR 3 billion production order from Germany.
Rolls-Royce won a $57.4 million delivery order modification for C-130J propulsion long term sustainment. The Super Hercules features a glass cockpit, digital avionics and a new propulsion system with a six-bladed propeller. The C-130J is crewed by two pilots and a loadmaster. The new glass cockpit features four L-3 systems with multifunction liquid crystal displays for flight control and navigation systems. The aircraft is equipped with four Allison AE2100D3 turboprop engines, each rated at 4,591 shaft horsepower. The all-composite six-blade R391 propeller system was developed by Dowty Aerospace. The order provides funding for Option Three and Power By The Hour flying hours. Estimated completion date is February 1, 2021.
Rockwell Collins Simulation and Training Solutions won a $20.3 million modification, which procures updates to the Delta Software System Configuration #3 software baseline to include the visual system and cyber security on tactics and flight trainer devices. Additionally, this modification provides technology refresh and aircraft concurrency updates on tactics devices, aircraft concurrency and aerial refueling updates on the flight devices, tactics and flight device training and associated technical data in support of the E-2D Hawkeye Integrated Training System. The Hawkeye is a Northrop Grumman-manufactured surveillance aircraft designed to provide information operations for battle management, theater air and missile defense, and multiple sensor fusion capabilities. The training systems, which Rockwell Collins has been delivering to the Navy and allied militaries that use the surveillance platform for several years, include simulators, interactive computer media, as well as other shore-based training. Work will take place in Point Mugu, California and expected completion will be in June 2022.
Middle East & Africa
France’s Intelligence Online has reported that three EADS Harfang Unmanned Air Vehicles previously operated by the French Air Force have been transferred to Morocco. The transfer reportedly took place on January 26. The sale was worth around $48 million. The Israeli drones, manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries, were transferred to Morocco via French defense company Dassault, The report said that an agreement on the deal was made between Israel and Morocco as far back as 2013, with the drones delivered in recent weeks. The drones are to be used to monitor terror groups in the southern part of the country and the Western Sahara area.The report said Morocco bought the drones after they were decommissioned from the French military, which used them for surveillance operations in Afghanistan.
Spain contracted Pilatus to deliver 24 PC-21 turboprop trainer aircraft to replace the Air Force’s aging Casa 101s. The contract, announced by the Swiss manufacturer on January 31, will see the twin-seat single-engined aircraft replace the Ejército del Aire’s C-101 jets that have been in service since 1980. According to Pilatus, the deal is worth in excess of $221 million and includes simulators, spares, and logistical support. Deliveries are expected to commence in the coming months, with pilot training set to begin in 2021. The PC-21 expanded envelope trainer aircraft is designed to fulfil the requirements for basic, advanced and fighter lead-in training for pilots and, if required, weapon systems officers.
The UK Ministry of Defense awarded Maritime Tactical Systems (MARTAC), a Florida-based developer of modular Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs), a $2.4 million contract to deliver five Man-Portable Tactical Autonomous Systems (MANTAS) T12 USVs to the Royal Navy and Joint Forces Command (JFC, now Strategic Command) for further experimentation. The contract includes the provision of integrated sensors, spares and ancillary equipment, training, and technical support. According to the MoD, the MARTAC T12 was selected following a study on commercial off-the-shelf products that would validate the use of low observable USVs for distributed maritime operations. The study – which began in February 2019 and utilized two leased MANTAS T12 USVs – was led by jHUB, the London-based innovation centre for JFC.
According to Jane’s, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding launched the third Hibiki Class ocean surveillance ship on order for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Named Aki, the small waterplane area twin hull (SWATH) vessel entered the water on January 15 in a ceremony held at the company’s facilities in the Japanese city of Tamano, Okayama Prefecture. The ship has a full-load displacement of 3,048 tonnes. It is expected to be commissioned in March 2021. It will feature a more advanced Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) than that fitted onto the first two ships of the class, the JS Hibiki and JS Harima, which entered service in 1991 and 1992, respectively.
Watch: Defense security news TV weekly navy army air forces industry military equipment January 2020 V3
Latest updates[?]: France’s Intelligence Online has reported that three EADS Harfang Unmanned Air Vehicles previously operated by the French Air Force have been transferred to Morocco. The transfer reportedly took place on January 26. The sale was worth around $48 million. The Israeli drones, manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries, were transferred to Morocco via French defense company Dassault, The report said that an agreement on the deal was made between Israel and Morocco as far back as 2013, with the drones delivered in recent weeks. The drones are to be used to monitor terror groups in the southern part of the country and the Western Sahara area.The report said Morocco bought the drones after they were decommissioned from the French military, which used them for surveillance operations in Afghanistan.
EAGLE/ Harfang/ SIDM
EADS’ “Harfang”/ EAGLE/ SIDM (Systeme Interimaire de Drone MALE) UAV system was developed in conjunction with Israel Aerospace Industries, based on the Heron. It’s serving as an interim solution for France’s Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) UAV needs, and has been active in Afghanistan, Libya, and Mali. Where basing allows, it complements shorter range options like the Sperwer. In situations like Libya, where bases are more distant, it becomes France’s only deployable UAV.
France has a number of advanced UAV programs in development at the medium, heavy, and UCAV levels. A 2009 test of the jet-powered Barracuda UAV demonstrator in Canada, and development of the nEUROn UCAV (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle) underscores the seriousness of those efforts, but they aren’t realistic fielding options in the near term. Until a replacement is developed and fielded, the small Harfang fleet plays a very important role for the French military…