Rockwell Collins won a $103.6 million contract to acquire avionics support services and incidental materials for the UH-60M Black Hawk multifunction display avionics suite for UH-60M mission design series and variant helicopters. UH-60 Black Hawk is a multi-mission helicopter developed by Sikorsky that has been operational in the US Army since 1978. The primary mission of the Black Hawk helicopter is as a troop carrier and logistical support aircraft, but the helicopter can also be configured to carry out medical evacuation, command-and-control, search-and-rescue, armed escort, electronic warfare and executive transport missions. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order. Estimated completion date is September 15, 2025.
Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett announced the “e” series designation of digitally engineered planes and satellites on Monday. The U.S. Air Force and Space Force will designate experimental aircraft, weapons and satellites designed and tested by digital engineering before taking form as “e-planes” and “e-sats,” she said. The change ends a tradition of using “X” to designate experimental aircraft. Barrett announced the change at the Air Force Association’s Virtual Air, Space and Cyber Conference, where she was the lead speaker on Monday. Digital engineering employs computer modeling and simulation, as well as virtual and augmented reality, prior to construction of a physical prototype, to analyze how various configurations would work.
Middle East & Africa
The British Defense Secretary announced a $30.6 million investment in the UK logistics hub a Dugm port. This us part of a visit to Oman and Qatar to discuss shared security challenges and future collaboration. The UK and many of the Gulf states work closely together on counter-terrorism, sharing information and resources to tackle violent extremism. The port was used in 2018 for Exercise Saif Sareea 3 and the expansion will further support British Army training in Oman, say the MoD.
A group of US Navy aviators, aircrew, and maintainers selected to transition to the CMV-22B are now embedded with VMM-166 in the Middle East to pick up operational experience. The squadron currently serves as the Aviation Combat Element for Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command.
The Royal Navy has led a multi-national task group of warships and aircraft into the Arctic Circle for the first time in more than 20 years. According to a press release, the operation is designed to demonstrate freedom of navigation above the Arctic Circle. More than 1,200 military personnel from four nations took part, supported by US P-8 Poseidon and Danish Challenger Maritime Patrol Aircraft along with RAF Typhoons and a Voyager refueling tanker.
The Republic of Korea Navy completed an upgrade of its command, control, communication, computer, and intelligence (C4I) system under a $124 million project aimed at eliminating redundancies and expanding the system’s capabilities for future operations. The new system, which is capable of handling three times as much data as the previous one, also enables the navy to transmit and share data with other units in real time, including data on ballistic missiles.
Watch: Indian Defence Updates : 20 Tactical DEW Systems,HSTDV Phase-2,F-35A Cheaper Than F-15EX,VR Training
Latest updates[?]: Rockwell Collins won a $103.6 million contract to acquire avionics support services and incidental materials for the UH-60M Black Hawk multifunction display avionics suite for UH-60M mission design series and variant helicopters. UH-60 Black Hawk is a multi-mission helicopter developed by Sikorsky that has been operational in the US Army since 1978. The primary mission of the Black Hawk helicopter is as a troop carrier and logistical support aircraft, but the helicopter can also be configured to carry out medical evacuation, command-and-control, search-and-rescue, armed escort, electronic warfare and executive transport missions. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order. Estimated completion date is September 15, 2025.
US Army HH-60Ms
In July 2012, the US military signed another huge contract with Sikorsky. With production of the Army’s HH/UH-60M, and the Navy’s MH-60S and MH-60R helicopters, all in full swing, there’s no question about the need for future orders. In that environment, multi-year contracts allow efficiencies in purchasing, and security of staffing, throughout Sikorsky’s supply chain. These new helicopter types are also available to Foreign Military Sales class customers, under the American contract’s advantageous pricing and terms. The UH-60M, MH-60S and MH-60R models have already inked export deals, and official requests indicate that more deals are in the pipeline.
The new multi-year 2013-2017 contract could be worth up to $11.7 billion, and follows a 5-year, multi-service “MYP-VII” contract in December 2007. Like its predecessor, it covers UH-60M Black Hawk troop transport and light cargo helicopters, Army HH-60M SAR (Search And Rescue) / MEDEVAC (MEDical EVACuation) helicopters, and the US Navy’s MH-60S and MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.
In March 2008, the Bell Boeing Joint Project Office in Amarillo, TX received a $10.4 billion modification that converted the previous N00019-07-C-0001 advance acquisition contract to a fixed-price-incentive-fee, multi-year contract. The new contract rose to $10.92 billion, and was used to buy 143 MV-22 (for USMC) and 31 CV-22 (Air Force Special Operations) Osprey aircraft, plus associated manufacturing tooling to move the aircraft into full production. A follow-on MYP-II contract covered another 99 Ospreys (92 MV-22, 7 CV-22) for $6.524 billion. Totals: $17.444 billion for 235 MV-22s and 38 CV-22s, an average of $63.9 million each.
The V-22 tilt-rotor program has been beset by controversy throughout its 20-year development period. Despite these issues, and the emergence of competitive but more conventional compound helicopter technologies like Piasecki’s X-49 Speedhawk and Sikorsky’s X2, the V-22 program continues to move forward. This DID Spotlight article looks at the V-22’s multi-year purchase contract from 2008-12 and 2013-2017, plus associated contracts for key V-22 systems, program developments, and research sources.
A C-17 assigned to Altus Air Force Base, which is the final aircraft of its type in service with the US Air Force, received the ADS-B Out equipment. All fifty-five C-17s received the modifications at Robins Air Force Base during their scheduled Program Depot Maintenance. “The ADS-B Out is a newer type of broadcast system that provides precise position and location information of an aircraft in real time to air traffic control,” said Anthony Scott, Avionics supervisor in the 562nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.
The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has admitted that its CC-144 Challenger jet was using the wrong transponder code while in flight. The code was supposed to be C2B3A5 but when the co-pilot takes control of the aircraft, it switches to 4233A1. The second erroneous code was transmitted by the second onboard transponder due to a loose plug that was suppose to program the code in the device. The incidents had been occurring since 2018 and involved at least 80 flights. The RCAF says all transponders on the CC-144 have been checked and are working normally.
Middle East & Africa
The Pentagon has identified an airman who was killed Saturday in a single-vehicle incident while on patrol in Kuwait. Senior Airman Jason Khai Phan, 26, of Anaheim, Calif., died and two other airmen were injured in the Saturday non-combat incident, the Department of Defense said in a statement. According to the USAF the incident happened while they were patrolling the perimeter of the Ali Al Salem Air Base. The two surviving airmen were transported to a hospital at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, with non-life-threatening injuries, it said. Phan served with the 66th Security Forces Squadron at the Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts since October 2018 and was deployed to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing’s 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron in Kuwait since July.
Lockheed Martin won a $9 million contract modification, which provides labor, engineering change order planning, installation and site support activities to operate the Cameri Regional Modification, Repair, Overhaul and Upgrade facility for F-35 aircraft for the government of Italy. The F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF), is being developed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company for the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and the UK Royal Navy. The JSF is being built in three variants: a conventional take-off and landing aircraft (CTOL) for the US Air Force; a carrier variant (CV) for the US Navy; and a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft for the US Marine Corps and the Royal Navy. Work will take place in Italy and Texas. Estimated completion will be by December 2020.
Germany’s Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has ordered additional RBS15 Mk3 anti-ship missiles from Diehl Defence. The missiles are slated for delivery from 2023 on. The Mark3 version of the heavy-weight anti-ship missile, jointly developed with Saab, was first delivered in 2011 as main armament of the new Corvette K 130. A framework agreement which also provides for the procurement of further guided missiles is the basis for the present supplementary procurement.
Boeing Australia announced on September 8 that it has made “significant advances” in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to “teach” unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to detect, decide, and act during a mission. The company said in a statement that a recently conducted flight test mission featuring four unmanned test beds demonstrated that AI-enabled UAVs can be taught to behave and learn using simulations, “so they can detect a target in the real world, and then make a decision to act or react to the environment”. This technology, which is particularly critical for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, aims to address the Australian Defence Force’s need for rapid response, tactical route execution, along with improved location and identification capabilities in congested and contested environments, added the company.
Watch: Watch: DEFENSE UPDATES WEEKLY NEWS ROUND-UP 13th SEP – TRUMP DISCLOSED UNKNOWN MISSILE & MUCH MORE !
Latest updates[?]: A C-17 assigned to Altus Air Force Base, which is the final aircraft of its type in service with the US Air Force, received the ADS-B Out equipment. All fifty-five C-17s received the modifications at Robins Air Force Base during their scheduled Program Depot Maintenance. “The ADS-B Out is a newer type of broadcast system that provides precise position and location information of an aircraft in real time to air traffic control,” said Anthony Scott, Avionics supervisor in the 562nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.
The C-17 has had more money-driven last hurrahs than The Who. Even so, FY 2010 featured the USAF’s last planned orders of C-17 Globemaster III short field, heavy-lift transport jets.
The Pentagon had been trying to end the program for years, but 3 factors led Congress to keep adding new C-17s to the budget, year after year: (1) deep doubts about the premises, pre-9/11 vintage, and quality of the Pentagon’s mobility studies; (2) uncertainty concerning the C-5 Galaxy super-heavy transport’s upgrade programs; and (3) a fleet wear tempo much higher than originally forecast, driven by constant requests from theater for C-17s.
All things end, and there were no new C-17s bought in the FY 2011 or FY 2012 budgets. That would leave the USA with a total ordered fleet of 223, once they’re all under contract. At long last, they are.
Bell Boeing Joint Program Office won an $8.3 millioncontract modification, which provides additional funding to continue non-recurring engineering and production tooling necessary for the V-22 Nacelle Improvements Phase I program. 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 Texas, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida. Estimated completion will be in May 2021.
The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is among numerous ships, aircraft and military personnel involved in Valiant Shield, a Pacific Ocean training exercise. The 12-day exercise of the US Indo-Pacific Command begins on Tuesday in Guam and at the Mariana Islands Range Complex. Approximately 100 aircraft and about 11,000 personnel of the Navy, Army, Air Force and Marines will be involved in training integration in a “blue water environment.” The amphibious assault ship USS America, amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans, dock landing ship USS Germantown and other surface ships will participate. Participants will demonstrate a warfighting capabilities and flexibility of US naval fleet operations, as well as integration of joint forces, notably maritime security operations, anti-submarine and air-defense exercises, amphibious operations, and other elements of complex warfighting.
Middle East & Africa
Cubic Defense Application won a $193.3 million contract for the P5 Combat Training System (P5CTS) contractor logistic support. The deal contract provides continuous depot-level contractor services by replacing the previous contract that expired on July 20, 2020. Work will be performed in San Diego, and is expected to be completed September 2027. This is a mix of Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and non-FMS requirements. FMS customers comprise an estimated 56% of the value of the contract and include Australia, Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and United Kingdom.
Northrop Grumman won a $21 million deal for the production and delivery of 831 AIM-9M MK 36 Mod 11 rocket motors; 788 motors for the government of Egypt and 43 motors for the government of Jordan. The Air Intercept Missile (AIM)-9 Sidewinder is a supersonic, short-range air-to-air missile developed by the US Navy in the 1950s. Work will take place in West Virginia, Georgia, California, Utah, Arizona, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Estimated completion will be in February 2023.
The Greek government has confirmed earlier reports that the country will be acquiring 18 Dassault Rafale fighters. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the fighters will replace the Mirage 2000-5 currently in service with the Hellenic Air Force. Mitsotakis also mentioned in his televised speech that new guided missiles for the air force will be acquired.
The General Atomics Sea Guardian Unmanned Air Vehicles that Taiwan intends to purchase will rely on the ST-2 telecommunications satellite for the uplink back to the ground control station. Up Media says the wiliness of the United States to allow Taiwan to use the satellite uplink for the MQ-9 was a key factor in persuading the island to use a foreign product instead of the indigenous Teng Yun drone. Two decades ago, the country had selected the MQ-1 and was negotiating to buy the unmanned aircraft. However, restrictions due to the Missile Technology Control Regime made the Americans take away the satellite uplink function of the Predator. Taiwan was also restricted from operating the MQ-1 at long distances with modified fuel tanks that have smaller capacities. Taking all these limitations into consideration, Taipei walked away from the purchase of the MQ-1. Another factor against the Teng Yun unmanned air vehicle was that it still does not have the ability to fly a pre-programed route to land back at its base if the control signal is lost or jammed.
Watch: Watch: GREECE TO HAVE 18 RAFALEs FROM FRANCE AS THREATS FROM TURKEY INTENSIFY – MACRON TAKES ON ERDGON !
Moog Inc. won a $46.7 million deal to overhaul and upgrade cylinder assembly actuators for UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. The UH-60 Black Hawk, developed by Sikorsky, has been operational in the US Army since 1978. Black Hawk has low detectability and outstanding nap-of-the-earth flight capabilities. The aircraft is tolerant to small arms fire and most high-explosive, medium-calibre (23mm) projectiles. The flight controls are ballistically hardened and the helicopter is equipped with redundant electric and hydraulic systems. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order. Estimated completion date is September 9, 2024.
Raytheon Missiles Systems won a $125 million contract for the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) system improvement program. This deal provides for delivery of software updates to the AMRAAM inventory. Software development activities are expected to use a recognized agile framework consisting of government/Prime collaboration through repeatable increments of study, development, integration, test and capability demonstration. AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile is a new generation all-weather, missile manufactured by Raytheon. The AMRAAM is in service with the USAF, USN and US-allied nations. Work will take place in Arizona. Estimated completion date is September 30, 2026.
Middle East & Africa
The US Navy awarded Bell Textron an $8.9 million modification, which increases the total contract value to produce, deliver, install and integrate, in country, a fully assembled AH-1Z flight training device for the government of Bahrain. The AH-1Z attack helicopter provides rotary wing close air support, anti-armor, armed escort, armed/visual reconnaissance and fire support coordination capabilities under day/night and adverse weather conditions. Work will take place in Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri. estimated completion will be in May 2022.
According to the British Royal Navy, survey ship joined the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre, the Republic of Cyprus Police Aviation Unit and 84 Squadron, from RAF Akrotiri, for the annual training. HMS Enterprise worked with Cypriot partners for a search and rescue exercise in the Mediterranean. The recently returned to Limassol having been deployed to Beirut after the explosion at the port. She worked alongside the Lebanese Navy Hydrographic Service to conduct a survey of approaches to the port.
The Australian government has announced that a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) detachment will be in Darwin for training next month. 149 Squadron will be deploying with its F-15SG fighter aircraft along with support from the A330 MRTT aerial refueling tanker from 112 Squadron and a G550 airborne early warning aircraft from 111 Squadron. They will conduct air combat exercises at Delamere Air Weapons Range and Bradshaw Field Training Area. The ministerial statement said: “Each member of the RSAF will undergo seven days self-isolation and undertake a COVID-19 test 48 hours prior to arrival in Australia. They will then undertake a further 14 days quarantine at specially prepared hotel accommodation in the Darwin Area that will be secured and managed by the Australian Defence Force.”
The Philippine Navy’s plan to integrate its AW159 naval helicopter with the Jose Rizal-class frigate is put on hold at the moment due to COVID-19 pandemic. The sailing branch is waiting for British instructors to arrive in the country in order to start deck-landing operations. However, the pandemic has resulted in travel restrictions imposed on those instructors.
Watch: Watch: India successfully tests hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle
Latest updates[?]: The US Navy awarded Bell Textron an $8.9 million modification, which increases the total contract value to produce, deliver, install and integrate, in country, a fully assembled AH-1Z flight training device for the government of Bahrain. The AH-1Z attack helicopter provides rotary wing close air support, anti-armor, armed escort, armed/visual reconnaissance and fire support coordination capabilities under day/night and adverse weather conditions. Work will take place in Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri. estimated completion will be in May 2022.
UH-1Y and AH-1Z
by Neville Dawson
The US Marines’ helicopter force is aging at all levels, from banana-shaped CH-46 Sea Knight transports that are far older than their pilots, to the 1980s-era UH-1N Hueys and AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters that make up the Corps’ helicopter assault force. While the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey program has staggered along for almost 2 decades under accidents, technical delays, and cost issues, replacement of the USMC’s backbone helicopter assets has languished. Given the high-demand scenarios inherent in the current war, other efforts are clearly required.
Enter the H-1 program, the USMC’s plan to remanufacture older helicopters into new and improved UH-1Y utility and AH-1Z attack helicopters. The new versions would discard the signature 2-bladed rotors for modern 4-bladed improvements, redo the aircraft’s electronics, and add improved engines and weapons to offer a new level of performance. It seemed simple, but hasn’t quite worked out that way. The H-1 program has encountered its share of delays and issues, but the program survived its review, and continued on into production and deployment.
DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. This article covers the H-1 helicopter programs’ rationales and changes, the upgrades involved in each model, program developments and annual budgets, the full timeline of contracts and key program developments, and related research sources.
Northrop Grumman Systems won a $13.3 million contract for a tested and fully qualified design of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD). The GBSD will replace the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Weapon system. The deal will provide for the engineering and manufacturing of the GBSD. The GBSD is a US land-based intercontinental ballistic missile system in the early stages of development, slated to replace all 450 Minuteman III missiles in service with the United States Air Force from 2027 onward. Work will take place in Roy, Utah and other locations. Estimated completion will be in February 2029.
Raytheon Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney won a $174.2 million contract modification, which exercises an option for the production and delivery of 14 F135-PW-100 low rate initial production Lot 14 propulsion systems for the Air Force in support of the F-35A conventional take-off and landing aircraft. Pratt & Whitney was awarded a $762.5 million lot F-35 engine production contract in November 2019, when it was sill operating under United Technologies Corp. USAF will use fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement funds to cover the full obligated amount. Work will take place in Connecticut, Maine, Arizona and Puerto Rico. Expected completion will be in June 2022.
Middle East & Africa
US Strategic Command started B-52 interoperability training missions in support of US Africa Command in North Africa on Monday. According to AFRICOM, the B-52s have participated in an initial mission with four Moroccan F-16s. AFRICOM’s B-52s will also intercept the USS Roosevelt as it simulates a hostile vessel in the southern Mediterranean. On Aug. 28, B-52 Stratofortress bombers flew over 30 NATO countries with allied aircraft, in a ceremonial statement of solidarity, and the next day two Russian Su-27 Flanker pilots intercepted a US Air Force B-52 bomber over international waters in the Black Sea, according to the Air Force.
Sweden has made a formal offer to Croatia to sell 12 Saab Gripen C/D fighters to satisfy the country’s requirement to replace its Yugoslav era MiG-21s. The government-to-government offer, announced by Saab on 9 September, is part of a wider package that, the manufacturer stated, includes “a tailored made strategic co-operation package” designed to boost Croatia’s defense industry and national security. Croatia had previously opted to acquire surplus Israeli Lockheed Martin F-16C/D ‘Barak’ Fighting Falcons, but this plan was cancelled in January 2019 following US government refusal to grant required third party transfer (TPT) permission over concerns related to bespoke equipment that had been installed on the aircraft by the Israeli Air Force.
The Philippine Air Force is asking the House of Representatives to approve the “unfunded priority project” to buy five C-130Js. Air Force Chief Lt. Gen. Allen Paredes told lawmakers that the cost of buying the five planes is $761 million and can be paid in installments. The country is required to pay a 15 percent downpayment in 2021 in order to kick off the purchase. Paredes said with five C-130Js, the service can “transport one rapidly deployable battalion at one stroke.”
A Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-4 fighter has arrived at its final resting place at Miho air base after making the final flight on September 8. It will be refurbished for public display in Spring of next year.
Watch: France’s Dassault Rafale Is No Competition for the F-35
Latest updates[?]: Northrop Grumman Systems won a $13.3 million contract for a tested and fully qualified design of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD). The GBSD will replace the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Weapon system. The deal will provide for the engineering and manufacturing of the GBSD. The GBSD is a US land-based intercontinental ballistic missile system in the early stages of development, slated to replace all 450 Minuteman III missiles in service with the United States Air Force from 2027 onward. Work will take place in Roy, Utah and other locations. Estimated completion will be in February 2029.
LGM-30G Minuteman III
For 50 years, land-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) have been part of the US primary strategic deterrence capability, the nuclear-armed triad that also includes submarine-launched ballistic missiles and long range heavy bombers.
Although the main target for the US deterrent – the Soviet Union – imploded in 1991, other threats – such as nuclear-armed rogue states and non-state actors – have emerged. To address these new threats, the US Air Force undertook a major ICBM modernization program.
To carry out this program, the USAF awarded a 15-year ICBM Prime Integration Contract (F42610-98-C-0001) in 1997 to a team led by Northrop Grumman. Since then, the team, which includes Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and ATK, has been carrying out a major modernization of the ICBM system to ensure its readiness.