Alliant Techsystems won a $41.2 million deal, which procures low rate initial production Lot One of the AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER). This contract provides for the production and delivery of 16 AGM-88G AARGM-ER All Up Rounds, six AGM-88G AARGM-ER Captive Air Training Missiles, four Common Munitions BIT Reprogramming Equipment Plus interface devices, initial spares, and required supplies and support. Work will take place in California and West Virginia. Estimated completion will be in March 2024.
Northrop Grumman won a $12.9 million contract modification, which provides for the retrofit of Airborne Electronic Attack Weapons Replacement Assembly with 100 production kits required for the modification of ALQ-218 avionics in support of EA-18G upgrades, to include 64 kits for the Navy, and 36 kits for the government of Australia. Work will take place in Connecticut and New York. Estimated completion will be in November 2023.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is integrating Barak MX interceptors on the Navy’s Sa’ar 6 corvettes. IAI’s Barak MX interceptors along with IAI’s complete naval combat suite will provide advanced defense systems to the Sa’ar 6 corvettes. The systems will be used to protect Israel’s exclusive economic zone and strategic facilities that face diversified threats in the marine arena. The Barak MX system was chosen after it was demonstrated to meet the operational requirements and future challenges faced by the Israeli Navy.
The UK Ministry of Defense awarded BAE Systems contracts valued at more than $305 million to deliver advanced synthetic training for pilots training to fly the Typhoon jet. Under the Typhoon Future Synthetic Training (TFST) contracts, BAE Systems is leading work to deliver ten simulators, together with training facilities at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and RAF Lossiemouth in Moray. The new training environments will be linked together providing an integrated environment for pilots to train and carry out complex combined training exercises using real world mission software and tactics.
India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) signed an agreement with Rolls-Royce for Make-in-India Adour engine parts to support the latter’s international defence customer base. India’s Jaguar aircraft are powered by two Adour MK 804 / MK 811 Engines. MK 811 Engines are manufactured from 1981 under license from RR/TM [Rolls Royce Turbomeca].
Latest updates[?]: Northrop Grumman won a $12.9 million contract modification, which provides for the retrofit of Airborne Electronic Attack Weapons Replacement Assembly with 100 production kits required for the modification of ALQ-218 avionics in support of EA-18G upgrades, to include 64 kits for the Navy, and 36 kits for the government of Australia. Work will take place in Connecticut and New York. Estimated completion will be in November 2023.
EA-18G at Pax
The USA’s electronic attack fighters are a unique, overworked, and nearly obsolete capability. With the retirement of the US Air Force’s long-range EF-111 Raven “Spark ‘Vark,” the aging 4-seat EA-6B Prowlers became the USA’s only remaining fighter for radar jamming, communications jamming and information operations like signals interception . Despite their age and performance limits, they’ve been predictably busy on the front lines, used for everything from escorting strike aircraft against heavily defended targets, to disrupting enemy IED land mine attacks by jamming all radio signals in an area.
All airframes have lifespan limits, however, and the EA-6B is no exception. The USA’s new electronic warfare aircraft will be based on Boeing’s 2-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet multi-role fighter, and has 90% commonality with its counterpart. That will give it decent self-defense capabilities, as well as electronic attack potential. At present, however, the EA-18G is slated to be the only dedicated electronic warfare aircraft in the USA’s future force.
DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. This article describes the EA-18G aircraft and its key systems, outlining the program, and keeping track of ongoing developments, contracts, etc. that affect the program.
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.
Latest updates[?]: Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is integrating Barak MX interceptors on the Navy's Sa'ar 6 corvettes. IAI's Barak MX interceptors along with IAI's complete naval combat suite will provide advanced defense systems to the Sa’ar 6 corvettes. The systems will be used to protect Israel's exclusive economic zone and strategic facilities that face diversified threats in the marine arena. The Barak MX system was chosen after it was demonstrated to meet the operational requirements and future challenges faced by the Israeli Navy.
Saar 5: INS Hanit
The 1,227t/ 1,350 ton Sa’ar 5 Eilat Class corvettes were built by Northrop Grumman in the 1990s for about $260 million each. It’s a decent performer in a number of roles, from air defense to anti-submarine work, to coastal patrol and special forces support. In 2006, the Israelis went looking for a next-generation vessel with better high-end capabilities. Six years later, Israel had nothing to show for its search. In the meantime, massive natural gas deposits have been discovered within Israel’s coastal waters, adding considerable urgency to their search.
The USA is Israel’s logical supplier, but given Israel’s size and cost requirements, the only American option was the Littoral Combat Ship. Israel pursued that option for several years, conducting studies and trying to get a better sense of feasibility and costs. Their approach would have been very different from the American Freedom Class LCS, removing the swappable “mission modules” and replacing them with a fixed and fully capable set of air defense, anti-ship, and anti-submarine weapons. In the end, however, the project was deemed to be unaffordable. Instead, Israel began negotiating with Germany, and reports now include discussions involving both South Korea, and a local shipyard.
Latest updates[?]: The UK Ministry of Defense awarded BAE Systems contracts valued at more than $305 million to deliver advanced synthetic training for pilots training to fly the Typhoon jet. Under the Typhoon Future Synthetic Training (TFST) contracts, BAE Systems is leading work to deliver ten simulators, together with training facilities at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and RAF Lossiemouth in Moray. The new training environments will be linked together providing an integrated environment for pilots to train and carry out complex combined training exercises using real world mission software and tactics.
The multi-national Eurofighter Typhoon has been described as the aerodynamic apotheosis of lessons learned from the twin engine “teen series” fighters that began with the F-14 and F-15, continued with the emergence of the F/A-18 Hornet, and extended through to the most recent F/A-18 Super Hornet variants. Aerodynamically, it’s a half generation ahead of all of these examples, and planned evolutions will place the Eurofighter near or beyond parity in electronic systems and weapons.
The 1998 production agreement among its 4 member countries involved 620 aircraft, built with progressively improved capabilities over 3 contract “tranches”. By the end of Tranche 2, however, welfare state programs and debt burdens had made it difficult to afford the 236 fighters remaining in the 4-nation Eurofighter agreement. A 2009 compromise was found in the EUR 9 billion “Tranche 3A” buy, and the program has renewed its efforts to secure serious export sales. Their success will affect the platform’s production line in the near term, and its modernization plans beyond that.
Lockheed Martin won a $2 billion contract, which provides logistics support, to include ground maintenance activities, action request resolution, depot activities, automatic logistics information system operations and maintenance, reliability and maintainability, supply chain management, pilot training, maintainer training, and training system sustainment in support of delivered F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter air systems for the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Foreign Military Sales customers and non-US Department of Defense participants. Work will take place in Texas, Florida, South Carolina and the UK. Estimated completion will be in December 2021.
Crowley Government Services won a $192.4 million deal for services and related contractor-owned, contractor-operated fuel storage facilities with capabilities to receive, store, protect and ship aviation grade JP-5 turbine fuel and commercial grade Jet A-1 fuel. This was a competitive acquisition with five responses received. Work will take place in Florida and Australia. Estimated completion date is September 12, 2025.
Middle East & Africa
Contrack Watts won a $26.9 million deal for design and construction of a non-permanent modular billeting facility at Prince Sultan Air Base. Work will take place in Saudi Arabia. Estimated completion date is September 11, 2023. Bids were solicited via the internet with six received.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has unveiled a multi-mission unmanned land vehicle REX MK II to aid and protect ground forces in the field of battle. The multi-mission REX MK II is a hybrid electric platform with all wheel drive and has the ability to carry a load of 1.3 tons. It is intended to support infantry ground forces in various stages of fighting. This includes providing logistical assistance to troops by carrying munition supplies, critical medical equipment, water, and food, as well as evacuating injured personnel on stretchers.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko revealed that plans are being formulated to purchase more than $1 billion worth of weapons from Russia. He added that potential supplies of S-400 missile systems to the country are being discussed.
Elbit Systems has won contracts valued $56 million to supply Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities to the Navy of a country in Asia-Pacific. The contracts will be performed over a 12-month period. Elbit Systems will provide the Seagull USVs (Unmanned Surface Vessels) configured to perform ASW missions and the Towed Reelable Active Passive Sonar (TRAPS) systems.
Watch: IAI Unveils REX MK II Multi-Mission Unmanned Land Vehicle…
The US Marine Corps has acquired its first MQ-9 unmanned air vehicle (UAV) and assigned it to VMU-1. The transfer took place at MCAS Yuma, Arizona on August 30 and the aircraft is currently operated by the contractor.
The US Navy has awarded BAE Systems a $26 million contract for Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) spares for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Under the contract, BAE Systems will provide Beamforming Networks (BFNs), an integral part of antenna control for the AN/APX-122A IFF Interrogator system, onboard the carrier-capable tactical aircraft.
Middle East & Africa
During the last few weeks, the US has removed its most advanced air defense system, the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system, as well as Patriot missile batteries from Saudi Arabia. Spokesmen for the Pentagon and the Saudi Defense Ministry confirmed the removal of the air defense systems. According to AP, images taken on Friday by satellite imagery company Planet Labs showed that the area of the air base where the systems were previously located is now empty, and there is no activity of any kind.
Greece has ordered six more Rafale fighters, bring the total number ordered to 24. The announcement was made by French Defense Minister Florence Parly. It is said that the fighters ordered are the F3R variant.
Ukrainian Zorya-Mashproekt Gas Turbine Research and Development Complex, a state-owned enterprise inked a contract with India’s Goa Shipyard Limited for supply of two latest generation M7H2 engines to power warships of the country’s Navy. The turbo-power units are to be installed in new multi-purpose frigates, which will soon be built at the Indian shipyard.
North Korea’s state-run media disclosed that the country has tested a new type of long-range cruise missile on September 11 and 12. Information from North Korea says the new weapon can fly for more than two hours and a range of over 1,500 km.
The MQ-9 Reaper UAV, once called “Predator B,” is somewhat similar to the famous Predator. Until you look at the tail. Or its size. Or its weapons. It’s called “Reaper” for a reason: while it packs the same surveillance gear, it’s much more of a hunter-killer design. Some have called it the first fielded Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV).
The Reaper UCAV will play a significant role in the future USAF, even though its capability set makes the MQ-9 considerably more expensive than MQ-1 Predators. Given these high-end capabilities and expenses, one may not have expected the MQ-9 to enjoy better export success than its famous cousin. Nevertheless, that’s what appears to be happening. MQ-9 operators currently include the USA and Britain, who use it in hunter-killer mode, and Italy. Several other countries are expressing interest, and the steady addition of new payloads are expanding the Reaper’s advantage over competitors…
Latest updates[?]: The US Navy has awarded BAE Systems a $26 million contract for Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) spares for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Under the contract, BAE Systems will provide Beamforming Networks (BFNs), an integral part of antenna control for the AN/APX-122A IFF Interrogator system, onboard the carrier-capable tactical aircraft.
Northrop Grumman’s E-2C Hawkeye is a carrier-capable “mini-AWACS” aircraft, designed to give long-range warning of incoming aerial threats. Secondary roles include strike command and control, land and maritime surveillance, search and rescue, communications relay, and even civil air traffic control during emergencies. E-2C Hawkeyes began replacing previous Hawkeye versions in 1973. They fly from USN and French carriers, from land bases in the militaries of Egypt, Japan, Mexico, and Taiwan; and in a drug interdiction role for the US Naval Reserve. Over 200 Hawkeyes have been produced.
The $17.5 billion E-2D Advanced Hawkeye program aims to build 75 new aircraft with significant radar, engine, and electronics upgrades in order to deal with a world of stealthier cruise missiles, saturation attacks, and a growing need for ground surveillance as well as aerial scans. It looks a lot like the last generation E-2C Hawkeye 2000 upgrade on the outside – but inside, and even outside to some extent, it’s a whole new aircraft.
Will Dassault’s fighter become a fashionably late fighter platform that builds on its parent company’s past successes – or just “the late Rafale”? It all began as a 1985 break-away from the multinational consortium that went on to create EADS’ Eurofighter. The French needed a lighter aircraft that was suitable for carrier use, and were reportedly unwilling to cede design authority over the project. As is so often true of French defense procurement policy, the choice came down to paying additional costs for full independence and exact needs, or losing key industrial capabilities by partnering or buying abroad. France has generally opted for expensive but independent defense choices, and the Rafale was no exception.
Those costs, and associated delays triggered by the end of the Cold War and reduced funding, proved to be very costly indeed. Unlike previous French fighters, which relied on exports to lower their costs and keep production lines humming, the Rafale has yet to secure a single export contract – in part because initial versions were hampered by impaired capabilities in key roles. The Rafale may, at last, be ready to be what its vendors say: a true omnirole aircraft, ready for prime time on the global export stage. The question is whether it’s too late. Rivals like EADS’ Eurofighter, Russia’s Su-27/30 family, and the American “teen series” of F-15/16/18 variants are all well established. Meanwhile, Saab’s versatile and cheaper JAS-39 Gripen remains a stubborn foe in key export competitions, and the multinational F-35 juggernaut is bearing down on it.