Saguaro Business Solutions won a $67.3 million contract for aircrew training and courseware development. This contract provides all personnel, equipment, tools, materials, supervision, and all other items and services that are required to perform 552 Air Control Wing E-3 Aircrew Training and 752nd Operations Support Squadron and Reporting Center support at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Estimated completion date is April 30, 2026.
Bell Textron won a $8 million deal, which provides engineering and technical field services for the H-1 aircraft to include airframes, avionics, electrical power plant systems and associated equipment, on and off-site proficiency training, technical and unusually complex technical guidance in support of the Naval Air Technical Data and Engineering Service Center. The UH-1Y Venom and the AH-1Y Viper hare 85 percent parts commonality, designed to significantly reduce life-cycle costs and the aircraft’s logistical footprint, while increasing the maintainability and deployability. The AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter provides rotary wing close air support, anti-armor, anti-air, armed escort, armed/visual reconnaissance and fire support coordination capabilities under day/night and adverse weather conditions for the USMC. The UH-1Y Venom multi-role utility helicopter is equipped with a wide range of weapons and mission support configurations to also perform close air support missions, along with combat assault support, search and rescue/causality evacuation, armed escort/reconnaissance, command and control, and special operation support. Work will take place in New Jersey, Louisiana and Hawaii. Estimated completion will be in April 2026.
Middle East & Africa
Six F-15Es from the 494th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, April 25 ferrying live bombs from Jordan. This is the first combat tactical ferry mission for the F-15E as part of an Agile Combat Employment operation. Each fighter is carrying more bombs than it can drop in combat. The purpose is to ferry the live bombs to a location without having to use a cargo plane to do so.
Romania signed the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) contract for the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) Coastal Defense Systems (CDS). The General Directorate for Armaments of the Ministry of National Defense signed the contract on behalf of the government. The costs of the systems, which includes four mobile launchers, is about $286 million. Delivery will take place in the last quarter of 2024.
India is to lease a A330 MRTT from France under government-to-government basis, Hindustan Times reports. The Indian Air Force has issued a request for information (RFI) for this purpose. Another request for proposal will be release in the future to lease another five tankers. The proposal was discussed during Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria’s visit to France last week.
Japan is exploring the use of a multihull design for the two vessels that are to be equipped with the Aegis missile defense system that replaces the Aegis Ashore program. Japan’s Hibiki Class ocean surveillance ships uses the small-waterplane-area twin hull (SWATH) design. Such a configuration offers stability in rough seas. According to the news report, a civilian company will be contracted to develop a potential design.
Watch: Japan commissions new ocean surveillance ship ” JS Aki Hibiki-class vessels”
Lockheed Martin won a $22.5 million contract modification, which adds scope to provide support required to establish the common reprogramming tool development network and selection of a service-oriented architecture for the development of enhanced reprogramming tools. This is essential for all standing labs in support of the F-35 aircraft for the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and non-Department of Defense participants. Work will take place in Texas and Florida. Estimated completion is in December 2021.
The US Navy has demonstrated that it can use a swarm drone to destroy a surface target during the recently concluded Unmanned Systems Integrated Battle Problem (UxS IBP) 21 conducted off the coast of California. Flag officers made the disclosure to reporters during a teleconference on April 26. An Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) detected the location of the surface target using its on board Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system and transmitted the coordinates to the surface warfare commander who then attack it with a swarm drone.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s Elbit Systems announced that it successfully completed the testing of its combat suites integrated into new patrol vessels of the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG). The trials conducted in the Aegean Sea included testing of the integration level of the combat systems and subsystems as well as live fire testing of the onboard remote controlled weapon stations.
Germany contracted Top Aces to deliver fast jet adversary air training services to its armed forces from January 1, 2022. Announced by the Canadian-based contractor owned and contractor operated (COCO) company, the deal is a follow-on award for Top Aces, which has been providing its services to the German armed forces over the previous six years.
It was announced that a further sub-contract has been awarded for the UK Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicle Programme. Horstman UK will supply over 250 angular gear boxes and control units for the British Army’s Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicle programme.
HMLA-267 will be replaced by HMLA-169 as the Unit Deployment Program (UDP) squadron at MCAS Futenma, Japan this week. Before departing home for Camp Pendleton, HMLA-267 carried out a Mission Rehearsal Exercise on and around the island of Okinawa, Japan. The unit practice Close Air Support, escort and combat assault transport missions in support of the III Marine Expeditionary Force.
Watch: British Army’s latest generation multi-role armored fighting vehicle
Rolls-Royce won a $21.8 million contract modification, which exercises an option to provide depot repair of T56-A-427 engines utilized on E-2 Hawkeye aircraft, to include repair of the power section, torque meter, gearbox and accessories in accordance with Navy depot manuals and approved repair practices. The Hawkeye is an s an American all-weather, carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft. Work will take place in Texas, Canada and Indiana. Expected completion date is January 2022.
The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford completed Combat Systems Ship’s Qualifications Trials, a milestone in validating its defenses, the US Navy said. The five-phase trials began in February in the Atlantic Ocean, and followed an assortment of post-delivery tests and trials performed since the vessel’s 2017 commissioning. The CQSST, which wrapped up earlier this month, is a test of safe and effective use of the ship’s firepower and defenses, according to the Navy.
Middle East & Africa
Turkish Aerospace Industries found an export customer for its armed Hürku?-C single-engine, turboprop aircraft. This was disclosed by TAI General Manager Temel Kotil to private broadcaster CNN Türk. A total of 12 aircraft will be sold but the contract has not been signed yet.
A news release from NAVIR’s Air-to-Air Missiles Program Office (PMA-259) International Programs team disclosed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had “finalized an agreement with the US this March to procure the F-35.” The country also requested to buy additional AIM-9X missiles for its F-35 fleet.
According to a press release from the British government says ships from the UK Carrier Strike Group will “participate in Exercise Bersama Lima to mark the 50th anniversary of the Five Powers Defence Agreement between Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.” Exercise Bersama Lima is held yearly in October each year, naval vessels usually deploy to South China Sea off Malaysia for the war game. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told lawmakers that all Royal Navy sailors will be Covid vaccinated and will have received two Covid-19 jabs by the time the group reaches the Mediterranean.
The South Korean government has given the green light to proceed with the development for an armed variant of the MUH-1 Marineon helicopter. The indigenous rotorcraft is made by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). The MUH-1 is based on the KUH-1 Surion with modifications for the South Korean Marine Corps.
Watch: UK carrier strike group will sail to India on its maiden deployment
The Canadian government has taken the first step in allocating funds for modernizing the North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD). “This funding will enable the enhancement of all-domain surveillance of our northern approaches and renewed investment in continental defence more broadly,” said the spokesperson for Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan. The US and Canada created NORAD in the 1950s to protect North America from a Soviet nuclear attack. Strings of radars and air bases were built to detect and stop incoming missiles and bombers, and placed under a unique joint command.
All of the 57 active US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers were indefinitely grounded this week after a fuel filter problem was discovered. Gen. Tim Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command chief, ordered the stand down after one B-1 experienced an emergency relating to its augmenter fuel pump filter housing at Ellsworth Air Force Base earlier in April. A large hole was discovered in the plane’s filter housing after it landed, which could cause a pressurized fuel leak and a pilot’s inability to utilize the plane’s afterburners, known as augmented thrust,
Middle East & Africa
According to “Israel Defense”, three F-35 “Adir” stealth fighters landed at the Nevatim base in southern Israel and joined the 116th Squadron, named “the Lions of the South”, the IAF’s second squadron of Adirs. The IAF now has reportedly 27 F-35s. The planes flew to Israel from Lockheed Martin facilities. As of the beginning of April, 625 F-35s in nine countries had flown 380,000 cumulative flight hours. They operate from 27 bases, with more than 1,300 pilots and more than 10,000 maintainers.
Israel’s Rafael is reportedly on the verge of acquiring Bavarian drone producer EMT, which is in the process of bankruptcy. In response to a question from a Green party lawmaker, the parliamentary state secretary in the Defense Ministry, Thomas Silberhorn, said that Rafael informed Germany’s defense procurement agency BAAINBw that they had an exclusive agreement with the current general representative in the insolvency proceedings to take over the company.
Three new helicopters join the QinetiQ fleet at MOD Boscombe Down to expand the fleet of aircraft available to customers. Due to achieve initial operating capability this summer, the new aircraft comprise two Agusta A109S Grand helicopters and a Leonardo AW139 helicopter fitted with an integrated Electro-Optical and Infra-Red (EO/IR) camera turret and a modern, complex avionics suite.
Taiwan’s new Brave Eagle advanced jet trainer has been tested at Taitung’s Chihhang air base on April 21. It departed the next day. The AIDC T-5 Brave Eagle (Y?ngy?ng) is a supersonic advanced jet trainer under development by the Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) of Taiwan. It has been reported that the aircraft was designed from the beginning to serve dual peacetime training and wartime combat roles. The new jets will start being deployed at the base by the end of the year, with the full order of 66 scheduled for delivery by the end of 2026. The planes will replace the US-built F-5s, which have served Taiwan for some 35 years and have been plagued by fatal accidents.
Watch: Brave Eagle indigenous advanced jet trainer spotted in Taitung
Boeing won an $89.6 million deal, which provides systems and software engineering and sustainment support services, to include analysis, design, implementation, integration, testing, prototyping, prototype installation, and maintenance for development and test laboratory capabilities in support of modernizations and improvements to software and associated hardware capabilities for the P-8A aircraft. Seventy-eight percent of work will be conducted in Seattle, Washington, while 12 percent of it will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri. The remaining 10 percent will be held in Huntington Beach, California. The Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Maryland, awarded the contract. Estimated completion date is December 2024.
A team of officers from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force visited the 552d Air Control Networks Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, to learn how the unit carried out its cyber defense role. The role of the 552d is to help the E-3 Airborne warning and control system (AWACS) defend itself against cyber threats. It is the only Mission Defense Team (MDT) in the US Air Force to perform this role inside an aircraft. The visitors, including members from the Pacific Air Force, were briefed on the capabilities of a deployable cyber defense weapon system, Cyberspace Vulnerability Assessment/Hunter.
Middle East & Africa
Yulista Services won an $8.5 million contract for the F-16 Advanced Integrated Defense Electronic Warfare Suite (AIDEWS) ALQ-211 weapon system. This deal involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to support air forces of Pakistan and Turkey. Procurement of this services will enhance operational safety, suitability, and effectiveness of the AIDEWS and bolster F-16 FMS fleets’ survivability against electromagnetic threats. AIDEWS provides fighter aircraft with integrated radar warning and RF countermeasures and advanced stand-alone radar warning. The system uses a modular approach in an externally mounted pod, either for EW System upgrades or to add electronic warfare capability to an array of fighter aircraft. Work will take place in Huntsville, Alabama. Expected completion date is April 22, 2026.
The Mobile Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) system is to be deployed to Europe by the US Army. The 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment (5-4 ADA) is the first unit to receive the M-SHORAD. The battalion was first activated in 2018. It is a subordinate unit under the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command. US Army Europe and Africa’s air defense and missile operations come under the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command.
The US government has cleared the sale of 12 MQ-9B unmanned air vehicles to Australia for an estimated cost of $1.7 billion. The Foreign Military Sale package includes an unspecific number of Leonardo/Selex SeaSpray 7500 maritime radars. The principal contractors will be General Atomic Aeronautical Systems Inc., San Diego, CA; Lockheed Martin Inc., Bethesda, MD; Raytheon Inc., Waltham MA; and Leonardo SpA, Rome, Italy. The purchaser typically requests offsets. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractors.
An AC-130J gunship from the 73rd Special Operations Squadron will be participating in the Balikatan exercise in Philippines. Maj. Ken Kunze, a spokesman for the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, said in an email that the gunship will carry out live-firing training at the Crow Valley Military Reservation, north of Clark Air Base.
Watch: Soldiers get hands-on with new air defense system, IM-SHORAD
Raytheon won a $243.2 million contract modification for one AN/TPY-2 Radar (Radar #13) to support Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Battery #8. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $1,244,567,329 from $1,002,297,329. The THAAD missile system is an easily transportable defensive weapon system to protect against hostile incoming threats, such as tactical and theatre ballistic missiles, at ranges of 200km and altitudes of up to 150km. Work will take place in Massachusetts. Estimated completion date is December 31, 2024.
The future USS Mobile, the US Navy’s next Independence-class littoral combat ship, will be commissioned on May 27, the Navy announced. The ceremony, restricted because of COVID-19 concerns but scheduled to be livestreamed, will be held in Mobile, Ala., where the ship was built by Austal USA. The vessel will be the 13th Independence variant in the Navy fleet. Littoral combat ships are fast, agile, focused-mission platforms designed for operation in near-shore environments but capable of open-ocean operation, Austral USA said.
Middle East & Africa
AITC-Fice Domains won a $27.4 million contract from the US Army to provide train, advise, assist and mentor services. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Saudi Arabia with an estimated completion date of October 31, 2024. Fiscal 2021 Foreign Military Sales funds to Saudi Arabia in the amount of $27,375,117 were obligated at the time of the award.
The Polish Air Force will take delivery of two Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) 2 aircraft in May and June, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reported. The service had placed an order for two BBJ 2s and one 737-800 in 2017. The 737 was delivered that year. The first BBJ 2 will arrive home in end of May while the other one is flying home in mid-June.
BAE launched Anson, the fifth of seven Astute Class attack submarines it is building for the British Royal Navy, at its worksite in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, in Britain. The submarine was moved out from Devonshire Dock Hall and entered the water for the first time Tuesday, according to a press release from the contractor.
An Indonesian submarine has gone missing with 53 crew members. The Indonesian government reported the disappearance of submarine KRI Nanggala during a torpedo live fire exercise earlier today, requesting search and rescue assistance from Singapore and Australia. The submarine, a 40-year-old German-built Type 209 boat, was carrying a crew of 53 when it went missing. An Indonesian navy task force has begun to search for the submarine, and Indonesia has called for assistance from both Singapore and Australia.
Watch: Austal USA – USS Mobile (LCS 26) Sea Trials
A second F-15EX has arrived at Eglin Air Force Base and the aircraft will be flown by the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron. This is also the final F-15EX delivery to the US Air Force for FY21. The F-15EX will make its exercise debut at Northern Edge 2021. The two F-15EXs and testers from the 40th Flight Test Squadron and 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron will work together in integrated developmental and operational test, effectively expediting the test timeline.
Northrop Grumman won a $2 billion deal for sustaining engineering support and program management support services for the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) propulsion subsystem. The deal with an ordering period of 18.5 years is provided for assistance to the government in maintaining the Minuteman III weapon system. The Minuteman is a strategic weapon system using a ballistic missile of intercontinental range. Missiles are dispersed in hardened silos to protect against attack and connected to an underground launch control center through a system of hardened cables. Launch crews, consisting of two officers, perform around-the-clock alert in the launch center. The location of performance is primarily Corrine and Magna, Utah, with various other locations. Work is expected to be completed November 5, 2040.
Middle East & Africa
According to Jane’s, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is currently configuring its Barak surface-to-air missile (SAM) for the first of the Israeli Navy’s four Sa’ar 6 corvettes, Boaz Levy, IAI president and CEO. The ships are being built in Germany, with the first, INS Magen, having arrived in Haifa on 2 December 2020, where it is being fitted with its Israeli-made systems, including the ELM-2248 radar. Barak-8 is an operational air & missile defense system used by the Israeli navy. It provides broad Aerial and point defense against a wide range of threats to the marine arena from the air, the sea or the land. The system integrates several advanced state-of-the-art systems as, digital radar, command and control, launchers, interceptors with modern RF seekers, Data link and system-wide connectivity.
Greek newspaper Proto Thema says Athens could buy another six Rafale fighters from France to increase the fleet size from 18 to 24. The jets will be assigned to 332 Squadron which is now flying the Mirage 2000 at Tanagra air base.
The British government has decided to proceed with the purchase of 14 H-47 (ER) Chinook helicopters, Bloomberg reports. However, it wants to delay deliveries by three years due to budget shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Letter of Offer and Acceptance was delivered by the British embassy in Washington on March 25. The UK is the largest operator of the Chinook outside United States. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency had announced the potential sale in October 2018. That notification says Britain is cleared to buy 16 Chinooks. It is likely that the new variant Britain is buying is the MH-47G.
The US Navy is preparing to operate the MQ-4C from Japan by shipping the Triton Unmanned Air System’s forward operating base (FOB) from NAS Patuxent River to Japan on April 12. Although the location in Japan was not disclosed. Flight tracking data shows the C-17 that transported the equipment over northern Japan on April 15. NAVAIR says this deployment will allow the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Fleet (MPRF) to have additional geographic flexibility to support operations beginning in summer 2021.
Watch: Top 10 ICBM | Top 10 Longest Range Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles
The US Navy announced the start of its first manned and unmanned capabilities exercise on April 19 at Naval Base San Diego. Executed by the Navy’s 3rd Fleet, “Unmanned Battle Problem 21” will “generate warfighting advantages in integrating multi-domain manned and unmanned capabilities into the most challenging operational scenarios,” ist says in a statement. Unmanned systems, including the MQ-9 Sea Guardian and MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicles, Sea Hunter and Sea Hawk unmanned surface vessels and small and medium unmanned undersea vehicles with modular payloads will be involved in exercises.
The USS Oakland, the Navy’s newest littoral combat ship, was formally commissioned in a weekend ceremony, as the first LCS ships face retirement. The Oakland, an Independence-class trimaran 418 feetlong and designed to carry a crew of 40 in shallow water and ocean-going situations, officially joined the Navy fleet in Oakland, California on April 18.
Middle East & Africa
The Advanced Electronics won a contract modification for the F-15 Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) Electronic System Test Set (ESTS). Services acquired under this effort are to provide the RSAF with an upgraded ESTS. The RSAF currently uses an A31U18240-2 ESTS configuration, and this shall provide the scope to upgrade and install the A31U18240-3 and A31U18240-4 configuration (frequently referred to as -3 and -4, respectively), as well as familiarization training, regression testing, and travel. Work will be performed at the RSAF Central Maintenance Facilities within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the Science and Engineering facility in Huntsville, Alabama; and Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, and is expected to be completed April 16, 2021.
The US Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program Office completed Precision Approach and Landing System (PALS) certification on HMS Queen Elizabeth in March, completing a critical step in preparing the ship for its first operational deployment. The PALS system includes the AN/SPN-41B Instrument Carrier Landing System (ICLS), previously installed by PMA-213 as a foreign military sales (FMS) effort, and the AN/USN-3 Joint Precision and Approach Landing System (JPALS) system, installed as a US asset to support the future embarkation of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211’s F-35Bs aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth during its inaugural operational deployment.
Boeing won a $79.5 million contract modification for KC-46A long lead spares, initial spares and support equipment. This modification provides mission essential long lead spares, initial spares, and support equipment for use on the Japan KC-46 aircraft being produced under the basic contract. The US Air Force awarded Boeing $279 million for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF) first KC-46A tanker in December 2017. The agreement was completed through the Foreign Military Sale process between the US government and Japan. Japan is now on contract for a total of four KC-46 tankers. Japanese partners produce 16% of the KC-46 airframe structure. Work under the contract modification will take place in Everett, Washington. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2024.
News reports from Taiwan say the Ministry of National Defense intends to submit budget request for a new early warning radar system in 2022. As per reports, the new radar is likely to be the same AN/FPS-115 PAVE PAWS that Taiwan had wanted to build in the southern part of the island. Currently, it has only one system on Leshan mountain. The site is said to be Lilongshan, north of Hengchun.
Watch: F-15s Fighter Jet at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia
A helicopter UAV is very handy for naval ships, and for armies who can’t always depend on runways. The USA’s RQ/MQ-8 Fire Scout Unmanned Aerial Vehicle has blazed a trail of firsts in this area, but its history is best described as “colorful.” The program was begun by the US Navy, canceled, adopted by the US Army, revived by the Navy, then canceled by the Army. Leaving it back in the hands of the US Navy. Though the Army is thinking about joining again, and the base platform is changing.
The question is, can the MQ-8 leverage its size, first-mover contract opportunity, and “good enough” performance into a secure future with the US Navy – and beyond? DID describes these new VTUAV platforms, clarifies the program’s structure and colorful history, lists all related contracts and events, and offers related research materials.
Latest updates[?]: The Advanced Electronics won a contract modification for the F-15 Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) Electronic System Test Set (ESTS). Services acquired under this effort are to provide the RSAF with an upgraded ESTS. The RSAF currently uses an A31U18240-2 ESTS configuration, and this shall provide the scope to upgrade and install the A31U18240-3 and A31U18240-4 configuration (frequently referred to as -3 and -4, respectively), as well as familiarization training, regression testing, and travel. Work will be performed at the RSAF Central Maintenance Facilities within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the Science and Engineering facility in Huntsville, Alabama; and Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, and is expected to be completed April 16, 2021.
F-15S & weapons
In October 2010, talks that Saudi Arabia was negotiating a $30-60 billion arms package with the USA were made official with a full multi-billion request that included 84 F-15 Strike Eagles to replace the Kingdom’s Tornado strike aircraft and/or F-15A-D fighters, upgrades for another 70 planes, about 132 UH-60 Black Hawk utility and AH-64 attack helicopters, and armaments to equip them.
This article looks at those requests, their tie-ins, the issues that are part of these potential deals, and related follow-on requests. As is often the case with DSCA announcements, years can pass between the requests and the signed contracts, but these contracts have started to roll in, alongside other significant buys.