Raytheon won a $482.8 million contract modification, which provides for the exercise of the pre-priced options for Lot 35 production of AMRAAM missiles, AMRAAM Telemetry System, initial and field spares, and other production engineering support hardware and activities. The AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) is a new generation all-weather, missile. Work will take place in Arizona. Estimated completion date is May 31, 2024.
Sikorsky won a $26.9 million contract modification for UH-60M green aircraft. The UH-60 Black Hawk has been operational in the US Army since 1978. More than 2,000 aircraft of different variants are in service with the U.S., and more than 600 have been exported. 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 will take place in Connecticut. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2022.
Middle East & Africa
Turkish state-owned defense firm ASFAT has received an order for four unmanned minesweeping equipment to Burkina Faso. “We made our first defense industry export to the region with the sale of 4 Mechanical Mine Clearing Vehicle,” the company announced in a Tweet. Earlier, ASFAT exported the vehicles’ sale to Azerbaijan where it is being used to clean its lands of mines.
The UK Ministry of Defense awarded BAE Systems approximately $348.77million to progress the design and development of Tempest, the UK’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS). The British Future Combat Air Programme, Tempest, is expected to create 20,000 jobs every year from 2026 to 2050, and contribute £25 billion to the UK economy.
Taiwan has concluded the signing of the contract to buy the MS-110 reconnaissance pod, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said on July 28. A total of six pods will be procured for the island’s F-16 fleet.
The Indian Air Force has inducted its second Rafale unit – 101 Squadron – at Hasimara Air Base on July 28. The second squadron is being raised at Hasimara Air Force Station in West Bengal. The first squadron—17 Golden Arrows—was raised in Ambala, Punjab in September last year.
Five defense contractors have been awarded contracts for the second phase of development of the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, which is planned to replace the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. Point Blank Enterprises, Oshkosh Defense, BAE Systems and Land Armaments, General Dynamics Land Systems and American Rheinmetall Industries will share a $299.4 million deal to develop digital designs of the new IFV.
President Joe Biden told US intelligence officials that he thinks a cyber breach could lead to a “shooting war” with a major global power. “I think it’s more likely we’re going to end up—if we end up in a war, a real shooting war, with a major power—it’s going to be as a consequence of a cyber breach of great consequence,” Biden said during a visit to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), according to a recording of his visit.
Middle East & Africa
The commander of US Central Command said airstrikes in Afghanistan would continue as long as Afghan forces are being attacked by the Taliban as the US military pulls out of the country. CENTCOM commander Gen. Frank McKenzie noted the airstrikes in a visit to Kabul on Sunday, which comes as the US military has pulled about 95% of troops and equipment out of the country.
Northrop Grumman won a $19.7 million contract modification, which adds scope to provide non-recurring engineering risk reduction efforts to support the delivery schedule of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft FAA1-FAA3 for the government of France. The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye (AHE) is the newest variant of the E-2 aircraft platform. It features a state-of-the-art radar with a two-generation leap in capability and upgraded aircraft systems that will improve supportability and increase readiness. Work will take place in Florida, New York and Ohio. Estimated completion will be by January 2022.
Spain’s Navantia shipyard has completed complex tropicalization work of the Roald Amundsen frigate (F-311) that Navantia designed and built for the Norwegian Navy between 2000 and 2011. The warship is second of the Fridjof Nansen Class (F310). These works, for which the contract was signed on July 2020, has improved the cooling capacity of the F311 frigate, which will allow it to navigate in conditions of much warmer ambient and water temperatures than the traditional operational scenarios of the Royal Norwegian Navy.
The Yomiuri reports that Japan will send JS Kaga back to the dock for modernization works to prepare the warship to operate the F-35B. Meanwhile, the defense ministry is considering plans to have USMC F-35Bs operate from Kaga’s sister ship Izumo to test out the modifications that were done to allow the helicopter destroyer to operate the F-35B.
Taiwan Navy took delivery of its Tuo Chiang Class stealth corvette on Tuesday. Taiwan launched the first Tuo Chiang Class corvette named Ta Chiang in Yilan county in December. Dubbed “aircraft carrier killer,” the corvette is heavily armed.
Watch: Fridtjof Nansen Class General Purpose Frigate
Latest updates[?]: Five defense contractors have been awarded contracts for the second phase of development of the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, which is planned to replace the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. Point Blank Enterprises, Oshkosh Defense, BAE Systems and Land Armaments, General Dynamics Land Systems and American Rheinmetall Industries will share a $299.4 million deal to develop digital designs of the new IFV.
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.
Lockheed Martin won a $37 million contract modification, which adds scope to procure special tooling and test equipment for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter production line in support of second source canopy tooling and other known capacity gaps for the Navy, Marines, Air Force and non-Department of Defense (DOD) participants. Work will take place in California, Texas, Australia and New Jersey. Estimated completion will be in August 2023.
BAE Systems won a $117 million contract from Lockheed Martin to produce next-generation missile seekers for the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM). The seeker technology enables LRASM to detect and engage specific maritime targets in contested environments with less dependence on traditional navigation systems. The next-generation seeker design reduces overall missile costs.
Middle East & Africa
Raytheon won a $212 million delivery order for Morocco Fighter Aircraft Engines. The order is for F100-PW-229 install engines, Work will take place in Connecticut. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2025. Morocco asked to procure 25 F-16C/D Block 72 jets, built by Lockheed Martin and 29 Pratt & Whitney F100-229 engines and other related equipment from the US government under a potential $3.9 billion FMS transaction the State Department approved in March 2019.
Thales has received an order from the French defense procurement agency (DGA) for 350 Scorpion helmet-mounted sight and display systems that will be integrated on French Air Force and Navy Rafale fighters. The contract includes 400 digital multi-function displays that Thales says are larger with an improved touchscreen interface and greater processing power.
Germany’s Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has purchased new long-range radars manufactured by Hensoldt and Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The contract calls for the delivery and installation of four long-range radars as part of the “Hughes Air Defense Radar Nachfolgesystem” (HADR NF) programme.
According to Jane’s, the Indian Navy has made several upgrades to its “Tabar” guided-missile frigate as seen in photos during deployments in the Mediterranean and Europe. The naval ship is now equipped with a new electronic warfare system built by Indian defense firm Bharat Electronics. The new system has been installed to replace an older Russian electronic warfare system.
Watch: INS Tabar Seen with New Combat System Upgrades…
Boeing won a $12 million order, which provides production engineering support in support of the integration and installation of weapon systems on the F/A-18 E/F and EA-18G aircraft for the Navy. The US Navy F/A-18 E and F Super Hornet are maritime strike attack aircraft. The Growler is a derivative of the combat-proven two-seat F/A-18 Hornet, the US Navy’s maritime strike aircraft. The primary missions of the aircraft are electronic attack (EA) and suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD), particularly at the start and ongoing early stages of hostilities. Work will take place in Maryland and Missouri. Estimated completion will be in July 2022.
The US Missile Defense Agency has carried out its most complex test so far on July 24 by firing four SM-6 Dual II missiles at two short-range ballistic missile targets. While one target was destroyed, the agency was not sure if the other target was intercepted. This is the third flight test of the SM-6 Dual II missile from a Aegis BMD-equipped warship. The firing ship for the test was the USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) and it took place off Hawaii.
Middle East & Africa
Russia has reportedly lent support to strengthen Syrian military’s air defense systems, which reports claim, is to offer protection against Israeli airstrikes. The United States was informed before Russia began upgrading the military equipment, London-based Arabic language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported citing “well-informed” Russian sources.
Royal Air Force (RAF)-operated Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4s from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland, have completed a proof of concept exercise in Norway, which tested tactical ground-based refuelling capabilities at a dispersed forward operating location. The multi-role fighters were supported by an RAF-operated Airbus A330-243MRTT Voyager KC2/KC3 multi-role tanker transport and A400M Atlas C1 heavy-lift tactical transport from RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, for the duration of the deployment.
South Korean defense firm LIG Nex1 says its proposed solution for the South Korean navy CIWS-II program has scored the highest marks in the evaluation by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). South Korea wants a new generation CIWS that has the same barrel and ammunition carriage system as the Goalkeeper. The CIWS-II will be integrated into the future aircraft carrier, destroyers, and frigates.
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Tibet Military Command deployed the indigenously developed HJ-12 man-portable anti-tank missile that is similar in capabilities to the US-made Javelin in a recent military exercise in the deep plateau region. In an official release, the military announced it conducted a series of exercises and attached a photograph showing a soldier carrying a portable anti-tank missile that can be carried by a single person. Shanghai-based news website eastday.com identified it as the HJ-12, making it the weapon’s first public appearance in PLA service.
Watch: How Powerful is Javelin and HJ-12 Anti-Tank Missile
Latest updates[?]: The US Missile Defense Agency has carried out its most complex test so far on July 24 by firing four SM-6 Dual II missiles at two short-range ballistic missile targets. While one target was destroyed, the agency was not sure if the other target was intercepted. This is the third flight test of the SM-6 Dual II missile from a Aegis BMD-equipped warship. The firing ship for the test was the USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) and it took place off Hawaii.
SM-2 Launch, DDG-77
(click to view larger)
Variants of the SM-2 Standard missile are the USA’s primary fleet defense anti-air weapon, and serve with 13 navies worldwide. The most common variant is the RIM-66K-L/ SM-2 Standard Block IIIB, which entered service in 1998. The Standard family extends far beyond the SM-2 missile, however; several nations still use the SM-1, the SM-3 is rising to international prominence as a missile defense weapon, and the SM-6 program is on track to supplement the SM-2. These missiles are designed to be paired with the AEGIS radar and combat system, but can be employed independently by ships with older or newer radar systems.
This article covers each variant in the Standard missile family, plus several years worth of American and Foreign Military Sales requests and contracts and key events; and offers the budgetary, technical, and geopolitical background that can help put all that in context.
American firm AeroVironment received two firm-fixed-price orders totaling nearly $16 million from the United States Air Force to deliver Puma 3 AE unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and spares packages and Raven UAS spares packages. The hand-launched Puma 3 AE has a wingspan of 9.2 feet, weighs 15 pounds and can operate for up to 2.5 hours. The aircraft also has a range of 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) with a standard antenna, and up to 37.2 miles (60 kilometers) with AeroVironment’s Long-Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA). It also features reduced system packaging with a flyable configuration and GCS in one case.
A US Air Force plan to transfer all A-10 Thunderbolt planes and HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters to Arizona was postponed, pending Congressional budget approval. The Air Force is waiting for action on the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes retirement of 42 A-10s, the branch said in a press release.
Middle East & Africa
The first international unmanned air vehicle exercise organized by the Israeli Air Force has concluded this month. Teams from Israel, France, Italy, Germany, UK and US participated. Italy and United States sent two teams each.
Turkey’s STM Defense Technologies Engineering will deliver its Kargu rotary-wing attack drone loitering munition system to the first international customer. The Kargu UAVs entered Turkish Armed Forces’ inventory around two years ago. According to the company, Kargu is a portable, rotary wing attack drone designed to provide tactical ISR and precision strike capabilities for ground troops. The UAV has an endurance of 30 minutes and has a payload capacity of 1.3kg.
It was announced that during the Athens Flying Week in September, the Dassault Rafale fighter will be performing flying demonstrations. The flying schedule includes teams like Patrouille de France and Saudi Hawks. On the static display there will be F-15SA and Tornado from Saudi Arabia and F-16s from Denmark and Poland.
Dmitry Shugayev, the chief of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, told Deutsche Welle that the Su-30 fighter jets ordered by Myanmar is still on schedule to be delivered to the country. Other countries had suspended trade deals and delivery of weapons after the country’s military ousted its civilian government.
The Precision Engagement modification is the largest single upgrade effort ever undertaken for the USA’s unique A-10 “Warthog” close air support aircraft fleet. While existing A/OA-10 aircraft continue to outperform technology-packed rivals on the battlefield, this set of upgrades is expected to make them more flexible, and help keep the aircraft current until the fleet’s planned phase-out in 2028. When complete, A-10C PE will give USAF A-10s precision strike capability sooner than planned, combining multiple upgrades into 1 time and money-saving program, rather than executing them as standalone projects. Indeed, the USAF accelerated the PE program by 9 months as a result of its experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
This is DID’s FOCUS Article for the PE program, and for other modifications to the A-10 fleet. It covers the A-10’s battlefield performance and advantages, the elements of the PE program, other planned modifications, related refurbishment efforts to keep the fleet in the air, and the contracts that have been issued each step of the way.
Parsons Government Services won a $953 million deal for US Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA) Air Base Air Defense services. The deal provides the USAFE-AFAFRICA with a layered base defense capability. According to the DoD, the capability will be employed across various sites within the area of responsibility. Work will take place in various locations throughout Europe and Africa. Estimated completion date is July 20, 2031.
Lockheed Martin won a $19 million contract modification to to procure 16 Operational Data Integrated Network Base kits, to include software installation and integration support for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program in support of the Navy, Air Force and non-US Department of Defense (DOD) participants. Work will take place in Texas. Estimated completion date is January 2024.
Middle East & Africa
Four more ex-Israeli F-16s have been delivered to Top Aces in the United States. An An-124 arrived in Israel on July 20 in the morning and departed in the afternoon with the cargo of four dismantled F-16s.
The French defense procurement agency (DGA) contracted Thales to provide new avionics equipment – 350 Scorpion helmet-mounted sight and display systems and 400 digital multi-function displays- for Dassault Rafale fighter jets. The systems deliver enhanced tactical situational awareness and slave the weapon or mission systems to the pilot’s line of sight to improve the effectiveness of air operations. This new equipment will further enhance the operational effectiveness of the Rafale F4 standard.
The Financial Express says Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will respond to a Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) tender for Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). The newspaper says the price for the Tejas fighter being offered is $41 million each.
India’s state run Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested an indigenously developed low-weight, fire-and-forget Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM). The missile was launched from a man-portable launcher integrated with thermal site and the target was mimicking a tank. The research and development agency added that the missile is incorporated with miniaturized infrared imaging seeker, along with advanced avionics. “The test validated the minimum range successfully,” DRDO said.
Watch: Hypnotic French Rafale Take-off From US Aircraft Carrier
Northrop Grumman won a $13 million contract modification for repair services for the RQ-4 Global Hawk and MQ-4C Triton. The Global Hawk and the Triton are both high-altitude surveillance aircraft. The Navy MQ-4C differs from the Air Force RQ-4 mainly in its wing. While the Global Hawk remains at high altitude to conduct surveillance, the Triton climbs to 50,000 ft to see a wide area and can drop to 10,000 ft to get further identification of a target. The Triton’s wings are specially designed to take the stresses of rapidly decreasing altitude. Work will take place in California, Utah, Virginia, New Mexico, Missouri, Ohio, New York, Kansas and Maryland. Estimated completion date is October 31, 2021.
Saab received an order valued approximately $75 million for Carl-Gustaf ammunition from the US Army. The deliveries will take place in 2022. The shoulder-fired ammunition order is placed within an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) framework agreement signed in 2019 between Saab and the US Army that allows the customer to place orders for Carl-Gustaf ammunition and the disposable AT4 shoulder-fired weapon systems during a five-year period. This order for the US Army and Marine Corps is comprised of seven different types of ammunition including anti-armor, anti-structure, smoke, and illumination rounds, all underlining the versatility of the multi-purpose Carl-Gustaf system.
Middle East & Africa
According to news reports, an Alpha Jet was shot down by criminals on July 18. Nigerian Air Force spokesman Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet said the aircraft had carried out a successful interdiction mission on the border of Zamfara and Kaduna states when it “came under intense enemy fire” and crashed. The pilot, Flight Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo, ejected and was rescued.
Russia sent a commercial offer to India for the delivery of 21 MiG-29 fighters in response to a request for proposal from the Indian side. A spokesperson for Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) told the news to Russian media at the MAKS-2021 show on July 21.
The German Bundeswehr inked contract with Rheinmetall to supply 130,000 laser light modules worth a potential $210 million. To begin with, 2,460 devices worth a total of $3.5 million will be delivered. This is the largest order for laser light modules ever booked by the device’s maker, Rheinmetall Soldier Electronics of Stockach, Germany. The framework contract is initially set to run for seven years.
The Republic of Korea Air Force has commissioned Korean Air (KAL) and a research team from Seoul National University to study the feasibility of developing an air-launched space rocket that can send small satellites into orbit. The approach is similar to what Virgin Orbit is doing with its LauncherOne rocket by using a Boeing 747 airliner as the mothership. The South Korean government hopes to have this capability to send satellites into space by 2040.