Oshkosh Defense won a $10 million contract modification for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Family of Vehicles. The JLTV Family of Vehicles (FoV) is the Marine Corps and Army partial replacement for the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) fleet. Work will take place in Wisconsin. Estimated completion date is November 30, 2022.
Raytheon Intelligence & Space has introduced a lightweight, affordable AESA radar in its lightest form factor ever. In addition to being a third of the weight of most modern AESA radars, the new compact radar also costs about half as much as typical fire control radars. Gallium Nitride technology is combined with an innovative packaging of its digital receiver/exciter and processor called CHIRP, and a unique air-cooled design.
Middle East & Africa
IMCO Group acquired Innocon Ltd., a company that manufactures Micro, Mini and Tactical unmanned aerial systems (UAS) as well as mission systems for manned light airplanes. IMCO Group’s subsidiary acquired Innocon’s assets and activities for $938,000, plus an additional amount equal to 25% of the subsidiary’s net profit during 72 months from January 1, 2022, and up to a total and cumulative ceiling of $547,000.
Turkey reportedly handed over first units of Bayraktar TB2 combat drones to Morocco last week. The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces (Far-Maroc) signed an agreement with Turkish drone maker Baykar Savunma for 13 Bayraktar TB2s in April. The contract was worth $70 million.
Norwegian mechanical engineering company Ritek has agreed to perform vehicle integration of Ground Master 200 multi-mission compact radars (GM200 MM/C) under an agreement signed with Thales. The Norwegian Defense Material Agency (NDMA) signed an agreement with the Netherlands Defense Material Organisation (DMO) for the five counter-battery radars in May 2021. Ritek will perform the vehicle integration of these radars, Thales said in a statement today.
General Dynamics Land Systems won a $13.8 million contract modification for Abrams systems and technical support. The first M1 Abrams battle tanks were delivered to the US Army in 1980. The M1 is equipped with a Honeywell AGT 1500 gas turbine engine. The Allison X-1100-3B transmission provides four forward and two reverse gears. Fiscal 2020 and 2021 other procurement, Army funds; fiscal 2021 Foreign Military Sales (Australia) funds; and fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $13,743,076 were obligated at the time of the award. Work will take place in Michigan. Estimated completion date is September 30, 2022.
In an age of non-linear warfare, where front lines are nebulous at best and non-existent at worst, one of the biggest casualties is… the concept of unprotected rear echelon vehicles, designed with the idea that they’d never see serious combat. That imperative is being driven home on 2 fronts. One front is operational. The other front is buying trends.
These trends, and their design imperatives, found their way into the USA’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program, which aims to replace many of the US military’s 120,000 or so Humvees. The US military’s goal is a 7-10 ton vehicle that’s lighter than its MRAPs and easier to transport aboard ship, while offering substantially better protection ad durability than existing up-armored Humvees. They’d also like a vehicle that can address front-line issues like power generation, in order to recharge all of the batteries troops require for electronic gadgets like night sights, GPS devices, etc.
DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. JLTV certainly qualifies, and recent budget planning endorsements have solidifed a future that was looking shaky. Now, can the Army’s program deliver?
Latest updates[?]: Raytheon Intelligence & Space has introduced a lightweight, affordable AESA radar in its lightest form factor ever. In addition to being a third of the weight of most modern AESA radars, the new compact radar also costs about half as much as typical fire control radars. Gallium Nitride technology is combined with an innovative packaging of its digital receiver/exciter and processor called CHIRP, and a unique air-cooled design.
AN/APG-79 AESA Radar
The AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar began life as a replacement. Initial F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet production batches installed Raytheon’s all-weather, multimode AN/APG-73, but the APG-79 has intrinsic technical features that offered revolutionary increases in capability, reliability, image resolution, and range.
Unlike the APG-73 that equipped the first Super Hornets, the APG-79’s AESA array is composed of numerous solid-state transmit and receive modules that are fixed in place, eliminating a common cause of breakdowns. To move their beams, they rely on electronic changes in each module’s transmissions, creating useful interference patterns in order to aim, focus and shape their output. Other system components include an advanced receiver/exciter, ruggedized commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) processor, and power supplies. With its open systems architecture and compact COTS parts, it changes what both aircrews and maintenance staff can do with a fighter radar – and does so in a smaller, lighter package.
Vertex Aerospace won a $96.5 million contract modification, which increases the contract ceiling to extend organizational, intermediate, and depot level maintenance, logistics, and engineering support, to include support of equipment, tools, direct and indirect material for the T-45 aircraft, associated systems, and related support equipment to maintain all flight and test and evaluation operations for the Navy. Work will take place in Texas, Mississippi, Florida and Maryland. Estimated completion will be in December 2021.
Northrop Grumman won a $30.9 million deal to procure 25 Link 16 B kits; three Link 16 B kit spares; and two Link 16 flight training device B kits in support of UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopter modification efforts for the Navy. This contract also provides Link-16 systems engineering, program management, and logistics support. Work will take place in California. Estimated completion will be in September 2023.
Middle East & Africa
Sudanese authorities said they thwarted a coup attempt on Tuesday by a group of soldiers. The authorities accused plotters loyal to the country’s longtime autocratic ruler Omar al-Bashir of a failed bid to derail the revolution that removed him from power in 2019. The plotters allegedly used tanks to close a bridge connecting Khartoum with Omdurman, just across the River Nile. They also reportedly tried to take control of state radio in Omdurman.
The UK Government approved the support through the ‘Military Assistance to the Civil Authority’ process, following a request from the Scotland Office, working with Scottish Government. The Ministry of Defense will provide 114 people to augment ambulance drivers and a further 111 personnel who will operate Mobile Testing Units which the military previously supported in 2020.
UDN reports that Taiwan is preparing to publicly unveil the Lieh-Sun or Hunt Falcon mobile short-range air defense system during the National Day parade on October 10. The system uses the Tien Chien Two air-to-air missile.
Boeing selected Toowoomba in Queensland, Australia to set up the company’s first aircraft assembly facility of its kind outside of North America to produce the Boeing Airpower Teaming System drones (also known as Loyal Wingman). The announcement comes days after Australia abrogated a deal with France to build conventionally-powered submarines opting instead to build nuclear-powered submarines in partnership with the US and the UK.
Lockheed Martin won a $49.3 million deal. The contract provides for overhaul of the B-52 Counter Measure Receiver. The B-52H is the US Air Force’s long-range, large-payload multirole bomber. The B-52H Stratofortress is equipped with a range of electronic warfare equipment. The ITT AN/ALQ-172(V)2 electronic countermeasures system features multi-band threat recognition and multiple threat jamming. Work will take place ein New York. Estimated completion date is September 19, 2026.
The US Air Force has started flying operational missions with the Collins Aerospace’s MS-177 multi-spectral imaging (MSI) sensor on the RQ-4B Block 30 aircraft. The MS-177 is derived from the Senior Year Electro-optical Reconnaissance System (SYERS)-2C flown on the U-2.
Middle East & Africa
With the Ongoing discussions on the new Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) between Athens and Washington, Greece has insisted on creating a naval base at Souda on Crete. The new base is to a part of the efforts of Greece to establish a more permanent presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, Kathimerini reported.
Babcock won the first export contract for its Arrowhead 140 frigate through a design license agreement with PT PAL Indonesia, a state-owned enterprise that builds and maintains ships for military and commercial use from its facilities in Surabaya, Indonesia. The UK is using a similar design, basing its Type 31 Frigates on the Arrowhead 140 design, being built by Babcock at Rosyth.
Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann partnered with Dutch company Defenture to build new tactical vehicles to replace the German Army’s two decades-old vehicles. Both companies signed a letter of intent. The companies plan to develop a vehicle based on Defenture’s VECTOR (Versatile Expeditionary Commando Tactial Off Road) light all-terrain tactical vehicle.
The twin surface-to-surface missile launches by North Korea on September 15 were made from a train, the country’s media has revealed. Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the state news agency of North Korea, confirmed a day later that those missiles came from the country’s test of its new “railway-borne missile system.” The report claimed that the missiles flew 800 km (~500 miles) before striking a target in the sea off North Korea’s east coast.
Watch: Detailed tour through a B-52 Stratofortress!!
Latest updates[?]: The US Air Force has started flying operational missions with the Collins Aerospace’s MS-177 multi-spectral imaging (MSI) sensor on the RQ-4B Block 30 aircraft. The MS-177 is derived from the Senior Year Electro-optical Reconnaissance System (SYERS)-2C flown on the U-2.
RQ-4A Global Hawk
Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV has established a dominant position in the High Altitude/ Long Endurance UAV market. While they are not cheap, they are uniquely capable. During Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), the system flew only 5% of the US Air Force’s high altitude reconnaissance sorties, but accounted for more than 55% of the time-sensitive targeting imagery generated to support strike missions. The RQ-4 Global Hawk was also a leading contender in the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAV competition, and eventually won.
The Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration Program (GHM-D or BAMS-D) aims to use the proven RQ-4 Global Hawk airframe as a test bed for operational concepts and technologies that will eventually find their way into BAMS, and contribute valuable understanding to the new field of maritime surveillance with high-flying UAVs. It’s not just a test program, however, as its remaining drones also deploy to assist the fleet in active operations.
Ball Aerospace won a $9.7 million contract of the B-2 Antenna Electronics Unit. The B-2 is a low-observable, strategic, long-range, heavy bomber capable of penetrating sophisticated and dense air-defense shields. Work will take place in Colorado. Expected completion date September 16, 2026.
Lockheed Martin has announced that the LMXT is being built in response to the US Air Force’s KC-Y Program. The new tanker builds on the design of the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT). Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor and works directly to implement US Air Force-specific requirements within the LMXT. The plane will be equipped with a fully automatic boom and air-to-air refueling system
Middle East & Africa
Rolls-Royce won a $194 million deal to supply upgraded power packs for Israel’s fleet of military ground transport vehicles to fulfill a foreign military sales requirement. Israel requested to procure 270 NPPLTs in full and light configurations in February 2019 under an approximately $238 million FMS deal. Work will take place in Michigan. Estimated completion date is December 31, 2021.
According to the New York Times, a 7.62mm MAG light machine gun mounted on a remote weapon station made by the Belgian firm FN Herstal was used in the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on November 27, 2020 in Absard near Tehran.
BAE Systems has acquired In-Space Missions, a UK company that designs, builds and operates satellites and satellite systems. According to BAE, that this acquisition is part of their strategy to develop breakthrough technologies, “pursuing bolt-on acquisitions where they complement existing capabilities and provide an opportunity to accelerate technology development in key areas, as evidenced with recent acquisitions such as Prismatic, Techmodal and PPM Ltd”.
The Republic of Korea Air Force Black Eagles performed over Kunsan Air Base, South Korea for the first time on September 9. “As a former Thunderbird, current base commander, and longtime partner to the Airmen of the Republic of Korea Air Force, it has been incredible to watch the Black Eagles perform here at Kunsan,” said US Air Force Col. John Gallemore, 8th Fighter Wing commander.
Watch: BAE Systems acquires UK satellite firm In-Space Missions
Britain’s practice of “contracting for availability” for key equipment, rather than paying for spare parts and maintenance hours, may be its most significant defense procurement reform. In a world where older air, sea, and ground vehicle fleets are growing maintenance demands beyond countries’ available budgets, it’s an approach whose success could have global significance.
Across the pond, the USA is significantly behind in this area. Fortunately, they have not ignored the model entirely. Recent changes to the contracts covering their B-2 Spirit stealth bomber fleet demonstrate that some progress is being made, via a $9+ billion commitment from 1999-2014, and 2 parallel development programs that are changing key sub-systems.
J.I. Gascia Construction won a $7.6 million task order under a multiple award construction contract for a design-build KC-46A mission planning center at Travis Air Force Base, California.The work to be performed will provide a facility to support KC-46A mission planning. The contract contains four options, which requires the contractor to repair sewer line, construct the window infill, perform hazardous material remediation, and construct physical security upgrades at the mechanical yard. The KC-46A is a wide-body, multi-mission aircraft capable of transporting fuel, cargo, passengers, and patients. Work will take place in California. Expected completion will be by December 2022.
Boeing won a $1.6 billion deal for missile guidance repair. The deal will repair the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) missile guidance set. In June, Northrop Grumman won a US Air Force Propulsion Subsystem Support Contract with a $2.3 billion ceiling that will provide engineering and maintenance services for Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, helping to extend the aging Cold War nuclear weapon system’s life for the next 18.5 years. Work under the new contract will take place in Ohio. Estimated completion date is September 27, 2039.
Middle East & Africa
The US State Department has made a determination approving a possible FMS to the Saudi Arabia of continuation of maintenance support services (MSS) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $500 million. The supplier is unknown at this time. Saudi Arabia has requested to buy the continuation of the MSS contract that supports the Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command’s fleet of AH-64D/E, UH-60L/M, Schweizer 333, and Bell 406CS, as well as the future fleet of CH-47F Chinook.
BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce will undertake concept and design work for new Royal Navy nuclear submarines. Two contracts worth $116.7 million each have been awarded to BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce to deliver design and concept work for a future Class of Royal Navy submarine.
The Indian Air Force is about to spend $31 million to acquire 24 second-hand Mirage 2000 fighters to bolster its fleet and create a spare parts pool. Hindustan Times says eight of those aircraft are ready to fly after servicing and 13 aircraft in the consignment are flyable. The rest can be used to generate spares for the fleet.
Watch: What is an intercontinental ballistic missile ( ICBM )?
Latest updates[?]: Boeing won a $1.6 billion deal for missile guidance repair. The deal will repair the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) missile guidance set. In June, Northrop Grumman won a US Air Force Propulsion Subsystem Support Contract with a $2.3 billion ceiling that will provide engineering and maintenance services for Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, helping to extend the aging Cold War nuclear weapon system’s life for the next 18.5 years. Work under the new contract will take place in Ohio. Estimated completion date is September 27, 2039.
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.