Three US Air Force B-2 Spirit stealth bombers returned to Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri after a deployment to Keflavik Air Base, Iceland, that included a dozen multinational missions over the past month. The bombers, from the 509th Bomb Wing, left Iceland on Saturday, the Air Force announced.
The Marines are moving forward with developing a ship-killing missile that’s central to a long-range restructuring of the military, the Marine Corps said. The Marine Corps Systems Command’s Long Range Fires program has acquired Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System, or NMESIS, an anti-ship missile that meets military requirements and is being tested.
Middle East & Africa
A Turkish KC-135R aerial refueling tanker has returned home after completing the modifications to its flight deck. The Block 45 upgrade replaces old displays, radio altimeter, computer module, autopilot and flight director with new ones. Around 63 of these parts are of high-maintenance or obsolete.
The Royal Navy currently has two aircraft carriers at sea, both flying F-35 jets. This is something that only one other navy in the world is capable of. Separated by 7,000 miles, HMS Prince of Wales in the North Sea and HMS Queen Elizabeth in the Pacific have been launching and recovering the stealth strike fighter on round-the-clock sorties.
Hours after North Korea tested two surface-to-surface missiles which landed in the East Sea, its arch-enemy Seoul proceeded with a submarine launched ballistic missile test in what appears to be a show of technological superiority. Seoul tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) near its Agency for Defence Development (ADD) in South Chungcheong Province. Delivered to the Navy on August 13, the missile was launched from a 3,000-ton-class Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine on Wednesday.
Raytheon won a $13 million fixed-price incentive, sole-source contract modification under a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case with the Japan Ministry of Defense. The contract is to evaluate hardware, inspect all material, repair minor discrepancies, and re-assemble and deliver a Standard Missile-3 Block IB Inert Operating Missile. Work will take place in Arizona. Performance period ist from September 15, 2021 through March 31, 2023.
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[?]: 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.
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.
Lockheed Martin Missiles won a $101.3 million contract modification for procurement of Hellfire missiles and containers. Hellfire is an air-to-ground, laser guided, subsonic missile with significant anti-tank capacity. It can also be used as an air-to-air weapon against helicopters or slow-moving fixed-wing aircraft. It has also been fielded on surface platforms in the surface-to-surface and surface-to-air roles. Work will take place in Florida. Estimated completion date is September 30, 2024.
Northrop Grumman won a $28.7 million contract modification, which provides for the procurement of one additional G/ATOR system for the Air Force. The G/ATOR program is managed within the portfolio of Program Executive Officer Land Systems, Quantico, Virginia. G/ATOR is an expeditionary, three-dimensional, short-to-medium-range, multi-role radar system designed to detect low-observable targets with low radar cross sections such as rockets, artillery, mortars, cruise missiles, and UAVs. Estimated completion will be in January 2025.
Middle East & Africa
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Meteor Aerospace, a privately-owned producer of unmanned systems and advanced missiles, have recently signed a memorandum of understanding to promote mutual cooperation. Under the agreement, the companies will cooperate in developing advanced offensive systems. The agreement also includes joint investment in R&D, including engineering development, as well as joint marketing.
THEON Sensors won a contract for the supply of THERMIS CS thermal imaging systems following a recent international tender by the UK Ministry of Defense for the procurement and support of Sniper In-Line Low Light System (SILLS) – Long Wave InfraRed (LWIR) Thermal Sight Weapon Sight 2.
India’s Cabinet Committee on Security has decided on September 8 to clear the way for the purchase of 56 C295 transport aircraft. It also approves the conversion of six A319 airliners from Air India into airborne early warning (AEW) platforms. Forty of those C295s will be built in India by Airbus along with Tata. The conversion of the A319s means that India has abandoned plans to acquire A330s from Airbus for the early warning project.
The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has contracted Daewoo Shipbuilding to build a 3,600-ton-class submarine – the country’s largest and most advanced ever – with the capability to launch ballistic missiles from vertical launchers. The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced the signing of a 985.7 billion won (US$853 million) contract with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. on Friday to build a new 3,600-ton-class submarine equipped with vertically launched SLBMs.
Watch: Why AGM 114 Hellfire missile becomes one of America’s favorite missiles
Latest updates[?]: Lockheed Martin Missiles won a $101.3 million contract modification for procurement of Hellfire missiles and containers. Hellfire is an air-to-ground, laser guided, subsonic missile with significant anti-tank capacity. It can also be used as an air-to-air weapon against helicopters or slow-moving fixed-wing aircraft. It has also been fielded on surface platforms in the surface-to-surface and surface-to-air roles. Work will take place in Florida. Estimated completion date is September 30, 2024.
USN MH-60S test
Hellfire I/II missiles are the USA’s preferred aerial anti-armor missile, and are widely deployed with America’s allies. They equip America’s helicopter fleets (AH-64, AH-1, OH-58D, MH-60S/R), AH-64 and S-70 helicopters flown by its allies, and even Australia and France’s Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopters. Range is officially listed as 9 km/ 5.6 miles.
While Hellfires lack the fast-jet launch capabilities – and correspondingly extended maximum range – of the UK’s MBDA Brimstone missiles, Lockheed Martin’s missile has made big inroads as the world’s high-end helicopter-launched missile. It has also carved out unique niches as tripod-launched coastal defense assets, as the guided missile integrated into American UAVs like the MQ-1 Predator family, and even as a missile option for transport aircraft like the AC-208B Combat Caravan and C-130J/W Hercules.
Latest updates[?]: Northrop Grumman won a $28.7 million contract modification, which provides for the procurement of one additional G/ATOR system for the Air Force. The G/ATOR program is managed within the portfolio of Program Executive Officer Land Systems, Quantico, Virginia. G/ATOR is an expeditionary, three-dimensional, short-to-medium-range, multi-role radar system designed to detect low-observable targets with low radar cross sections such as rockets, artillery, mortars, cruise missiles, and UAVs. Estimated completion will be in January 2025.
The US military’s long run of unquestioned air superiority has led to shortcuts in mobile land-based air defenses, and the US Marines are no exception. A December 2005 release from Sen. Schumer’s office [D-NY] said that:
“Current radar performance does not meet operational forces requirements… consequences could potentially allow opposing forces to gain air and ground superiority in future operational areas.”
One of the programs in the works to address this gap is the AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR mobile radar system. It’s actually the result of fusing 2 programs: the Multi-Role Radar System (MRRS), and Ground Weapons Locator Radar (GWLR) requirements. When the last G/ATOR software upgrade becomes operational, it will replace and consolidate numerous legacy radars, including the AN/TPS-63 air surveillance, AN/MPQ-62 force control, AN/TPS-73 air traffic control, AN/UPS-3 air defense, and AN/TPQ-36/37 artillery tracking & locating radar systems.
The Ross Group won a $10.6 million deal, which provides services for the phased demolition and construction of selected Ramp 200 and 300 fuel hydrants for KC-46A aircraft. The new work includes, but is not limited to, modify the current aircraft parking layout, demolish four existing aircraft direct fueling stations, demolish and replace six aircraft direct fueling stations suitable for KC-46A aircraft refueling operations, modify the existing fuel piping laterals, demolish and replace aircraft rated pavement on Ramps 200 and 300, as required, to demolish and install new hydrant pits and fuel piping, provide mooring points at all KC-46A parking spaces, and re-stripe aircraft parking positions and movement lanes on the 200 and 300 ramps. The KC-46A is a wide-body, multi-mission aircraft capable of transporting fuel, cargo, passengers, and patients. Work will take place in California and is expected to be finished by September 2022.
The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) awarded L-3 Communications $173 million to support its Airborne Sensors (ABS) program. The primary objective of the ABS Mission Operations program is to provide airborne electro-optic and infrared sensor capabilities to support MDA and other test activities. Work will take place in Oklahoma. The ordering period will September 2021 through September 2026.
Middle East & Africa
According to Defense News, Israel received its fourth and final Sa’ar 6 warship as the country implements a new naval doctrine aimed at bolstering defensive capabilities in its exclusive economic zone. Israel has been receiving the ships since November 2020.
Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is likely to sign contracts with Serbia and Poland for Spike LR2 fifth generation missiles. “We are acting in Serbia together with state-owned defense products manufacturer Jugoimport-SDPR and we are working on the promotion of Spike LR2 rockets,” Al Zaher, regional director for Rafael, told Serbian public broadcaster RTS last week.
Troops from Russia’s Central Military Region’s air defense brigade carried out live firing of missiles from the Buk-M3 air defense missile system at the Kapustin Yar proving ground. The tactical exercise involving live fire practice will end late September.
The Australian Department of Defense signed the acceptance certificate of NUSHIP Stalwart, the second of the two Supply class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) ships built by Navantia Ría de Ferrol for the Royal Australian Navy, today. The acceptance of NUSHIP Stalwart on August 30 follows two months’ of fit-out activities carried out at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia. Before its formal acceptance, NUSHIP Stalwart completed its final sea trials. Verifications and demonstrations of the Combat, Communications and Navigation Systems conducted on August 22 reached a high degree of customer satisfaction in all areas.
Watch: IAI Integrates Naval Combat Suite on Sa’ar 6 Corvettes
Sikorsky Aircraft won an $11.9 million contract modification, which provides non-recurring engineering to include investigations, systems engineering support, risk analysis and integration development in support of the CH-53K Data Transfer Unit and Defensive Electronic Countermeasure System Replacement Phase III, to replace existing subsystems within the CH-53K production aircraft. The CH-53K is the United States Marine Corps’ (USMC) heavy lift replacement for the CH-53E. Work will take place in Maryland, Connecticut, Iowa, Texas and Vermont. Expected completion date is in June 2024.
Honeywell International won a $9.4 million order for the procurement of the embedded Global Position System/Inertial Navigation Systems in support of the F/A-18 aircraft. The F/A-18 is a twin-engine multi-role combat aircraft. Work will take place in Florida. Estimated completion will be by April 2023.
Middle East & Africa
Navantia began sea trials of NB 546 Al-Jubail, first of the five Avante 2200 corvettes for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF). The trials are being conducted in the Bay of Cádiz and all the ship systems are being tested. The trial is expected to last a total of two months, divided into two different periods. The current trial period will last about two weeks. Some 140 people participate in them.
Saab has signed a $116.5 million contract for the delivery of several live training systems and services to the Polish Armed Forces. The deal covers the supply of a complete live training solution for a reinforced mechanised battalion and four training centres for company size units. The contract period is 2021 to 2026 including support over a period of three years.
General Atomics Aeronautical won a deal for the Italy Mid-Life Modernization (MLM) Lot 1 MQ-9A Block 5 aircraft and Block 30 Mobile Ground Control Station (MGCS) procurement. The Block 5 system is designed to operate for more than 27 hours, fly at a speed of 240 knots and carry up to 3,850 pounds of payload. Work will take place in California. Expected completion date is January 31, 2023.
An article by Intelligence Online says IAI has beaten Airbus and Thales in a four-year race to supply a military observation satellite to Vietnam. “While the French contenders have been busy infighting, Israel Aerospace now seems poised to win a contract to supply a military observation satellite to Vietnam”, it says.
Watch: Ready for Training: U.S. Marines Learning CH-53K King Stallion