The Brazilian Air Force achieved a major milestone in the effort to modernize its air combat capability with the beginning of the delivery phase of Saab F-39E Gripen multimission fighters. The first six series-produced Gripen E aircraft have left the factory to begin the delivery phase. The aircraft were unveiled on Wednesday, November 24 at Saab’s facilities. The aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force will arrive in Brazil by sea at the port of Navegantes in the middle of December.
Boeing won a $212.6 million contract modification for six MH47-G renew rotary wing aircraft and eight spare shipsets in support of US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). The Boeing MH-47G belongs to the family of CH-47 Chinook multi-role heavy lift helicopters. The FY2022 budget request for USSOCOM sees the procurement of an extra MH-47G for $135.48 million, bringing its total aircraft inventory to 68. Work will take place in Ridley Park.
Middle East & Africa
Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani claimed that Russia and China have indicated their readiness to hold joint naval maneuvers with Iran. “We have invited different countries to take part in the drills, and Russia and China have so far voiced their readiness to do so,” Irani said. The three countries staged a four-day joint maritime exercise dubbed ‘Marine Security Belt’ in the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman area in December 2019.
Naval Group announced the creation of the Mine CounterMeasures R&D center within its subsidiary, Naval Group Belgium last week. According to the company, the center will work jointly with Belgian partners in a collaborative laboratory called the MCM Lab. Coordinated by Naval Group Belgium, the MCM Lab was launched on November 25 with a first official meeting and the exchange of the signed convention
The French armament procurement agency took delivery of first two new generation landing craft known as EDA-S last week. The craft, Arbalette and Arquebuse, were ordered back in 2019 from the company CNIM for the benefit of the French Navy and the Army. Deliveries of the next twelve EDA-S will run until 2025, the French defense ministry announced. The EDA-S program is part of the renewal of the military’s capabilities included in the 2019-2025 Military Programming Law (LPM) carried by the Ministry of the Armed Forces.
China’s Yunzhou Tech has developed an unmanned high-speed vessel that has achieved a breakthrough in its dynamic cooperative confrontation technology, which could quickly intercept, encircle and expel invasive targets. Compared with manned vessels, ship drones have the advantages of low cost, multiple functions, strong scalability, high mobility and long duration.
Watch: Brazil Receives Series-production F-39 Gripen Fighters…
According to Bloomberg News, a Pentagon testing report dated September 28 for the VH-92A Marine One helicopter says the helicopter is not effective for “contingency operation mission,” which means the rotor craft cannot be used during an emergency. For administrative missions, the helicopter is still operational effective, the internal memo said.
The Canadian government informed Boeing that its Super Hornet does not meet the country’s requirements for the fighter competition to replace the F/A-18 legacy Hornet. Three anonymous sources said that the American aerospace company was informed of the decision on November 24.
Middle East & Africa
NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian current task group arrived at the port city of Haifa in northern Israel under a Greek-led flagship for a joint exercise with the Israeli navy. Navyrecognition reported that Hellenic Navy frigate HS Spetsai and Bulgarian Navy frigate Drazki paid a visit to Haifa during their focused patrols in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. For the fourth consecutive year, NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian (OSG) held exercises with the Israeli Navy to develop interoperability and to reinforce its cooperation around maritime security.
Russia has been testing a fly-by-wire flight control system on the MiG-31, it was disclosed during Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko visit to the Sokol aviation plant. The interceptor will also be getting a new canopy that will allow it to reach higher speeds. The current canopy will start melting at high Mach numbers. The plant will also replace all wiring and rubber parts during the modernization of the fighter.
Croatian Republic placed an order for a dozen Rafale fighters previously operated by the French Air Force to replace its aging MiG-21s. The selection of the Rafale by Croatia was first announced on May 28. Two contracts for the acquisition of Rafales and associated logistics support were signed at a ceremony held on November 25 in Zagreb. The ceremony was attended by French President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of the Croatian Republic Andrej Plenkovi?, French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly and CEO of Dassault Aviation Eric Trappier.
Turkish Aerospace Industries will hand over the first batch of T-129 Tactical Reconnaissance and Attack Helicopter (ATAK) to the Philippines next month. Manila has six T-129s on order. These rotorcraft were purchased for a total contract price of $270 million from TAI through a government-to-government mode of procurement under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the contract for the acquisition of the Turkish attack helicopters in July last year.
Huntington Ingalls won an $18 million contract modification for the advance planning requirements to support the refueling complex overhaul of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) is the eighth Nimitz class aircraft carrier in service with the United States Navy. She was launched on September 7, 1996 by Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia, and commissioned on July 25, 1998. Work will take place in Virginia. Estimated completion is in November 2022.
Sikorsky won a $31.2 million modification, which exercises an option to provide non-recurring engineering to include, investigation, systems engineering support, risk analysis and integration development in support of the Data Transfer Unit and Defensive Electronic Countermeasure System replacement within the CH-53K Super Stallion production aircraft. The Super Stallion can be fielded from amphibious assault ships for the transportation of personnel and equipment. It will also be used to carry external cargo loads. The aircraft can be operated from austere and remote forward operating bases. Work will take place in Connecticut, Maryland, Iowa, Texas, Florida and Vermont. Estimated completion will be in March 2025.
Middle East & Africa
Boeing won a $16.3 million modification for GOLDesp enterprise resource planning, Delta support equipment sustainment and survival radios sustainment in support of the 36 F-15QA aircraft. Work will be performed in Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and is expected to be completed by November 30, 2024. Qatar signed a deal to buy 36 F-15QAs in June 2017, and in April 2020 the first jet took its maiden flight.
PZL Mielec, a Lockheed Martin company will build components and assemblies for the latest generation F-16 Block 70/72 starting next year. This will sustain around 200 jobs, with approximately 60 new jobs being created. This development marks a significant new milestone for PZL Mielec, which was last involved in the production of fighter aircraft in the 1960s, Lockheed Martin said in a release today.
MBDA Germany signed an agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to cooperate in the field of ground-based air defense system. Under the agreement, which was announced on November 24 at the Berlin Security Conference 2021, both companies will explore offering joint solutions in accordance with the needs of the German armed forces.
The Philippine Air Force will have six T129 attack helicopters in the country next month. This was disclosed by Philippine Air Force (PAF) commander Lt. Gen. Allen Paredes. The T129 is a twin-engine, tandem seat, multi-role, all-weather attack helicopter based on the Agusta A129 Mangusta platform and is designed for advanced attack and reconnaissance missions in hot and high environments and rough geography in both day and night conditions.
Watch: The Philippines to deploy T129 ATAK Helicopter at Trojans
Rolls-Royce won a $23.3 million deal, which provides for the depot repair of T56-A-427A engines installed on E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft for the Navy. The Allison T56 is a single shaft, modular design military turboprop with a 14-stage axial flow compressor driven by a four-stage turbine. The E-2D is a twin-engine turboprop aircraft. Work will take place in Texas, Canada and Indiana. Estimated completion date is in November 2022.
The MQ-25 has been undergoing ground testing at Naval Station Norfolk as the unmanned aircraft prepares to embark on board an aircraft carrier next month. The MQ-25 Stingray introduces unmanned aerial refueling and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to the air wing that will extend the range, operational capacity and lethality of the Carrier Air Wing and Carrier Strike Group.
Italy’s Air Force Chief of Staff told members of parliamentary defense committees that Future Combat Air System (FCAS) and Tempest fighter programs will have to merge into one project eventually. “But it is natural that these two realities will merge into one because investing huge financial resources in two equivalent programs is unthinkable,” Gen. Luca Goretti was quoted as saying. He also explained that Italy joined the Tempest program as it offers a larger share of work compared to the FCAS.
Science Applications International Corp. won a $123.7 million contract for the production of MK 48 Mod 7 heavyweight afterbody/tailcones and warshot fuel tank torpedo equipment and support. The MK 48 heavyweight torpedo is equipped with advanced commercial-off-the-shelf technologies to provide superior reliability and performance against challenging threats in both littoral and blue water environments, and can support multi-band operation. Work will take place in Indiana and Rhode Island. Expected completion date is in July 2025.
South Korea’s National Defense Committee has cut back next year’s defense budget by $375 million. The budget of $12 million for the program to buy new attack helicopters was crossed out. It was reported in April that the defense project promotion committee has approved the purchase of around 36 attack helicopters. The committee also cut $279 million from the budget to buy more airborne early warning aircraft. The project to upgrade the F-35A lost $16.9 million in funding.
Watch: Turkey could become the first country to develop an aircraft carrier specifically designed for drone
Lockheed Martin won a $114.6 million modification to exercise an option for AEGIS Combat System Engineering Agent efforts for the design, development, integration, test and delivery of Advanced Capability Build 20. The Aegis Combat System is the Navy’s most modern surface combat system. It was designed as a complete system: the missile launching element, the computer programs, the radar and the displays are fully integrated to work together. This makes the Aegis system the first fully integrated combat system built to defend against advanced air and surface threats. The word “aegis” comes to use from classical mythology. Aegis is the name of the shield of the sky god and war goddess of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Work will take place in New Jersey. Expected completion will be by December 2022.
Jo-Kell won a maximum $11.1 million deal for UH-60A helicopter special purpose electrical cable assembly spare parts. The UH-60 is a twin-engined medium-lift utility helicopter. It is the US Army’s primary medium-lift utility transport and air assault aircraft. The UH-60A was designed to carry 11 combat troops in addition to a crew of three.Work will take place in Virginia. Estimated completion date is November 29, 2026.
Middle East & Africa
The Moroccan military has acquired the Skylock Dome System from Israel to bolster its defense capabilities against enemy drones. Developed by Skylock Systems, the weapon can detect, verify, and neutralize unauthorized drones. It will reportedly be used to protect the country’s critical civilian and military facilities.
The French Navy has commissioned the first FREMM-DA multi-mission frigate with enhanced air defense capability, Alsace. Alsace was handed over to the Navy by French shipbuilder Naval Group in April. It is the first of the two air defense frigates with enhanced air defense capability and the seventh FREMM multi-missions frigate ordered by OCCAr for the French defense procurement agency.
Russia will finish state trials of T-14 Armata tank next year. “The annual Army arms show features the T-14 tank, the T-15 infantry fighting vehicle and the T-16 armored repair and evacuation vehicle being developed under the Armata project. This year, it has entered its final stage. The tank’s state trials are due to be completed in 2022,” acting Chief of the Defense Ministry’s Main Automotive and Armor Department Major-General Alexander Shestakov was quoted by the Defense Ministry’s newspaper on November 22.
Australia formally started a programme to equip its navy with nuclear-powered submarines in a new defense alliance with the UK and the US. It is the first agreement on the technology to be publicly signed since the three countries announced in September the formation of a defense alliance, AUKUS, to confront strategic tensions in the Pacific where China-US rivalry is growing.
Watch: Onboard the FREMM DA Alsace, first multimissions frigate with enhanced air defence capability
Sikorsky Aircraft won a $21.2 million contract modification, which increases scope and provides aircraft maintenance in support of the CH-53K data transfer unit and defensive electronic countermeasure system replacement phase three flight test. The CH-53K will replace the CH-53E, and its job with the Marines will include moving heavy equipment and supplies from ship-to-shore in support of amphibious assault and subsequent operations ashore, as well as lifting troops. Work will take place in Maryland, Florida and Virginia. Estimated completion is in June 2022.
Lockheed Martin won a $584.8, which adds scope to provide system integration engineering for the development of new ASQ-239 electronic warfare/counter measure hardware in support of the F-35 aircraft for the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, and non-US Department of Defense participants. The ASQ-239 system can provide fully integrated radar warning, targeting support, and self-protection capabilities that will enable pilots to engage, counter, jam, or evade threats to improve survivability and mission effectiveness. Work will take place in New Hampshire, Texas, Maryland and the UK. Estimated completion is in April 2026.
Middle East & Africa
During an exercise in Qatar, Qatari Rafale jets have conducted air-to-air refuelling sorties with a British Voyager tanker. It is the first time for the British Air Force to conduct AAR with the Qatar Emiri Air Force. The Voyager Tanker that refuelled the Rafale fighter jets of QEAF during the exercise is from the RAF’s 83 Expeditionary Air Group (EAG).
Navantia Shipyard started the diesel engine of S-81 Isaac Peral submarine being built for the Spanish Navy. Isaac Peral is the first S-80 submarine. It successfully passed the safety milestone of starting its diesel engines, which is part of its port testing process, Navantia said in a statement. The S-80 program follows a regulated Systems Engineering process, by means of which it is necessary to pass a series of technical reviews or quality doors in which it must be demonstrated that the submarine is ripe to move on to the next phase.
Japan will proceed with a plan to launch three small satellites into space by this decade for the detection of hypersonic glide vehicle. The government is expected to spend $525 million to send these satellites into space. They are expected to orbit around 400 km above the ground and each satellite weighs between 100 to 500 kg.
The Indian Navy commissioned the first Project 15B stealth guided-missile destroyer, INS Vishakhapatnam, on November 21. In 2011, the government sanctioned four 15B ships at the cost of $4.4 billion. Visakhapatnam has been constructed using indigenous steel DMR 249A and is amongst the largest destroyers constructed in India with an overall length of 163m and displacement of over 7400 tons.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems won a $103.2 million deal for the production of Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft systems, satellite airborne data terminals, and government furnished equipment maintenance. The MQ-1C Gray Eagle is an extended range / multipurpose (ER/MP) unmanned aircraft system developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for the US Army. It has an endurance of 25 hours, speeds up to167 KTAS, can operate up to 29,000 feet, and carries 1,075 lb (488 kg) of internal and external payload.
Raytheon won a $63.1 million modification, which exercises options to procure 19 AN/APG-79(V)4 radar systems and associated software in support of radar retrofit and integration into the F/A-18C/D aircraft on behalf of the Marine Corps. The F/A-18 Hornet is an all-weather jet aircraft that is used by the US Navy and Marine Corps as both a fighter and attack platform. The AN/APG-79(V)4 is a scaled version of the AN/APG-79 AESA radar. It provides aircrew situational awareness, near-instantaneous track updates, and multi-target tracking capability. Work will take place California, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Texas. Expected completion date is in March 2023.
Middle East & Africa
The US military and Jordan have started work on unmanned systems and artificial intelligence integration as part of their efforts to establish a new unmanned task force. On November 18, US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) briefed the head of Jordan’s navy on US 5th Fleet efforts to integrate new unmanned systems during a visit to US Naval Support Activity Bahrain, the service announced.
Sweden officially inducted the PAC-3 air defense missile system into service on November 18. The PAC-3 is designated as air defense system 103 in Swedish service. The ceremony took place at the Air Defense Regiment in Halmstad.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems won a $31.7 million contract action for the Belgium MQ-9B SkyGuardian procurement. This contract provides for one MQ-9B simulator, training, spares and support equipment. In August 2020, General Atomics inked a Foreign Military Sales contract with the US Air Force to deliver the MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft System system.
A AH-1S attack helicopter that Jordan donated to the Philippines has arrived home at Major Danilo Atienza Air Base (MDAAB), Sangley Point on November 18. It was flown over from Clark airbase by Maj. Reese James A Obeso, CO of 20th Attack Squadron, and Capt. Wilmore Kristus A Tañamor.
Watch: Boeing Extends Production of PAC-3 Missiles, How Missile Systems Work
Latest updates[?]: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems won a $103.2 million deal for the production of Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft systems, satellite airborne data terminals, and government furnished equipment maintenance. The MQ-1C Gray Eagle is an extended range / multipurpose (ER/MP) unmanned aircraft system developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for the US Army. It has an endurance of 25 hours, speeds up to167 KTAS, can operate up to 29,000 feet, and carries 1,075 lb (488 kg) of internal and external payload.
Its initial battles were fought within the Pentagon, but the US Army’s high-end UAV has made its transition to the battlefield.
The ER/MP program was part of the US Army’s reinvestment of dollars from the canceled RAH-66 Comanche helicopter program, and directly supports the Army’s Aviation Modernization Plan. The US Air Force saw this Predator derivative as a threat and tried to destroy it, but the program survived the first big “Key West” battle of the 21st century. Now, the MQ-1C “Gray Eagle” is in production as the US Army’s high-end UAV. As CENTCOM’s wars end, however, the Gray Eagle may find that staying in the fleet is as hard as getting there.
This FOCUS article offers a program history, key statistics and budget figures, and ongoing coverage of the program’s contracts and milestones.
Lockheed Martin won a $19 million contract modification, that adds scope to provide delivery and installation of a multispectral database and delivery of crypto ignition keys in support of F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter in support of the Air Force and the government of the Republic of Korea. Work will take place in Wisconsin and. Texas. Estimated completion will be in September 2023.
The US Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $15.9 million contract modification, which exercises an option to procure seven retrofit advanced radar processor systems for the E-2D aircraft. The E-2D Hawkeye 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 New York and Massachusetts. Estimated completion will be in February 2026.
Middle East & Africa
According to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the country is in the final stage of negotiations with South Korea to buy the M-SAM air defense missile system. Tariq Abdul Rahim Al Hosani, CEO of the Tawazun Economic Council, confirmed to Gulf Today that the both sides are “close to concluding a final agreement.”
The Somali National Army (SNA) received a donation of military vehicles including trucks and ambulances from Turkey. Senior military officials received the donation after a ceremony at the Turkish Embassy in the capital of Mogadishu. Officials from Turkey’s military mission, Turk-Som, also attended the ceremony, Turkey’s government-owned Anadolu Agency reported.
Rheinmetall completed demonstration trials of the Soucy Composite Rubber Track (CRT) system on the Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). Rheinmetall Managing Director Gary Stewart said the CRT demonstration confirmed the Lynx IFV was capable of utilising both steel and composite rubber tracks.
Thales Australia announced a $6 million investment in advanced manufacturing equipment at the Commonwealth owned Mulwala facility in regional New South Wales1, to accelerate sovereign guided weapons manufacturing capability. Thales’s investment in new large-scale preparation and mixing equipment will enable a 500% increase in the size of rocket motors able to be manufactured at Mulwala, supporting production of advanced guided weapons and hypersonic weapons.
Watch: Rheinmetall – The making of Lynx Combat Support Vehicle
Bell Boeing won a $72 million contract modification, which exercises options to procure 15 Nacelle improvements kits, rotatable pool components and interim spares. The modification also provides for the installation of eight kits in conjunction with conversion area harness, electrical wiring interconnect system assessments, sustaining engineering, and over and above requirements for the CV-22 fleet aircraft. Work will take place in Texas and Pennsylvania. Estimated completion is in June 2025.
A successful Rapid Dragon test flight was concluded on November 6, according the US Air Force Research Laboratory. Conducted at White Sands Missile Range, a MC-130J airdropped a four-cell Rapid Dragon deployment system containing a AGM-158B separation test vehicle (STV) and three mass simulants. The STV was able to deploy its wings and tail, achieved aerodynamic control, and began a pull-up maneuver as it glided toward its new target.
Middle East & Africa
The United States has handed over six MD-530F+ attack helicopters to Lebanon. The rotorcraft were handed over to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Air Force at Hamat Airbase. According to the US Embassy in Lebanon the helicopter is the first light attack helicopter of its kind to integrate APKWS missiles and live downlink of targeting data. Most importantly, this technology showcases the LAF’s increasing levels of combat capabilities.
Elbit Systems and Roboteam together launched ROOK, a multi-payload military 6X6 Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), on Tuesday. The ROOK UGV was developed based on the operational experience accumulated through fielding of the 4×4 PROBOT UGV systems in several countries including the US, France, Israel and the UK.
Airbus and Thales launched the CERES space system (Capacité de Renseignement Electromagnétique Spatiale or Space-based Signal Intelligence Capability) satellites built for the French Armament General Directorate (DGA). The CERES satellites were successfully launched from the European spaceport in French Guiana, on-board a Vega launcher.
Indonesia is now obliged to pay South Korea $1.35 billion, down by nearly $85 million for their joint KF-X fighter jet development project. The Defense Acquisition Program Administration concluded years of negotiations with Indonesia last week on a cost-sharing deal.
Watch: What It’s Like to Fly a CV-22 Osprey — Ask a Pilot