According to Breaking Defense, General Atomics flew a new drone that is heavily based on the MQ-1C this summer. The new unmanned air vehicle or UAV can carry up to 16 Hellfire missiles and requires less than 800 ft of runway to operate. An anonymous source told Breaking Defense that the company is eyeing the Army’s Future Command and Special Operations Command as potential customers. However, General Atomics spokesman C. Mark Brinkley declined to comment on this story to Breaking Defense.
Huntington Ingalls won a $20 million cost modification for shipbuilding supplier industrial base efforts in support of the DDG 51 class destroyer program. The multimission warship features the AEGIS combat system, the Vertical Launching System, two embarked SH-60 helicopters along with advanced anti-aircraft missiles and land-attack missiles. Work will take place in Mississippi and is expected to be finished by April 2029.
Middle East & Africa
ST Engineering inked a contract with Abu Dhabi Ship Building PJSC (ADSB) for the supply of design, platform equipment and technical assistance for the construction of four Falaj 3-class Offshore Patrol Vessels. These vessels will be constructed in ADSB for the United Arab Emirates Navy. The Falaj-3 class patrol vessel is suitable to carry out a wide range of missions including maritime security and search and rescue operations.
Dassault Aviation announced that the Rafale contract with Egypt entered into force. In May, it was announced that Egypt signed a contract with France to buy 30 Rafale fighter jets in a deal that investigative website Disclose said was worth $4.5 billion. Egypt’s defense ministry said the deal would be financed through a loan to be repaid over at least 10 years but did not give details about the value of the deal or any other information.
Saab has agreed to sell 10 of its new electric work remotely operated vehicles (eWROV), including further options, to marine robotics company, Ocean Infinity. The eWROV is the latest addition to Saab Seaeye’s underwater portfolio used across a variety of offshore energy sectors, ocean science and defence. It is the culmination of four years of research and development, resulting in the largest and most powerful ROV compared to those designed for light work and observation tasks.
Thailand has reportedly become the international launch customer for Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine. The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has placed an order for six AT-6TH that will be based at 41st Wing in Chiang Mai Air Base. Training of maintenance personnel will start in Thailand in 2023 and pilot training will commence in Wichita in 2024. Delivery of aircraft will start in 2024.
Watch: Top 10 Iconic RAAF Aircraft – 6: E-7A Wedgetail
The Brazilian Air Force wants to move forward with its plan to cut its order for the Embraer KC-390 tactical transport from 28 to 15 airframes. According to Embraer, the move was done unilaterally and the aerospace firm is considering taking legal actions. The company’s shares fell by more than 8 percent on November 12.
Raytheon won an $8.8 million delivery order for the repair of the turret and sensor-sight in support of the H-60 aircraft. Just recently the H-60 Multi-Mission Helicopters Program Office met its mission capable goal entirely within its own organic lifelines. The H-60 Black Hawk is a light transport helicopter used for air assault, air cavalry, and aeromedical evacuation units. Work will take place in Florida. Estimated completion is in December 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Israel Aerospace Industries unveiled the Scorpius family of Electronic Warfare systems. According to the company, Scorpius is the first electronic warfare system in the world capable of simultaneously targeting multiple threats, across frequencies and in different directions. It is based on the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology, which provides a breakthrough in EW performance and enables a new generation of electronic warfare capabilities. The Scorpius family consists of five systems: the Scorpius G (ground), N (naval), SP (air – self-protection), SJ (air – standoff jammer) and the Scorpius T (training).
Spain inked a deal with Airbus to convert three A330 airliners that will be acquired from Iberia airline into hose & drogue-equipped Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft (MRTT). The aircraft will also get a specific Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) kit during the conversion at Airbus’ Spanish headquarters in Getafe, Spain. The Spanish Air Force’s 45 Wing will operate those the type when the first MRTT is delivered in 2023.
Hungary and Embraer representatives attended a ceremony at Embraer’s Gavião Peixoto facility to mark the start of production of the first KC-390 Millennium for Hungary. Structural panels and frames will be assembled to make the main components of the fuselage and semi-wings.
India wants to accept, deploy and start operation of the S-400 Air Defense System. The system will be supplied by Almaz-Antey of Russia, according to Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, the company’s deputy General director. According to an interview with Interfax, one batch of Indian technicians completed training in July this year while another was in the process of wrapping up its training.
Watch: AH-1Z Viper in Action: Intense Close Air Support Exercise! Day & Night Live Fire
Kampi Components won a maximum $9.7 million deal for hose assemblies supporting the Army AH-64 D & E Longbow helicopter. The AH-64 Apache is a twin-engined army attack helicopter. The AH-64D Longbow is fitted with the Longbow millimetre wave fire control radar and the Longbow Hellfire missile. Work will take place in Pennsylvania. Estimated completion date is November 9, 2024.
Lockheed Martin and Keysight Technologies announced a collaboration to advance 5G in support of mission-critical communications for aerospace and defense applications. The companies are actively collaborating on a 5G.MIL testbed that Lockheed Martin teams will use to advance 5G capabilities for multiple applications. 5G brings high-speed data rates, connection density, trustworthiness and low latencies to wireless communications networks. The collaboration advances Lockheed Martin’s 5G.MIL vision to support secure and resilient connectivity for defense and national security applications.
Middle East & Africa
F-35Bs from VMFA-211 cross-decked from HMS Queen Elizabeth to the amphibious assault ship USS Essex on November 8 while both ships were in the Gulf of Oman. A Royal Navy Merlin helicopter flew personnel from VMFA-211 to USS Essex initially to help with the recovery and refueling of the F-35Bs before launching the jets back to the British aircraft carrier.
Bell Textron won an $18.6 million contract modification, which provides for the production and delivery of one AH-1Z flight training device as well as in-country installation and three months of interim support for the government of the Czech Republic. The Bell AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine attack helicopter based on the AH-1W SuperCobra, that was developed for the United States Marine Corps. The bell AH-1Z is multi-mission attack helicopter. Work under the contract modification will take place in Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri. Estimated completion will be in December 2023.
China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force started using the new electronic warfare (EW)-capable variant of the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) J-16 fighter aircraft in combat training. Videos from China Central Television (CCTV) on November 6 show at least two J-16D examples taking off from an undisclosed location in China and conducting flight manoeuvres, with the media outlet noting that the aircraft, which were shown bearing PLAAF insignia, were deployed in “combat-oriented drills”.
The Indian Navy received the fourth of six Scorpène class diesel-electric attack submarines (SSKs) ordered from Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited. INS Vela , which was built in collaboration with France’s Naval Group, was handed over during a ceremony held on November 9 in Mumbai and is expected to be commissioned ‘soon’ to further enhance the service’s operational capabilities, the Indian government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB) said in a statement.
The Israeli-made Iron Dome missile interception system has been deployed in Guam. The equipment first arrived on the island by ship on October 19. The deployment has been dubbed Operation Iron Island.
Atlantic Diving Supply won a $25 million contract modification for temporary aircraft maintenance structures (TAMS). The modification provides for the purchase of Phase II of the TAMS project which was separately priced and competed under the basic deal. Work will take place at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. Estimated completion date is November 24, 2023.
Middle East & Africa
Turkey is preparing to start the mass production of lightweight, medium class and heavy class Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs). On Tuesday, several related agreements were signed at leading local defense company FNSS’s facility in the capital Ankara.
Elbit Systems Ltd. announced that Affinity Flying Training Services Ltd., its UK joint venture with Kellog, Brown and Root Ltd., won an approximately $88 million contract from the UK Ministry of Defense for the operation of four additional Texan T-6C aircraft for the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) program.
PZL Mielec has completed the delivery of 16 S-70i Black Hawk helicopters ordered by the Philippines with the last five arriving in the country on November 9.
South Korea is sending a KC-330 aerial refueling tanker to Australia today to bring back 27,000 liters of urea solution. The solution is needed by the country’s diesel vehicles to reduce harmful emissions. The plane is expected to depart at 5p.m. Korean time from Gimhae International Airport.
Watch: Philippines gets last batch of 5 Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk combat utility helicopters from Poland
On August 16, 2011, Rafael and Raytheon announced a partnership to market the Iron Dome system in the United States. This rocket interception system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has an all-weather range of up to 70 km (43.5 miles). To make the system mobile, the detection/tracking radar and battle management/control parts of the system are carried on trucks, while the missile firing unit is mounted on a trailer.
Latest updates[?]: South Korea is sending a KC-330 aerial refueling tanker to Australia today to bring back 27,000 liters of urea solution. The solution is needed by the country’s diesel vehicles to reduce harmful emissions. The plane is expected to depart at 5p.m. Korean time from Gimhae International Airport.
South Korea is moving to buy 4 long-range aerial refueling tankers with secondary transport capabilities, with a budget of WON 2 billion (about $1.8 billion). That capability isn’t a huge priority on the Korean peninsula itself, but it’s very useful for international operations. It’s useful as a way of projecting regional power, as territorial disputes flare with China.
As Asian economies grow and militaries modernize, these factors have made long-range aerial refueling a growing regional priority. China, India, Pakistan and China deploy the Russian IL-78. Japan fields 4 Boeing KC-767As, and may raise that to 8 under recent plans. Similar American KC-46As will join them in the region after 2017. Elsewhere in the region, Australia (5) and Singapore (4) picked Airbus Defense & Space’s larger A330 MRTT instead, and India looks set to buy 6 at some point. What will the ROKAF do?
The first two of eight C-130Js for the Kentucky Air National Guard arrived at Louisville on November 6. The 123rd Airlift Wing will phase out the C-130H in September to make way for the latest variant of the Hercules. The C-130J Super Hercules is the latest version in the Air Force arsenal. It comes with modern instrumentation, more efficient engines and a stretched fuselage for additional payload capacity.
The Pentagon is in a rush to buy GPS chips from GlobalFoundries. The reason for this is, that the plant that fabricates them will soon stop producing those components, Bloomberg reports. An initial $885 million in orders would be placed by December 15 and the rest by March next year. The Fab 10 facility has been sold to a new owner who will not be making those components anymore. These chips are need by the B-2 bomber and the Small Diameter Bomb II.
Middle East & Africa
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) said it has secured a contract worth $360 million from the Iraqi government for the logistical support and maintenance of the Iraqi T-50IQ fleet. The deal is for three-years and cover the training of pilots and ground personnel as well.
Britain is to spend $135.3 million for maritime electronic warfare capabilities. This is the first phase of a $676.6 million ‘Maritime Electronics Warfare Programme’ to improve electronic warfare capabilities on Type 45, 26 and 31 warships, as well as the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.
South Korea will launch a new 2,800-ton frigate named after Cheonan, the Pohang class warship torpedoed by the North over a decade ago. The launching ceremony for the seventh Daegu-class Cheonan will take place on Tuesday at the shipyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. in Ulsan, some 410km southeast of Seoul.
Pakistan’s state-owned Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works has laid the keel for the fourth and final Milgem class corvette. In July 2018, Pakistan Navy inked a contract with Turkish firm ASFAT for the acquisition of four MILGEM-class ships. Under the deal, two ships were to be constructed at Istanbul Naval Shipyard and the other two at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.
Lockheed Martin won a $10.9 million contract for Advanced Raptor Enhancement & Sustainment (ARES) for the F-22 Program Office. This contract vehicle provides support for the necessary supplies and services to sustain and modernize the F-22 Raptor, including modernization hardware kit procurement and services such as upgrades, enhancements and fixes, as well as performance-based logistics services. The F-22A Raptor is an advanced tactical fighter aircraft. Lockheed Martin received a $7 billion five-year contract to maintain the USAF fleet of F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, in December 2019. Work under the new deal will take place in Texas. Estimated completion date is October 31, 2031.
General Dynamics Electric Boat won a $66.6 million contract action modification for lead yard support and development studies and design efforts related to Virginia class submarines. Virginia class subs are a class of nuclear-powered attack submarines. Work will take place in North Carolina, Florida and Maryland. Estimated completion will be by November 2024.
Middle East & Africa
The Nigerian Navy inked a contract with the Turkish shipyard Dearsan on November 3. The deal covers the delivery of two new 76 m offshore patrol vessels (OPVs). The OPV’s, which have been configured in line with the Nigerian Navy requirements, will be designed and built entirely in the shipyard’s facilities and will be equipped with Turkish systems.
The Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has placed an order for three “Sea Falcon” Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) manufactured by ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH for the German Navy’s K130 corvettes. One UAS consists of two Skeldar V-200 unmanned aerial vehicles, a ground control station integrated on the corvette from which the aircraft is controlled, and equipment with tools and spare parts.
Upgraded T-72B3M, ASVK-M Kord sniper rifles, Verba MANPADS are among new military equipment to arrive this month in Russia’s military base in Tajikistan in view of the instability in neighbouring Afghanistan. The base’s motorized rifle battalions were re-equipped with BTR-82A and modernized BMP-2M, and the anti-aircraft units of the base switched from portable Igla anti-aircraft missile systems to more modern and all-weather Verba complexes.
Sankei reports that the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) is considering the setup of a rapid deployment airport group will have help prepare airports in the Ryukyu Islands for military operations. This group will have air traffic controllers to take over the airports and personnel to arm and refuel military aircraft. They can be rapidly deployed using a cargo plane. The number is likely to be around 30 people.
Watch: ESG Delivers Sea Falcon UAVs for German Navy’s K130 Corvettes…
Llamas Plastics won a $14.2 million deal for V-22 windscreens. The V-22 Osprey is a joint-service, medium-lift, multimission tilt-rotor aircraft. The aircraft operates as a helicopter when taking off and landing vertically. The nacelles rotate 90° forward once airborne, converting the aircraft into a turboprop aircraft. Work will take place in California. Estimated completion date is October 28, 2026.
Raytheon won a $48.2 million contract modification to exercise options for DDG 1000 class engineering support, material and other direct costs in support of the engineering efforts. Developed under the DD(X) destroyer program, the Zumwalt class destroyer (DDG 1000) is the lead ship of a class of next-generation multi-mission surface combatants tailored for land attack and littoral dominance with capabilities that defeat current and projected threats. Work will take place in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Expected completion date is in May 2022.
Middle East & Africa
Saudi Arabia has been cleared by the US Department of State to replenish its stock of Raytheon AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs). The approval covers up to 280 AIM-120C-7/C-8-variant missiles (the notification did not provide definite numbers for each version), plus spares, support, and training for an estimated $650 million.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has signed an agreement with Slovakian aircraft repair company LOTN to export the FA-50 light combat aircraft to Europe. The agreement was signed during President Moon Jae-in’s visit to Europe on November 3. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration said Seoul is in talks to sell 10 FA-50 to Slovakia to replace the latter’s L-39 jets. The deal is worth up to $500 million.
South Korea and Indonesia will hold what could be the final round of negotiations over the latter’s payment of dues in the $7.4 billion KF-X project next week. Officials from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) will meet with negotiators from Indonesia’s defense ministry, according to Yonhap News Agency.
Airmen from Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s 401st Tactical Airlift Squadron visited Yokota air base on November 4 to examine the possibility of using the runway there for assault training. The runway at Yokota has markings to replicate an austere airfield for pilots to practice for assault take-off and landing. The 401st Tactical Airlift Squadron is not able to do that at their home base at Komaki Air Base.
Watch: KAI FA-50 Fighting Eagle Light Combat Aircraft
South Korea has been thinking seriously about designing its own fighter jet since 2008. The ROK defense sector has made impressive progress, and has become a notable exporter of aerospace, land, and naval equipment. The idea of a plane that helps advance their aerospace industry, while making it easy to add new Korean-designed weapons, is very appealing. On the flip side, a new jet fighter is a massive endeavor at the best of times, and wildly unrealistic technical expectations didn’t help the project. KF-X has progressed in fits and starts, and became a multinational program when Indonesia joined in June 2010. As of March 2013, however, South Korea has decided to put the KF-X program on hold for 18 months, while the government and Parliament decide whether it’s worth continuing.
Indonesia has reportedly contributed IDR 1.6 trillion since they joined in July 2010 – but that’s just $165 million of the DAPA’s estimated WON 6 billion (about $5.5 billion) development cost, and there’s good reason to believe that even this development budget is too low. This article discusses the KFX/IFX fighter’s proposed designs and features, and chronicles the project’s progress and setbacks since 2008…