Sikorsky won a $30.7 million contract modification by the US Navy, which increases the scope to procure 681 spare parts for the CH-53K low-rate initial production configuration aircraft. The CH-53K King Stallion is a large cargo helicopter designed to replace the Marine Corps fleet of CH-53E heavy-lift helicopters to help move Marines and their equipment from ships offshore onto attack beaches. The CH-53K is a general redesign of the CH-53E. Work will take place in Connecticut, France, Washington, Canada, Florida, West Virginia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Georgia. Estimated completion date will be in December 2026.
The Navy awarded General Atomics a $14.5 million order, which provides facilities, labor, material, and logistics services in support of the correction of deficiencies identified during prior qualification cycles for the block A21/A22 sustainment phase of the advanced arresting gear for CVN 78 and testing sites. CVN 78 is the Gerald R. Ford Class, the future aircraft carrier replacement class for Enterprise and Nimitz class aircraft carriers for the US Navy. Work will take place in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Mississippi. Estimated completion will be in April 2023.
Middle East & Africa
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has received upgraded ILGAR Combat Electronic Warfare System from Aselsan. Ismail Demir, chairperson of the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), announced on Twitter that the ILGAR system was handed over to the Army recently.
The ‘Future Cruise/Anti–Ship Weapon’ will reportedly be fitted to the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Frigates. The vessel will also be armed with a five inch main gun as well as Sea Ceptor anti-air missiles.
On December 27, Philippine’s Department of Budget Management (DBM) issued two special allotment release orders (SARO) worth around $54 million to buy shore-based anti-ship missile system for the Philippine Navy. Media reports in India also said that the Philippines is close to finalizing the BrahMos anti-ship missile deal.
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed confirmed the country’s acquisition of 25 J-10C multirole fighters from China. The minister told reporters in Rawalpindi that a full squadron of 25 J-10C jets will do a flyover on Pakistan Day ceremony on March 23 next year. The minister repeatedly mispronounced the name of the fighter, referring to them as “Chinese JS-10.” He added that the J-10C is “an answer to India’s Rafale jets.”
Watch: USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) Super Aircraft carrier in action
Latest updates[?]: The Navy awarded General Atomics a $14.5 million order, which provides facilities, labor, material, and logistics services in support of the correction of deficiencies identified during prior qualification cycles for the block A21/A22 sustainment phase of the advanced arresting gear for CVN 78 and testing sites. CVN 78 is the Gerald R. Ford Class, the future aircraft carrier replacement class for Enterprise and Nimitz class aircraft carriers for the US Navy. Work will take place in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Mississippi. Estimated completion will be in April 2023.
USA’s Nimitz Class &
UK’s Invincible Class
Some nations have aircraft carriers. The USA has super-carriers. The French Charles De Gaulle Class nuclear carriers displace about 43,000t. India’s new Vikramaditya/ Admiral Gorshkov Class will have a similar displacement. The future British CVF Queen Elizabeth Class and related French PA2 Project are expected to displace about 65,000t, while the British Invincible Class carriers that participated in the Falklands War weigh in at just 22,000t. Invincible actually compares well to Italy’s excellent new Cavour Class (27,000t), and Spain’s Principe de Asturias Class (17,000t). The USA’s Nimitz Class and CVN-21 Gerald R. Ford Class, in contrast, fall in the 90,000+ tonne range. Hence their unofficial designation: “super-carriers”. Just one of these ships packs a more potent air force than many nations.
Nimitz Class cutaway
As the successor to the 102,000 ton Nimitz Class super-carriers, the CVN-21 program aimed to increase aircraft sortie generation rates by 20%, increase survivability to better handle future threats, require fewer sailors, and have depot maintenance requirements that could support an increase of up to 25% in operational availability. The combination of a new design nuclear propulsion plant and an improved electric plant are expected to provide 2-3 times the electrical generation capacity of previous carriers, which in turn enables systems like an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System (EMALS, replacing steam-driven catapults), Advanced Arresting Gear, and integrated combat electronics that will leverage advances in open systems architecture. Other CVN-21 features include an enhanced flight deck, improved weapons handling and aircraft servicing efficiency, and a flexible island arrangement allowing for future technology insertion. This graphic points out many of the key improvements.
DID’s CVN-21 FOCUS Article offers a detailed look at a number of the program’s key innovations, as well as a list of relevant contract awards and events.
Lockheed Martin won a $102.4 million deal for production and delivery of hardware components and spares of the Apache Attack Helicopter Modernized Target Acquisition Designation/Pilot Night Vision Sensor System. The Apache Arrowhead (also Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor or M-TADS/PNVS), is an integrated targeting and night vision system developed by Lockheed Martin for the Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order. Estimated completion date is July 31, 2024.
General Atomics won a $69.9 million deal that provides non-recurring engineering and program management services in support of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) system for the CVN 81 aircraft carrier, minus energy storage subsystem. The deal provides for the evaluation, production, manufacture, assembly, integration and test of engineering changes to product hardware, software, technical data, and logistics products throughout the configuration management process associated with the EMALS and AAG system for the CVN 81 aircraft carrier, minus the energy storage subsystem. Work will take place in California. Estimated completion will be in December 2023.
Middle East & Africa
Israel unveiled a package of “confidence-building measures” for the occupied West Bank, after Defense Minister Benny Gantz hosted talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on his first visit in years. Abbas, leading a high-ranking delegation on his first visit to Israel for an official meeting since 2010, held talks with Gantz at his home in the central town of Rosh HaAyin, according to Israeli sources and media. After the rare visit, which drew condemnation from the enclave’s Hamas rulers, an Israeli was wounded in a shooting attack on the Gaza border on Wednesday, the military said.
Russia’s state-owned Rostec handed over modernized A-50U long-range Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) aircraft to the military. The A-50U can detect fundamentally new types of aircraft, and is also capable of simultaneously tracking a greater number of targets and guided fighters than the previous modification.
The US State Department last week approved the sale of 230 Javelin FGM-148F anti-tank Missiles and 20 Javelin Command Launch Units (CLUs) to the Lithuanian Army for an estimated cost of $125 million. The original Foreign Military Sale (FMS), valued at $28.23 million, included one hundred eleven (111) Javelin FGM-148F missiles and ten (10) Javelin CLUs. Therefore, this notification is for a total of three hundred forty-one (341) Javelin FGM-148F missiles and thirty (30) Javelin CLUs.
Raytheon won a $23.2 million deal for the procurement of multi-spectral targeting systems for the US Navy Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) and for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). These systems provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) detection, identification and targeting capability in day/night operations for both manned and unmanned platforms. Work will take place in Texas. Estimated completion will be by March 2023.
Watch: Episode 86. The A-50: Chasing the Invisible
Latest updates[?]: General Atomics won a $69.9 million deal that provides non-recurring engineering and program management services in support of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) system for the CVN 81 aircraft carrier, minus energy storage subsystem. The deal provides for the evaluation, production, manufacture, assembly, integration and test of engineering changes to product hardware, software, technical data, and logistics products throughout the configuration management process associated with the EMALS and AAG system for the CVN 81 aircraft carrier, minus the energy storage subsystem. Work will take place in California. Estimated completion will be in December 2023.
As the US Navy continues to build its new CVN-21 Gerald R. Ford Class carriers, few technologies are as important to their success as the next-generation EMALS (Electro-MAgnetic Launch System) catapult. The question is whether that technology will be ready in time, in order to avoid either costly delays to the program – or an even more costly redesign of the first ship of class.
Current steam catapult technology is very entertaining when it launches cars more than 100 feet off of a ship, or gives naval fighters the extra boost they need to achieve flight speed within a launch footprint of a few hundred feet. It’s also stressful for the aircraft involved, very maintenance intensive, and not really compatible with modern gas turbine propulsion systems. At present, however, steam is the only option for launching supersonic jet fighters from carrier decks. EMALS aims to leap beyond steam’s limitations, delivering significant efficiency savings, a more survivable system, and improved effectiveness. This free-to-view spotlight article covers the technology, the program, and its progress to date.
General Electric Aviation won an $18.4 million order, which provides engineering and engine system improvement services for F414 engine component improvements in support of the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.The engine is a 22,000-pound class afterburning turbofan engine. It features an axial compressor with 3 fan stages and 7 high-pressure compressor stages, and 1 high-pressure and 1 low-pressure turbine stage. At a weight of 2,445 pounds, the F414-GE-400 has a thrust-to-weight ratio of nine. Work will take place in Massachusetts. Estimated completion will be in December 2022.
BAE Information and Electronic Systems Integration won a maximum $42 million contract modification with one five-year option period adding National Stock Number 1680-K0-107-337VM for ALR-56M radar warning receiver shipsets. The AN/ALR-56 radar warning receiver (RWR) is designed to detect incoming radar signals, identify, associate these signals to a known threat and alert the aircraft crew. Work will take place in New York and New Jersey. Estimated completion date is March 30, 2024.
Middle East & Africa
According to the Associated Press, Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) has staged a military exercise consisting of a five-day drill across the country’s south region amid heightened tensions over the government’s nuclear program. The news was first published last week. Saeed Khatibzadeh, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, at a news conference gave a vague answer when asked by a reporter whether the country would enrich uranium to weapons-grade 90 percent purity. On December 24, Al Jazeera reported that the IRGC has fired 16 surface-to-surface ballistic missiles at the close of five days of military drills. Generals reportedly said the drills were a warning to Israel.
The Netherlands Ministry of Defense officially declared Initial Operational Capable (IOC) for the Air Force’s F-35 squadron. The military will now be able to deploy a unit of 4 F-35s with personnel and equipment anywhere in the world for a short period of time.
Russia has reportedly offered India to develop its own armored vehicles with the country based on the Armata universal Armata platform. At the Army-2021 forum, the head of Rosoboronexport, Alexander Mikheev, told defense ministry’s Zvezda that in the coming years Russia will bring about 50 new types of weapons and special equipment to foreign markets.
South Korea’s Defense Project Promotion Committee has approved a plan to replace the country’s CH-47D helicopters with new ones. The project will cost $1.2 billion and will run from 2022 to 2028.
Watch: T-14 Armata Russian Main Battle Tank – Tank Overview
Lockheed Martin won a $324.1 million contract modification, which exercises options to support calendar year 2022 modification and retrofit activities for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program to include the procurement of material modification kits as well as program management, non-recurring engineering, aircraft induction, contractor field, depot site and laser shock peening site support. The modification adds scope for the procurement of material kits as well as special tooling and test equipment necessary to support F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft retrofit and modification efforts for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, non-US Department of Defense participants and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers from the governments of Israel, Japan and the Republic of Korea. Work will take place in Texas, Japan, Italy, Australia, North Carolina and Utah.
A successful ground demonstration of solar energy to radio frequency (RF) conversion for the Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research (SSPIDR) Project has been successfully conducted. Manufactured by Northrop Grumman, the single “sandwich tile” will be the first of many panels that will form up to a square meter onboard the Arachne satellite that will launch into space in 2025. Scientists hope to generate electrical power by converting solar energy in space and beam it back to earth.
Middle East & Africa
Turkey carried out tests of the Hisar O+ short-range air defense system from an autonomous missile launching system in Aksaray Shooting Range last week. In a statement Sunday, the Defense Ministry said the HISAR O+ is ready for use.
Russia’s MC-21-300 aircraft with a locally-made polymer composite wing has made its first flight. The liner took off from the airfield of Irkutsk Aviation Plant, a branch of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC)-owned Irkut company, Rostec announced.
Japan’s cabinet has finalized the defense budget for 2022 and Tokyo will allocate $445 million to buy four F-35B fighters. Another $671 million will go towards the purchase of another eight F-35A fighters. To prepare JS Izumo for the operation of F-35Bs, a sum of $53 million was approved.
South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) signed a contract worth nearly $750 million with LIG Nex1 and Hanwha for mass production of military satellite communication system-II ground terminals. The contract will be performed over a period of five years from 2021 to 2025.
Watch: H?SAR Anti-air Missile Defense System | TURKISH DELIGHT!
Boeing won a $239.6 million deal for the Apache Improved Turbine Engine Integration Phase II. The US Army plans to use the next-generation engine in all Apache and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter engines. The service is also planning on using it on Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft it plans to field in the 2030s. Work will take place in Arizona. Estimated completion date is December 31.
Raytheon won a $250 million deal for a StormBreaker Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) integrated engineering change proposal. The StormBreaker bomb is an air-launched precision strike weapon manufactured by Raytheon Missile Systems for the US Air Force and the US Navy. Work will take place in Arizona. Expected completion date is August 22, 2027.
Middle East & Africa
Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems won a $51 million contract modification, which exercises an option to procure 65 BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Targets, 50 for the Navy, seven for the government of Japan, and eight for the government of Saudi Arabia, as well as associated technical and administrative data in support of full rate production lot three. BQM-177A is an advanced, high-subsonic, recoverable aerial target system. Work will take place in California, Texas, Florida, Virginia, Kansas and Wyoming. Estimated completion date will be in February 2024.
The Navy awarded Kay and Associates a $72.8 million deal to provide maintenance, operation, and management support services for the Hornets, Super Hornets and associated equipment, as well as maintenance repair and storage facilities for the Government of Kuwait. In September, Boeing completed the delivery of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet combat aircraft for Kuwait. Estimated completion will be in January 2023.
Amidst tensions with Ukraine, Russian Zirkon hypersonic missile was launched in a salvo of several missiles increasing its potential to destroy highly protected enemy formations such as aircraft carrier battle groups. “A salvo launch of the Zircon hypersonic system was carried out tonight or this morning,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a joint meeting of the State Council and the Council for Science and Education on Friday. “The tests were carried out successfully, flawlessly,” Putin added.
Lockheed Martin won a $29.8 million contract modification for the US and the UK to provide Strategic Weapon System Trident Fleet Support, Trident II SSP Shipboard Integration (SSI) Increment 8, SSI Increment 16, Columbia-class and UK Dreadnought-class navigation subsystem development efforts. The Trident II D5 fleet ballistic missile (FBM) is a three-stage, solid-propellant, inertial-guided ballistic missile developed by Lockheed Martin. Work will take place in New York, California, Florida and Massachusetts. Estimated completion date is November 30, 2023.
The construction of China State Shipbuilding Corp’s new shipyard on the Changxing Island, Shanghai, is set to open in 2023. The construction of the dock basin of the second phase of the Changxing Shipbuilding Base Project started on Wednesday with a commencement ceremony, CSSC Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding announced on its WeChat account.
Sikorsky won a $29.5, which procures logistics support analysis and products resulting from production engineering changes and diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages to include technical publications, logistics support analysis and logistics product data in support of CH-53K aircraft production and fielding. The Super Stallion can be fielded from amphibious assault ships for the transportation of personnel and equipment. Estimated completion date is in December 2022. Work will be performed in Connecticut and the US.
Northrop Grumman won a $245.8 million contract modification, which provides for the exercise of five option contract line items to procure eight Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar systems, and associated spares, data, and travel in support of Program Executive Officer Land Systems, Quantico, Virginia. The AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR is a short- to medium-range, air-cooled Active Electronically Scanned Array radar under development for the Marine Corps. Work will take place in Maryland. Expected completion will be in January 2025.
Middle East & Africa
Israel Innovation Authority recently approved the establishment of a new innovation consortium, led by Elbit Systems C4I and Cyber, for Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) technologies research and development. Dr. Aviv Zeevi, VP Technological Infrastructure at the Israel Innovation Authority, commented: “The Israel Innovation Authority is working to close technology gaps in the field of robotics using various tools as well as by promoting knowledge transfer from the defense sector and academia to the wider industry.”
The French Armament General Directorate (DGA) signed a contract with Airbus Helicopters for the development and procurement of the H160M in the frame of the Light Joint Helicopter programme (HIL). The contract includes the development of several prototypes and the delivery of a first batch of 30 aircraft (21 for the army, 8 for the navy and one for the air force). The French Ministry for the Armed Forces plans to order a total of 169 H160M helicopters, or Guépard as it will be known in the French armed forces.
Northrop Grumman won a $353.6 million contract modification, which provides for the production and delivery of three E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft for the government of France. The E-2D is the US Navy’s premier airborne command and control aircraft for all targets and all environments. The French Navy has been operating the E-2C Hawkeye since 1998 and is the only country other than the United States to operate its E-2 Hawkeyes from an aircraft carrier. France’s plan to acquire three E-2Ds to replace the Navy’s old E-2C Hawkeyes was first revealed more than a year ago. The U.S. approved this sale for $2 billion in July 2020. The French Navy will be second only to Japan, to own these jets. Work will take place in New York, Florida, Indiana, California, Illinois and Connecticut. Estimates completion will be in April 2027.
Malaysia’s Deputy Defense Minister Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz told the Senate that Kuala Lumpur is “still waiting for discussions” with Kuwait over the purchase of the latter’s F/A-18C/D fleet. He was responding to an supplementary question from Senator Datuk Zaiedi Suhaili. Ikmal said the Royal Malaysian Air Force intends to use the aircraft till 2035.
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.
Boeing won a $30.3 million delivery order for the repair of 93 EA horizontal stabilizers used on the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. The period of performance for this delivery order begins January 2022 and will be completed by September 2023 with no option periods. Work will take place in Florida and Missouri. The period of performance for this delivery order begins January 2022 and will be completed by September 2023 with no option periods.
The US Air Force is working on placing USB ports on the B-52 bomber, Bossier Now reports. This will allow the crew to charge their electronic tabs on long-distance flights without having to resort to battery packs.
Middle East & Africa
Morocco is said to have received the FD-2000 long-range air defense missile system that it bought from China. The unit is to be based at Sidi Yahia el-Gharb, north east of Rabat. The layout of the missile site is different from the Chinese ones and is circular in pattern. There is no pad in the middle for the radar to be station.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Ground Force employed an advanced homegrown tank dubbed ‘Karrar’ for the first time during the ongoing massive joint military exercises. Press TV reported that Karrar, an upgraded version of the Soviet-era T-72M tanks, came into service during the Great Prophet 17 joint drills in the country’s southern coasts on Wednesday,
The Raggruppamento Temporaneo di Impresa (RTI) consortium led by Fincantieri signed an agreement with Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) to build the second Logistic Support Ship (LSS) for the Italian Navy. The LSS will be entirely built at the Castellammare di Stabia shipyard, with delivery scheduled for 2025. The value of the contract is approximately € 410 million including the combat system, Fincantieri said.
Raytheon Missiles & Defense won a $578.3M firm-fixed-price modification to procure Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) production requirements. Requirements include all up rounds, instrumentation kits, engineering services and spares; and to definitize the long-lead-material undefinitized contract action in support of the Navy and the governments of Korea, Denmark, Taiwan, Netherlands, Spain, Chile, Japan and Germany. Estimated completion will be by December 2026.
Watch: Anti-ship Missile SM-2 in Action . US Navy Missile Launch Compilation | MFA