General Dynamics won a $93.5 million deal for M1A2 Abrams engineering, manufacturing, design and production. The M1A2 is an improvement of the Abrams M1A1 main battle tank. It includes a commander’s independent thermal viewer, weapon station, position navigation equipment, and a full set of controls and displays linked by digital data bus. Work will take place in Ohio. Estimated completion date is September 30, 2025.
General Dynamics Bath Iron Works won a $12.9 million modification for the accomplishment of planning yard efforts such as engineering, technical, planning, ship configuration, data and logistics efforts for DDG-1000 class destroyers post-delivery and in-service life-cycle support. The DDG-1000 or Zumwalt class destroyers provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. A few days ago the lead ship, USS Zumwalt, caught media attention due to noticeable rust all over its exterior. Work under the modification will take place in Maine and California. Estimated completion will be by December 2022.
Middle East & Africa
Egypt will be hosting its first naval defense exhibition in September 2022, dubbed “Naval Power,” according Defense News quoting the commander of the Navy. Lt. Gen. Ahmed Khaled Hassan Said Ahmed announced this during the Egypt Defence Expo, which was held from November 29 to December 2. “After hitting its goal with more than 400 exhibitors at EDEX 2021, Egypt is moving to more specialized defense exhibitions, and the naval expo to be held is in accordance with all the country’s efforts to boost its naval and maritime capabilities,” Ahmad Eliba, a defense expert at the Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies, told Defense News.
Finland chose the F-35A to replace its ageing F/A-18 fleet and will order 64 of the jets and their support equipment in a $9.4 billion deal. The government of Finland authorized the Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command to sign a procurement contract with the Government of the United States on Finland’s next multi-role fighter. The procurement includes 64 F-35A Block 4 multi-role fighters, substantial and versatile weaponry tailored for the operating circumstances, required training and sustainment solutions, other related systems as well as sustainment and maintenance services until the end of 2030.
A multirotor mini-UAV developed by Turkey’s Zyrone Dynamics is ready to be exported to India’s DCM Shriram which has a 30% stake in the Ankara-based company. Zyrone Dynamics is preparing for the first product delivery to its Indian partner. Thirty percent of the company was sold to India-based DCM Shriram Industries for $3.5 million with the agreement made at the 15th International Defense Industry Fair in August this year.
India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Air Force (IAF) flight-tested the indigenously developed Helicopter launched Stand-off Anti-tank (SANT) Missile from Pokhran ranges on December 11. The flight-test was successful in meeting all its mission objectives. The release mechanism, advanced guidance and tracking algorithms, all avionics with integrated software, performed satisfactorily and tracking systems monitored all mission events.
Lockheed Martin won a $20.5 million contract modification, which adds scope to provide non-recurring engineering for the selected F-35 “Out the Window” replacement solution in support of full mission simulator production for the Air Force, Navy, and non-US Department of Defense participants. The F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) is a stealthy, supersonic multirole fighter. Its advanced sensor package is designed to gather, fuse and distribute more information than any fighter in history, giving operators a decisive advantage over all adversaries. The F-35’s engine produces 43,000 lbs of thrust and consists of a three-stage fan, a six-stage compressor, an annular combustor, a single-stage high-pressure turbine, and a two-stage low-pressure turbine. Work will take place in Florida. Estimated completion is in March 2024.
The USS Oakland (LCS 24) is ready to be armed with the Naval Strike Missile (NSM), the US Navy announced in a press release on December 10. The launch module was installed at Naval Base San Diego. Besides LCS 24, USS Jackson (LCS 6), USS Charleston (LCS 18), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10), USS Tulsa (LCS-16) are the other Independence-variant littoral combat ships (LCS) that have the NSM installed.
Middle East & Africa
According to Jane’s, the Malian Armed Forces received several Chinese-made Norinco VN2C 6×6 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) recently. The new armored and unprotected vehicles were handed over by the military in a ceremony held at the Kati military camp on December 3. The VN2C is an improved variant of the VN2, itself a derivative of Norinco’s WZ551 armored personnel carrier with increased protection against improvised explosive devices. It has a gross vehicle weight of 19 tonnes, a 402 hp diesel engine, and armour that provides STANAG 4569 Level 3a/3b protection.
The US transferred three C-130 transport aircraft to Jordan under its C-130 Ramp-to-Ramp (R2R) transfer program. The Royal Jordanian Air Force accepted two aircraft on December 9. The planes had arrived in September. The final aircraft will arrive in January. The R2R program transfers active C-130s to key partners. So far, eight aircraft have been transferred.
The US State Department Approved Two Sales to Greece’s Hellenic Navy. The Hellenic Navy could soon finalize a $6.9 billion deal for four Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) ships besides another $2.5 billion contract for MEKO-class frigate modernization, The Government of Greece requested to buy equipment and services to repair, update, and enhance their four (4) existing Hellenic Navy (HN) MEKO Class frigates. Greece also plans to acquire four MMSC ships that are similar to the 370-plus-foot-long Littoral Combat Ships used by the US Navy; five COMBATSS-21 Combat Management Systems; five Vertical Launch Systems; 200 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and related equipment and support. The Pentagon said Lockheed Martin was the prime contractor for the ships.
Japan will proceed with the F-15JSI (Japan Super Interceptor) upgrade program by allocating funds for the program in next year’s budget. According to local media, the final price of the program is now agreed at $3.5 billion after negotiations with the Americans. Tokyo will drop the integration of the LRASM on the Japanese Eagle in order to reduce costs.
Boeing won a $366 million contract modification, which increases the ceiling to extend the service life for up to 32 F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft. Boeing delivered the first Super Hornet to the US Navy in February 2020 under the Service Life Modification (SLM) Block III conversion programme. The initial Super Hornets delivered under SLM extended the aircraft’s service life from 6,000 to 7,500 flight hours. Work under the modification will take place in Texas and Missouri. Estimated completion is in May 2024.
The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has awarded a research contract to Stratolaunch for rapid-turnaround hypersonic flight testing. The company will use its Talon-A hypersonic vehicles to act as a threat-representative and threat-replicating target. Talon-A testing will commence in 2022 and government and commercial customers can procure its services in 2023.
Middle East & Africa
Boeing won a $93 million contract modification for the Royal Saudi Air Force F-15SA Original Equipment Manufacturer Training Program. Saudi Arabia’s F-15SA Advanced Eagle includes Raytheon’s APG-63(V)3 AESA radar, fly-by-wire control systems and two additional underwing weapons stations. It features upgraded avionics, more powerful engines, and the BAE Systems Digital Electronic Warfare System/Common Missile Warning System (DEWS/CMWS). Work will take place in Saudi Arabia. Estimated completion date is December 31, 2023.
USAFE-AFAFRICA delivered the second of three C-130H transport aircraft to Niger. The transfer took place at Nigerien Air Base 101 in Niamey on December 7. The first cargo plane was delivered in January and has since been involved in various humanitarian assistance operations and United Nations troop and vehicle movements. Besides providing aircraft, the US has help to refurbished a hangar and is in the process of building a second one.
The UK’s HMS Queen Elizabeth aka Big Lizzie returned home to Portsmouth after completing a massive global deployment leading her Carrier Strike Group to the Pacific and back. The carrier had been deployed to its maiden deployment in the Far East. It involved the loss of a £100 million fighter jet at sea, a stand-off with the Russian navy, and a Covid-19 outbreak.
The Indonesian Navy took delivery of two Bell 505 helicopters today. The newly acquired helicopters will be utilized as basic helicopter trainers. This delivery brings the Indonesian Navy’s Bell fleet to five aircraft, which already includes three Bell 412 helicopters. The Bell 505 is Bell’s newest five-seat aircraft designed for safety, efficiency and reliability. With the latest Garmin avionics and dual channel FADEC-controlled engine, the Bell 505 is the most advanced short light single aircraft on the market.
Watch: Take a look at the Bell 505 and learn more about its wide range of capabilities
L3Harris Technologies won a $45.8 million deal for development to integrate the AN/PRC-160 high frequency manpack radio in the MH-47 and MH-60 aircraft. The Boeing MH-47G is a special operations variant of the CH-47 Chinook multi-role, heavy-lift helicopter. It is in service with the US Army Special Operations Aviation Command (USASOC). The MH-60R Seahawk missions are Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, Surveillance, Communications Relay, Combat Search and Rescue, Naval Gunfire Support and logistics support. The MH-60S Seahawk missions are Anti-Surface Warfare, combat support, humanitarian disaster relief, Combat Search and Rescue, aero medical evacuation, SPECWAR and organic Airborne Mine Countermeasures. Work will take place in New York.
The US Air Force Air Mobility Command approved the operation of KC-46A Pegasus to refuel five more aircraft: AC-130J Ghostrider, HC-130J Combat King II, MC-130J Commando II, C-5M Super Galaxy and E-3G Sentry. On December 6, Gen. Mike Minihan, commander of Air Mobility Command, approved a fourth Interim Capability Release (ICR) mission set for the KC-46A allowing it to refuel five types of aircraft.
Middle East & Africa
Saudi Arabia is reportedly running low on its stock pile of Patriot missile interceptors and has reached out to the United States and allies in Europe and Gulf for resupplies. Houthi rebels based in Yemen have been launching ballistic missiles and drones into Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom has been using the interceptors to defeat those attacks over the past several months.
The UK’s 16 Regiment Royal Artillery accepted into service the first tranche of Sky Sabre air defense systems. According to the Ministry of Defence, “unprecedented in speed, accuracy, performance and target acquisition, Sky Sabre will be able to hit a tennis ball-sized object travelling at the speed of sound”.
Air version of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test fired from the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Sukhoi 30 MKI fighter jet today, clearing the weapon for serial production. The missile was tested at Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
Rheinmetall announced today the delivery of three HX 8×8 Heavy Recovery Vehicles to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) at an official ceremony on November 25th 2021 at the Trentham Military Camp in Wellington, New Zealand. The purchase of the HX 8×8 adds to the in-service medium and heavy operational vehicle fleet with NZDF. The Medium-heavy Operational Vehicles (MHOV) has been used by the military in training, operations and disaster relief both in New Zealand and offshore.
Watch: UK Deployed Sky Sabre Air Defense System to Counter Aircraft, Drones and Laser Guided Smart Bombs
Sikorsky won a $35.3 million deal to procure long lead items for full-rate production, Lot 7, CH-53K aircraft. The Ch-53K Super Stallion can be fielded from amphibious assault ships for the transportation of personnel and equipment. It can be operated from austere and remote forward operating bases. Estimated completion is in December 2022. Work will take place in Connecticut.
Raytheon won a contract for the repair of three ALE-50 towed decoy system components in support of the F/A-18E/F aircraft. The deal includes a five-year base period with no options. The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is the US Navy’s primary strike and air superiority aircraft. It is an updated version of the F-18C/D, featuring a 20 percent larger airframe, 7,000 lb heavier empty weight, and 15,000 lb heavier maximum weight than the original Hornet. The Super Hornet carries 33 percent more internal fuel, increasing mission range by 41 percent and endurance by 50 percent over the earlier Hornet. Work will take place in Mississippi and California. Estimated completion is in December 2026.
Middle East & Africa
An Israeli air strike hit a shipment of Iranian weapons in the Syrian port of Latakia on December 7. It was the first such attack on the key facility, according to a war monitor. The Israeli raid “directly targeted an Iranian weapons shipment in the container yard,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Syrian state media reported the strike on the container yard at Latakia port without specifying what was targeted.
French company Safran entered into exclusive discussions to acquire Orolia from Eurazeo. Orolia is a positioning, navigation, and timing product provider. It has a broad portfolio of technologies across the Resilient PNT value-chain with full system capabilities and is a provider of PNT equipment, simulation and test solutions. Orolia is also providing emergency locator beacons for commercial aviation and military applications.
Lockheed Martin has formally recognized Tata-Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL) as a potential future co-producer of fighter wings in India’s Hyderabad city. A ceremonial event marking the first fighter wing prototype built at the TLMAL facility in Hyderabad was attended by Shri. K.T. Rama Rao, Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Industries and Commerce, and Information Technology of Telangana; along with other government dignitaries; Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and Global Business Development executives; and Tata Advanced Systems Limited and TLMAL leadership.
Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE), the joint venture between the global aerospace and technology business, Paramount Group and one of Kazakhstan’s leading defense and engineering companies, Kazpetromash, has announced that the company commenced production of the advanced Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), the Barys 6×6. The first deliveries are expected by the end of the year to the Armed Forces Special Units of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Barys 6×6 accommodates two crew members, up to eight troops, and can be utilised for a myriad of defence and security operations, including border patrol, armoured ambulance and infantry fire support.
Watch: KTR:Speaking at TATA Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited Fighter Wing Qualification Ceremony
Cracks have been found on the tails of Canada’s CH-148 fleet, the problem affects 19 out of the 23 helicopters. The issue surfaced on November 26 when one of the helicopter underwent scheduled maintenance and the cracks were discovered. Subsequent checks on three more rotorcraft also found cracks on those aircraft. So far only two were unaffected and two more are yet to be inspected.
Segers Aero won a $9.6 million contract action for the establishment of the T-56 Engine and Quick Engine Change Intermediate Level Maintenance Facility. The deal provides for training for the maintenance, repair and overhaul repairs of the T-56 engine. Work will take place Alabama and the Philippines. Estimated completion date is December 31, 2026.
Middle East & Africa
UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoons from 12 Squadron arrived in Qatar for their joint Exercise Fox Defender. Pilots and engineers from both nations will fly and maintain the Typhoon throughout the exercise. The pilots will be challenged to a range of air to air and ground to air training serials to further enhance interoperability with the Qatar Emiri Air Force, RAF said in a statement.
Italy and Austria have entered into a government-to-government agreement for the sale and procurement of 18 Leonardo AW169 multirole helicopters for the Austrian Bundesheer. Inked on December 2 at the Italian Ministry of Defense in Rome between Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini and Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner, the implementation phase of the agreement paves the way for a formal contractual agreement by 20 December and acquisition signature in mid-January 2022. Austria has earmarked between $340 million and $451 million for the programme.
An H-6J bomber of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy participated in a live-fire exercise in the South China Sea. It practiced bomb dropping on islands and sea mine-laying. This type of aircraft was officially revealed by China’s Defense Ministry only last year. Affiliated with the Naval Aviation Force under the PLA Southern Theater Command, a regiment based in South China’s Hainan Province reportedly organized a drill involving the actual use of high-explosive aerial bombs and sea bottom mines.
Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) launched ‘Sandhayak’, the first of the four Survey Vessels (Large) project being built for the Indian Navy, in Kolkata. The contract for building four survey ships was signed between MoD and GRSE in October 2018 at a total cost of INR 2435 Crore (around $300 million).
Watch: First AW169 Training Helicopter for Italian Army
Latest updates[?]: Cracks have been found on the tails of Canada’s CH-148 fleet, the problem affects 19 out of the 23 helicopters. The issue surfaced on November 26 when one of the helicopter underwent scheduled maintenance and the cracks were discovered. Subsequent checks on three more rotorcraft also found cracks on those aircraft. So far only two were unaffected and two more are yet to be inspected.
Canada’s Maritime Helicopter Replacement Program has been a textbook military procurement program over its long history. Unfortunately, it has been a textbook example of what not to do. While Canada’s 50-year old Sea King fleet aged and deteriorated to potentially dangerous levels, political pettiness and lack of concern turned a straightforward off-the-shelf buy into a 25+ year long odyssey of cancellations, lawsuits, rebids, and more. Eventually, the Canadian military settled on Sikorsky’s H-92 Superhawk as the basis of its new CH-148 Cyclone Maritime Helicopter, which will serve from the decks of Canada’s naval ships and bases.
The civilian S-92 has gone on to some commercial success. To date, however, Canada has been the H-92’s only military customer – with all of the associated systems integration and naval conversion burdens that one would expect. After a long series of badly missed milestones and delivery delays, there are also deeper questions being raised concerning both the machines’ fitness, and DND’s conduct of the program as a whole. This article covers the rationale for, history of, and developments within Canada’s Maritime Helicopter Program.
Bell Boeing won a $9.3 million contract modification, which exercises an option to procure 68 Conversion Area Harness (CAH) base kits, 53 CAH supplemental kits, two hardware kits and two consumable kits in support of the Marine Corps MV-22 aircraft, the Air Force CV-22 aircraft, the Navy CMV-22 aircraft, and the government of Japan V-22 aircraft. Additionally, this modification provides for electrical wiring interconnect system assessments for the CV-22 fleet aircraft. 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 South Carolina, Texas and California. Estimated completion date is in January 2026.
Boeing won a $28.5 million deal for F-15 Advanced Display Core Processor II (ADCPII) interim contractor support. The ADCPII provides mission processing for new advanced capabilities such as Eagle Passive/Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS), long-range infrared search and track capability (IRST), high-speed radar communications, and future software suite upgrades. Work will take place ein Missouri and the UK. Estimated completion will be by April 30, 2023.
Middle East & Africa
Egypt revealed details about first of its domestic naval vessels projects for surface combatants and Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) at the EDEX 2021 exhibition in Cairo. According to Egyptian Defense Blog, the First naval vessel is a 60-meter Compact Combatant CC-60 which has a full load displacement of approximately 750 tons. The second one is a PV-43 HRM 43-meter OPV which has a displacement of 270 tons. The vessels are built by Egypt in cooperation with Germany’s Naval Vessels Lurssen (NVL) shipbuilding Group. The latter has opened recently a regional branch in Egypt under the name of NVL Egypt.
The United Arab Emirates has entered into a contract with Dassault Aviation for the acquisition of 80 Rafale F4 fighters on December 3. The deal was signed in the presence of the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and Sheikh Mohammed ben Zayed Al Nahyane, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Vice-Commander of the Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, signed a historical contract with Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, CEO of Tawazun Economic Council.
Rheinmetall announced it is supplying new simulation technology for the German Army’s Combat Training Center. Earlier this year, the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) awarded Rheinmetall a procurement contract for 440 “Training Device, Duel Simulator (AGDUS), Passive Vehicle” systems. The contract is worth a figure in the upper single-digit million-euro range.
Media reports from India suggest India might scale down its order for the Ka-226T light utility helicopter. Instead, New Delhi will only buy a small number of rotor craft to meet urgent demands. It will instead turn to the HAL Light Utility Helicopter to fulfill its operation needs.
Aechelon Technology won a $7.8 million order, which provides for the production, delivery and integration of four P8 Advanced Airborne Sensor (AAS) next generation databases on to four AAS Weapons Tactic Trainers. Work will take place in California. Estimated completion date will be in October 2022.
The US Air Force has ordered 15 Silent Arrow Precision Guided Bundle (SA-PGB) for testing. They will be shipped to Pendleton UAS Test Range for flight testing in 2022. The SA-PGB is based on the Silver Arrow’s GD-2000 cargo delivery unmanned air system (UAS). It has been scaled down to deliver a 350-pound payload after being dropped from an aircraft, that could range from the Cessna Caravan to the C-17.
Middle East & Africa
Egypt showcased its first two homegrown drones – Neuth drone and EJune-30 SW. The unveiling took plate at EDEX-2021 exhibition in Cairo. The Neuth drone is named after Egyptian goddess of the sky. It is produced jointly by the Arab Organization for Industrialization and the Military Technical College. Designed for reconnaissance missions, it can reportedly carry up to a 50kg payload. The drone has an endurance of 10 hours and satellite integration capabilities, local media reported.
Airbus revealed for the first time the upgrade of the Tiger Mk III upgrade it plans to roll out to France, Germany, and Spain. France is expected to finalize a deal for up to 180 H160M helicopters for its army, navy and air force by the end of the year. Beyond that, Airbus expects to sell as many as 400 helicopters through 2030, according to Matthieu Louvot, executive vice president of Airbus Helicopters programs.
Airbus also announced that it expects to finalize the contract to build the Eurodrone in the next couple of months. The Eurodrone is powered by two turboprop engines. The manufacturer of the engines has not yet been revealed. The Eurodrone is set to be huge, with a wingspan of 16 meters (52 feet) and a payload capacity of 2,300 kilograms. Its weight should reach approximately 11 tons when fully armed (against 4 for the Reaper).
A US Air Force F-16 made an emergency landing at Aomori Airport in northeastern Japan on Nov. 30 after the pilot reported experiencing technical issues with the jet. During the emergency landing, the pilot jettisoned two drop tanks, at least one landed near a residential area. The incident forced the airport to shutdown the runway, canceling domestic flights.
Latest updates[?]: Airbus revealed for the first time the upgrade of the Tiger Mk III upgrade it plans to roll out to France, Germany, and Spain. France is expected to finalize a deal for up to 180 H160M helicopters for its army, navy and air force by the end of the year. Beyond that, Airbus expects to sell as many as 400 helicopters through 2030, according to Matthieu Louvot, executive vice president of Airbus Helicopters programs.
Tiger HAP & HAC
Eurocopter’s Tiger had always had a very odd setup in that it came in two seemingly incomplete versions (HAP scout and HAC/UHT anti-tank), whose respective deficiencies severely limited multi-role flexibility and hence exports. The new Tiger HAD (Helicoptere Appui Destruction) variant fixes those deficiencies, and looks set to become the default version for new-build EC665 Tiger exports.
The HAD project began in December 2005, as the EU’s OCCAR organization for armament cooperation signed a formal contract in Bonn, Germany and set out initial procurement numbers for Spain. This was followed by the French DGA’s announcing the restructuring of its own 80-helicopter order, and each customer has made its own choices as the new variant has gone from concept to initial delivery.