Sikorsky Aircraft won a $2.3 billion deal for procurement of 120 H-60M Black Hawk helicopters and related support for fiscal years 2022-2026, including options for an additional 135 aircraft. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. With more than 2,100 H-60 variants in the US Army’s inventory, the Black Hawk remains the workhorse and backbone of US Army aviation. As the US Army continues to develop its Futura Vertical Lift (FVL) programs – in which the company competes with its Raider X and SB-1 Defiant – they will continue to operate the H-60M for decades to come and alongside its future replacements. According to the US Department of Defense publication, the contract is multi-year and firm-fixed-price, and includes the aircraft and the logistics support ecosystem. Work will be performed in Stratford, Connecticut, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2027.
Lockheed Martin won a $13.3 million cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-13-C-5116 for AEGIS Combat System Engineering Agent (CSEA) efforts. Work will take place in New Jersey. Expected completion will be by December 2022. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.
Middle East & Africa
Baykar, the Turkish manufacturer of the Bayraktar TB2, will donate additional unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to Ukraine, refusing to accept crowd-funded payment for the aircraft. Baykar announced the gifting of three UCAVs on June 27, saying that “The People’s Bayraktar” campaign to raise funding for the procurement should instead redirect the monies raised to “the struggling people of Ukraine”.
Djibouti has revealed itself to be an operator of the Baykar Bayraktar TB2, parading the Turkish-built unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) at its independence day celebrations on June 27. Two Bayraktar UCAVs were showcased in a military parade to mark the 45th anniversary of independence for the east African country, with each being transported on the back of a flatbed truck.
At the recently concluded ILA Berlin Air Show, MBDA took the opportunity to unveil the Joint Fire Support Missile (JFS-M) that can be fitting inside the ammunition pods of the HIMARS or M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS). The company decided that a cruise missile solution is more desirable than using ballistic missiles as the latter require larger boosters.
According to Business World, the US has reoffered to co-develop the 110-kilonewton (kn) engine for India’s Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA). An earlier US offer in 2019 to jointly develop the fighter engine was shelved after disagreements arose over technology sharing between the two countries. The US was reluctant to share “core or hot engine technology” with India, the outlet wrote.
WATCH: Joint Fire Support Missile – Growth of capability for the artillery
BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services won a $12 billion deal for Integration Support Contract (ISC) 2.0. The main function of ISC 2.0 is to support the government as the lead systems integrator and augment government resources for Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) weapon system systems engineering and integration and professional services. According to solicitation documents, the Integration Support Contract 2.0 covers support for Minuteman III and the next-generation ground-based strategic deterrent missile or any future ICBM weapon system developed throughout the duration of the contract. Work will take place at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and is expected to be completed by December 24, 2040.
Five RQ-4 Block 30 unmanned air vehicles assigned to the 319th Reconnaissance Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base have been transferred to Northrop Grumman for the Sky Range program. The US Air Force says a total of 20 Global Hawks are to be transferred and four Block 20 aircraft were transferred last year.
Middle East & Africa
Lockheed Martin won a $22.1 million contract modification to procure modernized day sensor assembly kits and spares for Apache helicopters. The Apache is a twin-engined army attack helicopter developed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing). It entered service with the US Army in 1984 and has been exported to Egypt, Greece, Israel, the Netherlands, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the UK. Work will take place in Orlando, Florida, with an estimated completion date of November 30, 2024. Fiscal 2010 Foreign Military Sales (Egypt) funds; and fiscal 2021 and 2022 aircraft procurement, Army funds in the amount of $22,112,989 were obligated at the time of the award.
The United Kingdom has cancelled its Mosquito ‘loyal wingman’, deciding instead on a “change of direction” for the Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft (LANCA) programme from which it was being developed. Announced by the Ministry of Defense on June 24, the decision by the Royal Air Force (RAF) Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) not to take the Mosquito beyond its current design phase was decided on the basis that the desired additive capabilities can be better achieved by other means.
A senior military officer from Japan has revealed that the Philippines and Tokyo could soon explore space and surveillance as the countries’ next areas of defense cooperation. The plan comes in response to China’s increasing military activities in the Indo-Pacific region. During his recent visit to Manila, Japan Air Self-Defense Force chief of staff Shunji Izutsu said that the sea and skies are no longer safe for either nation.
IAI says that an Asian Air Force has ordered the ELTA ELL-8222SB Scorpius-SP jammer pod. Scorpius-SP is based on AESA technology with multi-beam operation – the ability to simultaneously detect and suppress multiple threats in different directions around the aircraft. It utilizes Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) and a range of sophisticated ECM techniques, providing protection against all types of Air-to-Air (A/A) and Surface-to-Air (S/A) threats in a dense radar-guided weapons environment.
WATCH: This is the $220 Million US Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk Spy Plane
Latest updates[?]: BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services won a $12 billion deal for Integration Support Contract (ISC) 2.0. The main function of ISC 2.0 is to support the government as the lead systems integrator and augment government resources for Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) weapon system systems engineering and integration and professional services. According to solicitation documents, the Integration Support Contract 2.0 covers support for Minuteman III and the next-generation ground-based strategic deterrent missile or any future ICBM weapon system developed throughout the duration of the contract. Work will take place at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and is expected to be completed by December 24, 2040.
LGM-30G Minuteman III
For 50 years, land-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) have been part of the US primary strategic deterrence capability, the nuclear-armed triad that also includes submarine-launched ballistic missiles and long range heavy bombers.
Although the main target for the US deterrent – the Soviet Union – imploded in 1991, other threats – such as nuclear-armed rogue states and non-state actors – have emerged. To address these new threats, the US Air Force undertook a major ICBM modernization program.
To carry out this program, the USAF awarded a 15-year ICBM Prime Integration Contract (F42610-98-C-0001) in 1997 to a team led by Northrop Grumman. Since then, the team, which includes Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and ATK, has been carrying out a major modernization of the ICBM system to ensure its readiness.
Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV has established a dominant position in the High Altitude/ Long Endurance UAV market. While they are not cheap, they are uniquely capable. During Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), the system flew only 5% of the US Air Force’s high altitude reconnaissance sorties, but accounted for more than 55% of the time-sensitive targeting imagery generated to support strike missions. The RQ-4 Global Hawk was also a leading contender in the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAV competition, and eventually won.
The Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration Program (GHM-D or BAMS-D) aims to use the proven RQ-4 Global Hawk airframe as a test bed for operational concepts and technologies that will eventually find their way into BAMS, and contribute valuable understanding to the new field of maritime surveillance with high-flying UAVs. It’s not just a test program, however, as its remaining drones also deploy to assist the fleet in active operations.
The US Navy awarded Raytheon $78.7 million to exercise options for additional fiscal 2022 guided missile assemblies in support of the fiscal 2021-2023 Evolved Seasparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 2 full rate production requirements. The Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile is a medium-range, surface-to-air missile designed and manufactured by Raytheon Missile Systems. Work will take place in Arizona, Australia, California, Canada, New Hampshire, Norway, Germany, New York, Turkey and Denmark. Estimated completion will be by March 2025.
Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture won a $33.4 million contract modification for the low-rate initial production of lightweight command launch units in support of the Javelin Weapon System. Work will take place in Arizona. Estimated completion date is June 30 2025. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.
Middle East & Africa
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has successfully doubled the Venµs satellite’s service life. In addition, IAI changed the Venµs satellite’s altitude in space, which initially decreased from its initial mission of 720km above Earth to 410km. Instead of returning the satellite to Earth and completing its mission, IAI’s engineers returned Venµs to higher altitude to continue carrying out its mission at 560km. This altitude increase allows for an addition of a new and unplanned phase in the satellite’s life.
Spain has ordered another 20 Eurofighter jets to bring its fleet to 90 aircraft. The Halcón contract will see Spain getting 16 single-seat aircraft and 4 twin-seat fighters. These jets will be equipped with e-scan radars and are intended to replace Spain’s Hornets. 48 new EJ200 engines will be bought as well. Delivery is expected to begin in 2026.
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) and the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) concluded their second Bilateral Training on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) and Search and Rescue (SAR) Execution exercise on June 24. In the exercise, both sides practice airdrop and ground load/offload utilizing PAF and JASDF C-130 aircraft. JASDF Chief of Staff, Gen. Izutsu Shunji, also joined a press conference held by PAF chief Lt. Gen. Connor Anthony Canlas on June 23.
The Pentagon has confirmed that a US Navy P-8A maritime patrol aircraft has flown over the Taiwan Strait on June 24. “A US Navy P-8A Poseidon transited the Taiwan Strait in international airspace on June 24. The United States will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows including within the Taiwan Strait. By operating within the Taiwan Strait in accordance with international law, the United States upholds the navigational rights and freedoms of all nations. The aircraft’s transit of the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” according to a statement from the Indo-Pacific Command.
WATCH: Javelin Missile | How a Javelin Missile works
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control won a $130.5 million modification for the Advanced Radar Threat System – Variant 2 (ARTS-V2) systems. The contract modification is to provide for the exercise of Options 3 and 4 for an additional quantity of eight ARTS-V2 systems being produced under the basic contract. Work will take place in Texas. Expected completion date is June 16, 2024. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity.
Jane’s reports that Boeing sees foreign partners as potential customers for its updated MQ-25A Stingray drones. The MQ-25 UAV is designed to refuel carrier-based aircraft. The UK, France, and Italy are among allies with aircraft carriers. However, the UK’s Queen Elizabeth-class carrier uses a ski-jump capability, which the MQ-25 design does not support.
Middle East & Africa
Israel has confirmed that it is part of a regional military partnership focused on addressing Iranian threats. The move is Jerusalem’s effort to bolster its defense ties with Arab nations and recalibrate Middle Eastern alliances. Beyond the US, the other countries involved in the Middle East Air Defense Alliance (MEADA) have yet to be revealed.
Cyprus will be buying six H145M armed helicopters to replace the 11 Mi-35 attack helicopters that are currently in service with the Cyprus Air Command. Lawmakers approved the down payment of $55 million for the deal in a closed-door session in June 20. Media reports say the deal is worth $147 million and includes weapons for the helicopters. Cyprus has an option to buy six more H145Ms. The eleven Mi-35s will be sold to Serbia, according to news reports.
According to Defense News, the French Army began the process of quickly procuring American-made loitering munitions as part of a longer-term effort to field remotely operated weapon systems, according to officials. The service is looking to add AeroVironment’s Switchblade to its inventory within the next six months, Col. Arnaud Goujon, the Army’s chief of plans, told reporters at the Eurosatory.
The State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of AGM-88E2 AARGM E2 Missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $94 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today. The Government of Australia has requested to buy up to fifteen (15) AGM-88E2 Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) Guidance Sections; up to fifteen (15) AARGM Control Sections; up to fifteen (15) High Speed Anti Radiation Missiles (HARM) Rocket Motors; up to fifteen (15) HARM Warheads; and up to fifteen (15) HARM Control Sections. Also included are AGM-88E2 AARGM All Up Round (AUR) tactical missiles; AGM-88E2 AARGM Captive Air Training Missile (CATM); HARM G-Code AUR; HARM G-Code CATM; M-Code GPS receivers; containers; support and test equipment; EA-18G Growler test support; spare and repair parts; software (Classified and Unclassified); U.S. Government and contractor engineering support; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total value is $94 million.
Canadian government documents have disclosed that Lockheed Martin is required to deliver nine F-35s to Canada by December 1, 2027. The last aircraft will have to be delivered before December 31, 2031. The Liberal government plans to purchase 88 U.S.-built F-35s as part of a project expected to cost taxpayers between $15 billion and $19 billion. Critics of the purchase have noted, however, the full lifecycle cost for the planes is estimated at $77 billion.
According to Defense News, Argentina has kicked-started the process for procuring four Boeing-made CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters from the US. Aimed at fulfilling a requirement first issued in 2011, the helicopters are intended for Army and Air Force operations, both in tactical transport and special forces support roles, as well as disaster relief and civil support.
Middle East & Africa
The Israeli Defense Forces’ Special Forces units are getting an upgrade. Israel will be purchasing new “Negeva” combat vehicles worth $28 million for their Special Forces. Israeli Deputy Director-General and the Directorate Head of Production and Procurement (DOPP) Avi Dadon signed the order for “hundreds of vehicles,” revealing that the new combat vehicles for the IDF SOF will be the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) ‘s Negeva vehicles. The contract for the purchase was signed during a ceremony at the IAI Land Division production line in Be’er Sheva. Commonly referred to as the Z-MAG and the ZD, manufacturing will be done in cooperation with Ido Cohen and The Armored Group.
German Dynamit Nobel Defense (DND), a subsidiary of Israeli defense giant Rafael, presented the final design of the RGW110 HH-T (HEAT/HESH tandem) shoulder-launched weapon, at the Eurosatory 2022 exhibition in Paris. The German website esut.de notes that the system has a new design of the grip and a spike protruding from the barrel. According to DND, the RGW110 HH-T is about to complete the company qualification, and it should be ready for series production in just over a year. The basic version intends to take over the strengths of the Panzerfaust 3-IT warhead and combine them with the ergonomics and operating concept of the RGW series.
According to a tweet by the Royal Air Force, testing started on the MESA sensor destined for the UK’s 1st E-7. The first of the E-7 Wedgetails purchased by the UK to replace the E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning And Control aircraft will arrive in 2023.
South Korea kicked off the biannual exercise Soaring Eagle on June 20. Around 70 aircraft are participating in the exercise held by the 29th Tactical Fighter Weapons Group. The theater-level “Soaring Eagle” combat training exercise is being staged over five days through Friday at the 29th Tactical Fighter Weapons Group located at an air base in the central city of Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.
WATCH: This is What the E-3 Sentry Replacement Looks Like
Northrop Grumman Systems won a $20.5 million contract modification, which provides additional labor and material to incorporate production engineering change proposals that modify MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system production assets (B13-B15) to an Integrated Functional Capability 4.0 multiple intelligence configuration for the Navy. Work will take place in California, Virginia, New York, Utah, Wisconsin, North Dakota and various other locations within the continental US. Expected completion is in April 2023. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
The US Air Force will swap the A-10 mission computer with a new one from Raytheon Intelligence & Space. Common Open Secure Mission Computer will become the main central computer for the A-10C under a $46.2 million firm-fixed-price Project-Level Agreement.
Middle East & Africa
Jordan has officially signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance for the sale of eight new production F-16 Block 70 aircraft, Lochheed Martin announced. According to the announcement, the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) is to receive eight Block 70 aircraft to be built at Greenville in South Carolina.
Dutch State Secretary Christophe van der Maat has informed lawmakers that the Embraer C-390M will be replacing the country’s aging C-130 fleet. Five aircraft will be acquired to replace the four C-130s, delivery will begin in 2026. Van der Maat explained that the extra aircraft is necessary due to increase flying hours projected. It was also found that the C-390M can already meet the minimum requirement of 2,400 flying hours with 4 aircraft. The rival C-130J needs 5 aircraft for this.
The first Meeting of States Parties to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will take place at the Austria Center in Vienna, Austria from 21 to 23 June 2022. The TPNW entered into force on 22 January 2021 – the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in more than two decades. The TPNW contains among other things, a comprehensive set of prohibitions on participating in any nuclear weapon-related activities. This includes undertakings not to develop, test, produce, acquire, possess, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons. The Treaty also prohibits the deployment of nuclear weapons on national territory as well as the provision of assistance to any State in the conduct of prohibited activities.
Australia has sent the first four of a planned 14 M113AS4 Armored Personnel Carriers being donated to Ukraine. The armored vehicles were loaded onto a Ukrainian Antonov AN-124 aircraft and took off from Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley last week, the Australian Department of Defense announced on Sunday.
WATCH: Royal Netherlands Air Force to Replace C-130H Hercules fleet with C-390M Millennium
Northrop Grumman Systems won a $458 million deal for fiscal 2022-2026 shipyard field operations, program management, systems engineering, documentation, logistics and hardware production activities in support of the Columbia and Dreadnought Fleet Ballistic Missile Program. The contract action contains option line items. Work will take in California, Washington, Florida, Maryland, Georgia and the UK. Work will take place in November 30, 2027.
Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems won a $62 million deal for fiscal 2022 AEGIS modernization, DDG new construction, and Frigate new construction production requirements. Work will take in New Jersey and Florida. Estimated completion will be by September 2025.
Middle East & Africa
An Iranian F-14A has crashed on June 18 after suffering engine issues near the city of Isfahan. Both pilots ejected safely, local media reports say. The pilots were taken to a local hospital. It said there was a technical failure in the engine of the Grumman F-14 Tomcat that led to the crash.
Lockheed Martin won a $13. 9 million deal for Apache helicopter refurbishment. The Apache is a twin-engined army attack helicopter developed by McDonnell Douglas, which is now Boeing. It entered service with the US Army in 1984 and has been exported to Egypt, Greece, Israel, the Netherlands, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the UK. Work will take place in Arizona with an estimated completion date of December 31, 2024. Fiscal 2022 aircraft procurement, Army; and 2010 Foreign Military Sales to the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom funds in the amount of $13,883,140 were obligated at the time of the award. The US. Army Contracting Command is the contracting activity.
One of the two Hermes 900 in service with the Swiss Armed Forces has made its maiden flight in Switzerland on June 15. Designated as ADS 15, the first aircraft to go airborne, registration D-14, flew for 70 minutes with a Swiss pilot at the controls. The other aircraft, D-11, is expected to be flight tested soon and both will be transferred to the Swiss Air Force later this year. Delivery of four more ADS 15 will commence in 2023.
China unveiled its first homegrown aircraft carrier on Friday, a vessel with advanced aircraft launch technology similar to its US counterparts, in an event designed to symbolize the country’s expanding military might. In a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, officials unveiled the Type 003 warship, called “Fujian” according to the country’s defense ministry and state media.
WATCH: China launches its third aircraft carrier, the Fujian
Latest updates[?]: Northrop Grumman Systems won a $458 million deal for fiscal 2022-2026 shipyard field operations, program management, systems engineering, documentation, logistics and hardware production activities in support of the Columbia and Dreadnought Fleet Ballistic Missile Program. The contract action contains option line items. Work will take in California, Washington, Florida, Maryland, Georgia and the UK. Work will take place in November 30, 2027.
“We are committed to working towards a safer world in which there is no requirement for nuclear weapons… However, the continuing risk from the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the certainty that a number of other countries will retain substantial nuclear arsenals, mean that our minimum nuclear deterrent capability, currently represented by Trident, is likely to remain a necessary element of our security.” — UK SDSR, 1998
Britain has a big decision to make: do they remain a nuclear weapons power, or not? In an age of collapsing public finances and an uncertain long-term economic future, the money needed to design new nuclear missile submarines is a huge cost commitment that could crowd out other needs. Then again, in an age of collapsing non-proliferation frameworks, clear hostility from ideologies that want nuclear weapons, and allies who are less capable and dependable, the downside of renouncing nuclear weapons is a huge risk commitment. Pick one, or the other. There is no free lunch.
This article covers that momentous decision for Britain, and the contracts and debates associated with it.