The US Air Force has returned to Komatsu airbase, Japan for training for the first time in 3 years. According to the NHK, 6 US F-16s are in Komatsu till September 2 for joint exercise with Japan Air Self-Defense Force.
Communications and Power Industries LLC won a $36.5 million deal for the F-16 Traveling Wave Tube repair services. Work will be performed in Palo Alto, California, and is expected to be completed by January 30, 2029. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition. The F-16 Fighting Falcon is an advanced aerial combat aircraft, which provides 4th generation fighter aircraft capabilities. Work will take place in California. Expected completion date is January 30, 2029.
Middle East & Africa
The US Department of Treasury and Israel’s Ministry of Finance finalized the terms of their new bilateral agreement that aims to fortify cyber resilience in both countries’ networks, and further extends an existing tech-centric bilateral agreement.
General Atomics won a $42.7 million option for MQ-9 Reaper contractor logistics support. The contractor will provide an additional period of contractor logistics support for the United Kingdom Royal Air Force. Work will be performed in Poway, California, and is expected to be completed by September 30, 2023. The requirement is 100 percent Foreign Military Sales for government of the United Kingdom.
Sweden’s participation in the UK-led Future Combat Air System (FCAS) is effectively on hiatus, with Saab’s President and CEO Micael Johansson saying on August 26 that the country is in “a hibernation period” on the multinational project. Johansson said that the initial promise of the project had not so far materialised, and that Saab and Sweden were taking a back seat while they consider their own future requirements at the same time as the other FCAS partners map out the future direction of the programme.
Lockheed Martin won a $503.7 million order, which provides for the production and delivery of 12 MH-60R aircraft for the Commonwealth of Australia. Work will take place in New York, Connecticut and Alabama. Expected completion is in October 2026.
President Biden will ask Congress to approve $1.1 billion in arms sales to Taiwan, according to Politico, which reports the weapons deal will include 60 Harpoon anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles for Taiwan’s US-made F-16 fighter jets. The planned weapons sales come after China staged large-scale military war games around Taiwan in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island.
WATCH: Harpoon Missile : The World’s Most Accurate Anti-Ship Missile
Raytheon won a $8.8 million deal for Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Production Lot 35 Rectifier Filter Assembly Captive Air Training Missile Retrofit effort. Work will take place in Arizona. Expected completion date is May 30, 2026. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Dominance Division Contracting Office, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity.
Sikorsky Aircraft won an $8 million deal for procurement of services and data for the integration and qualification of the Improved Turbine Engine onto the UH/HH-60M Black Hawk aircraft. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. UH-60 Black Hawk is a multi-mission helicopter developed by Sikorsky that has been operational in the US Army since 1978. Work will take place in Connecticut. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2027. The US Army is the contracting activity.
Middle East & Africa
The Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement that Greece’s S-300 air defense missile system had locked on to its F-16 fighters on August 23. The incident took place when the fighters were flying over the Mediterranean. The air defense system was located on the island of Crete. Greece refuted the statement by Turkey, saying that it scrambled four F-16s to intercept the five Turkish fighters that was interfering with B-52 bombers transiting Greek airspace.
The first Al Jubail Avante 2200-class corvette on order for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF) has arrived in-country, marking an important milestone for the programme. Al Jubail (828) arrived at King Faisal Naval Base in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on August 25, the Saudi Press Agency announced the same day. Al Jubail is the first of the five 104 m corvettes being built by Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia for the RSNF under a EUR1.8 billion (USD1.79 billion) contract signed in 2018.
Germany promised to provide Ukraine with new modern weapons and support in building its own air defense. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made a corresponding statement in his “European speech” at Charles University in Prague on August 29. According to the German Chancellor, the latest security assistance package from Germany exceeds 600 million euros.
Initial delivery of the BrahMos missile system to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is expected in 2023, the Indian Embassy in Manila confirmed on the sidelines of India’s 75th Independence Day celebration in mid-August. “We are expecting the deliveries to happen sometime next year, we don’t have a specific date but we’re working towards next year,” India’s Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran was quoted as saying by the state-run Philippine News Agency.
WATCH: How does a Military Helicopter work? (Pave Hawk)
Latest updates[?]: Initial delivery of the BrahMos missile system to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is expected in 2023, the Indian Embassy in Manila confirmed on the sidelines of India’s 75th Independence Day celebration in mid-August. “We are expecting the deliveries to happen sometime next year, we don’t have a specific date but we’re working towards next year,” India’s Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran was quoted as saying by the state-run Philippine News Agency.
Back in November 2005, The Hindu newspaper reported that India’s government had given the go-ahead for exporting missiles, and that India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was looking to market several of its products internationally. The missile systems in question included several products from the decades-long Integrated Guided Missile Program (IGMP) set of development programs, and one new success that used a very different approach. DRDO has led the long, turbulent development histories of the Trishul (“trident”) short-range surface-air missile (SAM), the Akash (“sky”) medium-range SAM, and the Nag (“cobra”) vehicle-mounted anti-armor missile. In contrast, the Indo-Russian PJ-10 BrahMos medium-range supersonic cruise missile was developed very quickly, and performed as advertised.
As of August 2010, India has not made an export sale, or even formally decided which countries would be eligible to receive these missiles. The programs themselves have also seen changes and developments, with Trishul canceled, Akash finally ordered, BrahMos expanded, and ongoing IGMP work in other areas.
General Dynamics won a $26 million contract modification for Abrams systems technical support. The M1 Abrams is a third-generation American main battle tank designed by Chrysler Defense and named for General Creighton Abrams. Work will take place in Michigan. Estimated completion date is September 30, 2025.
Piedmont Propulsion won an $11.6 million deal for maintenance and overhaul of the UH-60 Helicopter rotor hub. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter is the US Army’s primary medium-lift utility transport and air assault aircraft. It is a twin-engined medium-lift utility helicopter. Estimated completion date is August 26, 2027. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order.
Middle East & Africa
Following the recent visit of US Major General Todd Wasmund to Morocco, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has reported on a possible new arms sale to Rabat. Included in this current cooperation would be Morocco’s purchase of wireless tactical and ground control systems at an estimated cost of $141.1 million. Morocco has requested to buy six Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems (MIDS-JTRS). Also included in the proposed deal are KY-100M Narrowband/Wideband Terminals; KIV-78 and KIV-77 Cryptographic Appliques; AN/PYQ-10 Simple Key Loader (SKL); additional secure communications, cryptographic devices, and precision navigation equipment as well as spares and training.
Dollars will start flowing toward Poland’s long-planned purchase of tanks, as the US Army taps General Dynamics Land Systems to make 250 Abrams in the newest configuration, the company announced. The $1.148 billion contract — awarded in late July, according to the Army — will get Poland new features in communications, firepower and armor for its future Abrams fleet, per an Aug. 25 company statement.
Australia’s attempt to replace the troubled MRH90 Taipan helicopter with the UH-60M has taken another step forward after the US government approved the potential Foreign Military Sale on August 25. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in Transmittal No 22-51 that the proposed sale “will replace Australia’s current multi-role helicopter fleet with a more reliable and proven system.” In its justification to buy the UH-60M to replace the MRH90, former Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton said last year that the “performance of the MRH90 Taipan has been an ongoing and well-documented concern for Defence and there has been a significant effort at great expense to try to remediate those issues.”
Collins Aerospace has successfully completed the first flight test of a new variant of its MS-110 Multispectral Airborne Reconnaissance system. The press release says the test was carried for an undisclosed international customer, which could be Taiwan. The island had announced last year that it procure six MS-110 reconnaissance pods for its F-16 fleet.
WATCH: 10 Facts about New Gigantic $13 Billion Aircraft Carrier Make It Indispensable
Dyncorp International won a $30.3 million modification, which exercises an option to extend services to provide continued organizational level aircraft maintenance and logistics support for aircrew systems and subsystems, search and rescue equipment, and support equipment for the P-3 Orion, C-130 Hercules, F/A-18 Hornet, E/A-18 Growler, AV-8B Harrier II, H-60 Seahawk, and E-2D Hawkeye aircraft in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) Naval Test Wing Pacific. Work will take place in California, Hawaii, Florida, New Mexico and Maryland. Estimated completion will be in April 2023.
A recent US Army Futures Command live-flight demonstration of a solar-powered, stratospheric unmanned aerial system (UAS) could play into service-led efforts to extend intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, as well as enable new long-range, beyond-line-of-sight communications programmes. Officials from the command’s Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing/Space (APNT/Space) Cross-Functional Team conductedan over two-month flight test of the Airbus-built Zephyr 8 ultra-long-endurance UAS, launched from the service’s Yuma Proving Ground experimentation facility in Arizona.
Middle East & Africa
The Iranian army launched a major nation-wide, two-day drone drill on Wednesday morning, using nearly 150 drones of various types, and including all four army branches as well as the Iranian air force. “These joint drills of the drones at the level of the four forces of the army and the joint air defense headquarters will take place for the first time, in the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, from the south to the east, west, north and center of the country,” Rear Admiral Habibullah Sayyari, the Coordinating Assistant to the Commander of the Iranian Army, was quoted in the Tehran Times.
Britain is to supply a further package of weapons to Ukraine, including target-spotting micro-drones, outgoing U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced during a surprise visit to Kyiv. Ukraine’s Independence Day on August 24 saw Johnson reveal the planned delivery of unmanned surveillance systems, anti-tank loitering missiles and other equipment, adding to a long list of weapons contributed by the British government since Russia invaded its neighbor six months ago.
South Korea scrambled F-16s after Russian Tu-95 bombers entered the Korea Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) on August 23. Although South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) did not identify the type and number of aircraft, Russia’s Sputnik confirmed it was the Tu-95 and the planes flew over the Sea of Japan.
An improved version of the Cai Hong 4 (Rainbow 4, or CH-4) armed reconnaissance medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (MALE UAV) equipped with an indigenously manufactured heavy fuel engine (HFE) has completed its maiden flight, its manufacturer China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) announced. According to company specifications, the Lark HFE is a liquid-cooled engine with a dry weight of 98kg and includes features such as a high-pressure common-rail (HPCR) fuel system, full-authority digital electronic control (FADEC), and a mean time before overhaul rating of 2,000 hours.
WATCH: The world record go-getters – Zephyr Solar powered UAS
Latest updates[?]: Dyncorp International won a $30.3 million modification, which exercises an option to extend services to provide continued organizational level aircraft maintenance and logistics support for aircrew systems and subsystems, search and rescue equipment, and support equipment for the P-3 Orion, C-130 Hercules, F/A-18 Hornet, E/A-18 Growler, AV-8B Harrier II, H-60 Seahawk, and E-2D Hawkeye aircraft in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) Naval Test Wing Pacific. Work will take place in California, Hawaii, Florida, New Mexico and Maryland. Estimated completion will be in April 2023.
P-3 Orion, armed –
The P-3 Orion remains the USA’s main maritime patrol aircraft, and is also finding use in overland surveillance roles despite the fleet’s age. Earlier DID articles have noted the extra effort required to preserve the USA’s P-3C Orion maritime surveillance & patrol aircraft, along with radar and weapons upgrades to improve the fleet. Lockheed has even opened a new production line, to deal with planes whose wings that are so aged and worn that they need a full replacement.
The SMIP (Sustainment, Modification, and Installation Program) is intensive depot-level inspection and repair process that includes P-3 airframe and component inspection, identification of problems, and corrective maintenance. The idea is to ensure safe and reliable P-3 use, while trying to get more hours out of each airframe in order to sustain dwindling global fleets. More intensive “MIP” efforts may be launched once inspection results become clear, such as the USA’s P-3 recovery plan and full “ASLEP” re-winging efforts underway in Norway and Canada.
Oshkosh Defense won a $22.6 million deal to exercise available options to support the fielding of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, packaged and installed kits, and trailers. Work will take place in Wisconsin. Estimated completion date is September 30, 2024. The US Army Contracting Command, Detroit Arsenal, Michigan, is the contracting activity.
The Chilean Air Force has inducted into service two Boeing E-3D Sentry airborne early warning Mk 1 (AEW1) aircraft from the UK Royal Air Force. The two operational Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) aircraft were acquired along with a third aircraft to be used for spares, earlier in 2022.
Middle East & Africa
The US Coast Guard has received its last two of six Sentinel-class fast response cutters (FRC), rounding out the 5th Fleet stationed in Bahrain. The latest vessels were commissioned as USCGC John Scheuerman (WPC 1146) and USCGC Clarence Sutphin Jr. (WPC 1147) in February and April 2022. Each vessel measures 154 feet (47 meters) and is equipped with improved surveillance, advanced communication systems, and reconnaissance equipment.
Germany will supply legacy Leopard 2 tanks to Slovakia in exchange for that country sending Soviet-era fighting vehicles to Ukraine’s aid, the Defense Ministry in Berlin announced. The deal is one of several “ring swaps,” as German defense officials call them, in the making with Eastern European governments since the spring, following Russia’s invasion in Ukraine. Slovakian and German officials signed an agreement August 23 approving the delivery of 15 Leopard 2 tanks in the A4 configuration to Bratislava.
The US will provide Ukraine with new air defense systems, counter-drone systems, radars, artillery systems and munitions as part of a $2.98 billion package US President Joe Biden announced Wednesday. The defense materiel falls under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which allows the Pentagon to contract with industry for it, apart from billions in equipment it has sent Ukraine from its stockpiles. It’s the single largest tranche since Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine six months ago.
USFI Inc. won a maximum 320 million contract for full-line food distribution. Location of performance is Korea. August 23, 2027 is the ordering period end date. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2027 defense working capital funds. The contracting agency is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
WATCH: Chile receives two donated E-3D Sentry planes from the UK
In an age of non-linear warfare, where front lines are nebulous at best and non-existent at worst, one of the biggest casualties is… the concept of unprotected rear echelon vehicles, designed with the idea that they’d never see serious combat. That imperative is being driven home on 2 fronts. One front is operational. The other front is buying trends.
These trends, and their design imperatives, found their way into the USA’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program, which aims to replace many of the US military’s 120,000 or so Humvees. The US military’s goal is a 7-10 ton vehicle that’s lighter than its MRAPs and easier to transport aboard ship, while offering substantially better protection ad durability than existing up-armored Humvees. They’d also like a vehicle that can address front-line issues like power generation, in order to recharge all of the batteries troops require for electronic gadgets like night sights, GPS devices, etc.
DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. JLTV certainly qualifies, and recent budget planning endorsements have solidifed a future that was looking shaky. Now, can the Army’s program deliver?
Britain’s E-3D Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) is based on Boeing’s 707 family, and its ability to see and direct air operations within hundreds of miles provides vital strategic support. Since its introduction in 1992, the RAF’s fleet of 7 E-3s has been used in every major UK military operation, including Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.
That availability depends on effective maintenance, and the UK MoD has a new approach. It’s meant to give them more flyable planes, while costing less money. The new Sentry Whole Life Support Program (WLSP) began in August 2005, when Northrop Grumman won a 20-year, GBP 665 million (then $1.2 billion) contract. Under that contract, NGC’s team is providing aircraft maintenance and design-engineering support services through 2025, in order to improve availability and reduce overall ownership costs. As is typical of recent British contracts, the government has chosen a public-private partnership founded on an unusual military combination: fixed base costs, and guaranteed time in-service percentages for the planes.
The Saturn Arch Quick Reaction Capability (QRC) aircraft has flown its final mission in support of the U.S. Army Central Command (CENTCOM) on July 31. The Saturn Arch aerial surveillance program was initiated by the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO) to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs) using hyperspectral, electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR), and high-resolution imagery (HRI) sensors. Since the program was transitioned to the Army in 2012, it has grown to a fleet of 10 aircraft.
Lockheed Martin has integrated the High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-Dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS) on guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88). The company announced on August 18 that the 60+ kW-class high energy laser with integrated optical-dazzler has been delivered to the sailing branch. A photo from the US Navy shows the HELIOS installed on the position in front of the ship’s bridge. This Phalanx CIWS occupy this spot on other destroyers of the same class.
Middle East & Africa
BAE Systems officially delivered its first Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to the Qatar Armed Forces (QAF) during a roll-out ceremony at the company’s facility in Warton, UK. The Typhoon aircraft was delivered on schedule and will be transported from the UK to Doha later this month. BAE Systems and the UK see the delivery as a “significant milestone” under Qatar’s $5.08 billion program to acquire Eurofighter jets and Hawk advanced jet trainers.
According to Jane’s, a prototype armed version of the Vrabac (Sparrow) small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was unveiled during a display of domestic defence equipment held by the Serbian Armed Forces at the Military Academy in Belgrade. Speaking at the event on August 15, Nenad Miloradovi?, assistant minister of defence for material resources in the Serbian Ministry of Defense, told attendees that the armed Vrabac can carry up to six grenades that have an effective range of five metres, and a delayed-action fuze that triggers once the grenade rebounds to a height of 1.5 m after initial impact.
According to Defense News, the Turkish government has delivered 50 used mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles to the Ukrainian military. The delivery of the Kirpi vehicles was the result of a government agreement, rather than a deal between Ukraine and BMC, which makes the Kirpi, according to a government official.
Japan is considering the deployment of more than 1,000 long-range cruise missiles to increase its ability to counter growing regional threats from China, local newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Sunday. The country plans to upgrade its existing surface-to-ship missiles to extend their range from 100 kilometers (62 miles) to about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), which would be enough to reach Chinese coastal areas as well as North Korea, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources.
WATCH: Ukraine receives Kirpi MRAP vehicles from Turkiye