Boeing won an $11.4 million contract modification, which exercises an option to provide for installation of 25 previously procured A-kits in support of the Increment 3 Block 1 retrofit requirements for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft. Work will be performed in Jacksonville, Florida, and is expected to be completed in December 2023.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has completed a flight test of its air-to-air laser communication system at Montgomery Field in Kearney Mesa, California. The laser system was trialed to enable General Atomics-built drones to perform beyond-line-of-sight communications in multi-domain operations and other air-to-space communication applications.
Middle East & Africa
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will exhibit at the Bahrain International Airshow, taking place November 9-11th. IAI will showcase a variety of its state-of-the-art aviation products, including civil aviation, radars and avionics, air defense systems, coastal guard and drone guard systems. This is the first time that an Israeli company is participating in the event.
Germany has declared success in destroying drones with a high-energy laser weapon system installed on board frigate Sachsen. The test was carried out on August 30 in the Baltic Sea near Putlos Major Training Area. The drones were taken out at short and very short range, Rheinmetall said in a press release. Additional tests will be carried out till the middle of next year in order to hone the system into a fully functional, operational laser weapon.
Bulgaria’s government has decided to buy a follow-on batch of eight F-16 fighters from Lockheed Martin. The order will split equally between the C and D models. It would be the second batch acquired by Bulgaria, which contracted to buy eight multi-role F-16 Block 70 aircraft in July 2019 for $1.3 billion. Plans initially called for the first planes to arrive in Bulgaria in 2023 and the last ones in 2024, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed delivery until 2025.
Japan is looking into buying US-developed Tomahawk cruise missiles as it seeks to counter growing regional threats, including from North Korea, the government said Friday. The purchase would likely be controversial in a nation whose military is not officially recognized under its post-World War II constitution.
WATCH: P-8 Poseidon | The new submarine hunter of the West
The US Air Force’s Special Operations Command (AFSOC) has taken the Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concept one step further by having the MQ-9 operate in a simulated base situated behind enemy lines. Field 6 at Eglin Air Force Base was used for the simulation. A team of airmen secured Field 6 after arriving on board an MC-130J and cleared it for the MQ-9 to land and take off. The flight operations of the MQ-9 were carried out using Satellite Communications Launch and Recovery so that no Launch and Recovery Element was required at the site. “We did this by using a small team, landing at a simulated forward operating base, refueling and continuing to fly the mission. All of this was accomplished with an extremely small footprint which opens up the possibility for using MQ-9s in places we could not reach previously,” according to a MQ-9 pilot from the 2nd SOS.
The B-52H bomber will no longer require an external cart nor gunpowder cartridges for starting up its engines in future. Boeing is said to have selected Honeywell’s 36-150 auxiliary power unit (APU) as part of the Commercial Engine Replacement Program. “The B-52 is one of the most enduring USAF aircraft ensuring force readiness against emerging threats,” said Dave Marinick, president, Engines and Power Systems, Honeywell Aerospace,” said Dave Marinick, president, Engines and Power Systems.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli and Lebanese leaders finalized a US-brokered maritime demarcation deal on Thursday, bringing a measure of accommodation between the enemy states as they eye offshore energy exploration. Leaders from Lebanon, Israel and the United States have all hailed the deal as “historic” but the possibility of a wider diplomatic breakthrough remains slim. As a result, there was no joint signing ceremony: Lebanese President Michel Aoun signed a letter approving the deal at his palace in Baabda in the presence of the U.S. official who mediated the accord, Amos Hochstein.
RAM-System won a $277.8 million deal for fiscal 2023 procurements for Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2B Guided Missile Round Pack (GMRP) and spare replacement components for RAM Block 2 recertification. This contract is a 100% purchase for the German navy under a cooperative memorandum of understanding (MOU). Work will take place in Arizona and Germany. Expected completion date will be in March 2029.
An engine designed by the Austrian company Rotax was discovered installed in one of Russia’s Iranian-made Mohajer-6 drones that went down over the Black Sea earlier this month. Rotax says it has launched an investigation into its engines powering Iranian drones. The delivery of such hardware to Iran violates violates European Union sanctions banning the export of items with both civilian and military purposes, such as vehicle parts. Identical sanctions are imposed by the European Union against Russia, as well. Rotax is an Austrian subsidiary owned by the Canadian company Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), which is known for producing engines for snowmobiles, boats, motorcycles, airplanes and a significant number of drones. BRP’s Rotax jet engines are known to power the advanced US MKU-1 Predator drone and Israel’s Heron drones.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines led the first-ever simultaneous joint maritime exercises with the US Navy and Royal Australian Navy. A total of 742 sailors from the three nations participated in the eight-day drills, including representatives from the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Canada, Brunei, and Malaysia attending as observers. The exercises, held in the Philippines’ Visayas region, enhanced the participating navies’ warfighting capabilities in territorial defense, terrorism, and transnational crime.
General Dynamics won a $122.8 million contract modification for lead yard support and development studies and design efforts related to Virginia Class submarines. This contract modification includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the modification to $164,071,626. Work will take place in the continental US. Expected completion will be by August 2025.
Raytheon Intelligence and Space won a $12.1 million deal or non-personal and non-commercial services for operations and maintenance services of the Cobra King radar system. Work will be performed at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida; and various overseas locations on board the US Naval Ship Howard O. Lorenzen, and is expected to be completed by October 31, 2023. Comprising S and X-band phased radars, the Cobra King is a new, mobile radar system that enables the USAFTAC to offer high-quality, high-resolution and multi-wavelength radar data to the Department of Defense’s strategic community, the Missile Defense Agency and other government agencies.
Middle East & Africa
Twenty-two countries have requested to purchase Iranian drones, one of the country’s top military commanders proclaimed recently. Special military adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, revealed the development while addressing a military academy in Tehran. Highlighting the country’s employment of science and technology in the military domain, the former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Commander-in-Chief said that drones were deployed to monitor the recent missile and artillery strikes against terrorist groups in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday surveyed drills carried out by his nuclear-capable forces as Moscow pressed unfounded claims to India and China that Ukraine was developing a “dirty bomb”. The drills are the latest in a series of escalatory comments from Moscow and Putin — who observed the drills from a control room — that the eight-month conflict in Ukraine could turn nuclear.
The US and Spain will begin negotiations to renew a 1988 bilateral pact to expand the US naval presence at the Rota naval base in southern Spain, Spanish foreign minister Angeles Moreno revealed to parliament last week. The statement comes months after White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan disclosed the plan in June to expand the number of Arleigh Burke-class destroyers stationed at the base from four to six.
Australian technology firm DroneShield has been awarded a nearly $1 million deal to supply a portable counter-drone system to an unspecified country in the Asia-Pacific. The company said that the country is an ally of the West. Delivery of the counter-drone system is expected in March 2023.
WATCH: $3.6 Billion US Gigantic Submarine – Virginia Class Submarine
Raytheon won an $8.4 million deal, which provides for software product updates and qualification testing for the CV-22 Silent Knight Radar (SKR) Joint Services Vertical Lift Aircraft Experimental (JVX) Avionics System Software (JASS) instrumentation build, the SKR JASS Functional Requirements Document (FRD) 8 port forward, and the SKR JASS FRD 9 port forward in support of the V-22 Joint Program Office. Work will take place in Indiana. Expected completion will be in May 2024.
The Canadian Ministry of National Defence has contracted Quebec-based Logistik Unicorp to deliver operational clothing and footwear to the Canadian Armed Forces. The agreement covers more than 1,000 items, including badges and insignias, personal equipment, combat boots, winter gear, and uniforms with Canadian Disruptive Pattern camouflage.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli defense giant Elbit Systems signed an agreement with Garuda Aerospace, a top Indian drone start-up, to provide its Skylark 3 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) drones to commercial and government agencies. According to South Asian news agency ANI, Garuda Aerospace said that the drones would be put to use in the Survey of India national projects, run by the Department of Science and Technology, to implement large-scale surveying and mapping of villages under its SVAMITVA Scheme.
The British Royal Navy HMS Tamar has completed a series of mine-hunting operations at the Mine Warfare Exercise off the coast of South Korea. During the drill, Tamar carried a Guam-based US Navy mobile diving/explosive ordnance disposal crew that launched Remus sub-surface drones 100 meters underwater to gather data for analysis.
The US Air Force’s 319th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron recently held an assumption of command ceremony at Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kanoya Air Base on October 23. The unit is responsible for operating the MQ-9 unmanned air vehicle while at Kanoya.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on October 20 that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Japan of Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) Block I missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $450 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this sale. The Government of Japan has requested to buy up to thirty-two (32) Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) Block I missiles (in two tranches of 16). Also included are Mk 21 Vertical Launch System (VLS) canisters; obsolescence engineering, integration and test activity; canister handling equipment, spares, training and training equipment/aids; technical publications/data; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistical support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total program cost is $450 million.
WATCH: CV-22 Osprey | Flying the Spec Ops Tiltrotor Aircraft
Latest updates[?]: The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on October 20 that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Japan of Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) Block I missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $450 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this sale. The Government of Japan has requested to buy up to thirty-two (32) Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) Block I missiles (in two tranches of 16). Also included are Mk 21 Vertical Launch System (VLS) canisters; obsolescence engineering, integration and test activity; canister handling equipment, spares, training and training equipment/aids; technical publications/data; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistical support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total program cost is $450 million.
SM-2 Launch, DDG-77
(click to view larger)
Variants of the SM-2 Standard missile are the USA’s primary fleet defense anti-air weapon, and serve with 13 navies worldwide. The most common variant is the RIM-66K-L/ SM-2 Standard Block IIIB, which entered service in 1998. The Standard family extends far beyond the SM-2 missile, however; several nations still use the SM-1, the SM-3 is rising to international prominence as a missile defense weapon, and the SM-6 program is on track to supplement the SM-2. These missiles are designed to be paired with the AEGIS radar and combat system, but can be employed independently by ships with older or newer radar systems.
This article covers each variant in the Standard missile family, plus several years worth of American and Foreign Military Sales requests and contracts and key events; and offers the budgetary, technical, and geopolitical background that can help put all that in context.
Lockheed won a $12 million contract modification, which adds scope to procure Lot 15-16 gun pod containers in support of F-35 Lightning II aircraft ancillary mission equipment for the Navy, Marine Corps, non-US Department of Defense (DOD) partners, and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in February 2026.
The US Air Force has integrated a new engine for the ski-equipped LC-130 transport aircraft to boost its capabilities in the Arctic and Antarctica. Seven airmen conducted a test flight of the new NP2000 T56-A-15A turbo-prop 3.5 engine at Stratton Air National Guard Base in New York. The new engine’s propellers have eight blades instead of four, increasing torque for takeoffs on ice and snow.
Middle East & Africa
Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd. and Hensoldt have inked an exclusive teaming agreement to provide the German Air Force with electronic warfare capabilities in Tel Aviv. The collaboration will combine Rafael’s Sky Shield airborne electronic warfare pod with Hensoldt’s latest airborne electronic attack technology “Kalætron Attack.”
Eight Royal Air Force fighter squadrons fired a total of 53 Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles (ASRAAM) over a period of 10 days in September. It was the largest ever mass firing of ASRAAMs by the RAF. The missiles were fired from the Eurofighter and F-35B out in the sea at the Hebrides Air Weapon Ranges.
Spain has announced plans to send six Eurofighters to Bulgaria and eight Hornets to Romania starting from next month. The Eurofighters will leave for Bulgaria in the middle of next month while the F-18s will depart from December.
Indian conglomerate Kalyani Group announced that it would construct the world’s largest artillery manufacturing facility in India on Tuesday. The Hindu Business Line quoted company chairman Baba Kalyani as saying that the plant would be ready in three years, producing one gun per day, a five-fold increase over the current production rate.
WATCH: USAF Ski Equipped LC 130 Transport Aircraft Receives New Engine
Northrop Grumman won a $31.6 million deal, which provides for the inspection and teardown of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye fatigue test article to identify fatigue critical locations and demonstrate that the E-2D aircraft structure satisfy the program’s service life requirement. Work will take place in Florida, New York and California. Expected completion will be in June 2027.
BAE Systems won an $11.2 million contract to provide systems engineering and integration in support of US Trident II (D5) Strategic Weapons System Program D5 Life Extension 2 Strategic Systems Programs Alteration. Tasks to be performed include technical planning, requirements management and integration of Strategic Systems Programs subsystems including interface with the Columbia common missile compartment; configuration management, system security engineering, safety engineering support and infrastructure operations model-based engineering and information systems program acquisition. Work will take place in Maryland, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Maryland and Florida. Work will be finished by October 20, 2024.
Middle East & Africa
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has deployed its first Barak air defense system from Israel, according to a report by Breaking Defense, citing defense sources. The development comes a few months after Abu Dhabi quietly reached out to Jerusalem following a drone and missile attack by the Houthis on some of the country’s critical infrastructure.
Poland will lease a number of MQ-9A unmanned air vehicles from General Atomics while it prepares to acquire the MQ-9B. The country’s Armaments Agency concluded the $70 million contract on October 20. The planned acquisition of an undisclosed number of aircraft is poised to make the Polish Armed Forces the first military on NATO’s eastern flank to purchase the medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) drone.
Lithuania says that it has placed an order unspecific number of Bolide and MK-2 missiles for the RBS 70 air defense system. The contract is worth $45 million and will Lithuanian Defense Ministry says it will help to achieve a “more effective execution of air defence tasks.”
Lockheed won a $49.6 million modification, which provides non-recurring engineering and add/delete efforts to bring 12 MH-60R aircraft from standard Foreign Military Sales configuration to a unique configuration for the government of Australia. Additionally, this modification procures 12 Australian unique modification one kits and 10 embedded Global Positioning System Inertial Navigation Systems spares. Work will take place in New York, Connecticut and Alabama. Expected completion will be in December 2026.
WATCH: The Indo Israeli Barak 8 Air Defense System
Latest updates[?]: Lockheed won a $49.6 million modification, which provides non-recurring engineering and add/delete efforts to bring 12 MH-60R aircraft from standard Foreign Military Sales configuration to a unique configuration for the government of Australia. Additionally, this modification procures 12 Australian unique modification one kits and 10 embedded Global Positioning System Inertial Navigation Systems spares. Work will take place in New York, Connecticut and Alabama. Expected completion will be in December 2026.
MH-60Rs fire Hellfire
Australia’s AIR 9000, Phase 8 project aimed to buy 24 modern naval helicopters to 16 existing S-70B-2 Seahawks, along with the disastrous A$1.1 billion, 11-helicopter SH-2G “Super Seasprite” acquisition attempt. With a total sales and support value of over A$ 3 billion, it was a highly coveted award.
The finalists were familiar, and both had roots in Australia. Sikorsky’s MH-60R is a modernized descendant of the RAN’s existing S-70B anti-submarine helicopters, and Australia’s army operates the S-70A utility helicopter. On the other hand, a multi-billion dollar 2006 order made the European NH90-TTH (“MRH-90”) the Army’s future helicopter, and some MRH-90s will even serve as Navy utility helicopters. NHI/Eurocopter’s NH90-NFH naval variant builds on that base. So why did the MH-60R make Australia its 1st export win?
L3Harris Technologies has chosen Moog Space and Defense Group to provide its weapon Stores Management System (SMS) for the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Armed Overwatch Program. The USSOCOM awarded L3Harris a $3 billion contract in August to provide a fleet of up to 75 AZ-802U Sky Wardens multi-mission aircraft for the program to operate in austere environments with little logistical tail.
Lockheed Martin is planning to ramp up production of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) by over 50 percent annually, Politico reported citing CEO Jim Taiclet. Taiclet told investors during a third-quarter earnings report Tuesday that the company plans to manufacture 96 HIMARS annually from 60 currently, the outlet wrote.
Middle East & Africa
General Robotics, an Israeli company engaged in the development and manufacturing of light and smart RCWS (Remote Control Weapon systems), introduced this week a new version of its Remote Controlled Weapon Station optimized for naval applications – The SHARK. The new SHARK naval RCWS addresses the need for SOF to operate their weapons on small boats. These compact boats move at high speed and agility. Yet, the constantly moving platform degrades fire accuracy with conventional weapon mounts, requiring operators to get dangerously close to the enemy to deliver the desired effects.
Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said Wednesday that “several Russian rockets” had been downed over the Ukrainian capital after AFP reporters heard loud explosions in the center of the city. “Air defences have shot down several Russian rockets over Kyiv. Stay in shelters!” Klitschko said on social media.
According to local news, the Indian Army is seeking unmanned aerial platforms to better direct artillery fire. A request for proposal for 80 small, remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), 10 runway-independent RPAS, 44 upgraded long-range surveillance systems, and 106 inertial navigation systems will be soon issued.
The Bangladesh Army Aviation Group has received its second C295W tactical military transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space. The new medium utility military aircraft officially joined the Bangladeshi Fleet on September 25 after a six-day journey from the company’s factory in Spain.
Raytheon Technologies won a $9.8 million modification, which adds scope to procure one F-35 Convectional Take-off and Landing variant, full scale, high fidelity, main engine mock-up, and engine maintenance training package in support of the for the F-35 Lightning II program. Work will take place in Australia. Expected completion will be in March 2025.
WATCH: Watch the Airbus C295 take its first flight!
Continental Maritime of San Diego won an $88 million deal for the execution of the USS Chafee (DDG 90) fiscal 2023 depot modernization period and the USS Momsen (DDG 92) fiscal 2024 depot modernization period. These availabilities will include a combination of maintenance, modernization, and repair for both the USS Chafee and USS Momsen. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $204,493,154. Work will be performed in the San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed by June 2025.
Two aerial porters from the 87th Aerial Port Squadron were impressed when they were allowed to use a pneumatically-powered exoskeleton to move a pallet weighing 3,500 pounds on their own. The demonstration was organized by the US Air Force Research Laboratory’s Center for Rapid Innovation along with the 445th Airlift Wing. The Forge System exoskeleton was provided by ROAM Robotics. “I can definitely tell a difference; there’s a lot less pressure on my knees and I can feel the assist this system gives,” says Chief Master Sgt. Sean Storms, one of the two people who participated in the test.
Middle East & Africa
Syria’s autonomous Kurdish region has transferred over 600 relatives of suspected jihadists detained at the notorious Al-Hol camp to Iraq, a war monitor and a Kurdish security source said Tuesday. “The Iraqi government repatriated 161 families, including 659 people, from Al-Hol camp to Iraq,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Iraqi families left Al-Hol camp, which lies less than 10 kilometers (six miles) from the Iraqi border for their home country in a move coordinated by with Iraqi authorities, the monitor said.
Turkish authorities have disabled a mine in the Black Sea, the defense ministry said on Wednesday, in the fourth such incident since the start of the war in Ukraine. “A mine was detected off Kiyikoy … and has been secured and neutralised,” the ministry tweeted. Kiyikoy is located less than 100 kilometers from the Bosphorus.
Rheinmetall has delivered its first Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicle to the Hungarian Defence Forces in Budapest, attended by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. With the delivery, Hungary becomes the first NATO member and European country to receive the newly-developed medium-weight combat system.
The US Department of Defense has selected Hanwha Defense’s Arion-SMET unmanned ground vehicle for a competitive field test and evaluation program. This is the first time the US has chosen a South Korean unmanned weapon system for performance tests, potentially opening the door for greater cooperation between the two nations on future modernization programs.
WATCH: Hanwha Defense Arion-SMET, a futuristic UGV empowering infantry soldiers