July 19, 2024

Arquus To Update Qatari VAB | DoS OKs Hellfire Sale To Czech Republic | Australia Soon To Accept Hawkei Vehicles

Americas The US Navy is evaluating the operability of the Expeditionary Medical Unit (EMU) aboard the USNS Cody (EPF 14) Spearhead-class fast transport vessel. The trial supports the service’s objective to improve medical care capabilities for combat and humanitarian missions from sea to shore. Being held at the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, the evaluation focuses on the EMU’s Role 2 (R2) level healthcare function, which covers patient decontamination, biomedical repair, sterile supply, information technology, and command and control tasks. China said Wednesday it had suspended negotiations with the United States on nuclear non-proliferation and arms control in response to Washington’s weapons sales to Taiwan. The US and China in November held rare talks on nuclear arms control, part of a bid to ease mistrust ahead of a summit between leader Joe Biden and Xi Jinping. Further dialogue had not been publicly announced since, with a White House official in January urging Beijing to respond “to some of our more substantive ideas on risk reduction.” But China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday said recent US sales of arms to self-ruled Taiwan were “seriously undermining the political atmosphere for continued arms control consultations between the two sides.” Middle East & Africa French defense contractor Arquus has signed an […]
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c 130j 135th as maryland ang in flight
July 18, 2024

The C-130J: New Hercules & Old Bottlenecks

RAAF C-130J-30, flares (click to view full) The C-130 Hercules remains one of the longest-running aerospace manufacturing programs of all time. Since 1956, over 40 models and variants have served as the tactical airlift backbone for over 50 nations. The C-130J looks similar, but the number of changes almost makes it a new aircraft. Those changes also created issues; the program has been the focus of a great deal of controversy in America – and even of a full program restructuring in 2006. Some early concerns from critics were put to rest when the C-130J demonstrated in-theater performance on the front lines that was a major improvement over its C-130E/H predecessors. A valid follow-on question might be: does it break the bottleneck limitations that have hobbled a number of multi-billion dollar US Army vehicle development programs? C-130J customers now include Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, India, Israel, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Tunisia, and the United States. American C-130J purchases are taking place under both annual budgets and supplemental wartime funding, in order to replace tactical transport and special forces fleets that are flying old aircraft and in dire need of major repairs. This DID FOCUS […]
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July 18, 2024

F135 ECU Design Review | Frequentis Unveiled New Drone System | Thales To Provide Bushmasters To Australian Navy

Americas Capella Space won a $14 million firm-fixed-price contract to provide Synthetic Aperture RADAR satellite system capabilities and integrate them into Air Force Research Laboratory’s Global Unification Environment. Work will be performed at Kirkland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and is expected to be completed by December 1, 2026. The Air Force Research Lab, Kirkland AFB, New Mexico, is the contracting activity. The US Army, in conjunction with NATO allies, has successfully conducted a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) Rapid Infiltration (HIRAIN) operation utilizing an Airbus A400M transport aircraft for the first time. This groundbreaking achievement marks a significant advancement in the rapid deployment of HIMARS using cargo aircraft. Previously, HIRAIN operations were primarily conducted using C-17 or C-130 transport aircraft. The successful integration of HIMARS with the A400M expands the range of available airlift platforms and offers increased flexibility for future deployments. RTX subsidiary Pratt & Whitney has completed its preliminary design review of the F135 engine core upgrade (ECU). The completion of this stage affirms the ECU design is proceeding according to schedule and exceeding expectations, the company said. The upgrade increases the engine’s durability and performance, which will “fully enable Block 4 and beyond capabilities for all three […]
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July 17, 2024

Raytheon Tapped For AMRAAM Maintenance | Kenya Receives US Choppers | Indian Army To Procure Common Explosive Vehicle

Americas Raytheon won a $14 million deal for the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) development lab management and maintenance program. This contract provides for the development branch of the Air Intercept Missile-120 AMRAAM that will manage the design, development, integration, and testing of hardware and software improvements to the AMRAAM. Work will be performed at Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by February 28, 2026. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity. Lockheed Martin won a $70 million modification, which?adds scope to provide a redesign of the synchronous dynamic random-access memory for the Technical Refresh Three integrated core processor and panoramic cockpit display in support of the F-35 aircraft diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages for the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and non-U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) participants. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in January 2029.?Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Middle East & Africa Kenya has taken delivery of the first batch of military helicopters promised by the US during the recent state visit of Kenyan President William Ruto. Two UH-1 Huey military […]
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AIM 120 AMRAAM
July 17, 2024

AMRAAM: Deploying & Developing America's Medium-Range Air-Air Missile

AIM-120C from F-22A (click for test missile zoom) Raytheon’s AIM-120 Advanced, Medium-Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM) has become the world market leader for medium range air-to-air missiles, and is also beginning to make inroads within land-based defense systems. It was designed with the lessons of Vietnam in mind, and of local air combat exercises like ACEVAL and Red Flag. This DID FOCUS article covers successive generations of AMRAAM missiles, international contracts and key events from 2006 onward, and even some of its emerging competitors. One of the key lessons learned from Vietnam was that a fighter would be likely to encounter multiple enemies, and would need to launch and guide several missiles at once in order to ensure its survival. This had not been possible with the AIM-7 Sparrow, a “semi-active radar homing” missile that required a constant radar lock on one target. To make matters worse, enemy fighters were capable of launching missiles of their own. Pilots who weren’t free to maneuver after launch would often be forced to “break lock,” or be killed – sometimes even by a short-range missile fired during the last phases of their enemy’s approach. Since fighters that could carry radar-guided missiles like […]
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USS Lake Champlain (CG-57), a Ticonderoga-class Aegis-equipped guided missile cruiser,
July 16, 2024

Serious Dollars for AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)

AEGIS-BMD: CG-70 launches SM-3 (click to view full) The AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense System seamlessly integrates the SPY-1 radar, the MK 41 Vertical Launching System for missiles, the SM-3 Standard missile, and the ship’s command and control system, in order to give ships the ability to defend against enemy ballistic missiles. Like its less-capable AEGIS counterpart, AEGIS BMD can also work with other radars on land and sea via Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC). That lets it receive cues from other platforms and provide information to them, in order to create a more detailed battle picture than any one radar could produce alone. AEGIS has become a widely-deployed top-tier air defense system, with customers in the USA, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Norway, and Spain. In a dawning age of rogue states and proliferation of mass-destruction weapons, the US Navy is being pushed toward a “shield of the nation” role as the USA’s most flexible and most numerous option for missile defense. AEGIS BMD modifications are the keystone of that effort – in the USA, and beyond.
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July 16, 2024

GE Aerospace Demonstrated Hypersonic Dual-Mode Ramjet | NATO Missile Defense Base In Poland Ready | India Unveiled Zorawar Prototype

Americas GE Aerospace has demonstrated a dual-mode Ramjet (DMRJ) engine that could enable the development of more efficient long-range hypersonic aircraft and missiles. A threefold airflow increase was demonstrated by the engine compared to previous hypersonic demonstrators, according to the company. Testing began at an Evendale, Ohio, testing facility in March just 11 months after the launch of design efforts. Louisiana-based Bollinger Shipyards has joined a trilateral project between the US, Canada, and Finland to create icebreaker vessels that will help secure the Arctic region. Revealed by the White House during the 2024 NATO Summit, the Icebreaker Collaboration Effort or ICE Pact seeks a “best-in-class” fleet that will address the “expanding presence” of potential enemies and competitors in the High North. Middle East & Africa Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday announced the imminent end of his government’s operations against Kurdish PKK fighters in northern Iraq and Syria. Turkey began its Operation Claw-Lock in April 2022, claiming it needed to secure its border with northern Iraq, from where it accused Kurdish separatists of launching attacks on Turkish territory. “We will very soon complete the lockdown of the area of operation in northern Iraq,” Erdogan said, adding that Kurdish forces were now “incapable […]
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UH-60L Blackhawk
July 15, 2024

Sikorsky's $8.5-11.7B "Multi-Year 8" H-60 Helicopter Contract

US Army HH-60Ms (click to view full) In July 2012, the US military signed another huge contract with Sikorsky. With production of the Army’s HH/UH-60M, and the Navy’s MH-60S and MH-60R helicopters, all in full swing, there’s no question about the need for future orders. In that environment, multi-year contracts allow efficiencies in purchasing, and security of staffing, throughout Sikorsky’s supply chain. These new helicopter types are also available to Foreign Military Sales class customers, under the American contract’s advantageous pricing and terms. The UH-60M, MH-60S and MH-60R models have already inked export deals, and official requests indicate that more deals are in the pipeline. The new multi-year 2013-2017 contract could be worth up to $11.7 billion, and follows a 5-year, multi-service “MYP-VII” contract in December 2007. Like its predecessor, it covers UH-60M Black Hawk troop transport and light cargo helicopters, Army HH-60M SAR (Search And Rescue) / MEDEVAC (MEDical EVACuation) helicopters, and the US Navy’s MH-60S and MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.
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July 15, 2024

Austal Opens Last Ship Assembly Station In Alabama | NG Tapped To Support Iraq’s C-172 And C-208 | Sikorsky To Produce Black Hawks For Jordan and Croatia

Americas Austal USA has conducted a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a final assembly station in Alabama. The project supports the ongoing expansion of the company’s existing waterfront center in Mobile, which will also receive design improvements and a new ship lift system. Austal wrote that the upcoming station will include three bays for managing large steel components used to develop US Navy and Coast Guard vessels such as the Offshore Patrol Cutters and TAGOS-25 ocean surveillance systems. The US Army has turned to industry partners for a new, lightweight radar to be fitted on its high-altitude surveillance balloons. A request for information (RFI) was recently issued for the desired airborne sensor that should address the service’s deep sensing requirements. It stated that the payload must weigh less than 6.8 kilograms and use power and communication equipment already on spy balloons. Middle East & Defense Northrop Grumman won an $11 million modification for contractor logistics support of Iraq’s C-172 and C-208 fleets. Work will be performed at Martyr BG Ali Flaih Air Base (formerly Balad Air Base), Iraq, and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2025. This contract involves foreign military sales to Iraq. The Air Force Life […]
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July 12, 2024

Lockheed Tapped For F-35 Support | Airbus To Supply 4 MRTTs To Saudi Arabia | Norway To Donate Sea King Party To Ukraine

Americas Lockheed Martin won a $39 million modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee, fixed-price incentive contract. This modification increases the contract ceiling to procure material and sustainment services to support depot stand-up and repair capabilities for the electrical power management system, electro hydrostatic actuation system, aircraft memory system, electro optical distributed aperture system, fuselage remote interface unit, missile remote interface units, suspension and release and landing to support the F-35 aircraft for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, non-U.S. 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 June 2027. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Canada has introduced a program to develop 12 conventionally powered submarines to bolster its security in the Arctic Ocean. The fleet will take over the role of the nation’s aging Victoria-class submarines in service since the early 1990s. Although no specifications have been declassified, the Canadian defense agency revealed that the systems will incorporate an “under-ice” capability to match conditions across the Arctic and other oceans surrounding the country. Middle East & Africa Airbus has secured a contract to supply four A330 […]
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July 11, 2024

USN Accepted 72nd Arleigh Burke | Lithuania Gets Saab MSHORAD | Indonesia Urged To Establish Cyber Warfare Branch

Americas The US Navy has accepted the 72nd Arleigh Burke-class destroyer from Bath Iron Works as part of a deal awarded in 2013. The USS John Basilone is a Flight IIA guided missile destroyer incorporating an advanced mine countermeasure solution, helicopter hangars, blast-hardened bulkheads, and additional electronic and networked systems. A keel-laying ceremony for the ship was held in 2020, followed by its christening two years later. In June 2024, during a joint training exercise at RAAF Base Tindal, Australia, two United States Marine Corps (USMC) F-35B pilots from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 214 successfully flew Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F-35A aircraft. This accomplishment signifies a significant step towards interchangeable operations between the two forces. Lt. Col. Robert Guyette, VMFA-214’s commanding officer, emphasizes the distinction between interoperability, where forces can work together, and interchangeability, where resources like pilots and aircraft can be freely shared. This pilot exchange program represents a key step towards achieving the latter. Middle East & Africa Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Wednesday that 60 percent of Hamas fighters had been “eliminated or wounded” in the Gaza war since the militant group’s October 7 attacks. Gallant reaffirmed in a statement to parliament on the first nine months of […]
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v22 osprey
July 9, 2024

V-22 Osprey

(click to view full) In March 2008, the Bell Boeing Joint Project Office in Amarillo, TX received a $10.4 billion modification that converted the previous N00019-07-C-0001 advance acquisition contract to a fixed-price-incentive-fee, multi-year contract. The new contract rose to $10.92 billion, and was used to buy 143 MV-22 (for USMC) and 31 CV-22 (Air Force Special Operations) Osprey aircraft, plus associated manufacturing tooling to move the aircraft into full production. A follow-on MYP-II contract covered another 99 Ospreys (92 MV-22, 7 CV-22) for $6.524 billion. Totals: $17.444 billion for 235 MV-22s and 38 CV-22s, an average of $63.9 million each. The V-22 tilt-rotor program has been beset by controversy throughout its 20-year development period. Despite these issues, and the emergence of competitive but more conventional compound helicopter technologies like Piasecki’s X-49 Speedhawk and Sikorsky’s X2, the V-22 program continues to move forward. This DID Spotlight article looks at the V-22’s multi-year purchase contract from 2008-12 and 2013-2017, plus associated contracts for key V-22 systems, program developments, and research sources.
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July 9, 2024

AAR Supply Tapped For V-22 And Black Hawk Repair | Pentagon Watchdog To Investigate Gaza Pier | Korea Might Purchase Polish Drones

Americas AAR Supply Chain Inc.won a $46 million contract for V-22 Osprey Black Hawk aircraft repair and replacement parts. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 US Code 3204 (a)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a three-year base contract with three three-year option periods. The performance completion date is June 29, 2027. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Richmond, Virginia. Sierra Nevada won a $11 million for a firm-fixed-price, spares delivery order under a previously awarded basic ordering agreement for the purchase of four communication interface units used in support of the F/A-18 aircraft. The delivery order does not include an option period. All work will be performed in Sparks, Nevada, and work is expected to be completed by July 2026. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity. Middle East & Africa A Pentagon watchdog announced on Thursday it would investigate the effectiveness of the Gaza pier mission in delivering humanitarian aid. The Pentagon’s Office of the Inspector General will coordinate with the U.S. Agency for International Development’s watchdog on two independent investigations, according to a statement from the Office of the Inspector General. Europe According to Defense […]
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1920px mq 9 reaper uav (cropped)
July 8, 2024

MQ-9 Reaper: Unfettered for Export

0 Reaper, ready… (click to view full) The MQ-9 Reaper UAV, once called “Predator B,” is somewhat similar to the famous Predator. Until you look at the tail. Or its size. Or its weapons. It’s called “Reaper” for a reason: while it packs the same surveillance gear, it’s much more of a hunter-killer design. Some have called it the first fielded Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV). The Reaper UCAV will play a significant role in the future USAF, even though its capability set makes the MQ-9 considerably more expensive than MQ-1 Predators. Given these high-end capabilities and expenses, one may not have expected the MQ-9 to enjoy better export success than its famous cousin. Nevertheless, that’s what appears to be happening. MQ-9 operators currently include the USA and Britain, who use it in hunter-killer mode, and Italy. Several other countries are expressing interest, and the steady addition of new payloads are expanding the Reaper’s advantage over competitors…
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July 8, 2024

US Marine Reaper Quipped With "Invisibility" Pod | Denmark Tested PULS | US Offers Thai Air Force Funds To Buy A F-16s

Americas The US Marine Corps has equipped its MQ-9 Reaper drone with an electronic warfare pod that makes the aircraft nearly invisible to enemy eyes. Called the T-SOAR (Scalable Open Architecture Reconnaissance), the pod mimics an enemy’s radar and communication emissions and sends them back to the source. “What they bring with them is a sensing and making sense capability,” Seapower quoted Commandant of the Marine Corps General Eric M. Smith as saying at a Brookings Institution event last week. Mistral Inc. has started the production of the Thor vertical takeoff and landing mini drone at its Nottingham, Maryland, facility. The Thor unmanned aerial system is part of the US Department of Defense’s Medium Range Reconnaissance effort, which seeks Group 2 drones weighing between 21 to 55 pounds (9.5 to 25 kilograms) for the army. Middle East & Africa US troops have completed a withdrawal from their base in Niger’s capital of Niamey and will fully depart from Agadez in the north before a September 15 deadline set by the country’s military rulers, both countries said Sunday. Niger’s military leaders scrapped a military cooperation deal with Washington in March after seizing power in a July 2023 coup. Europe The Danish Armed Forces tested the PULS rocket launcher […]
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F-15E Strike Eagle
July 8, 2024

Aging Aircraft: USAF F-15 Fleet Sees Renewed Interest

F-15C over DC (click to view full) “Array of Aging American Aircraft Attracting Attention” discusses the issues that accompany an air force whose fighters have an average age of over 23.5 years – vs. an average of 8.5 years in 1967. One of the most obvious consequences is the potential for fleet groundings due to unforseen structural issues caused by time and fatigue. That very fear is responsible for the #1 priority placed on bringing new KC-X aerial tankers into the fleet to complement the USA’s 1960s-era KC-135 Stratotankers. It can also affect the fighter fleet more directly. Following the crash of a Missouri Air National Guard F-15C aircraft Nov 2/07 (see crash simulation), the US Air Force suspended non-mission critical F-15 flight operations on Nov 3/07. While the cause of that accident is still under investigation, preliminary findings indicate that a structural failure during flight may have been responsible. In response, Japan suspended its own F-15 flights, which left them in a bit of a bind – even as Israel’s F-15s joined them on the tarmac. As the effects continue to spread and the USAF and others continue to comment on this situation, DID continues to expand its coverage […]
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July 8, 2024

Mitsubishi To Repair F-15 Transmitters | Naval Group Introduces 3rd MCM | South Korea Recieved All Boeing Poseidons

Americas The Thor unmanned aerial system is part of the US Department of Defense’s Medium Range Reconnaissance effort, which seeks Group 2 drones weighing between 9.5 to 24.9 kilograms for the army. Thor is designed with targeting, dropping, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities for multi-domain operations. It is capable of lifting 22 pounds (10 kilograms) of cargo, can be folded, transported via backpack storage, and deployed in under two minutes. Thor can fly autonomously for up to 70 minutes with its integrated electro-optical infrared sensor enabled. Mitsubishi Electric has signed a pilot contract with Raytheon to repair transmitters used in APG-63 (V)1 F-15 fighter radars operated by the US Air Force and allied forces. Raytheon will verify Mitsubishi Electric’s repair capabilities under the pilot contract, deciding whether to contract it for such services in the future. The contract has been signed on the basis of Mitsubishi Electric’s experience producing and repairing the APG-63 (V)1s operated by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). Middle East & Africa According to Defense News, the US will have fully cleared out of one air base in Niger as it continues to move personnel and equipment from the African country ahead of a September […]
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July 5, 2024

Kratos Demonstrated New Launch System For Valkyrie | US Transferred Hercules Aircraft To Botswana | Rheinmetall And Leonardo Plan Tank JV

Americas Kratos Defense & Security Solutions demonstrated a trolley-based launch system for the XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned aerial system recently. A Kratos Trolley Launch System (KTLS)-assisted XQ-58A can take off from runways or traditional roads without reducing its payload or the fuel required for conventional retractable launching gear. Bell Textron has completed the first flight of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s modified CH-146 Griffon multirole utility helicopter as part of a 2022 modernization contract. The Griffon Limited Life Extension (GLLE) project is a continuing effort to deliver upgrades for the aircraft, which has been in service since the early 1990s. This effort includes revamps of avionics, sensors, engines, and cockpit displays, enabling the vehicles’ operability through the 2030s. Middle East & Africa The US has transferred a C-130H Hercules military transport aircraft to Botswana as part of a $30-million gift to the African nation. The aircraft arrived in Gaborone on May 24 but was only officially handed over to the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) last week. According to the US Embassy, the Lockheed Martin-manufactured plane is expected to bolster Botswana’s ability to conduct defense, humanitarian, and emergency response missions. Europe German arms maker Rheinmetall and Italian defense group Leonardo said Wednesday they planned […]
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July 4, 2024

8th FS Unveiled New Addition | GA Tapped For SkyGuardian | Philippines, China To "De-escalate" Tensions Over South China Sea

Americas The 8th Fighter Squadron (FS) at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, recently unveiled a striking new addition to their fleet – an F-16 Viper flagship painted in a sleek matte black color scheme, reminiscent of the legendary F-117 Nighthawk. This unique paint job serves as a powerful tribute to the squadron’s history and the groundbreaking capabilities of the retired stealth aircraft. The “Black Sheep” nickname reflects the squadron’s proud history, and this new paint scheme specifically honors their time flying the F-117. “We were one of the Holloman fighter units to fly the F-117 Nighthawk,” explained Major Daniel Thompson, an instructor pilot with the 8th FS. “This decision highlights a unique chapter in our history that aligns perfectly with the Black Sheep identity.” Italy has seized Chinese military drones disguised as wind turbines that were heading to Libya in violation of a U.N. embargo, Italian authorities said. Components making up the two drones were concealed in six containers sent on two container ships from China to the Port of Gioia Tauro in Italy, where they were impounded before they could be loaded onto vessels heading for Libya, according to officials. Middle East & Africa Boeing has delivered the […]
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July 3, 2024

Sierra Nevada Tapped For MC-130 | UAE Gets 2nd Gowind-Class Corvette | Ukraine Inducted 480 New Weapons In 2024

Americas Sierra Nevada Co. won a $400 million contract for the Airborne Mission Networking System. The contract provides for Airborne Mission Networking system kits for the MC-130 aircraft, as well as engineering services, contractor logistics support, program management, field service representative support, and over and above. The locations of performance are Centennial, Colorado; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Englewood, Colorado; Hagerstown, Maryland; Robins Air Force Base, Georgia; Eglin AFB, Florida, and Hurlburt Field, Florida. The work is expected to be completed by June 27, 2029. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Robins AFB, Warner Robins, Georgia, is the contracting activity. The US Army has received two T901 engines from General Electric (GE) Aerospace for integration and testing aboard the force’s UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. The engines were delivered to Sikorsky’s facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, as part of the country’s Improved Turbine Engine Program, an initiative to develop a more durable, fuel-efficient engine for the army’s Black Hawk and Apache aircraft. Middle East & Africa Naval Group has handed over the second Gowind-class multi-mission corvette to the UAE Navy in Lorient, western France. The ship, Al Emarat, will house its crew in France in July as Naval Group provides training to ensure […]
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