DoD Lifts Travel Ban | Elbit Sees Income Rise Despite Pandemic | US Poseidon Intercepted By Russian Su-35
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics won a $16 million deal, which procures support to manage diminishing manufacturing sources in support of the F-35 program for the Air Force, Navy and non-Department of Defense participants. The F-35 program has been supported by an international team of leading aerospace majors. Notably, Northrop Grumman NOC rendered its expertise in carrier aircraft and low-observable stealth technology to this program. BAE Systems’ BAESY short takeoff and vertical landing experience, and air systems sustainment supported the jet’s combat capabilities. These features have enabled F-35 jet to dominate the combat aircraft market buoyed by solid demand as evident from the program’s frequent contract wins, both from Pentagon and other US allies. For instance, this January, Lockheed clinched a reimbursable contract worth $1.93 billion for providing a consortium of services involving the F-35 program. Work under the new cost-plus-fixed-fee order will take place in Fort Worth, Texas. Estimated completion will be by June 2020.
The Department of Defense will lift the stop-movement order it issued earlier this spring in stages rather than keeping it in place through June 30. Officials announced this shift on May 26. Under this, some installation will be able to accept transfers immediately, according to Matt Donovan, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper had issued the order on travel in March and extended it in April. Moving forward, individual installations will be able to lift travel and moving restrictions depending on local conditions, Donovan said. Troops, families and other DoD personnel will now be able to travel within the United States and some other countries provided their destinations have removed shelter-in-place orders and shown a 14-day reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases, as well as reports of flu-like or COVID-like symptoms.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s Elbit Systems reported its consolidated results for the quarter ended March 31, 2020. The company provided US-GAAP results as well as additional non-GAAP financial data to provide investors with a more comprehensive understanding of the company’s business results and trends. Bezhalel Machlis, president and CEO of Elbit Systems, commented: “In the first quarter, we witnessed positive momentum across our markets, receiving more than $1.8 billion in orders from customers around the world. These orders contributed to a record backlog of $10.8 billion, growing by 8% over the last quarter of 2019, and providing Elbit Systems with good revenue visibility.” He also mentioned the current pandemic: „As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, since March we have made significant changes to the way we work in order to protect the health and safety of our employees around the world, while at the same time maintaining business continuity in order to deliver our products and services to our customers as planned. This includes utilizing our healthy balance sheet to secure our supply channels and maintaining adequate levels of inventory to enable us to continue deliveries to customers“. Elbit’s net income totalled $63.5 million in the quarter ending on 31 March, up 25% from the same period last year. Increased sales of military aircraft equipment and last year’s acquisition of the Harris Night Vision business from L3Harris Technologies lifted Elbit Systems’ revenue by 5% to $1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2020
A US Navy P-8A flying in the Eastern Mediterranean on May 26 was intercepted by two Russian Su-35 fighters. The intercept was deemed unsafe by the Americans as the two fighters were flying close underneath the wings of the maritime patrol aircraft. Russian pilots flew in an unsafe and unprofessional manner while intercepting a US Navy P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, US 6th Fleet said. The intercept the third such incident in two months, Navy officials said. The US Navy P-8A was flying over international waters in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea when it was intercepted by two armed Russian Sukhoi Su-35 aircraft. For 65 minutes, the Russian pilots simultaneously flew close to each wing of the P-8A, restricting the P-8A’s ability to safely maneuver, according to a Navy statement.
Indra will enhance the ground-based air defense capabilities of the Spanish Air Force with a radar modernization contract received on May 27. The Ministry of Defense deal will see the company update the identification, friend or foe (IFF) systems of its Lanza 3D ground-based radars, as used by the EdAE’s aerial surveillance squadrons. “With this upgrade, the systems will comply with the most recent NATO interoperability standards, which will soon be mandatory for military aircraft and ground systems,” Indra said, adding, “These are systems capable of interrogating an aircraft over 470 km away to identify it, and determine whether or not it is a threat.” According to the company, its contract with the Spanish MoD will run for three-and-a-half years, and comes with the associated logistic support in the EdAE’s EVAs and in the Logistic Transmissions Center (CLOTRA, in Spanish). This ensures that the systems will be operational throughout their life-cycle of at least 15 years.
A report by Korean Herald says Indonesia has failed to make its annual payment for the development of the KF-X fighter. The country was supposed to pay $405 million last month. Indonesia is responsible for 20 percent of the plane’s development cost and it has been delaying payments for a few years. Korea Aerospace Industries, the country’s only aircraft manufacturer, is currently co-developing next-generation fighters with Indonesia. Launched in 2016, the KF-X project aims to develop a next-generation fighter jet and mass-produce 180 units by 2026.
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