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F-35 Fleet Displacing Older Fighters into Secondary Market | MoD Eager for New Radios | Raytheon Working New Jammer Project

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Europe * The British Ministry of Defence is looking to develop a replacement for the problematic Bowman radio system. The MoD has invited academics and industry to suggest new solutions to land and littoral communications, with the project known as Morpheus. The hope is that innovative solutions will be borne from the open discussion and collaboration, with this likely to form the basis of the MoD’s procurement strategy for the UK Armed Forces’ new communications system over the next three decades. * Israel has offered upgraded F-16A/Bs to Croatia, as a replacement for the country’s MIG-21s. The fighters would be in the upgraded ACE (Avionics Capability Enhancement) configuration, with the Israeli Air Force planning to drawn down the number of F-16A/Bs it operates as the F-35 comes into service over coming years. Croatia announced in April its intention to replace its Soviet-era MIGs, with the Israeli bid thought to be one of three Western models under consideration. A decision is expected next year, with other possible competitors including Saab’s Gripen and Dassault’s Mirage 2000. * Russia is reportedly set to begin construction of the Lider-class destroyer in 2019, with this possibly including the use of a Chinese-developed nuclear propulsion system. […]
Europe

* The British Ministry of Defence is looking to develop a replacement for the problematic Bowman radio system. The MoD has invited academics and industry to suggest new solutions to land and littoral communications, with the project known as Morpheus. The hope is that innovative solutions will be borne from the open discussion and collaboration, with this likely to form the basis of the MoD’s procurement strategy for the UK Armed Forces’ new communications system over the next three decades.

* Israel has offered upgraded F-16A/Bs to Croatia, as a replacement for the country’s MIG-21s. The fighters would be in the upgraded ACE (Avionics Capability Enhancement) configuration, with the Israeli Air Force planning to drawn down the number of F-16A/Bs it operates as the F-35 comes into service over coming years. Croatia announced in April its intention to replace its Soviet-era MIGs, with the Israeli bid thought to be one of three Western models under consideration. A decision is expected next year, with other possible competitors including Saab’s Gripen and Dassault’s Mirage 2000.

* Russia is reportedly set to begin construction of the Lider-class destroyer in 2019, with this possibly including the use of a Chinese-developed nuclear propulsion system. The new ship has a reported displacement of 17,500 tons and a length of 200 meters. The country is also intending to construct an additional aircraft carrier from 2025, to augment the one carrier already in service with the Russian Navy.

* The Swedish planned procurement of Saab Kockums A26 submarines may be delayed owing to inflating cost forecasts, according to Swedish press reports. The government announced its intention to acquire the boats in March, allocating $1 billion for the acquisition of two A26 submarines, alongside upgrades to the Swedish Navy’s Gotland-class subs.

* In other submarine news, Russia is intending to upgrade ten nuclear subs, bringing in new weapons and ship systems. The Oscar and Akula-class submarines will undergo work at Zvezdochka Shipyard facilities in Severodvinsk and the Primorskiy Krai region.

Americas

* Lockheed Martin received a $870 million modification Monday to support the worldwide operations of the Ballistic Missile Defense System, bringing the value of the contract to $2.1 billion. The modification covers continued engineering, development, test, integration, fielding and on-site operations and sustainment support for the C2, battle management and communications systems that form the BMDS.

* Raytheon was also handed a $13.1 million contract to further develop the Next-Generation Jammer. The contract covers software and hardware security design, with the company receiving a $12.6 million contract for the NGJ’s Technology Development phase in April last year. Initial low rate production is slated for 2018, with fielding expected two years afterwards.

Asia

* Australia has requested AGM-88 Anti-Radiation missiles from the US, with the State Department approving the acquisition at the back-end of last week. The $69 million deal will cover a variety of high-speed anti-radiation, advanced anti-radiation and training/telemetry missiles, as well as auxiliary equipment and engineering, technical and logistic support. Orbital ATK Defense Electronics Systems will be the prime contractor, with the AGM-88E achieving Full Rate Production Lot 3 in April last year.

* Pakistani media has reported that Sri Lanka is the first international customer for the JF-17 fighter, jointly developed by Pakistan and China. At the Paris Air Show last week, the JF-17’s sales and marketing lead PAF Air Commodore Khalid Mahmood told press that a contract had been agreed with an undisclosed Asian customer. These reports have been played-down by the Sri Lankan Air Force, who claim that although the aircraft is under consideration, a decision on whether it will be procured has not yet been taken.

* The Indian Navy is pressing the country’s government to relax the partial blacklisting of Italian firm Finmeccanica in order to access torpedoes from subsidiary Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquel. A corruption scandal barred the company from supplying the Indian defense ministry, as long as the country could meet its requirements from other companies. WASS beat out Atlas Elektronik Gmbh in a competition to supply the Indian Navy with new torpedoes, with this competition taking place before the blacklisting. The new Scorpene submarines coming into service with the Indian Navy require torpedoes as an operational necessity, and as such the service is pressing the defense ministry to suspend the blacklisting in order to access WASS’ Black Shark torpedoes.

* European defense giant Airbus’s Australian subsidiary Airbus Group Australia Pacific has bought Air New Zealand subsidiary Safe Air, a maintenance and repair company with experience servicing Royal New Zealand Air Force assets. Safe Air was awarded a $85 million contract in 2007 to service RNZAF aircraft, with this set to run to next year.

Today’s Video

* JF-17 cockpit view during the Paris Air Show…

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