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Fire in the hole! Army stocks up on grenades | Navy accelerates MALD-N research | ROKAF earmarks $2.2b for new IFF systems

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Americas The US Army is stocking up on hand grenades. Day & Zimmermann Lone Star LLC is being awarded with a $10.4 million contract modification that provides for the delivery of M67 fragmentation grenades. The M67 hand grenade is a steel sphere, filled with 6.5 ounces of high explosives. It is designed to burst into […]

The US Army is stocking up on hand grenades. Day & Zimmermann Lone Star LLC is being awarded with a $10.4 million contract modification that provides for the delivery of M67 fragmentation grenades. The M67 hand grenade is a steel sphere, filled with 6.5 ounces of high explosives. It is designed to burst into numerous fragments when detonated, ultimately causing fatalities within a 49.5 yards radius. The M67 is currently in service with US military forces among others and has proven a capable area-effect weapon. The M67 was selected as the replacement infantry hand grenade for the M61 series used in the Vietnam War. Work will be performed at the company’s facility in Texarkana, Texas and is scheduled for completion by August 31, 2021.

The Navy is one step closer in acquiring new decoys for its warplanes. Raytheon will be responsible to mature the technological concept and reduce associated risks in the Miniature Air Launched Decoy-Navy (MALD-N) development program. The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract is valued at $49.6 million. The MALD-N is a navalised version of the MALD-X, which will be the successor to the currently fielded MALD-J. MALD-X enhances the modular nature of the mini cruise missile with the ability to accommodate different electronic warfare payloads that are more advanced than those found on MALD-J. What is planned to come out of MALD-X is a networked decoy that can use its adaptive electronic warfare payload to deliver electronic attacks on air defense nodes autonomously or at the direction of operators from a afar in a semi-autonomous fashion. Work will be performed at multiple locations including – but not limited to – Tucson, Arizona; Papendrecht, Netherlands and Indianapolis, Indiana. The contract is set to run though November 2020.

The Air Force is contracting Ultra Electronics Advanced Tactical Systems for support services as part of the Joint Air Defense Systems Integrator (JADSI) program. The awarded $47 million requirements-type, firm-fixed-price, cost-reimbursable contract provides for software sustainment services until May 30, 2023. JADSI systems provide situational awareness to sea- and land-based units, and provide commanders with the right information needed to make critical decisions. The system is composed of a number of software and hardware modules—each addressing the specialised and varied needs of the real-time tactical decision maker. JADSI can automatically generate tracks from digitized radar plot data and receives, displays, and translates data from electronic intelligence interfaces. Work will be performed at the company’s location in Austin, Texas.

Middle East & Africa

General Electric is being contracted to keep the Royal Saudi Air Force’s Strike Eagles flying. The company will provide the RSAF with F110-129 engine consumables, spares, war-readiness spare kits, and support equipment. The deal falls under the US FMS program and is priced at $58.6 million. The F-15SAs are currently the most advanced F-15 Eagles on the planet. In 2015 Saudi Arabia ordered 84 new build F-15SAs and close to 70 kits to upgrade their existing F-15S fleet to the SA configuration. GE’s F110-129 two-spool afterburning turbofan engine delivers of to 29,000 pounds of thrust and powers more than 75% of US Air Force single-engine F-16s. Work will be performed at GE’s factory in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is expected to be completed by September, 2020.

South African defense contractor Denel Dynamics is marking another milestone in its A-Darter development program. The company successfully completed the guided missile qualification test series for its short-range IIR AAM system. During the tests the missile used both its lock-on-after-launch (LOAL) mode and the IIR seeker’s wide field-of-view (FOV), proving that the A-Darter can engage targets beyond its IR detection range and that it has a high off-boresight launch capability. The A-Darter is co-development program between Denel and Brazil’s Mectron, Avibras, and Opto Eletrônica. In South Africa, the A-Darter equips the SAAF’s Hawk Mk. 120 external link trainer/ light attack jets and JAS-39 C/D Gripen fighters.


Poland is moving ahead with its Patriot missile defense acquisition. Raytheon is being awarded with a $1.5 billion contract modification under the US FMS program. The Patriot is an advanced long range air defense missile system that is designed to destroy incoming enemy aircraft and missiles. It has been in use for decades, has seen combat use and has been upgraded many times. Poland will receive the current PAC-3 variant. $922 million in FY 2018 military sales funds are being obligated for this modification. Work will be performed at various locations inside the US, including Raytheon’s facilities in Andover, Massachusetts and Merrimack, New Hampshire, in addition to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Completion is scheduled for December 2022.

Serbia is set to be the second export customer of China’s Wing Loong II UAV. Nenad Miloradovic, Belgrade’s assistant defense minister recently confirmed that Serbia intends to buy six UAVs capable of performing reconnaissance and offensive missions. The Wing Loong II is produced by Chengdu Aircraft Industry, its design is based on the Wing Loong I, but it is longer and higher. The UAV is is powered by a turbocharged engine and can fly 20 hour long missions at a maximum speed of 229 mp/h. The Wing Loong IIs are said to be capable of conducting day and night surveillance missions and capable of carrying laser-guided munitions. The UAVs are scheduled for delivery sometime in 2019.


South Korea will upgrade the Identification Friend or Foe, or IFF, systems installed on its jet fighters, helicopters, warships and missile systems. Over the next years the decades-old Mode-4 IFFs will be replaced with the latest Mode-5 variant. A total of 2000 units, related to 70 different weapons systems will have to be exchanged. IFF systems enable forces to recognize friendly aircraft, surface vessels, and submarines to avoid inadvertent firing on friendly forces. The new Mode 5 external link is a NATO IFF standard. Compared to NATO’s Mode 4, it adds better encryption, spread spectrum modulation, time of day authentication, and a unique aircraft identifier. Three South Korean defense manufacturers are competing for the IFF upgrade contract by teaming up with foreign IFF developers. They are Hanwha Systems, teaming up with US company Raytheon and Hensoldt of Germany; LIG Nex1, with Italy’s Leonardo and Thales of France; and Korea Aerospace Industries, joining hands with BAE Systems of the United Kingdom. The major weapons upgrade program costs $2.2 billion and is expected to be completed by the mid-2020s.

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