First batch of Marineon helicopters delivered to ROK marines | Italian CEOs have bribery convictions overturned | DSCA clears SM-3 sale to Japan
- General Electric will provide its services in support of F/A-18 E-F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft, thanks to a $74 million contract issued by the Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support. The six month agreement, scheduled to be finished in June, tasks GE with the supply of 773 F414 engine components used on the Boeing-made aircraft, with work to be carried out at various GE supplier locations. Fiscal 2018 working capital funds (Navy) will be obligated to fund delivery orders as they are issued, and will not expire at the end of the contract ordering period.
- US Navy and Australian government P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) will have integrated logistics services and site activation support provided by the aircraft’s manufacturer Boeing, following the award of a $115.2 million contract modification issued by the Naval Air Systems Command. The majority of the work will take place in Seattle, Washington and at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with some work being carried out in Brisbane, Australia. Scheduled completion is set for September 2021. Under a joint agreement, the new modified contract combines purchases for the US Navy and Australia. The Pentagon is expected to pay out more than $103.3 million, or what amounts to 90 percent of the total contract value, under a cooperative engagement agreement.
- USS Princeton, a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, is scheduled for home-porting, maintenance, and modernization, with BAE Systems tapped to carry out the work. Valued at $18.8 million—with options that can raise that to $19.4 million—, the work order calls on BAE to execute depot-level maintenance, alterations, and modifications that will update and improve the ship’s military and technical capabilities. Work will be carried out at the Princeton’s homeport of San Diego, with contract completions scheduled for the September.
Middle East-North Africa
- The Turkish government has invited industry to provide bids for the integrations of the Turkish Air Force’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter fleet with the service’s Information System (HVBS). Known as the HVBS-JSF Integration Project, the formal request-for-proposals (RFP) will be available from Ankara’s procurement agency, SSM, from January 12, with industry submissions due by February 28, 2018. Turkish firms already involved in the F-35 program include Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) along with private companies Kale Aerospace and Alp Aviation contribute to the F-35’s aerostructure with sub-assemblies manufacturing. Alp Aviation also manufactures 100+ parts for the Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan engine, including the titanium blade rotors. Aselsan is supplying parts for the F-35’s electro-optical targeting system, while the munitions maker Roketsan is producing its Stand-off Missile (SOM) cruise missile.
- Two former executives of the Italian aerospace firm Finmeccanica—now Leonardo—have had their bribery convictions overturned by a Milanese court. Guiseppe Orsi, its former president, and Bruno Spagnolini, who headed its AugustaWestland unit, were convicted in 2014 for false accounting during the $664 million acquisition of 12 AW101 helicopters by India, and had received four years, six months and four years respectively. The men were also acquitted of international corruption and bribery, however, a subsequent appeal by the prosecution led to that decision being reversed. Now, after almost four years and multiple appeals later, the 8 January judgement found that there was insufficient evidence for the convictions. Only three AW101s ever made it to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and are actually in really good nick—in long-term storage as New Delhi’s Central Bureau of Investigation continues its probe .
- The US State Department’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has cleared the potential sale of four SM-3 Block IIA missiles to the government of Japan. Valued at an estimated $133.3 million, the sale also includes four MK 29 missile canisters, US Government and contractor representatives’ technical assistance, transportation, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. Raytheon will act as prime contractor on the SM-3 production, while BAE Systems, based out of Minneapolis, MN, will supply the MK 29 canisters. Since the SM-3 Block IIA is being designed jointly by the US and Japan for defense against medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, the sale is believed to pass by Congress with ease, and can be deployed on Aegis-class destroyers or on land by the Aegis Ashore program—both of which Japan either has, in the form of its destroyers, or is planning to procure, in its Aegis Ashore procurement.
- Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is currently working on a long-term defense spending plan that will seek the procurement of advanced weapons systems, as part of the island’s efforts to deter Chinese attack. Officials close to the planning confirmed that the drive is being led by President Tsai Ing-wen, who has been regularly meeting with military brass as part of a push for new investment in training and equipment—with aims to acquire new missiles, drones and electronic warfare systems, fighter aircraft and ballistic missile defenses. While some of these projects will be domestic efforts—such as an ongoing effort to build eight new submarines in house—Taipei will also have to up its pursuit of fresh weapons sales from its sole-supplier, the USA, risking a deepening in tensions between Washington and Beijing, the latter considering Taiwan nothing but a wayward province. The spending plan will run until 2025, by which Taiwan’s annual defense spending is projected to increase by at least 20 percent—or NT$62.4 billion ($2.08 billion)—to NT$381.7 billion, the officials said, pending approval by lawmakers.
- South Korea’s Marine Corps has received delivery of its first two MUH-1 multi-role utility helicopters. Based on KAI’s KUH-1 Surion, the new variant has been cleverly/lazily dubbed the Marineon—Marine, Surion, Marineon, get it?—and features an external fuel tank, specialized radio equipment, flotation devices, as well as a folding main rotor that will allow the helicopter to operate from Dokdo-class amphibious assault ships. 32 units have been ordered as part of efforts to create an independent aviation unit for the marines, while an additional eight will go to the South Korea’s navy. Deliveries are expected to continue to until 2023, at least.
- Delivery of the MUH-1 Marineon:
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