Ford-Class Carriers Kick Fixes Down Road to Stay in ‘Budget’ | Turkey’s Air Defense Competition Gets Stranger | China Playing with VTOL
- The US Navy’s Super Hornets and Growlers can’t carry additional 480-gallon fuel tanks when launched from the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) because of the stress created by the ship’s catapult, manufactured by General Atomics. The GAO has previously stated that other required improvements to the ship are being deferred by the Navy to 2016 in an effort to keep the project within the $12.9 billion cost cap.
- The Navy’s Super Hornets will receive six a href=”http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/580m-subcontract-puts-anapg79-radars-in-production-f18s-0775/”>AN/APG-79 AESA radars in a $16.4 million contract announced today. Raytheon was also awarded a $26 million contract action for sub-assemblies of 300 AIM-9X missiles in the Lot 15 configuration for the both the Navy and the Air Force.
- The Army announced a $9 million contract to convert an unknown number of Stryker MRAPs to the double-V standard.
- Senator John McCain (R-AZ) slammed the Pentagon’s defense acquisition system today, criticizing $46 billion wasted on ditched programs over a ten-year period, calling the waste a “national security crisis”.
- In a confusing twist in the development of Turkey’s T-LORAMIDS air defense program, defense procurement officials said that the final decision on which contractor will build the system won’t be made until after the election in June. The Chinese previous stated that they had won the competition, beating out rivals Eurosam and Raytheon/Lockheed Martin. In a further complication, the Turkish officials also reportedly hinted at the possibility of allowing the discarded Russian S-400 bid back into the competition, the same system recently procured by the Chinese at $500 million each.
- The UK announced a five-year £580 million ($860 million) support service contract with AgustaWestland today, which will see the company providing maintenance for the Royal Navy’s Merlin Mk2 and Mk3 helicopters. Today’s contract follows from a similar £570 million contract with AgustaWestland in 2011, which covered the 2011-2016 period.
- Dassault is prepared to cede technology transfers to Indonesia if they purchase the Rafale. The French fighter is competing with the Russian Su-35, Eurofighter Typhoon, Swedish Gripen and modernized F-16 Block 60s to replace the Indonesian Air Force’s aging fleet of F-5 fighters. The Indonesian Air Force wants the Russian fighter, but it will be the Defense Ministry who will make the decision.
- China is reportedly seeking to develop a VTOL fighter capability, according to Taiwanese press. The PLAN has recently been modernizing its naval aviation and releasing photos of J-15s on its Liaoning carrier.
- Japan launched a $272.2 million intelligence satellite into orbit today, replacing an existing optical satellite. The Japanese government said it intends to increase the capitalization of the nation’s space industry by $42 billion over a ten-year period.
The AIM-9X Sidewinder missile is tested: