GA-ASI Receives MQ-9 Service Funding | UAE Reveals SR5 MRLs | Elbit To Supply Laser DIRCM To Asia-Pacific
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems won a $7.8 million contract modification, which provides for Group 5 Unmanned Air System intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance services. The services are in support of outside the continental US Task Force Southwest and US Marine Corps operations utilizing contractor-owned/contractor-operated MQ-9 Unmanned Air Systems. The MQ-9 Reaper is the primary offensive strike Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for the US Air Force. Given its significant loiter time, wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons, it provides a unique capability to perform strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets. Reapers can also perform the following missions and tasks: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, close air support, combat search and rescue, precision strike, buddy-laser, convoy/raid overwatch, route clearance, target development, and terminal air guidance. Work will take place in Yuma, Arizona and Poway, California as well as other locations. Estimated completion date is May 2020.
The US Navy and Boeing announced the delivery of its first tiltrotor CMV-22B Osprey-variant aircraft. The plane will replace the aging C-2A Greyhound fleet of planes. It is designed to transport personnel and cargo from shore to aircraft carriers. The first Navy CMV-22B Osprey was delivered to the Navy at Bell’s manufacturing facilities in Amarillo, Texas. The planes will be based at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California, and Naval Air Station Norfolk in Virginia. The CMV-22B, which first flew in December, carries up to 6,000 pounds for more than 1,150 nautical miles. It’s the only aircraft that can transport major components of the F-35C engine directly to a carrier flight deck, a critical capability for Navy logistics and support.
Middle East & Africa
Jane’s reports that The United Arab Emirates Armed Forces are operating the Norinco SR5 Multiple Rocket Launchers (MRLs). The UAE revealed the MRLs during a parade on February 9, which was attended by the crown princes of all seven emirates, the event was held at Zayed Air Base to celebrate the UAE’s military intervention in Yemen. Personnel from various military branches formed up on a parking apron flanked by military equipment that included an SR5 on each side. The Rocket Launchers were each fitted with six-round pods for 220 mm artillery rockets or King Dragon 60 laser- and GPS-guided surface-to-surface missiles with a maximum range of 70 km. The system can also be fitted with two pods each with 20 122 mm projectiles.
Boeing won a $22.2 million delivery order for the procurement of trailing edge flaps in support of the F/A-18 C-D aircraft. A Trailing Edge is the rear edge of an aircraft’s wing flap where the airflow separated by the Leading Edge, which is a part of the wing that first contacts the air, rejoins. The trailing edge is the location for essential control surfaces. The Hornets won a twin-engine, carrier-capable, multirole fighter aircraft. Work will take place in Emmen, Switzerland and St. Louis, Missouri. Estimated completion will be in February 2023. Switzerland funds in the amount of $10,9 million will be obligated at the time of award and funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Elbit Systems has secured contracts worth about $136 million to provide airborne laser Direct Infra-Red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to undisclosed customers in Asia-Pacific. Elbit Systems will equip fleets of Airbus and Boeing aircraft with DIRCM systems. These systems will come from the Multi Spectral Infrared Countermeasures (MUSIC) family. The company will also provide its infra-red missile warning systems. These contract awards follow recent awards to install DIRCM systems onboard Airbus A400 aircraft of the German Air Force and onboard NATO’s Airbus A330 Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport fleet.
Japan launched an H-IIA rocket carrying an intelligence-gathering satellite from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA’s) launch site at the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture on February 9, local media reports. The optical-imaging satellite, called Information Gathering Satellite Optical 7 (IGS Optical 7), joined seven other IGS satellites – two other optical and five radar-imaging ones – designed to enhance Japan’s reconnaissance capabilities amid what Tokyo has described as a “severe” security environment in the region. Tokyo plans to add two more satellites to the constellation.
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