Gen Dyn IT Will Provide Mission Support to USSOCOM | IAI’s BirdEye 650D Gets Increased Endurance | Airbus Strikes Back; Campaign Costs Leave a Bitter Taste
- The USAF has tasked Boeing with selecting a supplier for a $198 million upgrade of the F-15C/D which will allow the fighter to detect at long range the heat generated by an aircraft engine. After selecting the infrared search and track (IRST) sensor supplier, Boeing will be tasked with integrating the pod with the F-15’s other systems, including the Raytheon-supplied active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. By delegating such work, the USAF avoids giving losing bidders a chance to protest Boeing’s decision to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO).
- General Dynamics Information Technology reports they are to provide a range of mission support services to the US Special Operations Command. The multiple-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity USSOCOM contract has a maximum ceiling value of $900 million over a five-year period. Under the deal, USSOCOM forces and their staffs will be provided with technical and management functions across the globe, including engineering and technical services for major weapon systems, program technical assistance, support systems requirements, production decision-making, and program controls assistance.
Middle East & North Africa
- Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has increased the endurance of their BirdEye 650D UAV to over 15 hours. Regarded as the most sophisticated of IAI’s family of small tactical UAVs, the newest version has been designed for use by tactical-level infantry units, but with a “stretched envelope” for increased performance. This increased endurance coupled with the variety of plug-and-play payloads, makes it suitable for civil, as well as military applications.
- Two AugustaWestland AW101 VIP helicopters have been handed over by the Nigerian government to their air force. The move comes during a round of cost cutting measures in an effort to reduce expenditures which has also seen two VIP jets put up for sale. Nigeria’s AW101s were originally two of 12 destined for the Indian Air Force, but diverted to Nigeria after the contract with India was cancelled over bribery and corruption allegations.
- Airbus struck back at the Polish government yesterday following the dropping of a multi-billion Caracel helicopter deal. In an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Aerospace giant accused the government of shifting the goalposts as Airbus competed with US and Italian rivals, and attempting to contravene European Union regulations. Speaking in a separate email, Airbus Group Chief Executive Tom Enders said “never have we been treated by any government customer the way this government has treated us.” Industry sources estimate Airbus’ cost of running the helicopter sales campaign at several tens of millions of euros.
- An initial batch of twelve CV9035 infantry fighting vehicles have been delivered to Estonia from the Netherlands. In late 2014, Estonia signed a $125 million deal for the provision of of 44 used Dutch CV9035NL IFVs and six Leopard 1 tank-based support vehicles. All the vehicles, which will be delivered by 2018, are to undergo maintenance and repairs before arriving in Estonia, the Estonian Ministry of Defense said. Norway will also supply 37 IFV CV90, which will be rebuilt as armored support vehicles, to Estonia next year.
- Dassault Mirage F1 fighters operated by the Iranian Air Force have successfully had their on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS) refurbished for the first time. The work was carried out by the Overhaul Center of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF). In 2014, Tehran announced that its defense ministry had domestically produced a cruise missile system for its Mirage fleet.
- Japan’s military and aerospace industry will use this week’s Japan International Aerospace Exhibition to push the case to develop a highly advanced, and costly, stealth fighter jet. Dubbed the F-3, the program could cost Tokyo as much $40 billion to develop depending on specifications. Options open to the government include developing the costly fighter or opting for a more cost effective conventional fighter. In March, Japan’s Ministry of Defence issued a request for information (RFI) to gauge interest among foreign aerospace companies for jointly developing the F-3, which would operate alongside Lockheed Martin’s new F-35s and older F-15s.
IAI’s Bird-Eye 650D:
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