General Atomics Tapped For Gray Eagle Logistics Support | Turkey To Pour Money Into UAV Sector | Slovakia Prepares For US F-16 Pilot Training
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems won a $29.3 million contract modification for performance based logistics support on the MQ-1C Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft System. The General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle is a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS. It was developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for the United States Army as an upgrade of the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator. The Gray Eagle unmanned combat vehicle has a maximum altitude capability of 29,000 feet and can take-off and land without operator assistance. The drone’s payload includes advanced sensing gear, four GBU-44/B Viper strike bombs, and up to four Hellfire missiles or eight AIM-92 Stinger missiles. At the beginning of August it was reported that a Gray Eagle drone has crashed near Bagdad in Iraq. General Atomics will perform work under the modification in Poway, California and estimated completion date is September 4, 2020.
Pacific Shipyards International won a $32.1 million deal for upgrades of the USS Michael Murphy or DDG 112. According to the DoD, Pacific Shipyards International is to execute the fiscal 2020 selected restricted availability of the Michael Murphy, which includes a combination of maintenance, modernization and repair. The Arleigh Burke Class ship, commissioned in 2012 and named after a Hawaii-based Navy SEAL member who died in Afghanistan and posthumously received the Congressional Medal of Honor, will undergo unspecified maintenance, modernization and repair. The ship participated in UNITAS, a two-week multinational maritime exercise, with 11 other nations. The vessel rescued five stranded Peruvian mariners off the coast of Ecuador, who had gone without food for five days and water for three days. It also aided the US Coast Guard contain a speedboat found to be carrying 2,100 pounds of cocaine, leading to the arrest of three alleged smugglers. Work under the new contract will take place in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and estimated completion will be in April 2020.
Middle East & Africa
Ace Precision Machining won a $25 million firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales contract to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The FMS is for hot section parts for the Advanced Gas Turbine-1500 tank engine. The Honeywell AGT-1500 is the main is the main power plant in the M1 Abrams series of tanks. The low-weight, high-power turbine engine lets the M1 move faster and maneuver better than most comparable tanks. Estimated completion date for work under the new contract will be September 4, 2024.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has committed to providing financial support to the country’s UAV sector as part of the country’s efforts to further develop its own capabilities and platform export markets. Bloomberg reports that Baykar Makina, the private Turkish drone maker with family ties to the president, will receive government support to expand output. Under Presidential Decree 1506, announced on September 4, the Turkish government is to provide support valued at $105.5 million for the development of the Baykar Bayraktar TB2 UAV and Akinci armed UAV, including the development and manufacture of avionics, ground control stations, and other subsystem components.
Slovakia is preparing to send six pilots to the United States for F-16 training this autumn, local media reports. Another six more are currently undergoing training in the country. The armed forces are planning on employing 22 F-16 pilots. The Defense Ministry has also allocated money to reconstruct Slia? airport, because the F-16 jets bought by the ministry will be placed there. The decision comes after the Defense Ministry rejected a $116.8 million investment from the USA to modernize two of its military airports back in March. The airport modernization, split into three parts, should be completed by the time the 14 US F-16 jets arrive in Slovakia in 2022 and 2023.
Jane’s reports that China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has released images showing seven Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group J-20 fifth-generation multirole fighter aircraft in the air. This is the largest number of J-20s to be publicly shown flying in close formation. It is not known when and where the pictures were taken. However, the maneuvers are believed to have taken place as part of rehearsals for a military parade set to take place on 1 October to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
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