The US Navy contracted Northrop Grumman Systems $89.5 million in support of the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The deal provides for sustainment and engineering services. The Triton is a high-altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle that together with its associated ground control station is considered a UAS. The system provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions over ocean and coastal regions as well as continuous maritime surveillance, conduct search and rescue missions. They complement the Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. The drone can descend and ascend through harsh maritime weather environments in order of gaining a closer view of ships an other targets at sea. Last year the Navy announced plans to deploy Triton drones to Guam to assist with Surveillance in the South China Sea. The South China Sea is one of the most contested geopolitical regions on Earth. The current contract procures the technical expertise of field service representatives, logisticians and test support to ensure MQ-4C air vehicles and mission control and operator training systems are fully sustained and mission capable. Work under the deal will take place within the US as well as at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and is expected to be finished by March next year.
The Navy awarded General Atomics a $18.9 million delivery order to provide engineering and diagnostics support for the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS). The deal includes test and evaluation effort for EMALS test site operations, Failure Reporting Analysis and Corrective Actions System, prototype and testing, environmental qualification testing and remediation, electromagnetic interference testing, and training efforts. The EMALS is a type of aircraft launching system designed to replace the steam catapult systems currently used on the Navy aircraft carriers. The USS Gerald R. Ford is the first carrier to use EMALS. John F. Kennedy and Enterprise are also scheduled to install and use EMALS. EMALS can launch a wide variety of aircraft weights and can be used on a variety of platforms with differing catapult configurations. Work will take place in New Jersey, Mississippi, and California and is expected to be finished in January 2021.
The US Special Operationa Command (USSOCOM) tapped Barret Firearms Manufacturing with approximately $50 million for the purchase of advanced sniper rifles. Barrett Firearms Manufacturing is an American manufacturer of firearms and ammunition. It was founded in 1982 by Ronnie G. Barrett to build semi-automatic rifles chambered for the powerful .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO) ammunition, originally developed for and used in M2 Browning machine guns. Work will take place in Christiana and is scheduled to be finished by March 2024. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $387,234 are being obligated at the time of award.
Middle East & Africa
Turkey will start to deploy S-400 anti-aircraft missile defense systems in October this year. Turkey is acquiring S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia because of the urgent need to ensure the country’s security. The S-400 Triumf is a Russian anti-aircraft weapon system designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles. It can also be used against ground installations. In June 2018, it was announced that Turkey assigned defense enterprises the task of completing the production of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems in May 2019 for their delivery to Turkey. Earlier this month, the United States threatened to cancel Turkey’s participation in the F-35 fighter jet program and also impose sanctions on it if Ankara persists on its planned purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems.
Raytheon partnered with German sensor specialist Hensoldt to provide integrated air surveillance radars to the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) and the Deutsche Flugsicherung. The Royal Netherlands Air Force will receive one system that will provide both advanced air traffic control and wind-farm interference mitigation at De Kooy airfield. The Deutsche Flugsicherung, which is a German air navigation provider, will receive three systems to replace aging radars as part of Germany’s airspace modernization efforts. The radars will combine Hensoldt’s next-generation primary airport surveillance radar, the ASR-NG and Raytheon’s Mode S monopulse secondary surveillance radar, the Condor Mk 3. Hensoldt’s multibeam 3D S-band solid-state approach control primary surveillance radar combines fully digital Doppler detection and tracking solution with highly flexible and self-learning clutter and site optimization capabilities.
Norway will house the world’s first licensed service center to service F-16 fighter jets. Lockheed Martin together with AIM Norway will jointly establish the so called „Falcon Depot“ center for the Royal Norwegian Air Force and other regional F-16 customers. AIM Norway provides maintenance, repair and modification services for fixed wing aircraft, helicopters and field equipment for the Norwegian Armed Forces. Lockheed Martin continues to grow its F-16 customer base and sees new F-16 production opportunities totaling more than 400 aircraft. There are approximately 3,000 operational F-16s in service today with 25 countries.
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) successfully test-fired an indigenously developed range smart weapon from JF-17 multi-role fighter aircraft. The JF-17 Thunder is a single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation of China. The PAF inducted its first JF-17 squadron in February 2010. The Thunder was part of media attention during recent hostility between Pakistan and India. It was recently reported by CNN that a JF-17 fighter jet brought down an Indian warplane in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The report contradicted Indian claims that Pakistan used F-16s to down Indian planes.
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