Haskell Tapped For CH-53K Cargo Loading Tower | IDF Prepare For Coronavirus | Swiss Army Orders VarioRay From Rheinmetall
The Haskell Co. won a $9.5 million contract for the construction of the P680 CH-53K cargo loading tower at the Marine Corps Air Station in New River, North Carolina. Work will provide a high-bay facility that will house an operations trainer to support CH-53K helicopter pilot and crew chief training program. Construction includes a deep pile foundation, grade beams and reinforced concrete slabs to provide the building’s base while reinforced concrete masonry unit exterior walls and a standing seam metal roof provide the building enclosure. This facility will provide a covered, all-weather training environment for the ground operations aircrew trainer, a fuselage trainer device, pallet storage, retrieval and build-out packages associated with troop deployment and mobility. The facility includes high-bay roll-up doors and concrete drive aprons to accommodate moving the aircraft frame in and out of the building. Work will take place in New River, North Carolina. Estimated completion date is April 2022.
BAE Systems has been awarded a contract from Lockheed Martin to design and manufacture next-generation infrared seekers for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system, the company announced on March 17. Part of the design work will be conducted in Huntsville, Alabama. The THAAD weapon system intercepts hostile ballistic missiles with kinetic force during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. BAE Systems’ seeker provides infrared imagery that guides interceptors to their intended targets, destroying enemy warheads inside or outside the Earth’s atmosphere. The company has been developing and producing missile defense seeker technology for more than four decades, and has delivered more than 500 THAAD seekers to date.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s defense companies are preparing to prevent damage to production of weaponry, which is mostly for the IDF, Israel Defense reports. The spread of the coronavirus forces many countries all over the world to take strict measures. The defense sector in Israel is also adopting to tackle the threat from COVID-19. Employees of defense firms were instructed to avoid crowded places such as restaurants, pubs, Purim parties and so on, out of an understanding that a critical facility could be shut down if even one employee is infected. Ministry of Health directives stipulate limiting large conferences of 5,000 people or more, and companies are understandably not taking risks. Under a Defense Ministry directive, every defense company must have a wartime emergency plan. This plan defines procedures for operational continuity but it is not suitable for pandemics, and as a result it is being expanded to address the Coronavirus outbreak. Every major company has overlapping production lines in Israel and abroad for some of its products. In this manner, it is possible to transfer mass production if a few locations cease to function. However, there is no such solution for the extreme case of a national pandemic. If the government does not perform geographical segmentation in time and does not inspect the areas where the factories are located, it is possible that the Israeli defense sector will be on the verge of shutdown, Israel Defense reports.
Germany will end its Tornado reconnaissance flights against the so-called Islamic State (IS) on March 31, the Ministry of Defense announced on March 11 after the federal government extended the mandate of other German forces in Iraq. Four Luftwaffe Tornado reconnaissance aircraft have been operating from Al-Azraq in Jordan in support of the coalition since July 2017 after previously having conducted the mission from Incirlik, Turkey. The German MoD said the reconnaissance mission would be taken over by Italy, which deployed Eurofighters to Al Mubarak in Kuwait early last year, taking over the reconnaissance mission from AMX aircraft in March 2019. The Eurofighters are fitted with the Reccelite II reconnaissance pod, complementing the Italian Predator unmanned aerial vehicles also deployed to Al Mubarak. The Luftwaffe will continue to provide aerial refueling to the anti-IS coalition. This mission has been conducted from Al-Azraq since July 2017 by a Luftwaffe Airbus A310 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), which was joined by an A400M air-to-air refueling version in July 2019.
As part of its 2019 defense procurement program, the Swiss Army recently placed an order with Rheinmetall for the VarioRay LLM laser light module. A contract to this effect was signed in December 2019 with Switzerland’s Federal Office for Defence Procurement (Armasuisse). Delivery of 9,640 devices is set to commence in May 2020 and be complete by the end of 2022. The order is worth a figure in the lower two-digit euro million range. The Swiss Army calls the laser light LLM 19 and it will be used on the Swiss soldiers’ assault rifles, as part of Germany’s Future Soldier System-Extended System (IdZ-ES) when used by the German Army. In fact, the British Army also employs the system, under the name Laser LightModule MK3.
Earlier this month, Japan’s defense chief paid a visit to Vietnam. While the interaction was just one of several scheduled engagements between the two sides, it nonetheless spotlighted some of the ongoing activity in the naval aspect of their defense relationship. Vietnam and Japan have agreed to expand collaboration in naval shipbuilding projects, the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense (MND) has said. The MND said Vietnam and Japan have agreed to “implement a co-operation project in the field of shipbuilding [and] technology transfers in military shipbuilding”. It added that the new agreement also facilitates Japanese support to Vietnam in “defense industrial technical training” as well as sharing defense industry “expertise and experiences”.
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