Insitu won $390.4 million to supply Blackjack drones for the US Marine Corps US Navy, as well as Blackjacks and smaller ScanEagle unmanned air vehicles, for three foreign allies. The contract provides for up to 63 RQ-21A Blackjack attrition air vehicles plus six RQ-21A Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and up to 17 RQ-21A air vehicles for FMS customers, including Canada, Poland and Oman. The contractor will also provide up to 93 ScanEagle UASs in various configurations. Insitu developed the RQ-21A Blackjack program together with the Navy in order of filling the requirement for small tactical drones capable of operating from land and sea. With a flight endurance of up to 16 hours and an altitude ceiling of 19,500ft, RQ-21A can carry loads up to 39 pounds. The runway-independent system can be used to support tactical missions on land and at sea. The Marine Corps’ RQ-21A Blackjack UAS achieved initial operational capability in 2016. Under the new contract, Insitu provides for associated services, including training, test and engineering, development of engineering change proposals, operations support, organizational level maintenance, field service representatives, land and ship surveys, hardware site activations, hardware installs, repairs and data. Work will take place in Bingen, Washington as well as other locations inside and outside the continental US. Scheduled completion date is in June 2022.
International Marine and Industrial Applicators LLC was tapped with $8.5 million for the accomplishment of preservation and non-SUBSAFE structural repairs and maintenance on USS Michigan or SSGN 727. The deal will provide preservation, structural repairs, anode removal and safety track repair requirements and include all necessary management, material support services, labor, supplies and equipment deemed necessary to perform this work. Non-SUBSAFE means the structural repairs and maintenance are not part of the Submarine Safety Program, a quality assurance program of the US Navy designed to maintain the safety of the submarine fleet. The USS Michigan is the second sub of the Ohio Class of ballistic missile submarines and guided missile submarines. The Michigan was launched on April 26, 1980. It was built to carry the Navy’s third generation submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the Trident C-4. Work under the contract will take place in Bremerton, Washington and is scheduled to be complete by June next year.
Carelton Life Support Systems won an $8 million contract modification for the Phase II Upgrade and qualification testing of the CGU-25 oxygen concentrator on the T-45 aircraft. The McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk is the Navy’s aircraft-carrier capable trainer. The T-45 is tandem-seat pilot trainer that replaces the TA-4J Skyhawk and T-2C Buckeye. It was modified from the British BAE Systems Hawk land-based training jet aircraft. In 2017, the USN grounded the T-45 fleet for a three-day “safety pause” after more than 100 instructor pilots refused to fly the aircraft. The pilots cited concerns about incidents of hypoxia that they believed to have resulted from faulty onboard oxygen-generation systems. Under the modification, Carelton will perform work in Davenport, Iowa, and work is expected to be finished in July 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Honeywell International won a $16.5 million firm-fixed FMS to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to produce J7 Digital Electronic Control Unit for the Abrams family of vehicles. The M1 Abrams is designed for modern armored ground warfare. It has a 1500 hp AGT1500 multifuel turbine engine, sophisticated Chobham composite armor, a computer fire control system and separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment along with NBC protection for crew safety. It weighs nearly 68 short tons, which makes it one of the heaviest Main Battle Tanks in service. After the start of the Saudi Arabian intervention in Yemen during 2015 Yemeni Civil War, Saudi Arabian M1 Main Battle Tanks, were deployed near the Saudi Arabia/Yemen border. In August 2016, the US approved a sale of up to 153 more Abrams tanks to Saudi Arabia, including 20 “battle damage replacements”, suggesting that some Saudi Arabian Abrams had been destroyed or severely damaged in combat in Yemen. The Kuwaiti Army has 218 M1A2s. Work under the current Foreign Military Sale will take place in Tucson, Arizona, and has a scheduled completion date of June 28, 2024.
A stray missile exploded over northern Cyprus on July 1, Reuters reports. The surface-to-air missile (SAM) was reportedly fired from Syria in response to an Israeli attack. Authorities said the missile sparked blazes in surrounding hills after its remnants landed early on Monday, barely 12 miles north-east of the capital Nicosia. Images of the crash showed the burnt-out remains of a missile that had landed in scrubland in the Turkish-occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus. Markings suggested it was a Russian-made S-200 surface-to-air missile, which can have a range of up to 250 miles. Jamming technology could have diverted the missile.
British company Meggitt PLC signed a 3 year agreement with BAE systems for a new generator system. According to Meggitt, its solution combines two existing generators into a single generator, capable of fitting into a compressed space envelope. It is designed to create space and weight savings and improves efficiency and performance. Together with BAE Systems, Meggitt has worked on developing a reliable, efficient system that reduces the number of critical parts, making assembly and maintenance much easier.
Raytheon Missile Systems won a $36.7 million firm-fixed-price contract to procure Rolling Airframe Missile Guided Missile Launching System requirements. The deal is for the US Navy as well as Japan. The contract, for which 91% of the value is for the USN and 9% for Japan, is to procure material, fabricate parts, assemble, test, and deliver RAM Mk 49 Mod 3 GMLSs. The RAM guided-missile weapon system is co-developed and co-produced under an international cooperative program between the governments of the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. RAM is a missile system designed to provide anti-ship missile defense for multiple ship platforms. Work is expected to be completed by June 2021.
Watch: Errant ‘Russian-made Syrian missile’ explodes in Cyprus