Israel Seeks 10 Year FMF Package with US | Russian DARPA Equivalent to Develop Rotary Winged UAV | BAE, Fincantieri, Navantia Vie to Build Australian Navy Frigates
- The US Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a $181.7 million contract for the manufacture and delivery of F-35 low-rate initial production Lot 9 Alternate Mission Equipment, including armaments, pilot flight equipment, and red gear to a number of clients. Delivery is expected to be completed by September 2019. Recipients of the gear include the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, non-US Department of Defense (DoD) participants, as well as the governments of Israel and Japan under the Foreign Military Sales program.
- Northrop Grumman has been awarded $87 million as part of a modification contract to provide Large Aircraft Infrared Counter Measures (LAIRCM) calendar year 2016 base hardware buy and needed LAIRCM support. While the majority of the contract is for the USAF, 5% of the modification contract will be work for the government of Australia. The LAIRCM system will increase crew-warning time, decrease false alarm rates, and automatically counter advanced IR missile systems as well as protecting large aircraft from shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles.
Middle East North Africa
- Attempts by Russian companies to sign co-venture agreements with Israeli UAV manufacturers have been met with opposition by the US administration. Moscow previously had purchased 10 Searcher 2 and 30 BirdEye-450 UAVs from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), with these having been partially assembled in a Russian plant. However, Washington’s opposition to the cooperation would have led to them vetoing any potential export licenses should a more formal agreement go ahead.
- Israel has made a request for a 10-year Foreign Military Financing (FMF) package that will include an annual grant of $4.1 billion. Negotiations over the deal with the Obama administration are still ongoing; however, plans to procure additional F-35 fighters are “already in the pipeline,” according to reports. If the whole FMF package is not realized, Israel will likely continue with the new F-35 order, adding to the 33 already ordered. The IDF aims to have enough of the fighters to equip two squadrons.
- Irkut Corporation is to provide 30 more Yak-130 advanced jet trainers to the Russian Aerospace Forces. Contracts were signed by Deputy Defense Minister Yuriy Borisov and Irkut Corporation President Oleg Demchenko with all aircraft to be delivered by the end of 2018. The Yak-130 is the world’s only training aircraft with the aerodynamic configuration and subsonic flight performance characteristics of modern jet fighters.
- Germany’s Rheinmetall has been selected by Embraer to provide a training system for its new KC-390 transport aircraft. The deal is expected to exceed $112 million, and will see the company provide a full suite of training equipment over a 10-15 year period. Drawing upon its experience in providing the cargo hold simulator for the Airbus A400M, Rheinmetall’s scope will include training for cargo handling, procedures and maintenance, plus flight and mission training.
- DARPA’s Russian equivalent, the Russian Advanced Projects Agency, has announced a program for the development of a rotary-winged unmanned air vehicle (UAV) testbed. The creation a “flying laboratory” UAV will be used by government agencies to assess advanced robotic technologies for the military by exploring “complex, multi-discipline” technologies necessary to advance autonomous flight. The agency is collaborating with the Russian department of scientific research and technological support of advanced technologies as well as the Russian defense ministry.
- Proposals submitted by BAE Systems, Fincantieri and Navantia have been shortlisted for the Australian government’s program to build nine new frigates for the Royal Australian Navy. France’s DCNS of and TKMS of Germany’s offering were eliminated from the $27 billion program which will see the ships built in Adelaide, South Australia. The first steel expected to be cut in 2020 and will be fitted with phased array radar systems being developed by Australia’s CEA Technologies. Designs remaining are BAE Systems’ Global Combat Ship, based on the Type 26 frigate; Fincantieri’s anti-submarine warfare FREMM (Fregata Europea Multi-Missione) and a redesigned version of Navantia’s Álvaro de Bazán (F100) class vessel.
- Iran parading some of its new S-300 air-defense system at an Army Day parade on April 17:
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