L-3 Comm Vertex Aero Gets $302.2M to Support C-12 Huron | Outgoing USAF Chief of Staff Gives Props to Restarting F-22 | GE: $3.5B Engines to SK for KF-X Fighters
- L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace has been awarded a $302.2 million US navy contract for logistics services in support of the C-12 Huron utility lift aircraft. Work to be carried out includes post-production, full commercial-type aircraft maintenance, logistics support and materials for the Marine Corps Reserve C-12 and Navy TC-12B trainer aircraft with a completion date set for June 2021. The military version of Hawker Beechcraft’s King Air 200, the C-12 is a multi-mission aircraft that provides personnel and cargo transportation, range clearance, medical evacuation, courier flights, and humanitarian rescue or assistance.
- “Not a wild idea” is outgoing USAF’s chief of staff Gen. Mark Welsh’s thoughts on restarting the F-22 production line as industry officials and the air force have repeatedly dubbed the concept a nonstarter. In an era of declining military budgets and streamlining of services, Walsh’s comments will bolster lawmakers supporting the superiority fighter’s reintroduction, and may see an F-22 revival gaining traction, after the full House passed legislation that would, if approved by the Senate and signed into law, direct the service to study the possibility.
Middle East North Africa
- RADA has announced the sale of a number of its RPS-42 Tactical Air Surveillance Radar Systems to an unnamed Asian country. The $2 million contract will see the Israeli firm deliver the system this year, and will be installed by the purchaser on its own tactical vehicles. Once installed, the system will provide the customer with a mobile air surveillance solution for its armed forces.
- Turkish defense procurement officials revealed that the Turkish Navy is keen to induct a long-range maritime patrol aircraft to complement its CN-235 and ATR72 fleet, with Boeing’s P-8A a favored choice. Requirements from Ankara include being able to fly 1,000 to 1,200 nautical miles away from their main base in Turkey, and fly 12 to 15 hours as well as being able to fulfill anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare roles. While a request for information is expected to be released soon, the parameters set may make the competition a very small one.
- The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) could have a contractor chosen for its laser directed energy weapon demonstrator by next month. Andy Rhodes, a business development executive at Raytheon UK, dropped the date of June 3 as a possible MoD announcement date when talking to reporters during a tour of the company’s plant in Glenrothes, Scotland. The company is part of a Babcock-led consortium including Lockheed Martin, Thales UK, MBDA and Rheinmetall. The consortium’s offering involves a modified truck-mounted version of Raytheon’s Phalanx close in anti-missile with the gun removed to make way for the laser, which is being developed by Qinetiq. Lasers for three other contenders are believed to be supplied by the company.
- Russian manufacturer Aviacor has delivered another An-140 turboprop aircraft to the Russian Navy, bringing to three the number operated by the service. The aircraft’s configuration is primarily for passenger transport but can also be modified to carry cargo. As well as providing An-140s, Aviacor is conducting maintenance and overhauls of Tu-154 aircraft, modernization of Tu-95MSs and maintenance of An-74 aircraft.
- Just days after the lifting of the US arms embargo, Vietnam look like they may request F-16s and P-3 Orions from Pentagon’s excess defense articles (EDA) program. Hanoi may also look into purchasing US made UAVs alongside the aircraft to improve its air defense and maritime security capabilities in order to enhance its position in the South China Sea. It’s also likely that the government will look to achieve a similar P-3 deal given to Taiwan including torpedoes (banned under the embargo) and an F-16 EDA procurement given to Indonesia.
- General Electric is to provide its F414-GE-400 engines for South Korea’s KF-X fighter after beating a European consortium offering the Eurojet EJ2000. The deal is estimated to be worth up to $3.5 billion, and contracts are expected to be finalized and signed in June. Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (KIA), who is developing the jet alongside Lockheed Martin, plans to develop and produce 170 twin-engined jets initially, with 50 destined for export to Indonesia.
- RADA’s RPS-42 Tactical Air Surveillance Radar System:
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