Leonardo to enter Eurofighter into Poland’s Harpia tender | Israel plans old F-16 sale to Croatia | Afghans to receive four Indian Mi-24s
- The Boeing Co., St. Louis Missouri has been awarded a contract modification valued at $34 million. This amended contract includes an integrated product support and sustained engineering for F/A-18A-F and EA-18G aircraft in support of the US Navy and the governments of Australia, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Switzerland, Canada and Spain. The F/A-18A-F Super Hornet is the two seat version of the aircraft that exchanges a greater operational range for a more advanced attack station cockpit to assist its strike role. The EA-18G Growler is a variant of the F/A-18F that provides tactical jamming and electronic protection capabilities. They have been used in Iraq for everything from disrupting enemy IED attacks by jamming all radio signals in an area to escorting strike aircraft against heavily defended targets during the opening days of the war. Work is scheduled to be completed in December 2010 and will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri, Bethpage, New York as well as El Segundo and San Diego, California.
- Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. of Sunnyvale, California is being awarded a contract valued at over $10 million. This modification refers to a 2016 contract between the US Navy and Lockheed Martin for a Common Missile Compartment Replacement for Ohio Class submarines, a missile service unit, a X-Link Pod Refresh and Strategic Weapons Systems Ashore efforts. The common missile compartment, being designed for the Ohio and Vanguard submarine replacement vessels, will house submarine-launched ballistic missiles in quad-packs aboard future U.S. and United Kingdom missile boats. The common missile compartment carries the UGM-133 Trident II nuclear missile, one of the most advanced submarine-launched atomic missiles in the world. The Strategic Weapons Ashore facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station provides long-term shore-based testing capabilities to proof modernized submarine missile systems. This installation will play an important role in the upcoming US Navy program to replace the Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine. Work will be performed in Cape Canaveral, Florida, with a completion date of December 31, 2020.
- The US Navy plans to modify 45 more Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in the next two years to increase the aircraft’s service life and capabilities. The potential contract will cover modifications to up to 15 aircraft in fiscal 2019 and up to 30 aircraft in FY2020 and is valued at $73.2 million. The modifications are designed to extend the fighter’s airframe life from 6,000h to 9,000h, adding up to 10 years of service life. Upgrades include an enhanced network capability, a longer operational range, an advanced cockpit system, a reduced radar signature and an enhanced communication system. Such upgrades are designed to make the Super Hornet effective in combat until at least into the early 2030s. The US Navy currently has an active fleet of 541 F/A-18E/Fs and is buying 24 new Super Hornets for a sum of $1.8 billion in FY2018.
Middle East & Africa
- Jane’s reports that the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) and Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) signed a letter of intent covering the production of Beryl M762 assault rifles in Nigeria. The memorandum determines three phases of technology transfer: initial assembling, partial manufacturing, and finally full production of the assault rifles at the Ordnance Factory Complex in Kaduna. The PGZ is one of the largest defence groups in the world and is active in the defence, shipyard, offshore, property and high-tech sectors. Nigeria’s federal budget allocated $1 million to the production of the Beryl M762 rifles and $1.08 million to the production of AK-47 assault rifles. It was not announced how many rifles will be produced in Nigeria.
- Israel plans to sell a squadron of its ageing F-16 planes to Croatia. The NATO member seeks to modernize its fleet of MiG-21s with this $500 million deal. The first of the 12 jets is scheduled to arrive in 2020 with the remaining following by 2022. The decision comes after a number of top Croatian officials have voiced concern over the condition of the country’s MiG-21s. Croatia bought those Soviet-era jets from Ukraine in 2013.
- The Italian airframe manufacturer Leonardo prepares to promote the Eurofighter Typhoon to the Polish government which should launch its “Harpia” fighter tender to replace its remaining RAC MiG-29s and Sukhoi Su-22s within the next few weeks. The company is willing to negotiate the relating integration of weapons used by the Polish air force. This would involve the Eurofighter consortium clearing the type to operate with Lockheed Martin’s AGM-158 JASSM air-to-surface cruise missile. Warsaw is a strategic costumer for the company as it has previously bought Leonardo’s Aermacchi M-346 advanced jet trainers. Eurofighter Typhoons can be either assembled in Italy, Germany, Spain or the UK. The companies that took part in the analysis and market survey phase are Boeing, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin and Saab.
- The Swiss government has unveiled details of its $8 billion ‘Air 2030’ program which envisions a reboot of the country’s air-defense complex that sets the stage for the purchase of both aircrafts and ground-based missiles. The existing fleet of decades-old F/A-18 and F-5 jets is considered too outdated for the task. New aircraft under consideration include the Eurofighter, Dassault’s Rafale, Saab’s Gripen, the F/A-18 Super Hornet from Boeing and Lockheed Martin’s F-35A, according to the March 23 list of requirements published by the defense department. In addition, Swiss officials want to protect an area of 15,000 square kilometers with ground-based weapons, which is more than one-third of the country. They also seek to intercept targets up to 12 kilometers high and 50 kilometers away. Ground-based weapons on the short list are the Eurosam consortium’s SAMP/T system; the David’s Sling missile shield from Israel; and Raytheon’s Patriot system. The ministry wants to purchase a single plane type under a “one-fleet policy.”
- As part of its four-year military transition plan backed by the US to modernise its air force Afghanistan will receive 4 Belarusian Mi-24 helicopters from India. A trilateral agreement between Belarus, Afghanistan and India was signed earlier this month. The Mi-24 is a Cold War-era helicopter and is used for counter-terrorism operations by the Afghan National Army. India already supplied four Mi-24s to the Afghan Air Force during in the year 2015-2016, marking a significant shift from its earlier reluctance to provide lethal military equipment. However, some of these helicopters had been grounded because of the lack of spares and India is working on plans to help repair and refurbish these Mi-24s and other Russian-origin helicopters and transport aircraft of the Afghan Air Force. Those helicopters will have a positive effect on the continued Afghan counter-terror operations against the Taliban and IS-KP and will provide ground troops with much needed close air support.
- The Afghan Air Force drops its first laser-guided bomb on Taliban troops in Farah
Categories: Daily Rapid Fire