LM Awarded $1.9B for Patriot Missiles | Dep Def Secy Asks Pentagon for $12B+ for War Games | Lithuania Looking to Buy NASAM-2
- Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $1.09 billion contract to provide Patriot PAC-3 missiles for use by the US Army, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Qatar. Delivery of the missiles is expected to be completed by June 30, 2019. The contract follows a similar one awarded in July worth $1.5 billion. The award follows a growing increase in demand for missiles and defense systems from both the US and countless other foreign buyers. The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency has come under scrutiny as of late for not being able to process foreign arms sales quickly enough to keep up with demand.
- Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work is to seek Pentagon funding in the region of $12-15 billion for 2017. The funds will go towards war gaming, experimentation and new technology demonstration in order to keep its defensive and offensive edge over China and Russia. Technologies that are to be invested in include autonomous weapons and deep learning machines which draw on advances in artificial intelligence. The 2017 budget is to be announced later this month and will be looked at closely by major US arms manufacturers, who are looking for clues as to which programs are to be funded.
- Raytheon is to carry out work on US Air Force C-130 radio systems after being awarded a $26.9 million contract to install MXF-626K VHF Communications System. These upgrades will allow the planes to comply with the European Air Traffic Managements newly adopted requirements by providing 8.33 kilohertz channel spacing in the range of 118 to 137 megahertz.
Middle East North Africa
- Turkey has received delivery of its third Airbus A400M after the first two had been sent back to Spain for retrofit and software work. The delays in their flights came following the crash of an A400M in Spain during the summer. Disputes have arisen between the Turkish government and Airbus over delays and production problems, but they are not the only country to have done so. While Germany has started to receive initial orders of the plane, it fined Airbus $14 million in November over delays to deliveries.
- Lithuania may be set to purchase the Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAM-2) in the new year. Reports say the Ministry of Defense saved on the purchase of armored vehicles which came in $109 million under budget. The medium-range NASAM-2 is jointly developed by Norway’s Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace Company and America’s Raytheon, and has a capability to shoot targets 14 kilometers away. While confirmation of the negotiations has yet to be made, a purchase of the system may see Lithuania move to incorporate defense systems interoperable with other NATO capabilities.
- State trials of upgrades for Russia’s Su-25SM3 single seat strike fighter are to begin before the end of the year. The jet will be fitted with the PrNK-25SM-1 sighting and navigation system comprising a BTsU-25S onboard digital computing system, an MFTsI-0332M multifunctional color display, and a SOLT-25 optical-laser remote-thermal-imaging system. The jets will also be fitted with a communication system with electronic countermeasure features that protect against different radars and against enemy air-to-air guided missiles. Offensive upgrades will see the jet capable of using laser-guided missiles, video-guided missiles, as well as satellite-aided and video-aided guided aerial bombs.
- The UK has issued an invitation to tender for their planned development and building of a Laser Directed Energy Weapon Capability Demonstrator. The Ministry of Defence had initially announced plans for developing the prototype back in March. While not much else is known about the project, the laser will first consist of a land-based hardware demonstration and will be followed by sea-based testing. The development of the weapon is expected to cost approximately $150 million.
- South African manufacturer Paramount Group has opened a new facility in Kazakhstan with the capacity to produce 200 armored vehicles per year. The facility’s opening is part of a technology transfer and local manufacturing model that Paramount has been pursuing with the aim of building alliances with governments and local partners. The factory will produce Paramount’s Marauder vehicle as well as a specialized winter version named the Arlan. The Arlan vehicle has been developed and tested in collaboration with the Kazakhstan military.
- The F-35B Lightning II participating in exercise Steel Knight:
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