LM Gets $1.2B Contract Mod for 13 F-35s | USN: Summer RFP Release for MQ-25 Stingray | France Requests More Hellfire Missiles Under FMS
- Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $1.2 billion contract for the production of 13 F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Delivery of the fighters will see six F-35Bs sent to the USMC, three F-35As for the USAF and four F-35Cs for the US Navy. Work on the fighters is expected to be completed by December 2019.
- The US Navy is expected to release a risk-reduction request for proposals (RFP) for its MQ-25 Stingray program this summer. This will help set out the timeline in which the service can realistically expect the tanker system to be deployed on-board its carrier fleet. It is expected that this will be followed by an engineering, manufacturing and design RFP in early FY2017. Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman all have designs they were going to pitch for UCLASS, and are expected to modify them for the Stingray’s new role.
- Raytheon Apace and Airborne Systems has been awarded a contract for the continued low-rate initial production of the Silent Knight Radar system in support of US Special Operations Command. The value of the contract has the potential worth of up to $49.5 million and will continue for the year. The contract will be funded via delivery/task orders, and depending on the requirement may be funded using research, development, test and evaluation; procurement; and operation and maintenance funding.
- Boeing has announced that they expect orders of F-15 and F/A-18 fighters to keep production rolling into the 2020s. While the last order of F-15s by Saudi Arabia will be completed by 2019, it is expected that the US Navy will purchase more F/A-18s while export orders of the F-15 will continue to partner nations. The company has recently been implementing a series of cost cutting measures to boost productivity in the wake of losing out on the recent bomber program for the USAF to Northrop Grumman.
Middle East North Africa
- The first F-35I for the Israeli Air Force will be rolled out by Lockheed Martin on June 22 at the manufacturer’s Forth Worth plant. The ceremony will be met by an Israeli delegation led by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Israel’s order of F-35s will then be fitted with the indigenously developed C4 software system designed to meet the Israel Defense Force’s requirement that all Israeli aircraft have unique electronic systems in order to keep a technological edge.
- Algeria has commissioned into service the first of its two Meko A-200 frigates, which were ordered from German naval equipment manufacturer ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) in April 2012. Among other state-of-the-art armaments and navigational and communication equipment, the vessel features the Saab Sea Giraffe AMB (Agile Multi-Beam) 3-D surveillance radar, Saab CEROS 200 radar/electro-optical fire control directors and a Thales UMS4132 King-klip sonar unit. Armaments on the vessel include one OTO Melara 127/64 LW (Lightweight) 127mm naval gun, two MSI-Defense 30mm cannons, Rheinmetall Defense MASS soft-kill decoy launchers, Denel Dynamics Umkhonto-IR missiles, MU90 torpedoes and Saab/Diehl Defense RBS 15 Mk3 anti-ship missiles.
- France has requested to amend a previously-approved Foreign Military Sale of AGM-114K1A Hellfire missiles and increase the number ordered from 112 to 200. The estimated cost of the amendment is expected to be around $25 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) says the missiles “will directly support French forces actively engaged in operations in Mali and Northern Africa.”
- The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is to announce its downselect of an unmanned rotorcraft with UMS Skeldar confident its V200 UAV will be among the choices. One system will be acquired by the RAN to carry out land-based risk-reduction testing and training ahead of a full-scale acquisition of a UAV for ship-borne operations onboard the new frigates that it is acquiring. Carl Foucard, deputy head of business development and head of sales for Skeldar, says that the UAV’s Hirth heavy-fuel engine matches the RAN’s propulsion requirement, and the company is ready to supply the system.
- 2016 Top 10 Superiority Fighters:
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