Lockheed Martin Tapped For F-35 Support | Indonesia Wants To Buy Austria’s Eurofighters | Royal Marines Test Drones Near Glasgow
Lockheed Martin won a $935.5 million deal, which procures support equipment, autonomic logistics information system hardware, training systems, site activations and integrated contractor support for the F-35 Lightning II. Additionally, the contract supports tasking that will result in improvements to the reliability, availability, maintainability and total ownership cost of the F-35 Lightning II for the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, non-Department of Defense (DOD) participants and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. The F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF), is being developed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company for the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and the UK Royal Navy. It is a stealthy supersonic multirole fighter. The JSF is being built in three variants: a conventional take-off and landing aircraft (CTOL) for the US Air Force; a carrier variant (CV) for the US Navy; and a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft for the US Marine Corps and the Royal Navy. Work will take place in Florida, Texas, California, New York and the UK. Estimates completion will be in March 2026.
General Dynamic Land Systems won a $44.4 million contract modification to procure improved fire control electronics units in support of the Abrams expedited active protection system-trophy. M1A1/2 Abrams main battle tank is manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS). The first M1 tank was produced in 1978, the M1A1 in 1985 and the M1A2 in 1986. Army and Marine units intend to use Trophy APS-equipped Abrams main battle tanks to disrupt/destroy certain classes of enemy fire while safely maneuvering across the full range of military operations. Work will take place in Tallahassee, Florida. Estimated completion date is October 1, 2022.
Middle East & Africa
An oversight failure left the Pentagon unable to judge if a $174 million Afghan surveillance drone project is effective, an inspector general’s report says. The report notes that at least $174 million was spent between 2015 and 2019 to supply Afghanistan’s security forces with ScanEagle remotely piloted aircraft. It adds, though, that the Defense Department is unable to determine if the project is effective, if the Afghan forces can sustain it or what the immediate and long-term impacts of the investment. The report concludes that whatever benefit the drones offer the Afghan forces is not quantifiable, and that their use has offered few gains in fighting Taliban forces in the country.
Local media in Austria says Indonesia has written an official letter to buy 15 Eurofighters from Austria. The letter was from Indonesia’s Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto to his Austrian counterpart Klaudia Tanner. The Austria Defense Ministry has confirmed that the letter was received. The letter was dated July 10. Subianto has also stated in his letter that he understands the issue of the Eurofighter in Austria is sensitive due to a corruption probe into the purchase of the 15 aircraft. He added that the sale offers opportunities for both sides. Austria had previously said it wanted to retire those fighters starting from this year and replace them with another type of aircraft such as the Gripen or F-16. Back in 2017, Austria launched a probe into the purchase of the fighters, alleging that Airbus had paid brides during the competition. Indonesia is looking to replacing its F-5 with new fighters and had signaled that it intends to buy the Su-35. However, the deal to buy the Russian fighters has never been signed. The South East Asian nation had also indicated last year that it intends to buy two squadrons of F-16s this year.
Royal Marines responsible for guarding the UK’s nuclear weapons and submarines have been testing drones and robots at Jackton Police College in East Kilbride near Glasgow. The Ministry of Defense says that 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines are the last line of defense protecting the nation’s Trident missiles and the machines which carry them. 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines is a 550-strong unit based at HM Naval Base Clyde in Argyll and Bute.
The US Navy says the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group and Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Groups dual carrier operations in the South China Sea are still ongoing. The latest statement said both groups “continued high-end dual-carrier exercises in the South China Sea, July 17.” The Navy had announced on July 6 that both groups had started dual carrier operations in the area on July 6. Nimitz and Ronald Reagan CSGs continue to leverage the teamwork of over 12,000 Sailors and Marines to conduct tactical air defense exercises, in order to maintain warfighting readiness and proficiency.
Watch: Eurofighter Typhoon vs Dassault Rafale – Which would win?