Lockheed Martin Tapped For THAAD Production | Red Arrows Cancel Oversea Training | Spain Uses A400M To Deliver Covid-19 Face Masks
Lockheed Martin won a $832.8 million contract modification to exercise an option for the production of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors and associated one-shot devices to support the US government and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Foreign Military Sales case requirements. The THAAD interceptors and associated one-shot devices will be procured under fixed-price incentive (firm target) contract line items. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) element provides the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) with a globally transportable, rapidly deployable capability to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles inside or just outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. Work will take place in Texas, California, Alabama and Arkansas. Estimated completion date is April 1, 2026.
BAE Systems has received a $339 million order from the Army to deliver 48 M109A7 Self-Propelled Howitzers, the company’s latest deal since the program was approved for full-rate production in February. The M109A7 SPH and M992A3 CAT vehicle set is a vital program enhancement for increased combat capability and sustainment of the Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs). The program offers enhanced indirect-fire artillery capabilities to the ABCTs with new technologies for power generation and survivability.
Middle East & Africa
The UK Royal Air Force Red Arrows aerobatic display team has cancelled its annual oversea training deployment due to the coronavirus, and will review its air display commitments for the 2020 season. The decision was announced by the RAF on March 24. It will see the BAE Systems Hawk T1-based display team remain at their homebase of RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire when they would normally decamp to Greece over the coming weeks to take advantage of the good weather conditions. “Given the current restrictions in the UK and many European partner nations to contain the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, the decision has been taken not to send the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, overseas for work-up training this year,” the RAF said in a statement.
The Spanish Ministry of Defense has utilized an Airbus-owned and operated A400M transport aircraft to deliver face masks to help combat the coronavirus. The airlift, which took place the day prior to Airbus’ announcement on 24 March, saw aircraft MSN56 fly “thousands” of masks from the company’s Toulouse headquarters in southern France to Getafe Air Base near Madrid, in Spain. As noted by Airbus, the masks which were part of a consignment of two million delivered to Europe from China, are destined for use in the Spanish health system. “This air-bridge will enable the delivery of a significant supply of masks to the Spanish public health network in support of current Covid-19 crisis efforts. This comes on top of donations by Airbus in recent days to provide thousands of masks to hospitals and public services around Europe. The company will continue to provide support with additional flights planned to take place in the coming days in co-ordination with national authorities,” the company said in a statement.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has confirmed that the company is negotiating with Hillwood Aviation for the purchase of four to eight T-50A advanced jet trainers. The US Air Force’s Air Combat Command plans to lease those jets from Hillwood Aviation to train its fighter pilots at their future operational bases. According to a notice posted online by the US General Services Administration in January, the US Air Combat Command plans to contract Hillwood Aviation to provide four to eight of KAI’s T-50A Golden Eagle advanced jet trainer aircraft to help its aviators develop relevant tactical skills before they begin their formal training with the Boeing T-7A Red Hawk.
India is now leasing aerial refueling tankers instead of buying them, Hindustan Times reported. High costs had derailed two previous attempts to acquire new tankers to supplement the Il-78 fleet. Two anonymous sources said leasing the tankers will be more financially viable. India is still exploring whether to wet or dry lease the aircraft. The doors to leasing military hardware were opened for the first time last week with the government unveiling a draft policy on arms acquisition that allows the armed forces to go in for leased capability to cut down on costs associated with purchasing weapons and systems.
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