Lockheed Receives Trident II Contract Modification | Arms Imports Increase in Middle East | UK Set To Increase Nuclear Warheads Numbers
Lockheed Martin Space won a $558.8 million contract modification for Trident II (D5) missile production and deployed systems support. The UGM-133A Trident II, or Trident D5 is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), built by Lockheed Martin Space in Sunnyvale, California, and deployed with the American and British navies. Work is expected to be completed September 30, 2026. Fiscal 2021 weapons procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $477,091,291; United Kingdom funds in the amount of $73,747,000; and fiscal 2020 weapons procurement (Navy) in the amount of $8,003,070 are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Bell Boeing Joint Project Office won a $25.7 million order, which provides flight test support for the V-22 aircraft in support of the Navy, Air Force, and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. The V-22 Osprey is a joint-service, medium-lift, multimission tilt-rotor aircraft developed by Boeing and Bell Helicopters. Boeing is responsible for the fuselage, landing gear, avionics, electrical and hydraulic systems, performance and flying qualities. Work under the new contract will take place in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas and Florida. Estimated completion date is in March 2026.
Middle East & Africa
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), international arms exports in the years 2015-2020 remained at the same level as in the years between 2011 and 2016. While the US, France and Germany increased its exports, these were offset by fewer exports from Russia and China. There was a strong growth in exports to the Middle East. The Middle East was the fastest growing market for arms, importing 25% more in 2016-20 compared to the previous five year period. The biggest increases came from Saudi Arabia (61%), Egypt (136%) and Qatar (361%).
The German Air Force has delivered a replacement Heron unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from Israel to Afghanistan in order to replace one that was forced to make a controlled landing on March 5. Germany leases two Heron drones from Israel for its mission in Afghanistan.
According to The Telegraph, Britain is set to announce that it is increasing the number of nuclear warheads it can stockpile. The final details of this will be revealed on March the 16th in the Integrated Review. The review was previously described by Boris Johnson as the largest review of its kind since the Cold War and will be published later this month. It is expected next week to signal a potential increase of the number of Trident nuclear warheads for the first time since the end of the cold war.The UK’s stockpile of nuclear weapons peaked at about 500 in the late 70s, but had been gradually decreasing ever since as the perceived threat from the Soviet Union and now Russia had been assumed to be decreasing.
Israel and South Korea are to co-operate in the field of unmanned airborne intelligence, surveillance, targeting and reconnaissance (ISTAR). A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed on March 15. The MOU between Elbit Systems and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is geared at developing future unmanned airborne ISTAR capabilities for the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces and potential international customers.
Watch: Elbit Systems / Shore Protection Missile System (SPMS)