Lockheed tapped for LRASM support | Aeronautics signed deal for merger with Rafael | HAL’s SPORT trains pilots for Rafale
The US Air Force contracted Boeing with a $24.1 million modification for F-15 Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS) engineering and manufacturing development. The EPAWSS is a program that upgrades F-15 aircraft electronic warfare capabilities to detect and identify air and ground threats, employ counter-measures, and jam enemy radar signals. It has fully integrated radar warning, geo-location, situational awareness, and self-protection solutions to detect and defeat surface and airborne threats in signal-dense contested and highly contested environments. The F-15 Eagle is a twin-engine, tactical fighter aircraft with speed capability of 1,875 miles per hour. The aircraft has an all-metal semimonocoque fuselage with a large-cantilever, shoulder-mounted wing. The contract modification also includes operational test and evaluation and provides for the procurement of hardware and systems engineering program management for the F-15E Operational Test and Evaluation jets. Work will take place in St. Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be finished by June 1, 2021.
The US Army Contracting Command awarded Longbow LLC a $10.5 million contract modification for Laser and Longbow Hellfire engineering services. Hellfire missiles are the USA’s preferred aerial anti-armor missile, and are widely deployed with America’s allies. The AGM-114 Hellfire is an air-to-surface missile. It is a combat proven tactical missile system using multiple launch platforms. The Hellfire can be fired from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft, waterborne vessels and land-based systems against a variety of targets. Longbow LLC produces equipment for the aerospace and defense industry including electrical components for helicopters and other vehicles. Work under the modification will take place in Orlando, Florida and is scheduled to be completed by the end of February next year.
The Naval Air Systems Command awarded Lockheed Martin a $33.4 million contract modification in support of the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM). The modification includes redesign, integration and test of radio frequency sensors as part of a cost reduction initiative. Lockheed secured a potential $322 million contract in 2016 to support the integration and testing of LRASM, which is designed to be launched from guided-missile destroyers and cruisers. The LRASM is a long-range precision guided missile designed to autonomously detect and engage enemy warships based on their image recognition, infrared, radar and other sensor profiles. The LRASM is expected to be integrated with the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet this year. Work under the modification will take place in New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Florida and is expected to be completed by February 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s Aeronautics confirmed that it signed a deal to be acquired by defense contractor Rafael Advanced Defense and businessman Avihai Stolero. Aeronautics, which manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for military surveillance and defense purposes as well as for the commercial sector, will become private and its shares delisted from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Rafael and Stolero will pay $235 million for full ownership. The deal is still subject to approval from Aeronautics’ shareholders. In August 2017 the Israeli Ministry of Defense halted the company’s license to export a loiter munition UAV system to an unnamed client, leading to the launch of an investigation by Israeli Police and the Israel Securities Authority for suspected violations of the Israeli defense export controls law. This resulted in the company’s stock taking a big hit. According to Aeronautics the merger with Rafael will be completed within four to six months.
The British Royal Air Force (RAF) tested the Texan T1 training aircraft on Friday for the first time. The Beechcraft Texan T MK1 will take over the basic fast jet training role currently fulfilled by the Tucano. The aircraft, also known as the T-6A Texan II, is also used by the US Air Force, the US Navy and US Marine Corps for training. Continuing the precedent set by the Tucano for employing a tandem-seat turboprop basic trainer, the Texan II replaces the analogue cockpit of the earlier machine with a digital glass cockpit featuring modern avionics. The aircraft’s mission system is capable of generating simulated air-to-air targets and scoring against the release of simulated air-to-ground ordnance. The T1 can simulate missions in fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft, including the F-35 Lightning and Typhoon. Britain is investing $1.6 billion in fixed-wing aircraft training under the Military Flight Training System to train and prepare junior pilots for the frontline.
The Royal Australian Air Force along with Western Sydney University developed a camera that can track objects in space in real time. The so called Astrosite could help prevent satellites located beyond the Earth’s atmosphere smashing into each other. With the Astrosite, which is modelled off the human eye, it will be possible to see into space during the day, and during low observable periods.The camera could be mounted onto a plane, train or a ship. The technology’s development is part of the Plan Jericho, which is a strategy to transform the Royal Australian Air Force by capitalizing on future high technology systems.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is developing a trainer aircraft that can be used to train Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots before they start flying the Rafale. The Supersonic Omni Role Trainer Aircraft (SPORT) is based on Light Combat Aircraft frame and engine. SPORT will carry HMDS, LDP, cruise missiles, laser-guided bombs, anti-shipping missiles, smart weapons and drones. It can also be used as a combat aircraft during war. In the IAF training module, the first level of training is basic training, followed by intermediate and advanced. After this, the pilots go on to fly high performance aircraft Rafale or Mirage 2000. HAL has completed preliminary design and is about to get into actual development of the aircraft.
Watch: For the first time: Britain tests next generation training aircraft