Lockheed tapped for MUOS Support | Theon Sensors opens German Subsidiary | Belgian Air Force seeks Assistance from Safran Helicopters
The US Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command awarded Lockheed Martin a $92.9 million contract modification for engineering services on the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS). The modification also includes interim logistics services, spares and associated material. MUOS is a narrowband military satellite communication system designed to secure ultra-high frequency satcom activities for mobile force. The system employs radio terminals built to link up with the Global Information Grid and support mobile and tactical operations on the ground, at sea or in the air. It supports a worldwide, multiservice population of users, providing modern netcentric communications capabilities while supporting legacy terminals. The MUOS satellite network is expected to achieve full operational capability in 2017 and ensure the availability of UHF narrowband communications for the US Navy past 2025. The MUOS is also expected to serve the Australian defense forces. Work under the modification is scheduled to be finished in October 2020 and will take place in Arizona and California.
The Navy contracted Northrop Grumman $23.3 million in support of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye System. The deal provides for repair coverage of eight items that are part of the Hawkeye. The Hawkeye is an airborne, all-weather, tactical, early-warning aircraft. The E-2D is the fourth version of the E-2 Hawkeye. The technology and gadgets fitted in this aircraft increase its visibility on targets far away. The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye features an entirely new avionics suite including the new AN/APY-9 radar, radio suite, mission computer, integrated satellite communications, flight management system, improved T56-A-427A engines, a glass cockpit and later changes should enable aerial refueling by 2020. The award is a three-year contract with no option period. Work will take place in California and New York and is scheduled to conclude by December 2020.
Raytheon won a $63.3 million contract to further develop the Tactical Boost Glide hypersonic weapons program. Work under this contract will be part of a joint development of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Air Force. The program seeks to develop and demonstrate critical technologies to enable an effective and affordable air-launched hypersonic cruise missile. The system enables longer ranges with shorter response times and enhanced effectiveness. A tactical-range boost glide weapon is five times the speed of sound. These systems could provide significant payoff for future US offensive strike operations, particularly as adversaries’ capabilities advance. In 2016, Raytheon won a $174 million contract for the United States for the hypersonic air-breathing weapon concept program.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli company UVision demonstrated two of its HERO systems to an unknown Asian customer. The HERO systems are a line of loitering munitions systems that can loiter above a target and strike precisely when the opportunity arises. The HERO systems enable forces in the front-line to independently locate time sensitive targets, track and attack to handle different missions ranging from light-weight static or moving targets to larger fortified or heavily armored targets such as Main Battle Tanks and other strategic objectives. The two systems presented to the customer were the multi-purpose warhead and extended-range Hero-400EC and the high-precision, light-weight man-pack portable Hero-30. According to the company the demonstration proved the high precision strike to the target, the tracking and lock-on capabilities of the system on a vehicle in various operational scenarios, mission-abort capabilities, and parachute recovery. UVision is looking to expand its customer base in Asia.
The Greek company Theon Sensors announced the opening of German subsidiary Theon Deutschland GmbH in Kempen. This is reportedly a response to the strong demand for night vision and thermal imaging systems in Germany and neighboring countries with the aim to expand business. Theon Sensors was founded in 1997 and has its head office in Athens as wells as offices in Abu Dhabi and Singapore. The company specializes in Night Vision Systems for military and security applications. Theon Deutschland GmbH is part of a phased approach to enhance Theon Sensors’ footprint in the European market. The first stage is a sales office that will establish presence close to customers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Benelux region.
Safran Helicopters introduced the Belgian Air Force as its newest customer of the Expert Link, video assistance service. The Expert Link allows the customer to connect, through a secure, live video feed, with Safran Helicopter Engines experts to facilitate technical diagnosis or guide them through a maintenance task. The service was launched last year. Based on a proven video assistance application provided by Librestream, Expert link is available at two service levels. Essential, where Safran Helicopter Engines provides remote technical diagnosis and real-time interactive visual assistance, and Premium adds hands-free support on scheduled tasks using borescopes or smart glasses. The Belgian Air Force works together with Royal Netherlands Air Force for the support of the RTM322 engine. It will benefit from the Premium level of the new Expert Link service for the engine maintenance of its NH90 fleet. The NHIndustries NH90 is a medium-sized, twin-engine, multi-role military helicopter developed in response of NATO requirements for battlefield helicopters, which could also be operated in naval environments. In 2007, The NATO Helicopter Management Agency signed contract with NHIndustries to supply Belgium with a total of ten NH90 helicopters.
According to local news, Taiwan officials requested to buy 66 F-16V jets from the US for a total price of $13 billion. The Air Force confirmed it had made a request to the US regarding a purchase of new fighter jets, but declined to say which planes exactly it was hoping to buy. The F-16 Viper is a variant of the General Dynamics F-16 single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft. It features an AN7APG active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a new mission computer and electronic warfare suite, automated ground collision avoidance system, and various cockpit improvements. Taiwan is currently upgrading its 144 F-16 A/B jets to F-16Vs as part of a $3.68 billion project launched by the government in 2016.
Watch: U.K. Offers Cooperation in Building in Future Fighter Plane Technologies, Aircraft Carriers.