Lockheed tapped for USS Billings Post-Shakedown Availability | Belarus presents Berkut-3 l Insitu to deliver 34 ScanEagles to Asia
Lockheed Martin won a $29.3 million contract modification to produce TB-37 Multi-Function Towed Array production units, accessories, shipping products, and spare modules for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations aboard surface warships. The TB-37, part of the AN/SQQ-89(V) Undersea Warfare/Anti-Submarine Warfare Combat System, is a next-generation passive and active sonar receiver configured as a long 3-inch-diameter array that can be towed behind surface ships. It is for Arleigh Burke Class destroyers, Ticonderoga Class cruisers, the Littoral Combat Ships, and Zumwalt Class land-attack destroyer. It is able to operate at a variety of depths to enable surface warships to detect and localize enemy submarines attempting to hide in different ocean layers of varying temperatures and salinity. Lockheed will perform work in New York, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Scheduled completion date is in June 2021.
The US Navy awarded Sierra Nevada Corp. a $9.8 million task order for the AN/SPN-46(V) landing system upgrade program. The deal addresses obsolescence issues, system degraders, deficiency correction and cybersecurity implementation. The AN/SPN-46(V) is a Precision Approach and Landing System. It is capable of controlling up to two aircraft simultaneously in a “leapfrog” pattern because of two dual-band radar antennas. As each approaching aircraft being assisted by the system lands, another can be “acquired”. Work will take place in St. Inigoes, Maryland and is scheduled to be finished by May next year.
Lockheed Marin won a $9.3 million order for post shakedown availability on the Navy’s future USS Billings or LCS-15. The Billings is a Littoral Combat Ship currently undergoing sea trials. It is the 17th littoral combat ship delivered to the Navy and eighth of the Freedom variant to join the fleet. She will be commissioned on August 3 in Key West, Florida and will be tasked with near-shore multi-purpose missions that utilize her ability to deploy and recover landing craft and helicopter. A vessel is typically not committed to any timetables or tasks until it completes its shakedown cruise. While the ship is assigned to the industrial activity for this purpose, this period is known as an “availability”. The awarded deal provides advance planning, accomplishment and emergent availabilities. Work will take place within the US and is expected to be completed by January 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Russia’s Ministry of Defense will soon be able to establish permanent missions within its counterparts in the Central African Republic and Sudan. Jane’s reports that the country has signed agreements with the African States that will run for seven years and will automatically renew if they are not terminated. The aim is to resolve military issues, provide training, and support the acquisition and maintenance of equipment.
The Belarusian company AGAT Control Systems will soon finish the Berkut-3, a Group 1-class drone. The UAV reportedly has a wingspan of 3 meters and a maximum take-off weight of 11 kg, and has the ability to carry a 2 kg payload. It can be assembled within 10 minutes and launched and recovered via a catapult and a parachute respectively. It is equipped with a combined inertial navigation system (INS) and GPS/GLONASS satellite navigation receiver. The system also includes a digital still camera, infrared camera, or TV camera – ground control station (GCS), datalink, and a ruggedized storage container.
Insitu won $47.9 million to deliver ScanEagle drones to four US allies in Asia. The company will deliver 34 ScanEagles to Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. The order also provides for spare payloads, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools, training, technical services and field service representatives for each nation. The drone delivers high-quality imagery for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). The UAV is based on Insitu’s SeaScan miniature robotic aircraft and draws on Boeing’s systems integration, communications and payload technologies. It carries either an electro-optical or an infrared camera. Both are inertially stabilized. Insitu will perform 70 percent of the work under the new contract in Bingen, Washington as well as at multiple shore and at sea locations, including nine percent in Malaysia, five percent each in Philippines and Vietnam, and four percent in Indonesia. Expected completion is in March 2022.
Indonesia could get Su-35 supplies as soon as the end of the year, according to Russian reports. Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu stated that Jakarta would not cancel the contract on jet supplies despite the US sanctions against Russia. The sanctions aim to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for the 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, involvement in the Syrian war, and interference in the 2016 US presidential election. In February last year Indonesia signed contracts for the purchase of 11 SU-35s. The Defense Ministry has already signed all the necessary paperwork. However, the Trade Ministry and Finance Ministry are still in the process of approval. Indonesia is the second country after China to buy Su-35 aircraft from Russia. The Asian nation wants the fighter jets to replace its ageing fleet of F-5 Tigers.
An AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force with 13 people on board reportedly went missing on Monday afternoon around 33 minutes after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Arunachal’s Menchuka close to the border with China. According to the IAF the aircraft took off from Jorhat 12:27 pm, and its last contact with the ground control was at 1 pm. The IAF has deployed C-130J and AN-32 aircraft next to two Mi-17 choppers while the Indian Army has pressed into service advance light helicopters to locate the missing Antonov AN-32 aircraft. The AN-32 is a Soviet Union-origin twin-engine turboprop transport aircraft. The IAF was the aircraft’s launch customer.
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