Lockheed Tapped To Build 114 F-35s | Turkey And Russia Close To Finalize SU-35 Deal | Australian Navy Decommissions Last Adelaide Class Ship
Lockheed Martin won a $7 billion modification, which provides for the procurement of additional 114 F-35 aircraft. The deal, which updates an earlier procurement contract, covers aircraft and other considerations for the Defense Department as well as F-35 partner nations and other foreign customers. Of the 114 aircraft in the agreement, 48 are F-35As for the Air Force; 20 are Marine Corps F-35Bs; and nine are Navy F-35Cs. The US will receive 77 total aircraft, while 15 F-35As will go to Australia, 12 F-35As will go to Norway, and eight F-35As and two F-35Bs will go to Italy. The contract also covers funds to supply parts that have become harder to find, as well as software data, safety items, engineering services, and more. Lockheed will partner with Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems on the bulk of the work. Estimated completion will be in March 2023.
The US Navy awarded IAP Worldwide a $84.6 million contract modification, which exercises an option to provide logistics services in support of the E-6B aircraft and the requirement for parts industry management and support equipment maintenance for the E-6B aircraft. The Navy’s E-6B Mercury is based on a Boeing 707 commercial plane. The aircraft is part of the Navy’s “Take Charge and Move Out” community. The USA’s E-6 Mercury “survivable airborne communication system” airplanes support their Navy’s SSBN ballistic missile submarine force and overall strategic forces. Work will take place in Oklahoma, Nebraska, California and Maryland and is scheduled to be finished in November 2020.
Middle East & Africa
Turkey and Russia are currently negotiating to finalize a potential deal on the Russian made SU-35 fighter aircraft. „The talks have quite matured,” a senior Turkish procurement official told Defense News on the condition of anonymity. “A deal does not appear to be too distant.” Ankara and Moscow are reportedly also discussing potentially co-manufacturing a few components of the jets. If penned, an Su-35 deal will be Turkey’s second major purchase of weapons systems from Russia. To the dismay of its NATO allies, Turkey acquired the Russian-made S-400 long-range air defense system. The S-400s were delivered to the Turkish military in August. The Su-35 is a 4.5-generation aircraft.
On the evening of October 26, 2019, in Syria’s Idlib Province, a US special operations raid occurred, in which Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died at his own hands. He was the founder and leader of the Islamic State militant group. The Pentagon now announced that multiple AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles had been used to destroy the Islamic State group leader’s hideout in Syria following the raid that resulted in his death. In addition to JASSMs, US Forces used guided bombs, Hellfire missiles, miniguns, and other small-arms fire on the compound. News agencies published photographs of the site taken after the raid that show piles of rubble, with no free-standing buildings left. The incident marked the second time JASSMs have been used in Syria. In April 2018, B-1 bombers launched 19 of the missiles at the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons production facilities as part of a large strike, which also included 57 Tomahawk missiles. JASSM family missiles are guided by a combination of GPS/INS positioning en route, and Imaging Infrared (IIR) for final targeting. They carry a dual-mode penetrator and blast fragmentation warhead at subsonic speed, in a body shape designed to have a very low radar profile.
European country Bulgaria is planning to upgrade its T-72M1 main battle tanks (MBTs) in the near term while continuing rolling overhauls, Jane’s reports. The T-72M1 overhauls are being carried out at the Bulgarian TEREM-Khan Krum plant in Targovishte, a subsidiary of the TEREM EAD holding company. The standard T-72M1 weighs around 43 tonnes and is powered by the V-46-6 diesel developing 780 hp that gives a power-to-weight ratio of 18.1 hp/tonne. This gives a maximum road speed of 60 km/h, with a speed on a dirt road of 35 to 40 km/h.
The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) last operational Adelaide Class guided-missile frigate, HMAS Melbourne, was decommissioned in a ceremony held on October 26 at its home port of Fleet Base East, Garden Island in Sydney. During its 27 years in service the 4,260-tonne frigate was deployed on operations to the Middle East eight times and earned battle honors for service in East Timor, the Persian Gulf, and Middle East. The 138-meter warship was the only missile frigate left in the fleet of six, after HMAS Newcastle was decommissioned in June. Her departure will make way for a more modern fleet of warships.
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