Navy and AF Award Boeing Over $500M in Contracts| RDM Opens Munitions Factory in Saudi Arabia | Pentagon to Block Sales of Su-30s to Iran
- In further testing, the US Army’s new Multi-Mission Launcher has seen the successful test of Lockheed Martin’s Miniature Hit-to-Kill (MHTK) interceptor. The testing has been ongoing at the White Sands Missile Range in new Mexico. Weighing five pounds and around two feet long, the MHTK is designed to defeat rocket, artillery and mortar (RAM) targets at ranges greatly exceeding those of current and interim systems.
- The US Navy has awarded Boeing a $235.2 million modification contract to obtain long-lead materials and parts required for the P-8A program. The deal will see the company produce and deliver 11 Lot 8 full-rate production IV of the multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft by January 2017. This follows up on a potential $2.5 billion order for the aircraft from January for building the aircraft for both the Navy and the government of Australia.
- The Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded Boeing’s Directed Energy and Strategic Systems $275 million to research ground-based space-superiority capabilities and technologies to be applied to the Air Force. The specifics of the contract include research, engineering, and program management to advance scientific and technical knowledge of ground-based space-superiority capabilities and technology, and then apply and transition that knowledge to achieve Air Force and national goals. Work on the project will be split between Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico and in Maui, Hawaii with a completion expected by November 3, 2020.
Middle East North Africa
- A joint project between Antonov and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City Science and Technology centre has completed a significant milestone as the AN-132D aircraft has completed its major assembly. It is now awaiting delivery of PW150A engines from Pratt & Whitney. The AN-132 program intends to develop a light, multi-purpose aircraft for operation on short and medium-haul routes, and will perform various missions on cargo transportation.
- Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) has opened a factory in Saudi Arabia. Located south of the Saudi capital Riyadh, the complex is being operated in conjunction with Saudi Military Industries Corp. (SAMIC) and will produce mortars, artillery shells and aircraft-borne bombs weighing up to 2,000 pounds. Built with the help of the South African weapons and munitions manufacturer, the plant will specialize in the production of 60mm, 81mm, and 120mm mortars as well as 105mm and 155mm artillery shells to be used by the Saudi defense forces, who until now have been purchasing heavily from the US and UK.
- It is expected that the governments of Egypt and France are to sign a deal in mid-April for the purchase of weapons that include fighter aircraft, navy vessels, and a military satellite communication system worth $1.1 billion. The deal is expected to be signed upon French President Francois Hollande’s visit to the Egyptian capital Cairo on April 18. Rumors of what exactly will be sold include four new navy vessels from manufacturer DCNS, Two GOWIND corvettes, and a supply of military satellite equipment from Airbus and Finmeccanica group member Thales Alenia Space.
- Kalashnikov Concern announced that it has completed delivery of the Vikhr-1 laser guided anti-tank missile to the Russian Armed Forces under the state defense procurement plan. The contract is estimated to be worth $191 million, and is part of a large-scale Russian rearmament program aimed at modernizing 70% of its military hardware by 2020. The company was created in 2013 as a merger between the debt ridden Kalashankov rifle manufacturer Izhmash and the nearby Izhmech company.
- Attempts by Russia to sell Su-30 aircraft to Iran could see the Pentagon block any such sale via the the UN Security Council. Tehran had been eager to update and modernize its weaponry since the lifting of sanctions in January. The comments were made by US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Thomas Shannon, to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He said “We would block the approval of fighter aircraft,” noting that any sale needed to be approved by the Security Council.
- Review of the capabilities of Northrop Grumman’s X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle:
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