Navy orders 20 MT7 for LCAC | Kuwait gets support for its Super Hornet | IAI provides India with MRSAM systems
The Naval Sea Systems Command Washington awarded Rolls-Royce a $42 million contract modification to procure 20 Marine Turbine (MT7) engines for the Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) 100 Class craft in support of the Ship to Shore program. The LCAC-100 is a new class of landing hovercraft being developed by Textron Marine and Land Systems for the U.S. Navy. The craft are to replace the aging LCACs (landing craft, air cushion) in U.S. service. The LCAC 100 will enhance the US amphibious force’s ship-to-shore capacity with a rated load capacity per craft of 74 short tonnes. LCAC-1s have a 60-short tonne-rated payload. The landing craft was originally designated the Ship-to-Shore Connector and is intended to support the rapid movement of Marine expeditionary forces from naval vessels to shore and will be able to tactically deliver personnel and heavy equipment. The LCAC 100 craft consists of four MT7 turbines. The Rolls-Royce MT7 delivers between 4 to 5 MW and shares common core architecture with the AE1107C-Liberty aero engine that powers the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. Work under the modification includes production of the MT7 engines and delivery to Textron Marine Systems for assembly, and will take place in Indiana. Completion of the work is expected to be in December 2020.
The Navy tapped Raytheon with a $15.9 million contract modification in support of the Zumwalt Class combat systems program office. The modification includes a provisioned items order of DDG 1000 class mission systems equipment interim spares. The DDG 1000 or USS Zumwalt is the lead ship of the Zumwalt class and a multi-mission surface combatant designed to fulfill volume firepower and precision strike requirements. DDG 1000 has a ‘tumblehome’ hull form, a design in which hull slopes inward from above the waterline. This significantly reduces the radar cross section since such a slope returns a much less defined radar image rather than a more hard-angled hull form.The Zumwalt is equipped with two Advanced Gun Systems, which can fire the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP). LRLAP was originally meant to be one of a range of land attack and ballistic projectiles for the Advanced Gun Systems. However, LRLAP procurement was cancelled in 2016.
The Navy contracted Northrop Grumman $11.3 million for aerial refueling envelope expansion and objective tanker qualification testing in support of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the latest version of the American all-weather, carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning E-2 Hawkeye aircraft. It features a 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 planned changes are to enable aerial refueling. Work under the deal will be performed in Maryland and Florida and is scheduled to be completed by January 2021.
Middle East & Africa
The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Devision in Maryland contracted Kay and Associates Inc. with a $63 million contract modification to exercise an option for maintenance and support services for F/A-18 C/D and associated equipment in support of the government of Kuwait. Developed by Boeing, the F/A-18 C/D aircraft are the two variants of the F/A-18 Super Hornet, which is a twin-engine, supersonic, all weather multirole fighter jet. The Kuwait Air Force ordered 32 F/A-18C and eight F/A-18D Hornets in 1988. However, the country’s F/A-18C/D fleet is supposed to be replaced by a mix of Super Hornets and Typhoons. Kay and Associates provides maintenance and engineering services to industry and government customers. It offers aircraft maintenance, armament, and rotary-wing weapons systems as well as maintenance and production support services for army tactical and non-tactical ground vehicles and support equipment. Work under the contract, which is expected to be completed by January 2020, takes place at the Almed Al-Jaber Air Base, the Kuwaiti Air Force Headquarters, the Air Insitute/Air Defense Base and the Subhan/Air Defense Base.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) signed deals worth $93 million to provide India with naval Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) systems. The contracts were signed with the Indian Navy and Cochin Shipyard Limited. The company will supply complementary systems for the Indian Navy’s Barak-8 air- and missile-defense system. The MRSAM system is jointly developed by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization in close collaboration with IAI’s Elta, Rafael and additional companies in both countries. It is used by Israel’s navy as well as by India’s naval, air and ground forces. Each MRSAM system includes several state-of-the-art systems such as digital radar, a command and control system, tracking radar, interceptors with advanced homing seekers and mobile launcher systems.
The Finnish Ministry of Defense received responses from five manufacturers as part of its its Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornet replacement program HX-FP. The program envisages an acquisition of 64 aircraft, with the information packages soliciting information on aircraft, training systems, maintenance tools, testing equipment, weapons, and sensors. HX-FP is valued at $8.03 billion. The Air Force wants to retire its fleet of F/A-18 C/D Hornet jets between 2025 and 2029. Sweden, USA, France and Britain made proposals. The aircraft types covered in the proposals are Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-35, France’s Dassault Rafale, the British-made Eurofighter and the Swedish Saab Gripen. The Saab proposal includes both the single-seat Gripen E and the dual-seat Gripen F versions.
In Russia’s Khabarovsk Region close to the Chinese border, Su-35S fighter jets practiced interception of mock enemy aircraft that violated airspace during the exercise. The pilots trained offensive and defensive maneuvers in a wide range of altitudes and improved their combat skills as part of tactical flight missions. The Sukhoi Su-35 is a single-seat, twin-engine, supermaneuverable aircraft. The introduction of the Su-35S into service with the Russian Air Force is part of Russia’s state armament program for 2011-2020. In January 2016, four of Russia’s Su-35S were deployed for the first time to Syria.
Watch: USS MICHAEL MONSOOR – FULL CAPABILITY ANALYSIS