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Navy orders five Fire Scout UAS | Sallyport to provide Iraq F-16 Support | Netherlands roll out first F-35

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Americas The Navy awarded Northrop Grumman with a $55.1 million contract modification for the procurement of five Fire Scout MQ-8C unmanned air systems (UAS) and two lightweight fuel cells. The Fire Scout is a next-generation, unmanned air system designed to support land and sea-based military operations. It is meant to perform missions including intelligence, surveillance […]

The Navy awarded Northrop Grumman with a $55.1 million contract modification for the procurement of five Fire Scout MQ-8C unmanned air systems (UAS) and two lightweight fuel cells. The Fire Scout is a next-generation, unmanned air system designed to support land and sea-based military operations. It is meant to perform missions including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cargo resupply, and communications relay. It provides naval forces with extended over-the-horizon intelligence-gathering capability. The MQ-8C Fire Scout’s airframe is based on the commercial Bell 407, a mature helicopter with more than 1,400 airframes produced and over 4 million flight hours. The MQ-8C Fire Scout is an upgrade to the existing “B” variant. With a larger airframe and its ability to autonomously take-off and land on any aviation-capable ship, the “C” can fly nearly twice as long and carry three times more payload than its predecessor. On the contract awarded to Northrop, the company will do the work in California, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, and various other US locations and should be finished by August 2021.

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest contracted RQ Construction Inc. with $41.4 million to design and construct a maintenance hangar in support of the EA-18 Growler aircraft at Naval Air Station in Whidbey, Washington. RQ Construction specializes in design-build projects in federal, public and private markets. The EA-18G Growler is a variant of the F/A-18F Super Hornet and provides tactical jamming and electronic protection to US military forces and allies around the world. The Boeing EA-18G Growler replaced the Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler in service with the US Navy. Since 2017 the EA-18Gs are also in service with the Royal Australian Air Force. The Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is the only location where Growler pilots receive training of “touch-and-go” passes that simulate landing on aircraft carriers. The new facility by RQ Construction will provide high-bay space for aircraft maintenance, maintenance shops, and open bay warehouse space for aircraft equipment and administrative spaces. Work will take place in Oak Harbor, Washington, and is expected to be completed by July 2021.

The Navy tapped Nordam Group Inc. with a $7.9 million firm-fixed-priced contract for testing in support of the Super Hornet F/A-18 E-G 11 flight control surfaces. The Super Hornet are twin-engine, carrier-capable, multirole fighter aircraft variants based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The F/A-18E Super Hornet is a single seat version of the fighter, while the F/A-18F has two seats in tandem. The Super Hornet has an internal 20 mm M61 rotary cannon and can carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons. Additional fuel can be carried in up to five external fuel tanks and the aircraft can be configured as an airborne tanker by adding an external air refueling system. Work will be performed in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is scheduled to be completed by January 2020.

Middle East & Africa

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center awarded Sallyport Global Holdings a not-to-exceed $375 million contract action to provide base operations support, base life support, and security services in support of the Iraq F-16 program. Sallyport Global provides contingency operation support services to support individuals and business enterprises working in Iraq. The company offers fire and emergency, environmental, power production, protective, operations and maintenance, training, procurement and logistics, and design and constructive services. The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft developed by General Dynamics. In September 2010, a possible Foreign Military Sale of 18 F-16IQ aircraft with the associated equipment and services to the newly reformed Iraqi Air Force was made public. Last year the Iraqi Air Force announced, that it will receive 13 additional F-16 aircraft in 2019 bringing the fleet to a total of 34 fighters. Work under the current contract will take place in Balad Air Base, Iraq and is scheduled to be finished by end of January, 2020.


British Defense Contractor BAE Systems received a contract by the UK Ministry of Defense (MOD) to supply 155mm smoke and illuminating artillery rounds. The deal is valued at $20.9 million. BAE Systems will produce the shell bodies at its UK facility in Washington, England, and assemble the smoke and illuminating artillery rounds into the shells at the Glascoed facility in South Wales. The company will employ the existing Assegai Carrier design developed by German tank manufacturer Rheinmetall for the manufacture of the shell body instead of designing a completely new round. According to BAE Systems, this approach saves time and money. The smoke and illuminating rounds are designed to offer a longer burn duration and intensity. They are utilized in the battlefield for obscuring or lighting during day and night operations.

Lockheed Martin rolled out the first operational F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter for the Netherlands. The aircraft will be temporarily based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, where it will join the USAF’s 308 Fighter Squadron for international training before being transferred to Leeuwarden in the Netherlands this year. The Royal Netherlands Air Force is procuring the F-35A to replace its Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons. With the first of 37 aircraft set to enter operational service at Leeuwarden later in 2019, the type’s second operating station at Volkel is expected to open in 2021. Until now, more than 360 F-35s have been delivered internationally and are now operating from 16 bases worldwide. Ten nations are flying the F-35, seven countries have F-35s operating from a base on their home soil, five services have declared Initial Operating Capability, and two services have announced their F-35s were utilized in combat operations. According to the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the F-35 program already generated more than $1 billion in contracts for Netherland’s industry.


Indian President Ram Naht Kovind announced today, that the Indian Air Force is preparing to welcome the Rafale fighter aircraft in its fleet in order of strengthening its strike capabilities. Rafale is a French twin-engine, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. The aircraft is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. The Rafale was one of six aircraft competing in the Indian Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft competition, which was a competition to supply 126 multirole combat aircraft to the Indian Air Force. In 2012 the Indian Air Force announced Rafale as the preferred bidder. However, this sparked a political controversy. The Congress and other opposition parties have been attacking the government over the Rafale deal, alleging corruption and accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of favoritism. The government has denied the allegations.

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