NG Finished First Major Design Review For GBSD | DoS Approves Arms Sale To Egypt | Hamworthy Pumps Wins Type 31 Deal
Northrop Grumman announced on February 16 that it has carried out the first major design review event for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD). The GBSD is being develop to replace the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile. The review took place in November, 2020 over a period of three-days by a team from Northrop Grumman and the US Air Force.
The US Marine Corps 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit declared that the air wing on board amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) has air operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve from February 13. VMM-164 (Reinforced) is providing close air support operations and defensive counter air support operations while F-35Bs from VMFA-122 are executing long-range strike.
Middle East & Africa
General Dynamics Land Systems won a $20.7 million contract modification for Abrams systems technical support. Abrams is an American Main Battle Tank. The first M1 Abrams battle tanks were delivered to the US Army in 1980. A total of 3,273 M1 tanks were produced for the US Army, 4,796 M1A1 tanks were built for the US Army, 221 for the US Marines and 880 co-produced with Egypt. In 2016, the DoS approved a foreign military sale to Kuwait for the recapitalization of that country’s 218 M1A2 main battle tanks. Work under the contract modification will take place in Michigan. Estimated completion date is June 22, 2022.
The US State Department agreed to sell 168 RIM?116C Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) Block 2 tactical missiles to Egypt to equip them on Navy’s Fast Missile Craft ships. The contract is estimated to cost $197 million, and it includes RAM Guided Missile Round Pack Tri-Pack shipping and storage containers; operator manuals and technical documentation; US Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. Egypt already operates previously procured RAM Block 1A missiles. The Biden administration however, has also vowed a tougher stance on human rights after his predecessor Donald Trump courted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, whom he reportedly called “my favorite dictator”, in part for his cooperation with Israel. The current arms sale comes amid continued concerns about Egypt’s human rights record, particularly after Egyptian authorities raided the homes of relatives of Egyptian American activist Mohamed Soltan. According to Soltan’s nonprofit organization the Freedom Initiative, two of his cousins were arbitrarily detained. The State Department was looking into reports of the detentions. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a press briefing: “We have and we continue to engage the Egyptian government on human rights concerns and we take seriously all allegations of arbitrary arrest or detention,” Price said. “We will bring our values with us into every relationship that we have across the globe. That includes with our close security partners. That includes with Egypt.”
As a subcontractor for Babcock International Group, Hamworthy Pumps will supply the pump solutions for five Type 31 Frigates. By 2028, Babcock International Group will have built five new Type 31 frigates for the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy, and Hamworthy Pumps will supply the pump solutions. The Babcock International Group deal includes the delivery of a total of 235 pumps over a five-year period.
The Asahi has disclosed that the two new Aegis warships that Japan plans to build as the alternative to land-base Aegis Ashore sites are only able to be on station to defend the country for up to 126 days a year. The land-based solution is capable of being operational for 365 days a year. A report by the Ministry of Defense stated that the ship would require three months of maintenance each year. The crew would need refresher training after that before they can be declared ready for duty.
Watch: The Next-generation of Royal navy Type 31 Super Frigate Capability!