Northrop Gets $86M Modification for MQ-4C Mission Control | Boeing Delivers Second P-8A to RAF | India’s Rafale Delivery Delayed Due To COVID-19?
Alliant Techsystems Operations won a $165 million contract modification, which exercises an option to procure Lot Nine, full rate production of Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles (AARGM). This modification includes the conversion of Advanced Guided Missile-88B High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles into 253 AGM-88E AARGM all up rounds for the Navy, and two Captive Air Training Missiles for the government of Germany. Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system. It has the capability to perform Destruction of Enemy Air Defense missions and is an upgrade to the US Navy AGM-88 HARM system. AARGM is able to rapidly engage traditional and advanced land- and sea-based air defense threats, as well as non-radar, time-sensitive strike targets. Northrop Grumman’s potential material solution to the US Navy’s AARGM Extended Range requirement utilizes existing AARGM sensors, electronics and warhead. AARGM is an air-launched missile with the capability to rapidly engage air-defense threats. AARGM is currently deployed with the US Navy and US Marine Corps on the F/A-18C/D Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. AARGM is also integrated on the Italian Air Force’s Tornado Electronic Combat aircraft.
Northrop Grumman Systems won an $86.2 million modification, which exercises options to provide sustainment, engineering, logistics and test support for MQ-4C Triton aircraft mission control and operator training systems. In addition, this effort includes procurement of field service representative’s technical support to ensure that the MQ-4C unmanned surveillance aircraft are mission-capable for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions supporting early operational capability. The Navy will obligate $200K from fiscal year 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds; $5.8M from fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds; and $55.5M from fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement funds at the time of award, with $5.8M set to expire at the end of the current Fiscal Year. The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton is a high-altitude long endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle designed for the US Navy as a surveillance aircraft. Work will take place in Maryland, Florida, Guam and California and estimated completion will be by March 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Boeing won an $8 million contract modification, which exercises an option to continue phase one design maturity, analysis and test planning for the Stand-off Land Attack Missile – Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) production line in support of the government of Saudi Arabia. SLAM-ER, a derivative of Harpoon, is an air-dropped surgical strike weapon against high-value land targets or ships at sea or in port. A highly accurate man-in-the-loop cruise missile, SLAM-ER can be launched from a range of more than 150 nautical miles and is reprogrammable in flight, according to Boeing. Work will take place in Missouri, Indiana, Florida, Michigan, and various other locations within the US. Estimate completion will be in March 2020.
The second of nine Boeing P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime multimission aircraft (MMA) for the Royal Air Force arrived in the United Kingdom on March 13. Aircraft ZP802 flew into Kinloss Barracks in Scotland some six weeks after the first aircraft, ZP801 Pride of Moray, arrived from the United States on February 4. Both these aircraft and the remaining seven to be delivered will be operated from RAF Lossiemouth a short distance away from Kinloss Barracks, when construction of new facilities is to be completed later in the year. Operations are set to commence in early Q4 2020, with the type being flown by 120 Squadron and 201 Squadron, with 54 Squadron serving as the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU). The delivery of the first Poseidon MRA1s marks a major milestone in the reconstitution of the UK’s airborne maritime patrol capability that was put on hiatus in 2010 with the retirement of the BAE Systems Nimrod MR2 and the cancellation of its Nimrod MRA4 replacement. Once fully operational, the Poseidons will assume responsibility for protecting the Royal Navy’s two new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, as well as undertaking their baseline maritime patrol aircraft and anti-submarine warfare roles.
Marshall Advanced Composites signed an $11.6 million contract with Lockheed Martin to manufacture and supply cockpit trim panels for its C-130J Super Hercules airlifter for the next five years. “We are delighted to have received this five-year contract from Lockheed Martin. It really is testament to the hard work of the team and strength of our partnership with Lockheed Martin“, said Advanced Composites General Manager, Carl Morse. He continued: “We’ve been supplying the panels for over 20 years and have historically been on a series of relatively short term contracts, however our proven ability to drive cost out of the supply, outstanding on-time delivery record and appetite to innovate our processes has given our customer the confidence to make another long-term commitment. The panels are manufactured at Marshall’s composites facility in North Yorkshire from phenolic glass fibre sandwich panels with a Nomex honeycomb core, followed by finishing operations such as painting, electrical assembly and integration to provide Lockheed Martin with lineside kits of plug and play parts to their Marietta facility.
India is struggling to finalize the date for induction of the first four Rafale jets amid speculations of delayed delivery of fighter jets from France due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) threat. The first four Rafale fighters India ordered from France were supposed to return home in May but that could be delayed. India is now waiting for Dassault Aviation to respond back on the date of the flight but there are indications that the current coronavirus situation has affected those plans. Ambala Air Force station, which will be home to the first four Rafale jets, is getting ready itself for the induction ceremony. Infrastructure facilities, including hanger bays, have been created in Ambala for the first squadron of Rafale jets named as 17 Squadron or the Golden Arrows. The second squadron of Rafale will be stationed at Hasimara base in West Bengal to counter the Chinese threat.
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