Northrop Grumman tapped for LAIRCM Integration | Algerian UAVs carry out Airstrike | HAL resumes Sitara Flight Tests
Northrop Grumman won a contract action with a not-to-exceed-value of $132.3 million to integrate the Department of Navy Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) system onto aircraft for the US Navy, Army, and the governments of the UK and Norway. The deal provides necessary hardware and systems technical support, analysis and studies for the integration work. The LAIRCM system enhances individual aircraft survival through improved aircrew situational awareness of the electromagnetic threat environment. The fundamental requirement for the LAIRCM system is to provide protection against man-portable, shoulder-fired and vehicle launched infrared guided missiles. Hardware for the procurement includes 283 advanced threat warning sensors, 79 control indicator unit replaceables, 52 -2103 signal processors, 120 infrared missile warning sensors, 91 Guardian Laser Transmitter Assemblies (GLTAs), 13 multi-role electro-optical end-to-end test sets, 190 GLTA shipping containers, 46 high capacity cards, 10 LAIRCM signal processor replacements smart connector assemblies, and 123 personal computer memory card, international association cards. Northrop will perform work within the US and expected completion date is in June 2021.
Boeing won a $21.1 million delivery order to procure inlet retrofit kits for the T-45 aircraft. The deal also includes support equipment and special tooling and engineering as well as logistics support for installations. In January, the US Navy tapped Boeing with a $56.7 million contract for T-45 support. The T-45 Goshawk is a highly modified version of the British BAE Systems Hawk land-based training jet aircraft. The T-45 was selected to meet the US Navy requirement for an undergraduate jet pilot trainer to replace the TA-4J Skyhawk and T-2C Buckeye. It features a new forward fuselage deepened to house a new twin-wheel nose gear, redesigned main gear units, a taller fin and tailplane of increased span, a single ventral fin, fuselage side-mounted airbrakes, an arrester hook and small fins ahead of and below the tailplanes. Work for the delivery order will take place in Patuxent River, Maryland and is scheduled to be completed in July next year.
Middle East & Africa
Jane’s reports that new Algerian aerial vehicles carried out an airstrike on April 28 and 29. The two El Djazair UAVs successfully engaged with a target in a mountainous area. This was the first time the Ministry of National Defense in Algeria announced a UAV strike. The target was identified by an El Djazair 54 and engaged with two El Djazair 55s. On December 20, 2018, the Algerian National People’s Army conducted air operations at the Central Air Polygon in Hassi Bahbah, located in the region of Ain Ouessara in central Algeria. It deployed four reconnaissance drones, armed and manufactured in Algeria.
Sweden could approve an extension of operations with the Saab Gripen C/D beyond 2030. This would increase the size of Sweden’s fighter inventory beyond the 60 E-model examples currently on order for its Air Force. The Air Force holds an active fleet of 100 Gripen. Saab has been awarded to produce 60 new-generation E-model fighters for the service, with operations to commence early in the next decade. Gripen C/D is a new-generation, multi-role combat aircraft currently in operation with the Air Forces of Sweden, South Africa, Hungary, Czech Republic and Thailand. Stockholm could confirm the decision to extend Gripen C/D operations on May 14, when it publishes its next long-term defense bill.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd resumed flight tests of the HJT-36 Sitara twin-seat aircraft. Testing had been put on hold for three years after the aircraft encountered problems on the spin test flights in 2016. HAL developed the Sitara for the Intermediate Jet Trainer program, which aims to produce a direct replacement for the Indian Air Force Kiran. The production of the Kiran ended in 1989. HAL received a 1999 contract to develop the HJT-36 Sitara as an intermediate trainer successor, but the firm has missed its 2007 in-service date very badly, and a number of crashes have raised concerns. The aircraft that flew recently features a repositioned vertical fin and other design changes. It is possible that, if the new configuration proves up to customer expectations, the Indian Air Force may buy 73 serial examples. Working out remedies to improve spin characteristics for an otherwise promising and mature design required extensive wind testing on scale models. During the past three years, HAL also addressed issues of excessive airframe weight, while its program partners in Russia had more time to improve the engine that powers the HJT-36.
India’s Ministry of Defense awarded a $901.5 million contract to Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers to build eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASWSWC) vessels for the Indian Navy. The vessels will be equipped with advanced integrated platform management systems including propulsion, auxiliary, power generation, distribution and damage control machinery. They will have a speed of 25 knot and will be capable of full-scale sub surface surveillance of coastal waters and coordinated ASW operations with aircraft. The first ASWSWC will be delivered within 42 months, followed by two vessels per year. The performance period for the project is seven years.
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