Northrop Grumman to perform risk reduction for new Patriot radar | Japan requests funding for Aegis Ashore | Leonardo announces 2017 Linaps sales
- A 20-person team from Embraer arrived December 4 at an airport in Scottsbluff County, Nebraska in order to conduct cross-wind landing testing on its KC-390 military transport aircraft. Testing was initially scheduled to take place in Texas but weather in the area at the time did not have adequate wind. Instead, Denver International Airport officials referred the team to Scottsbluff, where local winds apparently have been brisk enough for testing the jet’s handling in wind and crosswind. Brazilian manufacturer Embraer brought the KC-390 to its US facility in Jackson, Florida, in November as part of its flight test campaign for certification. A declaration of Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is expected by the end of the year, with first deliveries to commence in 2018.
- Raytheon has been awarded a fixed-price-incentive-firm target and cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to an existing US Air Force (USAF) contract for hardware in support of AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM). The $8.5 million contract will task Raytheon with providing form-fit-function replace hardware assets to include guidance sections and integrated test vehicles under the advanced medium-range air-to-air missile lots 28-30 production. Work will take place in Tucson, Arizona, with an expected completion date of Dec. 31, 2019. The contract also includes foreign military sales for Japan, Norway, Romania, Turkey and Australia. Production funds from fiscal year 2017 of more than $2.8 million, in addition to fiscal 2017 research and development funds of more than $3.8 million, will be obligated to Raytheon at the time of award. All remaining funds on the contract will be derived from foreign military sales.
- The USAF has awarded Boeing a $10.5 million contract for the delivery of GBU-39 laser small diameter bombs (SBD). Fiscal 2018 procurement funds in the amount of $10,521,827 are being obligated at the time of award of the sole-source acquisition. Delivery will be completed by March 6, 2019, after work is performed at St. Louis, Missouri. Boeing’s laser SDBs are considered a “next-generation strike weapon” that can be deployed from both internal and external carriage systems on an aircraft. It is equipped with an Advanced Anti-Jam Global Positioning System-aided Inertial Navigation System that directs the weapon towards the position of a given target.
- Northrop Grumman will perform risk reduction for radar technology and associated mission capabilities intended to replace the Army’s 50-year-old Patriot radars, under a contract awarded by the US Army’s Lower Tier Program Office (LTPO). The Lower Tier Air & Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) will be the Army’s first net centric radar to be added to the Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense enterprise controlled by the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS), which Northrop Grumman also develops. IBCS is the advanced command and control system that integrates air and missile defense sensors and weapons, including Patriot, to generate a real-time comprehensive threat picture and enable any-sensor, best-shooter operations. Northrop did not disclose the value of the contract.
Middle East & Africa
- Pakistan Army AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters will be fitted with A/A49E-7(v4) gun turrets as part of a wider US Navy contract that has also tasked General Dynamics with providing the turrets to the US Marine Corps. The total value of the contract amounts to $9.06 million, with approximately $3.1 million of that earmarked for the Pakistani purchase. Pakistan will receive the turrets by August 2021, where they will be fitted with the M197 20mm cannon. Other equipment ordered by Islamabad for the helicopters—15 of which were approved for sale by the US State Department in 2015—include the Thales TopOwl helmet-mounted display (HMD) system, Lockheed Martin’s AN/AAQ-30 electro-optical and infrared turrets, BAE Systems’ AN/ALE-47 chaff/flare dispensers, Northrop Grumman’s AN/APR-39C(v2) radar-warning receivers (RWR), and AN/AAR-47 missile warning receivers from Orbital ATK.
- A group of UN experts have examined the wreckage of missiles fired at Saudi Arabia by Yemen’s Houthi forces as part of efforts to identify their origin. While it still remains to be seen if Iran—regional rival of Saudi Arabia and backer of the Houthis—were behind the missile shipments, the primary conclusion found that the missiles did have a common origin. What’s more, the components examined “bore the castings of a logo similar to that of the Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group”—an Iranian subsidiary that has been flagged by Iran Watch as an entity of potential concern for WMD-related procurement. Iran has denied supplying the Houthis with weapons, saying the US and Saudi allegations are “baseless and unfounded.”
- Leonardo has announced that over 150 units of its ‘Linaps’ artillery pointing system and over 100 FIN 3120 Inertial Navigation Units (INU) have been sold in 2017, earning the firm almost $59 million. The sales indicate a sustained interest in the company’s artillery aiming systems. Linaps, which can be adapted to fit any existing artillery, mortar or MLRS platform, provides highly-accurate weapon management and navigation, without reliance on GPS. Every new Linaps contains a FIN3120 Inertial Navigation Unit (INU), a gyro-based system which precisely measures the gun platform’s location, azimuth and elevation, and can also be bought separately for customers who want to add the sensor element of the system to a platform that already has other elements of a fire control system built-in, such as a man-machine interface. The system is being seen by customers worldwide as a cost-effective way to significantly enhance the capabilities of both modern and legacy systems, and is in use with the UK, Canada, New Zealand, UAE, Oman, South Africa, Thailand and Malaysia.
- Japan has requested funding to lay the groundwork for its acquisition of the land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense system. $6.4 million has been requested in fiscal 2018’s budget to cover site surveys and deployment planning for the system, which will see two batteries deployed in Akita and Yamaguchi Prefectures. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government plans to endorse the so-called Aegis Ashore deployment on Dec. 19, a government source said, as the country aims to bolster its defense capability against North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threat. At present, Japan’s ballistic missile defense is handled by destroyers equipped with the Aegis combat system and Standard Missile-3 interceptors, for stopping missiles in outer space, and a ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system that can counter attacks in the lower spheres.
- The August 2016 first fire of a Brimstone missile from an Apache AH-64E :
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