Northrop receive LRP orders for MQ-4C Triton | Japan’s Aegis Ashore an affront to peace, claim Russia | South Korea ponders M-SAM test in UAE desert
- Raytheon has been awarded a US Air Force (USAF) contract, totalling $659.9 million, for Lot 31 production of the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). The contract includes foreign military sales (FMS) of the missiles to Japan, South Korea, Morocco, Poland, Indonesia, Romania, Spain, Turkey, Bahrain and Qatar, and includes all related support services, with deliveries expected to be completed by January 31, 2020. Furthermore, a separate $25.7 million contract modification will see Norway, Japan, Korea, Morocco, Australia, the UK, Poland, Indonesia, Romania, Spain, Turkey and Qatar, receive special tooling and test equipment for AMRAAM Lots 28-30 production, with contract completion expected for December 2020. Work on both contracts will take place at Raytheon’s Tucson, Arizona, facility.
- Northrop Grumman will supply the US Navy with three MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial aircraft under an initial low-rate production order from the service. In conjunction with the UAVs, the $255.3 agreement also includes trade studies and tooling, in support of the Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office at Naval Air Station Patuxent in St. Mary’s County, Md., where the contracting Naval Air Systems Command is headquartered. Work will take place in San Diego, California, as well as at least a dozen other locations across the continental United States , with contract completion scheduled for December 2021. The Navy plans to use the Triton alongside the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft as its primary long-range aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform.
- The Naval Air Systems Command has tapped Raytheon to provide support and engineering services for the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile. Valued at $10.2 million, the contract calls for the incorporation of the Block II plus engineering change proposal into 100 AIM-9X missiles that were purchased under Lot 17. Work on the contract will occur in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed in September 2020. More than $10.2 million will be obligated to Raytheon at the time of award, which will be allocated from Navy and Air Force missile and weapon procurement funds from fiscal year 2017. The funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Middle East-North Africa
- South Korean missile developers may bring their M-SAM air defense missile system for testing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), after discussions between both countries were reported in South Korean press. The M-SAM is being developed as part of the Korea Air Missile Defense (KAMD) program—Seoul’s terminal-phase, lower-tier missile defense system that would shoot down incoming missiles from North Korea—and forms part of the wider “Kill Chain” pre-emptive system to deter the North before its missile attacks. For lower-altitude interceptions, US-built Patriot missiles and Korean-made medium-range surface-to-air missiles (M-SAM) will be used, while South Korea is also developing long-range surface-to-air missiles (L-SAM) for medium and high altitude interception. If selected the UAE, with its underpopulated desert areas and own expertise in testing Patriot missiles, could boost potential exports.
- Saab announced on December 29 a fixed-panel configuration of its Sea Giraffe 4A AESA S-band radar. The new variant adds to the existing family of rotating, full AESA S-band radar systems, and its low top-weight will allow the radar to be installed on a wider variety of naval platforms. “Many naval customers require surveillance radars in a fixed faced configuration, primarily for their principal surface combatants. With the new Sea Giraffe 4A Fixed Face configuration, we complement our existing offer to meet these requirements. Our aim is to ensure a successful outcome of any mission”, said Anders Linder, head of the firm’s business unit Surface Radar Solutions.
- Japan’s Defense Ministry is considering an electronic-warfare aircraft procurement in order to jam enemy air defense and command systems, with Boeing’s EA-18G Growler among the options being considered. Funding for several aircraft is expected to be included in the Mid-Term Defense Program, due at the end of the year, and once approved, deliveries will commence in 2019 through to 2023. The aircraft would enhance Tokyo’s so-called Anti-Access/Area Denial strategy, which aims to keep Chinese aircraft and military vessels from encroaching on Japan’s surroundings.
- Russia has spoken out against Japan’s planned land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense deployment, stating such purchases go against peace and stability in the region. Speaking to the TASS news agency, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: “Such actions by Tokyo are directly at variance with the priority task to build trust in the military-political sphere between Russia and Japan and will negatively influence the general atmosphere in bilateral relations, including negotiations on a peace treaty,” adding that no matter “what arguments and motives are cited to explain it [the decision], it is clear that the deployment of the above mentioned systems is yet another move towards creating a full-value Asian-Pacific regional segment of the US global missile defense system.” In December, Japan selected two Aegis Ashore batteries over the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to protect its air space from potential ballistic and cruise missile attack. Deployment is expected from 2023.
- Long Watch: A-10s over Afghanistan:
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