Northrop tapped for G/ATOR Production | Iran unveils new Defense System | China turns to Ukraine for Military Upgrades
Northrop Grumman Systems won a $958 million firm-fixed-price contract to deliver 30 full-rate production Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar systems for the US Marine Corps. The deal includes spares parts and retrofit kits. The AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR system provides multi-faceted detection and tracking capabilities to support engagement of a wide range of hostile threats, and offers robust air traffic control capabilities to ensure the safety of Marines worldwide. The G/ATOR comes in two distinct software variants: Block I conducts air defense and surveillance missions for aviation command and control squadrons, and Block II targets the source of incoming artillery and other ground-based fires. The radar is able to detect low-observable targets with low radar cross sections such as rockets, artillery, mortars, cruise missiles and drones. Northrop will perform work within the US and is expected to be finished by January 13, 2025.
The US Navy contracted Bath Iron Works with a $61.7 million modification in support of the DDG 51 Class destroyers. The deal is for lead years services, which is a broad category encompassing necessary engineering support and configuration, baseline upgrades and new technology support, data and logistics management, analysis, acceptance trials, post-delivery test and trials and other elements of supporting construction of DDG 51 Class destroyers. DDG 51 Arleigh Burke destroyers are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. Destroyers can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups. The ships use the Aegis Combat System and the SPY-1D multifunction radar array. The ships were designed to use Tomahawk and other surface-to-air missiles and engage in antisubmarine warfare. Majority of the work under the contract modification will take place in Maine and is scheduled to be completed by June next year-
Middle East & Africa
Iran unveiled a new defense system called the „Khordad 15th“. The weapons system was displayed in a ceremony attended by Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami in Tehran, during which he said that it could detect targets as far away as 150 kilometers and hit several targets with the indigenous “Sayyad-3” missiles. According to reports, the missile system is a high-precision weapon capable of flying at low altitudes and able to carry a significant payload. Iran has worked in recent years to build its own weapons locally, rather than relying on foreign actors. Iran’s missile program was among the reasons cited by US President Donald Trump for leaving the 2015 nuclear deal last year and reimposing crippling sanctions. Recently Trump said he would be willing to reopen talks as long as Iran agreed to give up nuclear weapons.
China turns to the Ukraine to upgrade its military, the Washington Post reports. Chinese investors are reportedly asking staff at a Ukrainian aircraft engine factory about record-keeping and planning, the setup of production lines and the interplay between workshops. China is looking to upgrade its military and has found a willing partner in Motor Sich, because it can supply warplane engines as well as the know-how to possibly make a Chinese-built version in the future. Motor Sich has lost its biggest market, specifically supplying engines for military helicopters and other aircraft, after the Eastern Ukrainian War broke out in 2014.
According to local reports, Kazan will be finishing up the upgrades of the Ansat helicopter next year. Ansat is a light twin-engine gas turbine multi-purpose helicopter with 7-9 seats. The fuselage has a pair of doors in pilot’s cab, and a pair of upwards and downwards opening side doors in transport compartment. After the seats have been removed, it can take 1000 kg of cargo inside. On external hook, it can take 1300 kg of load. The Kazan Helicopter Plant is upgrading the Ansat light multipurpose helicopter at the moment. Work is carried out in two stages: the first block of modernization was completed in 2018, the second will be finished next year. The company also continues work on starting a serial production of the modernized Ansat.
After the sudden crash of a Japanese F-35 into the Pacific Ocean in April, reports now saw this was caused by „spatial disorientation“ of its pilot. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force jet disappeared from radar while on a training mission with three other F-35s off northern Japan on April 9. There was no indication from the jet’s pilot, Maj. Akinori Hosomi, of any problems with the aircraft before contact was lost. The Ministry of Defense said Monday that Hosomi, a 41-year-old with 3,200 hours of flight experience, essentially flew the stealth fighter straight into the ocean during the night training mission. About 15 seconds lapsed between the pilot’s last communication and loss of contact with the plane. “We believe it highly likely the pilot was suffering from vertigo or spatial disorientation and wasn’t aware of his condition”, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said in a briefing.
Watch: The F-35 Could Intercept a N. Korean Missile Launch – but it Could Bring an All-Out Fight