Russia Agrees to Upgrade Iran’s Mi-17s | Italy Expands Finmecannica/Fincantieri Order to $5.8B | Ultra-thin Chinese Composite Absorbs Microwaves
- The USMC is hoping that foreign production orders will cover a gap in V-22 Osprey production between 2017 and 2020, with a planned multi-year buy appearing insufficient to keep the Boeing production line healthy until a newer variant is introduced. By bringing in orders from international partners, the per-unit price of future multi-year buys could be reduced by around 10%. Countries such as Japan, South Korea and Israel could be precisely the type of orders the Marines are hoping for. The latter of which could receive the aircraft as part of a US military aid package currently under negotiation.
- The Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program could be ready for fielding by 2025, if reports by Bell and Lockheed Martin are to be believed. The V-280 Valor design – based on the technology of the V-22 Osprey – is slated for flight testing in 2017. The fuselage of the first aircraft was unveiled in September, with the team insisting that the V-280 can achieve Initial Operating Capability by 2025.
Middle East North Africa
- Russia has reportedly signed an agreement with Iran’s Helicopter Support and Renewal Company (PANHA) to upgrade the latter’s Mi-17 helicopter maintenance and overhaul facility. Announced at the Dubai Air Show, the news comes on the heels of reports slating delivery of S-300 air defense systems to Iran in March 2016 after Vladimir Putin’s decision in April to lift a freeze on the system’s sale to the country.
- BAE Systems is slowing Eurofighter production in order to sustain production lines out past 2018, in addition to cutting jobs on the fighter’s UK production line. The decision reflects the company’s orderbook, covering production orders which conclude in 2018 and an expected uptick in production as a result of an order for 28 Eurofighters by Kuwait, following an agreement between the Italian and Kuwaiti governments earlier this year; however a finalized deal has yet to materialize.
- Italy has reportedly added a seventh multi-mission Offshore Patrol Vessel (Pattugliatori Polivalenti d’Altura or PPA) to its order from Finmeccanica and Fincantieri, administered through the European multinational procurement agency OCCAR. The original order in May which also included a logistics support vessel and a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) vessel has now risen to a $5.8 billion package, with shipbuilder Fincantieri receiving two-thirds of this. The additional vessel is one of four options to the original, six-ship contract.
- Poland has signed a contract with local firm Rosomak for heavy recovery vehicles. The $50 million deal covers delivery of 27 8×8 vehicles equipped with cranes and other equipment, intended to be used in support of Rosomak Armored Personnel Carriers and other hardware. The company teamed with Cargotec and Scania Power Polska to win the competitive tender.
- Ghana has acquired a third C-295 from Airbus, following delivery of the first two aircraft also referred to as the C-27J Spartan. The country received the first aircraft in November 2011, the second following in April 2012, with the country’s president John Dramani announcing in November last year that the government would acquire a third C-295.
- India has received the last of 75 Pilatus PC-7 MkII turboprop trainers for use by the Indian Air Force. The $1 billion order in May 2012 followed a spate of IAF crashes involving the HPT-32 aircraft the Swiss design replaced. The Indian Air Force requires an intermediate trainer to fill the gap between the PC-7 and the IAF’s advanced jet fighters, particularly since development of the HJT-36 Sitara Intermediate Jet Trainer by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd was halted in July.
- Chinese developers have created a new stealth composite material capable of nullifying microwave synthetic aperture radar systems, publishing their technology in an academic journal. The new material is thought capable of absorbing a significant percentage of a radar signal’s energy, despite being only 0.4mm thick, making it capable of application to ships, vehicles and aircraft.
- USMC V-22 Ospreys:
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