Oceaneering Tapped For Virginia Class Work | Germany Grounds Tiger Helicopters | China Wants To Arm H6-K With Hypersonic Weapons
The US Navy contracted Data Link Solutions with a $75 million modification for the Block Upgrade II retrofit of Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) low volume terminals (LVTs). The MIDS LVT is a low-cost fighter terminal with flexible, open-architecture designs. It provides the critical airborne, ground, and maritime link that allows for simultaneous coordination of forces and situational awareness in battlefield operations. The MIDS program was inaugurated via a Memorandum of Understanding amongst the founding MIDS nations, namely Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and the United States. The terminals provide secure, high-capacity, jam-resistant, digital data and voice communications capability for Navy, Air Force and Army platforms, and for Foreign Military Sales customers. Work will take place in Wayne, New Jersey and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Estimated completion date is in December 2026.
Oceaneering International won a $34.3 million firm-fixed-price contract for the Virginia Class submarine sail racetracks, payload tube loading platforms and multiple all-up-round canister special support equipment ladder kits with shipping crates. The Virginia Class new attack submarine is an advanced stealth multimission nuclear-powered submarine for deep ocean anti-submarine warfare and littoral (shallow water) operations. The lead ship, Virginia was laid down in September 1999, launched in August 2003 and commissioned in October 2004. It underwent a three-year operational evaluation before operational deployment. Oceaneering will perform work under the support contract in Chesapeake, Virginia. Estimated completion date is in August 2024.
Middle East & Africa
Jane’s reports that Iraq has only one operable Chinese-made CH-4 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The country actually acquired more than 10 CH-4s, but only one was fully mission capable because of maintenance problems, the news platform cited a US inspector general report. The country’s defense ministry purchased the drones in 2015. The CH-4 was developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), on the basis of the previous model, the CH-3. According to its developer, the CH-4 has better basic performance than that of the US-based General Atomics’ MQ-1 Predator, an industry leader, and is more competent in reconnaissance, surveillance, and strike missions. According to Jane’s, the CH-4 is not the only problematic UAV type in Iraq’s inventory. The fleet of more than 10 US-made Insitu ScanEagle UAVs flew only two sorties between March 1 and June 30, because of a combination of Iraqi training in the United States, a lapse in maintenance contracts, and problems with signal interference.
Germany has grounded its Tiger attack helicopter fleet due to defective material being used in a vital component in the main rotor, the German newspaper Spiegel reports. The Bundeswehr is struggling with technical difficulties regarding the helicopter fleet. After a warning from the industry, no Tiger Helicopter will take off for the time being. Airbus is building the Helicopters, which provide UHT multi-role fire support for the German Army. The Tiger has the distinction of being the first all-composite helicopter developed in Europe; even the earliest models also incorporate advanced features such as a glass cockpit, stealth technology, and high agility to increase its survivability. Airbus now informed all of its customers that bolts may have been installed in the rotor control, which do not meet the usual standards and could brake during flight. In order to evaluate the situation, the Bundeswehr has called an Air Safety Committee meeting.
China could eventually arm its H-6K bomber with hypersonic weapons that can destroy hostile military hubs 3,000 kilometers away within minutes, Global Times reports. Together with advanced J-20 stealth fighters, H-6Ks could devastate the enemy’s fighting capability even before a war gets fully underway, analysts said. The H-6K is not a stealth warplane, nor does it have outstanding speed to penetrate deep into hostile territory. However, it is equipped with very advanced weapons including air-launched cruise missiles, enabling it to attack targets far away, Wang Ya’nan, chief editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times on Tuesday. The main mission objective of China’s H-6K bomber is to strike key strategic points deep within enemy territories. The Xian H-6K entered service in 2009. China operates at least 15 of these new bombers.
According to Reuters, Saudi Arabia’s government has approved a law to improve the way it procures contracts and services by saving money, making the process fairer, and boosting local bidders. On August 1, 2019, a new Government Tenders & Procurement Law was published. Historically, the degree of risk and its allocation under contracts concerning Saudi government projects has been heavily influenced by the mandatory requirements of Saudi public procurement regulation. Among other changes, the new law introduces flexibility in the price of contracts and compensations in the case of increases in raw material prices, custom duties and taxes. It also prioritizes small and medium enterprises.
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