Orbital ATK to Supply Rocket Motors for AIM-9P | LM Works on Exoskeleton Tech for Mil Mkt | Leonardo Hosts Ceremony to Deliver 500th Eurofighter
- Orbital ATK has won a USAF contract to supply rocket motors for AIM-9P Sidewinder missiles. The agreement, which could reach a potential value of $67 million, covers the production and provision of motors for ordinance that will be sold to other governments under the US foreign military sales program. First developed in the 1970s, the AIM-9 has undergone significant upgrades to improve its capabilities and lethality over the years, with the present version featuring Orbital ATK’s SR116-HP-1 reduced-smoke rocket motor. Work will continue through until February 2022.
- UTC Aerospace Systems’ MS-177 sensor has been successfully tested by Northrop Grumman onboard an RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV. The sensor is a high-resolution imaging device designed to improve capabilities for the Global Hawk in addition to several other surveillance platforms operated by the USAF, with UTC adding that the sensor will provide warfighters with the most advanced reconnaissance tools to date. Demonstrations with the sensor began in early March and Northrop will continue through the first half of 2017. Prior to being integrated on such a high altitude platform, the MS-177 has been equipped on the E-8C JSTARS aircraft.
- The USAF’s F-16 fighting fleet is to receive service life extension work from Lockheed Martin. The decision boosts the service life for the jets from 8,000 Equivalent Flight Hours to 12,000 with the service looking to continue operating the jets through to 2048. As many as 300 F-16C/D Block 40-52 aircraft will be affected by the work, and will also benefit foreign military customers. It’s intended that the aircraft will supplement US and allied forces while they recapitalize with new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
- Lockheed Martin has secured legal permission to explore the potential use of exoskeleton technology for the military market. The firm secured licensing of bionic augmentation technology from B-Temia and will incorporate it to supplement its FORTIS industrial exoskeleton project. Designed to make labor easier by transferring pressure through the exoskeleton to the ground in a process that makes heavy tools “weightless,” the system requires no external power to operate, and can boost military capabilities by enabling soldiers to carry more equipment over longer distances. The product can be used in standing or kneeling positions, and uses a tool arm to reduce muscle fatigue and boost productivity.
Middle East & North Africa
- Despite issues with gaining certain technology transfers for the Altay, Turkey could begin serial production of the main battle tank as early as this May, according to Defense Minister Fikri Isik. Pakistan and some Gulf nations are believed to be lined up as potential customers for the vehicle. Talk of potential delays to the Altay surfaced when local contractor Tümosan was unable to continue working on providing a domestic diesel engine for the tank, after Austria’s AVL List GmbH, which it had as a technical support partner, ceased working with the Turkish firm amid concerns that the Turkish government were sliding on human rights issues. It now looks like Ankara may instead turn to Ukraine for help, with the Altay possibly adopting the Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau’s (KMDB) 1,500 hp 6TD-3 diesel engine.
- Italian manufacturer Leonardo has handed over its 500th operational Eurofighter Typhoon to the Italian Air Force. Marking the occasion was a ceremony at the firm’s Turin facility and saw attendance from various military and security industry representatives, including leaders from Leonardo, NETMA, and Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug. Speaking at the event, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug CEO Volker Paltzo stated that the “500-strong Eurofighter Typhoon fleet represents one of the largest and most capable fighter fleets in the western hemisphere, and will be the backbone of European airpower for decades to come.” European armed forces have been operating the Typhoon since 2003, when the first completed jet was delivered to Britain’s Royal Air Force. The service received their 100th plane in September 2006 while Germany’s air force accepted the delivery of the 400th jet in 2013.
- Russia has displayed its Pantsyr-S1 and Tor-M2 air defense systems integrated on DT-30-series all-terrain tracked carriers (ATTCs) optimised for Arctic operations. The DT-30 vehicle is amphibious, has a load-carrying capability of around 30 tonnes, and wide tracks that provide a low ground pressure that allows it to cross terrain that is not passable by conventional tracked and wheeled platforms. It consists of two sections that are joined by an articulated joint to allow for a high degree of articulation while moving across rough terrain, including sand, ice, and snow. However, while normally the Pantsyr-S1 usually contains 12 missile launch tubes (six on each side) and two twin 30 mm 2A38M cannons, the arctic version drops the use of the 30mm guns.
- The first three months of the year have shown an increase in the number of times that the Japanese air force has had to scramble its fighter jets to ward off foreign aircraft. Figures released by Tokyo show that fighters were scrambled 1,168 times over the 12 months, up from 873 last year. A record 851 jets headed off approaching Chinese planes, or 280 more instances than in the corresponding period last year. The uptick in Chinese activity has contributed to rising tension in East Asia since the start of the year as North Korea pushes ahead with ballistic missile and nuclear bomb tests that have stoked fears in Japan, the United States and elsewhere.
- The 500th Eurofighter:
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