Raytheon completes Static Test of DeepStrike | UK deploys Apache Helicopters to Estonia | CARAT Exercise in Sri Lanka ends early
The Navy awarded Raytheon a $28 million contract modification for integration and production support for the Air and Missile Defense Radar AN/SPY-6(V). The AN/SPY-6(V) next-generation integrated radar will be featured on the Flight III Arleigh Burke Guided Missiles Destroyers. According to Raytheon, the SPY-6 is built with so called Radar Modular Assemblies, each of them a self-contained radar in a 2’x2’x2’ box. They can stack together to form any size array to fit the mission requirements of any ship, which would make the SPY-6 the Navy’s first truly scalable radar. In January, the radar completed an important milestone when it successfully tracked a ballistic missile target in the system’s final development test. The radar is on schedule for delivery to the Navy in 2020, replacing the SPY-1 radar. The contract includes support for continued combat system integration and testing, engineering, training, software and depot maintenance as well as field engineering services. Raytheon will perform work at various locations within the US. The estimated completion date is in December this year.
Raytheon successfully completed a static test of its new DeepStrike missile rocket motor. The next-generation, long-range, surface-to-surface precision strike missile will replace the Army Tactical Missile System. Raytheon won the $116.4 million contract to build the missile in June 2017 under the technology up-gradation and risk trimming phase of the Long-Range Precision Fires (LRPF) program. The missile will be compatible with two launch systems of the US Army, the M270 multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) and the M142 high-mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS). The rocket motor test brought the weapon one step closer to its maiden flight test, scheduled for this year. A previous milestone for the DeepStrike was the successful preliminary design review, in which the Army evaluated every aspect of the new missile’s design, from its advanced propulsion system and innovative lethality package to its guidance system.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli company Rafael dropped out of Switzerland’s $8 billion air defense tender. Rafael had initially offered its David’s Sling system. David’s Sling is an Israeli system developed with the United States that is designed to defend against short-range and theater ballistic missiles, large-caliber rockets, and cruise missiles. However, the Israeli Department of Defense did not give the company the necessary permit to go further in the tender. Reasons for this decision are unclear. Companies still participating in the tender are Raytheon with the Patriot system and Eurosam with the SAMP/T.
Contributing to NATO’s increased presence in the Baltic states, the UK deployed five Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to the Amari Air Base in Estonia. The AH-64s are expected to participate in upcoming NATO military exercises and provide defense coverage for a military base near the Russian border. Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson commented on the deployment: “It’s a very credible threat that we see from Russia and part of the reason that we’re deploying five Apache attack helicopters is making sure that we’re constantly adapting to a changing situation.“ According to the British Army, the Apaches will be working in tandem with the Wildcat battlefield reconnaissance helicopters to provide valuable training opportunities to NATO allies on Estonia’s annual Exercise Spring Storm and to the UK-led battlegroup deployed on NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence.
The US and the Sri Lankan Navy ended the Cooperation Afloat and Readiness Training (CARAT) exercise four days earlier than scheduled due to the recent attacks in the Asian country. “All US personnel involved in CARAT are accounted for and redeployment is in progress,” it says in an updated news release. Several bombers carried out six coordinated attacks at churches and hotels on Sunday, killing at least 290 people. The government declared a state of emergency to take effect at midnight Monday. The declaration allows police and military forces to detain and interrogate potential suspects without a court order. The US-Sri Lanka CARAT exercise was slated to take place for a week and was based off the southern port city of Hambantota. Hambantota was not targeted in Sunday’s attacks, but the suspension of exercises will allow Sri Lanka to reallocate military resources should they become necessary in the aftermath. The CARAT is the US Navy’s oldest and longest continually-running regional exercise in South and Southeast Asia. Participants conduct partnered training focused on building interoperability and strengthening relationships.
According to reports, China’s Gas Turbine Research Institute designed and tested a prototype of a new turbofan engine for fighter aircraft within 18 months. The team of young engine designers will be given an award during China’s Youth Day on May 4. It took the development team only a year to design the engine, and just six months to finish testing the first prototype. No details of the engine, including its designation, have been revealed, but official statements claimed that the new engine would “rival advanced foreign fighter jets and represents China’s highest technical level in aero engines”. Until now, long-standing difficulties that have hampered China’s production of military aircraft engines forced it to import Russian-made engines for several of its major aircraft projects.
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