Raytheon Snags $45.5M for Silent Knight Radar Sys | MSPV to Provide Egypt with 2-3K Panthera T6’s | MBDA to Upgrade Storm Shadows for Britain & France
- Raytheon has won a $45.5 million contract modification from the US Special Operations Command for the delivery of the Silent Knight Radar system. The modification is a follow-up to an initial 2006 agreement — that tasked Raytheon with building, testing and integrating the new Silent Knight radar into a variety of special forces aircraft — and supports low-rate initial production in addition to full-rate production for the radar systems. Aircraft currently using Silent Knight include the MH-47 Chinook, the MH-60 Seahawk, the MC-130 Combat Talon, as well as several fixed-wing aircraft. The system provides operators with a color weather display, a ground map, high-resolution imagery, and threat detection and identification capabilities.
- After 21 years of service, the MQ-1 Predator UAV will be retired in 2018. The USAF will instead opt for a full MQ-9 Reaper fleet citing better equipment and overall operational capabilities such as bigger payloads, higher flight ceilings, and top speeds. As a result, the USAF will no longer have to maintain a training pipeline or equipment on two separate aircraft, which eliminates the cost of operating two different airframes. Speaking on the Reaper, 432nd Operations Group commander Col. Joseph said in a statement “I think when we look at the legacy of the MQ-1 we’re going to be scratching our heads wondering how we did so much with so little.”
Middle East & North Africa
- Egypt is to receive between 2,000 and 3,000 Panthera T6 light armoured vehicles for military and police from Dubai-based Minerva Special Purpose Vehicles (MSPV). Speaking at IDEX 2017, MSPV’s Emad el-Kabbany stated that the Egyptian company Eagles Defence International Systems (EDIS) is the company’s Egyptian agent – in 2014 it was reported that EDIS was producing the Panthera T6, as well as the larger S10 and K10CMD — and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) lists 50 Panthera T6s being ordered from the UAE in 2013, with deliveries from 2014-2015. Other operators of the T6 include the current Libyan government, and they have been recently used by the Indian security forces during operations in Jammu & Kashmir.
- British and French defense ministers have contracted MBDA Missile Systems to upgrade their Storm Shadow (known as SCALP in France) air-launched, long-range missiles. Valued at $183 million, work scheduled includes a midlife refurbishment of current missile parts such as the turbo-jet engine, an upgrade of the navigational system, and a like for like replacement of items such as the cabling, seals and gaskets. The collaborative contract is believed to generate a savings of $62.3 million for both governments. Storm Shadow is currently used on French Mirage 2000, Rafale, and RAF Tornado jets, and is currently being trialed on the Eurofighter Typhoon as part of efforts to improve the jet’s long-range attack capabilities under the Phase 2 Enhancement (P2E) program. The missile will not be integrated on RAF F-35Bs.
- Austrian prosecutors have initiated a formal criminal investigation against Airbus and the Eurofighter consortium over alleged fraud relating to a 2003 fighter jet order. The defense ministry has alleged Airbus and the Eurofighter consortium charged nearly 10 percent of the purchase price of 1.96 billion euros for so-called offset deals. Such deals were part of the agreement, but their cost should have been reported separately, the ministry has said. Under the legal system used in Austria and several European countries, opening an investigation is a potentially significant step that falls short of filing charges but which indicates that sufficient evidence is available to warrant a formal probe.
- Airbus has announced that there have been no signs of further cracks or damage in the combustion chambers of A400M transport aircraft. Safety regulators from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had to conduct investigations and safety checks into all aircraft after unexplained cracks were discovered in the combustion chamber of an A400M engine owned by Malaysia last year. The EASA airworthiness directive called for inspections of all engines similar to the Malaysian one, and follow-on checks after 500 hours, and then every 250 hours after that. Airbus has also called for fresh talks with European defense ministers in order to discuss the latest issues concerning the transporter and to agree on future steps to ensure the best interests of the program.
- L-3 Technologies has won a $17.3 million contract to provide South Korea with 800-horsepower transmission kits. The kits will power Seoul’s next-generation K21 infantry fighting vehicles as well as their fleet of light recovery vehicles. Designed by Hanwha Defense Systems to replace the current fleet of K200 armored transport vehicles, the K21 weighs 20% lighter than its predecessor and is armed with a 105mm turret weapon.
- The Philippines are scheduled to receive their first two leased TC-90 reconnaissance aircraft from the Japanese Maritime Defense Force on March 27, according to Vice Admiral Ronaldo Joseph Mercado. Manilla will eventually operate five TC-90s in a deal said to be valued $28,200 over the next four years, which will bolster capabilities to monitor their 36,289 kms of coastline, supplementing the existing Norman-Britten BN-2 Islander fleet in its maritime missions. TC-90s have a speed and range twice that of the BN-2.
- MSVP’s Panthera T6:
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