Clark Construction Group won a $78.2 million contract modification, which provides for the construction of the VC-25B hangar complex at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. The VC-25B, the next Air Force One, is a program to design, test and deliver two aircraft replacing the current VC-25A. The V-25B is to be retrofitted so that the president of the USA can run the federal government, including commanding and controlling the US military, while in flight. As such, detailed information about the aircraft’s components and capabilities are classified or tightly controlled. The aircraft also is likely to include missile warning systems and defensive technologies, such as chaff dispensing systems and directional infrared countermeasures. Work will be performed in Camp Springs, Maryland, and provides for the construction of a hangar complex, an aircraft access taxiway/parking apron, associated lighting, engine run-up pads and a hydrant refueling system with storage tanks. Additional requirements include, but are not limited to, site preparation, wetland/stream mitigation, storm water management, a parking lot, and a fire detection and suppression system. Expected completion will be by April 2022.
Raytheon won a $10.1 million delivery order for the repair of the ALE-50 towed decoy system used in support of the F/A-18 Super Hornet warfare air craft. The AN/ALE-50 towed decoy system was developed by Raytheon to protect multiple US military aircraft from radar-guided-missiles. The ALE-50 consists of a launch controller, launcher and towed decoy. It can be used on a variety of platforms without modification. When deployed, the ALE-50’s expendable aerial decoy is towed behind the aircraft. The decoy protects the host aircraft providing a more attractive target and steering the radar-guided missile away from the aircraft and right to the decoy. ALE-50 has countered both surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles. Work will take place in Forest, Mississippi. Expected completion will be by October 2022.
Middle East & Africa
Iran has apparently lofted its first military satellite into orbit, ending a series of setbacks for the nation’s space program. The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced that the Noor-1, the country’s first military satellite, was launched from a location in the Dasht-e Kavir desert and successfully put into a 425 km orbit. The United States did not immediately confirm the launch’s success, but General John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, left little doubt that Iran had put a satellite into orbit. “The first satellite of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been successfully launched into orbit by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC],” said the elite forces’ official website on Wednesday. It said the satellite – dubbed the Nour – was deployed from the Qassed two-stage launcher from the Markazi desert, a vast expanse in Iran’s central plateau.
Lockheed Martin won a $519.1 million contract for the procurement of international Aegis fire control loop development, Solid State S-Band Radar Processing Group, tools and test equipment and spares for five new multi-mission frigates supporting the Aegis combat system (Baseline 9C.2). The deal funds procurement of international Aegis fire control loop development, Solid State S-Band Radar Processing Group as well as tools, test equipment and spares for five new multi-mission frigates supporting the Aegis combat system. The Aegis Weapon System is a centralized, automated, command-and-control and weapons control system used by the US Navy, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Spanish Navy, Royal Norwegian Navy, Republic of Korea Navy and Royal Australian Navy on a variety of vessel types. Work will take place in New jersey, Wisconsin, Spain, Massachusetts, Washington DC and California. Work is expected by April 2030.
The Dutch Defense Materiel Organization ordered 127 mm guns for the four Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) De Zeven Provinciën Class air defense and command frigates (LCFs). Leonardo has contracted Thales Nederland to install the former’s 127/64 LW-Vulcano system by 2026. The MoD said that the medium gun system would be used mainly for surface fire and naval gunfire support, as well as for air defense. Leonardo’s website lists the system’s four subsystems as the 127/64 LW Gun assembly, a modular automated ammunition handling system, the Naval Fire Control Support mission planning system, and the Vulcano ammunition family. The 127/64 LW-Vulcano has a modular feeding system composed of four drums with 14 ready-to-fire rounds each that can be reloaded during firing, and that can be selected independently from their position in the drums. The gun can fire standard 127 mm rounds and precision-guided munitions, the latter with a range of up to 100 km, according to the MoD.
The Wall Street Journal reported on April 20 that a Chinese airborne early warning aircraft has been operating out of Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea. The paper quoted anonymous US officials as saying that the reef is being used as a “forward operating base’ for various military aircraft.
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