Raytheon to Support SM-3 Block IB Program | Germany extends Arms Export Freeze on Saudi Arabia | MQ-9 Reaper declared fully operational in Poland
The US Navy contracted Huntington Ingalls Industries $118.4 million to perform modernization, repair and maintenance work on the USS Rushmore (LSD-47). LSD-47 is a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship that transports and launches loaded amphibious craft and vehicles with their crews and embarked personnel in amphibious assaults by landing craft and amphibious vehicles. It can render limited docking repair service to small ships and craft. The Whidbey Island-class was scheduled to be decommissioned during FY 2013-2018, and the remaining ships of the class were scheduled to be retired before the end of their service lives. However, the Navy reversed its plan to decommission Whidbey Island and instead planned to modernize the ships to extend them each to a 44-year total service life. The current deal includes options, which could raise the total value of the contract to $154.2 million. Work will take place in San Diego, California, and is expected to be finished by May 2020.
The US Naval Warfare Center Weapons Division awarded Raytheon a $12.2 million for engineering test support services for the ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) currently in development for the Navy EA-18G aircraft. The US Navy selected Raytheon’s ALQ-249 in 2013 to replace ALQ-99 systems used on the EA-18G airborne electronic attack aircraft. The Boeing EA-18G Growler is a carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft that entered operational service in 2009. The Growler is able to perform escort jamming as well as the traditional standoff jamming mission. Services provided under the contract include software support for NGJ pod and integration, including requirements analysis, design, development, integration, testing, training, and tools related to and in support of ALQ-249 and advanced electronic warfare initiatives. Work will take place in California and is expected to conclude in March 2024.
The Missile Defense Agency awarded Raytheon with a $14.2 million contract modification to provide continued support and engineering for the Standard Missile SM-3 Block IB program. The SM-3 is a ship-based missile system used to intercept short and intermediate range ballistic missiles as a part of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. The SM-3 Block IB interceptor has an enhanced two-color infrared seeker and upgraded steering and propulsion capability that uses short bursts of precision propulsion to direct the missile toward incoming targets. It became operational in 2014. Work will take place in Tucson, Arizona and is scheduled to be completed by October this year.
The Naval Sea System Command awarded Bath Iron Works (BIW) a $10.9 million contract modification for Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class lead yard services, including engineering and technical assistance for new-construction DDG-51 class ships. The USS Arleigh Burke is a guided missile destroyer designed to be able to fulfill a land strike role with Tomahawk missiles, antiaircraft warfare role with powerful Aegis radar and surface-to-air missiles, antisubmarine warfare (ASW), with towed sonar array, anti-submarine rockets, and ASW helicopter, and anti surface warfare with a Harpoon missile launcher. The modification provides for continued lead yard services for the DDG 51 Class Destroyer Program. Lead yard services include liaison for follow ship construction, general class services, class design contractor services, class change design services for follow ships, and ship trials and post-shakedown availability support. Work will take place in Maine and other locations and is expected to conclude in July this year.
Middle East & Africa
Yesterday, Germany extended a temporary ban on arms export to Saudi Arabia until the end of March. Back in October the country froze sales of military equipment to countries involved in the Yemen Conflict, following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. About 10,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Yemen war since March 2015. However, Germany’s arms export freeze faced criticism by EU partners, including France and Britain, because the ban has impacted joint defense projects such as the Eurofighter and Tornado jets. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas explained that not only will permits no longer be issued but products with permits already granted will not be delivered to Saudi Arabia. Maas said, the decision to extend the ban came after evaluation of the current developments in Yemen.
The US Air Force achieved full operational capability of the the MQ-9 Reaper at Miroslawiec Air Base in Poland. The General Atomics-developed remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) have been operating out of Poland since May. The UAV is capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations. It is the first hunter-killer UAV designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance. The Reaper is a larger, heavier, and more capable aircraft than its predecessor, the MQ-1 Predator. It is planned to be in service into the 2030s. Air Forces in Europe christened a new set of facilities at Miroslawiec Air Base, Poland on March 1 to help accommodate the Air National Guardsmen and contractors operating Reapers there. The Air Force chose Poland for the mission because of its strategic location in Europe. RPA aircraft are now operated by both contractors and US military personnel. The US military now shares control of the Reapers at Miroslawiec during takeoff, flight and aircraft recovery with the contractors.
The US Naval Sea Systems Command awarded Raytheon Missile Systems a $91.9 million option to a previously awarded contract for MK 44 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2 guided missile round pack and spare replacement components. RAM is a ship self-defense weapon designed to protect ships of all sizes, ranging from 500-ton fast attack craft to 95,000-ton aircraft carriers. The lightweight, supersonic, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget weapon is designed to attack enemy helicopters, aircraft, and surface craft. RAM Block 2 has a large rocket motor, advanced control section, and an enhanced RF receiver, which is able to detect quiet threat emitters. It is more maneuverable and has longer range than its predecessors. The MK 44 guided missile round pack and the MK 49 guided missile launching system, which hold 21 missiles, comprise the MK 31 guided missile weapon system. An International Cooperative Program between the US and Federal Republic of Germany’s governments co-developed and co-produced RAM Guided Missile Weapon System. Work will take place in Germany as well as various locations within the US and is scheduled to be completed by November 2021.
Northrop Grumman finished the 500th center fuselage for the F-35 Lightning II. Designated AU-18, the 500th F-35 center fuselage is for a conventional takeoff and landing variant for the Royal Australian Air Force. The center fuselage is a core structure of the F-35 and is designed and produced on Northrop Grumman’s integrated assembly line. While Lockheed Martin is the industry lead for the F-35 program, Northrop Grumman plays a key role in the development, modernization and sustainment of the F-35. Besides producing the center fuselage and wing skins for the aircraft, the company develops, produces and maintains several sensor systems, avionics, mission systems and mission-planning software, pilot and maintainer training systems, electronic warfare simulation test capability, and low-observable technologies. Northrop Grumman began production on the AU-18 center fuselage in June 2018 and completed work on February 21st.
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will likely adopt a land-based, mobile missile system, capable of firing Poly Defense’s CM-501GA precision-guided missile and CM-501XA loitering munition, a source told Jane’s. The system will reportedly be introduced into the Chinese military in two configurations: on a 6×6 armored personnel carrier, and on the CSK181 series of mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles. The 2 m-long CM-501GA is a non-line-of-sight missile. It is able to engage both stationary and moving targets at a distance between 5 and 40 km. The missile uses a combined TV/imaging infrared seeker for terminal guidance. The 2 m-long CM-501XA loitering munition is designed to engage stationary and moving targets at distances greater than 70 km.
Watch: U.S. Sent a B-52 Bomber Through the South China Sea for the First Time in Months