Raytheon Wins ESSM Block II Deal | Babcock Ahead In Type 31e Competition | DoS Approves SM-3 FMS To Japan
The US Army awarded Triumph Engine Control Systems a $7.5 million firm-fixed contract in support of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter. The deal is for the overhaul of a minimum of the fuel control main for the chopper. The CH-47D Chinook helicopter transports troops, artillery, supplies and equipment to the battlefield. Other applications include medical evacuation, aircraft recovery, parachute drop, search-and-rescue, disaster relief, firefighting and heavy construction. 163 CH-47Ds took part in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The CH-47F design features alterations to the airframe structure to reduce the effects of vibration, as well as other structural enhancements to the cockpit, cabin, aft section, pylon and ramp. Estimated completion date is August 26, 2024.
The US Navy contracted Raytheon with a $190 million low-rate initial production contract for ESSM Block 2 missiles featuring a new guidance system with a dual mode active and semi-active radar. Raytheon says in a press release that the award follows the Navy’s decision to shift from development to production on the enhanced intermediate-range, surface-to-air missile, placing the Block 2 variant on track for initial operating capability in 2020. The ESSM Block 2 program is a co-operative effort between the USN and its 11 NATO SeaSparrow Consortium partners to develop an upgraded ESSM ‘front-end’ to counter current and future threat capabilities within the existing envelope. These include anti-ship cruise missiles, anti-ship ballistic missiles, and surface threats.
Middle East & Africa
According to local reports, Israel launched airstrikes on an Iranian Qods Force facility in Syria on August 24 to thwart an armed drone attack that was planned against targets in northern Israel, according to the Israel Defense Forces. The Army said it carried out airstrikes near Damascus to foil ‘imminent’ IRGC plot to hit sites inside Israel with UAVs armed with explosives. Syria claims it downed Israeli missiles. After the strikes, several Military Intelligence units, Air Force squadrons and air defense units were put on high alert. Israel has acknowledged carrying out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria in recent years, most of them aimed at arms shipments believed to be headed from Iran to its Shiite proxy Hezbollah. Direct clashes between Israel and Iranian forces have been rare.
Babcock’s Arrowhead 140 design will reportedly be picked for the Type 31e Frigate competition. The Telegraph reported that the government is to announce the winner in a major announcement at next month’s Defense & Security Equipment International show in London. The news could mean that Scottish shipyards will be working on 18 vessels in total. Including the five Offshore Patrol Vessels launched on the Clyde since 2014 and the 8 Type 26 Frigates to be built at Govan. The MoD is set to award a contract for the Type 31e frigate, with Babcock, BAE Systems and Atlas Elektronik among the main contenders.
The Trump administration has given the green light for Japan to buy 73 SM-3 Block IIA interceptors. The deal is valued at $3.3 billion. Japan will buy up to 73 of the Raytheon-made SM-3 Block IIA missiles, which are designed to be fired by the ship-board Aegis system to intercept incoming ballistic missiles, the Pentagon said. The sale comes as North Korea is expanding its offensive missile capabilities, having proven over the past two years the ability to launch medium- and long-range ballistic missiles, potentially nuclear-tipped, that could hit both Japan and the United States.
According to the South China Morning Post, China has decided that the the Chengdu J-20 fighter will be developed further to operate from the country’s aircraft carriers. An anonymous military source says the Central Military Commission is favoring the J-20 over Shenyang FC-31. The J-20 was announced combat ready in July. It is listed in China’s latest national defense white paper as one of the new, high-tech weapons the Chinese military has commissioned.
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