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Daily Rapid Fire

Report: German Patriots Partly Hacked | LCS 6 Finishes Trials | New Border Walls All the Rage in Middle East

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Americas * Littoral Combat Ship 6 (USS Jackson) has completed acceptance trials with the US Navy in the Gulf of Mexico. LCS 6 is the third Independence-class to be built by Austal, which shares the construction of the LCS program with Lockheed Martin under a $3.5 billion ten-ship block buy awarded in December 2010. The […]
Americas

* Littoral Combat Ship 6 (USS Jackson) has completed acceptance trials with the US Navy in the Gulf of Mexico. LCS 6 is the third Independence-class to be built by Austal, which shares the construction of the LCS program with Lockheed Martin under a $3.5 billion ten-ship block buy awarded in December 2010. The company laid the keel for the fourteenth LCS (USS Manchester) in late June this year, having already delivered two Independence-class vessels.

* Special Operations Command handed North Carolina-based Ultra Armoring a $30.5 million contract for non-tactical vehicles, with the company previously receiving a $15 million Navy contract in November 2013 for protection kits to equip Light Rough Terrain Forklifts.

* Also on Wednesday, Raytheon was awarded a $52 million contract modification for analysis and system requirements design for the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS), as well as risk reduction activities and the development of a manufacturing/production strategy. The flight approach and landing system is designed to use GPS and local signals to provide improved information accuracy to landing aircraft in all weather conditions, with the system passing a preliminary design review in March 2010.

Europe

* The United Kingdom has committed to meeting NATO’s defense spending requirements of 2% of Gross Domestic Product for five-years. By 2020 the Conservative government wants to increase the country’s annual defense budget to $73.2 billion. A portion of the UK’s non-defense intelligence budget will count towards this figure, with this set to augment the above-inflation 0.5% year on year increase planned, with this effectively wrapping up two previously disparate budgets up into one larger figure in order to hit the 2% line.

* Russia is reportedly looking to replace its fleet of Ilyushin Il-38 ‘May’ maritime patrol aircraft, with plans to develop a new design to this end. The new aircraft will reportedly enter service by 2020, with the Russian Navy currently operating thirty-eight Il-38 aircraft. The Russian Navy announced an upgrade program for the Il-38 aircraft first in May 2013, with another order following in May this year.

* A German Patriot air defense battery has reportedly been “hacked” by persons unknown. The battery was stationed in Turkey, near the Syrian border, where German Army Patriot units have been stationed since 2012. Berlin has since denied the reports, which stated that the Patriot system began displaying unknown and unexplained commands. In June Germany selected the multinational MEADS system to replace its Patriot batteries, rejecting a Raytheon bid to upgrade their existing systems.

Middle East North Africa

* BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Salam Aircraft company have opened a joint maintenance facility for the KSA’s fleet of Eurofighters. The two firms collaborated in 2014 to install Aerospace Ground Equipment in an Al-Salam facility, as well as the delivery of on-site training earlier this year.

* Tunisia is planning to build a 100-mile border wall with neighboring Libya, with the country’s army scheduled to complete its construction by the end of the year. Jordan also opened a border security system on Wednesday, with this constructed by Raytheon with funds from the US Threat Reduction Agency following an April 2013 contract. EADS (now Airbus) won a similar contract in 2009 to secure Saudi Arabia’s borders, with that worth approximately $2.3 billion.

Africa

* Indian defense industry officials have travelled to Nigeria to both showcase their wares and to establish a military cooperation pledge. The two countries have demonstrated their increasingly close relationship before, with the militaries of the two states having an historically close relationship.

Asia

* India is reportedly engaged in talks with Russia over a possible nuclear submarine leasing agreement. The topic is scheduled to be included on a list of topics to be discussed between India’s Modi and Vladimir Putin when the Indian PM visits Moscow next week. It is likely that instead of leasing a third Akula-class attack sub from the Russians to complement the existing leased subs, the Modi government will look to lease a more modern Yasen-class sub, or a customized variant of a different class. Russia recently announced that it will upgrade its own Akula-class fleet, also recently laying-down a fifth Yasen-class boat.

* India is de-commissioning its INS Viraat, a former Royal Navy carrier which has been operated since 1959. The vessel is set to leave Indian Navy service next year, spurred by the high maintenance costs and low availability of its Sea Harrier aircraft, with only seven of these reportedly available at a given time.

Today’s Video

* U-2 high altitude footage…

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