Rolls-Royce to provide Super Hercules Propulsion Sustainment | Thales to supply Rocket Launchers to IAF | China reveals HIFV Concept
The US Navy awarded L-3 KEO a $19.3 million contract modification for the production of the Universal Modular Mast, which serves as a lifting mechanism for the Virginia class mast payloads. The Universal Modular Mast is standard equipment for above-water sensors on U.S. and international submarines. It is a non-hull penetrating mast for Navy Virginia-class fast-attack submarines and Ohio-class guided missile submarines that can host five different sensor configurations: the photonics mast, the multi-function mast, the integrated electronic mast, the high-data-rate-mast, and the photonics mast variant. The Virginia class or SSN-774 class are nuclear powered fast attack submarines. The submarines form the Navy’s new undersea warfare platform designed to seek and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships as well as project power ashore. Work under the contract will take place in Italy as well as Massachusetts and is scheduled to be finished by August 2021.
The US Air Force contracted Rolls-Royce with a $19.5 million modification for C-130J Propulsion long-term sustainment. The C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft equipped with Rolls-Royce AE 2100 D3 turboprop engines with Dowty R391 composite scimitar propellers, digital avionics, and reduced crew requirements. This technology has improved performance over its C-130E/H predecessors, such as 40 percent greater range, 21 percent higher maximum speed, and 41 percent shorter takeoff distance. The delivery order provides for funding Option II flying hours. Work will take place at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia as well as various locations that support C-130J Propulsion long-term sustainment and is expected to be completed by the end of January next year.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli industrial drone maker Airobotics is moving its manufacturing to the US. The company will lay off at least 20 of its 140 employees in Israel and additional employees in its offices in Australia, where it has 60 employees. Airobotics laid off 25 employees in Israel last November, when it had 170 employees in Israel. Already then, Airobotics announced it was relocating most of its operations, including its global headquarters, to Scottsdale, Arizona. The company manufactures automated industrial drones that are used for inspection, surveying and mapping, and security and emergency response applications. The restructuring is supposed to meet growing demand in the US, Australia and other areas in Asia-Pacific. Airobotics’ research and development center will remain in Israel.
Britain awarded Rolls-Royce a $307 million contract to maintain nuclear submarines. Until 2022, Rolls Royce will provide support and advice for systems on board the fleet of Trafalgar, Vanguard and Astute class submarines. The new deal, known as the Nuclear Propulsion Lifetime Management (NPLM) contract, forms part of a wider suite of contracts with Rolls-Royce to provide naval reactor plant design, support, advice and components to the submarine build program and provide enabling services such as infrastructure and IT. The British Defense Ministry also revealed the name of the third Dreadnought submarine, which will be called the HMS Warspite. The name Warspite goes back to 1595 and was the last “great ship” to be built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The newest submarine is expected to see service in the early 2030s, and will be the eighth Royal Navy ship to carry the name Warspite.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) awarded French company Thales a contract to supply 70-mm rocket launchers to the Indian Armed Forces (IAF). The deal provides for 135 rocket launchers for 33 attack helicopters. Eighteen of the army’s advanced light helicopters and 15 of the Air Force’s light combat helicopters will be equipped with four 12-tube rocket launchers. The company produces the rocket launchers using composite material, making them an average of 50 percent lighter than metal launchers, and eliminating corrosion issues. The launchers are suited for use on both light and combat helicopters. Munitions available for use with the launchers range from conventional rockets to Thales’ laser-guided variant. Thales is present in India since 1953 with headquarters in New Delhi, including in defense, transport, aerospace and security markets.
China revealed a concept for a heavy infantry fighting vehicle (HIFV) based on the VT4 MBT, Jane’s reports. China North Industries Corporation presented the concept for the vehicle at the IDEX 2019. The model based on the VT4 export main battle tank includes engines relocated to the front of the hull from the rear, making space for infantry dismounts. The VT4 MBT is armed with a 125mm smoothbore cannon to engage armored personnel carriers, main battle tanks, infantry forces, military installation, light vehicles, and low-flying helicopters. The gunner and commander of the VT4 tank are provided with stabilized thermal imaging sights for identification and recognition of targets. An armament for the new HIFV is provided in the form of the turret from the tracked ZBD-04A IFV that is in service with China’s People’s Liberation Army.
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