Sikorsky nets $542M for six VH-92A | Elbit’s Hermes 45 to debut in Paris | New Zealand wants Super Hercules to replace Hercules
Sikorsky won a $542 million firm-fixed price modification to produce six VH-92A Presidential Helicopters. Under the terms of the contract, known as Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 1, Sikorsky will begin deliveries of six VH-92A helicopters in 2021. The remaining production aircraft will be delivered in 2022 and 2023. The contract also provides spares and training support. The VH-92A is the military variant of the Sikorsky S-92. It is currently under development and will replace the Marine One US Presidential Transport Fleet. The aircraft has undergone government testing and operational assessments, including over 520 flight test hours establishing the aircraft’s technical maturity and readiness of its mission systems. Lockheed Martin delivered and installed the first VH-92A training device at the Presidential Helicopter Squadron HMX-1 in Quantico, Virginia, earlier this year. Sikorsky will perform work within the US and is expected to be finished in April 2022.
The US Navy awarded Boeing a $22.8 million contract modification for additional acoustics software support activity and engineering support for the P-8A Poseidon. The modification also incorporates virtual machine efforts and develops and integrates software for Multi-static Active Coherent Enhancements. The Poseidon is capable of broad-area maritime and littoral operations. It is also effective at humanitarian and search and rescue missions. The aircraft is designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and ISR missions. Work will take place in Huntington Beach, California and is scheduled to be complete in January 2022.
Saab announced that the US Navy ordered additional Sea Giraffe Multi Mode Radars (MMR) for the Coast Guard’s offshore patrol cutter. Saab initially won a contract that includes multiple line item options for additional Sea Giraffe MMR systems in 2017. The deal also covered manufacturing, inspection, testing and delivery of the radars, which will be deployed on the Coast Guard’s Heritage class offshore patrol cutter. The Sea Giraffe MMR is a three-dimensional, electronically scanned, phased-array radar that offers high-radiated power, selectable waveforms and modern signal processing abilities. Saab’s Sea Giraffe AMB radar, designated AN/SPS-77 in the US, is currently deployed on the US Navy’s Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship. Saab will deliver the Radars between 2020 and 2022 and will carry out work in Syracuse, New York in the US and Gothenburg, Sweden.
Middle East & Africa
Elbit announced that its Hermes 45 Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (STUAS) will be premiering at the upcoming Paris Airshow 2019. According to the Israeli company „Hermes 45 offers a unique combination of extended range and duration with point launch and recovery, to and from land and maritime platforms thus enhancing Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities at the brigade and division levels and also for naval squadron units“. Elbit launched the small tactical-level unmanned aircraft system in 2017. It has a maximum operating endurance of more than 24 hours and a maximum takeoff weight of 65 kg, including a payload capacity of up to 15 kg, and can simultaneously operate with up to three payloads. Hermes 45 reportedly features a flight range of 200 kilometers or an extended Beyond Line of Sight range and an internal payload bay that supports multi-payload operation, including EO/IR, Marine-Radar, Terrain Dominance, Electronic Warfare and communications.
According to reports, a Russian Su-27 intercepted US and Swedish reconnaissance aircraft over the Baltic Sea on Monday. The incident is the latest in a series of similar encounters occurring at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow. The Russian defense ministry said in a statement: “On June 10, the Russian airspace control services over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea detected two air targets approaching Russia’s state border. A Su-27 fighter jet of the Baltic Fleet’s Air Defense Forces was scrambled to intercept the targets,” the statement said. The Su-27 identified the two foreign airplanes as a US Air Force RC-135 plane and a Swedish Air Force Gulfstream reconnaissance aircraft. The Baltops-2019 NATO naval drills are held on June 9 until June 21 in the southern part of the Baltic Sea. Around 40 ships and submarines, and 40 aircraft from 18 countries will take part in the military exercise.
In a press release, Thales announced that the Australian Defense Forces awarded General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS) $15 million for the prototype and process development of a 155mm XM1113 Rocket-Assisted Projectile Round. The XM1113 RAP uses rocket technology to deliver greater thrust to the round, when compared to its predecessor, the legacy M549A1. It provides the user with cannon-launched munitions to engage targets beyond the current 30 kilometer capability. Thales Australia became a part of the GD-OTS international supply chain in 2018, enabling co-production and technology transfer for a variety of critical munitions products. According to the press release, GD-OTS is working with Thales Australia to expand the international Supply Chain enabling the US Government to make the system available to additional customers. The deal could potentially lead to additional exports from Thales’s operations at the Benalla and Mulwala sites, potentially securing and increasing jobs and investment for Thales and its local supply chain.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Defense released its Defense Capability Plan 2019 on June 11, outlining the investment priorities for the New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF) to 2030. The highest priority project within the plan is the replacement of the five Hercules transport aircraft. The preferred option for this replacement is the C-130J-30 Super Hercules, which is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft by Lockheed Martin. The C-130J already flies with over 21 nations, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. New Zealand’s current Hercules first started services in the 1960s and is getting more and more expensive and harder to maintain. The C-130J-30 is a stretch version of the C-130J adding 15 feet to the fuselage, increasing usable space in the cargo compartment.
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