Sikorsky Tapped For For VH-92A Production | UK Apaches To Attend Defender Europe | India Approves MH-60r Procurement
Sikorsky won a $470.8 million modification, which exercises options to procure six low rate initial production lot II VH-92A aircraft, interim contractor support and six cabin interior reconfiguration kits in support of the Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program. The VH-92 will replace the US Marine Corps VH-3D and VH-60N helicopters that transport the president, while operating under the name of Marine One. The VH-92 will replace the U.S. Marine Corps VH-3D and VH-60N helicopters that transport the president, while operating under the name of Marine One. The Navy awarded a $542 million order to Sikorsky last June for six Lot I VH-92A presidential helicopters. Sikorsky will begin deliveries of the first six VH-92A helicopters in 2021.
The US Navy awarded Sikorsky a $40 million contract modification, which procures organic capability pilot repair material, technical publications, peculiar support equipment re-design and acquisition and logistical support in support of lot 2 CH-53K aircraft. The CH-53K helicopter is a new-build design variant and replacement for the current USMC heavy-lift aircraft, the CH-53E. The CH-53K evolves the CH-53E design to improve operational capability, reliability, maintainability, survivability, and cost of ownership. Work will take place in Connecticut, North Carolina and is expected to be finished by December 2024.
Middle East & Africa
The Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF’s) General Staff will undergo significant structural changes this year as part of the new ‘Momentum’ multi-year program, the IDF Spokesperson Unit announced on February 18. In a response to “the evolving threat from the Iranian arena” a new Iran and Strategy Directorate is being created that combines the existing Strategic and International Cooperation Divisions, the IDF said. It will be headed by a major general and address “two key subjects: planning and incorporating the military strategy with regards to the Iranian arena”. The Strategic Division was previously part of the Planning Directorate (J5), while the International Cooperation Division has been independent since 2018.
British Army Apache Attack helicopters, Wildcat reconnaissance helicopters and RAF Chinook transport helicopters, will be among more than 2,500 British troops taking part in Exercise Defender Europe 20, say the British Army. The pilots and ground crew of 3 Regt AAC’s 662 Squadron, based at Wattisham Flying Station in Suffolk, have been put through their paces this week ahead of the deployment, which will see them training in Germany and Poland in the spring. Defender Europe 20 is a US Army-led exercise involving 35,000 troops from 18 nations. It aims to demonstrate the ability to rapidly surge combat ready forces into and across Europe to support the NATO alliance.
The Cabinet Committee on Security of India has reportedly approved the procurement of 24 MH-60R multi-role helicopters from the US. The $2.6 billion worth helicopter acquisition is for the Indian Navy and will be done through the US Foreign Military Sales program. In April 2018, the procurement was cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council, while the sale was also approved by the DoS in April last year. US Congress has also been notified about the possible sale. Lockheed Martin was selected to serve as the sale’s principal contractor. The helicopters will replace the Sea King helicopters that were phased out in 2000. According to US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the MH-60R Seahawk helicopters will enhance India’s capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions.
The Royal Thai Air Force has published its new 10-year white paper and it was disclosed that the service will procure a JAS-39C/D fighter in 2023. The single airframe is expected to replace the JAS-39C that crashed during an airshow in January 2017. It was also announced in the same paper that all existing 11 Gripens will be upgraded to MS 20 software standard from next year.
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