Sikorsky Wins $94M Black Hawk Medevac Helicopter Production Option | First Nigerian JF-17 Delivered | Royal Navy Welcomes Madfox
Sikorsky won a $94.3 million deal to support an option exercise of six Program Year 5, Lot 45 HH-60M aircraft. The HH-60M Black Hawk features an integrated MEDEVAC equipment package kit intended to support casualty evacuation missions at daytime or nighttime or even in extreme weather conditions, according to the service branch. The branch exercised an option under a previously awarded contract to procure lot 45 HH-60M choppers for the fifth year of the aircraft procurement effort. Work will take place in Connecticut. Estimated completion date is July 31, 2022.
Rockwell Collins won a $16.9 million order, which upgrades the E-6B Mercury mission computer from a 32-BIT to a 64-BIT Linux-based operating system, resulting in an increase to capability and reduced threat vulnerabilities. The principle mission of the E-6 Mercury is to connect the national command authority with the US Navy’s nuclear missile force carried aboard at-sea ballistic missile submarines. The E-6 is a militarized version of the commercial 707 civilian airliner and carries a very low frequency communication system with dual trailing wire antennas. Work will take place in Richardson, Texas and is expected to be finished in March 2023.
Middle East & Africa
A video circulating online shows a JF-17 being unloaded from a Pakistan Air Force Il-76. The fighter is believed to have been delivered to Makurdi. The Nigerian Air Force has ordered three JF-17s from Pakistan and these have been manufactured, with registrations NAF-720, NAF-721 and NAF-722. In 2018 Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved a $184.3 million sovereign guarantee for the production of three Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC)/Chengdu JF-17 fighters, according to the Pakistan Express Tribune.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Friday that Eritrean forces agreed to withdraw troops from the Ethiopian border after five months of conflict. “The Ethiopian National Defense Force will take over guarding the border areas effective immediately,” he wrote in an official statement posted on Twitter. “Eritrean troops fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray state systematically killed hundreds of unarmed civilians in the northern city of Axum on 28-29 November 2020, opening fire in the streets and conducting house-to-house raids in a massacre that many amount to a crime against humanity,” reported Amnesty International in February.
The Royal Navy has officially welcomed a new autonomous vessel named Madfox into the fleet. The vessel is operated by ‘NavyX’, the Royal Navy’s experimentation group. Over the next few months, the Royal Navy says that NavyX will carry on its work with the Uncrewed Surface Vessel, while also examining how these vessels can deliver across the range of military operations including surveillance and force protection.
Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement late on March 27 that he will be sending the FA-50 to fly over hundreds of Chinese vessels anchored at Whitsun Reef in South China Sea. “Our air and sea assets are ready to protect our sovereignty and sovereign rights,” Lorenzana said.
Watch: Autonomous vessel ready for operations | Royal Navy