(click to view full) Northrop Grumman’s E-2C Hawkeye is a carrier-capable “mini-AWACS” aircraft, designed to give long-range warning of incoming aerial threats. Secondary roles include strike command and control, land and maritime surveillance, search and rescue, communications relay, and even civil air traffic control during emergencies. E-2C Hawkeyes began replacing previous Hawkeye versions in 1973. They fly from USN and French carriers, from land bases in the militaries of Egypt, Japan, Mexico, and Taiwan; and in a drug interdiction role for the US Naval Reserve. Over 200 Hawkeyes have been produced. The $17.5 billion E-2D Advanced Hawkeye program aims to build 75 new aircraft with significant radar, engine, and electronics upgrades in order to deal with a world of stealthier cruise missiles, saturation attacks, and a growing need for ground surveillance as well as aerial scans. It looks a lot like the last generation E-2C Hawkeye 2000 upgrade on the outside – but inside, and even outside to some extent, it’s a whole new aircraft.
Americas Northrop Grumman has received a $1.5-billion contract to deliver E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft to the US Navy and Japan. A recent US Department of Defense announcement states that the company will produce nine new Hawkeyes – four for the navy and five for Tokyo. It will also provide associated support services to both customers. Most work for the contract will be performed in Florida, with an estimated completion date of March 2029. Bollinger Shipyards announced that its Pascagoula Mississippi shipyard now exceeds 1,000 employees, touting the milestone as it gears up to make the first heavy icebreaker in the US in more than 50 years – vessels Washington is keen to produce more of as it partners with Canada and Finland in a pact to bolster icebreaker fleets. The three countries announced the Icebreaker Collaboration Effort, or ICE Pact, in a joint statement during the NATO summit in Washington on Thursday. The trilateral agreement aims to build “best-in-class Arctic and polar icebreakers and other Arctic and polar capabilities in each of our respective countries by sharing expertise, information, and capabilities.” Middle East & Africa Turkiye and Niger agreed to boost cooperation on energy, mining, intelligence and defense, after the […]
Americas Raytheon has demonstrated a simulated missile interception using the US Army’s new missile defense radar and command and control system and the US Navy’s interceptor. The Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) simulators provided threat tracking data and the Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) engagement control software to the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS) during a Valiant Shield 24 test. The Northrop Grumman IBCS subsequently initiated the transfer of the launch command data and guided a missile interception “successfully,” according to Raytheon. The US Air Force and Boeing have reached an agreement regarding the planned supply of E-7 Wedgetail airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told reporters at an air show in England that the service finally “got a reasonable price point” for the jets after bringing in a brokering expert. Middle East & Africa Germany can no longer cooperate militarily with Niger because of a lack of “trust” in relations with the West African country’s military regime, German Foreign Affairs Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Tuesday. Germany already announced on July 6 that it will end operations at its airbase in Niger and pull out its remaining three-dozen troops by […]
UH-60L Blackhawk helicopte
E-7A Wedgetail over New South Wales (click to view full) The island continent of Australia faces a number of unique security challenges that stem from its geography. The continent may be separated from its neighbors by large expanses of ocean, but it also resides within a potential arc of instability, and has a number of important offshore resource sites to protect. Full awareness of what is going on around them, and the ability to push that awareness well offshore, are critical security requirements. “Project Wedgetail” had 3 finalists, and the winner was a new variant of Boeing’s 737-700, fitted with an MESA (multirole electronically scanned array) radar from Northrop Grumman. That radar exchanges the traditional AWACS rotating dome for the E-7A’s “top hat” stationary antenna. That design, and the project as a whole, have run into severe turbulence, creating problems for Boeing earnings, the ADF, and other export orders for the type. DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. This one covers contracts, events, and key milestones within Australia’s E-7A program, from inception to the current day.
Americas The US Navy Blue Angels successfully tested a Mobile Aircraft Arresting System (MAAS) for the first time at Camp Grayling Army Airfield on June 26th. This test and certification served as a crucial element in their participation in the subsequent National Cherry Festival Air Show held in Traverse City on June 29-30th. The MAAS deployment was a first for the Blue Angels at the National Cherry Festival Air Show. This system, typically used at military airfields, is a vital safety feature providing an emergency landing option for high-performance aircraft like the Blue Angels’ F/A-18 Hornets. The MAAS employs arresting cables and barriers to rapidly decelerate aircraft in case of an in-flight issue or missed landing. Regular testing and certification, such as the one conducted at Camp Grayling, ensures the MAAS is prepared for such scenarios. Lockheed Martin has delivered the first of eight C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft to the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Ohio as part of a project to modernize the installation’s aging military transport fleet. The plane incorporates a new configuration of aerial spray capability to secure large areas from disease-carrying insects and other pests as well as to disperse oil spills in water surface domains. […]
c 130j 135th as maryland ang in flight
RAAF C-130J-30, flares (click to view full) The C-130 Hercules remains one of the longest-running aerospace manufacturing programs of all time. Since 1956, over 40 models and variants have served as the tactical airlift backbone for over 50 nations. The C-130J looks similar, but the number of changes almost makes it a new aircraft. Those changes also created issues; the program has been the focus of a great deal of controversy in America – and even of a full program restructuring in 2006. Some early concerns from critics were put to rest when the C-130J demonstrated in-theater performance on the front lines that was a major improvement over its C-130E/H predecessors. A valid follow-on question might be: does it break the bottleneck limitations that have hobbled a number of multi-billion dollar US Army vehicle development programs? C-130J customers now include Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, India, Israel, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Tunisia, and the United States. American C-130J purchases are taking place under both annual budgets and supplemental wartime funding, in order to replace tactical transport and special forces fleets that are flying old aircraft and in dire need of major repairs. This DID FOCUS […]
Americas The US Navy is evaluating the operability of the Expeditionary Medical Unit (EMU) aboard the USNS Cody (EPF 14) Spearhead-class fast transport vessel. The trial supports the service’s objective to improve medical care capabilities for combat and humanitarian missions from sea to shore. Being held at the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, the evaluation focuses on the EMU’s Role 2 (R2) level healthcare function, which covers patient decontamination, biomedical repair, sterile supply, information technology, and command and control tasks. China said Wednesday it had suspended negotiations with the United States on nuclear non-proliferation and arms control in response to Washington’s weapons sales to Taiwan. The US and China in November held rare talks on nuclear arms control, part of a bid to ease mistrust ahead of a summit between leader Joe Biden and Xi Jinping. Further dialogue had not been publicly announced since, with a White House official in January urging Beijing to respond “to some of our more substantive ideas on risk reduction.” But China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday said recent US sales of arms to self-ruled Taiwan were “seriously undermining the political atmosphere for continued arms control consultations between the two sides.” Middle East & Africa French defense contractor Arquus has signed an […]
rafale
Dassault Rafale (click for cutaway view) Will Dassault’s fighter become a fashionably late fighter platform that builds on its parent company’s past successes – or just “the late Rafale”? It all began as a 1985 break-away from the multinational consortium that went on to create EADS’ Eurofighter. The French needed a lighter aircraft that was suitable for carrier use, and were reportedly unwilling to cede design authority over the project. As is so often true of French defense procurement policy, the choice came down to paying additional costs for full independence and exact needs, or losing key industrial capabilities by partnering or buying abroad. France has generally opted for expensive but independent defense choices, and the Rafale was no exception. Those costs, and associated delays triggered by the end of the Cold War and reduced funding, proved to be very costly indeed. Unlike previous French fighters, which relied on exports to lower their costs and keep production lines humming, the Rafale has yet to secure a single export contract – in part because initial versions were hampered by impaired capabilities in key roles. The Rafale may, at last, be ready to be what its vendors say: a true omnirole aircraft, […]
Americas Capella Space won a $14 million firm-fixed-price contract to provide Synthetic Aperture RADAR satellite system capabilities and integrate them into Air Force Research Laboratory’s Global Unification Environment. Work will be performed at Kirkland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and is expected to be completed by December 1, 2026. The Air Force Research Lab, Kirkland AFB, New Mexico, is the contracting activity. The US Army, in conjunction with NATO allies, has successfully conducted a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) Rapid Infiltration (HIRAIN) operation utilizing an Airbus A400M transport aircraft for the first time. This groundbreaking achievement marks a significant advancement in the rapid deployment of HIMARS using cargo aircraft. Previously, HIRAIN operations were primarily conducted using C-17 or C-130 transport aircraft. The successful integration of HIMARS with the A400M expands the range of available airlift platforms and offers increased flexibility for future deployments. RTX subsidiary Pratt & Whitney has completed its preliminary design review of the F135 engine core upgrade (ECU). The completion of this stage affirms the ECU design is proceeding according to schedule and exceeding expectations, the company said. The upgrade increases the engine’s durability and performance, which will “fully enable Block 4 and beyond capabilities for all three […]
Americas Raytheon won a $14 million deal for the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) development lab management and maintenance program. This contract provides for the development branch of the Air Intercept Missile-120 AMRAAM that will manage the design, development, integration, and testing of hardware and software improvements to the AMRAAM. Work will be performed at Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by February 28, 2026. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity. Lockheed Martin won a $70 million modification, which?adds scope to provide a redesign of the synchronous dynamic random-access memory for the Technical Refresh Three integrated core processor and panoramic cockpit display in support of the F-35 aircraft diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages for the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and non-U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) participants. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in January 2029.?Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Middle East & Africa Kenya has taken delivery of the first batch of military helicopters promised by the US during the recent state visit of Kenyan President William Ruto. Two UH-1 Huey military […]