Super Stallion to travel to Berlin in 2018, Lockheed push sales | USMC scout for shore-based anti-ship missile | UAE selects C295 for air transport
- The US Marine Corps (USMC) is in the market for a “readily available shore-based, coastal” anti-ship missile system. In a Request for Information (RFI) posted by the service on the Federal Business Opportunities website last month, the platform must be equipped with its own Over the Horizon (OTH) target acquisition capability and be capable of engaging vessels at ranges greater than 80 miles. Furthermore, it must fit within the USMC expeditionary concept to be employable by highly deployable and mobile forces, and be able to be integrated with US and partner nation weapons, command and control systems and surveillance systems. Interested parties have until November 30 to respond. While options like the Army’s ATACMs, the Norwegian Naval Strike Missile are potential options, interviews with USMC officials report that a preferred option would be a missile that can be fired from their truck-based High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher.
Middle East & Africa
- Closing out this year’s Dubai Airshow, hosts UAE placed an order with Airbus for five C295 medium transport aircraft. The firm said that they will deliver the twin-turboprops to the UAE Air Force from the forth quarter of 2018, where they will take over mission duties from the CN235s still in operation with the Emirates. The sale brings Airbus’ C295 order count to 203, 51 of which have been ordered by governments in the Middle East and North Africa.
- BAE Systems announced Wednesday an agreement for the support and maintenance of UAE-operated British-built Hawk jet trainer aircraft. The deal will see UAE-based Advanced Military Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Center (AMMROC) continue its relationship with BAE until 2020, with the agreement covering the supply of spares and repairs along with a bespoke level of access to BAE’s engineering expertise to support the upgrade and repair of Hawk Mk61, Mk102 and Mk63 aircraft. AMMROC is a joint venture company owned by Emirates Defence Industries Company (“EDIC”), Lockheed Martin and its helicopter-producing subsidiary, Sikorsky. The UAE is one of its key customers.
- The US State Department has notified Congress that is has cleared Norway to purchase AIM-120 C-7 air-to-air missiles, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said Wednesday. Valued at an estimated $170 million, the package includes up to sixty AIM-120 C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and four AMRAAM guidance section spares, as well as missile containers, weapon system support, support equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training, training equipment, US Government and contractor engineering, logistics, technical and support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The contract is a follow-on buy from an earlier Norwegian AIM-120 order and Raytheon will act as lead contractor. The AIM-120 C7 will be one of several munitions equipped on Norway’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter fleet.
- Lockheed Martin’s CH-53K Super Stallion will make its international debut at the Berlin Airshow next April, sources close to the program told Reuters. Built for the US Marine Corps by Lockheed subsidiary Sikorsky under the Heavy Lift Replacement (HLR) program, the heavy-lift helicopter is being touted as a possible solution to Germany’s CH-53G replacement program, which will see the King Stallion face off against the smaller Boeing CH-47F Chinook in a $4.7 billion competition for about 40 units. However, an official start to the program—along with a formal structure to the competition—is unlikely to be unveiled until Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives manages to negotiate a ruling coalition with the pro-business Free Democrats and the Greens—horse-trading that could take until the end of the year. Israel is also reported to be interested in the King Stallion, adding a potential 20 units to Lockheed’s order book.
- Approval for a permanent propeller gearbox (PGB) fix onboard Airbus’ A400M Atlas transport aircraft will slide into next year, according to propulsion system supplier Europrop International (EPI). EPI had hoped to secure European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for a “Pack 2” series of modifications to the TP400-D6 engine’s Avio Aero-supplied PGB in the third quarter of this year. These modifications intended to reduce vibration and “reinforce endurance and reliability,” however, as EPI want to supply a fully mature PGB solution, certification will not take place until 2018. In the meantime, an EASA certified “truncated plug solution” has been retrofitted to all in-service A400Ms and installed with new engines since the start of this year. EPI said this solution has given “strong relief to the operators” by removing the need to conduct on-wing inspections of the gearbox after every 20 flying hours.
- Chinas Beihang Unmanned Aircraft System Technology unveiled Monday, November 13, its new TYW-1 strike-capable UAV. With a wingspan of 18m, the TYW-1 drone features the same outward-canted stabiliser design as seen on the BZK-005 multirole medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV (believed to be in use with the People’s Liberation Army), and is approximately 9.85 m-long and 2.5 m-high. Featuring an electro-optical system that can reportedly read a licence plate 50 km away from an altitude of 5,000 m, it also can carry a a 370 kg payload, features four underwing pylons, has a ceiling of 7.5 km, an endurance of 40 hours, and can reach a top speed of 200 km/h. Also displayed was an upgraded BZK-005 complete with a system mounted under the UAV’s nose that could be electronic support measures (ESM), a radar, or a communication relay.
- Sukhoi’s Su-35 at Dubai Airshow
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