Syria to be destination for Mi-28UB test | Price slash on Honeywell engines for Taiwan | France’s Scorpion program receives funding hit
- The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has given Raytheon a $66.4 million contract modification for the Standard Missile-3 Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense program. Work will be carried out in Tuscon, Ariz and includes engineering work, support services and analysis of the SM-3 Block IIA missile and BMD 5.1 flight testing and certification. Scheduled completion has been given for Sep. 30, 2018. This modification brings the total contract cost to $2.07 billion.
- Raytheon has been awarded a $25.9 million US Air Force contract for modifications and retrofitting of sensors on the RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 UAV. Under the terms of the deal, work to be provided by the firm includes engineering for upgrades to the Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite and retrofitting of the Enhanced Electro-Optical Receiving Unit on Global Hawks. The work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif., with an expected completion date of Feb. 4, 2019.
Middle East & Africa
- Kratos has received a $46.2 million contract awarded by the US Department of Defense to provide training and technical services in support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program. Work on the foreign military sale will take place in both Saudi Arabia and Orlando, Fla., and is scheduled for completion by August 2020. Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program aims to broaden the country’s investments away from oil, implement government services reform, and building its own defense industry. The plan hopes to localize 50 percent of defense spending in Saudi Arabia, reducing costs and dependence on foreign military equipment and boosting the Saudi defense export sector.
- Russia is to test its Mi-28UB attack helicopter in Syria, according to Russian Helicopters CEO, Andrei Boginsky. The helicopter, which has a combined combat and training configuration of the Mi-28N Night Hunter and features dual controls for both crew members, will be used primarily to train new pilots but can also take part in combat operations. Russian Helicopters expects to deliver eight new Mi-28UB units to the Russian Aerospace Forces by the end of the year, with the first to be delivered to the 344th center of combat training and retraining center in Torzhok.
- Estonia firm Milrem has brought its Titan unmanned ground vehicle to Michigan, USA, as it looks for US sub-contractors to help with production. The UGV is a joint effort with QinetiQ North America and is comprised of a modular hybrid unmanned ground vehicle from Milrem and a tactical robot controller and applique kit from QNA. The system is being displayed at the Ground Vehicle Systems Engineering and Technology Symposium, and has been selected by the US Army’s Squad Maneuver Equipment Transport program for testing. In addition to acting as a support platform for dismounted troops, it can also be used to carry remote weapon stations with small- and large-caliber weapons.
- France’s Scorpion modernization program is likely to suffer a funding hit as Paris looks to skim $1 billion off this year’s defense budget. The comments were made to Parliament by former chief of staff Army Gen. Pierre de Villiers prior to his resignation on July 19. “If we do not receive the required funding, we will need to postpone this program, with all the consequences that will entail,” he said, adding that Contact—a key software-defined radio used on the program’s vehicles—is expected to be a casualty. Thales supplies the Contact system and is an industrial partner with Nexter and Renault Trucks Defense on the Griffon troop carrier as well as the Jaguar reconnaissance and combat vehicle being developed under the Scorpion program.
- A bipartisan delegation of Taiwanese lawmakers visiting the US last week have struck a deal for turbofan engines to power its indigenous advanced jet trainer. During the visit, the delegation visited the International Turbine Engine Co (ITEC)—a joint venture between US-based Honeywell Aerospace and Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC), created to facilitate technology transfers to and procurement by Taiwan— and convinced Honeywell to drop a planned price hike on the engines, which would have imposed an additional cost of billions of New Taiwan dollars and complicated the government’s plans for the trainer’s development. Lawmakers from both parties—the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)—told the US contractors that no additional budget for the engines’ procurement is available under Taiwan’s parliamentary rules, and any price hike would delay the purchase.
- South Korea is planning to acquire another batch of 90 Taurus air-to-ground cruise missiles from Germany’s Taurus Systems GmbH, with local technology and electronics firms now allowed to join the offset program for the purchase. The firms have been asked to submit a list of products that they want to sell to the German firm, which includes personal computers and electric parts. In addition to the Taurus missiles, the Pentagon stated on Monday that it was reviewing bilateral ballistic missile guidelines with South Korea that could allow Seoul to have more powerful missiles as tensions with North Korea rise over its missile and nuclear programs.
- The Honeywell engine that will power Taiwan’s advanced jet trainer:
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