* Northrop Grumman is to produce and deliver nine AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) AESA air defense radar systems to the USMC. The manufacturer already had an order for six G/ATORs under the low rate initial production (LRIP) phase, this latest contract brings the total number ordered to 15. It’s expected that the first AN/TPS-80 will be delivered in February 2017.
* In the wake of an arms smuggling scandal, shares at Brazil’s Taurus have plummeted. Two former executives of South America’s biggest gun maker have been indicted as part of a scheme to import small arms illegally to Yemen. As a result Taurus, who is a major supplier of firearms to Brazil’s police and military and one of the top five makers of handguns in the US market, experienced an 8 percent drop in shares on Tuesday, their biggest drop in 16 months.
* Lockheed Martin announced that it recently delivered the 2,000th Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) to the USAF. This missile is a baseline version completed under the 12th production lot. Production of this lot began in January and covers 150 baseline JASSM cruise missiles and 60 JASSM-Extended Range (ER) missiles.
* Zel Technologies has been awarded a max $165 million Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency contract to research and develop counter-IED technologies. The deal will assist the agency in enabling Pentagon actions to counter improvised threats with tactical responsiveness and through anticipatory, rapid acquisition in support of combatant command’s efforts to prepare for and adapt to counter-terrorism, counterinsurgency and other related mission areas. Zel will also identify and maintain an understanding of risks, capability gaps and vulnerabilities of the joint force to drive rapid assessments, enabling informed investments in counter-threat tech and non-materiel solutions within the combatant command’s latest time of value.
* Poland has officially selected the Patriot air defense missile system, making it the 6th NATO Patriot country and the 14th Patriot partner nation. Manufacturer Raytheon made the announcement saying that the company “will continue supporting the US and Polish governments through the Foreign Military Sales process,” and that it “will also partner with Poland’s government and industry to finalize offset and industrial participation plans.” So far, Raytheon has already signed eight contracts and more than 30 letters of intent with Polish industry.
* Spain’s first A400M airlifter has made its maiden flight. Known as MSN44, the aircraft took off from the A400M final assembly line in Seville, Spain, and landed nearly four hours later. Manufacturer Airbus considers the flight an important milestone toward the aircraft’s delivery.
* Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has conducted the first flight of its three-ton light utility helicopter (LUH). This is the third indigenous helicopter from the Indian state-owned company and is powered by a single Safran HE Ardiden-1U engine and can carry up to six passengers. HAL hopes to obtain its initial operational certification by end-2017 when it will replace the military’s Chetak and Cheetah helicopters.
* Ukraine and aircraft manufacturer Antonov are seeking some $500 million in investment from China in order to complete an updated version of the An-225 Mriya. Regarded as the world’s biggest aircraft, the cargo plane was designed as part of the former Soviet Union’s space program, however only one was ever completed. Now, Antonov and Chinese aerospace giant the Aerospace Industry Corporation of China (AICC) have signed a cooperation agreement under which Antonov planes could be manufactured jointly in China.
The development of Saab’s fighter-bomber: