Test Pilot Report: F-35, Lunky & Slow, Can’t Beat F-16 in Dog Fight | Saab Awarded 2 Swedish Subs | Georgia Beefing Up Air Defense
- In a damning report obtained by War is Boring, the F-35A was out-performed by a F-16D in a mock dogfight in January. The newer jet failed to manoeuvre fast or agile enough to defeat the older fighter, despite the F-16 flying with two external fuel tanks. The unnamed pilot listed off numerous serious problems with the fighter, including a low nose climb rate and a cramped cockpit space, as well as other manoeuvrability issues reducing the ability of the pilot to see and kill the older jet, an issue that has come up before. On Monday Lockheed Martin was handed a $19.6 million contract modification to provide requirements development and maturation efforts for the Joint Strike Fighter.
- Also on Monday the Navy handed Boeing a $358.9 million contract to provide long-lead production materials for twenty-nine Full Rate Production P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and ASW aircraft. The twenty-nine aircraft are split between Lots II and III, with the Navy set to take nine of the former and sixteen of the latter, with the remaining four Lot III aircraft earmarked for the Royal Australian Air Force. Boeing received a $295.6 million advance acquisition contract in August 2014 for long-lead items for a dozen Full Rate Production Lot II P-8A aircraft, with funding for four of these similarly destined for the RAAF.
- The company was also handed a $10.1 million contract to integrate the Next Generation Jamming Pod onto Navy EA-18G Growlers, as part of the program’s hardware integration Phase II. The work is expected to take seven months.
- Austal has laid the keel of the fourteenth Littoral Combat Ship in Alabama, with the future ship destined to become the USS Manchester. Austal shares the construction of the LCS program with Lockheed Martin under a $3.5 billion ten-ship block buy awarded in December 2010.
- The Army awarded a $110.4 million contract modification to BAE Systems for thirty-six M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation System (HERCULES) vehicles and spares. The company previously saw a contract in 2011 for forty-eight of the vehicles.
- Brazil is planning to buy Russian Pantsir S-1 mobile air defense systems early next year, according to Russian press reports. Brazil has been looking at acquiring Russian hardware in the run-up to the Rio 2016 Olympics, with the Brazilian Defense Ministry sending a team of negotiators to Russia in October 2013 to begin contract negotiations for Pantsir and Igla air defense systems. Previous reports placed the signing of the deal towards the beginning of 2015, with this delayed owing to a slump in the Brazilian defense procurement budget.
- Saab landed a $1 billion contract on Tuesday for the construction of two A26 submarines, in addition to planned upgrades to the Swedish Navy’s Gotland-class subs. The two Type A26 boats will be delivered in 2018 and 2019, with the Swedish government announcing their intention to procure the subs back in March. The announcement dispels rumours in the Swedish press last week which reported that the procurement was likely to be delayed owing to cost overruns.
- Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has reportedly appropriated a CH-47 Chinook helicopter for use by his personal palace, with the twin-rotor helicopter thought to be one of five ordered in January to complement the six contracted for in August 2011. The helicopter is capable of transporting fifty-five troops – or (seemingly) one Turkish President.
- Georgia is reportedly buying mobile air defense systems, with a deal signed between ThalesRaytheonSystems and the country’s defense ministry earlier this month. The precise model of system the country is procuring has not been disclosed. The Franco-US company produces the GM 200 mobile surveillance and engagement radar, with a model of this appearing at the signing of the contract. Another potential system that could be included in the deal is the Crotale, with this in service with over a dozen operators worldwide.
- Angola will begin receiving SU-30K fighters from Russia in November, with the first pair of aircraft set to be followed by an additional ten next year. The SU-30Ks are part of a package of hardware and expertise being supplied by Belarus to the African state, with the fighters formerly belonging to the Indian Air Force. Following a $1 billion contract with Rosoboronexport in 2013, the deal was subsequently renegotiated in February, with the number of fighter Angola planned to procure cut from eighteen to a dozen. The fighters have been undergoing repairs and upgrades at the 558th Aircraft Repair Plant at Baranovichi, with Russian firm Irkut reportedly carrying out the engineering work. Angola has also been investing in its aviation infrastructure, including new airports capable of housing its new fighters.
- The first Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-27J Spartan transport aircraft was delivered on Tuesday, the first of ten aircraft ordered in May 2012 through a $1.3 billion deal with manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi. The new fleet is a replacement for the RAAF’s aged fleet of C-130H transports, which were slashed as a result of defense spending cuts.
- Following the delivery of the Afghani Air Force’s fourth and final C-130H transport aircraft last week, the US Air Force awarded a $72.1 million IDIQ contract to Illinois-based AAR Defense Systems and Logistics for Contractor Logistics Support. The company beat one other rival bid, with the contract scheduled to run to 2020.
- The C-27J Spartan demonstrates its manoeuvrability…
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