Textron’s AirLand Scorpion Completes Successful First Test Flight | LM to Produce $1.4B in FMS | Battleground Testing Reveals Flaws; Russian Defense Min Orders Fixed
- Boeing will manufacture and deliver 51 Lot 90 Harpoon weapon systems for Brazil, Egypt and South Korea. Valued at $207 million, the contract was issued by the US Navy, and also includes components and spares for the governments of Japan, Australia, Thailand, India, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, and Taiwan. The anti-ship missile system is utilized by navies and air forces in over 30 countries.
- The first production conforming Textron AirLand Scorpion jet has made its maiden flight. Lasting one hour 42 minutes, the flight saw pilots perform a range of maneuvers, with the company saying that the aircraft “incorporates a number of improvements based on target customer feedback.” While the Scorpion had been seemingly dismissed as a potential offering in the USAF’s upcoming T-X trainer program, company officials said last week that they still haven’t ruled themselves out of the competition, just weeks away from the expected request for proposals (RFP).
- Contracts have been awarded to Lockheed Martin for $1.4 billion worth of Patriot advanced capability production. The foreign military sales deal will see the delivery of 205 missile segment enhancements for the governments of South Korea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. The agreement also includes associated ground support equipment for the missiles.
Middle East & North Africa
- Battleground testing of 162 new and upgraded weapons by Russian military forces in Syria has revealed that 10 of these had flaws that had been missed during trials. The Defense Ministry said that it has stopped procurement of these weapons and their manufacturers have been ordered to fix the flaws. Among the systems tested in Syria were Su-30SM and Su-34 fighter jets, Mi-28N and Ka-52 helicopters, and Kalibr cruise missiles.
- Local Polish firm Mesko will provide the Piorun Man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS) to the Polish military, as Warsaw’s beefing up of its air-defense capabilities continues. $220 million has been set aside for the acquisition, which will include a total of 1,300 missiles and 420 missile launchers. Meanwhile, plans are moving forward for Lockheed Martin to produce and deliver Joint Air-To-Surface Standoff Missiles Extended Range (JASSM-ER) for the Polish Air Force’s F-16 fighter jets. Polish F-16s will also be equipped with new AIM-120 (AMRAAM) and AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles.
- Rheinmetall and BAE Systems have both been awarded contracts as part of the Challenger 2 Assessment Phase for the UK government. Each company will receive $28 million in order to conduct technical studies with the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank to produce digital models to determine appropriate upgrades for the legacy vehicles. In use with the British armed forces since 1998, the Challenger 2 Life Extension Project will upgrade the vehicle with the latest technology to make it available for operations until 2035.
- Japanese government and industry are vying for the sale of Mitsubishi-built air defense radar systems to Thailand. Competitive bids are expected to be solicited early next year, as Bangkok looks to upgrade and add to older European and US-built radars. If selected, the sale would mark the first Thai-Japanese military hardware sale. Tokyo is looking to push for stronger ties with Thailand, partly to counter the growing influence of China in southeast Asian, as relations between old ally the US and Thailand have been strained following a military coup in 2014.
- The Pakistan Army will receive four Mi-35 Hind E attack helicopters from Russia in 2017. Islamabad has paid $153 million in the deal, signed in August 2015, bringing to an end a self-imposed Russian ban on military exports to the country. Once wary of potential Indian protests at such a sale, Moscow now plans to sell as many as 20 of Mi-35s to Pakistan over the next few years.
Pharewell F-4 Phantom II:
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