* L3 Technologies is being tapped for an upgrade of the Air Force’s Mission Training Center (MTC). The cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price modification is valued at $20 million. The modification provides for the incorporation of the F-16 M7.2+ Operational Flight Program capability into the Air Force’s F-16 MTC. Each F-16 MTC provides four high fidelity F-16 simulators with a 360-degree visual system, robust synthetic environment, instructor/operator stations and brief/debrief stations. The simulators can be operated individually or linked together to provide four-ship training, both within the MTC and linked to the Distributed Mission Operation Network. The simulators enable pilots to detect, judge the orientation of, recognize and identify targets from the same distance as they would when conducting an actual sortie. The realistic military flight simulation maximizes a pilot’s operational readiness while drastically reducing overall training costs. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $541,5 million. Work will be performed in Arlington, Texas and is expected to be completed by February 2020.
* The Navy is contracting Vigor Marine LLC., for work on the USS Sampson. The firm-fixed-price contract provides for the preparation and accomplishment of repair and alteration work as part of the Sampson’s CNO-Scheduled Dry-Docking Selected Restricted Availability (DSRA) program and is valued at $42 million. Work on the USS Sampson may include blasting, painting and surface preparation, as well as work on the ship’s freeboard, struts, rudders, hull, electric infrastructure and other parts. The USS Sampson or DDG 102 is an Arleigh-Burke Class destroyer, while deployed, the ship protected the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, escorted other ships and took part in exercises with the navies of Singapore and Egypt. Work will be performed in Seattle, Washington and Everett, Washington. Refurbishment is expected to be completed by May 2019.
* The Naval Air Warfare Center is awarding a contract to Airborne Tactical Advantage Co. (ATAC). The modification is valued at $54,5 million and provides for support activities to the Navy’s Contracted Air Services (CAS) program. The CAS Program provides contractor owned and operated Type III high subsonic and Type IV supersonic aircraft to Navy Fleet customers for a wide variety of airborne threat simulation capabilities. The Type III high subsonic and Type IV supersonic aircraft are designed to simulate incoming threats for testing and training defensive capabilities. ATAC jets are certified to carry a wide range of stores. TACTS/ACMI (P4/5) pods or LATR GPS tracking pods, provide air combat tracking. For electronic warfare training, AST-6 and AST-9 threat simulators can be combined with multiple AN/ALQ-167 and AN/ALG-188 pods. Key competitors include Top Aces, Draken International, L-3 Flight International Phoenix Air and Tactical Air Support, Inc. Work will be performed in various locations inside and outside the continental US, including Newport News, Virginia and Point Mugu, California. It is expected to be completed on May 2019.
Middle East & Africa
* Raytheon Missile Systems will deliver Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) to Qatar as part of US foreign military sales. The contract is valued at over $242 million and provides for the delivery of RAM Block 2 guided missile round pack, missile ordnance alterations, and spares. RAM is a missile system designed to provide anti-ship missile defense for multiple ship platforms. The RAM MK-31 guided missile weapon system is co-developed and co-produced under a NATO cooperative program between the United States and Germany. It provides a small, all-weather, low-cost self-defense system against aircraft and cruise missiles. The launching system and missiles comprise the weapon system. The round pack consists of a 5-inch supersonic missile and a launching canister, which slides into the launcher and provides the interface with the carried missile. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $529 million. This contract combines purchases for the Navy and the governments of Qatar, Egypt, and Turkey. Work will be performed at multiple locations, including Ottobrunn, Germany and Tucson, Arizona, and is expected to be completed by September 2023.
* Jane’s reports that the Israeli defense contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is preparing to test a ‘downscaled’ variant of the Trophy system. As part of its final qualification, the downscaled variant will be integrated with Rafael’s Samson Mk II remote weapon stations. An active protection system can be described as miniaturized missile defense system that goes on an armored vehicle. The Trophy can defend against threats like anti-tank missiles, incoming tank shells, and even EFP land mines. Critics have liked Trophy to “a shotgun blast. It’s not,” a Rafael official insisted. “It’s a sniper shot…. a small number of Explosively Formed Projectiles in a very small area, aimed at a specific point on the warhead itself.” Rather than just blow the threat out of the air, Trophy tries to disable the threat, so it doesn’t detonate. The company is currently under contract to develop two configurations of the Samson Mk II RWS for customers.
* The Czech Republic will receive 12 UH-1Y Venom helicopters from Bell. The sale to the Eastern European country and NATO member have already been approved by the US government. The Armed Forces of the Czech Republic has a pressing need to replace many of its Warsaw Pact-era inventories, which include Mil Mi-2 ‘Hoplite’, Mi-8/17 ‘Hip’, and Mi-24 ‘Hind’ helicopters. The UH-1Y Venom is a product of the H-1 program, USMC’s plan to remanufacture older helicopters into new and improved utility and attack helicopters. The aircraft incorporate a newly designed “Integrated Avionics System” cockpit designed by Northrop Grumman, including dual mission computers, GPS navigation, moving map displays, and other modern aids. Pilot workload will be improved further by using Thales’ TopOwl helmet-mounted display systems (HMDS), to offer flight and targeting data no matter where the pilot looks. The UH-1Y utility helicopter provides command & control and assault support under day, night and adverse weather conditions.
* Larsen and Toubro, one of India’s defense manufacturers has developed a launcher prototype for the BrahMos (PJ-10) supersonic cruise missile. It is designed to be fitted onto Indian Navy warships. The company recently delivered the Quadruple Canisterised Inclined Launcher to BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India’s Defense Research and Development Organization and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyenia. The launcher could allow up to eight missiles to be launched simultaneously. The missile system can be installed on frigates, corvettes, offshore patrol vessels and other types of vessels to attack sea and land-based targets. BrahMos has a flight range of up to 290km and can reach a maximum speed of Mach 3. The ‘Fire and Forget’ type missile weights 3t and intercepts surface targets at an altitude of 10m up to 14,000m. In February 2011, the Indian Army placed a $4bn order for BrahMos missiles. About 85% of the components of the two-stage BrahMos, which currently has a range of 292 km, will soon be made in India. BrahMos is similar to the US LRASM program.
* China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier begins sea trials.