The US Army is taking aim with JETS | The Air Force boosts its AETP program | Egypt receives 2nd Gowind-2500 corvette
The US Navy is ordering propulsors and tailcones for its next batch of submarines. The $37.5 million contract modification enables BAE Systems Platforms & Services to procure and manufacture four ship sets of fixed propulsor, tailcone and associated hardware for Virginia-class submarines SSN 800 through SSN 803. The Virginia-class nuclear submarines have several innovations over the Los Angeles class that significantly enhance its warfighting capabilities with an emphasis on littoral operations. The redesigned propulsor makes the Virginia-class submarines quieter than the Russian Akula-class and other fourth-generation attack submarines. Tailcones protect the hoses exiting the rear of the submarine and maintain stability during rapid accent. Work will be performed in Louisville, Kentucky; Minneapolis, Minnesota and Jacksonville, Florida. The contract is expected to be completed by October 2022.
DRS Network & Imagining Systems is being tapped to provide the US Army with the new Joint Effects Targeting System (JETS). The firm-fixed-price contract has a value of $231.4 million and will run through September 2028. The lightweight laser designator rangefinder, is a handheld, portable device for target observation, location, and designation. The primary components are the Target Locator Module (TLM) and the Laser Designator Module (LDM). The hand-held system includes a GPS; celestial compass; precision azimuth vertical angle module, or PAVAM; and a laser designator to enable forward observers to accurately identify a target and drop precision guided munitions such as a Hellfire missile or Excalibur 155mm artillery round to within 10 meters of the target. Work locations and relevant funding will be determined with each order.
The Air Force is increasing the budget for its Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP). United Technologies is receiving a cost-plus-incentive-fee modification priced at $436.6 million for the design, fabrication, integration and testing of its flight-weight adaptive engines. Adaptive engines represent a revolutionary advance in turbine engine technology. The adaptive engine optimizes performance and fuel efficiency across the flight envelope by utilizing a third stream of air to optimize the engine at different flight conditions. The three-stream engine technology is considered critical in developing the Air Force’s sixth-generation fighters and will be included in the F135 engine that powers the F-35 JSF. The modification increases the total value of the contract to $1.4 billion. Work will be performed at the company’s location in East Hartford, Connecticut and is expected to be completed by end of February 2022.
Middle East & Africa
The Egyptian Navy is adding another corvette to its fleet. The ENS Port Said is the second of four Gowind 2500-class vessels and is the first modern warship built in Egypt. The Gowind 2500 is designed by France’s Naval Group, formerly known as DCNS. In 2014 Egypt became DCNS’ second customer for the multi-mission combat vessel when it ordered four ships at a cost of $1.3 billion, with one, El Fateh built in Lorient and the other three being built in Egypt. The ships feature a of sea-proven steel monohull design, can accommodate 50 to 75 crew members and can travel at a maximum speed of 27 knots. The vessels are equipped with 16 VL-MICA surface-to-air missiles and eight Exocet MM40 surface-to-surface missiles as well as one 76mm and two 20mm guns.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is currently testing the T625 helicopter. The Turkish Light Utility Helicopter (TLUH) is the country’s first indigenously-made 5 ton class helicopter. T625 is a new generation, twin engine rotorcraft designed for military, paramilitary and civilian purposes. Full-rate production of the T625 is expected to commence in 2021.
Flight Global reports that global fighter jet manufacturers are readying themselves to pitch their products to Poland’s “Harpia” fighter tender. Warsaw needs to replace its ageing fleet of RAC MiG-29 fighters and Sukhoi Su-22 ground-attack aircraft, but hasn’t defined its specific requirements yet. Boeing views its combat-proven F-15 and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet as potential contenders. Other competitors will likely include the Eurofighter consortium with the Typhoon, Lockheed Martin which could potentially offer either the F-16 Block 70/72 or F-35, and Saab, which is expected to promote its Gripen E.
Chinese defense contractor AVIC is introducing a light combat variant of its FTC-2000 trainer. The FTC-2000G is the latest derivative of the Guizhou JL-9 supersonic advanced jet, and is an export-oriented lightweight multirole combat aircraft. The model can have up to seven hardpoints and a maximum payload weight of 3,000 kg. According to Flight Global, the Chinese aircraft manufacturer says that assembly of the aircraft started in February at the Anshun factory of its Guizhou Aviation Industries Co unit. It is now scheduled to make its first flight in late September
The government of Australia is ordering more than a thousand additional military trucks and modules from Rheinmetall. The $496 million deal is part of Australia’s Land 121 Phase 5B project. The company is already supporting the Australian Defence Force with 2,500 medium- and heavyweight military trucks worth a total of $1.4 billion.
Watch: USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is replenished at sea