Two Marines Graduate From Reaper Sensor Operator Course | Bahrain To Purchase Patriot System | India To Procure Coastal Batteries Armed with BrahMos
Lockheed Martin in Florida won a $99 million deal by the US Air Force for Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) Foreign Military Sales production support. The contract provides for lifecycle support for all efforts related to JASSM and any JASSM variants in the areas of system upgrades, integration, production, sustainment, management and logistical support. The JASSM is a low observable standoff air-launched US cruise missile. It is a large, stealth, long-range weapon with a 1,000 pound armor-piercing warhead that entered service in 2009. Work will take place in Orlando, Florida and estimated completion date is in August 24.
The US Marine Corps is moving one step closer towards operating its own MQ-9 fleet with the first two Marines graduating from the Basic Sensor Operator Course on August 9. „The graduation of these two lance corporals is a small step in their training,” Marine Liaison to the 558 FTS Major Matthew Bailey said. “It’s probably lost on them how important it is, but this is a major milestone for the Marine Corps UAS community. The two marines will be assigned as sensor operators for the MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aircraft System. The MQ-9 Reaper is the primary offensive strike Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for the US Air Force. Given its significant loiter time, wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons, it provides a unique capability to perform strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets. The Marine Corps in March laid out plans to establish their own MQ-9 Force. The Marine Corps has been on a path to expand it’s UAS assets and enhance intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. This brings the push for expanding into group five UAS’. Group five UAVs can weigh in above 1320 pounds, normally fly higher than 18,000 feet above sea level, and at any speed. These assets can stay in the air longer, with a much larger payload, and observe a much larger area.
Middle East & Africa
Spartan Air Academy Iraq won a $31.5 million task order for continued Air Academy training in support of the Iraqi Air Force. Spartan Air Academy Iraq, LLC, was formed in 2014 to support the establishment of an air academy in Iraq. The launch of the Iraq Air Academy was held at Balad Air Base February 21, 2018. It was attended by senior officials from the US Government, Government of Iraq, and Spartan Air Academy Iraq, LLC. The US is invested in Iraq’s F-16 program where pilots are trained, and the maintenance and security of the F-16s are carried out by American contractors. Iraq will receive a new batch of F-16 fighter jets over the course of next year. The Spartan Air Academy will perform work at Balad Air Base, Iraq. Estimated completion date is July 8 next year.
According to a press release by Raytheon, Bahrain inked an agreement to purchase the company’s Patriot air and missile defense system. This allows the US government to begin contract negotiations with Raytheon for production of an undisclosed quantity of systems and missiles. “Raytheon’s Patriot Integrated Air and Missile Defense System will ensure the Kingdom of Bahrain is well equipped to defend against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and manned and unmanned aircraft,” said Ralph Acaba, president of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. Patriot is a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather air defense system to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft. It is in service throughout the US, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Poland, Sweden, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Spain and Taiwan.
BAE Systems announced in a news release that their ‘revolutionary’ new mission planning software will be rolled out to the Royal Air Force by November 2020. The software, named Sceptre, will be used throughout a mission, from the initial plan, to the execution of it, to the debrief. BAE says it’ll allow users on the ground to “make better, more informed decisions” to support the flight crew. The RAF plans to initially use it primarily to support its Typhoons. BAE Systems developed and funded Spectre internally. The value of the contract with the Ministry of Defense is yet to be released.
India Times reports that India’s Ministry of Defense approved the procurement of locally developed Next Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (NGMMCBs) and software-defined radios (SDR) for the Indian Navy. The SDR is a complex and state of the art communication system, which has been indigenously designed and developed by the Defense Research Development Organisation, Bharat Electronics Ltd and Weapons Electronics System Engineering Establishment. The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) announced that an undisclosed number of NGMMCBs fitted with the BrahMos surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile, would be deployed along India’s coastline. The DAC also approved amendments to the Defense Procurement Procedure, 2016, to make it easier to do business in the defense sector.
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