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Daily Rapid Fire

ULA Receives $269M Contract Mod for Delta IV | EU & UN Train Somaliland Coastguard | Rheinmetall and Day & Zimmerman Form Joint Venture RDZS

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Americas * President-elect Donald Trump has urged for the cancellation of the new Air Force One. Believing that manufacturer Boeing “is trying to do a little number,” Trump took to Twitter saying “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” In 2015, the USAF announced plans to acquire Boeing’s 747-8 to replace the two current Air Force planes used to transport the US president. $1.65 billion has been earmarked for the purchase, although exact figures have yet to be released. * United Launch Alliance has received a $269 million contract modification to execute production services for the Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle. The deal will see the joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin support launch vehicle configuration for the USAF. Satellites launched with the vehicles are used to support a variety of missions, including national security, telecommunications, and interplanetary exploration. * The Pentagon’s chief arms buyer, Frank Kendell, is hopeful that a three-year block buy of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will go ahead. Covering some 400 F-35 units for both the US military branches and partner nations, the agreement is expected […]
Americas

* President-elect Donald Trump has urged for the cancellation of the new Air Force One. Believing that manufacturer Boeing “is trying to do a little number,” Trump took to Twitter saying “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” In 2015, the USAF announced plans to acquire Boeing’s 747-8 to replace the two current Air Force planes used to transport the US president. $1.65 billion has been earmarked for the purchase, although exact figures have yet to be released.

* United Launch Alliance has received a $269 million contract modification to execute production services for the Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle. The deal will see the joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin support launch vehicle configuration for the USAF. Satellites launched with the vehicles are used to support a variety of missions, including national security, telecommunications, and interplanetary exploration.

* The Pentagon’s chief arms buyer, Frank Kendell, is hopeful that a three-year block buy of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will go ahead. Covering some 400 F-35 units for both the US military branches and partner nations, the agreement is expected to generate large savings through bigger economies of scale between the fiscal years 2018 through 2020. Negotiations with lead contractor Lockheed Martin, however, have been slow as seen in the year-long negotiations of the fighter’s ninth batch, while the government’s chief weapons tester, Michael Gilmore, has long argued about the need to test the planes before buying and building larger quantities.

Middle East & North Africa

* Officials from the EU and supported by the UN, have carried out maritime security training with the Somaliland Coastguard. European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) sailors, supported by staff from EUCAP Nestor, carried out radar training on board the Spanish offshore patrol vessel, ESPS Relampago, in Berbera Bay, as a precursor to an engagement the following day on board EU NAVFOR flagship, HNLMS Tromp. On the following day, EUCAP Nestor’s Head of Operations, Chris Reynolds, EU NAVFOR Force Commander, Commodore Rene Luyckx, and representatives from UNSOM’s Rule of Law and Security Institutions Group, hosted Somaliland representatives on board HNLMS Tromp alongside Berbera Port for the Joint Maritime Security Seminar (JMSS). The JMSS follows a series of engagements conducted in recent months by EU NAVFOR and EUCAP NESTOR in Mogadishu and Bosasso, where maritime security and the strengthening of Somali maritime capacities were discussed.

Europe

* Mid-life upgrades of Finnish F/A-18 fighters will see the inclusion of the Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS-JTRS), following approval by the US State Department. 90 units of MIDS-JTRS will be sold to Helsinki at a cost of $156 million. MIDS-JTRS is the communication component of the Link 16 military technical data exchange network, used by the US, NATO, and approved partner nations.

* A joint-venture is to be established between the German manufacturer Rheinmetall and the Philadelphia-based family-owned enterprise Day & Zimmerman. The focus of the joint venture is the production of medium-caliber ammunition for the US market and will include the 25mm ammo used by the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The new firm will be known as Rheinmetall, Day & Zimmermann Solutions, or RDZS.

Asia Pacific

* Vietnamese Su-30 pilots will be trained by India. While the cost of the training is yet to be finalized, the numbers and scope of the program is expected to be resolved quickly after both governments’s defense ministers reached a provisional agreement during bilateral discussions on Monday. Indian sailors have already trained their Vietnamese counterparts in operating the Kilo-class submarines.

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The world’s largest rocket. June launch of a Delta IV Heavy:

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