Stellant Systemswon a $9.4 million delivery order for the purchase of 22 electron tubes used on the F/A-18 aircraft. All work will be performed in Torrance, California, and work is expected to be completed by December 2026. Working capital funds (Navy) in the amount of $4,606,000 will be obligated at time of award, and funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
The US and Japanese navies held joint exercises in the Philippine Sea this week, in a show of force as tensions with China and North Korea rise. Washington and Beijing are at loggerheads over a raft of issues, from chips to tariffs, but both have been alarmed by the growing assertiveness of China’s military in the Pacific.
Middle East & Africa
The Danish air-defense frigate Iver Huitfeldt set sail to the Suez Canal on Monday to join the coalition protecting shipping in the Red Sea, just days after an oil-products tanker was hit by a Houthi missile in the Gulf of Aden. The Iver Huitfeldt will join US-led Operation Prosperity Guardian once parliament gives final approval, expected on February 6, Denmark’s Ministry of Defense said on Monday. France transferred a second frigate to the Red Sea region eight days ago, while Belgium is sending the frigate Louise-Marie to join a nascent European Union mission there.
The United Kingdom is reportedly considering deploying an aircraft carrier to the Red Sea to fill a potential security gap following the planned departure of the US Navy’s USS Dwight D Eisenhower. This development comes amidst ongoing tensions in the region, fueled by Houthi rebel attacks on shipping vessels. According to media reports, Armed Forces Minister James Heappey acknowledged the possibility of UK carrier deployment to “plug a gap” in the future. While emphasizing current capabilities are sufficient, he indicated the UK might cooperate with the US to maintain a carrier presence in the region.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems won a face value $16.9 million modification to exercise of an option for continued sustainment for the Italian Air Force MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial System Program fleet currently being serviced under the basic contract that provides logistics support activities including core, depot repair, engineering services, field team support, country standard technical order revision services, insurance, contractor managed storage, transportation, data, spares, and software maintenance services for the Italian Air Force MQ-9 Blocks 1 and 5 aircraft. Work will be performed in Poway, California; Italy; and Kuwait, and is expected to be complete by January 31, 2025. This contract involves 100% foreign military sales to Italy. Foreign Military Sales in the amount of $16,928,439 are being obligated at time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. The MQ-9 Reaper is a turboprop-powered remotely piloted aircraft for supporting military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. According to General Atomics, the MQ-9 has a flight endurance of over 27 hours, a speed of 240 knots (444 kilometers/276 miles per hour), and a payload capacity of 3,850 pounds (1,746 kilograms).
Defense firm Babcock has inked a seven-year contract to manufacture and install advanced capabilities for South Korea’s Jangbogo-III class submarines. The deal, awarded by Hanwha Ocean, will see Babcock manufacture and install the weapons handling launch system (WHLS) on the class’ sixth boat. The company will also equip all of the submarines with air turbine pumps and programmable firing valve launch systems. Design and production of the WHLS will commence in the UK, while the rest of the work will take place in South Korea. Babcock has been involved with the Jangbogo-III program since 2011.