Raytheon announced the delivery to the US Air Force of the first high-energy laser system to counter drone threats. The company received a $23.8 million contract in August to build two high-energy laser systems, as well as a $16 million contract for a microwave counter-drone system known as the Phaser. The laser uses a variant of Raytheon’s Multi-Spectral Targeting System and an electro-optical/infrared sensor to detect and track drones before engaging and neutralizing the threat. The HELWS, or High Energy Laser Weapons System, then can shoot down a drone. At the Association of the United States Army annual meeting in Washington, DC, this week, Raytheon executives said one of the high-energy laser systems has already been delivered to the Air Force, and the other will follow shortly. It will represent the first overseas deployment for the system, a milestone as major defense companies scramble to deliver smart solutions to counter a growing and diverse threat from enemy drones.
UPI reports that the US Army together with a leading organization of unidentified flying objects researchers agreed to a study of UFO material to improve Army ground vehicles. TTSA, whose membership includes former punk rocker from the band Blink-182 Tom Delonge, former Lockheed Martin Skunk Works exec Steve Justice and former Department of Defense Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) official Luis Elizondo, played a role in the high-profile release of videos purportedly showing military pilots encountering „unidentified aerial phenomena“in the past few years. The group announced that it had entered a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) to advance TTSA’s materiel and technology innovations in order to develop enhanced capabilities for Army ground vehicles. Officials at the CCDC’s Ground Vehicle System Center subsequently confirmed to the Drive hat such an agreement had been struck. The center did not immediately return Gizmodo’s request for comment.
Middle East & Africa
The State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Bahrain to refurbish the Oliver Hazard Perry Class ship with support for an estimated cost of $150 million. Bahrain had requested refurbishment of the Oliver Hazard Perry Class ship, spares, support, training, publications, and other related elements of logistics and program support. However, the principal contractor supporting the refurbishment has not yet been selected for this potential sale. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Goodrich Corp. – Collins Aerospace won a $9.9 million contract modification for the spare parts buy for DB-110 reconnaissance pods. The modification provides for the purchase of a necessary additional quantity of spare parts for the Reconnaissance Systems Program in support of the Royal Saudi Air Force DB 110 pods. Collins Aerospace DB-110 dual-band airborne reconnaissance sensor, a derivative of the SYERS system, combines visible and infrared imaging capabilities in a compact, lightweight design. The system has proven its performance in demonstrations worldwide on both manned and unmanned platforms. Work under the contract modification will take place in Worcestershire in the UK as well as Westford, Massachusetts, and is expected to be complete by December 21, 2021. The contract involved 100 percent Foreign Military Sales to Saudi Arabia.
US Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has disclosed that United Arab Emirates as well as the UK are seeking to buy CH-47s from Boeing. The UAE will be getting 10 while 14 are to be sold to Britain. A formal letter of acceptance could be offered to the UK next spring. “I believe we will be in the position here very shortly to take the next step for notification to Congress of a proposed sale of 10 additional Chinooks to the UAE, with the UK likely to buy an additional 14“, Bloomberg Quint cited McCarthy. “I’m personally involved with those efforts.” The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engined, tandem rotor, heavy-lift helicopter developed by rotorcraft company Vertol and by Boeing Vertol.
Indonesia wants to secure a deal with the government to procure Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules transport aircraft, Jane’s reports. The country also wants to facilitate industrial co-operation in relation to the platform. Air Commodore Novyan Samyoga, the chief of information in the TNI-AU, had previously confirmed to Jane’s that the service has identified the platform as a priority procurement given the age of some of the service’s existing transport aircraft. In the first phase of the procurement, the TNI-AU is expected to procure five platforms if sufficient funding is available.
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