US Army Issued FARA RFI | Elbit’s Seagull USV Completes Sea Trials | Finland Bans Use Of Consultants in HX Program
Boeing won a $14.6 million contract modification, which exercises options to procure 85 additional primary bleed air regulator parts kits and 439 new valves in support of F/A-18 Hornet combat jets (Series E/F/G) and their modifications. The US Navy F/A-18 E and F Super Hornet maritime strike attack aircraft was manufactured by Boeing, and flew for the first time on 29 November 1995. The Super Hornet is equipped with the APG-73 radar manufactured by Raytheon. The primary and secondary bleed air regulator valves control the flow of air coming from the engine back into the Environmental Control System (ECS), the Onboard Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS) and other systems. Work will take place in St. Louis, Missouri. Expected completion will be by August 2021.
The US Army has issued a request for information (RFI) to arm its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) with a 20mm cannon. The RFI states that the cannon should be capable of providing a maximum of 360 degrees of azimuthal coverage and 60 degrees of elevation coverage, military.com reports. The program office is also keen to equip the FARA with optionally-manned flight capability. FVL is one of the Army’s top modernization priorities under a new strategy the service launched in 2017, with the goal of replacing most major combat platforms beginning in 2028.
Middle East & Africa
Elbit Systems’ Seagull autonomous unmanned surface vehicle has completed integration and initial sea trials with a compact version of the Towed Reelable Active Passive Sonar variable depth sonar system developed by Elbit’s Canadian-based subsidiary GeoSpectrum Technologies. In-water testing of the TRAPS-USV system was performed off Haifa, Israel, in March. The company is claiming a world first for the launch and recovery of an active towed array sonar from a small USV under remote control. Developed by Elbit’s naval systems business, Seagull is a modular 12 m aluminum-hulled USV capable of operation from either a mother ship or shore station. The TRAPS-USV system is intended to provide an alternative ASW sonar option for customers with mission profiles, such as ASW escort or convoy protection, requiring a sensing capability while operating at speed.
The United Kingdom Armed Forces ordered four Mission Master-Cargo unmanned ground vehicles from Rheinmetall Canada for its Robotic Platoon Vehicle (RPV) program. The contract includes training, service support, and spare parts. Rheinmetall Canada is to supply the platforms, while Rheinmetall BAE Land Systems will provide on-location support services. The Mission Master UGV is an all-terrain, multipurpose vehicle based on an 8×8 platform. It has a top speed of 40 km/h and is ruggedized and fully amphibious, with the option of being fitted with tracks or chains for additional mobility. The vehicle is air-transportable by external sling load or internally by a CH-53 or CH-46 heavy lift helicopter or a C-130 transport aircraft. None of the parts are subject to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), facilitating export.
Finland’s Ministry of Defense announced that Minister of Defense Antti Kaikkonen, following on from discussions with the country’s president Sauli Niinistö, had decided that bidders for the country’s HX fighter replacement were no longer allowed to utilize external consultants. Furthermore, the MoD has appealed for external consultants not to be used by bidders in formal negotiations. According to the MoD, the justification for the move comes as the competition moves into its final phases, following the submission of second-round requests for quotations at the end of January. Therefore, a statement said, the MoD is wanting to make a clear distinction between the bidding companies and the consultants that represent them.
Chairman of Guizhou Aircraft Industry Corporation, Wang Wenfei, revealed that the company had secured an order for the FTC-2000G advanced jet trainer this year. The company’s wechat channel said the order was place in January and delivery will start in two years time. Wang added that it was a South East Asian customer that placed the order. Referring to the FTC-2000G ‘s first export order, Wang Wenfei said that earlier this year, GAIC won the first batch of aircraft export orders which will be delivered in batches, with a delivery time of 2 years. He did not disclose the number of aircraft or its price. Also called ‘Mountain Eagle,’ FTC-2000G is a “multi-purpose” aircraft. As an attack aircraft, it has a large combat radius and strong penetration ability, and can perform close air support, battlefield interception, and depth. Combat other air-ground combat missions. As a fighter, it has good maneuverability, strong situational awareness and self-defense capabilities, and high survivability on the battlefield. It can perform air-to-air combat tasks such as air fighting, combat escort, and air patrol. As a trainer, it has a wide coverage, good training efficiency, high safety and reliability, and has outstanding mid / low altitude sub / transonic maneuverability. It can complete intermediate, advanced, combat entry and tactical confrontation training tasks, and combat force pilots. Technology keeps training.
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