The US Army has exercised a $76.1-million option to provide extended support for its Shadow tactical aerial drones. Under the agreement, Shadow developer Textron Systems will continue to supply maintenance, logistics, and field services for the fleet through 2023. The effort is being coordinated with the Shadow systems’ ongoing transition to the Block III configuration, providing the drone with an upgraded engine, power, mission processing computer, sensor payload, and communications.
The US Marine Corps has awarded Northrop Grumman the Next Generation Handheld Targeting System (NGHTS) initial production and operations contract. The contract follows the $252-million deal the company clinched last February. The under-10-pound (4.53 kilograms) system provides advanced precision targeting, even in a GPS-denied environment.
Middle East & Africa
China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC) has reportedly sealed the contract to sell the L-15 advanced jet trainer to the UAE. The Gulf state had indicated last year that it wishes to buy 12 L-15s from China. The deal is now confirmed, Global Times reports. Having already successfully signed a contract with the UAE over the L15 project, China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC) again displayed the aircraft at the 16th International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 23), which is being held from Monday to Friday, the Global Times learned on Tuesday from the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China, the maker of the aircraft.
American technology firm Collins Aerospace has inked a partnership agreement with a Saudi Arabian firm to develop combat drones and conduct robotics research. A memorandum of understanding was inked during the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) 2023 in the United Arab Emirates. As part of the deal, Collins will provide its extensive unmanned aerial system (UAS) integration expertise to SRB Aerial Systems to help develop advanced drones in the Kingdom.
Finland announced Thursday it will send three Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, the latest Western country to pledge heavier weapons on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the war. “We will send more defence materiel and participate in the Leopard cooperation together with our partners,” Minister of Defence Mikko Savola said in a statement.
Lockheed Martin, the American aerospace and defense company, has delivered the first of five C-130J-30 cargo planes to the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU). The ceremony commemorated a new era in Hercules operations for the long-time C-130 operator, as the new C-130J-30s offer increased cargo capacity, speed, range, power, performance, and lower operating costs. This will support the TNI-AU’s wide range of mission requirements for decades to come. Indonesia has operated C-130s since the 1960s, using its Hercules fleet for critical national and regional missions, such as delivering humanitarian aid and disaster relief and providing military and peacekeeping support around the Pacific Rim.
WATCH: Finland promises Ukraine 3 leopard 2 tanks