* Rockwell Collins was awarded a $495 million contract Tuesday for software and system integration on the Army’s helicopters, with a portion of these services earmarked for foreign sales. The company was also awarded a $8.1 million modification for the Common Avionics Architecture System to equip CH-47F helos.
* In further good news for Rockwell Collins, the company will supply 44 Communication Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management systems for the KC-10 tanker fleet, following a similar contract in August.
* The US is ramping up arms transfer to the Saudis, media reported Tuesday, with munitions high on the list of requirements. The assistance is being allocated through a Joint Planning Cell with the Saudis.
* Turkey is looking to speed up its development of a conceptual trainer aircraft, to be designed and built domestically. The new trainer will be specifically designed to train pilots to use new fighters procured through the indigenous TF-X program, with a RFI for this program released last month.
* Pakistan wants to buy fifteen AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, gun systems, 1000 Hellfire II missiles and other equipment through a possible FMS. The cost? $952 million. The State Department has green-lit the deal, with the potential sale going to Congress.
* India will not sign its stalled multi-billion Rafale contract with Dassault until the French company agrees to what the Indian government says was the original pricing structure for the deal. The drawn-out MMRCA program has seen multiple disputes between the Indian Defense Ministry and Dassault, with the Indians threatening to walk away from the deal in January. Although this may be simply bluster, the Russian vultures are circling, ready to supply the SU-30 fighter if the Rafale deal falls through.
* China and South Korea are to hold arms control talks this week, an interesting development given the recent tension over US plans to base THAAD interceptors in South Korea to complement the existing jointly-operated Aegis/Patriot systems.
* Airbus is reportedly in talks with six Indian defense contractors in an effort to find a domestic company to reply to a $2 billion naval helicopter RFI, with Indian procurement regulation allowing only an Indian company to respond.
* DARPA’s Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA) program: