US lawmakers to oppose Turkish arms sales | AK-12 passes field trials | Sikorsky targets Germany for King Stallion
- Orbital Alliance Techsystems Operations has been awarded a $53.6 contract modification to deliver M1156 precision-guidance kits to the US Army. The agreement will see the firm provide PGKs for converting standard Army unguided 155mm artillery shells into GPS-guided munitions used by conventional artillery. Work will be performed in Plymouth, Minn. and is scheduled for completion by April 27, 2020.
- The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has issued a request to potential bidders for its Next Generation Jammer increment 2 program, which looks to develop a low-band jamming pod for the Boeing EA-18G Growler and complement the service’s ongoing work on Increment 1’s mid-band frequency jammer. Industry has been asked to show how existing technologies can meet requirements for a new low-band transmitter, which are generally used to jam early warning radars and voice communication frequencies. The contract will only ask to demonstrate, not mature, technology for increment 2, and will explore frequency coverage, effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP), spatial coverage and spectral purity.
Middle East & North Africa
- A US lawmaker is to oppose the sale of F-35 fighters to Turkey, citing an attack on protesters by government bodyguards outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington two months ago. The protest is being lodged by Rep. David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island), a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, who has proposed the ban as an amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed by the House Armed Services Committee last month. The House is expected to take up the bill and deal with amendments this week. Cicilline’s amendment, if passed, would see the transfer of the jets to Ankara blocked until US President Donald Trump certifies the government of Turkey is cooperating with the criminal investigation and prosecution of Turkish government employees involved in the the May 16 attacks. Other amendments aimed at Turkey include an amendment disapproving of a proposed $1.2 million sale of Sig Sauer-made semi-automatic handguns to Turkey, and a visa ban on those involved in the attack and that the administration report on the incident and what the State Department is doing by way of victim compensation and fixing security lapses.
- Kalashnikov Concern has announced that its 5.45 mm AK-12 assault rifle has passed all military field tests, paving the way for use as the main weapon in the Russian Ratnik (Warrior) future soldier system. Based on the AK-200, this is the second-generation of the AK-12, which first passed trials in 2012. However, requirements by the Russian armed forces resulted in a number of design changes and the second-generation AK-12 is based on the AK-400 with a more simplified design and more economic parts. The rifle is one of nine new firearms developed for the Ratnik program which also include a 7.62×39 mm assault rifle and dozens of pieces of combat equipment.
- With CH-53K King Stallion helicopters recently completing their first long-range flight test from West Palm Beach, Florida to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, where it will continue flight testing, manufacturer Sikorsky has begun courting German industry in an effort to line up orders for the new heavy-lift helicopter from Berlin. The two day event, held in West Palm Beach, saw the delegates told that if the King Stallion is selected, German suppliers would be responsible for the majority of the work when it comes to platform sustainment. Germany is expected to issue a request for proposals for the replacement of its fleet of 81 CH-53GA/GS helicopters, originally delivered in the 1970s, in mid-2018, with deliveries to commence in 2023. Boeing is also likely to pitch its CH-47 Chinook as the “proven” helicopter.
- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that his government is developing a missile defense program in order to protect its forces. Turnbull, who was speaking on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Germany last weekend, has already ruled out the Lockheed Martin-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, saying that the system “was not suitable” for Australian needs. A 2016 Australian DoD white paper outlined the need for procuring such a system, saying that while the threat of an intercontinental ballistic missile attack on Australia is “low,” longer-range and submarine-launched ballistic and cruise missiles could threaten Australian territory, and shorter-range ballistic and cruise missiles pose a threat to deployed forces.
- Pakistan has successfully test-fired an improved version of the Hatf-IX Nasr short-range ballistic missile (SRBM). Improvements made to the missile include an extended range of 70 km, up from the initial 60 km, as well as increased flight maneuverability. Footage released by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) shows that three Nasr (v2) units were tested in succession at the target, each launched from a different firing trajectory, showcasing the missile’s maneuvering capabilities. Fired from multi-barrel missile launchers, the Nasr was developed by Pakistan as one of its ‘tactical nuclear weapons’ (TNW) developed to dissuade military action by India.
- Pakistan’s Nasr missile test:
Categories: Daily Rapid Fire