US Navy Buys TH-73As In $171M Deal | Italy, Qatar Ink Agreement For Military Pilot Training | France Selects MHT/MLP Missile For Tigers
Honeywell International won a $72.9 million deal for the repair of six weapon repairable assemblies in support of the V-22 aircraft. The V-22 Osprey aircraft, made by a joint venture between Boeing and Bell, is a multirole model designed for both vertical and short takeoff and landing. The V-22 operates as a helicopter when taking off and landing vertically. The nacelles rotate 90° forward once airborne, converting the aircraft into a turboprop aircraft. The Navy will use its annual working capital funds to finance task orders under the contract, as work runs through November 2025. Work will take place in California and Arizona. Estimated completion will by by November 2025.
AgustaWestland received a $171 million contract to build training helicopters for the US Navy. The deal is a contract modification for production and delivery of 36 TH-73A aircraft in support of the Navy’s Advanced Helicopter Training System program. It follows a January contract, for $175.5 million, for 32 similar helicopters and spare parts, with deliveries beginning in 2021. The Navy plans to procure a total of 130 TH-73As to replace its aging fleet of TH-57B/C Sea Ranger aircraft, in contracts potentially worth $648 million. The Philadelphia-based company is a division of the Italian defense contractor Leonardo, and markets the helicopter commercially as the AW119W. Work will take place in Pennsylvania and Texas. Estimated completion will be in December 2022.
Middle East & Africa
Qatari pilots will soon be training at Italy’s International Flight Training School following an agreement between the Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs, Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, and Italy’s minister of defense Lorenzo Guerini on November 11. In a release by the Italian Ministry of Defence, Guerini said, “The partnership between Italy and Qatar in the defence sector is confirmed as having a high strategic value. I am here to renew our commitment to deepen the ongoing collaboration that embraces all sectors.” Qatar currently operates the Pilatus PC-21 and PAC Super Mushshak aircraft in the training role. The country has also ordered nine BAE Systems Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers.
France selected MBDA’s MHT/MLP missile as its Future Tactical Air-to-Surface Missile (MAST-F) for the Tiger attack helicopter. The MHT/MLP (Missile Haut de Trame / Missile Longue Portée – high tier missile / long-range mobile missile) itself is based on the Missile Moyenne Portée, a man-portable anti-tank guided missile. The MHT/MLP is characterized by its high operational effectiveness. Weighing 20% less than other missiles in its category provides a weight saving of nearly 100 kg for the Tiger helicopter, which can carry up to eight missiles in combat configuration. Exploiting this weight saving increases the Tiger’s fuel capacity and so its combat endurance, with a significant gain in “playtime”.
NATO received the fifth and last NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance aircraft in its fleet at the Main Operating Base in Sigonella, Italy, this week. The RQ-4D aircraft took off from Palmdale Air Force base in California Wednesday night and landed at Sigonella Thursday afternoon. The drone took nearly 20 hours to reach its home. The arrival of the RQ-4D aircraft at its home base in Europe represents a new milestone in the NATO AGS Programme, completing the NATO AGS fleet. Following the arrival of RQ-4D Phoenix 5, the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency and the Italian Airworthiness Authorities will continue to wrap up the required documentation and hand-over the system to the NATO AGS Force in the coming months.
Up Media reports that the Teng Yun unmanned air vehicle from Taiwan’s National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) might be armed with the TC-1 air-to-air missile. Under project Sky Blade, the research team will modify the TC-1 with features from the Sea Oryx naval point-defense system.
Watch: NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) – RQ-4D Phoenix