US Navy orders more Swedish radar power | Eurofighter pitches to Poland | RAND warns powers of hypersonic proliferation within a decade
- Elbit Systems announced Tuesday that its US subsidiary has been awarded an additional component contract for Aviator Night Vision Imaging System Head-Up Displays (ANVIS HUD). Awarded by the US Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, the two-year deal is worth $31.5 million. The ANVIS HUD is used for both day and night missions on US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard rotary platforms. The helmet mounted display system provides navigation and system symbology to pilots without having to reference internal instruments.
- The US Navy has ordered two Sea Giraffe Agile Multi Beam Multi-Mode Radar systems from Saab for use on the US Coastguard’s newest class of vessels, Offshore Patrol Cutter. Valued at $16.8 million, the agreement includes options for additional radars that if fully exercised, would raise the contract to as much as $118.5 million. Saab added that the deal will will contribute new jobs to SDAS’ Sensor Systems facility in Syracuse, NY. The Sea Giraffe MMR is a 3D, electronically scanned phased array radar that provides high radiated power, selectable waveforms, and modern signal processing. Saab already supplies its AN/SPS-77 radar for the Navy’s Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship and is currently developing a derivative of the radar, the AN/SPN-50, to meet the Air Traffic Control needs on aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships.
- A report from think tank the RAND Corporation has urged US-Russian-Chinese cooperation to prevent the proliferation of hypersonic weapons beyond their borders. Leaders are warned in the report that they have probably under a decade to substantially hinder the potential proliferation of such weapons—which increase the chance of strategic wars due to its compression of timeline for a nation to response under attack. Outside of these countries’ hypersonic weapon development programs, the diffusion of hypersonic technology is underway in Europe, Japan, Australia and India, with many nations beginning to explore such technology. Proliferation could cross multiple borders if hypersonic technology is offered on world markets, leaving little time available to prevent proliferation.
- The planned first flight of Bell Helicopter’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor aircraft did not go ahead as originally announced on September 30. Instead, it is likely to meet the milestone in November. Testing of the aircraft started on September 20, with checks of its GE Aviation T64 engines and later electromagnetic interference checks on the Lockheed Martin-supplied avionics, however, the firm is being cautious with its checking regime and a test of its ground test regimen has yet to be conducted. Other reasons for the delay include the weather, with even drops of rain threatening to erode instrumentation on the rotor blades. Despite the delay, Bell’s Valor remains ahead of the competing Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant, who will not see a first flight until early 2018. The two aircraft are being developed for the US Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration (JMR-TD)—an experiment intended by the army to evaluate technologies that could be used for a family of high-speed, Future Vertical Lift (FVL) aircraft.
Middle East & Africa
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is likely to sign a deal to purchase “more than a squadron” of Su-35 Flanker multi-role fighter aircraft, if unnamed sources cited by Russian news agency Tass are to be believed. “They want a lot, over a squadron but the exact number will be specified in the course of negotiations that may be held in November during an air show in Dubai,” the source said. A fighter aviation squadron in the Russian Air Force normally comprises 12 aircraft but their exact number depends on the type of an aviation regiment. While Emirati interest in the Su-35 has not been officially expressed, the government did sign a cooperation agreement with Russian state-owned United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) to collaborate on the development of a lightweight fifth-generation fighter at this year’s IDEX exhibition in February, indicating that the UAE is working with the Russians on aircraft programs.
- The Eurofighter consortium has pitched its Typhoon fighter to Poland at the recent MSPO defence exhibition. Raffael Klaschka, head of marketing at Eurofighter GmbH said that by being part of the Eurofighter program, Poland would experience “new and additional opportunities…both from a military and economic perspective, with a number of possible options in scope, from assembly and manufacturing to support and maintenance.” She added, “Poland would play a role in the definition of any future development of the aircraft, which will continue to be in service well beyond 2050.” Finishing her pitch, Klaschka told the audience that industrial collaboration was an inherent part of the Typhoon program, promising an attractive and cost-effective solution for Warsaw.
- Uzbekistan has been listed by Russian media as one of the latest customers interested in purchasing Su-30SM fighter aircraft. Kommersant reports that a high-ranking Uzbek delegation visited the fighter’s production facility at Irkutsk in August and that other procurement plans include armored vehicles, ammunition, and new arms. However, the report also raised the question as to how the former-Soviet republic would pay for these items, citing its lack of funds for such big ticket procurements. Uzbekistan, like its northern neighbor Kazakstan, have been looking to modernize existing defense equipment and platforms, much of which has has been left over since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Just this year alone, Kazakhstan has signed several defense agreements with Russia, and with Uzbekistan, Astana signed a Military Cooperation Plan centered on joint operational and combat training, as well as cooperation in military education.
- An unnamed Asia-Pacific customer has tapped radio-maker Harris Corp. to develop and deliver an integrated tactical communications network. Worth $230 million, the contract is part of that country’s modernization effort and was awarded in the first quarter of the company’s 2018 fiscal year. Harris said the network solution will include tactical radios, network planning, monitoring and routing software and other systems and technology. It will feature Harris’ Falcon III AN/PRC-158 multi-channel manpack radios and vehicular amplifiers, providing voice and data services to tactical forces.
- Hypersonic missile nonproliferation:
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