USAF invests in M-Code receiver development | Lockheed lands two hypersonic missile contracts | Oops – Eurofighter accidentally launches AMRAAM
The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division is procuring support equipment for its fleet of E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Northrop Grumman will supply the Navy with 45 end items of Peculiar Support Equipment (PSE) at a cost of $29.9 million. The firm-fixed-price order includes the delivery of updated software sets, system specification documents and obsolescence management. E-2D support activities are conducted through the PEO(T) and PEO(U&W) programs led by the Supporting Program Executive Office. Both programs provide flight line and intermediate maintenance level test equipment & automated test equipment for the E-2D. The E-2D gives the warfighter expanded battlespace awareness, especially in the area of information operations delivering battle management, theater air and missile defense, and multiple sensor fusion capabilities in an airborne system. Work will be performed in Melbourne, Florida, and is expected to be completed in August 2021.
The Missile Defense Agency is procuring further efforts for the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) from Lockheed Martin. The cost-plus award fee valued at $15.8 million provides for the procurement of materials and work necessary to support the BMD Increment 3 Capability Concept Development; and raises the total cumulative contract value to $2.8 billion. Aegis can simultaneously attack land targets, submarines, and surface ships while automatically protecting the fleet against aircraft, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles. Aegis has become a widely-deployed top-tier air defense system, with customers in the USA, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Norway, and Spain. Work will be performed at the company’s location in Moorestown, New Jersey and is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.
The Air Force is ordering the next round of receiver technology for its military GPS development program. Raytheon is being awarded with a $11.3 million contract modification for the development of the miniaturized airborne global positioning system (GPS) receiver 2K-M. Under the Military GPS User Equipment program (MGUE), the Air Force’s GPS Directorate is developing receiver cards that will plug into existing equipment, enabling them to utilize the new military M-Code. Last year Raytheon’s MAGR-2K-M underwent a successful prototype and system functional check on the B-2 — confirming the card could draw power, put out the right data and that that data was being received by the B-2 systems in the appropriate format. So far, the military has identified more than 700 types of weapons systems that will need to be upgraded — an effort requiring almost one million receiver cards. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s locations in El Segundo, California; and Huntsville, Alabama, and is expected to be completed by the end of May 2020.
The US Air Force is contracting Lockheed Martin to rapidly advance the development and testing of new hypersonic missiles. An initial contract for the development for Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW, pronounced “Hacksaw”) at a cost $928 million was awarded to the company in April. Lockheed will also develop another weapon system named the AGM-183A or ARRW for short. HCSW has been designed to deliver a prompt hypersonic / hypervelocity, precision strike capability against high-value, time-critical fixed and re-locatable surface targets in a single or multi-theatre challenged anti-access / area denial (A2/AD) environment. By using a rocket to boost the missile to very high altitudes, the unpowered ARRW then glides down to lower altitudes at speeds up to Mach 20. The US acceleration of the hypersonic missile development project is a necessary response towards Chinese and Russian surprise developments in high-speed weapons.
Middle East & Africa
AAI Corp., a subsidiary of Textron, is being contracted for the provision of force protection efforts in Afghanistan. The firm-fixed price contract has a value of $12.7 million. AAI will most likely use its Aerosonde as an advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) solution in order to provide the US military with the capability to effectively execute a number of deployment operations and engineering support activities. The Aersonde is equipped for simultaneous day-and-night full-motion video, communications relay and intelligence in a single flight. It has an endurance of over 14 hours and can travel to a range of about 75 nautical miles. Work will be performed at Bagram Airfield and Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, and is expected to be completed by March 27th, 2019.
Côte d’Ivoire’s Gendarmerie is now using the Belarusian-made Cayman 4×4 light armored vehicle. Last month the State Military-Industrial Committee (Goskomvoenprom) announced that it will deliver the vehicle to an unnamed African nation. Built by the 140 Repair Plant in Borisov, vehicle can be used in reconnaissance and sabotage missions, patrol, escort, peace-keeping and police operations, as well as in emergency response missions. It weighs about 7 tons and can carry a crew of six. A 170 hp D-245 engine powers it to a top speed of 60 mph on paved roads. Its side and rear armor is said to be equivalent to STANAG 4569 Level 1 and its frontal armor equivalent to Level 2. Côte d’Ivoire which currently has a protection company serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) is the first known export customer of the Cayman 4×4.
A Spanish Eurofighter accidently launched an AIM-120 AMRAAM in Estonia. The fighter aircraft was flying near defenses near Pangod in the vicinity of Otepää when the incident occurred. It is yet unclear if the AIM-120D’s built in self-destruct mechanism terminated the flight or if the missile landed at an unspecified location. The Estonian Defense Forces have sent helicopters to search for the missile. The Spanish Eurofighter is part of NATO’s Air Policing Mission that support member states that do not have the necessary air capabilities to independently protect their airspace. The Spanish air force currently deploys six Typhoons as part of this mission. An investigation has been initiated to clarify the circumstances.
Jane reports that the Philippines is currently negotiating the terms of an agreement to expand collaboration on diesel-electric submarines with Russia. The Philippine Navy is currently in the process of conducting market research and doctrine studies in support of its submarine procurement program. The Navy is looking to purchase at least two submarines as part of its 2018-22 Second Horizon military modernization program. If the agreement realizes Russia would provide the Philippine Navy with submarine training to support military operations, maintenance, and sustainment activities.
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