Lockheed Martin won a $14.1 million contract modification for AN/SLQ-32(V)6 design agent engineering services. The AN/SLQ-32 is a shipboard electronic warfare suite built by Raytheon and the Hughes Aircraft Company. It is currently the primary electronic warfare system in use by US Navy ships. AN/SLQ-32(V)6, the latest fielded variant of the AN/SLQ-32, incorporates receiver, antenna and combat system interface upgrades developed under the SEWIP Block 2 ACAT II program and adds the High Gain High Sensitivity adjunct sensor developed under the SEWIP Block 1B3 ACAT II program. Work will take place in Syracuse, New York, and is expected to be completed by November 2021.
Three National Guard bases and a Navy Reserve base were selected to receive new C-130J Super Hercules cargo planes, the US Air Force announced. Louisville Air National Guard Base in Kentucky, McLaughlin ANGB in West Virginia and Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Texas are set to start receiving eight new aircraft each in the coming year. Savannah ANGB in Georgia is also scheduled to receive C-130Js “if they become available in the future,” officials said in a press release. The Lockheed Martin-built planes are improvements over earlier C-130 variants they will replace, and offer reduced manpower requirements and operating and support costs, providing life-cycle cost savings, the Air Force said. The C-130J climbs faster and higher, flies farther at a higher cruise speed, and takes off and lands in a shorter distance than its predecessors.
Middle East & Africa
Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller made a surprise visit to Somalia Friday in the last of a four-country tour as President Donald Trump contemplates a draw down of counterterrorism troops there. Miller, who replaced Mark Esper on November 9, was making his first trip abroad in the position. The US military has about 700 troops in the country. Miller was visiting neighboring Djibouti as part of his scheduled trip when he took a flight to Somalia without traveling press. Officials said he is believed to be the first defense secretary to visit the country.
The final test firing trial of the Sea Venom/ANL missile was completed November 17 at the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) test site at Ile du Levant. The final qualification trial tested the missile’s advanced target discrimination within a complex and cluttered naval scenario, MBDA says. Soon to start equipping the Royal Navy’s AW159 Wildcat and Marine nationale’s H160M Guépard shipborne helicopters, the Sea Venom/ANL anti-ship missile is a co-operation project developed under the Lancaster House treaty between France and the United Kingdom.
The governments of India and Sri Lanka are in talks for the donation of one Do 228 maritime patrol aircraft. Another aircraft will be sold to Sri Lanka as well. It has been discussed that the cost of one aircraft is said to be around $8 million. During the discussion, it has been decided to deploy an aircraft currently used by India with Indian pilots and coast guard officers immediately for surveillance operations and to provide the necessary training to the Sri Lankan counterparts. Thereafter, it is planned to deliver the first aircraft of this type manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to Sri Lanka free of charge.
Japan will attempt to launch a military communications satellite today that will relay data collected by its optical and radar-imaging reconnaissance satellites. This new satellite replaces the Data Relay Test Satellite (DRTS) that was decommissioned in 2017. It has a Laser Utilizing Communication System (LUCAS) that allows a network throughput of 1.8 gbps. The Optical Data Relay Satellite payload aboard this mission will be used to relay data collected by Japan’s fleet of Information Gathering Satellites (IGS) – including both optical and radar-imaging reconnaissance spacecraft – back to Earth for analysis.
Watch: This Is Why the C-130 Is Such a Badass Plane