USN Needs COVID-19 Test Kits | Eurofighter Introduces Plans To Continue Production During Pandemic | JL-9 Converted For Carrier-Borne Operations?
Colonna Shipyards won an $8.9 million deal for an 80-day shipyard availability for the emergency dry-docking of Navy Ship Spearhead (T-EPF 1). The Spearhead Class Expeditionary Fast Transport shipbuilding program to provide “a platform intended to support users in the Department of the Navy and Department of the Army. The Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) program is a cooperative effort for a high-speed, shallow draft vessel intended for rapid intratheater transport of medium-sized cargo payloads. The Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) is a shallow draft, all aluminum, commercial-based catamaran capable of intra-theater personnel and cargo lift, providing combatant commanders high-speed sealift mobility with inherent cargo handling capability and agility to achieve positional advantage over operational distances. Work will take place in Norfolk, Virginia and is expected to be finished 2020.
DoD is slated to receive $8.3 billion to fight COVID-19 in a new White House request, Breaking Defense reports. Not one of the Navy’s 82 ships currently underway has received coronavirus test kits for their crews. “There are currently no FDA approved testing platforms that are suitable for placement on forward operating Naval Ships,” a Navy official told Breaking Defense. The Navy official also said the fleet has three ships “with preventative medicine teams aboard with portable testing machines. These machines are currently only approved to do surveillance testing for COVID-19.” That testing can detect signs of different illnesses, but cannot identify COVID-19. Currently, only one aircraft carrier, an amphibious ship, and the USS Blue Ridge command ship have the surveillance test machines. Meanwhile the New York Times reports that the virus is spreading across the Navy with military medical investigators probing what officials say is the second confirmed coronavirus test tied to the crew of the amphibious warship Boxer.The coronavirus pandemic has caused over 8,000 deaths worldwide.
Middle East & Africa
Construction Helicopters won a $34 million task order modification, which provides continued support of North Atlantic Treaty Organization Air Command-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command. The services provide dedicated rotary wing air transportation to move passengers, cargo and human remains as well as perform casualty evacuation in support of the Afghan Air Force. The services provide dedicated rotary wing air transportation to move passengers, cargo and human remains as well as perform casualty evacuation in support of the Afghan Air Force. Work will take place in Afghanistan. Option period of performance is from March 19, 2020 to March 18, 2021.
Navistar Defense won an $11.4 million Foreign Military Sale to Iraq. The deal provides for 6×6 and 4×4 general transport trucks, recovery vehicles, and spare parts. Work will take place in Springfield, Ohio, and Ooltewah, Tennessee. Estimated complete date is February 28, 2021. The US Army Contacting Command is the contracting activity.
According to Jane’s, the Eurofighter consortium has a strategy in place to ensure that work across its four national production lines continues amidst the worsening coronavirus crisis. The deliveries to the four partner nations of Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK are all recently completed. The pan-European consortium has now introduced plans to protect the delivery of its outstanding orders for Kuwait and Qatar. The program-of-record (PoR) for the Eurofighter partner nations of 160 aircraft for the UK, 143 for Germany, 96 for Italy, and 73 for Spain was concluded in January. The export orders of 15 aircraft for Austria, 12 for Oman, and 72 for Saudi Arabia, had already been delivered, leaving an outstanding backlog of 28 aircraft for Kuwait and 24 for Qatar. To satisfy these Kuwaiti and Qatari orders, all four national production lines will manufacture parts, with final assembly to take place at Caselle and Warton respectively. The delivery of these two orders, expected from late 2020 to 2023 for Kuwait and from 2022 to an unspecified date in the mid-2020s for Qatar, will conclude the 623-aircraft PoR for the partner nations and export customers.
Recent reports might be hinting that the company’s JL-9 advanced jet trainer will soon be converted for carrier-borne operations. The company said it will secure naval Mountain Eagle (JL-9) development and production victory. Of note, the JL-9 is in service with the People’s Liberation Army Naval Air Force (PLANAF) as a land-based trainer. Having been already delivered to the Chinese Navy, the naval version of the JL-9 is now training aircraft carrier jet pilots on land-based airfields, but China still does not have an aircraft carrier-based trainer aircraft that can take off and land on an actual carrier.
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