USS Gerald R. Ford Fitted For More Personnel | Boeing Won $2.6B For Harpoon And SLAM ER Weapon Systems | Philippines Can’t Afford US Attack Helos
Sikorsky Aircraft won an $9 million contract modification, which provides support for the integration and transition of Windows 10 and Server 16 into various VH-92A training devices. The Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin VH-92 will replace the US Marine Corps VH-3D and VH-60N helicopters that transport the US president, while operating under the name of Marine One. The VH-92 presidential helicopter has an executive interior and military mission support avionics, including triple electrical power and redundant cockpit flight controls. The Navy awarded a $542 million order to Sikorsky last June for six Lot I VH-92A presidential helicopters. Sikorsky will begin deliveries of the first six VH-92A helicopters in 2021. Work will take place Quantico, Virginia and its expected to be finished by October 2022.
According to a statement by the navy, aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford completed readiness projects to board 1,000 personnel for an upcoming assignment, which will include integrating with a carrier air wing and carrier strike group. The ship underwent required maintenance and new construction tasks in its “window of opportunity” in Norfolk, Virginia, to prepare it for an at-sea period, Independent Steaming Event, or ISE, 10. The action will involve personnel and aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 8 and Carrier Strike Group 12, meaning that more fixed-wing and rotary aircraft will be aboard the ship than usual.
Middle East & Africa
Boeing received two contracts worth $2.6 billion combined from the US Navy to produce and deliver Harpoon and Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response weapon systems to foreign military sales customers. The company will supply 650 units of SLAM ER missiles and provide nonrecurring engineering support related to the weapon system to the government of Saudi Arabia under a potential $1.9 billion contract. Work will occur in Missouri, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Connecticut and North Carolina through December 2028. Naval Air Systems Command will obligate the full contract amount using FMS funds at the time of award. The company also won a $657 million modification, which covers the production of 467 Block II lot 91 full-rate production Harpoon missiles and delivery of support equipment to Brazil, Thailand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Japan, India and South Korea and the Netherlands. Work under the modification will be performed across several sites within the continental US and the UK through December 2026. NAVAIR will use FMS funds to obligate the full contract amount.
The core of China’s Long March 5B rocket came back to Earth on May 11 but instead of landing in the Atlantic Ocean, parts of the rocket could have ended up in Mahounou, Ivory Coast, local media reports. The rocket went into orbit on May 5 while carrying China’s new space capsule. It then went into an unstable low earth orbit before tumbling back to ground. It was the largest man-made object to reenter the atmosphere uncontrolled since 1991. Photos posted on social media shows a long metallic pipe with burn marks in the village of Mahounou. The village lies on the reentry track of the rocket.
The Israeli Air Force has decided to deactivate 117th Squadron, which operates the F-16C, in October. The move is part of the Momentum Plan initiated by the Israel Defense Forces to improve efficiencies and acquire new systems. “Under the multi-year ‘Momentum’ Plan, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi made a series of decisions geared toward internal efficiencies and cutting back old systems, alongside the acquiring and development of new systems. As part of these decisions, the chief of staff decided to close a fighter jet squadron,” the IDF said in a statement Wednesday.
Philippine’s Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana said the two Foreign Military Sales package for attack helicopters offered by the United States is too expensive for the country. Lorenzana says Manila has only budgeted $256 million for the purchase of six attack helicopters. Last year, the country selected the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) T129 attack helicopter but the sale has been held up as Turkey needs export approval from Washington for certain parts.
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