Zumwalt-class destroyers will launch SM-2s | Iraq is requesting Combat Caravan support | Kazakhstan receives more Su-30SMs
Raytheon is being contracted to integrate its Standard Missile-2 onto the Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyers. The contract modification is priced at $17 million and exercises an option for providing the DDG 1000 ships with design agent support. The Zumwalt-class destroyers are the Navy’s next-generation guided missile destroyers featuring enhanced stealth capabilities and advanced war fighting technology. The program is a topic of contention considering its cost overruns and complications with its stealth features. SM-2 missiles are designed to engage enemy missiles and aircraft to ranges of up to 100 miles. Work will be performed at Raytheon’s factories in Tucson, Arizona; Andover, Massachusetts; Mountain View, California; San Diego, California; Chandler, Arizona; Hudson, New Hampshire and Redmond, Washington. The contract will run through March 2022.
The US Navy is continuing with its Aegis modernisation efforts. Raytheon is being awarded with a $72.5 million contract that sees for the production of the systems’ fire control system. The Mk 99 Fire Control System (FCS) is an essential component of a ship’s Aegis combat system. The FCS gives Aegis its deadly punch by controlling the loading and arming of the used weapon, it launches the weapon and provides terminal guidance for anti-air-warfare missiles. Work will be performed at multiple locations – including, but not limited to – Andover, Massachusetts; San Diego, California and Chesapeake, Virginia. Performance is scheduled for completion by April 2022.
Middle East & Africa
Alliant Techsystems is being awarded with a contract modification in support of Iraq’s Cessna 208 fleet and the 208/172 Trainer fleet. The modification is priced at $36.6 million and exercises Option Year Three for contractor logistics support. The AC-208 Combat Caravan is a light attack combat aircraft manufactured by the US-based aerospace and defense company Alliant Techsystems (ATK). The Cessna variant is a counter insurgency (COIN) aircraft converted from a cargo / ISR plane. It was developed under the Combat Caravan program of the US as part of the government’s effort to rebuild the Iraqi Air Force. Work will be performed at Iraqi Air Force bases and is expected to be completed in December 2019.
Qatar is tapping Boeing to maintain the country’s fleet of AH-64E Apache helicopters. Awarded by the US Army Contracting Command, the $49.2 million Foreign Military Sales contract provides for Maintenance Augmentation Team services for the Qatari Air Force. Qatar ordered 24 Apache Guardians in 2016, and expects to receive the aircraft from 2019 through to mid-2020. The helicopters will be equipped with AGM-114R Hellfire laser-guided missiles, FIM-92H Stinger missiles with air-to-air launchers, and 70 mm Hydra air-to-surface rockets. Work will be performed at Boeing’s factory in Mesa, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2024.
The Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV) is allocating more funds for Gripen E combat aircraft production. The $48 million contract boost allows Saab to build the Gripen Es from new parts instead with parts from salvaged Gripen Cs. The Swedish Air Force currently has 60 Gripen Es on order and is expected to cost just short of $7 billion in total. The JAS-39 Gripen is an excellent lightweight fighter by all accounts, with attractive flyaway costs and performance. Its canard design allows for quick “slew and point” maneuvers, allowing it to take advantage of the modern trend toward helmet-mounted displays, and air-air missiles with much wider boresight targeting cones.
The Kazakh army is taking delivery of more Su-30SM fighter aircraft from Russia. The Su-30SM fighter was designed in accordance with the requirements of the Russian Air Force. It is being manufactured by IRKUT, a company based in Russia. The multirole Su-30SM can be deployed in counter-air strikes, counter-land and counter-sea missions. It can conduct electronic counter-countermeasures and early warning tasks. The aircraft also acts as a command-and-control platform within a fleet of combat aircraft performing joint missions.
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