Monthly Archives: September 2015

Army Launches T700 Competition | Elbit Gets $70M Contract for Hermes 900 UAV | GSL Looking for Partner to Share $5B Contract

Americas The Army has launched its T700 engine replacement competition, with the program set to deliver 3,000 new helicopter engines after production begins in 2019. Two companies will be awarded development contracts for the new engine design, with GE Aviation and a Honeywell/Pratt & Whitney team appearing as the most likely candidates, although Turbomeca could also participate in the competition. Israel’s Elbit Systems has been awarded a $70 million contract by an undisclosed Latin American buyer for the Hermes 900 UAV system. The company was awarded a similar contract in June 2011, also to an undisclosed customer in the region, with the Swiss parliament approving the $250 million acquisition of six Hermes 900 UAVs earlier this month. Europe BAE Systems delivered the first serial production Archer artillery systems to the Swedish Armed Forces on Monday, following delivery of pre-serial systems in September 2013 and an initial batch of 24 Archers in 2007. …

Raytheon Wins $490M+ in Two Contracts | General Dynamics Piranha 5 Selected by Spain’s MoD | Aerojet May Up Their Unsolicited Bid for ULA

Americas Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings is reportedly considering raising its unsolicited bid price for the United Launch Alliance joint venture, despite a very public rejection of its first $2 billion bid, made earlier this month, by both Lockheed Martin and Boeing. A further setback for the company occurred last week when ULA signed an agreement with Orbital ATK as the company’s exclusive provider of solid fuel boosters, side-lining Aerojet Rocketdyne in the process. An LA Times report has found serious short-comings in the JLENS cruise missile defense system, with the Army reportedly trying to kill off the program in 2010. The report details how lobbying kept the $2.7 billion program alive despite operational deficiencies, including software issues preventing integration with the NORAD air defense network; it is unclear whether the two aerostats operating on the East Coast as part of a three-year evaluation – launched in December 2014 and August respectively – are currently linked to this network…

JLENS Ramps Up Hard: Raytheon wins $1.3B Contract

JLENS Concept(click to view full, fixed) Intelligence agencies and analysts believe that the threat of U.S. cities coming under cruise missile attack from ships off the coast is real, sophisticated and evolving. The proliferation of cruise missiles, combined with a falling technology curve for biological, chemical, or even nuclear agents, is creating longer-term hazards on a whole new scale. Meanwhile, the June 2005 issue of Air Defense Artillery Magazine notes that experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom showed that even conventional cruise missiles had tactical uses in the hand of a determined enemy. The primary challenge for theater and national cruise missile defense is the development of a reliable look-down platform to detect, track and identify incoming missiles and support the over-the-horizon engagements in a timely manner…

US Joins Japan & SK in Approving LM’s Takeover of Sikorsky | Egypt to Acquire 50 Russian Attack Heli’s | Modi Gvmt to Share UAV Designs

Americas The government has approved the $9 billion takeover of Sikorsky by Lockheed Martin announced in July, joining approvals from the Japanese and South Korean governments. The Justice Department reportedly led the takeover review, with officials from the Defense Department and other agencies also involved. Lockheed Martin still requires approval from other states where it operates – including China and the European Union – before the takeover can be finalized. The review has come through quickly, despite a DoJ probe into alleged overcharging by Sikorsky in 2006. The Navy and Orbital ATK successfully conducted a test-firing of the Block 1 AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) in August, the company announced on Thursday…

Spirit AeroSystems Shows Off Bell Heli Fuselage | Gen Atomics to Open Training Facility for UAVs | Egyptians Broker Deal to Buy French Mistrals

Americas The fuselage of the Bell Helicopters V-280 tiltrotor demonstrator aircraft was unveiled by manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems on Tuesday. Assembled by the company’s rapid prototyping facility, the fuselage will be combined with the V-280 wing, engines and tails. The V-280 Valor design will compete with Sikorsky/Boeing’s SB-1 Defiant design from September 2017 in a two-year evaluation period for the Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. Both are part-funded through the Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMRTD) program, part of FVL, with contracts awarded last year. Delivery of the first Ford-class carrier to the Navy will be delayed owing to the need for additional testing before sea trials can begin. …

FMTV 2010-2015: Pyrrhic Victories? Oshkosh Wins The Re-Compete

FMTV Family(click to view full) The 14 variants in the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) form the core of the USA’s new state-of-the-art medium military transport truck fleet. Which in turn forms the core of the “mature logistics capability” seen in the Iraqi theater and elsewhere. FMTV trucks are all automatic transmission, and range from 2.5-ton cargo and van models to 5-ton cargo, tractor, van, wrecker, tanker, specialty, and dump-truck models in various 4×4 and 6×6 configurations. Some models also have attached trailers that increase their carrying capacity. …

Egypt to Buy Mistrals; French Removing Russian Equipment with Russia’s Assistance

RFS Vladivostok,DCNS concept(click to view full) In August 2009, Russian media reported that their country was planning to take a radical step, and buy a French BPC-210 Mistral Class amphibious assault ship (BPC/LHD) by the end of 2009. The outlet quoted the Chief of the Russian General Staff, Gen. Nikolai Makarov, who said that: “We are negotiating the purchase of one ship at present, and later planning to acquire 3-4 ships [of the same class] to be jointly built in Russia.” That plan eventually came true, with a contract for 2 ships, and a possible follow-on for 2 more…

Predators and Reapers Need Support, Too

MQ-1 vs. MQ-9(click to view full) The MQ-1 Predator UAV has become a stable of the Global War on Terror; the program is finishing up a major 5-year fleet expansion. Its successor, the larger MQ-9 Reaper UAV/UCAV (aka. ‘Predator B’), is designed to carry more ordnance while loitering over its coverage area for long periods. Amidst all the gee-whiz, it’s worth recalling that these systems need the same things any other craft needs: maintenance, spares beyond initial buys, back-end and even in-field support, support for associated systems like sensors, etc…

Venezuela Buying SU-30s, Helicopters, etc. From Russia

SU-30, armed(click to view full) There have been a series of reports from a number of sources that Venezuela has finalized a deal with Russian arms manufacturers. Those reports have now shifted the total from $1 billion to around $3 billion, and expand its focus beyond SU-30MK2 (Mnogofunktzionniy Komercheskiy 2-seat) long-range multi-role fighters and various Russian helicopters to include other equipment as well. The final deal is reportedly still being negotiated. Russian deals are extremely non-transparent, and often there are conflicting reports with no official confirmation of announced reports or additional details released. …