Monthly Archives: October 2015

$393M to Raytheon from AF for DCGS Support | $49.5M IDIQ Awarded for Spectrum Warfare | SK Parliament Passes $58.8M Budget for KF-X Program

Americas Raytheon will provide the Air Force with contractor support for the service’s principal intelligence collection system. A $393 million contract will see the company support the Distributed Common Ground System, an integrator for various intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets, with the contract covering the sustainment of various systems used as part of the DCGS, including unmanned aircraft. The deputy head of the Air Force ISR wants to counteract a shortfall in MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper operators by compressing the current two-person arrangement into a single role. The conversion would require changes to the system’s ground station, with Air Force officials keen to maximise manpower efficiency in the face of high drop-out rates for drone pilots. …

JLENS Aerostats Grounded After Joyride | Sikorsky King Stallion Achieves First Flight – Finally | UK & France Look to MBDA for Next Gen…

Americas A Raytheon-manufactured JLENS (Joint Elevated Netted Sensor) aerostat broke free from its moorings on Wednesday, before floating 160 miles over Pennsylvania, prompting the scrambling of F-16 fighters. The blimp eventually came down in the north of the state after drifting for three hours, after taking down several power lines in the process. The aerostat was one of two providing radar coverage of the east coast, with the second, fire-control radar blimp now grounded. The heavily-criticized, $2.7 billion program has come under increasing pressure in recent months, particularly after it failed to spot a gyrocopter approaching the Capitol in April. …

Flooded by Boat People, Malta Turns to King Airs

B200 airframe rollout(click to enlarge) The Armed Forces of Malta has signed a contract for the provision of a 2nd Hawker Beechcraft King Air B200 maritime patrol aircraft, under a EUR 9.7 million program that ordered the 1st plane in October 2009. Aerodata at Braunschweig airport in Germany will be the prime contractor for the conversion process, which will install a belly-mounted Telephonics RDR-1700B radar with 360 degree coverage, L-3 Wescam’s MX-15i day/night surveillance turret, a Search And Rescue direction finder, plus a number of other sensors and communication equipment, including satellite communication and data transmission. The 1st B200 maritime patrol aircraft had its airframe rolled out in May 2010, and the AFM expects it in February 2011. This 2nd aircraft is expected in Mach 2012. Malta’s location at the center of the Mediterranean Sea has made it a key strategic waypoint for many hundreds of years, from the Knights of Malta’s struggles against Islamic invaders to Britain’s razor-edge defense of Malta during World War 2. …

NG Snags Big LRS-B Work | Navy Hands Boeing $897.5M Contract Mod for Growlers | ERAPSCO to do $178 Million More in Sonobuoys

Americas Northrop Grumman has won the much-anticipated and delayed Long Range Strike – Bomber (LRS-B) contract, the most significant defense contract since the F-35 and a huge win for the company. The winning bid beat off competition from a Boeing/Lockheed Martin team, with the Air Force evaluating the classified bids since July 2014. The development contract awarded to Northrop Grumman includes options for the first 21 out of potential 80 aircraft. The program is slated to value more than $55 billion over its lifespan, which will supply the Air Force with a replacement for the B-52 and B-1B fleets. …

Upgrading the Admiral: Russia’s Kuznetsov

Adm. Kuznetsov, 1996(click to view full) Russia’s “heavy aircraft-carrying cruisers” have received a lot of unfavorable attention from India’s snake-bit deal to refurbish the Admiral Gorshkov; in fairness, however, the Russians haven’t had much more luck with their own ship. Launched in 1985, it was not commissioned until 1995 – and since then, it has endured extremely long dockings and seen only limited deployment. When it’s operational, the The 55,000t Admiral Kuznetsov is a big step up from the smaller Kiev Class’ combination of Yak-38 Forger V/STOL (Vertical/Short Take Off and Landing) jets and naval helicopters, flying navalized SU-25 close air support fighters, multi-role SU-33s, or MiG-29K jets…

Raytheon’s Phalanx Marching with $159M Navy Contract | Air Force LRS-B $80B Choice Coming Soon | US Nixes SK Plans to Sell T-50 to Uzbekistan

Americas The Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) will reportedly be equipped with over-the-horizon missiles for their next deployment, with the specific model not yet determined. With the Brookings Institution rightly pointing out that the LCS do not currently possess the power-projection capabilities recently demonstrated by Russia’s Caspian Sea fleet, the USN is likely looking to bolt-on additional muscle to the fleet following the cancellation of the Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) missile in April 2010. With the USS Coronado and USS Freedom scheduled for deployment next year, a Request for Proposals is expected by the end of this year. The Navy has awarded Raytheon a $159 million production contract for the company’s Phalanx Close-In Weapon System. The contract also includes an option valued at $291 million for FY2016. …

NG Bags $53.2M Contract for LWSD Program | AF Spending $176.1M with LM for Sniper ATPs | SK Presses Ahead on KF-X Indigenous Fighter Program

Americas Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $53.2 million contract for the Solid State High Power Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) program. The Solid State Laser (SSL) system is intended to be used against small and fast vessels, unmanned aircraft and ISR systems, with the laser’s power thought to be in the 100-150kW range. …

$784.3M Contract to LM for LRDR | CA Drop of F-35 Program May Cause Intl Price Rise | USAF Deploys A-10’s to Turkey to Combat ISIS

Americas Lockheed Martin has won the Missile Defense Agency’s Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) contract, with the company handed a $784.3 million contract to build the new system in Clear, Alaska. The LRDR will provide long-range coverage of possible North Korean missile launches and other ballistic missile threats. Lockheed Martin beat rival bids from Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, building on its experience developing the Aegis BMD radar system, with the company also seeing the Space Fence system it is developing for the Air Force pass a Critical Design Review in late September. The LRDR is expected to come online in 2020, with the contract running to 2024. …

LM’s F-16V Enjoys Maiden Flight | Report Claims Carriers Must Adapt to Avoid Obsolescence | Egypt to Equip Mistrals with Katrans & Alligators

Americas A Standard Missile-3 Block IA interceptor, fired from an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, has successfully intercepted a short-range ballistic missile. The target missile was launched from the UK’s Hebrides Range, off the northwest coast of Scotland, with the test also seeing two anti-ship missiles fired simultaneously. The ballistic missile was intercepted in space by the SM-3 fired from USS Ross (DDG-71), with USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) downing the anti-ship missile using SM-2 missiles. The Sullivans saw a SM-2 Block IIIA explode soon after launch in July, with this test the first time a ballistic missile has been intercepted in the European theater. Lockheed Martin’s latest iteration of F-16 has made its maiden flight at the company’s Fort Worth facility in Texas as the company looks to market the ‘Viper’ configuration to international customers. …

Egypt Buys Mistrals; Kitting Out With KA-52 & KA-52K

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. France currently operates 3 Mistral Class LHDs, after buying a 3rd using economic stimulus funds…