Monthly Archives: April 2016

Sun Setting on Era of the Nighthawk | USAF Awards $82.7M to SpaceX to Launch GPS III in 2018 | UAE Donating APCs to LNA

Americas Legislation being considered by the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) could see the last of the USAF’s F-117A Nighthawk fleet sent to the scrap yard. Retired since 2007, a fleet of the pioneering stealth aircraft have been kept in special climate controlled storage hangers in the event they were ever needed again. Now, Congress is considering removing those mothballed aircraft and having them scrapped and gutted for hard-to-find parts. …

$11B Canadian Export to SA Under Fire | UK Selects CPB UAV as Reaper Replacement | Australia Picks France’s DCNS for $38.7B Future Sub Program

Americas The forth and final test aircraft of Boeing’s KC-46A tanker program has made its maiden flight. While not kitted out for aerial refueling, the 767-2C aircraft will be used to conduct environmental control system testing for the program. The arrival of the latest tanker comes as Boeing scrambles to complete a “milestone C” review by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). A favorable review will unleash additional funds needed for the program, including a seven tanker production order, which the manufacturer had already begun producing out of its own pocket. Northrop Grumman has been awarded an $83.4 million modification contract by the US Army to provide logistics support for the Hunter Unmanned Aircraft System…

Increased Funding Requested for Israeli Missile Defense | Australia Cleared for $1.22B in FMS of AIM-120Ds | Blue Magpie Official Name for Taiwan’s…

Americas Orbital ATK has been awarded a $121.3 million contract by the US Navy to provide conversion services of old stocks of US government-provided AGM-88B high-speed anti-radiation missiles. The conversion will see the munitions turned into 145 full-rate production Lot 5 advanced anti-radiation guided missile all-up-rounds, and 12 captive air training missiles, including related supplies and services necessary for manufacture, sparing, and fleet deployment of the missiles, for the Navy and the government of Italy. Completion is expected by September 2018. Recent software glitches found in the APG-81 radar for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter have not caused any problems for F-35Bs operated by the USMC…

JLENS Can’t Stay Afloat After Budget Cuts | Poland Looks Hard at Boeing AH-62 Apache | More Saber Rattling from NK with SLBM Launch

Americas The House Armed Services Committee has issued a massive cut to the Army’s Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor system (JLENS) program to only $2.5 million. With the Army initially requesting a budget of $45 million for Fiscal Year 2017, the slashing could put a stop to the troubled program often referred to as “Runaway Blimp.” Political enthusiasm for JLENS has been waning significantly since the Raytheon-made tethered aerostat broke free from its mooring in Maryland, and floated into Pennsylvania, only to be shot down by state troopers. …

US Approves Sale of Surface-to-Air Missiles to Qatar | LM Awarded $73.8M FMS Contract for Japan’s F-35A | Maiden Flight of X-2 Stealth Pleases Mitsu…

Americas The USMC has borrowed a number of MQ-8C Fire Scouts from the US Navy to test how they could be operated from the amphibious assault ships. It is believed that they may want a Group 4 or 5 unmanned aerial system (UAS), which are larger and have longer range and endurance, and that are capable of conducting ISR and fires missions. …

Sikorsky’s CH-53K Completes First Load Flight Test | USAF’s Selection Process to Replace Huey Invites Protests | Spanish Navy Considering F-35B to…

Americas A USMC test has seen a Sikorsky CH-53K complete its first external load flight test, lifting a 12,000 pound external load in a hover. The April 12 test will see further loads tried with external payloads of 12,000 pounds flown first in hover, then incrementally increasing speeds up to 120 knots, followed by 20,000 and 27,000 pound external payloads. The system features an electrical load release capability from the cockpit and cabin, and a mechanical load release capability at each of the pendant locations. An auto-jettison system is incorporated to protect the aircraft in the event of a load attachment point failure. …

Canada Mulls Joining US in GMD System | US Considers Restarting F-22 Production | SK Decision Coming on KAI KF-X Fighter Engine Provider

Americas Canada’s government is considering joining the US-led Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system with Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan, soliciting feedback from the public on the issue. In 2005, the previous Conservative government had rejected George W. Bush’s offer to participate in the program, and in 2014, a Senate committee had urged the former government to join the GMD system as a partner…

P&W Upgrade to Keep B-52 Aloft into 2040 and Beyond | State Dept to Approve Contested Sale to Qatar, Kuwait | Taiwan Plans to Develop Own Engine for…

Americas The US Army has successfully carried out a dual engagement flight test of the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS). Developed by Northrop Grumman, the system has the ability to identify, track, engage, and defeat ballistic and cruise missile targets. The April 8 test built upon previous testing and validated the ability of IBCS to manage multiple threats…

Israel Seeks 10 Year FMF Package with US | Russian DARPA Equivalent to Develop Rotary Winged UAV | BAE, Fincantieri, Navantia Vie to Build Australian…

Americas The US Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a $181.7 million contract for the manufacture and delivery of F-35 low-rate initial production Lot 9 Alternate Mission Equipment, including armaments, pilot flight equipment, and red gear to a number of clients. Delivery is expected to be completed by September 2019. Recipients of the gear include the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, non-US Department of Defense (DoD) participants, as well as the governments of Israel and Japan under the Foreign Military Sales program. Northrop Grumman has been awarded $87 million as part of a modification contract to provide Large Aircraft Infrared Counter Measures (LAIRCM) calendar year 2016 base hardware buy and needed LAIRCM support. While the majority of the contract is for the USAF, 5% of the modification contract will be work for the government of Australia. …

BAE’s Archerfish Takes on Sea Mines | Italy & France Spar Over Qatari Deal | Royal Navy Testing UAVs for Navigating Ice in Antarctic

Americas The US Navy has awarded BAE Systems a $22 million contract to produce Archerfish mine neutralizers. Flown on board the MH-60S, Archerfish is a remotely-controlled underwater vehicle equipped with an explosive warhead to destroy sea mines. Deliveries of the systems are expected to begin in September 2017. The contract also includes further options which, if exercised by the DoD, could bring the total value to over $55.3 million. A plan to launch mini-unmanned aerial vehicles out of the AC-130 gunships will commence later this year under the US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)…