Monthly Archives: September 2016

LM Successfully Launches Vector Hawk UAV from Marlin AUV | US Mil Building $100M Facility for MQ-9’s in Africa | Boeing Rolls Out 1st of 12 P-8As…

Americas Lockheed Martin has revealed that they successfully launched a Vector Hawk canister-launched small UAV from their Marlin MK2 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The disclosure was made during the Annual Navy Technology Exercise (ANTX) in August. To transmit the launch command to the Marlin, Lockheed engineers relied on the Submaran, an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) developed by Ocean Aero, as a relay. Middle East & North Africa It’s been reported that the US State Department has finally cleared the multi-billion sale of fighters to Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. Sources told media outlets that US officials have begun to notify lawmakers informally about the sale of 36 Boeing F-15 fighter jets to Qatar valued at around $4 billion, 28 F/A- 18E/F Super Hornets (plus options for 12 more), to Kuwait for around $3 billion, and 17 Lockheed F-16 fighter jets to Bahrain, plus upgrades of up to 20 additional aircraft…

QF-16s Achieve IOC Milestone | Bell Heli Gets $86.9M FMS to Supply Huey IIs to Kenya & Uganda | MBDA Proposal to Offer MEADS to Germany Under…

Americas A MQ-8B Fire Scout was used to laser designate a moving target for an AGM-114N Hellfire missile fired from an MH-60S for the first time. Conducted on September 14, the test was part of a program to use the drone as a remote designater for the helicopter to shoot moving targets . The successful Hellfire shot marks a significant milestone in the integration between Navy-manned helicopters and unmanned assets. The Canadian government is currently assessing data from defense manufacturers for this summer’s request for up-to-date information on options for the replacement of its CF-18 fighters. Specifics wanted by the government were on areas including fighter capabilities and potential economic benefits any sale would bring…

USAF’s AETP May Improve F-35 Engines Over Next Decade | UK Gov to Prosecute Ejection Seat Mfr Martin Baker | Controversial THAAD Site to be Ditched

Americas The F-35 could be getting new engines by the mid-2020s, with the potential for either an upgraded version of the Pratt & Whitney F135 design currently in use or a new engine from a competitor. Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, head of the Joint Program Office, made the announcement at last week’s Air Force Association conference. The USAF is currently in the early stages of funding their Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP) competition, with both P&W and General Electric Aviation securing contracts worth $1.01 billion to research if its possible to “demonstrate 25 percent improved fuel efficiency, 10 percent increased thrust, and significantly improved thermal management.” E-8C JSTARS aircraft grounded due to maintenance concerns are back flying again…

DARPA Awards $171M to LM for HABWC | NG’s Triton Cleared for LRIP | Oshkosh to Provide $378M FMS in Tactical Vehicles to Somalia, Cameroon &…

Americas The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a $171 million contract to Lockheed Martin as part of its Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept (HABWC) program. A joint effort between DARPA and the USAF, the program looks to develop and demonstrate critical technologies to enable an effective and affordable air-launched hypersonic cruise missile. Lockheed will undergo a research project for the program and follows a recent $147 million award for DARPA’s Boost Glide program…

Syrian Rebels to Get Beefed Up Weaponry | Saab Eyes UK; Hopes to One Day Replace E-3 Sentry | KAI’s KUH-1 Moves to Redesign to Correct Defects

Americas Maintenance work carried out on USAF JSTARS aircraft by Northrop Grumman, has resulted in four of their fleet being grounded over concerns with the quality of the work. The four planes are being inspected for any possible safety of flight issues on the ground at Robins Air Force Base, GA, home of the 116th Air Control Wing. Assembly of an independent review team is also underway which will be tasked to “inspect and validate quality assurance processes at the contractor’s depot,” according to a service spokesperson. Middle East & North Africa Backers of Syrian rebels fighting the forces of President Bashar al-Assad are to send new types of heavy weapons following the collapse of a week long ceasefire last week…

Bell’s Vigilant Headed for USMC | Bill Blocking Sale of Armored Vehicles to SA Fails | Dassault’s India Fighter Deal Expected Be Signed Today

Americas A fix has been found for a recently discovered issue on a number of F-35 fighters involving tubing insulation crumbling between the wing tank and fuselage tank. The USAF revealed last week that an unnamed supplier used the wrong coating for the insulation which deteriorated when it met fuel. A total of 15 USAF and Norwegian warplanes along with 42 models on the production line were affected by the issue with manufacturer Lockheed Martin fixed to cover engineering and modifications for all affected aircraft. Bell Helicopter has unveiled its V-247 Vigilant, an unmanned tilt-rotor aircraft aimed at filling a USMC need for larger armed systems, as outlined in their 2016 Marine Aviation flight plan. Dubbed the Marine Air Ground Task Force – Unmanned Expeditionary Capabilities, also known as MUX, the service’s UAV concept envisions a multi-sensor, electronic warfare, C4 and strike platform that would complement the Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor and Lockheed Martin F-35B. …

B-21 A Tribute to WWII Doolittle Raiders | Senate to Vote This Week on Blocking $1.15B Sale to Saudis | France Delivers 2nd Mistral to Egypt

Americas The USAF’s new long-range strike bomber has officially been named the B-21 Raider. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James made the announcement on Monday in what is a tribute to the legacy of WW2’s Doolittle Raiders rather than a reference to the Indiana Jones movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” The Doolittle Raiders are known for their surprise attack against Japan during on April 18, 1942, which forced the Japanese to recall combat forces for home defense, and boosted morale among Americans and US allies abroad. Today, the US Senate will vote on a joint resolution seeking to block a $1.15 billion sale of military equipment to Saudi Arabia over concerns about the conflict in Yemen. Sponsors of the bipartisan bill, which includes Republican Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee and Democratic Senators Chris Murphy and Al Franken, believe that even if it does not pass, a positive vote or a strong vote would send a strong message about continued US support for Saudi Arabia. Both Congress and the White House have already approved the sale, which includes a number of Abrams tanks…

USAF New Bomber – B-21 – Gets a Name

B-52H, B-1B & B-2A(click to view full) The good news? 2006 saw a convergence of opinion within the USAF that a new long-range strike platform was needed. This is understandable given the B-52H Stratofortress fleet’s age (40-50 years), the B-1B Lancer’s internal power and electronics issues, both of these platforms’ low survivability against advanced air defense systems, and the B-2A Spirit stealth bomber’s very small numbers (21, of which 7-12 are generally operational). The unmanned J-UCAS program, meanwhile was seen as having inadequate range and payload (Boeing X-45C: 1,400 mile radius with 8 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs). …

USA: $162.7M for Sentinels to Watch the Skies

Improved Sentinel(click to view full) In September 2011, Thales Raytheon Systems in Fullerton, CA received a $162.7 million firm-fixed-price contract for 56 Sentinel AN/MPQ-64A3 radars, along with associated spares and fielding support. Work will be performed in Fullerton, CA, and Forest, MS, with an estimated completion date of June 1/14. One bid was solicited, with one bid received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, AL manages the contract (W31P4Q-11-C-0301)…