Monthly Archives: January 2017

Prez Trump Claims $600M Savings on Lot 10 F-35s | Gen Atom’s SkyGuardian UAV Launches | US DoD Works to Clear Iraqi Pilots for Scheduled Training

Americas Raytheon has been contracted to deliver Small Diameter Bombs (SDB) to the USAF. While the exact value of the contract modification was undisclosed, the company received $62 million at the time of the award. The contract calls for the delivery of low-rate initial production for 312 SDB II Lot 3 munitions for the branch, and also includes 413 SBD Lot 3 single weapon containers, 20 weapon conversions for guided test vehicles, 20 production reliability incentive demonstration effort captive vehicles and training and maintenance services. SBDs are being integrated on a number of USAF and US Navy aircraft, and provide warfighters with the ability to engage their targets when faced with poor weather and other adverse conditions…

NG Stays Coy on USAF T-X Trainer Competition | Russian Mil Selects MiG-35 For Multi-purpose Fighter | Rafael Permitted to Discuss David’s Sling with…

Americas Northrop Grumman has remained coy on their participation in the USAF T-X trainer competition, with CEO Wes Bush remaining non-committal to the program despite having designed and developed a prototype. Bush’s tone shocked some analysts and has led some to speculate that the company would rather lose out on the $16 billion competition than have a price war eat away at its bottom line. Northrop recently won the development contract for the USAF’s next long-range bomber, the B-21 Raider, a greater priority. …

Boeing Wins $2.1B for KC-46 Provision | UK’s May Talks TF-X Fighter with Turkey | Israel & US Complete 5th Test Series on David’s Sling

Americas US Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work has been tasked by new boss Jim Mattis to do a comparison analysis of the F-35C and F/A-18 Super Hornet. The investigation’s spec tasks Work to do a review “that compares F-35C and F/A-18 E/F operational capabilities and assesses the extent that F/A-18 E/F improvements (an advanced Super Hornet) can be made in order to provide a competitive, cost effective, fighter aircraft alternative.” In his war on costs, the Trump Administration has suggested the development of an advanced Super Hornet in order to get a better deal on defense procurements. Boeing has won a $2.1 billion contract for the provision of 15 KC-46 aerial refueling aircraft to the US Air Force. The contract, awarded on Friday, is in addition to the initial $4.2 billion contract awarded by the USAF to develop and test the aircraft, and an earlier $2.8 billion award for 19 planes. So far, the fixed-price contract has incurred cost-over runs of $2.4 billion, including a recent $201 million after-tax charge that Boeing announced on Wednesday…

Raytheon Leaves Leonardo in the Lurch on T-X Competition | Stryker Dragoon Gets a Spin with a 30mm Cannon | Croatia Boosts Defense Spending by $57M…

Americas The USAF’s T-X Trainer competition has taken a sudden turn, with Raytheon and Leonardo announcing that they will no longer be collaborating on the program. As a result, Leonardo now has to decide whether to go it alone with the T-100 variant of its Aermacchi M-346 advanced trainer without a US partner, find another US collaborator, or pull out of the $16.3 billion competition altogether. Whatever will happen next…

KC-46A May Not Meet Delivery Schedule | Navy Greenlights Advanced Arresting Gear Development | Germany Pushes for Short Range Missile Defense System

Americas It seems likely that the KC-46A aerial tanker will not meet its aggressive delivery schedule, with manufacturer Boeing stalling deliveries to the USAF until late 2017. Boeing had already moved its delivery schedule from March to August. The revelations were found in an annual report by the DoD’s Director of Operational Test & Evaluation, which stated “execution of the current schedule assumes historically unrealistic test aircraft fly and re-fly rates.” Developments on the new Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) have been given the thumbs up from the US Navy and will be installed on board the next USS John F. Kennedy. …

Strategy Change May See Super Hornet Compete with F-35 | Russia’s Buk-M3 Being Prepped for Export | India’s K-4 SLBM Testing Slated for January 31

Americas A change in defense strategy by the Trump Administration could see the F/A-18 compete with the F-35, according to one analyst. Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Monday, defense acquisition analyst Andrew Hunter stated that an “advanced Super Hornet” still can’t compete with the stealthy F-35 in airspace monitored by radar surveillance, but a semi-low-observable F/A-18E/F with more carriage capacity could emerge as an attractive option against less sophisticated threats. However, if US strategy “requires to operate continuously in denied access air environments, there is no such thing as a comparable Super Hornet…It simply doesn’t exist.” Middle East & North Africa The first US State Department Foreign Military Sale (FMS) approvals of 2017 came thick and fast on Monday, with total sales to partner nations amounting to $1.8 billion. One of the first buyers to be cleared was the government of Kuwait, who are seeking air-to-air missiles as well as Apache logistics support. The first deal involves the provision of 60 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), for use by the kingdom’s F/A-18 fighters, and is costed at an estimated $110 million, while the second covers a $400 million support contract, which includes sustainment and contractor logistics support for AH-64D Apache Helicopters…

US Army Aerostat-based PTDS Provide IED Warning

PTDS Aerostat(click to view larger) $142 million to Lockheed Martin for additional PTDS. (June 8/10) The US Army is using tethered aerostats with multi-mission sensors to provide long endurance intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and communications in support of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The aerostat-based Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) is one of the ISR tools the Army uses to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs) buried along roadsides… An aerostat is a lighter-than-air craft that relies on a ground tether for movement and often for power as well, as opposed to blimps which are self-powered, free-flying craft. DID has more coverage of military applications of aerostats…

Sig Sauer to be Face of New US Modular Handgun Program | Comp Air Works with Nigerian AF on NAFSA Eagle | SK Urges US to Press Forward with THAAD

Americas Sig Sauer has won out against eight other bidders to provide new Modular Handgun Systems for the US Air Force and Army’s Modular Handgun Program. Valued at $580 million, the contract includes the provision of versions of the P320 handgun, accessories and ammunition to replace the M9 handgun currently used by the service. Baretta’s M9 has been the standard sidearm of the Navy, Army, and Air Force since 1985…

US Army Solicits Proposals for Quadcopter Swarm Dispenser | Boeing to Develop Parachute Kit for SHARC | Safran Elec Acquiring Zodiac Aerospace for $9B

Americas The USAF is looking into testing a new low-cost light attack aircraft as soon as this spring. While Pentagon plans to acquire a new light attack platform are not new, the funding and scope of an earlier effort, the OA-X program, has never materialized into contracts being signed. However, if the experiment is approved and funded fully, the new platform will compliment the A-10 in close air support and reconnaissance missions. Industry has been asked by the US Army to submit proposals for a missile that can dispense a swarm of quadcopters. …

F-35 Costs Expected to Drop | Boeing-IAI Deliver First Arrow-3 to IAF | Turkey & Russia Conduct First Joint Air-Strike | Airbus Wins $2B A400M Buy…

Americas Investors and traders looking to avoid/gain from the stock market turmoil caused by US President Donald Trump have a new best friend: an app that will generate trading alerts for shares based on comments made by the man on social media. Tweets sent by Trump in December, criticizing big ticket defense programs such the F-35 and the new Air Force One, sent stock prices of Lockheed Martin and Boeing tumbling, and the CEOs of the US’ biggest defense companies scrambling to find ways to trim the fat on program costs. Behind the creation, London-based FinTech firm Trading.co.uk said the Trump signal generator used artificial intelligence technology to differentiate between tweets or other messages that, for example, just mention Boeing and those liable to move markets…