Navy announces first test of UMCS | Saudi Apaches to receive upgrades | India & Russia close to FGFA milestone

Americas GKN Aerospace will produce and provide a new fuel bladder system for the first production model of General Atomic’s Predator B MQ-9B UAV, scheduled for 2018. An agreement signed between the two firms has a full potential value of $15 million when it enters service with NATO’s UAV airworthiness Requirements. …

The Reaper drops a JDAM | Saudi seeking several THAAD batteries | Japan jostles to obtain Tomahawks

Americas A MQ-9 Reaper UAV has dropped a GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) at a range in Nevada, USA for the first time. By adding the JDAM to the UAV’s arsenal, operators will have a greater opportunity to track targets in bad weather as it utilizes a GPS-guidance system instead of the laser-guided munitions that are currently used, like the AGM-114 Hellfire and GBU-12. …

Boeing pulls Harpoon out of OTH cruise missile contract | 6th KC-46 begins testing | PAK-FAs to be armed anti-ship missile

Americas Boeing has pulled its Harpoon anti-ship missile out of a US Navy contract aimed at procuring an over-the-horizon (OTH) cruise missile for its Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) and frigates. Proposed upgrades to the current Harpoon Block II would have initially extended its range to 150 miles, along with providing a new, more powerful warhead. However, the company stated that changing service requirements “would have to take a lot of capability out of this existing system and really deliver a less-capable weapons system.” Boeing added that they would continue to deliver upgrades for the missile. This leaves the Raytheon/Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) and Lockheed Martin Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) as the likely candidates in the OTH effort. However, Boeing has reached an important milestone in bringing its KC-46 tanker program closer to serial production, announcing that it now has a total of six units ready for its testing program…

The Dokdo Class: an LHD for the ROK

ROKS Dokdo (click to view full) Australia isn’t the only Pacific Rim country looking to modernize its Navy these days. China’s rapid shipbuilding program and work on its aircraft carrier project gets a lot of attention – but just to the east, South Korea is fielding its own AEGIS-equipped “air warfare destroyer,” while picking up new capabilities via a new class of amphibious assault LHD ship. Sound familiar? Hobart and Canberra Class, meet the KDX-III King Sejong Class AEGIS destroyer (launched May 2007) and the new “LPH” Dokdo Class LHD (commissioned July 2007). The 199-meter, 18,860-ton Dokdo Class officially has the less aggressive designation of LPH (landing platform, helicopter), but its well deck and amphibious assault capabilities place it within the LHD category… The Dokdo Class/ LPX Dokdo launches AAV7s (click to view full) The Dokdo Class can carry up to 720 troops, plus a mix of helicopters, tanks/armored vehicles, and wheeled vehicles. …

Raytheon to provide radars for Arleigh Burkes | Cayuse Warriors for Kenya | Seoul announces second Dokdo-class AAS

Americas Raytheon has received a $327.1 million US Navy contract for the low-rate production of the Air and Missile Defense Radar system. Known as the AMDR or AN/SPY-6(V), the order calls for the procurement of three initial systems, including the equipment and engineering systems needed to produce, and will be mounted on Flight III Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. …

Raytheon to Mod AOC WS with $375M Order from USAF | Saab to Supply RBS-15 Anti-ship Missiles to Sweden | China’s AG600 Completes Maiden Flight

Americas Raytheon has received a $375 million order from the USAF to modernize the service’s Air and Space Operations Center Weapon System (AOC WS) over the next six years. Under the terms of the agreement, the firm will update the existing AOC WS baseline software, as well as developing and deploying new software upgrades to enhance air and space command and control operations, while using a sustainment approach to improve systems incrementally without interruption of critical missions. Operating at 22 locations worldwide, Air and Space Operations Centers use the AOC WS for strategic command-and-control of aircraft. The firm added that they will be hiring a new team, to be based out of Hampton, Virginia, including system architects, software developers, cyber engineers, as well as an IT help desk. The US Navy has awarded the International Marine & Industrial Applicators and QED Systems a $260.1 million joint contract for coating work on US Navy vessel surfaces. …