Hamilton Sundstrand Corp. is being contracted for support work on the MV-22 and CV-22 platforms. The three-year long-term requirements contract has a value of $64.8 million and provides for repair work of the constant frequency generator (CFG) installed on the aircraft. The MV-22 is flown by the US Marine Corps. The newest Block C variant includes forward-mounted defensive systems, ice detectors, dust protection and a “Cabin Situational Awareness Device”. The US Air Force Special Operations Command operates the CV-22, which adds more sophisticated surveillance capabilities and beefed-up defensive systems. The CFG together with the auxiliary power unit and variable frequency generator is housed in the V-22’s mid-wing gearbox. The mid-wing gearbox transmits power between the left and right interconnecting drive shafts without changing speed or direction of rotation. This contract intends to enhance the CFG reliability and improve its overall aircraft operational readiness. Work will be performed in Rockford, Illinois, and is expected to be completed by July 2021.
Boeing is being awarded a change order by the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center. The change order is valued at $15.5 million and provides for the development, qualification and delivery of a Flight Termination Receiver 2.0 (FTR 2.0). For 50 years, land-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) have been part of the US primary strategic deterrence capability, the nuclear-armed triad that also includes submarine-launched ballistic missiles and long-range heavy bombers. Nuclear weapons have a devastating effect and a nuclear war has the potential to wipe out all life on earth. The FTR is an essential piece that allows for the missiles destruction after it has already been launched. The Flight Termination System can take a number of commands via Radio Frequency that range from safing and arming devices to terminating the missiles flight. Work will be performed in Layton, Utah, and is expected to be completed by July 31, 2021.
The US Army is contracting Raytheon to support its Electronic Warfare Program Management Tool (EWPMT). The contract modification provides for interim contractor support to maintain and field the EWPMT’s Capability Drop 3 through 4. Development of the tool was the Army’s answer to an ever-increasing amount of electromagnetic spectrum operations and electronic warfare. Rolle out in 2016, the EWPMT provides commanders with both greater understanding and awareness of the spectrum for better planning and decision making. Key tasks the tool provides the force with; include capabilities to plan, coordinate, manage and deconflict electronic warfare and spectrum management operations; integration of electronic attack in the targeting process to ensure electronic attack can meet the commanders’ desired effect, and synchronization of electronic warfare and spectrum operations. Work will be performed in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with an estimated completion date by September 2022.
The US Air Force’s fleet of E-8 JSTARS is earmarked for retirement by the mid-2020s. The National Defense Authorization Act endorses the Air Force’s plan to replace the E-8 JSTARS with a new network of sensors spread across unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft, called the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS). The USA’s 17-plane E-8C Joint Surveillance Targeting and Attack Radar System fleet’s ability to monitor enemy ground movements over very wide areas, while seeing through problematic weather conditions, has made it an invaluable contributor to every US military ground campaign over the last 15+ years. In the future the E-8’s role will be filled by the MQ-9 UAV. The ABMS is a network of de-centralized systems, which fuses the data from hundreds of sensors to provide situational awareness for combatant commanders across the globe. The current NDAA provides $120 million for the accelerating the development of the ABMS and its integration onto the MQ-9.
Middle East & Africa
The Israeli Air Force is receiving funds for construction work on of its bases under the US foreign military sales program. Conti Federal Services is being awarded a firm-fixed-price contract with a value of $69.4 million to build hardened aircraft shelters in Israel. This contract is part of a larger Israeli infrastructure project needed to accommodate the countries new F-35i ‘Adir’ fighter jets. Those hardened aircraft shelters are outfitted with cranes and underground pits, as well as air-conditioning, water, sewage, and compressed-air systems. Construction of those shelters is vital to protecting the multi-million fighter jets in light of the growing threat of large-scale rocket and missile attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah. Work will be performed in Tel Aviv, Israel and is scheduled for completion by September 2020.
The Spanish S-80 submarine program is experienced further delays. The S-80 program had its genesis in 1989, but it wasn’t until 1997 that Spain’s Armada began defining its objectives more clearly. The S-80 contract between Spain and Navantia was signed in 2004 with the initial delivery planned to take place in 2011. The program was interrupted in 2013 due to excess weight problems that threatened the submarines buoyancy. Spain’s S-80 submarines will be an entirely new and larger ship class that builds upon Navantia’s recent submarine experience, rather than a modified version of the more well-known AIM 2000 Scorpene AIP boats. It will share some key technology developments, however, including Air-Independent Propulsion. At present, its seems that the first submarine will be delivered in 2023, over a decade later than envisaged.
Poland will soon add Lockheed Martin’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to its inventory. The government has decided to obtain the weapon system directly from the US rather than procuring the same capability through a consortium led by the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ). The acquisition is part of Poland’s Homar program that seeks to obtain a squadron-level fire module of multiple rocket launchers. The program aims to provide the Polish Army with a capability of striking targets at distances of up to 180 miles. HIMARS is a highly-mobile artillery rocket system offering the firepower of MLRS on a wheeled chassis. HIMARS is operated by a crew of three – driver, gunner and section chief – but the computer-based fire control system enables a crew of two or even a single soldier to load and unload the system. In addition to the standard MLRS round, HIMARS is capable of launching the entire MLRS family of munitions, including the extended-range rocket, the reduced-range practice rocket and all future variants. HIMARS carries a single six-pack of MLRS rockets, or one army tactical missile system (ATACMS) missile.
The Philippine Navy (PN) is set to take delivery of its first two AW-159 ‘Wildcat’ helicopters in March 2019. The ‘Wildcat’ comes in an Army and Navy version. Both AW159 versions will share a common fully-marinized airframe, with provisions for a range of mission and role-based equipment with an estimated 90% commonality. The PN has opted for an anti-submarine warfare package to protect its frigates currently being constructed by Hyundai Heavy Industries. The AW159 helicopters will be able to carry rockets and gun pods, and the naval version adds BAE’s Sting Ray light torpedoes. The helicopter is capable flying at a speed of 291 km/h and has a range of 777 km. The contract for the two anti-submarine helicopters is worth over $101 million and includes munition, mission essential equipment, and integrated logistic support.
Watch: The Islamic Republic of Iran has overhauled and upgraded 10 of its Su-22s.