The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends limiting
the annual production quantities of JSF to no more than 24 aircraft
per year until each variant’s basic flying qualities have
been demonstrated in flight testing now scheduled in the 2010
time frame. DOD non-concurred, believing its current strategy
provides a balance of technical risk, financial constraints.
The first MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft arrived at Creech
Air Force Base, NV this week after completing flight tests in
California. This is the first of 18 aircraft to be operated
by the 42 attack squadron from this base. The squadron will
soon transition under the 432nd Wing, the first wing totally
dedicated to Predator and Reaper operations. General Atomics
is currently producing five MQ-9s and, this week, received additional
$43 million for the delivery of two more MQ-9 Reapers, two ground
control stations plus mission equipment and support. These aircraft
are scheduled for delivery by December 2008.
Boeing selected The Pratt & Whitney PW4000- 94" engine
to power the KC-767 Advanced Tanker that will compete in the
U.S. Air Force's KC-X Tanker competition. If selected by the
USAF, it will be first military application for the PW4000 engine
family. According to Tom Farmer, president, military engine
programs "The PW4000 engine has an exceptional track record
with commercial customers operating globally and we are confident
it will exceed Boeing and the United States Air Force's performance
expectations." The PW4000 family of engines includes models
with thrust ratings ranging from 52,000 pounds to 98,000 pounds,
operating commercially on Boeing 747, 767 and MD-11 and the
Airbus A300/310 series. To date more than 2,100 PW4000-94"
engines have been delivered, logging more than 78 million flight
hours. The PW4062A for the Boeing 767 delivers 62,000 pounds
of thrust per engine. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies
Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.
India and Russia have signed a us$800 million program to improve
the air-combat capability of its MiG-29s. 78 of the aircraft
currently deployed with the IAF will receive a new phased array
radar and long range (beyond visual range) missiles. The IAF
is also in the final stages of negotiating a 1.5-billion euro
deal with French company Thales for upgrading 52 of its Mirage
2000H fighters to extend their service life by 25 years.
RAF Deploys Litening III Pods with
Iraq based Tornado GR4
The RAF has fielded the newly acquired Litening III targeting
pods in January 2007 with its Tornado GR4 strike aircraft operated
in support of operations in Iraq (Operation Telic). Initial
in-theatre feedback indicates that the results are of the highest
quality. QinetiQ, in partnership with the RAF Joint Test &
Evaluation Group, is the system integrator for the integration
of the Litening III into the GR4. The company carried out an
extensive five months series of rig, ground and eventual UK
based flight trials at MOD Boscombe Down. The LITENING III is
the latest generation of targeting and navigation pod that delivers
laser spot detection and tracking, and long-range data and video
Earlier this month Raytheon and the PM Maneuver Ammunition
Systems at the US Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering
Center, Picatinny Arsenal, conducted the first beyond-line-of-sight
firing test of the shaped charge Mid-Range Munition (MRM-CE).
The test demonstrated the unique capabilities of the dual- mode
imaging infrared / digital semi-active laser seeker to home-in
on a target using offset desigtantion procedure. During the
test the MRM-CE hit a T-72 target at a range of 3.5 miles (5.2
ER Tested with Advanced Technology Firing Post
Last month MBDA carried out six test firings of the MILAN ER
(Extended Response) missile. The tests were conducted at firing
ranges between 2,000 to 3,000 meters against stationary and
moving targets under realistic land combat conditions. Firings
were performed using the ADT (ADvanced Technologies) firing
post, recently qualified by the DGA. During the test firings,
the missile's flying properties and performance of the guidance
and control characteristics were also verified. The tests were
conducted at the French Defense Armament Agency's test center
(DGA) test center in Bourges in central France (ETBS).
Orders More Cougars
Force Protection, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRPT) announced today a receipt
of a contract modification to fund the delivery of additional
22 Cougar Mastiff Protected Patrol Vehicles (Mastiff PPV) to
the British Forces in Iraq. The order will bring the total number
of vehicles produced for the British government to 108 at an
approximate value of $70.1 million. Force Protection expects
to deliver the vehicles by the end of June 2007. First deliveries
of the Mastiff PPV ordered under the original contract occurred
in November 2006.
Army to Evaluate C-RAM Gun System
The US Army is seeking countermeasures to defeat incoming enemy
rocket, artillery and mortar (RAM) attacks. As part of the Extended
Area Protection & Survivability (EAPS) program the Army
plans to evaluate gun-based countermeasures currently under
development at Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK). The company received
a $4.6 million contract from the U.S. Army Armament Research,
Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), to develop and demonstrate
a 50mm gun and ammunition system that will be fired from a derivative
of the ATK's Bushmaster cannon. The projectile will employ course-correction
techniques based on commands received via data-link.
Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) will demonstrate the use of the
Viper Strike munition as a stand-off precision guided weapon
deployed from the AC-130 gunship. Viper Strike has been operated
on Unmanned Vehicles, particularly the MQ5A Hunter. In March
2007 the company received a $7 million contract modification
to fund this demonstration.
The US Army intends to upgrade and streamline its Patriot fire
units with configuration-3 capability, comprising an affordable
missile guidance system which improves performance and overcome
the existing system's obsolescence. This configuration will
be integrated throughout the units deployed worldwide, as part
of the "Pure Fleet" effort launched in 2006.
Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) Integrated Defense Systems (IDS),
the prime contractor for the Patriot system carry out the testing
and preparation for the upgrade, introducing Advanced Capability-2
(PAC-2) configuration to existing Patriot battalions under a
recently awarded $38.6 million Army contract.
EADS Defence & Security (DS) is fitting Eurocopter EC
135 helicopters deployed by the German federal police with the
HELLAS (Helicopter Laser Radar) obstacle warning system. The
first two of 16 rescue helicopters were handed over to the customer.
The remaining helicopters will be delivered and equipped with
the system within the next two years.