The UK has mothballed a quarter of its AgustaWestland-Boeing WAH-64 Apache Longbow AH.1 helicopters following the end of combat operations in Afghanistan. According to IHS Jane's, 16 of the Army's 66 Apaches were placed into storage, leaving a force of 50 helicopters. These helicopters are likely to provide replacement parts, maintaining the operational fleet until the next upgrading of the British Apache fleet.
The biggest saving reported in 2014 was in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and F-135 engine program, together, these procurement programs decreased $7.4 billion in the cost of Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E), procurement and infrastructure spending over the 32 production years (from $398.5 bn to $391.1 bn). The current average F-35A price is $108 million (with engine), $4 million lower than lot 7 prices.
Boeing and the Saab Group have conducted a feasibility test launching a Small Diameter Bomb (SDB I) GPS guided aerial bomb from coupled to an M-26 rocket launched from an MLRS rocket launcher. The Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) allows the artillery system to reach targets from significantly longer distances, and engage hard-to-reach targets, while maintaining the Small Diameter Bomb’s flight maneuverability and accuracy.
General Dynamics Land Systems and Thales Australia are teaming to bid to the Australian Defence Land 400 Phase 2 - Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability (MCRC) Request For Tender. The Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) fleet will support seven mission roles identified within the LAND 400 Operational Concept Document (OCD). The Australian tender seek a military-off-the-shelf (MOTS) based capability, and maximise Australian industry content. Through-Life Support for the MCRC is being acquired under a collateral contract. First delivery of the CRV is expected in 2020 with first unit achieving initial operational capability (IOC) three years later.
Ricardo is establishing a specialized defense unit - Ricardo Defense Systems (RDS) - to be located at its existing Detroit Technology Campus in Van Buren Township, Michigan. Completing the extensive approval process required for a Special Security Agreement with the USA, enabling the company to expand its role in the US defence market. The company said it is backing the move with the necessary investments in people, processes, and facilities.
South Korea defense ministry reaffirmed today its long-held stance of not purchasing an advanced missile-defense battery from the United States amid growing calls from its ruling party lawmakers to introduce it to better guard against North Korea's missiles.
Dassault Aviation and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will be ‘joint prime contractors’ to manufacture 118 Rafale fighters in India clearing the way as to who will assume responsibility for timely delivery and quality of the aircraft. The decision was described by Dassault chief executive Eric Trappier as a ‘new development’, implying that it may have been arrived at during the last few days or weeks.
The Italian Air Force will be the launch customer of the P.1HH HammerHead Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). The manufacturer, Piaggio Aerospace will deliver three UAS systems – 6 air vehicles and 3 ground control stations – complete with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) configuration to the Italian Air Force in early 2016.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is introducing a new maritime surveillance, and anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare aircraft at Aero India 2015. The platform is based on a specially modified Bombardier Global 5000 business jet, configured with the new generation ELI-3360 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) system.