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USS Coronado (LCS 4) and Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 (VX-1) completed the first comprehensive Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) for the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned rotary wing platform on June 29, 2018. Results from this IOT&E will inform decision-makers on how best to integrate the Navy’s newest unmanned helicopter with littoral combat ships (LCS) and other platforms.
Finland has selected Israel's Advanced Naval Attack Missile to replace its current MTO85M system, a derivative of Swedish RBS15 that will reach the end of its life cycle in the 2020s. The new missile will be installed on existing Hamina-class missile boats and the new Squadron 2020 vessels, the first will be launched in 2019. According to the Finnish MOD, the missile will also be usable from vehicular platforms on land and against land targets.
Facing a growing aerial threat from unmanned systems, rockets, artillery, and mortars, the U.S. Army is accelerating the fielding of an Interim, Mobile Short Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) system to complement the tactical formations of its Stryker brigades. Leonardo DRS, Inc. was selected to provide such IM-SHORAD Mission Equipment Package (MEP) for installation Stryker A1 vehicles. The package includes onboard radar system, a turreted weapon system mounting missiles, guns, and non-kinetic (jammers and Electronic attack) capabilities. This system will provide the “detect-identify-track-defeat” capability required to defeat UAS, rotary-wing and fixed-wing threats.
Lockheed Martin's Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) system has successfully passed its Defense Acquisition Board review and achieved milestone C. The signed Acquisition Decision Memorandum approves the JAGM system to enter into Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP). JAGM flight tests, including ten Limited User Test flights,...
The U.S. Navy is testing an upgraded weapon kit for the KC-130J Harvest HAWK to provide close support for Marine and special operations forces. The HH+ is an upgrade to the original Harvest HAWK roll-on, roll-off precision strike package weapons system. The team also develops an engineering change proposal (ECP) to improve the Hellfire weapons capacity on the aircraft and ensure the KJ platform is sensor-shooter, electronic warfare and digitally interoperable capable.
The U.S. Marine Corps has selected a new wheeled, amphibious combat vehicle (ACV) for the service and awarded BAE Systems a $198 million contract to deliver the initial 30 vehicles, with options for additional 174 vehicles, what could lead up to a $1.2 billion procurement. Based on the Italian SuperAV design introduced by Iveco Defense Vehicles, ACV provides exceptional mobility in all terrains, a suspended interior seat structure for 13 embarked Marines, blast-mitigating positions for a crew of three, and improved survivability and force protection over currently fielded systems.
Four Multinational Teams Bid for £1.5 billion UK-MOD Operational Readiness Training Services Contract
The British Ministry of Defense has selected four groups to bid for its upcoming Air Support to Defense Operational Training (ASDOT) requirement. Each of the groups selected for the program has teamed with training services specialists from the USA, Canada, and Israel to deliver adversary aircraft and weapons. The winning group will operate various high-performance jets simulating aggressor fighter and attack planes, cruise missiles and electronic combat to training British air, land and naval forces. A final selection is expected in September 2018 followed by the contract award in 2020 that could be worth up to £1.5 billion over 15 years.
The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) will soon equip their vehicles with a newly developed Australian made counter-IED device called ‘SilverShield’. According to a contract awarded by the Australian defense ministry to L-3 Micreo, the company will deliver 13,000 communications jammer units to the Afghan forces, bringing the total sales of Australian C-IED jammers to Afghanistan to A$85 million.
Israel's armor specialist Plasan was selected to design and produce armor protection for Britain's new Type 26 frigate. The ships will be built by BAE Systems in Glasgow, Scotland and are considered among the world's most advanced combat ships. Armor production for the first three vessels will begin this year. Plasan's advanced armor technology has been implemented to protect armored vehicles and personnel, transport aircraft and helicopters as well as naval vessels. The Royal Navy plans to replace eight Type 23 Duke class anti-submarine frigates with six Type 26s, based on BAE Systems' 'Global Combat Ship' design.
Airbus is developing a rotary-wing unmanned aerial system for naval application, under a newly awarded contract signed with the French armament directorate DGA. Under the program the company's VSR700 drone will be demonstrated on board ships, to evaluate its use with future frigates.
General Dynamics European Land Systems signed a contract with the Romanian government today, to deliver up to 227 Piranha 5 wheeled armored vehicles in six different configurations to the Romanian Armed Forces. The contract value exceeds US$1 billion. The vehicles will be produced locally in Romania by the Romanian company Uzina Mecanică București (UMB) and original vehicle designer, Mowag.
The State Department has approved a request from Japan for an initial buy of Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA missiles, for an estimated cost of $133.3 million. The sale that includes only four missiles will likely provide missiles for test and evaluation of Japan's current missile defense assets, likely the AEGIS equipped missile destroyers that currently carry SM-3 Block IB missiles.
Gibbs & Cox naval architecture and marine engineering firm (G&C) will support the functional design of new, Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC), a new class of frigate based on the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship ordered by the Royal Navy of Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. Army has selected four companies to move to the second phase of the Squad, Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET), to develop an unmanned ground vehicle assisting dismounted troops with equipment transport. One of the winners, HDT Global (HDT) said it will provide a new, electrically driven 6x6 vehicle known as 'Hunter WOLF'.