On March 15, 2019, Raytheon Australia and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KONGSBERG) joined Defence Minister, the Hon. Christopher Pyne and South Australian Premier, the Hon. Steven Marshall, to announce that the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System, NASAMS, was selected for the Australian Government’s Short Range Ground Based Air Defence program known as LAND19 Phase 7B. KONGSBERG is a subcontractor to Raytheon Australia.
NASAMS was in 2017 chosen for a Single Supplier Limited Tender process and has gone through a Risk Mitigation Activity, and subsequently passed Government approval marked at today’s event in Adelaide. NASAMS is a fully networked and distributed system allowing the Australian Army to counter complex air threats beyond visual range and, considerably increase protection of Australian soldiers.
«This announcement lays the foundation for further expansion in Australia and the region. KONGSBERG sees more significant opportunities in Australia and have been a partner to the Australian Defence Force for 30 years starting with the Penguin anti-ship missile program. We opened an office in Canberra last year and is increasing our staff in the country», says Eirik Lie, President Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS.
«NASAMS is the most sold air defence system in its class in the last 10 years. Its continuous evolution enables new capabilities to be implemented in the system», says Kjetil Reiten Myhra, Executive Vice President Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has signed a $1.98Bn (£1.51Bn) deal to purchase five E-7 Wedgetail aircraft. The E-7 Wedgetail fleet will replace the current E-3D Sentry aircraft and ensure the continued delivery of the UK’s Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) capability.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: «The E-7 Wedgetail provides a technological edge in an increasingly complex battlespace, allowing our pilots to track and target adversaries more effectively than ever. This deal also strengthens our vital military partnership with Australia. We will operate the same state-of-the-art F-35 Lightning II jets and world-class Type-26 warships, and this announcement will help us work even more closely together to tackle the global threats we face».
The new fleet will be able to track multiple airborne and maritime targets at the same time, using the information it gathers to provide situational awareness and direct other assets such as fighter jets and warships. The E-7 Wedgetail is a proven aircraft that is currently in service with the Royal Australian Air Force and has been used on operations in the battle against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
As part of the plan for a managed transition to E-7 Wedgetail, it has been decided to reduce the existing E-3D Sentry fleet from six to four aircraft by removing the two long-term unserviceable assets from the active fleet. Doing this now will enable the Sentry Force to focus resources on providing better availability from the remaining four aircraft, to better assure the future Sentry Fleet output, including our commitments to the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force and the provision of NATO Assurance Measures missions.
Speaking following the announcement, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, said: «Today’s announcement about the procurement of five E-7 ‘Wedgetail’ Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft is excellent news for both the Royal Air Force (RAF) and wider Defence. This world-class capability, already proven with our Royal Australian Air Force partners, will significantly enhance our ability to deliver decisive airborne command and control and builds on the reputation of our E-3D Sentry Force. Along with Defence’s investment in other cutting-edge aircraft, E-7 Wedgetail will form a core element of the Next Generation Air Force, able to overcome both current and future complex threats».
The E-7 Wedgetail is based on a standard Boeing 737 airliner modified to carry a sophisticated Northrop Grumman active electronically-scanned radar. This can cover four million square kilometres over a 10-hour period.
Lockheed Martin delivered the first of four HC-130J Combat King II aircraft on March 21, 2019, to representatives from the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing (RQW).
This HC-130J Combat King II will be operated by the 102nd Rescue Squadron (RQS) at Francis S. Grabreski Air National Guard Base, New York. The 102nd RQS, which is part of the 106th Rescue Wing (RQW), currently operates a legacy fleet of HC-130P/N variant Combat King I aircraft, which will be replaced by four new HC-130Js. The squadron will use its HC-130Js to refuel the New York Air National Guard’s 101st RQS HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, which were manufactured by Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky business in Stratford, Connecticut.
Like others in the U.S. Air Force Rescue community, the 106th RQW lives by the motto, «That Others May Live», which reflects its mission of supporting combat search and rescue anywhere in the world. Crews from the 106th RQW rely on HC-130s to extend the range of combat search and rescue helicopters by providing air refueling in hostile or contested airspace. Other mission capabilities include performing tactical delivery of pararescue teams, small bundles, zodiac watercraft or four-wheel drive all-terrain vehicles; and providing direct assistance to survivors in advance of a recovery vehicle.
«The HC-130 Hercules aircraft has been an essential part of the 106th’s Rescue Wing’s fleet for many decades, supporting these brave Airmen in meeting their mission requirements time and time again», said Ray Burick, vice president of Domestic Programs for Lockheed Martin’s Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business. «The Lockheed Martin team is proud to provide the N.Y. Air National Guard with new HC-130Js that deliver increased power, capability and performance to support their crews in doing what they do best: saving lives and protecting the people they serve».
The HC-130J is the only dedicated fixed-wing personnel recovery platform in the Air Force and Air National Guard. The HC-130J supports missions in adverse weather and geographic environments, including reaching austere locations. The HC-130J is also tasked for airdrop, airland, and helicopter air-to-air refueling and forward-area ground refueling missions. It also supports humanitarian aid operations, disaster response, security cooperation/aviation advisory, emergency aeromedical evacuation and noncombatant evacuation operations.
The HC-130J is one of eight production variants of the C-130J Super Hercules, the current production model of the legendary C-130 Hercules aircraft. With 400+ aircraft delivered, the C-130J is the airlifter of choice for 20 nations. The global Super Hercules fleet has more than 1.9 million flight hours of experience supporting almost any mission requirement — any time, any place.
The U.S. government operates the largest C-130J Super Hercules fleet in the world. This delivery continues the U.S. government’s transition to the C-130J as the common platform across Air Mobility Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Combat Command, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Marine Corps. The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command currently operate a mixed fleet of C-130J and older Hercules aircraft.
While Soldiers wear camouflage to blend into the environment, it is also important to ensure ground vehicles are not easily detected. The Army now has a new advanced coating system for ground vehicles that suppresses ground vehicle heat signatures, making the vehicles much more difficult to detect.
The Ground Vehicle Coating System was developed by a joint venture between the Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVCS), the Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and the Army’s Manufacturing Technology program to reduce detectable infrared signatures that are emitted from vehicles, making them much more difficult to detect and track. This new coating also mitigates the effects of chemical agents that adversaries may use to injure, incapacitate or kill Soldiers.
«This technology is significant because it embraces the spirit and direction of the Army Futures Command to develop, create and implement technologies that ensure dominance on the battlefield. The technology will be the foundation of a variety of alternatives that will meet and overcome emerging threats to Army platforms», said Thomas Wagner, CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center engineer.
The Army’s Manufacturing Technology program, known as ManTech, provided the necessary funding to work with industry to develop, refine, test and validate a process for manufacturing Chemical Agent Resistant Coating-compatible paint products that aid in vehicle detectability avoidance.
In addition to reducing the cost of the coating per gallon by approximately 75 percent from when the program originally started, the coating can be applied to vehicles in existing facilities, including depots and arsenals, using equipment already in the Army’s inventory. This will decrease application costs and increase production output.
“Working with industry allowed for quicker implementation of manufacturing techniques, which enabled the product to be produced on a larger scale. Concurrent Technologies Corporation’s long history of taking engineered products and optimizing designs and processes to reduce per unit prices will allow the Army to gain an advantage that it otherwise may not have,” Wagner said.
By working with the Army, CTC was able to tailor the GVCS to each system’s requirements, allowing for future capabilities as threats change. The new coating does not require additional space, weight or power requirements, which is especially important as the Army focuses on next-generation vehicles that are not only more lethal and survivable than current platforms, but also smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient.
While CCDC ARL managed formulating, testing, verification and validation of the technology, ongoing efforts will be coordinated with the CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center to manage requirements, specifications and updates for the technology to enhance its properties for emerging threats and future needs.
In 2018, the team worked with the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to develop gray color variants for small watercraft, which resulted in significant cost avoidance for SOCOM. The coating system has joint service appeal since it can be formulated in multiple color variants.
The GVCS program has transitioned to Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems, which plans to implement the GVCS across its portfolio, including the Bradley fighting vehicle, Abrams main battle tank and the Stryker family of vehicles. First Unit Equipped is scheduled for Second Quarter FY21.
The CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center, CCDC ARL and the ManTech Program Management Office work closely with Army leadership to identify projects that support the Army’s greater science and technology strategy. CCDC was formerly known as the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. In a recent realignment, CCDC moved from the Army Materiel Command to the Army Futures Command.
The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, formerly known as the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), has the mission to lead in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our Nation’s wars and come home safely. The command collaborates across the Future Force Modernization Enterprise and its own global network of domestic and international partners in academia, industry and other government agencies to accomplish this mission. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.
The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant helicopter achieved first flight on March 21, 2019, at Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach, Florida site. This revolutionary aircraft, developed by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, and Boeing, will help inform the next generation of military helicopters as part of the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift program.
«Defiant is designed to fly at nearly twice the speed and has twice the range of conventional helicopters while retaining the very best, if not better low-speed and hover performance of conventional helicopters», said Dan Spoor, vice president, Sikorsky Future Vertical Lift. «This design provides for exceptional performance in the objective area, where potential enemy activity places a premium on maneuverability, survivability and flexibility. We are thrilled with the results of today’s flight and look forward to an exciting flight test program».
With its two coaxial main rotors and rear-mounted pusher propulsor, SB>1 Defiant is unlike production rotorcraft available today. It represents a leap forward in technology to achieve the U.S. government’s desire for vast increases in speed and range, while improving maneuverability and survivability in a cost-effective way. SB>1 Defiant aircraft’s use of X2 Technology will allow the Army to penetrate from strategic standoff and exploit gaps created in complex Anti-Access Area Denial systems against near-peer adversaries.
«The design and development of Defiant has revealed the capability advancement that is truly possible for Future Vertical Lift», said David Koopersmith, vice president and general manager, Boeing Vertical Lift. «Clearly, the performance, speed, and agility of Defiant will be a game changer on the battlefield and we look forward to demonstrating for the U.S. Army the tremendous capabilities of this aircraft».
The helicopter is participating in the Army’s Joint Multi-Role-Medium Technology Demonstrator program. Data from SB>1 Defiant will help the Army develop requirements for new utility helicopters expected to enter service in the early 2030s. This flight marks a key milestone for the Sikorsky-Boeing team, and is the culmination of significant design, simulation and test activity to further demonstrate the capability of the X2 Technology.
X2 Technology is scalable to a variety of military missions such as attack and assault, long-range transportation, infiltration and resupply. SB>1 Defiant is the third X2 aircraft in less than 10 years.
The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant helicopter completed its first flight on March 21, 2019
The Brimstone 3 ultra-high precision missile system has successfully achieved a major milestone by completing its first firing trial at the Vidsel Trials range in Sweden.
Whilst enduring extreme weather conditions with temperatures below -30°C, the missile was surface launched against a pick-up truck target.
All trials objectives were fully achieved with the missile proving, through a telemetry unit, full closed loop guidance with the seeker progressing into target acquisition and track.
Russell Jamieson, Chief Engineer, said: «The trial further proves Brimstone’s fully flexible platform approach, providing a «one missile, multiple platform» capability, for surface launch, fast jet, Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS), attack helicopter, land and maritime platforms, all utilising the same missile. The result really was a tremendous success, and thanks to the hard work and determination of the whole team».
The demonstrated surface to surface capability builds on the advanced guidance and targeting abilities developed during the Brimstone programme and from hundreds of successful operational firings against targets in structures, main battle tanks/armoured vehicles, maritime vessels, trucks, fast moving and manoeuvring cars/motorbikes and individual targets in the open.
Brimstone 3 is the product of the Brimstone Capability Sustainment Programme (CSP), announced in March 2018, that will provide new Brimstone missiles for the UK Armed Forces in order to replenish the country’s inventory and to maintain the UK’s battlefield edge into the future. It will also provide the ability to fully meet current and future export supply needs.
The new-build Brimstone missiles will incorporate all of the improved functionalities offered by the spiral upgrades of Brimstone that have taken place over recent years which include the highly capable Dual Mode Semi-Active Laser (SAL)/millimetric Wave (mmW) seeker, enhanced autopilot, and the new insensitive munition compliant rocket motor and warhead, all combining to provide unique performance capabilities of Brimstone against the most challenging of targets. The new hardware standard will also enable the addition of further capability upgrades in the future.
The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) of the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully completed a test series of the David’s Sling Weapon System, a missile defense system that is a central part of lsrael’s multilayer antimissile array.
This test series, designated David’s Sling Test-6 (DST-6) was the sixth series of tests of the David’s Sling Weapon System.
The test series examined capabilities and performance of the entire David’s Sling Weapon System. These successful tests are an important milestone in operational capability of Israel to defend itself against existing and future threats in the region.
The information collected during the test is being analyzed by program engineers and will be used for ongoing development and fielding of the David’s Sling Weapon System. This test series provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities to defend against large-caliber rockets and other developing threats.
The David’s Sling Weapon System project is a cooperative effort between the United States and Israel to develop a defense against large caliber rockets and short-range ballistic missiles.
The Israel Missile Defense Organization of the Israel Ministry of Defense and the US Missile Defense Agency, Successfully Completed a Series of Interception Tests of the David’s Sling Aerial Defense System pic.twitter.com/L2snuM0hnn
A team of BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and MBDA engineers enhancing the capability of the UK’s fleet of F-35 Lightning II aircraft by commencing work on the integration of next generation weapons.
BAE Systems has received an initial funding award from Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor on the F-35 Lightning II programme, to start integration efforts for MBDA’s Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile and SPEAR precision surface attack missile.
Under this initial package of work BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin will also complete further integration work with MBDA on Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) and with Raytheon on Paveway IV, initially integrated in support of delivering Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for the UK.
Tom Fillingham, Senior Vice-President – U.S. Programmes of BAE Systems, said: «BAE Systems engineers played a crucial role in supporting the UK to achieve Initial Operating Capability for its F-35 fleet. Now, working alongside our partners including Lockheed Martin and MBDA, we are using our expertise to take that capability even further with advanced weapons systems such as Meteor and SPEAR. We are extremely proud of the critical contribution UK engineers are playing for both the UK and the global F-35 fleet through the development, production and sustainment of the aircraft».
Cliff Waldwyn, Head of Combat Air, Group Business Development of MBDA, said: «This is a significant milestone for the UK Combat Air’s capability. This initial package of work officially commences the integration of Meteor and SPEAR and will enhance the operational capability of the UK’s Lightning Force in the future; it is also a positive step for the wider F-35 enterprise as it adds additional capability choice for international customers. MBDA’s integration team have worked well with our BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin colleagues and we plan to build on this excellent foundation into the future on this follow-on modernisation work».
Last year, a pilot from 17 Squadron, the RAF’s F-35 Test and Evaluation Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California took to the skies for the first time with UK weapons, including ASRAAM and Paveway IV.
This followed work carried out during the F-35 Lightning II programme’s System Development and Demonstration (SDD) initial testing phase to develop and certify weapons capabilities by an integrated test team. This team includes Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Raytheon and MBDA, working alongside the UK Air Warfare Centre to clear weapons for Operational Testing by Royal Air Force/Royal Navy (RAF/RN) pilots.
The contract for the construction and maintenance of twelve new mine countermeasures vessels has been awarded to the Naval Group/ECA Robotics consortium. These vessels, for both the Belgian and Dutch Navies, will be equipped with modular deployment drones. The two governments gave their agreement on March 15th. The European tender was managed by the Belgian Defense but both countries were part of the bid evaluation team.
In early 2018, the Belgian Minister of Defense and his Dutch counterpart signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly acquire a new minehunting capability so as to reduce the purchase and maintenance price per ship. The current ships are over thirty years old and will reach the end of their service life in 2023.
The future capability will use unmanned systems on the surface, above water level and under water to detect and neutralize mines. Thanks to this new method of work, the mothership and her crew will be able to stay out of the minefield because only drones will be active there.
Naval mines are relatively inexpensive and widely available weapons. They can easily prevent access to ports and waterways. An incident on the Scheldt or in the North Sea can represent a daily economic loss of fifty million euros. Ensuring the safety of waterways and ports is therefore crucial for our economy. Each week, our ships are engaged as they participate in international missions.
The Belgian Navy has been recognized for over 50 years for its expertise in the field of mine countermeasures. This modernization program will strengthen its position within NATO as an expert and pioneer in the field.
The new system will cost more than two billion euros. Our Navy is waiting for the first of its six ships in 2023. The first Dutch ship will be delivered a year later.
Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Marlborough, Massachusetts, is awarded a $402,658,015 fixed-price-incentive (firm target) modification to previously-awarded contract N00024-14-C-5315 to exercise options for Air and Missile Defense Radar Program (AMDR) Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP). This modification will provide for three AMDR LRIP units. The LRIP units will be deployed on DDG-51 Flight III-class ships. Work will be performed in Marlborough, Massachusetts, and is expected to be completed by March 2023. Fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (U.S. Navy) funding in the amount of $402,658,015 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.
AN/SPY-6(V) is the U.S. Navy’s next generation integrated air and missile defense radar. Currently in production, and on track for the DDG-51 Flight III destroyer, SPY-6 provides the Navy with unmatched protection against air, surface, and ballistic missile threats.
The radar is built with individual ‘building blocks’ called Radar Modular Assemblies (RMA). Each RMA is a self-contained radar in a 2’×2’×2’ box. These RMAs can stack together to form any size array to fit the mission requirements of any ship. This technology makes SPY-6 the Navy’s first truly scalable radar.
Scalable – can be configured for other ships based on mission requirements;
Capable – designed to counter large and complex raids;
Digital beamforming – provides exceptional capability in high-clutter and jamming environments;
Reprogrammable – able to adapt to new mission or emerging threats;