First SPY-6 Radar

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, delivered the first AN/SPY-6(V)1 radar array for installation on the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125), the U.S. Navy’s first Flight III guided-missile destroyer. The SPY-6 family of radars performs simultaneous air, missile and surface defense on seven types of U.S. Navy ships.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, delivered the first AN/SPY-6(V)1 radar array for installation on the future USS Jack H. Lucas (DDG-125), the U.S. Navy’s first Flight III guided-missile destroyer

«SPY-6 will change how the Navy conducts surface fleet operations», said Captain Jason Hall, program manager for Above-Water Sensors for the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems. «Our ships will be able to see farther, react quicker and defend against threats in a way we couldn’t before».

The 14′ × 14’/4.27 m × 4.27 m modular array was transported by truck from the company’s automated 30,000-square-foot/2,787 square-meter Radar Development Facility in Andover, Massachusetts, to Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

«This is the start of what will be a steady stream of SPY-6 array deliveries to the shipyard», said Kim Ernzen, vice president of Naval Power at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. «Threats to Navy ships are getting smaller and faster. SPY-6 will extend the Navy’s reach against dangers like drones, ballistic missiles, aircraft and unmanned ships».

The SPY-6(V) family of radars delivers significantly greater range, increased accuracy, greater resistance to environmental and man-made electronic clutter, advanced electronic protection, and higher reliability than currently deployed radars.

C-UAS Weapon

Northrop Grumman Corporation has formed a strategic supplier agreement with Epirus, Inc. to offer the company’s Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) capability as a component of Northrop Grumman’s Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) systems-of-systems solution offering. The agreement augments Northrop Grumman’s advanced end-to-end C-UAS capabilities by including Epirus’ EMP systems to defeat UAS swarms, and specifically supplements the company’s suite of non-kinetic C-UAS effects.

Northrop Grumman Taps Epirus for Electromagnetic Pulse C-UAS Weapon System

«UAS threats are proliferating across the modern battlespace», said Kenn Todorov, vice president and general manager, combat systems and mission readiness, Northrop Grumman. «By integrating the Epirus EMP weapon system into our C-UAS portfolio, we continue maturing our robust, integrated, layered approach to addressing and defeating these evolving threats».

Northrop Grumman’s end-to-end C-UAS solutions deliver a layered architecture with a full complement of kinetic and non-kinetic effects, aerial and ground sensors and the battle-hardened, proven and deployed Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control (C2) system, recently selected by the U.S. Army as the interim C2 system for counter-small-UAS capabilities.

Epirus’ C-UAS EMP system – called Leonidas – is designed for static and mobile C-UAS defense and utilizes solid-state commercial semiconductor technology to deliver capability with unprecedented reduction in size and weight. This enables increased stand-off ranges and speed-of-light engagements that do not suffer from issues with magazine depth and capacity. When fired, a Leonidas creates an EMP that can be steered for precision engagements, or adjusted to sanitize a volume of terrain or sky, creating a force field effect.

«We’re excited to work closely with the Northrop Grumman team to support their C-UAS systems-of-systems solution offering», said Bo Marr, chief technology officer at Epirus. «Our unprecedented EMP capabilities will complement this offering as we continue to look to the future to understand how asymmetric threats will evolve».

Epirus Inc. is a third-year startup that develops EMP weapons for the U.S. military. Their team combines veteran experience from aerospace and the Special Operations community. Their offices are located in Los Angeles, California.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

Hybrid Electric Drive

BAE Systems has been awarded a $32 million prototype agreement by the U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) to integrate a Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) system onto a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The development program is part of the Army’s effort to increase vehicle efficiency and boost power generation to support integration of future technologies and greater mobility for combat vehicles on the battlefield.

HED systems also improve automotive performance and provide drive-by-wire mobility to support autonomy in addition to increase power generation

BAE Systems and teammate QinetiQ will use an existing Bradley Fighting Vehicle as the testbed for integrating the HED technology under the Combat Vehicle Power and Energy architecture and mobility capabilities development program. The integration work will begin this summer.

«Integrating a Hybrid Electric Drive system into combat vehicles vastly increases on-board power and provides a significant increase in mobility, lethality options, and range, all of which enable overmatching operational capabilities», said Scott Davis, vice president of BAE Systems’ Ground Vehicles product line. «BAE Systems has invested and collaborated with industry for more than 40 years to advance HED technology and develop vehicle architectures and demonstrators. A systems approach to vehicle electrification enables break-through capabilities in the current and future platforms our warfighters need to maintain battlefield superiority».

HED systems also improve automotive performance and provide drive-by-wire mobility to support autonomy in addition to increase power generation. With minor platform modifications, HED technology can be configured for various vehicles including the Bradley, the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, the M109A7 Paladin self-propelled howitzers, and the family of Multiple Launch Rocket Systems.

QinetiQ is developing the electric cross drive transmission (Modular E-X-Drive), a key component of an HED system for a tracked combat vehicles. The QinetiQ Modular E-X-Drive has been tested and proven in a wide range of tracked vehicles and weight classes over the last decade. The designs have completed extensive lab and vehicle tests, including safety certifications. BAE Systems and QinetiQ have a long-standing relationship in the development of vehicle HED technologies.

The engineering activities of the HED system will primarily occur at the BAE Systems’ Sterling Heights, Michigan, and San Jose, California, facilities.  Build is planned to be completed at the BAE Systems’ Sterling Heights prototype shop.

Minotaur IV Rocket

Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully launched its Minotaur IV space launch vehicle and placed a National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) spacecraft into orbit at 9:46 a.m. EDT on July 15. The Minotaur IV was launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0B at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

Northrop Grumman’s Minotaur IV Rocket successfully launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility this morning

«This mission marks the 27th consecutive successful launch for the company’s Minotaur product line which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year», said Kurt Eberly, director, launch vehicles, Northrop Grumman. «Minotaur’s record of success along with its ability to responsively launch from multiple spaceports continues to be a valuable asset for our customers».

The NROL-129 launch (L-129) was the seventh Minotaur IV flight. The Minotaur IV is capable of launching payloads of up to 4,000 pounds (or 1,800 kilograms) to low earth orbit. This mission’s Minotaur IV configuration included three decommissioned Peacekeeper stages and a Northrop Grumman manufactured Orion 38 solid fuel upper stage. The Minotaur rockets are manufactured at Northrop Grumman’s facilities in Chandler, Arizona; Vandenberg, California; and Clearfield and Magna, Utah.

The Minotaur family of launch vehicles is based on government-furnished Peacekeeper and Minuteman rocket motors that Northrop Grumman has integrated with modern avionics and other subsystems to produce a cost-effective, responsive launcher based on flight-proven hardware. Minotaur rockets have launched from ranges in Alaska, California, Florida and Virginia.

The vehicle used to launch the L-129 mission was procured under the OSP-3 contract administered by the U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise Small Launch and Targets Division at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. Minotaur vehicles are currently available to customers under the OSP-4 contract.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

Northrop Grumman successfully launched its Minotaur IV Rocket into orbit this morning, at 9:46 a.m. ET

Orbital Outpost

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), the global aerospace and national security leader owned by Eren and Fatih Ozmen, was awarded a contract to repurpose SNC’s Shooting Star transport vehicle as a proposed commercial solution for an Unmanned Orbital Outpost – essentially a scalable, autonomous space station for experiments and logistics demonstrations – by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). SNC’s Shooting Star transport vehicle serves as the core structure for the proposed design.

Ozmens’ SNC Selected by the Department of Defense to Design, Develop Unmanned Orbital Outpost Prototype

The versatility of the Dream Chaser spaceplane and Shooting Star technologies and subsystems allow for greater flexibility and modularity both internally and externally for orbital outpost mission requirements. For DIU, this design leverages commercial programs and private investment at a fraction of the cost and schedule of building government-owned and operated systems. Repurposing space hardware reduces the time to achieve a minimal operating capability, orbital debris and the cost of launching dedicated buses to support subsequent mission requirements.

«We’re excited by the multi-mission nature of Shooting Star», said SNC CEO Fatih Ozmen. «It was originally developed for NASA resupply missions to the International Space Station, and since then we keep identifying new capabilities and solutions it offers to a wide variety of customers. The possible applications for Shooting Star are really endless».

Shooting Star is a 16-foot attachment to Dream Chaser developed for NASA Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) missions to provide extra storage for payloads and to facilitate cargo disposal upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. However, the transport vehicle’s unique design also offers free-flyer and satellite capabilities for large payloads with high-power capacity. It can also support logistics services to Low-Earth orbit (LEO) and cislunar destinations.

«The current Shooting Star is already designed with significant capabilities for an orbital outpost and by adding only a few components we are able to meet Department of Defense (DoD) needs», said former NASA space shuttle commander and retired USAF pilot Steve Lindsey, now senior vice president of strategy for SNC’s Space Systems business area. «We are proud to offer our transport vehicle to DoD as a free-flying destination for experimentation and testing, expanding beyond its current payload service capabilities for Dream Chaser cargo missions».

The proposed orbital outpost will be initially established in LEO with guidance, navigation and control for sustained free-flight operations to host payloads and support space assembly, microgravity, experimentation, logistics, manufacturing, training, test and evaluation. Future outposts may be based in a variety of orbits including, medium-Earth orbit, highly elliptical orbit, Geosynchronous Earth Orbits (GEO) to include GEO transfer orbits, and cislunar orbits.

Fighter Jet

The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a nearly $1.2 billion contract to build the first lot of eight F-15EX Strike Eagle advanced fighter jets to help the service meet its capacity requirements and add capability to its fighter fleet. The award also covers support and one-time, upfront engineering costs. Already under construction at the Boeing F-15 production facility in St. Louis, the first two jets deliver next year.

Boeing and U.S. Air Force Ink Historic Deal for F-15EX Strike Eagle Fighter Jet

The U.S. Air Force is also announcing the overall Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract with a ceiling value of nearly $23 billion for F-15EX Strike Eagle.

«The F-15EX Strike Eagle is the most advanced version of the F-15 ever built, due in large part to its digital backbone», said Lori Schneider, Boeing F-15EX Strike Eagle program manager. «Its unmatched range, price and best-in-class payload capacity make the F-15EX Strike Eagle an attractive choice for the U.S. Air Force».

The F-15EX Strike Eagle carries more weapons than any other fighter in its class, and can launch hypersonic weapons up to 22 feet/6.7 meters long and weighing up to 7,000 pounds/3,175 kg.

To further support the digital airframe and advance rapid technology insertion, the F-15 program serves as a pathfinder for the Department of Defense’s DevSecOps initiative, aimed at developing secure, flexible and agile software. Additionally, open mission systems architecture ensures its viability for decades.

«F-15EX Strike Eagle brings together benefits of digital engineering, open mission systems and agile software development to keep it affordable and upgradable for decades to come», said Prat Kumar, Boeing vice president and F-15 program manager. «This means we can rapidly test and field new capabilities on F-15EX Strike Eagle keeping our warfighters ahead of threats».

Pilots and mechanics currently operating the F-15 anticipate transitioning to the F-15EX Strike Eagle in a matter of days as opposed to years. Future plans call for as many as 144 aircraft.

«We listened to our customer every step of the way when developing this exciting jet», said Kumar. «What we will soon deliver is a modern and robust aircraft that supports our nation’s defense by incorporating the latest systems, sensors and weapons».

Japanese Osprey

Bell Boeing delivered the first V-22 Osprey to Camp Kisarazu in Japan on July 10. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) is the first operator of the V-22 Osprey outside of the U.S. military.

A V-22 Osprey aircraft bound for the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) based at Camp Kisarazu departs Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni, Japan, July 10, 2020. The ferry flight from MCAS Iwakuni marked the delivery of the first V-22 Osprey to the Japan Self Defense Force (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

«The delivery of the first Japanese V-22 Osprey is an important milestone and represents our strong partnership with the Government of Japan», said Shane Openshaw, Boeing vice president of Tiltrotor Programs and Bell Boeing deputy program director. «The Osprey’s ability to carry out the toughest missions in the most challenging operating environments will reshape what is possible for the Japan Ground Self Defense Force».

The V-22 Osprey can conduct multiple missions not possible with traditional rotorcraft or fixed-wing aircraft, improving mission efficiency and reducing logistic costs. Japan’s V-22 Osprey has a unique configuration with a customer-specific communication system. The marinized design resists corrosion and reduces the cost of long-term maintenance. JGSDF service members have been training with U.S. Marines for the last month to gain aircraft proficiency before delivery of their first V-22 Osprey.

«We have had the pleasure of working with the JGSDF state-side to produce, develop, train and maintain their initial fleet of aircraft», said Marine Corps Colonel Matthew Kelly, program manager for the V-22 Osprey Joint Program Office (PMA-275). «This arrival marks a key step in standing up its V-22 Osprey fleet, and more importantly, the continued collaboration between our nations».

Japan joins the United States Marines, Navy, and Air Force in operating the V-22 Osprey. These aircraft support multiple missions, including the transportation of personnel, supplies, and equipment; humanitarian support and search and rescue missions; long-range personnel recovery. With more than 500,000 flight hours, the V-22 Osprey is one of the most in-demand platforms in military aviation, providing safe, survivable, combat-proven mission success only capable with the tiltrotor range, speed and versatility of the V-22 Osprey.

Tripoli

The U.S. Navy commissioned USS Tripoli (LHA-7) on July 15, 2020.

The amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7) transits the Gulf of Mexico during builder’s trials, July 15, 2019. USS Tripoli (LHA-7) is the third U.S. Navy ship named for the Battle of Derne in 1805, the first land battle the United States fought overseas (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of HII by Derek Fountain/Released)

Although the U.S. Navy canceled the traditional public commissioning ceremony due to public health and safety restrictions on large public gatherings, the U.S. Navy commissioned the USS Tripoli (LHA-7) administratively and the ship transitioned to normal operations. Meanwhile, the Navy is looking at a future opportunity to commemorate the special event with the USS Tripoli’s sponsor, crew and commissioning committee.

«USS Tripoli (LHA-7) is proof of what the teamwork of all of our people – civilian, contractor and military – can accomplish together», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite. «This ship will extend the maneuverability and lethality of our fleet to confront the many challenges of a complex world, from maintaining the sea lanes to countering instability to maintaining our edge in this era of renewed great power competition».

Rear Admiral Philip E. Sobeck, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group THREE, welcomes the U.S. Navy’s newest amphibious assault ship, and crew, to the amphibious force.

«Tripoli is an example of the continued investment in our Navy, to increase and maintain our edge on the battlefield», said Sobeck. «Congratulations to Tripoli’s crew for all of your hard work, amidst these challenging times, to reach this milestone. We welcome you to the amphibious force, of combat ready ships and battle-minded crews to go to sea and support sustained combat operations».

USS Tripoli (LHA-7) incorporates key components to provide the fleet with a more aviation-centric platform. Tripoli’s design features an enlarged hangar deck, realignment and expansion of the aviation maintenance facilities, a significant increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and increased aviation fuel capacity. The ship is the first LHA replacement ship to depart the shipyard ready to integrate the entire future air combat element of the Marine Corps, to include the Joint Strike Fighter.

Along with its pioneering aviation element, USS Tripoli (LHA-7) incorporates gas turbine propulsion plant, zonal electrical distribution, and fuel-efficient electric auxiliary propulsion systems first installed on USS Makin Island (LHD-8). USS Tripoli (LHA-7) is 844 feet in length, has a displacement of approximately 44,000 long tons, and will be capable of operating at speeds of over 20 knots.

Tripoli’s commanding officer, Captain Kevin Myers, highlighted Tripoli’s accomplishments over the past several months getting through initial sea trials. The hard work and dedication of the entire team during the past few years was evident in the successful execution of at-sea testing.

«Being the third ship to bear the Tripoli namesake is a profound honor and this crew stands ready to carry on the legacy of our longstanding Navy and Marine Corps amphibious community», said Meyers. «These sailors and Marines will pave the way for those still to come. What’s remarkable is seeing the dedication, perseverance and resilience these new plank owners have shown since day one, and more recently, through uncertain times as the Navy and nation work through a pandemic. There is no doubt in my mind that this team is ready to answer the nation’s call at any time or place».

USS Tripoli (LHA-7) is the third U.S. Navy ship to be named Tripoli. The name honors and commemorates the force of U.S. Marines and approximately 370 soldiers from 11 other nationalities who captured the city of Derna, Libya, during the 1805 Battle of Derna. The battle resulted in a subsequent peace treaty and the successful conclusion of the combined operations of the First Barbary War, and was later memorialized in the Marines’ Hymn with the line, «to the shores of Tripoli».

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., Ingalls Operations, Pascagoula, Mississippi
Date Deployed Delivered to the fleet in on April 10, 2014
Propulsion Two marine gas turbines, two shafts, 70,000 total brake horsepower/52,199 kW, two 5,000 horsepower/3,728 kW auxiliary propulsion motors
Length 844 ft/257.3 m
Beam 106 ft/32.3 m
Displacement Approximately 43,745 long tons full load/44,449 metric tons
Speed 20+ knots/23+ mph/37+ km/h
Crew 1,059 (65 officers)
Load 1,687 troops (plus 184 surge)
Armament 2 RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) launchers
2 NATO Sea Sparrow launchers with ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile)
2 20-mm Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) mounts
7 twin 12,7-mm/.50 cal. machine guns
Aircraft 9 F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) STOVL (Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing) aircraft
4 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters
4 CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters
12 MV-22B Osprey VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) tiltrotors
2 MH-60S Sea Hawk Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters
UH-1Y Huey helicopters

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS America (LHA-6) 07-17-2009 06-04-2012 10-11-2014 Sasebo, Japan
USS Tripoli (LHA-7) 06-22-2014 05-01-2017 07-15-2020 San Diego, California
USS Bougainville (LHA-8) 03-14-2019
LHA-9

 

Light Utility Helicopter

Leonardo announced on 10 July 2020 the delivery of the first of two AW169 basic training twin engine helicopters to the Italian Army during an official ceremony held at the 2nd Regiment AVES «Sirio» based in Lamezia Terme in the presence of representatives from the operator and industry. The second aircraft is expected to be handed over in the next few months.

Leonardo delivers its first AW169 basic training helicopter to the Italian Army

The introduction of the new generation training helicopter (designated UH-169B) allows the Italian Army to prepare its crews for the future operational transition to its all-new advanced multirole Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) programme developed on the AW169 dual-use baseline and aimed at longer term fleet modernisation and rationalization plan. The two AW169 trainers, which will enable the Italian Army to familiarise with the platform’s basic characteristics during the development of the new LUH, are being supplied with a comprehensive «turnkey» logistical support and a pilot/maintenance technician training package.

The LUH programme is aimed at progressively replacing ageing models including the A109, AB206, AB205, AB212 and AB412 to meet the evolving operational requirements, and benefits from a more efficient supply chain based on a ‘one single platform’ approach. The introduction of the AW169 LUH, specifically developed for the Italian Army leveraging on the AW169M military helicopter baseline, also provides the advantage of unique logistical, operational and technical, certification and training commonalities and synergies across the growing AW169 fleets of Government operators in Italy. This strengthens the possibility to perform effective and safe joint operations with other users of this modern type and represents a quantum leap in homeland security, emergency response capability and overall, through-life-cycle cost/effectiveness for decades to come. The overall AW169 LUH programme is based on an advanced multirole configuration provided with dedicated flight/mission equipment including, among others, skids landing gear and an advanced Command, Control, Communications, Computers (C4) command, control and communication system to grant full interoperability with the other assets in the NATO environment.

Gian Piero Cutillo, Managing Director Leonardo Helicopters, said: «It gives us great pleasure to celebrate with the Italian Army the delivery of its first AW169 in basic training configuration as an essential enabler ahead of the implementation of the new, broader LUH programme. The LUH will definitely represent the start of a new era in terms of capabilities, technical support, mission flexibility and interoperability in the light weight segment. The new programme takes advantage of many decades of a successful partnership and continued exchange of information, intended to fully understand the changing operational needs and how to address them through the possibilities offered by new technologies. We’re committed to supporting the Italian Army to maximise the benefits of these new helicopters».

 

AW169M Helicopter

The AW169M is the military variant of the latest generation AW169 twin-engine helicopter, designed to the latest Federal Aviation Regulations/Joint Aviation Requirements/European Union Aviation Safety Agency (FAR/JAR/EASA) requirements as well as those standards of military, homeland security and government users. The platform features outstanding power, agility and manoeuvrability, which provides excellent handling characteristics in a wide range of operating conditions including hot and high. The unique transmission design provides power to hydraulic, electrical and air conditioning systems with the rotors stopped (Auxiliary Power Unit, APU mode) optimising response time and availability. The cabin is the most spacious in its class and features a constant height cross section for rapid reconfiguration and ease of access. Pilots benefit from a latest-generation, open-architecture avionics suite, including a fully digital glass cockpit and unprecedented external visibility, providing advanced tactical and situational awareness. Orders for over 220 AW169 helicopters have been placed by customers worldwide today, including military and law enforcement/public service operators, to carry out a range of missions including utility, surveillance, special operations, maritime patrol, land reconnaissance, training, rescue and firefighting.

Project LAND 2097

Airbus Helicopters has joined hands with over 20 Australian partners to form Team Nightjar, as the consortium launches its solution to Project LAND 2097 Phase 4. Under this Project, the Commonwealth of Australia is seeking a fleet of helicopters to support the Australian Defence Force’s Special Operations.

Airbus Team to Bid H145M for Australian Special Forces

Bringing together Australia’s best industry capabilities and academia, the Team Nightjar members include: Cablex, Cyborg Dynamics, Deakin University, DEWC, ECLIPS, Ferra Engineering, Helicopter Logistics, Helimods, Kinetic Fighting, Kratos Australia, Microflite, PREDICT Australia, QinetiQ Australia, Safran Helicopter Engines Australia, Seeing Machines, Sigma Bravo, Rusada, TAFE NSW, Tagai Management Consultants, Toll Helicopters, University of Technology Sydney, Varley Group and Varley Rafael Australia.

In response to the Commonwealth of Australia’s request for proposal for a four-tonne class, rapidly deployable, multi-role helicopter for the Australian Special Forces, Team Nightjar will be offering a fleet of the highly capable Airbus H145M and in-country support.

«We recognise the importance of working with Australian companies on this programme, with each partner offering niche capabilities to the Commonwealth. Building on our established commitment to Australian industry, Team Nightjar will have a strong focus on Australian industrial support and innovation», said Andrew Mathewson, Managing Director of Airbus Australia Pacific.

The local consortium will deliver world leading training solutions, empower indigenous participation, and enable rapid design and delivery of enhancements throughout the programme’s lifetime.

With a clear commitment to invest in Australian-led innovation, the teaming proposal will generate over AUD250 million of economic benefits and more than 170 Australian jobs.

«We believe these capabilities will greatly enhance the core offering of the very capable H145M helicopter, while providing local jobs, technology transfer and export opportunities. The Commonwealth is seeking a proven, mature and highly reliable off-the-shelf platform and robust support systems. The H145M that we are proposing is the latest member of the H145 family, which has flown over 5.9 million hours with more than 1,400 aircraft in service globally across civil, parapublic and military domains. It is well supported by a mature global network. The H145M is an exemplar platform for light special operations and is a solid match for the Special Forces’ requirements, with proven capabilities for no-fail, high-readiness missions», added Mathewson.

The light twin-engine aircraft is an operationally proven, affordable and low-risk option for Australia, complementing the MRH90 Taipan with improved mobility and situational awareness for special operations. By virtue of its compact size, the H145M will be optimised for operations within dense urban terrain and will be rapidly deployable via a C-17A Globemaster.

The H145M is tried and tested and is gaining popularity among defence forces due to its excellent price-performance ratio and the short delivery time, counting military forces in Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Serbia and Thailand as customers.

In particular, the H145M is today supporting special operations roles with the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) with mission readiness of above 99%, delivering safety and superior power and payload.

Airbus has nearly two decades of presence in Australia, building extensive local industrial capabilities and network, in support of the country’s defence and commercial aviation. With a strong local team of more than 1,500 employees working across 23 sites for civil and military fixed-wing and rotary wing aircraft, the company has injected over A$1.7 billion of activities into the Australian aerospace industry, including A$100 million of direct investments from ARH Tiger and MRH90 projects.

Australia’s smallest nocturnal bird of prey, the nightjar’s characteristics include agility, stealth through its compact size, excellent camouflage, silence in flight and non-reflective eyes. The nightjar is known to hunt in pairs, and catch prey on the wing, combining its heightened senses, agility, speed, power and focus – characteristics which are critical for Special Operations. With close resemblance to Airbus’ H145M, the Australian nightjar is adopted as the inspiration for the team’s response to Project LAND 2097 Phase 4.