Longbow Ltd. won a $32.2 million contract modification for generic spare parts kits for AH-64E Apache helicopters. The AH-64 Apache is a multirole combat helicopter with integrated avionics and weapons, as well as advanced digital communications to enable real-time, secure transfer of battlefield information to air and ground forces. The E-model Apache Guardian features enhanced performance, joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding, and reduced operating and support costs, Boeing officials say. Work will take place in Orlando, Florida. Estimated completion date is April 30, 2024.
The US Air Force’s Air Combat Command has approved the GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II for F-15E operational flights. The press release from Eglin Air Force Base says the weapon is expected to be field on the F/A-18E/F later this year. The GBU-53B StormBreaker, which entered operational testing in 2018, is a small diameter bomb that features a multimode seeker to guide the weapon with infrared, millimeter-wave radar and semi-active lasers in addition to or with GPS and inertial system guide. The Air Force’s fielding decision means F-15E squadrons can now be equipped with the weapon. The Navy and Marines intend to use it on their versions of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Middle East & Africa
According to Israel Defense, Israel’s Phantom Technologies Ltd., a developer and manufacturer of diverse solutions in the field of electronic warfare, introduced a drone detection and blocking system called Phantom Dome 180 that includes radar, thermal cameras, and a system for jamming communications. Phantom Dome is reportedly aimed at protecting forces from hostile drones. The detection is based on radar developed exclusively by Phantom, along with thermal cameras. The system is connected, controlled and monitored by a controller. It combines the elements of detection by radar, detection by electro-optical/infrared camera, jamming of communications, and radio frequency detection.
Indonesia’s Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto will be in Austria on October 20 and he has requested to meet his European counterpart Klaudia Tanner to discuss the sale of 15 Eurofighters. The Jakarta Post had seen a letter dated Oct. 8 which was said to be from Prabowo to Tanner, thanking her for her reply to his first letter that he had sent in July. Tanner had said publicly last month that she had directed the General Staff to prepare for negotiations with Jakarta to sell the Eurofighters.
Jet aircraft embarked on aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth have been undergoing live weapons training in the North Sea. According to the British Royal Navy 617 Squadron, ‘The Dambusters’, and the US Marine Corps’ VMFA-211 jets, spent three days on exercise, dropping 500lb Paveway IV high explosive bombs onto a dedicated range off the coast of the UK. The range was Garvie Island, a barren and rocky outcrop the size of a ship. The island is used as a target for a range of training operations and is the only place in the Northern Hemisphere where NATO forces combine land, air and sea capabilities in deploying ordnance up to 1,000-pounds. The training proved HMS Queen Elizabeth’s ability to deliver F-35 strike mission sets from weapon prep through to execution.
Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will be visiting Vietnam next week and he is expected to sign an agreement on the export of defense equipment and technology while there. Japan plans to sign an agreement with Vietnam to allow it to export defense equipment and technology to the country, part of a move to strengthen defense capabilities of Indo-Pacific nations to counter Chinese maritime advances. Japan ended a decades-old ban on overseas arms sales in 2014 to help beef up the nation’s military and lower the unit cost of home-built military equipment but has so far struggled to strike export deals for finished products.
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