The US Navy awarded General Dynamics Electric Boat a $9.5 billion contract modification for the construction and test of the lead and second ships of the Columbia Class. The contract modifies a $5 billion deal awarded in 2017. It exercises an option to test the ships and to provide design and engineering support. „This modification to the integrated product and process development (IPPD) contract supports the fiscal 2021 construction start of the lead ship (SSBN 826) and advance procurement, advance construction, coordinated material buys and full construction of the follow hull (SSBN 827) in fiscal 2024“, the Pentagon said in a statement. The original contract was for design completion for the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines, which are meant to replace the Navy’s current force of 14 aging Ohio Class boats. The Columbia Class is an upcoming class of nuclear submarines. General Dynamic subsidiary Electric Boat in collaboration with Newport News Shipbuilding are construction the Columbia Class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) for the US Navy. Work under the contract modification will take place in Connecticut, Virginia and Rhode Island. Estimated completion will be by April 2030.
Raytheon won a $94 million deal to exercise options and realign funding for DDG 1000 ship class integrated logistics support and engineering services. The Zumwalt Class is a class of three guided missile destroyers. The multi-role class was designed for secondary roles of surface warfare and anti-aircraft warfare. DDG 1000 Zumwalt was the first vessel built under the US Department of Defense’s DD(X) programme. The US Navy received the vessel in May 2016. The ship was commissioned for service in October 2016. According to Raytheon, Zumwalt Class ships are designed to incorporate computing, undersea warfare, vertical launcher and electronic modular enclosure systems from Raytheon Technologies’ missiles and defense business. Work will take place in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, California, Indiana, Maine and New Hampshire. Work is expected to be finished by October 2021.
The US State Department approved a possible $500 million deal to sell Standard Missile 2 Block IIIC missiles and related equipment to Canada, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said. Canada’s government wanted to buy 100 SM-2 Block IIIC missiles and 100 MK 13 vertical launch systems. According to the DSCA, obsolescence engineering; integration and test activity associated with production of subject missiles; canister handling and loading/unloading equipment and associated spares; training and training equipment/aids; technical publications and data; US Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support; and other related elements of logistical and program support are also included in the request. The prime contractor on this deal would be Raytheon. The company has received a $19 million contract for engineering and technical services on the Standard Missile-2 and Standard Missile-6 in 2019. According to Raytheon, the SM-2 missile provides anti-air warfare and limited anti-surface warfare capability against advanced anti-ship missiles and aircraft out to 90 nautical miles. The SM-2 “gives warfighters a greater reach in the battlespace,”
Middle East & Africa
CNN reported on November 6, that the US State Department sent Congress an informal notification of plans to sell $10 billion of defense equipment, including precision-guided munitions, non-precision bombs and missiles to the United Arab Emirates. This was told to CNN by a congressional aide. The informal notification about the ordnance came just after President Donald Trump’s administration informed Congress it planned to sell sophisticated armed aerial drones (MQ-9Bs) to the UAE. Reuters had first reported on this. According to the news agency, a State Department spokesman declined comment, saying its policy was not to confirm or comment on proposed defense sales until Congress is formally notified. Both of the recent informal notifications came after last week’s notification of a potential sale of F-35 fighter jets to the Middle East country.
According to local average, the Ukrainian design office KB “Lucz” presented the “Sokol-300” reconnaissance and strike unmanned aerial vehicle. The UAV was to be premiered during the Arms and Security 2020 exhibition in Kiev. The exhibition however, was canceled due to the pandemic. The machine is reportedly armed with 4 Barier-W guided missiles produced by the same company. The prototype flight is planned in about eight to nine months. The presentation of the full-size model of the Sokol-300 drone took place at the “WIZAR” plant in Wiszniewo near Kielce.
Lockheed Martin won a $53.2 million contract modification for miscellaneous support for 50 retrofit aircraft to the Taiwan F-16 Peace Phoenix Rising program. Under the Phoenix Rising program, Taiwan is upgrading its fleet of 144 Lockheed Martin F-16 A/B Block 20 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft to the F-16V configuration. The modification provides for contractor over and above support and acquisition of legacy aircraft hardware and equipment. Work will take place in Texas and Taiwan. Expected completion date is December 31, 2023.
In an interview with Air Force Magazine, Boeing’s Vice President and F-15 Program Manager Prat Kumar commented on the status of the F-15EX program for the US Air Force. He said that Japan would be planning to incorporate many of the EX features except the fly-by-wire system. However, it is unknown if Kumar was talking about features that Japan plans to have in new aircraft purchases or those features that will be incorporated in the F-15JSI upgrade program. Boeing signed a Direct Commercial Sale agreement with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to upgrade Japan’s F-15J to the F-15JSI in July this year. Kumar said the Air Force’s adoption of the F-15EX will potentially expand the number of countries that might buy the jet, including current users Israel, Japan, Qatar, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. “The world watches what the US Air Force buys,” he said. “So clearly there’s interest in our existing customer base across the world.” Israel is “taking a look” at the new F-15, he said, while Japan is planning to incorporate many of the EX features except the fly-by-wire system.
Watch: Watch: Everything You Need to Know About the Air Force’s New F-15EX