A US Marine Corps AH-1W gunship now retired to Picatinny Arsenal. It will be used as a laboratory for the XM915 20mm Gatling gun. The Bell AH-1W Super Cobra was flown from NAS Joint Reserve Base New Orleans to Picatinny Arsenal by Marines Lt. Col. Mark Diss and Capt. Garrett Peirce. The US Army plans to fit the XM915 on its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft. The Super Cobra, a twin-engine attack helicopter, is the first aviation aircraft to be housed on post for research and development purposes at the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center, also known as DEVCOM.
The US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) procured a logistics drone prototype to demonstrate long-range naval ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore cargo transport. The Blue Water Maritime Logistics UAS will be used to deliver electronics parts or assemblies that weigh less than 50 pounds to warships. NAWCAD will improve the drone by working on invasions like folding wings for better handling and ship storage, a dual propulsion system that runs on both electricity and JP-5. “The Blue Water logistics UAS will be further developed and tested by the Navy, for the Navy,” said NAWCAD Commander Rear Adm. John Lemmon. “NAWCAD has organic talent and facilities you can’t find anywhere else. Combined with increased acquisition freedom granted by Congress, this effort shows how we’re doing business differently.”
Middle East & Africa
Boeing won a $9.8 billion deal for F-15 support for Saudi Arabia. This contract provides for modernization and sustainment of the F-15 Saudi fleet to include such efforts as hardware, software, and interface design, development, integration, test, subsystem and structural component production and installation of future modifications and enhancements to the F-15 Saudi weapon system as well as product support. Per the contract, the ordering period for this contract is five years from the date of contract award plus an option for an additional five year ordering period. Saudi Arabia’s most modern F-15s are 88 new-build F-15SAs, with an average age of just 5.1 years. In addition to fly-by wire controls, the F-15SA has a digital electronic warfare suite, an infrared search and track system and a Raytheon APG-63(V)3 active electronically scanned array radar. The aircraft’s forward and aft cockpits feature advanced displays and joint helmet-mounted cueing systems. The new F-15 variant also has two additional wing weapons stations to boost its payload. Work will take place in St. Louis. Estimated completion will be by November 2025.
The US State Department cleared sales of F-35 fighter jets and MQ-9 unmanned systems for the United Arab Emirates, making official a potential sale still opposed by many congressional Democrats. The DoS formally approved a potential $23.4 billion arms sale to the United Arab Emirates, including up to 50 F-35s, 18 MQ-9s, and both air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions. In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the massive arms sale package, which includes up to 50 F-35 jets worth $10.4 billion, 18 MQ-9B drones worth $2.97 billion, and $10 billion of munitions. “The proposed sale will make the UAE even more capable and interoperable with US partners in a manner fully consistent with America’s longstanding commitment to ensuring Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge,” said the statement.
Defense company BAE Systems will reportedly receive a €1billion ($1.2 bn) windfall from the German government’s purchase of 38 Eurofighter jets, which german officials announced last week. According to the Times, BAE, which will make parts for the aircraft at its plant in Warton in Lancashire, would secure at least €1bn from the deal. However, the firm declined to comment on the report. BAE is Britain’s largest defense group and also part of the Eurofighter consortium. The German parliament had approved a 5.4 billion euro contract to buy 38 Eurofighter jets from Airbus. The selection of the Eurofighter over the Lockheed Martin F-35 will mean that the German Air Force will not be flying the American Jet in future.
The Japanese Navy demonstrated its latest Kawasaki P-1 submarine-hunting plane. On November 11, the Japan Maritime Self-Protection Drive 4th Air wing’s official Twitter account posted photos displaying 5 new Kawasaki P-1 plane on the Atsugi air base. The P-1 is a contemporary maritime patrol plane. It is developed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Currently, all five new submarine-hunting aircraft are located at the Japanese air base Atsugi. The Japanese Kawasaki P-1 was developed solely for the purpose for which it is supposed to be used and there is no civilian counterpart to this aircraft.
Watch: Kawasaki P 1-antisubmarine