Northrop Grumman Systems won a $10.7 million modification to procure two additional Surface-to-Surface Missile Modules (SSMM) for integration into the Littoral Combat Ship framework. The SSMM fires a Longbow Hellfire missile that will be added to the surface warfare mission module aboard the Littoral Combat Ship. In July 2019 the US Navy successfully completed structural testing of the Longbow Hellfire missile for the Littoral Combat Ship Surface-to-Surface Missile Module. LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of mission packages including surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. The Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Work will take place in Huntsville, Alabama; Bethpage, New York and Hollywood, Maryland. Estimated completion will be by November 2022.
The four-nation Malabar 2020 naval exercise, involving the US Navy’s Nimitz Strike Group, concluded successfully Friday, the Navy’s 7th Fleet announced. The exercise began on November 3rd in India’s Bay of Bengal and involved Japanese, Indian, Australian and US maritime forces. It included night operations, air defense exercises, helicopter cross-deck evolutions, carrier landing approaches, underway replenishment approaches, gunnery exercises and antisubmarine warfare exercises to improve interoperability between allies. The strike group led by the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz joined the Vikramaditya Carrier Battle Group of the Indian Navy on Nov.6 for the second phase of the event.
Middle East & Africa
PAE Applied Technologies LLC won a $98 million deal for US Air forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA) electronic warfare operations training and infrastructure maintenance services. The contract provides electronic warfare aircrew tactics evaluation, electronic warfare combat training, operation and maintenance of equipment and electronic warfare range infrastructure maintenance for USAFE-AFAFRICA. The deal’s five-year basic ordering period will wrap up by November 19, 2025, and the Air Force will obligate $8.1 million from fiscal year 2021 operation and maintenance funds following the basic contract. Work in Germany, the U.K. and Italy is scheduled to run through January 31, 2026.
France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom are embarking on a project to develop a new medium multi-role helicopter. The new helicopter will replace existing rotorcraft that are expected to reach the end of their lifespan between 2035 – 2040 period and beyond. A letter of intent for the Next-Generation Rotorcraft Capability, involving the construction of medium multi-role helicopters, was signed by representatives of France, Britain, Italy, Germany and Greece on Thursday. Details, timetables and costs were not revealed, and other NATO countries are welcome to join the consortium. The new capability would be involved in missions including insertion and extraction of special operations forces, transport of cargo and troops, medical evacuation, search and rescue, and anti-submarine warfare. As medium-sized helicopters, they would fit between what NATO describes as light and heavy helicopters.
The US Army formally activated a forward headquarters in Poznan, Poland, on Friday, to command its missions in Eastern Europe. About 200 troops will initially be assigned to the forward position of the recently reactivated and storied Fifth Corps, or V Corps, whose headquarters was established in October at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The Unit at Poznan will be responsible for command and control of assigned and rotational units of US Army Europe and U.S. European Command as troops, it said in a statement. Full rotations are expected to start in 2021, likely around the time of the DEFENDER-Europe 21 exercise planned for the Balkan and Black Sea regions.
An audit into the costs of building two new warships as the alternative for Aegis Ashore has found that it will cost Japan $4.8 billion. The new Maya Class destroyer already costs $1.6 billion each. The new warship will need to be lengthened, raising the tonnage. The figure, shown in an interim report of a private sector study commissioned by the Defense Ministry, is not significantly different from the cost of another offshore replacement proposal also under consideration. The government plans to coordinate around the Aegis ship option as it is viewed as allowing more operational flexibility.
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