Americas

Northrop Grumman Systems won a $185.7 million deal for the A-10 Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP) Legacy VII. This contract provides for sustaining engineering services of A-10 aircraft. The A-10 Thunderbolt is also known as the Warthog, the ‘flying gun’ and the Tankbuster. The aircraft was used extensively during Operation Desert Storm, in support of Nato operations in response to the Kosovo crisis, in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Work will take place in Clearfield, Utah. Expected completion date is December 13, 2030.

Boeing won a $79.6 million deal for F-15 Eagle Passive Active Warning and Survivability System low rate initial production. The Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System provides the US Air Force F-15 fleet with advanced electronic warfare technology to maximize mission effectiveness and survivability. Developed by BAE Systems as a sub-contractor to Boeing, the EPAWSS is designed to sample the radio frequency (RF) spectrum, identify threats, prioritize, and allocate jamming resources against them, and will replace the 1980s-vintage Tactical Electronic Warfare Suite (TEWS) currently fitted to the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) about 220 F-15E Strike Eagles. It is also one of the systems earmarked for the service’s latest F-15EX Advanced Eagle, of which as many as 200 are slated for eventual procurement. Work will take place in San Antonio, Texas. Estimated completion date is December 13, 2026.

Middle East & Africa

Moscow has struck a deal with Khartoum to establish its first naval outpost on the continent. On December 8, the Russian government officially announced its agreement with Sudan to build a modern port and establish a navy base for at least 25 years. The new port, along with Russia’s base in the Syrian city of Tartus, will strengthen its military presence in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. The port in Sudan will be Russia’s first military base in Africa, providing a convenient docking station for Russian battleships for refuel and repair.

Europe

A plan to use sustainable sources for up to 50 percent of military aviation fuel was announced by British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace this week. The British Ministry of Defense on Saturday said it would look to algae, alcohol, household waste, wood and biomass as potential sources of fuel for the nation’s F-35 and Typhoon planes and Wildcat helicopters. Aviation fuel consumes nearly two-thirds of fuel used by the British military, the ministry said. New aviation fuel standards in effect since November call for a reduction in emissions and carbon footprints, and complement the British government’s goal of net zero emissions throughout the country by 2050.

Safran’s 1,000-kg AASM precision guided munition has carried out two inert separation tests from a Rafale fighter. The tests were conducted at the French defense procurement agency DGA’s Cazaux flight test center in southwest France.This paves way for the first live firing tests to be conducted in 2021. The separation dynamics observed during the two firings were in line with simulations. These industrial validation tests were designed to check the correct sequencing of all components of the wing hardpoint and the weapon, as well as the wing deployment mechanism on the range extension kit.

Asia-Pacific

South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration has provisionally declared the Korea Aerospace Industries Light Armed Helicopter fit for combat. KAI announced in an 11 December statement that DAPA’s assessment, which came five years and six months after the launch of the LAH project, “lays the foundation” for mass production of the helicopter, development of which is due to be completed by late 2022.

Today’s Video

Watch: The Insane Engineering of the A-10 Warthog

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