Raytheon won a $34.3 million contract, which provides engineering and test support services for the ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) currently in development for the Navy EA-18G aircraft. The scope includes H16/H18/H20/H22 software support for NGJ pod and integration including requirements analysis, design, development, integration, testing, training and tools related to and in support of ALQ-249 and advanced electronic warfare initiatives for Navy and Foreign Military Sales customers. The NGJ is an external jamming pod. The AN/ALQ-249 utilizes the latest digital, software-based, and Active Electronically Scanned Array technologies in order to address advanced and emerging threats in the middle frequency bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. The EA-18G Growler is a variant in the F/A-18 family of aircraft that combines the proven F/A-18F Super Hornet platform with a sophisticated electronic warfare suite. Work will take place in El Segundo, California. Estimated completion will be in January 2025.
The Minuteman III program of 450 missiles, begun in 1970, must be replaced and not extended, US Strategic Command chief Adm. Charles Richard said. Richard’s comments, made during a virtual briefing on January 5, come as President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration considers ways to reduce the cost of a planned 30-year, $1.2 trillion modernization of the United States’ nuclear defense capabilities. The intercontinental ballistic missile is derived from the Minuteman I program, begun in 1952. It precedes the Air Force’s under-development Ground Base Strategic Deterrent, which is scheduled to replace all 450 Minuteman III missiles by 2027.
Middle East & Africa
The Greek Air Force will get a training program and 10 aircraft from Israel in a $1.68 billion deal, Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems announced. The 20-year contract is the largest defense agreement between Greece and Israel. It includes 10 M-346 training planes made by the European defense contractor Leonardo. Elbit Systems, based in Haifa, Israel, will construct and maintain a flight school, a maintenance school and simulators, and provide logistics support, in Greece. The contract is a sign of increased cooperation between the Greek and Israeli governments and defense ministries. Greece recently started to lease Israeli drones.
Austrian defense minister Klaudia Tanner wants to sell the country’s Eurofighters as soon as possible. It is still unclear, which fighter will replace the Eurofighter Typhoon. However, in an interview with the daily newspaper „Der Standard“ Tanner has voiced plans to procure an interim aircraft from a neutral country until parliament decides to buy a new fighter aircraft. Before Austria procured the Typhoons in 2003 leading to many years of bribe an fraught investigations, the country’s Air Force was flying the Saab J35 Draken. As an interim solution between the Draken and the Typhoon, the service operated Swiss F-5 Tiger aircraft.
The British government on Wednesday announced a $748.3 million contract for missile systems to be installed on fighter planes including the US-made F-35B. The seven-year contract with European defense contractor MBDA calls for building of SPEAR3 missiles, a six-feet-long miniature cruise missile powered by a turbojet engine. It will be the “main medium-to-long-range strike weapon of the UK F-35 combat aircraft, enabling them to defeat challenging targets such as mobile long-range air defense systems at over-the-horizon ranges in all weathers and in highly contested environments,” an MBDA statement said.
The Japanese government decided that it needs to start looking for an alternative site to bed down the new MV-22 Ospreys that it has bought. The original plan was to deploy the tilt-rotors at Saga City but officials had difficulties acquiring land need for expansion from the local fisheries cooperative. It will now search for a new alternative site in Kyushu while attempting to negotiate with the fishery cooperative.
Watch: The British pick MBDA’s Spear 3 cruise missile for their F-35s