General Electric won a $101.5 million contract modification, which procures 21 T408-GE-400 turboshaft engines and associated engine, programmatic and logistics services in support of CH-53K King Stallion Lot Five low rate initial production aircraft. The King Stallion is the premier heavy-lift helicopter ever built by the United States government. It is an all-new heavy-lift helicopter that will expand the fleet’s ability to move more material more rapidly. That power comes from three new General Electric T-408 engines, which are more powerful and more fuel efficient than the T-64 engines currently outfitted on the CH-53E. The T408 gives the CH-53K helicopter the power to carry a 27,000-pound external load over a mission radius of 110 nautical miles in hot weather conditions, nearly triple the external load carrying capacity of current aircraft. Work will take place in Massachusetts. Estimated completion is in December 2024.

The US Navy has moved one step closer towards integrating the High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS) laser weapon system on an Arleigh Burke destroyer by taking delivery of the first system. A recent demonstration by Lockheed Martin and the Navy showed that the laser power achieved was in excess of the 60 kW requirement. Lockheed Martin completed the Critical Design Review and Navy Factory Qualification Test milestones in 2020, demonstrating the value of system engineering rigor and proven Aegis system integration and test processes on the way to delivering operationally effective and suitable laser weapon system that meets the Navy’s mission requirements.

Middle East & Africa

The Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) commissioned its largest vessel in the form of IRINS Makran (441). The Makran is a tanker converted into a multipurpose naval vessel. It has been fitted with 20 mm and twin 23 mm anti-aircraft guns in six raised emplacements, and a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun on each of its bridge wings. It was shown with what appeared to be a land-based anti-ship missile launcher under camouflage netting on its flight deck. Iranian media reports quote Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, the commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN), as saying the Makran will be able to embark six to seven helicopters.


French drone maker Parrot will build 300 small drones for the French Army under a five-year contract. The ANAFI USA drones weigh 17 ounces, have a battery-powered fight time of up to 32 minutes and typically carry cameras, including thermal cameras, for day and night observation capabilities. Capable of fitting in a soldier’s hand, the drones have been sold internationally, including to US government agencies, and police and fire departments. The French defense ministry announced the contract on January 13. The cost was not announced.

Raytheon UK won a $200 million contract to improve the Royal Navy’s training, it announced on Wednesday, part of a $1.3 billion transformation of the nation’s navy. According to a statement, the British subsidiary will “provide the Royal Navy with transformative technology, training and learning solutions over the next 12 years.“ Led by the London-based outsourcing and professional services company Capita LLC, a consortium of companies will transform and modernize the Royal Navy’s shore-based training at 16 sites across Britain.


India’s Cabinet Committee on Security approved the procurement of 83 indigenously designed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) for the Indian Air Force (IAF), including 73 Mk 1A fighters and 10 Mk 1 dual-seat trainers. The Indian government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB) announced that same day that the CCS, which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cleared the acquisition of the aircraft for $6.2 billion along with work on the design and construction of related infrastructure for $164.3 million. The LCA Mk 1A, which was designed by the government-run Aeronautical Development Agency and will be built by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bangalore, is still under development.

Today’s Video

Watch: The U.S Navy to Test HELIOS Laser Weapon System!