General Dynamics won a $21.4 million contract modification to exercise options hours for Abrams Systems technical support. M1A1/2 Abrams main battle tank is manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS). The first M1 tank was produced in 1978, the M1A1 in 1985 and the M1A2 in 1986. Abrams M1A2 SEPV3 (System Enhanced Package) is a modernized configuration of the Abrams main battle tank (MBT) in service with the US Army. Work will take place in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2022.
General Atomics has tested its newly developed Self-Protection Pod (SPP) on the MQ-9 last year at the Yuma Proving Grounds (YPG). During the test on October 28, the pod detected Radio Frequency (RF) and Infrared (IR) missile threats and deploy countermeasures. The pod is equipped with the AN/ALR-69A(V) Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), the Leonardo DRS AN/AAQ-45 Distributed Aperture Infrared Countermeasure (DAIRCM) System, the BAE Systems ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser System, and the BriteCloud Expendable Active Decoy (EAD). The brains of the pod is the Terma AN/ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management System. The demonstration is intended to show that the US Navy can conduct anti-submarine warfare tasks using the company’s MQ-9B SeaGuardian UAV.
Middle East & Africa
Three Indian Air Force Rafale fighters flying home from France this month will have tanker support from a UAE A330 MRTT. Another seven Rafale fighters heading home in April will get the similar help from UAE. The UAE air force’s Airbus multi-role transport tanker will refuel the three Indian fighter jets twice on their non-stop eight-hour flight from Bordeaux-Merignac base in France to join the Golden Arrows Squadron in Ambala.
The US Trade Department has disclosed the sale of the Patriot air defense missile system to Morocco in December, the announcement was uncovered by The North Africa Post. The purchase was concluded in 2020. Last year, Morocco purchased 25 F-16 fighters equipped with 5th generation radar (for $2.8 billion) and 24 Apache attack helicopters (for $2.6 billion). There is also a plan for the establishment of a military industry in Morocco. Far Maroc, a website specializing in Moroccan military affairs, reported that Morocco plans to operate a total of 48 advanced F-16s in its Air Force, with a goal of maintaining air superiority in North Africa.
Rolls-Royce has been awarded $1 million of research funding from the US Government for digital foreign object debris (FOD) detection technology. The year-long research contract from the US Navy, will help to further develop Rolls-Royce’s ‘FanSense’ debris monitoring system, which is currently supporting the Pegasus engine.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said in a speech on January 22 that he wants to replace the aging UH-1 helicopter with six to seven new ones. He made the announcement after a fatal crash of a UH-1 in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon on January 16 that killed seven people on board. “I am not making any hard promises. But you can rest assured, I will try my best to look for money so I can replace the old helicopters,” he was quoted as saying.
Watch: The M-1 Abrams Tank Shows Monstrously Power & Capability