Americas

Northrop Grumman won a $3.6 billion deal for Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) operations, sustainment and support. The contract provides for research, development, test, and evaluation, integration and operations and sustainment for existing and future payloads contained in or connected to the BACN system and associated ground stations or controls, ancillary equipment, support equipment and system integration laboratories.  BACN is a US Air Force airborne communications relay and gateway system housed in the unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawk, another Northrop Grumman product, to receive and distribute battlefield communications. It is designed to increase the range of voice communications in mountainous terrain by relaying the signal over an extended distance. It can also act as a bridge between frequencies, enabling a convoy commander on a frequency-limited radio to talk with a supporting close-air-support asset on a different frequency. Work will take place in San Diego, California. Expected completion date is January 24, 2026.

Woodward HRT Inc. won a maximum $9.7 million deal for F-15 rotary vane assemblies. The Boeing F-15E dual-role fighter is an advanced long-range interdiction fighter and tactical aircraft. The F-15E is the latest version of the Eagle, a Mach 2.5-class twin-engine fighter. Work under the contract will take place in California. Ordering Period End Date is April 1, 2025. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

Middle East & Africa

According to local news, Israel is giving the US the green light to place Iron Dome batteries in the gulf region. Israel is not revealing the countries in which the batteries will be deployed. Following the signing of the Abraham Accords, the US is expected to place Iron Dome air defense batteries in the Persian Gulf area soon, in a move coordinated with and approved by senior Israeli officials, the Haaretz newspaper’s Yaniv Kubovich reported, quoting defense officials. The reporter pointed out that Israel is not revealing the countries in which the batteries will be deployed, and the defense establishment claims that the deployment is not part of the normalization agreements.

Europe

The UK’s first fleet of uncrewed fighter aircraft is one step closer to reality following the award of a £30 million contract to design and manufacture a prototype in a three-year deal supporting more than 100 jobs in Belfast. According to the Royal Air Force, the uncrewed combat aircraft will be designed to fly at high-speed alongside fighter jets, armed with missiles, surveillance and electronic warfare technology to provide a battle-winning advantage over hostile forces.

Four Russian-made Mi-35 attack helicopters will arrive for the Air Force and Air Defense Forces of the Republic of Belarus in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to defence-blog.com. The new Mi-35 is a multi-role combat helicopter manufactured by Rostvertol, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters. It integrates modern, high-precision weaponry for destroying ground-based armored targets and providing air support for ground missions.

Asia-Pacific

Mitsubishi Electric was awarded a research contract by the Japanese Ministry of Defense for detection of ballistic missiles using satellites. The bid submitted by the company was just 22 Japense Yen, which is about 21 cents. A Defense Ministry official expressed their astonishment at the unprecedented low amount agreed on between the parties after the ministry put the research offer up for competitive bidding. According to the ministry, there have been bids as low as several hundred yen (a few dollars) in the past, but no such offers had been made as of late. The ministry has not disclosed the amount of research costs it had envisioned, but it is believed to top several million yen (tens of thousands of dollars) at a conservative estimate. As the bidding price is less than 1/100,000th of the estimated research cost, the Defense Ministry has reportedly consulted with a lawyer to check if there are any problems with the contract, and has also confirmed with the electronics maker that they are capable of performing the research. No issues were found with either party. Mitsubishi Electric will develop tech to detect hypersonic military gliders, which can be maneuvered at high speed with irregular flight trajectories. The company has been entrusted with research regarding the implementation of “limb observation,” a type of method that enables missiles to be detected by stationing numerous satellites at the same altitude to survey missiles horizontally.

Today’s Video

Watch: Why You Need to Respect the F-4 Phantom II Fighter Bomber

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