Raytheon Technologies won a $49.2 million deal, which provides for one conventional take-off and landing and two short take-off/vertical landing F135 engines to support F-35 Lightning II Block Four developmental testing program for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and non-US Department of Defense (DOD) participants. The Pratt & Whitney F135 is an afterburning turbofan developed for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. Last week Raytheon was awarded a $290 million contract, which provides material and support equipment for depot maintenance facilities, program administrative labor for non-recurring sustainment activities, mockup engines and modules for test cells, as well as supplies, services, and planning for depot activations in support of the F-35 Lightning II Program Lot 13 propulsion system for the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, non-Department of Defense (DOD) participants and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Work will take place in Connecticut, Washington, California, Michigan, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, Texas, Maine and New Hampshire. Expected completion is in January 2023.
Bell Boeing Joint Project Office won a $17.9 million contract modification, which exercises an option to procure 60 MV-22 and 10 CV-22 proprotor hub spring and drive link retrofit kits; and six CV-22 modification spares kits, in support of the Marine Corps MV-22 aircraft and Air Force CV-22 aircraft. Work will take place in Fort Worth, Texas. Estimated completion is in February 2023.
Middle East & Africa
Israel Aerospace Industries unveiled the WASP, a new aerial surveillance system that it said identifies and tracks moving targets in wide areas, day and night, with great precision. Utilizing state-of-the-art electro-optical and infrared sensors, artificial intelligence algorithms and adaptive rule engines, the WASP covers large areas with a high revisit rate, tracks and identifies moving targets that correlate with mission requirements and objectives, and alerts the system’s operator. Compact, lightweight and requiring low power consumption, the WASP can be used with various aerial platforms such as tactical UAVs, drones, fixed and rotary wing aircraft and tethered surveillance balloons, IAI said.
A US Air Force KC-135 aerial refueling tanker from the 100th Air Refueling Wing will fly to Finland from February 9-10 to let Finnish Hornet pilots practice aerial refueling. Between 8-14 F/A-18s will participate from their bases in Rovaniemi, Rissala and Pirkkala. The refueling training will take place over Rovaniemi, Kuusamo, Kajaani and Oulu.
The British HMS Queen Elizabeth and her crew are simulating a “global crisis” to see how the aircraft carrier and her escorts would fare in the real world. At its largest, her task group will comprise more than a dozen warships, support vessels and squadrons, including three dozen F-35B jets and helicopters – around 3,700 military personnel in all. According to the Royal Navy, the two-week-long Virtual Warrior is one of two final assessments the ship and command staff must come through before the 65,000-tonne warship leads her task force on deployment.
The US Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force concluded a nine-day mine warfare exercise off the Japanese coast, the Navy announced. The annual event, this year named Mine Warfare Exercise 1JA 2021 and held in southwestern Japan’s Ise Bay, is designed to increase mutual proficiency in mine countermeasure operations. The nine-day exercise, which began on January 28, involved a simulated clearing of a route for ships, using unit-level mine warfare tactics for mine hunting, detection and neutralization.
Watch: Know Your Aircraft: The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker