Boeing won a $9 million deal, which provides correction of deficiency software builds for increment three acoustics integration and testing for the P-8A aircraft. The P-8A Poseidon, the US Navy’s maritime patrol aircraft, is capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations, and is also successful at search and rescue. Equipped with state of the art radars, sensors and a new air-to-air refuel capability, the P-8A is scheduled to receive periodic future enhancements to keep pace with the ASW threat. The P-8A Poseidon is responsive and interoperable with traditional manned forces and evolving unmanned sensors. Work under the new contract will take place in California and Maryland. Estimated completion will be in February 2024.
Sikorsky Aircraft won a $90,7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for engineering, analysis, test, and technical support services for the H-60 product line. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. The Black Hawk is the Army’s front-line utility helicopter used for air assault, air cavalry, and aeromedical evacuation units. It is designed to carry 11 combat-loaded, air assault troops, and it is capable of moving a 105-millimeter howitzer and 30 rounds of ammunition. Work locations as well as funding will be determined with each order. Estimated completion date is March 25, 2026.
Middle East & Africa
Jordan made public a defense agreement with the United States that allows free entry of US forces, aircraft and vehicles onto the kingdom’s territory. Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told parliament that the defense accord was “the fruit of long negotiations”, according to AFP. The agreement was signed in January and the government approved it last month, but in an exceptional move it bypassed parliament. The royal decree was published in the official journal this week. The terms of the agreement, published on Jordanian news site Ammon, stipulate that “US forces may possess weapons and circulate with them on Jordanian territory while exercising their duties”.
The UK Royal Air Force will retire its fleet of Lockheed Martin C-130J/C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft earlier than planned, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) disclosed on March 22. According to the Defense Command Paper released the week after the UK’s Integrated Review, the RAF’s one remaining short-bodied C-130J C5 and 13 long-bodied C-130J-30 C4 variant Hercules airlifters are to be withdrawn from service in 2023, some 12 years earlier than planned.
Taiwan disclosed on March 22 that it will be fitting teh Martin Baker Mk16 ejection seat on its F-5 Tiger fleet. The information was given to local reporters during a press briefing by the Air Force on the fatal collision of two F-5Es that day. Maj. Gen. Lin Chih-Hung, head of Air Force Logistic Command, said the new seats will be arriving to the island by end of the year. Media outlets in Taiwan also reported that one of the F-5E pilots who ejected during the Mar. 22 accident had suffered head injuries which lead to internal bleeding. An earlier crash of the F-5E in October last year killed Capt. Lo Shang-hua. It was found that he had suffered injuries from the ejection. This lead to calls to replace the ejection seat on the F-5.
According to local media, the Indian Navy commissioned its eighth and final Mk IV landing craft utility (LCU) platform ordered from state-owned shipyard Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) in September 2011. Named IN LCU L58, the 62.8 m vessel entered service in a ceremony held on 18 March at Port Blair, the capital of India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands and headquarters of the IN-headed tri-service command.
Watch: Made In India Landing Craft Utility Ship Commissioned Into Indian Navy At Port Blair| Defence Update