HMX-1 and the White House Military Office is testing the VH-92A at Joint Base Charleston this week. The military says this is part of operational testing for Marine Helicopter Squadron One. It is unknown how much longer the process will last. The new Marine One, also referred to as VH-92A, is the next-generation presidential transport helicopter being developed for the US Marine Corps (USMC). Scheduled to enter service this year, the VH-92A helicopter will provide safe and reliable helicopter transportation for the US president and vice president.
Raytheon won a $35.9 million deal, which provides for the procurement of follow-on software system architecture and design, software analysis, coding, integration and testing, and associated software and systems engineering in support of the MQ-8 tactical control system. The Fire Scout air vehicle is a Schweitzer 333 helicopter based on the proven design of the Schweitzer 330 commercial lightweight manned utility helicopter. A benefit of selecting the commercially available design is that Schweitzer company based in Elmira, New York has an established worldwide spares and support infrastructure. Work will take place in Virginia and California. Estimated completion is in March 2026.
Middle East & Africa
Sikorsky won a $99.9 million contract modification for 25 modified UH-60M Black Hawk aircraft in support of the Saudi Arabian National Guard. As with a previous order for 17 UH-60Ms for the SANG and Royal Saudi Land Forces Airborne Special Security Forces (RSLFASSF) announced in January 2018, it is unclear if this deal represents additional or previously announced platforms. Work will take place in Connecticut. Estimated completion date is October 31, 2024.
France will offer its anti-air frigate Jean Bart and anti-submarine destroyer Latouche-Tréville if the French naval industry is select by Greece to build new warships for the Hellenic Navy. This will be a stop-gap solution that Team France – Naval Group, Thales, MBDA – is offering to Greece while it waits for the new frigates to be built.
According to Defense News, the Czech Air Force has selected the Airborne Missile Protection System from Bird Aerosystems to protect its Mi-17 fleet. Under the contract, of which the value was not disclosed, Bird Aerosystems will provide additional AMPS missile verification systems with the MACS. The contract builds on a different deal announced in September 2020 for the company to upgrade the AMPS previously provided to the Czech Air Force and prepare it for future installation of the MACS.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) commissioned its 12th and final Soryu Class diesel-electric attack submarine (SSK) in a ceremony held on March 24 in Hyogo Prefecture in west-central Japan. Named JS Toryu (with pennant number SS 512), the 84-m-long boat was inducted into the Escort Division 6 of Escort Flotilla 2, which is homeported at the Yokosuka naval base in Kanagawa Prefecture, shortly after being handed over by shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) at its facility in Kobe.
Watch: Kawasaki Presents the Twelfth Soryu Class Submarine to the Japanese Navy!