- Canada has been cleared by the US State Department’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) to proceed with the purchase of 32 AIM-120D air-to-air missiles. Costing an estimated $140 million, the package also includes 18 Captive Air Training Missiles, four AMRAAM Non-Development Item-Airborne Instrumentation Units, two AMRAAM Instrumented Test Vehicles, seven spare AMRAAM guidance units and four spare AMRAAM control sections for use on their F/A-18 aircrafts. The DSCA said the missiles will be used on Royal Canadian Air Force fighter aircraft and are said to contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the US by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally.
- BAE Systems has commenced production of its sensor technology for the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) produced by Lockheed Martin. Valued at $40 million, the order will be carried out at BAE Systems’ facilities in Nashua, New Hampshire and Wayne, New Jersey. BAE says the sensor will allow the LRASM to semi-autonomously detect and identify targeted enemy ships without relying exclusively on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems, networking links, or GPS navigation.
- MBDA Missile Systems will produce up to 21,000 Diamond Back Wing Assemblies for use on the US Air Force’s (USAF) precision-guided GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb Increment I (GBU-39 SDB-I). The contract, awarded by the munition’s manufacturer Boeing, comes as the US Air Force orders additional SDB-I production under a two-year deal worth $261 million, which will run through to December 2018. MBDA’s component is an integral part of the munition as its tandem wing design improves the maneuverability and extends its range to over 60 nautical miles, increasing pilot safety and expanding operational reach.
Middle East & Africa
- The Canadian government, under pressure to make good on peacekeeping commitments made in 2015, looks set to offer six helicopters to the UN’s Mali mission, which could be followed by a troop deployment to act as trainers. While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had promised to send 600 troops to Mali back in 2015, fears over high causalities have prevented any firm action being taken, a decision critics say could damage Canada’s hopes of joining the UN Security Council. A 10,000 UN peacekeeping force is already in present in the country—which is experiencing a growing militant threat from jihadists—and 80 peacekeepers have been killed since 2013, making it the world’s most dangerous peacekeeping operation. Sources say the Mali mission will be discussed on the sidelines next month at an international peacekeeping conference that Canada is hosting.
- Qatar has been cleared by the DSCA for the possible $1.1 billion foreign military sale in support of its F-15QA multi-role fighter aircraft program. Once cleared by US Congress, work to be undertaken includes design and construction services, new parking/loading ramps, hot cargo pads, taxiways, hangars, back shops, alert facilities, weapons storage areas, hardened shelters, squadron operations facilities, maintenance facilities, training facilities, information technology support and cyber facilities, force protection support facilities, squadron operations facilities, other F-15QA related support structures, construction/facilities/design services, cybersecurity services, mission critical computer resources, support services, force protection services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. Contractors for the sale will be determined through an open competition, and it is expected that Doha will request offsets before negotiations are concluded. The support deal follows Qatar’s June’s $12 billion order for 36 F-15QA aircraft from Boeing, and less than two months after it announced intentions to buy 24 Eurofighter Typhoons from the UK.
- The purchase price of Turkey’s new S-400 Trumf air defense missile system is in excess of $2 billion. CEO of Russia’s state conglomerate Rostec, Sergei Chemezovhe, made the announcement to the TASS news agency on Thursday. The sale has been controversial, especially in the US, as Turkey is a NATO member yet shunned an air defense system that was interoperable with allied systems and networks. Ankara also announced this week a new $1 billion competition to design, develop, and eventually produce an engine and transmission system, or power group, for Turkey’s indigenous Altay tank program. A previous contract awarded to local engine-maker Tumosan, in conjunction with Austrian firm AVL List GmbH, was cancelled as part of Austria’s arms embargo on Turkey. Now chasing the money is the British-based European division of US firm Caterpillar, who have expressed interest in the power pack for the Altay program.
- Russia is toying with the idea of developing a new single-seat attack jet based on the twin-seat Su-34 fighter-bomber. Development of the new fighter, according to an anonymous source, could start as early 2018, with an aim to replacing the Su-25 with an aircraft that holds twice the payload (eight tonnes compared to four). But the Su-25 isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Its most recent variant, the Su-25SM3, is expected to keep flying for the next 10-15 years.
- The second indigenous aircraft carrier being developed by China will come with an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), the South China Morning Post reports. Military officials are said to have given the green light to the project after breakthroughs in developing a medium-voltage, direct-current transmission network that does not require the use of nuclear power to operate—a feature found on US aircraft carriers that use EMALS to launch its carrier aircraft—and while the US have already developed such an integrated propulsion system (IPS) on its first USS Zumwalt-class destroyer, China’s second-generation IPS technology is believed to be more advanced. China’s first two carriers, the Liaoning and its sister ship, the Type 001A, are conventionally powered vessels equipped with Soviet-designed ski-jump launch systems.
- Kratos’ UTAP-22 Mako Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) completed a multi-UAS demonstration mission:
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