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December 7, 2023 | International, Land

Eight contract opportunities to watch in FY24

There are several major U.S. defense competitions expected in fiscal 2024, with just these eight estimated to be worth a total of $61.9 billion.

On the same subject

  • The Air Force's Goal: Turn Cargo Planes into Makeshift Bombers

    June 2, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    The Air Force's Goal: Turn Cargo Planes into Makeshift Bombers

    The Air Force is proposing turning unarmed military cargo jets into temporary bombers. Cargo jets, with their large internal volume, could launch missiles from safe distances, far away from enemy forces. The Air Force has already successfully tested dropping simulated munitions from the back of airplanes. The U.S. Air Force is looking at arming otherwise unarmed cargo planes, pressing them into service as makeshift bombers. The service believes future wars with adversaries like Russia or China will require plenty of aerial firepower and transport planes, loaded with pallets of cruise missiles, could provide an inexpensive solution. According to Defense News, the Air Force thinks aircraft such as the C-130J Super Hercules and C-17 Globemaster III could become part-time missile trucks. The unarmed aircraft typically shuttle troops and equipment, but in a pinch, would be equipped with “smart pallets” carrying long-range cruise missiles and other munitions. The pallets would be capable of feeding position, navigation, and targeting data to their onboard missiles. Once dropped from the rear of the aircraft, the pallets would quickly release their missile cargoes, sending them downrange to their targets. The larger the aircraft, the more missiles it could carry.

  • ‘Gamechanger’ aerial drone arrives in UK after mammoth 24-hour transatlantic flight

    July 16, 2018 | International, Aerospace

    ‘Gamechanger’ aerial drone arrives in UK after mammoth 24-hour transatlantic flight

    By: Beth Stevenson RAF FAIRFORD, England — General Atomics Aeronautical Systems' developmental MQ−9B SkyGuardian made the first ever transatlantic flight of a medium-altitude, long endurance aerial drone. The unmanned aerial vehicle completed touched down at RAF Fairford in the United Kingdom after a 3,760 nautical mile sortie from the U.S. July 11 that began at the Grand Forks test site in North Dakota 24 hours and 2 minutes prior. The journey was the first transatlantic flight of both the SkyGuardian and any MALE UAV, but also the first U.K. appearance of the UAV that the Royal Air Force will operate under its Protector program. The U.K. is the launch customer for SkyGuardian, and the journey to RAF Fairford to take part in the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) ties in with the RAF's centenary celebrations, as the MQ−9B will be one of the next combat aircraft types delivered to the service. L3 Technologies Communication Systems provided Ku-band satellite communication (SATCOM) to control the UAV throughout the flight with no handover to a control station in the U.K, although Inmarsat Government provided a backup L-band SATCOM capability in case of failure. A line-of-sight ground control station was shipped to Fairford and was responsible for taxiing the aircraft once it had carried out its automatic landing. It flew at approximately 27,000 feet for most of the flight, dropping to 9,000 feet and maintaining a holding pattern near Fairford for some 2 hours ahead of landing, transiting initially via Canada, over to the South of Ireland, and then over Wales before reaching its end destination. Jonny King, vice-president of GA-ASI UK, told a media briefing at Fairford that the transit demonstrates that the UAV is self-deploying, and the journey was relatively routine for the test aircraft — just with a different landing destination. It has previously flown a sortie of more than 48 hours, King noted, and for the transatlantic flight it was able to fly under the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's authorization, with support from the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority that granted an overflight permission for the transit into U.K. airspace. While the U.K. is on record as being the launch customer for the SkyGuardian through its Protector effort, the aircraft is yet to go through certification testing — one of the most distinguishing features of this variant — and will not be delivered to the RAF until the early 2020s. Development and certification contracts for Protector have been signed, but a production contract for the buy is not expected to be signed for some time, the RAF told Defense News. Air Marshal Julian Young, chief of materiel for air, defense equipment and support for the RAF, said that it is expected that Protector will be acquired under two direct commercial sales contracts and two foreign military sales deals with the U.S. government, covering the various elements of development and acquisition. “Protector is one of the most exciting projects I have to deliver,” Young said, adding that it will be a “gamechanger” in its ability to fly alongside manned aircraft under the remit of air traffic control, with the ultimate goal of being able to fly in open airspace alongside uncontrolled aircraft. “This is a key component of the future of the RAF's air power,” he told media at the aircraft landing event. “I hope this is going to set the standard for aviation. The U.K. is very happy to be the lead with this unique capability.” SkyGuardian has been in test flight for some 18 months so far, King said, adding that the second test aircraft – YBCO2 – will join the first aircraft in test flight in the next month or so. In accordance with the U.K.'s 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the RAF will more than double its MALE UAV capability, which is currently fulfilled by a fleet of 10 Block 1 MQ-9 Reapers, so as few as 21 could be acquired, although 26 is a figure that has been previously touted. The RAF has claimed that integrating UK-made weaponry is a priority for the program, so it will operate MBDA's Brimstone ground attack missile and Raytheon UK Paveway IV laser-guided bombs, although contracts for these have also not yet been signed. “Sovereignty is clearly an important issue,” Young told Defense News, adding that while the Reapers that were bought in the same configuration operated by the U.S. Air Force have been a capability that the U.K. has been able to effectively exploit, more sovereignty would have been an advantage. But “this comes at a cost.” He added that the training capability that the U.K. will use is still undecided on, although the U.K. is open to this taking place domestically or with other partners should another nation elect to acquire aircraft. SkyGuardian will be showcased throughout RIAT before being dismantled and shipped back to the U.S. a week later, King noted.

  • La Suisse a reçu l’approbation du Département d’État pour acheter des combattants

    January 5, 2021 | International, Aerospace

    La Suisse a reçu l’approbation du Département d’État pour acheter des combattants

    Le Département d'État américain a approuvé la vente potentielle d'avions de combat et du système Patriot à la Suisse. Cette décision fait suite au référendum qui a eu lieu dimanche dernier en Suisse. Lors d'un vote national, les Helvètes ont accepté d'acheter de nouveaux avions de combat pour remplacer les machines Northrop F-5E / F Tiger II et Boeing F / A-18C / D Hornet en service. Deux fournisseurs d'outre-mer et trois européens se sont disputés le contrat. Les États-Unis proposent à la Suisse des avions Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II et Boeing F / A-18 Super Hornet. En prévision d'une éventuelle décision, les Américains ont déjà accepté d'exporter lesdites armes. Dans le cas des avions F-35A, on parle de la vente potentielle de 40 machines, ainsi que de pièces détachées et d'armes, pour un montant d'environ 6,58 milliards de dollars. 40 chasseurs F / A-18E / F Super Hornet avec un package similaire ont été évalués à 7,45 milliards de dollars. Parallèlement, le département d'État américain a également approuvé la vente de systèmes de missiles de défense aérienne et antimissile Patriot à la Suisse. Cinq batteries sont évaluées à 2,2 milliards de dollars. Aucune partie ou la totalité des œuvres contenues dans la revue ne peut être reproduite et diffusée ou diffusée ultérieurement sous quelque forme et par quelque moyen que ce soit (y compris électronique ou mécanique ou autre ou dans tout domaine d'utilisation), y compris la copie, la numérisation au sens large, la photocopie ou copie, y compris publication sur Internet – sans le consentement écrit de Gremi Media SA. Toute utilisation ou utilisation des œuvres en tout ou en partie sans le consentement de Gremi Media SA ou des auteurs en violation de la loi est interdite sous peine de sanction et passible de poursuites.

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