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October 12, 2023 | International, Land, Security

Here’s a look at the military firepower the US is providing to Israel

The buildup reflects U.S. concern that the deadly fighting between Hamas and Israel could escalate into a more dangerous regional conflict.

On the same subject

  • Delays Cause Two-Year, $1.5B Extension For F-35 Block 4

    May 13, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    Delays Cause Two-Year, $1.5B Extension For F-35 Block 4

    Steve Trimble The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said on May 12 that the Lockheed Martin F-35 Block 4 program must be extended two years due to development delays, adding $1.5 billion to the overall price tag. The original schedule called for completing the Block 4 modernization program in 2024, but the timeline must be extended to 2026, GAO said in the watchdog agency's annual review of the F-35 program. The F-35 Joint Program Office initially estimated the cost to develop all 66 new capabilities in Block 4 would be $10.6 billion. The two-year extension to deliver Block 4 raises the development cost to $12.1 billion, with another $3.4 billion budgeted to procure and insert the capabilities in future U.S. F-35s, GAO said. The Block 4 delays started in 2019. Lockheed planned to deliver the first eight Block 4 capabilities last year, but only one—the automatic ground collision avoidance system—entered service, GAO said. In another example, Lockheed delivered software last year to enable the interim full-motion video capability for the Marine Corps F-35Bs, but failed to deliver the associated hardware, the report said. As Block 4 capabilities have entered testing, the Defense Department's operational testers have noticed other problems. Some of the new capabilities have “caused issues” with existing F-35 functions that previously worked, GAO said. “The contractor had not performed adequate testing of the software before delivering it to the test fleet,” GAO said. For its part, the contractor acknowledged the issues and said they would conduct additional testing in software laboratories before releasing future software blocks, GAO added.

  • Five European allies sign on to build NATO’s next medium-lift helicopter

    November 23, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    Five European allies sign on to build NATO’s next medium-lift helicopter

    STUTTGART, Germany – Five NATO member nations have signed on to build the alliance's next-generation helicopter, planned to replace existing fleets starting in 2035. France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Greece each signed letters of intent to participate in the program, dubbed “Next-Generation Rotorcraft Capability,” or NGRC, per a Nov. 19 statement issued by NATO. Over the coming years, these partners will work together to develop “an entirely new helicopter capability” that would replace a variety of medium multi-role rotorcraft fleets that are expected to retire between 2035 and 2040. The program was launched on the margins of the virtually held defense ministerial meeting in October, the alliance said. “By investing our resources and channeling our development initiatives through a multinational framework, we are making sure allies are equipped with the best available capabilities, which helps to maintain NATO's technological edge,” NATO Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoană was quoted as saying in the release. The letters of intent are non-binding documents, and the initial cooperation effort is in principle open to other NATO allies and partners, subject to the approval of the existing participants, a NATO official said in an email to Defense News. Details including cost, work share between the five nations and specific timelines have not yet been released. NATO envisions defense ministers from participating countries will sign a legally binding memorandum of understanding for the initial concept phase around 2022. In the meantime, the allies will develop a statement of requirements to inform that concept phase, and hash out a cooperation plan to define, develop and field the next-generation helicopter. The NATO official noted that it will be critical to “get the intellectual foundation for NGRC right,” and that 2021 discussions to establish an initial common statement of requirements will not require “substantial” capital expenditures. Next year's efforts will provide “a robust starting point for the participants to discuss and design the subsequent concept phase and agree on the associated funding requirements for the following years,” the official said. As a medium multi-role rotorcraft, this new capability would assist NATO allies in missions including insertion and extraction of special operations forces, and transporting small- and medium-sized cargo and troops within operational theaters. It would also be used in medical evacuation, search and rescue, and anti-submarine warfare. NATO is launching this effort just as the U.S. Army is firming up requirements for its own new medium multi-role rotorcraft, via the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition. A draft request for proposals for this capability – part of the service's next-generation Future Vertical Lift family of systems – is expected by the end of 2020. Bell and a Boeing-Sikorsky team have each already built a technology demonstrator, and are expected to compete for the contract award, with plans to field the new aircraft by 2030.

  • Anduril acquires drone company Blue Force Technologies

    September 10, 2023 | International, C4ISR

    Anduril acquires drone company Blue Force Technologies

    Anduril’s acquisition of Blue Force follows its purchase in June of solid rocket motor manufacturer Adranos, significantly broadening tech firm's scope.

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