13 juillet 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

China’s stealth fighter goes into mass production after thrust upgrade

  • The J-20B has overcome agility problems to finally be considered a fully fledged fifth-generation fighter, military source says
  • Aircraft still will be fitted with Russian engine but ‘Chinese version could be ready in a year or two'

A modified version of China's first stealth fighter jet, the J-20, has formally entered mass production, with upgrades earning it a place as a fifth-generation fighter jet, according to a military source close to the project.
The moment was marked at a ceremonial unveiling of the modified J-20B stealth fighter jet on Wednesday attended by many senior military leaders including Central Military Commission (CMC) vice-chairman General Zhang Youxia, the source said.
Zhang is the second-ranked vice-chairman of the CMC and is in charge of weapons development for the People's Liberation Army.
“Mass production of the J-20B started on Wednesday. It has finally become a complete stealth fighter jet, with its agility meeting the original criteria,” the source said.

“The most significant change to the fighter jet is that it is now equipped with thrust vector control.”

Thrust vector control (TVC) allows pilots to better control the aircraft by redirecting engine thrust.
In 2018, China debuted its J-10C multirole fighter – fitted with a WS-10 Taihang engine – at the China air show in Zhuhai, putting the aircraft through its paces in a performance that indicated that China had succeeded in thrust technology.

While the TVC technology had been applied to the stealth fighter, the J-20B would still use Russian Saturn AL-31 engines because more work needed to be done on China's WS-15 engine, the source said.
Chinese engineers have been developing high-thrust turbofan WS-15 engines for the J-20, but that work has fallen behind schedule.
“The Chinese engine designed for the J-20s still failed to meet requirements, but its development is going quite smoothly, and it may be ready in the next one or two years,” the source said.
“The ultimate goal is to equip the J-20B fighter jets with domestic engines.”
China was thought to have built about 50 J-20s by the end of 2019, but problems with the jets' engines delayed further production plans.

Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth assembly plant in Texas delivered 134 F-35 stealth fighters in 2019, three more than its target and 47 per cent more than its output in 2018, according to the company.
China's first batch of J-20s entered service in 2017 when the US decided to deploy more than 100 F-35s to Japan and South Korea that year.
The J-20 was meant to be a fifth-generation fighter jet on a par with Lockheed's F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning multirole strike fighters.
Fifth-generation fighters are defined by their stealth technology, supersonic cruising speed, super manoeuvrability, and highly integrated avionics.
But the earlier version of the J-20 was described by Western media as a “dedicated interceptor aircraft” because of its lack of agility.
“The launch of the J-20B means this aircraft now is a formal fifth-generation fighter jet,” the military source said, adding that Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (CAC), which manufactures the J-20s, had received “heavy orders” from the PLA.
CAC set up its fourth production line in 2019, each one with a capacity to make about one J-20 a month.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3092839/chinas-stealth-fighter-goes-mass-production-after-thrust

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  • Contracts for September 15, 2021

    16 septembre 2021 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Contracts for September 15, 2021

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  • US approves $7.5 billion in foreign weapons sales in one day

    7 juillet 2020 | International, Terrestre

    US approves $7.5 billion in foreign weapons sales in one day

    By: Aaron Mehta WASHINGTON — It was a happy Independence Day for American defense companies, with the U.S. State Department announcing Monday it has approved almost $7.5 billion in potential foreign military sales to five different countries. The potential sales, announced on the website of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, involve UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for Lithuania, E-2D Hawkeye aircraft for France, MV-22 Osprey aircraft for Indonesia, Stryker infantry vehicles for Argentina and aviation fuel for Israel. DSCA announcements mean that the State Department has decided the potential FMS cases meet its standards, but is not a guarantee the sales will to happen in their announced forms. Once approved by Congress, the foreign customer begins to negotiate on price and quantity, both of which can change during the final negotiations. Israel: The biggest price tag, at $3 billion, is 990 million gallons of petroleum-based fuel for Israel, including JP-8 aviation fuel, diesel fuel and unleaded gasoline. Vendors will be selected “using a competitive bid process through Defense Logistics Agency Energy for supply source,” according to the announcement. Israel operates the American-made F-35I Joint Strike Fighter, among other aviation assets. France: The French request to purchase three E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft comes with an estimated price tag of $2 billion. The aircraft is to replace France's legacy E-2C Hawkeye fleet. In addition to the aircraft, the country wants 10 T-56-427A engines, three AN/APY-9 radar assemblies, four AN/ALQ-217 electronic support measure systems and one Joint Mission Planning System, among other technologies. “The E-2D aircraft will continue and expand French naval aviation capabilities and maintain interoperability with U.S. naval forces,” the DSCA announcement read. “As a current E-2C operator, France will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment and support into its armed forces.” Primary work will be done at Northrop Grumman's Melbourne, Florida, location. There will be industrial offsets required in the future, but those have not been defined at this point. This is the first DSCA notification of an arms sale to France since at least September 2017, as the country prefers to rely on its domestic arms industry. Indonesia: Indonesia was cleared to spend an estimated $2 billion to buy eight MV-22 Block C Osprey aircraft. Also included are 24 AE 1107C Rolls-Royce engines; 20 each of the AN/AAQ-27 forward-Looking infrared radars, AN/AAR-47 missile warning systems and AN/APR-39 radar warning receivers; and 20 each of the M-240-D 7.64mm machine guns and GAU-21 machine guns, among other gear. The potential sale is announced at a time when the U.S. is seeking to beef up both its presence and the capabilities of partner nations in the Pacific in order to blunt Chinese interests in the region. This is the first DSCA notification of an arms sale to Indonesia since at least September 2017. “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of an important regional partner that is a force for political stability, and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region. It is vital to U.S. national interest to assist Indonesia in developing and maintaining a strong and effective self-defense capability,” the DSCA notification read, adding the sale will “enhance Indonesia's humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities and support amphibious operations.” Primary work will be done by Bell Textron in Amarillo, Texas, and Boeing in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania. Lithuania: The Baltic nation of Lithuania plans to spend $380 million to procure six UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. The standard U.S. configuration requested includes 14 T700-GE-701D engines, 12 M240H machine guns, night vision goggles, a number of radios and thousands of rounds of ammunition. “The proposed sale of these UH-60 helicopters to Lithuania will significantly increase its capability to provide troop lift, border security, anti-terrorist, medical evacuation, search and rescue, re-supply/external lift, combat support in all weather,” per the DSCA. “These UH-60 helicopters will allow for interoperability with U.S. and NATO forces in rapid response to a variety of missions and quick positioning of troops with minimal helicopter assets. Lithuania intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize and expand its armed forces to provide multi-mission support in its region and combat terrorism threats.” The Black Hawks will replace the nation's Soviet-made Mi-8 fleet. The U.S. is helping fund Lithuania's purchase through the European Recapitalization Incentive Program, or ERIP, a tool developed in 2018 alongside U.S. European Command to speed up the process of getting allied nations off Russian gear. The State Department kicked in $30 million of ERIP funding to help complete that deal. So far, three of the eight countries to receive ERIP funds have used them to purchase Black Hawk helicopters. Work will primarily be done at Sikorsky's Stratford, Connecticut, location and General Electric Aircraft Company in Lynn, Massachusetts. Argentina: The South American nation seeks 27 M1126 Stryker infantry carrier vehicles, with an estimated $100 million price tag. In addition to the vehicles themselves comes a pile of equipment, including 27 M2 Flex .50-caliber machine guns, radios and smoke grenade launchers. In addition, the vehicles come with special de-processing services outside of the continental United States as well as contractor-provided training. “The proposed sale will improve Argentina's capability to meet current and future threats by increasing operational capabilities and force availability,” per DSCA. “Argentina will use the Stryker vehicles to conduct stability operations in support of disaster relief and international peace keeping obligations.” Primary work will occur at the General Dynamics Land Systems facility in Anniston, Alabama. This marks Argentina's second FMS request of the fiscal year, after a December request for $70 million worth of support for its aging P-3C fleet. https://www.defensenews.com/global/the-americas/2020/07/06/us-approves-75-billion-in-foreign-weapon-sales-in-one-day

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 26, 2019

    27 novembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - November 26, 2019

    NAVY Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded an $831,008,187 modification to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive-firm-target, firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-17-C-0001). This modification provides for the production and delivery of 15 lot 14 F-35A aircraft and associated red gear in support of the Government of Australia. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (59%); El Segundo, California (14%); Warton, United Kingdom (9%); Cameri, Italy (4%); Orlando, Florida (4%); Nashua, New Hampshire (3%); Baltimore, Maryland (3%); San Diego, California (2%); and various locations outside the continental U.S. (2%), and is expected to be completed in March 2023. Non-U.S. Department of Defense participant funds in the amount of $831,008,187 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $327,950,000 fixed-price-incentive-firm-target advance acquisition contract to procure long lead material, parts and components in support of the Lot 15 production and delivery of 48 F-35A Lightning II aircraft for the Air Force. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (35%); El Segundo, California (25%); Warton, United Kingdom (20%); Orlando, Florida (10%); Nashua, New Hampshire (5%); and Baltimore, Maryland (5%), and is expected to be completed in June 2023. Fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $327,950,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-20-C-0009). Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Moorestown, New Jersey, is awarded a $29,180,420 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to a previously-awarded contract N00024-16-C-5103 for additional Aegis combat system engineering, computer program maintenance, in-country support, staging support and implementation studies in support of current and future Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Aegis shipbuilding programs in support of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, Republic of Korea Navy, Spanish Armada, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Norwegian Navy, with scope available to support other potential FMS customers. The current Aegis FMS programs supported include the Japanese Kongo and Atago-class ships, Korean KDX III class ships, Spanish F-100 and F-110 program, Norwegian F310-class ships and Australian Hunter and Hobart-class ships. Work will be performed in Moorestown, New Jersey (96%); Tokyo, Japan (1%); Seoul, South Korea (1%); Bergen, Norway (1%); and Adelaide, Australia (1%), and is expected to be completed by June 2020. FMS funding in the amount of $29,180,420 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. University of Missouri at Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri, was awarded a $27,248,586 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Short Pulse Research, Evaluation and non-Space, Weight and Power (SWAP) demonstration for Counter-Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-sUAS). Work will be performed in Kansas City, Missouri, and is expected to be completed by March 2022. The period of performance is 55 months including a 48-month base period, three 24-month option periods, two 32-month option periods, and three 36-month option periods, which will run concurrently Fiscal 2019 research, development, test, and evaluation, Navy funds in the amount of of $8,314,445 are obligated at time of award and incrementally funded with a base period valued at $7,913,051 and options at $19,335,535, and will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. This contract was originally competitively procured under N00014-18-S-B001 FY18 long range broad agency announcement (BAA). Since proposals will be received throughout the year under the long range BAA, the number of proposals received in response to the solicitation cannot be determined at this time. Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia is the contracting activity (N00014-18- C-1017-P00006). 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This contract was competitively procured under N00014-19-S-B001, “Long Range Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Navy and Marine Corps Science and Technology.” Since proposals will be received throughout the year under the long range BAA, the number of proposals received in response to the solicitation cannot be determined at this time. Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N00014- 20-C-0001). (Awarded Nov. 25, 2019) Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Moorestown, New Jersey, is awarded a $17,620,319 fixed-price-incentive (firm target), cost and cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-14-C-5104 to exercise options for ship integration and test of the AEGIS Weapon System (AWS) for AWS Baselines through Advanced Capability Build (ACB) 12. The contract provides for AEGIS shipboard integration engineering, AEGIS test team support, AEGIS modernization team engineering support, ballistic missile defense test team support, and AWS element assessments. This contract will cover the AWS ship integration and test efforts for five new construction DDG 51 class ships, the major modernization of five DDG 51 class ships, and the major modernization of six CG 47 class ships. It will additionally cover the integrated combat system modifications and upgrades for all current ships with all AWS baselines up to and including ACB 12. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia (44%); Everett, Washington (42%); Pascagoula, Mississippi (4%); Bath, Maine (3%); Moorestown, New Jersey (3%); Camden, New Jersey (2%); and various places below one percent (2%), and is expected to be complete by November 2021. 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Raytheon Corp., Marlborough, Massachusetts, has been awarded an $8,517,484 modification (P00093) under previously awarded contract FA8705-14-C-0001 to exercise the interim contractor support, data and travel option for Global Aircrew Strategic Network Terminal. Work will be performed at Largo, Florida, and is expected to be completed by December 2020. The total cumulative value of the contract is now $348,366,192. Fiscal 2019 other procurement funds in the amount of $8,517,484 are being obligated at time of award. The Air Force Material Command, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, is the contracting activity. The Raytheon Co., Marlborough, Massachusetts, has been awarded an $8,308,308 cost-plus-fixed-fee change order contract modification (P00148) to the previously award contract FA8705-13-C-0005 for the Software InfoSec Module (SIM) Support Fixture (SSF). 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