Category Archives: Military News

Airbus delivers 1,000th Super Puma helicopter

Airbus delivers 1,000th Super Puma helicopter

Airbus Helicopters has delivered its 1,000th Super Puma helicopter: a twin-engine multi-role H215 assembled in Marignane, France, and handed over to the German Federal Police (Bundespolizei) to support the German Havarie Command, which manages maritime emergencies off of Germany’s coast. This delivery completes the German Federal Police’s order for four H215s, the first three of which were delivered in December 2018, and increases the German Federal Police’s Super Puma fleet to 23, including 19 AS332 L1s, making the police force one of the largest operators of Super Pumas in the world today.

“The Super Puma family of civil and military helicopters has consistently performed well thanks to its ability to appeal to many different mission segments, whether you’re fighting fires, building power lines, transporting troops, or saving lives in extreme environments,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “Thanks to our close partnerships with long-standing customers like the German Federal Police, who we are honoured will operate our 1000th Super Puma, we are able to continuously improve so that this important product continues to meet the evolving market needs for decades to come.”

Airbus delivers 1,000th Super Puma helicopter

Airbus delivers 1,000th Super Puma helicopter


Today, the Super Puma is operated by nearly 100 customers in 59 countries representing all regions of the world. The Super Puma family is composed of the H215 and H225 for the civil market, produced by Airbus Helicopters for law enforcement, aerial work, search and rescue, offshore transport and governmental missions, and appreciated for their versatility and ability to operate in extreme environmental conditions. In the military sector, Airbus Helicopters offers the H215M and H225M for search and rescue, troop transport, special ops and utility missions, among others.

Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2018, it generated revenues of €64 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

Airbus delivers 1,000th Super Puma helicopter

Airbus delivers 1,000th Super Puma helicopter


Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2018, it generated revenues of €64 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

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P-8A gets new tool, extended search and rescue capability

P-8A gets new tool, extended search and rescue capability

Flying at a maximum speed of about 565 mph, at about 41,000 feet, the U.S. Navy’s P-8A Poseidon already covers an operational area of about 1,200 nautical miles during a four-hour on-station period. Now, add air-to-air refueling for extended range and endurance and an advanced search and rescue kit and officials say the P-8A is postured to respond to humanitarian missions around the globe. “The UNIPAC III Search and Rescue (SAR) kit is designed to substantially increase survivor assistance,” said Squadron Leader Nathan Mula, an Australian P-8A Flight Test Tactical officer stationed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River (PAX) in Maryland. Mula is part of the cooperative program at the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Office (PMA-290). “The kit increases the survivor assistance capability of the P-8A from 16 to 100 people in a single sortie.”

The testing, which is performed at PAX, but funded by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) ensures those rescued are found and sustained with food, water and communications for an extended time. “The test program is a perfect example of the benefits reaped when two international partners join as part of a cooperative partnership,” Mula said. “Not only does the RAAF take a large step toward a major capability milestone, but the U.S. Navy receives the developmental and operational test experience and results.”

“By leveraging the developmental experience, both countries are able to increase their capability to provide assistance to survivors in the oceans around the world,” he said.

Operated by U.S Navy, Australia and India, the P-8 is performing maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations around the globe. Additionally, the United Kingdom, Norway, New Zealand and South Korea have ordered the aircraft with deliveries expected through the middle of the next decade.

The aircraft has proven valuable at search and rescue in addition to its core capabilities in maritime patrol, reconnaissance, intelligence and surveillance.

Some missions supported by the P-8A include operations to find the downed Malaysian airliner in 2014; and the rescue of castaways in 2016 when their large “Help” sign constructed from palm leaves stood out against the sands on Fanadik Island. In 2018, three fishermen were rescued in the South Pacific by a U.S. Navy Squadron with the help of UNIPAC-II SAR kit, the predecessor to the UNIPAC-III, which was the first time the U.S. Navy employed the system.

During testing there were both ground and flight tests, which included static ejection, safe separation and integration programs to certify the UNIPAC-III the Search and Rescue. During this test, testers evaluate the SAR kit [includes raft, food rations and drinking water], is studied approximately five miles off the coast of the Naval Air Station Patuxent River. (U.S. Navy photo/ Released)

During testing there were both ground and flight tests, which included static ejection, safe separation and integration programs to certify the UNIPAC-III the Search and Rescue. During this test, testers evaluate the SAR kit [includes raft, food rations and drinking water], is studied approximately five miles off the coast of the Naval Air Station Patuxent River. (U.S. Navy photo/ Released)


“Over the past year, we’ve performed numerous ground and flight tests, including static ejection, safe separation and integration programs to certify the UNIPAC-III,” said Katie Giewont, a P-8A Air Vehicle Stores Compatibility flight test engineer.

“It’s rewarding knowing we are providing the RAAF with the capability to rescue 100 survivors from a single P-8A. It’s incredible,” she said.

“The RAAF will perform additional operational testing in Australia later in the year, said RAAF Squadron Leader Lee McDowall. “It means a lot to us for the U.S. Navy to trust our specialists to perform the testing to their same standard.”

The RAAF monitors a region spanning from the Indian Ocean across to the Pacific and down to Antarctica, which equals approximately 10 percent of the earth’s entire surface, McDowall said.“We have an excellent working relationship as integrated members of the program office and as cooperative partners in the P-8A acquisition process,” he said.

The U.S. Navy will evaluate the UNIPAC-III for its own fleet, and will use outcomes from the RAAF’s operational tests to consider the potential introduction of the capability.

“There’s no other rescue capability like it in the world,” McDowall said

Royal Navy Experts Go On North Atlantic Sub Hunt

Royal Navy Experts Go On North Atlantic Sub Hunt

The Royal Navy’s anti-submarine experts working with HMS Queen Elizabeth have been pitting their wits against an American submarine in the North Atlantic.

HMS Northumberland and the specialist Merlin Mk2 of 820 Naval Air Squadron have gained invaluable information on tactics and skills required to protect an aircraft carrier from the threat beneath the waves while working with an allied US sub.

Type 23 frigate Northumberland used her specialist sonars, including the powerful towed array sonar, to hunt the submarine at range, keeping tabs on the sub before ‘destroying’ the target in training exercises.

Joining in the chase was the RNAS Culdrose-based Merlin Mk2, the aerial submarine hunting experts on Queen Elizabeth. The navy fliers utilised sonar buoys to cover a large area of ocean to prevent the submarine getting a clean shot at any of the UK Carrier Strike Group ships.

Royal Navy Experts Go On North Atlantic Sub Hunt

Royal Navy Experts Go On North Atlantic Sub Hunt


“As a submariner, it has been a fantastic opportunity to see life and fight from the other side,” Principal Warfare Officer, Lieutenant Commander Kris White, said.

“The challenging environment has been a hurdle the team and I have had to overcome and adapt to but it has been a hugely valuable exercise period, allowing me to utilise my submariner experience, helping to forge the tactics we will require for the Carrier Strike Group in 2021.”

Sonar Maintainer, Petty Officer Douglas Owen, added: “It has been a challenging period but one that I have relished.

“Being the Sonar Maintainer on an anti-submarine warfare frigate always attracts significant pressure, especially during a period of intensive training with a live submarine. It has been great to see the kit in action”.

The anti-submarine task group carried out a number of exercises, which varied in complexity and range to really test the UK ships.

Following the training, Northumberland, the Merlin Mk2 and RFA Tideforce joined up with the sub briefly before continuing their work on the Westlant 19 deployment.

Royal Navy Experts Go On North Atlantic Sub Hunt

Royal Navy Experts Go On North Atlantic Sub Hunt

U.S. Army extends contract for Bradley Fighting Vehicle upgrades

U.S. Army extends contract for Bradley Fighting Vehicle upgrades

The U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a contract modification worth up to $269 million for continued production of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV). The award for an additional 168 upgraded Bradley A4 Infantry Fighting Vehicles is part of the Army’s combat vehicle modernization strategy and helps ensure force readiness of the Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCT).

The Bradley A4 is equipped with an enhanced powertrain that maximizes mobility and increases engine horsepower, providing rapid movement in reaction to combat or other adverse situations. Wide angle Driver’s Vision Enhancer, improved Force XXI Battle Command Bridge and Below (FBCB2) software integration improves friendly and enemy vehicle identification, enhancing situational awareness. The addition of a High Speed Slip Ring, greater network connectivity and Smart Displays that simultaneously display classified and unclassified information also improve situational awareness.

U.S. Army extends contract for Bradley Fighting Vehicle upgrades

U.S. Army extends contract for Bradley Fighting Vehicle upgrades


“The Bradley is one of the most critical vehicles in the Army’s ABCT today because it allows the Army to transport troops to the fight, and provide covering fire to suppress enemy vehicles and troops,” said Scott Davis, vice president of combat vehicle programs for BAE Systems. “Upgrading to the A4 configuration provides soldiers with more power to increase their speed and ability to integrate enhanced technology to ensure they maintain the advantage on the battlefield.”

Previously awarded funding for initial production of 164 Bradley A4 vehicles allowed BAE Systems to begin production. The award of this option brings the total production funding to $578 million. It includes upgrades and associated spares of two Bradley variants: the M2A4 Infantry Fighting Vehicle and the M7A4 Fire Support Team Vehicle.

BAE Systems is a premiere supplier of combat vehicles to the U.S. military and international customers. The company has an extensive manufacturing network across the United States and continues to invest in it. Work on the program will take place at Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, Texas, and BAE Systems’ facilities in Aiken, South Carolina; Anniston, Alabama; Minneapolis, Minnesota; San Jose, California; Sterling Heights, Michigan; and York, Pennsylvania.

Royal Netherlands Air Force to Order Nine More F-35s for €1 Bn

Royal Netherlands Air Force to Order Nine More F-35s for €1 Bn

The Netherlands Ministry of Defence is buying an additional nine F-35 fighter aircraft. State Secretary Barbara Visser informed the House of Representatives by letter today. The total number of F-35s for the Air Force will increase to 46. By adding nine aircraft to the current order, the Netherlands Ministry of Defence organization is better able to perform constitutional tasks. In addition, with this latest purchase, the foundation is laid for a third F-35 squadron.

As one of the original nine partner nations for the F-35, and the second international partner to receive the F-35, the Netherlands continues to be a key contributor to the development, production and sustainment of the F-35 program. The Netherlands and Lockheed Martin have a long-standing partnership of working together since 1914 – with the Netherlands operating the Martin Model TA, Electra, Lodestar, P2V-5 Neptune, T-33 Shooting Star, F-104 Starfighter, P-3 Orion, C-130 Hercules, and F-16 Fighting Falcon and now, the development of the F-35.

Lt. Gen. Luyt, Royal Netherlands Air Force Commander, addresses the crowd at the ceremony. During his remarks, he spoke about the jet's advanced capabilities, Netherlands industrial participation and the coalition efforts the F-35 enables.

Lt. Gen. Luyt, Royal Netherlands Air Force Commander, addresses the crowd at the ceremony. During his remarks, he spoke about the jet’s advanced capabilities, Netherlands industrial participation and the coalition efforts the F-35 enables.


On 19 September 2013 the MOD announced that it will buy 35 additional F-35As between 2014–2023, bringing the total to 37, the maximum number fitting the original budget for F-16 replacement. First aircraft to enter service in 2019, last in 2023.The Dutch Parliament approved an order for eight Lockheed Martin F-35As in March 2015, confirming the aircraft as the official replacement for the F-16 for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. This lot of eight F-35s will be delivered in 2019. The current program of record for the Netherlands is for up to 37 aircraft.

Dutch Industry including 25 suppliers continues to benefit from the F-35 program with contracts awarded for high technology work. As estimated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the F-35 has already generated more than $1B in contracts for Netherlands Industry, creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs for this country over the next 30-40 years. As the Netherlands moves forward with the procurement of operational aircraft, contracts and jobs resulting from the F-35 will be sustained over the 30-plus years of production for the transformational 5th generation fighter.

C295 Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR)

C295 Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR)

Canada’s dedicated search and rescue (SAR) crews regularly put their lives on the line, relying on aircraft to overcome the significant challenges presented by dangerous weather and terrain. The requirements for Canadian SAR aircraft have been well-documented – from demanding mountain contour search, Arctic and North Atlantic storms, to extreme temperatures, icing and precipitation. Airbus’ C295, which has been selected for the country’s Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Program, is perfectly suited to these duties. The C295 variant that Canada is receiving is the latest version, equipped with winglets that make it capable of transporting more payload over larger distances, resulting in fuel savings as well as increased safety margins in mountainous regions.

Numerous enhancements are being introduced in the Canadian C295s, responding to the country’s specific search and rescue mission requirements. With the aircraft routinely operating in the harsh conditions of the North Atlantic, the C295s for Canada includes several improvement to guarantee crew safety, such as an advance avionics package compliant with the most demanding navigation regulations, reinforcements in the fuselage that improve ditching operations and a hatch to allow a rapid aircraft evacuation in case of a forced landing in the ocean.
Additionally, elements have been incorporated for aerodynamic drag reduction to improve time-on-station for the aircraft and increase the top speed during search and rescue missions. The C295 cabin interior is tailored to the Canadian Air Force’s operational, with such as a new wireless intercom system for crew communications, the increase of spaces for storing SAR equipment, additional lighting for medical evacuation duties and lighting compatible with the use of night vision systems.

C295 Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR)

C295 Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR)


The C295’s 41-ft.-long cabin is the largest in its class, providing ample space for both sensors and mission systems, as well as crew rest and preparation areas. The aircraft’s key capabilities include:
Search Radar
Multi-mode radar for detection, localisation, classification, and tracking of targets over water and land – all weather, day or night
Maximum range of 200 nm, tracking 100+ surface targets while scanning
Detects:
– Ocean-going fishing vessels or merchant ships between 80-200 nm
– Small craft or inflatable boats up to 35 nm
– SAR mode provides the capability of distinguishing and recognising ground contacts

Electro-Optical/Infrared sensors
Stabilized, high magnification imaging sensors greatly extend detection, recognition, and identification range
Multi-spectral imaging (daylight, low light, and thermal) enables search operations under sub-optimal conditions, such as overcast, dusk, and even complete darkness
Target geo-location eases handoff to ground personnel
EO/IR sensors lend themselves to search automation
Search operations are more efficient and economical, with better outcomes”

Automatic Identification System (AIS)
Capability to identify and locate ships, aircraft, land bases and navigational aids equipped with AIS transponders
Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS)
Ship data provided: position, dimensions, destination, ship name, MMSI and call sign
TX/RX text messages capability

Progeny Wins $115M to Upgrade Mk 48 mod 7 CBASS Torpedo Sonar

Progeny Wins $115M to Upgrade Mk 48 mod 7 CBASS Torpedo Sonar

Progeny Systems Corp., Manassas, Virginia, is awarded a $115,736,303 cost-plus-incentive-fee, firm-fixed-price, cost and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for an upgrade to the Mk 48 mod 7 Common Broadband Advanced Sonar System (CBASS) heavyweight torpedo program, to include the following deliverables for associated subsystem electronic systems: detail design, engineering development models, proof-of-design units,proof-of-manufacturing units, low-rate initial production units and factory test equipment.

Also included in this procurement are related engineering and hardware repair services and provisioned-items orders. This contract includes options, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $186,567,981. Work will be performed in Manassas, Virginia (40%); Salt Lake City, Utah (18%); Middletown, Rhode Island (18%); Charleroi, Pennsylvania (17%); Cranston, Rhode Island (5%); and Annapolis, Maryland (2%), and is expected to be completed by February 2024. If all options are exercised, work will continue through August 2026.

Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of $5,790,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with three offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-19-C-6408).

Progeny Wins $115M to Upgrade Mk 48 mod 7 CBASS Torpedo Sonar

Progeny Wins $115M to Upgrade Mk 48 mod 7 CBASS Torpedo Sonar