Global military briefs

Raytheon and RAM-System begin RAM Block 2 development
Raytheon Missile Systems and its German partner RAM-System GmbH have embarked on the development of a substantial kinematic and sensor upgrade to the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) under the RAM Block 2 programme. The US and German governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in May for the cooperative development of RAM Block 2, the US Naval Sea Systems Command having placed a USD105.5 million contract for System Design and Development (SDD) in support of the Program Executive Office-Integrated Weapon Systems
LSE covets larger share of work on Malaysian frigate build
Contractual discussions between BAE Systems and Labuan Shipbuilding and Engineering (LSE) over the building of two Jebat-class frigates for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) have yet to be finalised as the Malaysian company seeks a larger portion of the construction work. In July 2006, BAE Systems received the Letter of Intent to build the frigates in partnership with LSE
USAF official says Lockheed Martin bid to re-engine C-5 fleet is too costly
Lockheed Martin’s unsolicited proposal to install new engines in the US military’s C-5 cargo aircraft fleet is as much as USD60 million more per aircraft than the US Air Force (USAF) can afford to pay, according to a senior USAF official. The USAF is engaged in continuing negotiations to press Lockheed Martin to scale back the proposed cost of the Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP), which would see the installation of a more efficient General Electric F138-GE-100 engine in all 112 C-5A and C-5B aircraft
Riddle of Russia’s reported arms sale to Syria/Iran
Persistent reports from sources in Moscow, New Delhi and foreign delegations attending last month’s Paris Air Show point towards Russia’s state arms export agency, Rosoboronexport, preparing to make a major sale of conventional arms to Syria and Iran. During the Paris show, the Moscow-based newspaper Kommersant reported on a Rosoboronexport contract to deliver five Mikoyan MiG-31E fighter aircraft and an undetermined number of MiG-29M/M2 fighters to Syria in a deal worth more than USD1 billion

US Army general set to lead AFRICOM

A US Army general has been selected to head a new US regional command: US Africa Command (AFRICOM). US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced on 10 July the selection of US Army General William Ward, currently the deputy commander of US European Command, to lead the new command, which is supposed to lend new focus to US military activity on the continent
Aselsan unveils Igla-armed PMADS
A version of the Aselsan Pedestal Mounted Air Defence System (PMADS) armed with Russian Igla surface-to-air missiles rather than the Raytheon Stingers used in earlier versions was shown for the first time at the IDEF 2007 exhibition in Ankara, writes Michal Zdobinsky.  PMADS is currently being built for the Turkish Army in the heavier Atilgan version with eight ready-to-fire Stinger missiles and in the lighter four-version Zipkin version

Bulava SLBM undergoes successful launch
The Russian ballistic missile submarine Dmitry Donskoi successfully fired an R-30 Bulava (SS-NX-30) submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on 28 June 2007 from a location in the White Sea, writes Doug Richardson. All three stages operated correctly and the test payload – a single warhead – reached the target area at the Kura test range on the Kamchatka Peninsula

EO sensor turrets look set to boost RAF Nimrods

An additional eight UK Royal Air Force (RAF) BAE Systems Nimrod MR.2 maritime patrol aircraft will be fitted with L3 Wescam MX-15 electro-optical (EO) sensor turrets by the end of the year to allow all the service’s operational fleet to conduct overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) aims to ensure that 12 Nimrods are available to conduct EO surveillance at any one time, according to RAF sources
Canadian frigate upgrade gets go-ahead

The Canadian government has given the go-ahead for a CAD3.1 billion (USD2.9 billion) modernisation of the Maritime Command’s 12 Halifax-class frigates, commissioned between 1992 and 1996. The Halifax-Class Modernisation/Frigate Life Extension (HCM/FELEX) project includes capability upgrades, maintenance and sustainment projects, along with the integration of two non-naval projects: the Protected MILSATCOM and the CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter

Italians eagerly await their ‘cruiseship’ aircraft carrier
With the Italian Navy’s new aircraft carrier ITS Cavour due to be delivered to the customer at the end of 2007, neither the leading platform contractor Fincantieri nor the combat system functional integrator Selex Sistemi Integrati (Selex SI) are expecting an easy ride as they gear up for pre-handover outfitting and trials. The carrier programme dates back to the early 1990s, when the navy’s Chief of Staff began to evaluate a series of proposals to replace the ageing Vittorio Veneto
USN awards JTRS handheld radio contracts

The US Navy’s (USN’s) Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center has awarded contracts worth up to USD6.24 billion for the production of handheld radios under the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) programme. Thales Communications could earn up to USD3.5 billion while Harris Corporation receives as much as USD2.74 billion for production of networked radios for all branches of the US military through to June 2008

Source: Jane’s Defense Journal

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