Weekly Wire: For Your Situational Awareness 11/15/2019
On November 7, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency approved a possible $830.3 million Foreign Military Sale of 10 CH-47F helicopters to the UAE. The aircraft would be equipped with a significant amount of additional equipment including BAE’s AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems; Northrop Grumman’s APR-39A(V)I Radar Warning Reciever; L3 WESCAM’s MX-I5HDi EO/IR system; and a communications suite with systems from Raytheon, Harris, and Thales. The deal is a bright spot for the CH-47F production line after the US Army’s Night Court chose to cut the CH-47F Block II program during the FY2019 budget process. As a result, Boeing and the US Army have focused upon pursuing additional orders overseas to maintain economic order quantities while Army acquisitions have been reduced to MH-47 recapitalization.
Germany is looking to equip its Eurofighter Typhoons with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. Germany is hoping to sign a contract with the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency by the end of 2019 or early 2020 to acquire the E-Scan Mk 1 AESA radars. The E-Scan Mk 1 radars are built by a Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems led team under the Euroradar Consortium. Germany will equip 110 of its Tranche 2 and 3 Eurofighter Typhoons with the new radar, with deliveries expected to begin in 2022 if the contract is signed on time. Germany will also replace 38 of its Tranche 1 Eurofighter Typhoons with newer Typhoons equipped with the new AESA radar under Project Quadriga. Germany first ordered the Eurofighter Typhoon in 2003, acquiring 57 fighters under Tranche 1, 79 fighters under Tranche 2, and 31 fighters under Tranche 3.
On November 12, Japan awarded Kongsberg a $48.9 million follow-on contract to supply Joint Strike Missiles (JSM). The value of the initial contract signed in March 2019 was not disclosed. Japanese defense budgets have shed some light into JSM spending: About $72.6 million was budgeted for JSM for FY2019, and another $93.8 million has been requested for FY2020. Stand-off capabilities provided by weapons like JSM were once considered too politically sensitive to acquire. Now, the JSM is just one of several efforts to increase the range of its strike capabilities. The FY2018 budget called for studies on how other stand-off missiles like LRASM and JASSM could be integrated onto Japanese fighters. The same budget also allocated $42.2 million toward research supporting gliding hypersonic projectiles that could be applied to defend Japan’s remote islands. More recently, the FY2020 defense budget requested $148 million to extend the range of Japan’s ASM-3 anti-ship missiles, even before the initial versions of the missile entered service. The ASM-3 currently has a range of about 200 km, but Japan hopes to extend this to 400km.