Sierra Nevada to Modify Two King Air 350 ISR/SAR Platforms for Saudi Arabia

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Beechcraft King Air 350 EMARRS. Source: U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center

The U.S. Defense Department reports that Saudi Arabia has ordered the modification of two Beechcraft King Air 350 planes to fulfill an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance role through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) action.  Under the $23.8 million award (FA8620-16-C-4003), Sierra Nevada of Hagerstown, Maryland, will act as the prime contractor. Continue reading

F-35s Delivered to Turkey as Congress Considers Its Next Move

By Ray Jaworowski, Senior Aerospace AnalystForecast International.

An F-35 fighter jet on display at a roll-out ceremony for Turkey’s F-35s.  Photo: Beth Steel/Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin formally delivered Turkey’s first two F-35A Joint Strike Fighters on June 21.  However, the milestone occurred amidst various moves within the U.S. Congress aimed at blocking further deliveries of the new fighter to that country.

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Sale of PTDS Aerostat to Saudi Arabia Could Lead to Sales of ZPY-1 STARLite Radar

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

ZPY-1 STARLite Radar. Source: Northrop Grumman

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on January 23 that the State Department had approved a possible sale to Saudi Arabia of model 74K Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) aerostats and related equipment.  The contract would carry an estimated value of $525 million. Continue reading

Upgrade of Taiwan’s F-16s with APG-83 SABR Begins, while Raytheon’s RACR Looks Down for the Count

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

F-16 over Iraq in 2008.   Photo – United States Air Force (via wikipedia)

Sources in Taiwan report that the first four of the Air Force’s F-16A/Bs that will undergo an upgrade arrived at a plant in Taichung on January 16.  The aircraft will be upgraded and overhauled to the F-16V configuration.  As part of the estimated $3.47 billion upgrade, the F-16 fighters will be equipped with Northrop Grumman’s APG-83 SABR active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. Continue reading

Jordan Fills the Gaps, Purchasing and Enhancing Venerable FPS-117 and TPS-77 Radars

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Lockheed Martin TPS-77 Radar.  Source: Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin TPS-77 Radar. Source: Lockheed Martin.

On behalf of Jordan, the U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin of Syracuse, New York, a not-to-exceed $41.7 million, firm-fixed-price, undefinitized FMS contract (FA8730-17-C-0005) to procure, deliver, and install the “gap filler radar.” Under the terms of the contract, Lockheed Martin will provide two long-range radars, plus three upgrades to existing long-range radars.  Additionally, the company will integrate the new and upgraded radar into Jordan’s overall command, control and communications system. Continue reading

Turkey Gets Enhanced Airborne EW Equipment as U.S. Strengthens Allies Along the Arabian Peninsula

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

ALQ-211(V)9 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare System (AIDEWS)

ALQ-211(V)9 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare System (AIDEWS)

Under the terms of a U.S. Foreign Military Sales contract announced on March 9, Lockheed Martin will provide the Turkish Air Force with electronic warfare modernization on board its fleet of F-16s. Under the $13.98 million contract, to be performed through December 2017, the jet fighters will be fitted with the ALQ-211(V)9 Advanced Integrated Electronic Warfare System (AIDEWS). However, this is not just an ordinary deal, but part of an ongoing process whereby the U.S. is bolstering its allies along the border of the Arabian Peninsula. It seems to be no coincidence that as the U.S. is in talks with Iran regarding its nuclear program, it is also enhancing its allies’ border penetration and ground strike capabilities.

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