30 Mar 17. Boeing first out of blocks with T-X proposal. Boeing has become the first competitor to submit to the US Air Force (USAF) its proposal for the service’s fighter trainer replacement programme (T-X), the company announced on 30 March.
In a tweet stating it was ‘turning up the heat!”, Boeing said it had submitted its proposal for the USAF’s Advanced Pilot Training (APT) Family of Systems (FoS) programme, as T-X is officially known, early. No further details were disclosed.
Developed with Saab, the clean-sheet Boeing offering for T-X is a twin-seat single-engined platform that features a ‘glass’ cockpit modelled to resemble that of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, and an open systems architecture. It appears to incorporate elements from both the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Saab Gripen combat aircraft. Dubbed BTX, the aircraft’s first flight was conducted out of Boeing’s St Louis facility in Missouri on 20 December 2016.
With Boeing’s submission now with the USAF, pitches from the other competitors are expected in the coming days. Besides Boeing and Saab, the T-X requirement is being competed by Lockheed Martin and Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) with the T-50A (a derivative of the T-50 Golden Eagle), and by Leonardo DRS with the T-100 (a derivative of the M-346 Master). A team comprising Sierra Nevada Corporation and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is also reported to be developing a clean-sheet design, while US company Stavatti says it will offer its Javelin clean-sheet design.
Textron has discounted its Scorpion jet, which was previously rumoured to be a possible contender, while on 1 February the Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems team announced that it would not compete for the requirement, despite having been photographed testing its Model 400 clean-sheet design in August last year. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 Mar 17. Poland may purchase two Adelaide-class frigates, based on the Oliver Hazard Perry-class vessel, from Australia for its Navy, said Michal Jach, the chairman of the Polish parliament’s National Defence Committee.
“The acquisition of used Adelaide frigates from Australia would represent a major upgrade for Poland, it would raise the combat capability of our Navy,” Jach said at the Safety Forum 2017 conference in Szczecin, Poland, as reported by local news agency PAP. “These units were modernized and equipped with modern weapons and systems several years ago. After a good negotiation, we will have to pay several hundred million zloty for this. A fully equipped frigate is worth about U.S. $700m.”
The chairman said that the Polish Ministry of National Defence is also expected to decide this year on the supplier of three new submarines for the country’s Navy. Three companies have applied to take part in the procurement procedure: France’s DCNS, Sweden’s Saab and Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.
“The first submarine will be built in about six years, and its price tag will be around U.S. $500m,” Jach said.
Last December, the ministry said that, in the years 2017 to 2022, it plans to spend more than 61bn zloty (U.S. $15.6bn) on the military modernization program under which new weapons and equipment are to be purchased for the country’s armed forces. Upgrading the Polish Navy is one of the program’s priority areas, according to the ministry. (Source: Defense News)
29 Mar 17. Trump administration pursues sale of F-16’s to Bahrain -source. President Donald Trump’s administration has informed Congress of its plan to pursue the $5bn sale to Bahrain of 19 Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft and related equipment, which was held up last year by concerns about human rights, a congressional source said on Wednesday.
The State Department originally notified Congress of the sale last September during President Barack Obama’s administration. It was pulled back because of concerns that Bahrain had not made promised improvements to its human rights record. The Trump adm