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27 June 19. Swiss ban aerospace firm Pilatus from operating in Saudi, UAE. On 26th June Switzerland banned aerospace firm Pilatus from further operating in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates after finding the Swiss company gave ‘logistical support’ to the armed forces of both countries. The Swiss foreign ministry said in a statement that the conduct of Pilatus in Saudi Arabia and UAE was ‘incompatible with the federal government’s foreign policy objectives,’ without specifying further. The Saudi and UAE air forces have formed key parts of the Arab coalition that has bombed Iran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen since 2015, a campaign that has partly triggered what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.
The Saudi-led campaign suffered a blow last week when Britain temporarily suspended approving new arms export licenses to Riyadh that might be used in Yemen.
In 2017, Pilatus signed a five-year maintenance contract on a fleet of 55 jets it sold to the Saudi military, while the UAE has bought 25 jets from the company used to train pilots.
The company’s work in the two countries amounts to ‘technical support, replacement parts management and rectifying faults affecting the Pilatus PC-21 aircraft,’ the foreign ministry said in a statement.
‘These services qualify as logistical support for armed forces’ and must be ‘discontinued,’ it added. It gave the company 90 days to pull out of both countries. Founded in 1939, Pilatus employs around 2,000 people in central Switzerland, with a focus on aircraft production and services. (Source: Shephard)
27 June 19. BAE Systems’ delivery delays persist for US Army’s howitzer programme. Delivery delays and assembly line challenges continue to plague BAE Systems’ production of the US Army’s M109A7 self-propelled howitzer and have factored these into the service’s deferment of a full-rate production decision.
Over the past two years the company has faced several challenges producing the new howitzer and in 2017 it even halted deliveries for six months to address welding problems. Although the company has made “moderate improvements” during the past six months, its howitzer deliveries remain “inconsistent”, fluctuating between one to four vehicle deliveries per month, according to Ashley John, public affairs director for the Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 June 19. Sikorsky nabs $91.2m contract to support U.S. Army Black Hawks. Sikorsky Aircraft Co. was awarded a $91.2m contract for engineering and support work on all versions of the Army’s H-60 Black Hawk helicopters, the Defense Department announced.
Sikorsky Aircraft Co. was awarded a $91.2m contract for work on all versions of the U.S. Army’s H-60 Black Hawk helicopter, the Defense Department announced. It was the only bidder on the hybrid cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed price contract with the Army, which was announced on Tuesday, and only referred to engineering and other support services for the helicopters. The Black Hawk UH/HH-60 is regarded as the Army’s utility tactical transport helicopter. The rotorcraft provides combat air assault, general support, aeromedical evacuation, command and control, and special operations support to combat, stability and support operations. The Army bills its specialty as enhancing the branch’s overall mobility due to dramatic improvement in troop and cargo lift capacity.
The helicopter, introduced in 1974 and in U.S. military service since 1979, is also used by the military forces of Japan, Colombia and South Korea. Over 4,000 have been built. Variants, including the UH-60L and UH-60M, have been developed for electronic warfare and special operations.
Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, the Army said, with the contract estimated to run through June 27, 2024. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/UPI)
27 June 19. GDIT wins USAF contract to support 480th ISR Wing. General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) has received a single-award contract from the US Air Force (USAF) to provide technical operations support to the 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing (480 ISRW). With a potential value of $217m, the contract includes a nine-month base period and seven one-year options. It also comes with a possible six-month extension. The contract will allow GDIT to continue its services as the sole network support provider for the airforce’s distributed common ground system (AF DCGS), also known as the AN/GSQ-272 SENTINEL. AF DCGS is a USAF weapon system that plans, collects, processes, exploits, analyses and disseminates intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data. The system’s global communications architecture connects multiple intelligence platforms, US Department of Defense networks and sensors, as well as supports combatant commanders worldwide.
Airmen assigned to AF DCGS use data collected by sensors on the U-2, RQ-4 Global Hawk, MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper and other ISR platforms to deliver actionable intelligence.
GDIT Defense Division senior vice-president Leigh Palmer said: “We are excited to continue our strong legacy providing expert engineering and technology solutions for the airforce.
“GDIT’s team developed and implemented the initial design for this global network. We will leverage this expertise to maintain current network technology while seamlessly modernising the airforce’s global network into a next-generation posture.”
GDIT will provide a range of services, including network administration, engineering, information assurance and computer network defence to the AF DCGS Operations Center. Tasks under this award also include systems administration, project management and C4ISR engineering of 480 ISRW’s information technology assets from the network and enterprise level. The 480 ISRW is responsible for global ISR operations within the AF DCGS weapon system. Operational tasks of the wing include providing time-sensitive, multiple-source intelligence data and products. AF DCGS is deployed in support of operations led by the UN, Nato, and US operations worldwide. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
25 June 19. Cross-servicing agreement to support US and Aussie C-17A Globemasters. The US and Australia have agreed on a cross-servicing arrangement for the repair and maintenance of C-17A Globemaster transport aircraft. The arrangement permits C-17A technicians from the US Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force to conduct maintenance activities on each other’s aircraft.
Air Vice-Marshal Steve Roberton, Air Commander Australia, said the Aircraft Repair and Maintenance Service Implementing Arrangement (ARMS-IA) will provide greater flexibility to C-17A operations.
“Our C-17A workforce regularly shares a tarmac with American C-17As, whether we are on exercise at home, or deployed across the globe,” AVM Roberton said.
The signing of the ARMS-IA follows C-17A maintenance integration activities conducted in 2017 under the Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) program. This activity involved C-17A technicians from both countries gaining a better understanding of the maintenance practices of their counterparts.
“Whilst a USAF C-17A is no different from a RAAF C-17A, our air forces have different maintenance workforce structures, which is what makes an arrangement like this essential. By making it easier to help one another, this arrangement provides flexibility and mission assuredness for USAF and RAAF C-17A missions,” AVM Roberton added.
“In the Asia-Pacific, it makes sense for us to capitalise on our existing close relationship, pool resources where possible, and increase our C-17A capability even further.”
The C-17A Globemaster III provides the Air Force with an unprecedented capacity for strategic airlift. It allows Australia to rapidly deploy troops, supplies, combat vehicles, heavy equipment and helicopters anywhere in the world.
Based at RAAF Base Amberley, all eight C-17As are operated by No. 36 Squadron and provide a logistics backbone for Australian Defence Force operations overseas. This has included operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan, as well as East Timor.
Australia introduced an initial fleet of four C-17As between 2006 and 2008. Additional aircraft were acquired in 2011, 2012 and 2015. C-17As have supported personnel on deployments, and been an integral part of disaster relief and humanitarian missions.
The C-17A Globemaster is a high-wing four-engine heavy transport aircraft. It is fitted with a cargo bay ramp that allows it to airdrop cargo in-flight, and can operate from unsurfaced runways as short as 3,500 feet.
Able to carry up to 77 tonnes of cargo, the C-17A’s cargo bay can accommodate loads ranging from:
- an Abrams Tank;
- four Bushmaster vehicles; or
- three Black Hawk helicopters.
AVM Roberton added, “I look forward to similar EAC and ARMS arrangements being conducted for other aircraft common to Australia and the United States.”
A similar implementing arrangement between the US and Australia for the C-130J Hercules is underway, with planned integration activities to cover the P-8A Poseidon and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter. (Source: Defence Connect)
About Oshkosh Defense
Oshkosh Defense is a leading provider of tactical wheeled vehicles and life cycle sustainment services. For decades Oshkosh has been mobilizing military and security forces around the globe by offering a full portfolio of heavy, medium, light and highly protected military vehicles to support our customers’ missions. In addition, Oshkosh offers advanced technologies and vehicle components such as TAK-4® independent suspension systems, TerraMax™ unmanned ground vehicle solutions, Command Zone™ integrated control and diagnostics system, and ProPulse® diesel electric and on-board vehicle power solutions, to provide our customers with a technical edge as they fulfill their missions. Every Oshkosh vehicle is backed by a team of defense industry experts and complete range of sustainment and training services to optimize fleet readiness and performance. Oshkosh Defense, LLC is an Oshkosh Corporation company [NYSE: OSK].
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