26 Aug 16. New Zealand secures local involvement in Orion upgrade programme. New Zealand’s project to upgrade the systems onboard its Lockheed Martin P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) will involve several local companies contracted through government’s programme to promote local industrial engagement.
The New Zealand Defence Industry Association (NZDIA) said on 25 August that the Boeing contract to upgrade the aircraft will be supported by engineering consultancy firm Beca; Marops, which develops simulation and integrated training services; and aerospace maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) company Safe Air.
Boeing was announced as prime contractor on the programme on 23 August. The contract is valued at NZD36m (USD26.3m) and features an upgrade to the underwater, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities of the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF’s) six Orions, which have been in service for several decades. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Aug 16. US to deliver first AH-6i helos to Saudi Arabia ‘as soon as possible.’ The US government is making the final preparations for the shipment of 24 Boeing AH-6i Little Bird light attack and reconnaissance helicopters to Saudi Arabia, with a solicitation for their transportation being posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website on 24 August.
According to the notification, the first 12 helicopters will be transported to the kingdom by air to get them to the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) “as soon as possible”, with the remaining 12 to follow by ship.
With production now fully underway at Boeing’s Mesa facility in Arizona, deliveries were supposed to have commenced at the end of July but had been delayed for unspecified reasons. Reporters were shown the first batch of six helicopters on the line in June (though Boeing declined to name the customer) and, with production scheduled to run at two airframes per month, the last of SANG’s helicopters are scheduled to arrive on the line in February 2017.
The AH-6i features an enhanced powerplant, payload, and avionics package, giving it enhanced ‘hot and high’ capabilities; a large and varied arsenal that includes 7.62 mm and 12.7 mm machine guns and AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles; and interoperability with the latest-variant AH-64E Apache Guardian.
(Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Aug 16. Boeing wins contract for RNZAF P-3K2 Orion UWISR upgrade. Key Points:
• Boeing will deliver the Underwater Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance capability package for New Zealand’s P-3K2 Orion fleet
• New Zealand companies Safe Air, Beca, and Marops Limited will be involved in supporting the acquisition through-life
Boeing has clinched a NZD36m (USD26m) contract from the New Zealand Ministry of Defence (MoD) to supply and support a new Underwater Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (UWISR) fit that will upgrade the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability on Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF’s) six-strong P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) fleet.
The investment in the UWISR upgrade was announced by New Zealand defence minister Gerry Brownlee on 24 August.(Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Aug 16. URC Systems readies RCIED jammers for Bangladesh Army. Czech electronic warfare system producer URC Systems has teamed with local firm Radiant Corporation to supply the Bangladesh Army with its STAR Light 3E jammers.
The jammers – designed to counter threats such as radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (RCIEDs) – will be installed onto the army’s tactical mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles. IHS Jane’s understands that these vehicles are based on the Turkish-made Cobra II 4×4 platform.
The STAR Light 3E is the upgraded export variant of the STAR Light 3 jammer, which the Czech Army has successfully deployed on a combat mission in Afghanistan aboard the 8×8 Pandur II wheeled infantry fighting vehicles.
Technical information on the 3E system remains undisclosed, althou