US Navy awards contract to L3Harris to develop MUSV prototype

The US Navy has awarded a $34.99m contract to L3Harris for a single medium unmanned surface vehicle (MUSV) prototype.

The navy can procure up to eight additional MUSVs by exercising all contract options, with a ceiling value of $294m.

With the MUSV programme, the navy is lookign for pier-launched, self-deploying, modular, open architecture surface vessels designed for autonomous navigation and mission execution. The aim is to boost the navy’s sensing and distributed situational awareness capabilities.

The first prototype MUSV is scheduled to be delivered in early 2023.

Boeing wins USAF contract for F-15EX fighter aircraft

The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded Boeing a $1.2bn contract for the production of the first lot of eight F-15EX advanced fighter aircraft.

Boeing will provide design, development, integration, manufacturing, test, verification, certification, delivery, sustainment and modification services for F-15EX aircraft.

The first two jets are scheduled for delivery next year, while the next six are expected to be delivered in 2023.

Once delivered, the F-15EX jets will replace the oldest F-15C/Ds in the service’s inventory.

Under the five-year Future Years Defense Programme, the USAF plans to purchase 76 F-15EX aircraft.

QinetiQ signs special security agreement with US DCSA

QinetiQ has signed a new special security agreement with the US Defense Counterintelligence & Security Agency (DCSA).

Under the agreement, QinetiQ’s US defence and security operations will be brought together under a single entity. It marks a major milestone in QinetiQ’s growth strategy.

The special security agreement replaces the prior proxy agreement for the QinetiQ’s North America.

Further, it will also include all operations carried out via manufacturing techniques (MTEQ). In December last year, QinetiQ completed the acquisition of MTEQ, a US provider of advanced sensing solutions.

US21 to support USAF special warfare mission

US21 has secured a US Air Force (USAF) special warfare procurement – multiple award contract to support the Special Warfare mission requirements.

Under the $950m ten-year indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity, the company will provide equipment, training and product support to approximately 3,500 USAF Special Warfare operators.

According to mission requirements, the contract will focus on procuring supplies, providing supply chain management, product training and support, and integrating into larger systems.

Contract work will be performed at various locations across the US and is expected to conclude by June 2030.

R&S to deliver communications systems for RAN’s CCPB

Austal has agreed a contract with Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) Australia to deliver integrated communications systems.

The systems are for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) six Cape-class patrol boats (CCPB).

The updated boats will be equipped with R&S’ Naval Integrated Communications System, with secure external line of sight and beyond line of sight communications.

The CCPBs are currently in production at Austal’s Henderson shipyard in Western Australia under a contract from the Australian Department of Defence. They are scheduled to be delivered from September next year.

AI.Reverie wins contract to improve USAF navigation capabilities 

AI.Reverie has secured Phase 2 Small business innovation research contract from AFWERX for the US Air Force (USAF).

Under the $1.5m contract, AI.Reverie will build artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and improve navigation capabilities supporting the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base.

The company will use synthetic data to train and improve the accuracy of vision algorithms for navigation through its Rapid Capabilities office.

Synthetic data or computer-generated images are economical and can be generated faster than hand-labelled photos, solving the limitations associated with real data.

BAAINBw and Airbus renew contracts for Heron 1 UAS

The Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has renewed its service contract agreement with Airbus Defence and Space for Heron 1 unmanned aerial systems (UAS), which are in operation in Afghanistan and Mali.

In March, services of Heron 1 UASs in Afghanistan were extended from June until May next year.

With over 4,100 operational flights, the aircraft has reached more than 46,000 flight hours. In addition, the German Air Force passed the milestone of ten years of Heron 1 operations in Afghanistan.

The Heron's first operational flight in Afghanistan was in March 2010.

SPA Australia to support ADF’s Force Design Division

Systems Planning and Analysis (SPA) Australia has won a contract to support the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Force Design Division.

Under this contract, SPA Australia will provide analysis and modelling support to the ADF.

Using advanced analytic techniques and software, SPA will help in making decisions on the design of the joint, integrated force and future acquisition decisions.

The Force Design Division focuses on providing the Government of Australia preparedness assurance, design and guide the development of future force that is balanced and affordable.

Northrop to develop Bushmaster Chain Gun airburst cartridge

Northrop Grumman has been contracted for the development of a next-generation ammunition capability for the US Army.

Awarded by the US Army’s Project Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM-MAS), the contract will see the company deliver a new airburst cartridge.

The latest ammunition capability is for the 30mm XM813 Bushmaster Chain Gun.

The initial contract will cover engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase and the system’s final qualification by the US Army.