The Royal Saudi Air Force fields five E-3 AWACS aircraft, which it will now upgrade under the RSAF AWACS Modernization Program Phase 2. (Boeing)
Saudi Arabia is to further modernise its fleet of Boeing E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, with a USD397.9 million contract awarded to the original equipment manufacturer on 16 December.
The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) AWACS Modernization Program Phase 2 award will see all five aircraft upgraded in the United States and Saudi Arabia till 21 February 2026.
“This contract provides for production, training, and installation and checkout, in order to keep the RSAF E-3 AWACS fleet interoperable with the US Air Force (USAF) and functionally viable through its expected end of life in 2040,” the US Department of Defense said in its contract notification, noting that the work involves 100% Foreign Military Sales funding.
Boeing delivered Saudi Arabia's AWACS aircraft between June 1986 and September 1987. As noted in the announcement, Saudi Arabia's AWACS modernisation is part of a wider effort to keep pace with the technological improvement being implemented for the USAF's fleet of 31 aircraft.
NCI Agency and Ukraine sign MoA to renew technical partnership
20 January 2022
by Olivia Savage
A soldier in action during a military exercise in the Donbass region, Ukraine. (Demotix)
The NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) and Ukraine signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to deepen their partnership and collaborate on additional technology-related projects, the agency announced on 17 January.
The agreement involves supporting Ukraine in modernising information technology and communication services, while identifying areas to assist in the training of personnel.
Ambassador Nataliia Galibarenko, head of Mission of Ukraine to NATO, said, “With NATO's support, we plan to further introduce modern information technologies and services into the command-and-control system of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
This well-established partnership dates back to 2015 when the NCI Agency Supervisory Board agreed to aid Ukraine on technology-related matters. Support is conducted through the Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (C4) Trust Fund.
Leonardo contracted to help develop Eurofighter ‘Radar 1' for Germany, Spain
14 January 2022
by Olivia Savage
A Eurofighter Typhoon with a Captor-E radar displayed in the open nose. (Hensoldt)
On 14 January Leonardo announced that it had signed a EUR260 million (USD297 million) contract with Hensoldt to contribute towards the development of the Eurofighter Typhoon European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk1 E-scan radar ordered by Germany and Spain.
Leonardo has been contracted to conduct development work on new wideband capabilities and provide core antenna, processor, and antenna power supply and control (APSC) components. Hensoldt is the design authority for the ECRS Mk1 (also known as ‘Radar 1') and will assume leadership of the project, while Airbus Defence and Space will integrate the radar onto the Eurofighter Typhoon. The first ECRS Mk1 radar is expected to be produced in 2025.
Meanwhile, Leonardo is the design authority for the Italian and UK-led ECRS Mk2 (‘Radar 2') and ECRS Mk0 (‘Radar 0'), the latter of which has been integrated onto Kuwait's and Qatar's Typhoon aircraft. Radar 0 will also form the basis of the design for Radar 1.
The Lanza 3D Deployable Air Defence Radar passed NATO tactical ballistic missile detection and tracking tests. (Indra)
The Indra-developed Lanza 3D Deployable Air Defence Radar (DADR) has passed NATO tactical ballistic missile detection and tracking trials.
The company announced on 3 January that the radar cleared stringent NATO tests at the Radio-Electric Assessment and Analysis Centre of the National Institute of Aerospace Technology in Guadalajara, Mexico.
According to Indra, the platform was able to estimate the “different trajectory parameters needed to trigger offensive, defensive, and intelligence actions, such as the estimated launch point, point of impact, point of interception etc”. This would in turn, they claim, inform command-and-control centres with the information necessary to neutralise ballistic attacks or alleviate damage.
The NATO Support and Procurement Agency adopted a specific certification and assessment instrument to evaluate the radar's capabilities. This involved using a ground control station, and a transmitting tool on a drone to imitate the return radar signal reflected by a ballistic missile.
The trials saw the radar stressed against a range of flight profiles and different motor and ballistic trajectories, the announcement noted, along with a variety of launch and impact points, and trajectories of different lengths and/or altitudes.
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