February's top stories: Russia plans Arctic command, Terma’s Poland dispute

Russia announced plans to create a new strategic military command in the Arctic by the end of 2014 and Terma has ceased contract and issued summons against Polish Defence Ministry. Airforce-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from February 2014.


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UK MoD close to ordering F-35 JSF fighters

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The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is close to signing the first contract for Lockheed Martin-built F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft, UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has revealed.

Hammond was quoted as saying in an interview with Reuters Television during the Munich Security Conference that the MoD will soon place a firm order in a bid to have the first squadron ready to start flying training off the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in 2018.

The defence secretary, however, refused to confirm that the contract would cover 14 aircraft, citing ''we haven't completed the process, but we will be making an announcement in due course."

UK, Saudi sign agreement on Salam price escalation

The UK and Saudi Arabian Governments have agreed on price escalation terms relating to the long-running Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft purchase under the Salam programme.

The terms of the pricing agreement are claimed to be broadly consistent with the BAE's prior trading outlook for 2013, and are reflected in contractual arrangements between the UK and the company.

BAE Systems chief executive Ian King said, "This is an equitable outcome for all parties, I am pleased that we have been able to conclude this negotiation which builds on our long standing relationship with this much valued customer."


Lockheed to provide air and missile defence planner to USAF

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Lockheed Martin has received a contract from the US Air Force (USAF) to develop an air and missile defence software planner, which will provide the service with an ability to see and better understand dynamic global situations.

Awarded by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), the $8m contract requires the company to provide an integrated air and missile defence planner for integration into the US Air Force Air Operations Center (AOC).

The planner developed under the contract will be designed to link dissimilar weapon and sensor data with map-based planning tools and decision aids, which will enable AOC operators to collaboratively plan missions with greater speed and higher confidence.

Russia plans for new military command in Arctic

Russia is planning to create a new strategic military command in the Arctic by the end of 2014, to defend its interests in the region.

An undisclosed source in Russia's General Staff was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying that, "The new command will comprise the Northern Fleet, Arctic warfare brigades, air force and air defence units as well as additional administrative structures."

The Northern Fleet-Unified Strategic Command will take the responsibility of protecting Russia's Arctic shipping and fishing, oil and gas fields on the Arctic shelf, along with country's national borders in the north.


Airbus starts final assembly of Germany's first A400M aircraft

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Airbus Defence and Space has started final assembly of the German Air Force's (Luftwaffe) first A400M Atlas next-generation military transport aircraft.

The assembly of the aircraft, designated MSN18, commenced with the arrival of all major structures, including fuselage at the company's final assembly line (FAL) in Seville, Spain.

Around 60 A400M next-generation airlifters were initially ordered by Germany in November 2010, but the number was later reduced to 53, including seven options, due to budgetary constraints.

Terma ceases contract, issues summons against Polish Defence Ministry

Denmark-based aerospace, defense and security group Terma has ceased the $30m contract with Polish Armaments Inspectorate (IU), the Ministry of National Defence of Poland.

The terminated contract scope included the supply of aircraft survivability equipment for the Polish helicopters of the Mi-17 and Mi-24 types.

As a result of contract termination, Terma has issued a summons against the Polish Ministry of National Defence.

French Air Force receives additional SAMP/T air defence system

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The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation's (OCCAR) FSAF-PAAMS Programme Division has handed over an additional Aster sol-air moyenne portée terrestre (SAMP/T) air defence system to the French Air Force at the French Defence Procurement Agency's (DGA) premises in Biscarrosse, France.

Delivered following configuration surveys and functional trials, the system represents the penultimate SAMP/T system to be delivered under the contract and equipped the air force's Ground Based Air Defence Squadron 01.950 CRAU, located on Istres Air Force Base, in the south-east of France.

Manufactured by Eurosam, an MBDA and Thales joint venture, the SAMP/T air defence system provides 360° protection against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, combat aircraft and unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs) over a range of 600km in the battlefield.


Iraq requests ATC and landing systems sale from US

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of air traffic control and landing systems and associated equipment to Iraq.

Under the estimated $700m sale, Iraq has requested a proposed sale of commercially available Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control (ATC) equipment suite and airfield navigational aids suites for installation at four airbases across the country.

The ATC equipment suite includes four ASR-11 airport surveillance radars, ten ATC automation system along with ten controller consoles, four AutoTrac II airfield support and navigation suites, two primary search radar and two mono-pulse secondary surveillance radars.