January's top stories: Boeing's $2.1bn contract, VSE to support USAF's $11.4bn CFT programme

Boeing has secured a $2.1bn contract for the third low-rate initial production (LRIP) lot of KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft, VSE has received a contract to support the USAF Contract Field Teams (CFT) programme. Airforce-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from January, 2017.


Boeing receives $2.1bn LRIP contract for KC-46A tanker aircraft

Boeing secured a $2.1bn contract to supply components for the third low-rate initial production (LRIP) lot of KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft.

Awarded by the US Air Force (USAF), the contract covers the production and supply of 15 KC-46A tanker aircraft, spare engines and wing air refuelling pod kits.

USAF KC-46 System programme manager colonel John Newberry said: "Placing an order for another 15 aircraft is another important milestone for the KC-46 programme.

"I know the warfighter is excited about bringing this next generation capability into the inventory."

VSE to support USAF's $11.4bn CFT programme

VSE Corporation received a contract to support the US Air Force (USAF) Contract Field Teams (CFT) programme that has a maximum value of $11.4bn.

The programme has been designed to provide rapid deployment and long-term support services for the maintenance, repair, and modernisation of aircraft, vehicles, weapons systems, and other equipment in order to support the US Government’s war readiness needs.

The indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity (ID / IQ) contract is one of seven full and open prime contracts awarded to support the CFT programme.

USAF announces new policies on dress and appearance

The US Air Force (USAF) amended the existing tattoo policy in order to pave the way for talented and capable members to join the service.

The new policies on dress and appearance are a result of a review conducted by the air force last year.

The air force has eliminated the 25% tattoo rule, which means service members can now have tattoos completely covering the chest, back, arms and legs.

CAE wins $762m training services contracts from RCAF and US Army

CAE received two training services contracts totalling C$1bn ($762m) from the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and the US Army.

Under the contract with RCAF, CAE will continue to train pilots from Nato member countries in Canada until 2023.

As part of the Nato Flying Training in Canada (NFTC) programme, CAE provides ground-school classroom and simulator training and supports the live flying training of military pilots in Moose Jaw and Cold Lake.

USAF B-2 bombers receive refuelling support for anti-ISIS mission in Libya

The US Air Force's (USAF) KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-10 Extender tanker aircraft provided aerial refuelling support to B-2 Spirit bombers, which were carrying out an airstrike against ISIS in Libya.

Two B-2 Spirit bombers, from the 509th Bomb Wing, dropped 500lb GPS-guided bombs on the camps on 18 January.

The camps housed ISIS militants, who were being trained to attack the US and allied interests in North Africa and Europe.

Japan launches first X-band defence communication satellite

Japan reportedly launched its first military communications satellite, Kirameki-2, in an effort to modernise the Self Defence Forces' communication network.

The X-band satellite was successfully launched from a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' H-IIA rocket at the Tanegashima Space Center on 24 January.

The new satellite is anticipated to support the Japanese military by boosting its emergency response capabilities, according to media sources.

USAF launches third SBIRS GEO Flight 3 satellite aboard Atlas V rocket

The US Air Force (USAF) successfully launched the third space-based infrared system (SBIRS) geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO) satellite from a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The Lockheed Martin-built SBIRS GEO Flight 3 satellite, equipped with scanning and staring sensors, was launched on 20 January to support the USAF with early missile warning and defence.

The satellite started responding to commands, approximately 37 minutes after lift-off, Lockheed stated.

Israeli Air Force receives Arrow-III anti-ballistic missile

The Israeli Air Force reportedly taken delivery of an operational Arrow-III anti-ballistic missile defence system.

The Arrow-III interceptor, a part of the Arrow weapon system (AWS), was jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and US-based Boeing.

The AWS air defence system has been designed to detect, track, intercept and destroy incoming tactical ballistic missiles carrying a range of warheads, IAI said in a statement.

Nigerian Air Force air strike kills 52 people

A Nigerian Air Force fighter jet mistakenly bombed a refugee camp in the country, killing at least 52 people and injuring 120 others.

The accidental air strike occurred in Rann in Borno state, when the aircraft was on its mission against Boko Haram, media sources reported.

Boko Haram is an Islamic extremist group that is based in northeastern Nigeria and also active in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Eurofighter and NETMA sign two contracts to support Typhoon fleet

Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug concluded a five-year arrangement with Nato Eurofighter and Tornado Management Organisation (NETMA) in order to boost the Eurofighter Typhoon fleet worldwide.

The arrangement comprises two major contracts, the first of which involves the sustainment of engineering capabilities and programme management, and the second contract covers repairs, logistics and provision of spare parts for the Eurofighter fleet.

The five-year arrangement will also offer an increased availability service while generating savings for the customer nations.