September's top stories: MD Helicopters wins $1.4bn contract, Canada requests F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft worth $5.23bn

MD Helicopters secured a $1.4bn contract for MD 530 armed scout attack helicopters, Canada requested $5.23bn sale of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft from the US. Airforce-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from September 2017.


MD Helicopters wins $1.4bn contract to deliver armed MD 530 aircraft

MD Helicopters secured a $1.4bn contract to deliver MD 530 armed scout attack helicopters to the US and partner nation army aviation forces.

Under the five-year foreign military sales indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, the company will deliver a total of 150 armed MD 530 aircraft.

Initial deliveries include 30 new MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters for the Afghan Air Force.


Canada requests $5.23bn sale of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft from US

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a $5.23bn potential sale of F/A-18E / F Super Hornet aircraft with associated support to the Government of Canada.

Canada has requested the delivery of ten F/A-18E and eight F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft with F414-GE-400 engines, 20 AN/APG-79 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars, 20 M61A2 20MM gun systems, and 28 AN/ALR-67(V)3 electronic warfare countermeasures receiving sets.

In addition, 15 AN/AAQ-33 Sniper advanced targeting pods, 20 multifunctional information distribution systems-joint tactical radio systems (MIDS-JTRS), 30 joint helmet-mounted cueing systems (JHMCS), and 28 AN/ALQ-214 integrated countermeasures systems will be included in the sale.


Mahindra Defence and Lockheed open C-130J simulator training centre in India

Mahindra Defence Systems and Lockheed Martin opened a C-130J Super Hercules simulator training centre at the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Hindon near Delhi.

The facility will train aircrews using the C-130J special operations aircraft, which was acquired from Lockheed Martin in 2011.

Equipped with a full-motion simulator, the C-130J training facility will provide training to improve tactical and operational skills of C-130J pilots, combat system operators, and loadmasters.


Qatar to purchase 24 Typhoon aircraft from UK

Qatar Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah signed a Statement of Intent with UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon to purchase Typhoon multi-role combat aircraft.

The Middle Eastern country seeks to purchase 24 Typhoon aircraft from the UK’s BAE Systems, according to media sources.

The Statement of Intent is expected to further strengthen military cooperation between the two countries and provide an opportunity to further enhance the security of all partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).


USAF leaders discuss ideas to address pilot shortage

The US Air Force (USAF) hosted a discussion on how to address aircrew crisis, which has left the service short of more than 1,500 pilots.

The 2017 Aircrew Summit was held as part of the airforce’s Aircrew Crisis Task Force’s ongoing efforts to address the service’s growing shortage of experienced aircrew.

More than 60 senior leaders from the USAF participated in the discussion held at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, US, to share solutions to overcome the pilot shortage.


Boeing wins $600m contract modification for future Air Force One aircraft design

Boeing secured a $600m contract modification from the US Air Force (USAF) to design future Air Force One aircraft.

The deal requires the company to provide a preliminary design for the next presidential aircraft.

The initial design will incorporate a mission communication system, electrical power upgrades, a medical facility, and an executive interior in two commercial Boeing 747-8s. The deal will also include a self-defence system and autonomous ground operations capabilities.


F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme could face cost increases

The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) revealed that provisions of $700bn-worth defence authorisation bills could increase the risk of cost increases for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme.

In a letter to the Armed Services committees, POGO stated that the language used in the bills could improperly restrict the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation’s (DOT&E) ability to evaluate combat effectiveness of new systems by prohibiting new testing that compares legacy systems against new ones.

The new language could immediately have an impact on previous Congressional legislation prohibiting the retirement of any additional A-10s until the currently planned operational testing of the F-35 versus A-10 close support capabilities is complete.


Saab and Adani team up to manufacture defence systems in India

Saab joined forces with India’s Adani Group to explore possible joint opportunities in the country’s defence and aerospace industry.

The partnership includes establishing joint ventures (JV) in India in line with and in support of the Make In India policy.

Both companies will also support the development of a robust national supply chain, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.


USAF launches X-37B OTV from SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

The US Air Force’s (USAF) 45th Space Wing successfully launched the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on 7 September.

The latest launch from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A marks the fifth space flight for the X-37B programme.

The Falcon 9 rocket first-stage booster landed at Landing Zone 1 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, around eight minutes after the launch.


Nato scrambles fighter aircraft after Russian aircraft flew over Baltic Sea

Nato fighter aircraft conducting the Baltic Air Policing mission were scrambled seven times from 28 August-3 September, after Russian military aircraft flew near international airspace over the Baltic Sea.

An II-20 was intercepted by Nato aircraft on 28 August while flying from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad.

It maintained radio contact with the regional air traffic control centre without using its on-board transponder.