September’s top news stories

9 October 2018 (Last Updated October 10th, 2018 16:20)

USAF awarded Boeing $9.2bn contract for T-X trainer aircraft, KBRwyle won prime position on US DoD’s $28bn IAC MAC programme, and Qatar’s £5bn Typhoon and Hawk deal with BAE became effective. Airforce-Technology.com wraps up key headlines from September 2018.

September’s top news stories
Boeing T-X advanced pilot training system. Credit: John Parker / Boeing.

USAF awards Boeing $9.2bn contract for T-X trainer aircraft

The US Air Force (USAF) awarded a $9.2bn contract to Boeing to support the service’s new T-X advanced pilot training programme.

Under the deal, the company will be responsible for the development and delivery of 351 units of the T-X trainer aircraft to the airforce, in addition to 46 simulators and associated ground equipment.

The advanced pilot training system has been designed to provide training to generations of fighter and bomber pilots for several decades in the future.


KBRwyle wins prime position on US DoD’s $28bn IAC MAC programme

Global government services business KBRwyle has secured a position on the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) $28bn Information Analysis Center Multiple Award Contract (IAC MAC).

The contract has been awarded by the US Air Force Installation Contracting Agency for the unrestricted / full and open competition pool (pool 1) on the nine-year indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contract.

Selected as one of the 15 prime contractors, KBRwyle will be responsible for providing research, development, test, and evaluation expertise to meet the urgent defence requirements of the country.


Qatar’s £5bn Typhoon and Hawk deal with BAE becomes effective

The £5bn deal between Qatar and BAE Systems officially became effective with the completion of the first payment to the manufacturer.

Qatar will acquire 24 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets and nine Hawk trainer aircraft instead of six from BAE.

The export deal also includes a support and training package for the aircraft, in addition to training and cooperation between the UK Royal Air Force and the Qatari Emiri Air Force.


Boeing wins contract for fourth USAF KC-46A tanker production lot

The USAF awarded a $2.9bn contract to Boeing for the fourth production lot of the service’s KC-46A Pegasus multirole aerial refuelling tanker aircraft.

Under the deal, the company will be responsible for manufacturing and delivering 18 KC-46A tankers, in addition to associated spares, support equipment, and wing air refuelling pod kits.

With the current agreement, Boeing is under contract for the development of a total of 52 KC-46 aerial refuelling aircraft for the USAF.


IAF successfully conducts air-to-air refuelling of Tejas MK 1 fighter jet

The Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out the maiden mid-air refuelling of the service’s Tejas MK 1 light combat jet.

The mid-air refuelling of the fighter aircraft was conducted by a Russian Ilyushin IL-78 MKI aerial refuelling tanker deployed under the IAF’s No 78 Squadron.

Operated by IAF commanding officer group captain R Arvind, the IL-78 tanker was launched from its base at the Agra Air Force Station.


TAE Aerospace to build F-35 engine maintenance facility in Queensland

TAE Aerospace is set to build a new Turbine Engine Maintenance Facility (TEMF) to support in-country sustainment of the Royal Australian Air Force’s F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter jets.

To be constructed in Bundamba, south-east Queensland, the TEMF facility will support deeper-level maintenance of the aircraft’s turbine engines, where the F135 engine modules will be disassembled, repaired and reassembled for testing.

According to Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne, the new maintenance site will help strengthen the defence industry of the country in addition to supporting the global F-35 joint strike fighter programme.


Lockheed wins USAF GPS III satellite follow-on production contract

Lockheed Martin was selected for the follow-on contract to supply 22 new Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellites to the USAF for an estimated amount of up to $7.2bn.

The fixed-price-type production contract has been awarded for the Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center.

Located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, the facility serves as the USAF’s centre of excellence responsible for acquiring and developing military space systems.


MD Helicopters delivers first batch of MD 530Fs to Afghan Air Force

MD Helicopters completed the initial delivery of the new-generation MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters to the Afghan Air Force as part of a $1.4bn contract.

The indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contract was originally awarded in September last year for a period of five years.

Under the deal, MD Helicopters carried out the delivery of the first five of the 30 new MD 530F aircraft that are slated to enter into service with the Afghan Air Force’s Aviation Unit this year.


Singapore receives first Airbus A330 MRTT air-to-air refuelling tanker

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) received its first A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aerial refuelling aircraft.

Developed and delivered by Airbus, the next-generation A330 MRTT will help augment the endurance of the RSAF’s fighter aircraft.

In addition, the multi-role aircraft will provide the airforce with the continued capability to deliver air-to-air refuelling support to its fleet.


IAF flight test fires Astra BVRAAM missile from Su-30 aircraft

The IAF carried out test firing of its domestically manufactured Astra beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM).

Conducted at the IAF’s Kalaikunda Air Force Station, the air-to-air weapon system was launched from Russian-built Sukhoi Su-30 multirole fighter aircraft.

During the trial, the missile successfully engaged a manoeuvring target with high precision, meeting the mission objectives.