Rockwell Collins Eyes Indian Market

In the past India had tended to buy weapons either from the Soviet Union, Great Britain or domestic sources. There laws on offsets and working with Indian companies limited opportunities for U.S. defense contractors to bid or win work.

In the last several years this has changed as India has turned to Western suppliers. They loosened the laws on offsets and expanded the number of corporations that could team with outside entities to make it possible for a more diverse group of contractors to bid. This led to Boeing (BA) winning contracts for transports as well as maritime patrol aircraft. France’s Dassault Rafael was selected for the new fighter program as well.

India continues to have a whole host of different requirements to modernize its military including one for advanced, programmable radios. One U.S. company that is interested in this contract is Rockwell Collins (ROC). Rockwell is a U.S. manufacturer of aircraft avionics, components and also provides software and other services to the U.S. military and commercial market. They have had a facility in India since 2008. The current focus of there efforts there is utilizing local engineering capability to aid in software development.

They exhibited 2 different solutions at a recent DEFCOM India 2012 show.

Rockwell also just announced that they will team with India conglomerate Tata to bid on this contract. Using an Indian partner will aid in having their bid accepted.

With the expected decline in the U.S. and European defense markets with the budgetary problems needing to be solved overseas contracts will become more of a focus for all defense contractors no matter what the size. Asia is considered the primary market to make up some of the lost business. It will attract more companies like Rockwell in the future.

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Raytheon Continues Light Weight Torpedo Production

The U.S Navy exercised an option with Raytheon (RTN) for the production of Mk 54 Light Weight torpedoes. This is the standard surface vessel and air launched system used by the Navy and some allied nations. The option had a value of a little over $45 million.

It provides for one years production as well as test and engineering services for the system. The Mk 54 is carried by the SH-60, P-3 and cruisers, destroyers and frigates. It just recently completed testing from the new P-8 maritime patrol aircraft that will eventually replace the P-3.

The Mk 54 is also used by the Australian Navy and will be by the Indian as well as they will operate several P-8I aircraft.

The Mk 54 has been in production for 8 years and replaced the Cold War era Mk 50 and Mk 46 systems. It is fired from the traditional Mk 32 launch systems in use for decades, the ASROC rocket as well as from aircraft.

Until the full effects of sequestration are decided upon by Congress the Pentagon continues to exercise their planned FY13 budget under the existing 6 month Continuing Resolution Authority.

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U.S. Navy Continues Orders for P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft

The U.S. Navy has been working with Boeing (BA) on building a new maritime patrol aircraft to replace the Lockheed P-3 Orion which came into service almost fifty years ago. They settled on a design based on the 737 airliner which the Navy already operates as a transport and command and control aircraft. The new P-8A Poseidon is undergoing testing and evaluation at the Paxtuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland.

Following up on previous orders for 8 aircraft to support testing the Navy recently awarded the first Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) batch to Boeing. This contract is worth about $1.7 billion and is for eight aircraft. The contract includes training, spares and support equipment as well as the eight aircraft.

The Navy has already ordered Long Lead Material for the third LRIP production order in September. Ultimately up to 100 of the aircraft could be built for the Navy.

The P-8 has also been sold to India in the P-8I configuration. The Southeast Asian country had originally ordered 8 of the aircraft but this spring increased that to 12. Along with Boeing’s C-17 sale it is one of the largest deals a U.S. company has made with India.

The P-8 will be equipped with new systems such as radars, other sensors and command and control systems that offer an upgrade over the P-3. The P-8 also offers range, reliability and payload improvements over the propeller driven P-3.

Photo from Iragerich’s Flickr photostream.

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India Moves A Step Closer On Fighter Decision

As reported last month India’s Government announced on Friday that they have begun the final process for selecting the winner in the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contract. This is to buy a modern, Western fighter aircraft to replace some aging Russian ones and supplement a modern fighter being jointly developed by India and Russia. After a lengthy contest the remaining two contenders are Eurofighter and France’s Dassault Rafael.

On the 4th the committee responsible for negotiating the price of the 126 aircraft and its life-cycle support received the final bids from the two companies. The estimated cost for the contract will be in the $10 billion range. The final review and negotiations leading to the choice of a winner should be completed by the end of 2011.

The contest began almost five years ago and proposals were received from six different companies. Two American; Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Boeing (BA); Sweden’s SAAB and Russia’s United Aircraft Corp. as well as the two Western European aircraft. Interestingly after the evaluation of the proposals and analysis of the aircraft’s capabilities all were eliminated but the Typhoon and Rafael. This was a blow to the U.S. who were hoping to be able to sell a modern fighter to India building upon two earlier contract negotiations for Boeing’s P-8 maritime patrol aircraft and Lockheed’s C-130J transport.

The U.S. after their aircraft had been eliminated had raised the idea of proposing a variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) for the contract but India did not entertain that. The JSF is currently in Low Rate Production and is the product of the U.S. and several other countries. Unlike the other six earlier bids it is a Fifth Generation aircraft.

This contract along with Brazil’s stalled contest are the only two major foriegn fighter sales currently available although Japan is planning to begin the process to buy a new aircraft. The major aerospace contractors are looking for these deals to make up for reduced spending by the U.S. and European governments due to budgetary pressures and the cut backs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The winning of the Indian contract would be the first foreign sale of the Rafael which is only used by the French Air Force and Navy. The Eurofighter has been sold to Saudi Arabia. Both aircraft were used in the recent air campaign against Libya. Eurofighter would also like the sale as the European partners such as the U.K. and Germany are considering buying less Typhoons then they originally committed to due to funding shortfalls.

The sale to India too would mark a breakthrough as they traditionally have bought Russian or domestic aircraft or with programs like the Hawk trainer manufactured them in India. The contract has stiff offset requirements and the winner will have to invest around $5 billion in the Indian economy. India’s offset and technology transfer rules have in the past made it hard especially for American companies to bid on their military contracts. This deal along with others are the result of modifications to those rules made in recent years.

This contract will see the first 18 aircraft built overseas and then the remainder manufactured in India.

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India To Announce New Fighter In November

The Indian Government yesterday stated that it had completed their evaluation of the offset reports submitted by the two bidders for their new fighter program. This will allow Eurofighter and Dassault to submit their final offers with a goal of announcing the winner in November.

The two Western European companies were chosen from among a total of six offerors to go on in the contest after a series of evaluations earlier this year. Lockheed Martin (LMT), Boeing (BA), MiG and SAAB had also proposed aircraft but their proposals were knocked out after a series of reviews and flight demonstrations.

Since Brazil’s contest for a similar combat aircraft has seemed to stall the Indian contract is one of the largest foreign sales available at about $10 billion and became very important as the U.S. and Europe plan to reduce their defense spending. With the U.S. focusing on the F-35 from Lockheed and countries like Great Britain, Germany and France ending their buys of the Eurofighter there has been little sales for other fighters. The Dassault Rafael and SAAB Gripen have not found another user other then the home nation as well which put pressure on them to try and keep their production line going.

The elimination of the two U.S. aircraft was also a surprise as India had been looking to that country for more equipment. This has included purchases of Boeing P-8I maritime patrol aircraft and C-17 transports. The choice not to have one of their fighters continue into the next round dealt a blow to the U.S. defense contractors hope of selling more to India.

When the decision is made it will mark the end to an over four year acquisition process with a hope that there will not be any corruption issues as has happened with so many Indian procurement programs in the past. The new fighter is a key component of the upgrading of the capabilities of India.

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Boeing Gains More C-17 Work from India

The United States government and its defense contractors have been cultivating the Indian market for several years. The biggest payoff so far has been contracts for military transports and maritime patrol aircraft. The most important of current opportunities though, the new advanced fighter contract, has for now chosen to go with European competitors in the form of Dassault’s Rafael and Eurofighter’s Typhoon.

Boeing (BA) has been able to sell its C-17 strategic transport and P-8 patrol aircraft to India. Both of these are large contracts and as with all military aircraft ones offer the advantage of requiring decades of parts, modifications and support. India will receive 10 C-17 aircraft to begin with with the potential for more depending on that country’s requirements.

As part of this effort Boeing this week received a contract modification from India via the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system where technically the customer is the U.S. Defense Department. This $469 million action is to provide engineering, maintenance and modernization support for India’s C-17 aircraft. It illustrates the potential of this part of the market.

India also purchased 6 C-130J transport aircraft from Lockheed Martin (LMT). These aircraft have already started to be delivered. That contract was worth over $500 million.

The hope is that sales to India may offset some of the potential declines in U.S. and European defense spending. India and Brazil are considered two of the largest future markets available for defense items although Brazil’s plans to modernize and expand its military have slowed down in recent months.

India is still buying large amounts of Russian equipment as it historically has but is adding injections of Western systems like the P-8I based on Boeing’s 737 derivation for the U.S. Navy. The new fighter contract will be for over 100 aircraft and would represent the most modern and technically advanced systems in use by India. India has also invested heavily in domestic industry for the development and production of advanced weapon systems.

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U.S. Navy Awards Third Production Batch of P-8 Aircraft to Boeing

The P-8A Poseidon is the new long range maritime patrol aircraft for the U.S. Navy and India.  It is a variant of the Boeing (BA) 737 airliner that will perform maritime anti-submarine, reconnaissance and surveillance missions. The aircraft is in Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) for the Navy and is undergoing testing at NAS Patuxent River and other sites. Ultimately over one hundred will be built to replace the venerable fleet of P-3C Orion aircraft used during the Cold War to counter the Soviet submarine fleet.

The Indian Navy has also bought eight of the aircraft. The P-3C had decent sales overseas and it can be expected that the P-8 will too as other nations move to replace their maritime patrol capability. The P-8 is one of several aircraft that Boeing has built for the military based on the 737 including a personnel transport and the E-6 long range communication aircraft. It may ultimately also be the platform for the intelligence gathering aircraft that will replace the EP-3 in use also with the U.S. Navy.

Boeing was recently awarded the contract to begin long lead material procurement for Lot III of the LRIP for the aircraft. This contract is worth over $160 million and is for the start of eight more systems for the Navy. This brings the total ordered by the Navy to almost twenty.

The aircraft has been in testing by the Navy for over a year centered at the primary Navy acquisition related base, Pax River, but also at other sites. This includes recent high temperature testing at Yuma.

Once testing is complete the P-8 will begin to enter squadron service around 2013.

The P-8 is one of those programs that doesn’t make headlines but will provide a core capability for the Navy. The use of the 737 based platform will improve performance, reliability and supportability. Boeing will be able to leverage the large commercial fleet to provide parts and engineering services at a competitive price. The aircraft is equipped with systems and electronics from Northrop Grumman (NOC), Raytheon (RTN) and GE Aviation (GE). The two engines are manufactured by CFM International.

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DynCorp to Maintain Navy’s Test Aircraft at NAS Patuxent River

DynCorp International(DI) will continue to support the U.S. Navy efforts at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland. The company has worked on Navy aircraft providing maintenance support since the 1960′s. They won another five year contract to continue to do that this week. The value of the contract if all options are exercised is almost $500 million.

NAS Patuxent River is where the Navy manages its aircraft acquisition as well as does testing and trains test pilots. They have a varied fleet of training and test support aircraft. Also any new aircraft getting ready to enter service is tested at Pax River. Currently systems like the Boeing’s (BA) new maritime patrol aircraft, the P-8, and Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) Joint Strike Fighter are undergoing tests there.

The contract will require DynCorp to maintain all of the aircraft assigned to Pax River including unmanned ones as well as any that are temporarily based there. They will also support environmental clean up actions related to the aircraft and recovery operations.

The military has been using contractors to provide maintenance for selected aircraft for years. In the Nineties as part of the downsizing of the Defense Department many depots for aircraft were closed or converted from government run to contractor facilities. With the recent discussion of in-sourcing the U.S. Air Force and some of the other services had discussed bringing this capability back into the government. It is not clear how much work will actually be taken back yet.

For a fleet of very mixed aircraft like at Pax River it makes sense for a contractor to perform the maintenance. It would require less personnel then the government most likely would need with subsequent cost savings.

As the defense budget decreases the discussion about what mix of organic and Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) will increase as the military looks to save money on this type of work. Based on what cost analysts discover the Government may increase or decrease the use of CLS depending on the potential cost savings.

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EADS Enters into Agreement with Wipro to Get Ready for Fighter Production

As India moves forward with its contest for a new fighter to be made by a Western producer the potential suppliers are angling to get ready for the contract to start. The contest started over two years ago for the advanced aircraft and bids were received from six different suppliers. These included the American companies Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT), Russia’s MiG, Sweden’s SAAB, the multi-national consortium Eurofighter and France’s Dassault.

Recently as part of the contract evaluation process the Indian selection authorities made a decision to eliminate all of the aircraft but the two from Western Europe.

As part of this contract as with most Indian defense deals there are significant offset requirements that must be met. Actually to spur bids from Western companies who previously had found it hard to participate in contests the Government reduced their requirements from traditionally very high ones. Offsets require the winner to spend some percentage of the total contract value in the awarding country. Often it can be by buying parts, or paying for assembly work, or in some other business line as long as it meets the total requirement. Boeing (BA) has begun to do this as part of their contract for six P-8I maritime patrol aircraft.

Even though no winner has yet to be announced for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contract companies like EADS (EADS:P) who are part of the Eurofighter consortium that makes the Typhoon fighter have begun to position themselves if they do win. The company has announced a deal with Indian consortium Wipro to provide components to its subsidiary CESA.

Even if Eurofighter does not win the MMRCA contract this agreement will support EADS production of other aircraft and aerospace components if they want to use it. As with all of the large aviation contractors EADS is looking for expansion into Asia to be nearer emerging markets as well as perhaps to gain benefits of labor costs and available infrastructure.

As the decision on who will win this contract gets closer more of the companies involved in the production of the two contenders will be announcing deals like this. India’s policies require this investment and in the long run it only makes good business sense.

Photo from tony.evans Flickr photostream.

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India’s Order Extends Boeing’s C-17 Production

Boeing (BA) is facing the end of production for the C-17 strategic transport as the United States decided to not buy anymore of the aircraft despite its heavy use in supporting the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the last few years Congress had increased the total number of aircraft being bought for the U.S. Air Force despite its and the Defense Department requests to stop procurement.

The C-17 has seen sales to overseas customers with Australia, the United Kingdom and some Gulf States purchasing the system. Even so Boeing could see the end of production and had begun to shut down its production line in Long Beach, CA. This facility gained when McDonnell-Douglas merged with Boeing in the Nineties was destined to close when the C-17 was finished as Boeing had no other work for it.

The company and its workers received good news today as it was announced that India had agreed to sign a contract for ten of the aircraft. Not only is the deal worth over $4 billion it will keep the production line open for one more year. This buys even more time for Boeing to find other customers for the aircraft or even convince the U.S. to procure more.

India has in the last few years turned to Western defense contractors for different systems including buying the P-8 maritime patrol aircraft from Boeing in two recent contracts. This is in a bid to upgrade their capabilities beyond what their domestic suppliers and the more traditional Russian and UK companies have been providing.

India currently has a new fighter in competition but recently down selected to just two offerings – France’s Rafael and Eurofighter’s Typhoon. The two American bidders along with MiG and SAAB did not make it through to the final round of the contest. Some saw this as a deliberate snub of America possibly related to policy towards Pakistan and the potentiality that if there was a conflict between India and its neighbor the U.S. might boycott of supplying either nation.

Boeing, though, may get a trifecta of contracts as India is still considering the AH-64 Apache as a contender for a new attack helicopter. The Defense Department has notified Congress of a potential $1.4 billion worth of helicopters, support and training.

India remains a market of great potential for the U.S. defense contractors as they face the possibility of cuts to the U.S. budget and the end of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan with all the potential for reduced revenue and earnings. So far deals with India have been few-and-far between but today’s contract announcement is a step in the right direction.

Photo from kingair42′s Flickr photostream.

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India Goes With Western Europe in Fighter Contest

The Indian government has taken a step further in their ongoing contest to choose a new fighter for their military by down selecting to only two of the six bidders for the advanced aircraft contract. In a surprising move the two selected to go on were France’s Dassault Rafael and the Eurofighter’s consortium’s Typhoon.

This meant that the U.S. defense contractor’s Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) who were trying to win the deal were cut out of the final selection process. This decision was a disappointment to the U.S. government who have been hoping to expand sales to the growing Indian market.

Many companies have been looking to the Indian market to offset potential declines in the U.S. and European defense budgets. The Indian contract along with the now delayed Brazilian one are two of the largest available in the near term.

That does not mean India has not bought from America. They have purchased several P-8I maritime patrol aircraft from Boeing and are potentially buying the C-17 transport aircraft. The decision, though, to move out with an American fighter would have indicated a desire to broaden their market and given hope to the U.S. defense contractors.

Photo from Shandchem’s flickr photostream.

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India Gives Tata Power a Contract for Airfield Modernization

In one of the largest contracts given to a company outside their traditional government supported arms producers the Indian Air Force awarded Tata Power a roughly $225 million deal to upgrade at least thirty airfields’ infrastructures. This contract continues to illustrate India’s determination to modernize and improve their military capabilities overall.

As part of this effort India has been attempting to broaden their base of suppliers through modernizing their offset and formation of subsidiary companies and partnerships to allow contracts with the large U.S. and European defense contractors. In the past India has tended to use Russian, Great Britain and domestic sources for most of their weapon systems.

Recent contracts include the one with Boeing (BA) for P-8I maritime patrol aircraft as well as the new fighter currently in source selection which has attracted a slew of major foreign interest. India is also planning on awarding new helicopter and artillery contracts in the near future.

The contract is for Tata Power to upgrade the airfields to be able to support and operate the newer, modern aircraft that will be entering India’s inventory.

The contract with Tata Power also indicates attempts to broaden their supplier base as it is one of the largest contracts awarded to a domestic commercial company. If India is able to draw these companies into bidding on defense work it increases competition and ultimately their industrial base which will allow them to build and sustain an effective, modern military.

Tata Power is India’s largest utility which primarily provides electricity but also does design, development and fabrication of electronics which has included defense work in the past through their SED division.

Photo from cryogenic666′s flickr photostream.

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Lockheed Continues to Support the P-3C Fleet

Even though the U.S. Navy is developing the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to replace the current fleet of P-3C Orions it still must keep that aircraft flying until Boeing (BA) starts delivering the 737 based aircraft. The Lockheed Martin (LMT) designed and built Orion must continue to be available and perform anti-submarine, surveillance and reconnaissance missions around the world.

The P-8 is currently undergoing testing at Patuxent River Naval Air Station while the first production aircraft is well into fabrication. The P-8 has also been sold to India as part of one of the largest arms deals with that nation.

So even though its replacement is going to enter service in the near future Lockheed received a contract worth over $130 million to build wing assemblies and provide engineering and logistical support to the P-3 aircraft.

Modern military aircraft fly for decades with new variants and upgrades introduced incrementally over the life of the system. The U.S. is slowly introducing replacements for a fleet of aircraft that mostly came into service in the Eighties. This includes the biggest program of them all Lockheed’s Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) which will become the major tactical aircraft in the Air Force, Navy and Marine inventory over the next twenty years.

The award of the KC-46A contract to Boeing this month means that the KC-135 tankers will begin to be retired and reportedly a new bomber is in the works to supplement the B-52, B-1 and B-2 fleet. Because aircraft do now have such long service lives the slow development and replacement cycle is not as critical as it was in the past.

The P-3 will continue to fly alongside the P-8 for several years as the Navy upgrades this capability.

Photo from Kingbob86′s flickr photostream.

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Foreign Fighter Contracts Not Materializing Soon

The Western defense contractors face a shrinking market right now domestically for advanced combat aircraft. The U.S. and many of its Allies are committed to Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and that system will dominate their inventories for the next few decades. The U.S. ended production of the F-22 Raptor by Lockheed and Boeing (BA) and European nations have pretty much finished up ordering Eurofighter Typhoon’s with the United Kingdom even planning retiring some of their older aircraft due to budgetary pressures. France and Sweden have their own domestic aircraft in the Dassault Rafale and SAAB Gripen but have purchased as many of those as they really can.

All of these companies and countries have looked to overseas customers to sell these aircraft with the two biggest deals being for Brazil and India. Unfortunately these contract are not materializing in the near future and may now be pushed out a year or two.

India has planned major upgrades to its military through the purchase of advanced Western systems. This has included aircraft like C-130J transports from Lockheed and P-8I maritime patrol aircraft from Boeing (BA) but their cornerstone program was for over a hundred fighters. This contract has been going through the source selection with the competitors from the U.S., Europe and Russia demonstrating their aircraft and at one point was hoped to be awarded this summer. It is now being reported that this major contract won’t be decided until early in 2012.

Brazil has also been planning to expand and improve its military through some deals with overseas suppliers. They too would like to buy a new fighter and that contest has seemed to be between Boeing’s F/A-18 and the Rafale although SAAB bid as well. The original plan was to award this year but due to budget cuts the decision will now be postponed for at least twelve months. There are concerns that it may not happen at all as Brazil had to cut its defense spending significantly.

Finally Dassault had hoped that the U.A.E. might invest in the Rafale as well which so far has yet to find a foriegn buyer. The Emirates already operates French Mirage aircraft and the Rafale would be the logical extension of these. The big arms expo in the U.A.E., IDEX, came and went though without any announcement of a deal although a contract was awarded to upgrade Mirage aircraft worth about $30 million. Failure to win this contract would be a blow to France’s aggressive campaign to sell the fighter to new customers.

It had been hoped that these overseas sales would make up for the decline in U.S. and European defense spending and help keep production lines going and workers employed. Unfortunately they are not materializing as fast as hoped and this may affect different contractor’s plans. The Asian and South American markets were seen as key to keep the defense business going in the next several years. It may be that even these nations who were hoping to improve their military may not have the money necessarily to meet their original plans.

Photo from Jerry Gunner’s flickr photostream.

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India to Consider AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopters from Boeing

The U.S. Government’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has proposed to the nation of India that they consider purchasing Boeing (BA) AH-64D Apache attack helicopters for their upcoming requirement. The notification to Congress by the DSCA means that the contract is being pursued.

Often this notification is to support an actual deal but in this case the U.S. is hoping that India will choose the AH-64 over its foreign competitors. This is to allow the quickest possible implementation of the contract.

The total package proposed includes twenty-two of the advanced helicopters along with engines, targeting systems, HELLFIRE and STINGER missiles. It also includes support equipment, cannon ammunition as well as training. The estimated value of the contract if all aspects are exercised is about $1.4 billion.

The Indian government has reportedly requested bids from multiple foriegn suppliers for the attack helicopter mission. Potential suppliers other then Boeing would include Eurocopter, Bell and Russia’s MiL or Kamov aircraft.

India in recent years has attempted to broaden their military systems suppliers to include large Western contractors such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin (LMT). In order to do this they have had to make adjustments to their laws governing offsets and the participation of Indian companies in the actual work.

Boeing has sold several P-8I maritime patrol aircraft in the first major deal with a U.S. company in many years.

India is considering buying transports such as the C-17 or C-130 as well as a modern fighter aircraft that has attracted bids from American, European and Russian companies.

As the U.S. and European domestic defense markets decline due to budgetary pressures and the winding down of Afghanistan and Iraq companies will look to the Asian market especially to make up difference. India along with the Middle East are two areas especially coveted for big contracts.

Photo from jensen_chua’s flickr photostream

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India Begins Second Track for New Fighter

Since independence India has primarily relied on a mix of British and Russian equipment. Some of this is purchased direct from the suppliers but India has often established assembly facilities and shared manufacturing for some systems. This includes jet aircraft such as the MiG-27 and MiG-29 fighters acquired from Russia.

In the last two years as part of an attempt to rapidly upgrade the technological level of their weapon systems and to take advantage of the world armaments market India has been more willing to buy Western equipment direct. This includes maritime patrol aircraft and transports from U.S. contractors Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) as well as working with Israeli and European companies.

One big contract that is winding its way through source selection is that for a new multi-role combat aircraft. India is reviewing proposals from Eurofighter, Rafael, SAAB, MiG, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman (NOC). These aircraft would most likely be made overseas but India does require offsets and investment in their economy.

This week India announced that it has signed a contract with the two Russian companies Sukhoi and Rosoboronexport to team with their own HAL to begin development of a new advanced fighter that would be based on the Russian T-50 aircraft but would be uniquely Indian. The initial contract is for about $295 million and would lead to the production of a fifth generation aircraft similar to the F-22 or Joint Strike Fighter.

The Indian military industry is taking on a tough project with this fighter program. These are about the most advanced systems to develop and put into production. This plan shows that India wants to improve its capabilities both in the air and with their industry. If they succeed they will have a viable aircraft both for their own use and for sales to other countries moving them onto the world stage in armaments production.

Photo from Jaiden’s flickr photostream.

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Indian Air Force Buys Bombs from the U.S.

One of the plans that U.S. and the European defense contractors are hoping will offset decline in business in their own countries due to budgetary pressures is to sell overseas. Asian, Middle Eastern and South American countries are expected to invest billions over the next few decades in their military. While the contracts won’t be as frequent or as large as the ones gained domestically they are still good business.

India has taken great strides in the past two years to reform its defense acquisition to allow greater competition from Western defense contractors. In the past the offset and investment requirements as well as regulations to encourage domestic growth made it hard for their market to gain much interest. Now India is trying to take advantage of the Western market to upgrade the overall technology of their military systems. India has signed deals with Boeing (BA) for P-8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft as well as considering the C-17 transport.

The biggest ongoing contract is for new fighters that has attracted competition from across the Globe with Boeing, Lockheed Martin (LMT), MiG, SAAB and the Rafale from France.

While these bigger deals percolate India has been signing some smaller ones. It was announced yesterday that Textron (TXT) will sell over five hundred aerial cluster bombs to the Indian Air Force. The contract was done as a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) from the United States government and is worth over $250 million.

While this represents only one percent of the company’s most recent quarterly revenue it is still welcome work.

If the U.S. defense budget does see serious decline it will be contracts like this that will help preserve the U.S. industrial base and keep companies going.

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Telephonics Corporation to Supply Aft Radar for India’s P-8i Maritime Patrol Aircraft

FARMINGDALE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Telephonics Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Griffon Corporation (NYSE:GFF), announced today that its Radar Systems Division has received a contract from The Boeing Company to supply APS-143C(V)3 Multi-Mode Radar (MMR) for India’s P-8i aircraft. The contract includes systems to support (8) P-8i Aft Radar installations integration and support services. “We are very pleased to have been selected for this important program,” said Kevin McSweeney, Preside

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Rumors of Indian C-17 Contract Closure

Unless there is a miracle in the 2011 defense budget whenever it is passed by Congress the last C-17 for the U.S. Air Force has been funded. The strategic transport has received several plus ups in recent budgets to buy aircraft beyond what the Air Force and Department of Defense has planned. Boeing (BA) is already planning the winding down of the production line and the factory in Long Beach, CA.

The C-17 has seen heavy use in the current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as lift is one of the most important force projections and support assets. Even though the mission the aircraft carries out is important the Obama Administration made ending production one part of their defense spending reforms. In the 2009 and 2010 budgets they accepted the additional aircraft from Congress as part of getting their other changes through including ending F-22 procurement.

The C-17 has been purchased by some foreign customers and the U.S. and Boeing have aggressively marketed it to others. The aircraft remains the only Western long range strategic transport in production alongside Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) shorter ranged and smaller C-130J. EADS (EADS:P) is now offering their A400M transport which falls between the two U.S. aircraft offering longer range then the C-130 and smaller cargo capability compared to the C-17.

Now it seems some of these efforts are paying off. Reportedly Kuwait wants to purchase at least one of the aircraft and India is ready to close on a deal for ten. The total value of these sales is over $4 billion.

India has long tried to develop their indigenous arms industry while buying selected Russian and Western equipment. Over the last few years in a bid to modernize their military and raise their general technological level they have attempted to purchase more U.S. equipment. These have included Boeing P-8I maritime patrol aircraft and an ongoing competition for a new fighter that includes bids from Boeing, Lockheed, MiG, Daussault and SAAB. The C-17 buy would be part of this effort.

The more foreign sales that Boeing can secure the longer it can keep the production line open and people in California employed. The Indian sale would be quite an addition as it would become the largest fleet outside of the U.S. These sales will be much appreciated by Boeing and its workers.

Photo from TMWolf’s flickr photostream.

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CPI Aerostructures Announces Order from Sikorsky Aircraft for Outer Wings for Fixed Wing Reconnaissance Aircraft

EDGEWOOD, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CPI Aerostructures, Inc. (“CPI Aero®”) (NYSE Amex: CVU) announced today that it has received a purchase order from Sikorsky Aircraft for the manufacture of outboard wing assemblies for the SA-338B maritime patrol aircraft. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX). CPI Aero will be providing outer wing assemblies for two aircraft plus a separate wing designated for structural testing. Delivery of these assemblies is expected to beg

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P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft Delivered to NAS Patuxent River to Start Test Program

Boeing (BA) has delivered the first P-8A Poseidon long range maritime patrol and anti-submarine aircraft to the U.S. Navy Patuxent River Naval Air Station to begin its test program. The P-8A when it reaches service in a few years will replace the P-3C Orion aircraft originally manufactured by Lockheed (LMT) that has been in service now for almost forty years.

The P-8A is based on the Boeing 737 twin engined air liner. A version, the P-8I, has also been purchased by India.

The larger, jet engine equipped P-8A will have a longer range, more time in the air and greater payload then the turboprop powered Orion. If all goes well with the program the Navy will receive their first Poseidon in 2013.

In the late Eighties the Navy attempted to develop the P-7 as a replacement for the P-3 but that program was canceled in the decade after as part of defense acquisition reforms under President Clinton. The P-8 program began just after the turn of the century and Boeing was awarded the development contract in 2004.

The Navy will receive two more test aircraft at Pax River this year. The aircraft is equipped with systems and electronics from Northrop Grumman (NOC), Raytheon (RTN) and GE Aviation (GE). The two engines are manufactured by CFM International.

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SELEX Galileo concludes agreement to establish ATMOS as the Brazilian Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar centre of excellence

May 5, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Syndicated Industry News 
SELEX Galileo concludes agreement to establish ATMOS as the Brazilian Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar centre of excellence
May 5, 2010


SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica company and Europe’s leading supplier of sophisticated airborne radar systems has concluded an agreement with ATMOS, a subsidiary of ATECH, to establish them as the Brazilian AESA Radar Centre of Excellence and Airborne Radar Systems House. The agreement is directly in accordance with the Brazilian Defence Strategy’s intention of strengthening Brazil’s national defence industrial capability.

The agreement which follows on from the recent Memorandum of Understanding focuses on the individual target programmes, such as the Raven ES-05 AESA for Gripen Next Generation (NG), and details the training, development, production and support activities to be carried out by ATMOS. In addition to the Raven ES-05 AESA radar for the Saab Gripen NG proposed for the FX-2 programme, the agreement also covers all radars in the SELEX Galileo portfolio including the Seaspray 5000E and 7000E AESA surveillance radars and the Gabbiano T20 mechanically scanned (M-Scan) surveillance radar system.

This range of surveillance radars is being offered to meet a wide range of major Brazilian Air Force requirements including maritime patrol aircraft and helicopter operations.

The collaboration will provide ATMOS with in depth training on radar systems, development activities in the Raven ES-05 AESA, including full participation in the final testing and flight trials, plus the skills necessary to test and fully support the radar in Brazil. In the longer term joint development of advanced radar sub-systems will take place to ensure the future needs of the Força Aérea Brasileira (Brazilian Air Force) are met. This transfer of knowledge and technology also applies to the other SELEX Galileo radars to ensure that the ATMOS capability covers all aspects of airborne radar systems.

“We consider this to be a hugely important agreement” said Alastair Morrison, Senior Vice President of Radar and Advanced Targeting Line of Business in SELEX Galileo. “Brazil is an increasingly important market for us and we understand the need to transfer knowledge and technology to satisfy the Brazilian needs. In ATMOS, we have found a partner with the vision and capability that will allow us to make that a reality. As important, we have found a partner who will work with us to exploit the engineering capability in Brazil and ensure that SELEX Galileo and ATMOS can develop innovative and effective radar systems in the future”.

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SELEX Galileo awarded a £19M contract from the UK MoD for an AESA Technology Demonstrator Programme

February 17, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Syndicated Industry News 
SELEX Galileo awarded a £19M contract from the UK MoD for an AESA Technology Demonstrator Programme
17 February 2010


SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica Company, has received a £19M Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar Technology Demonstrator Programme (TDP) contract from the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (UK MoD). The contract includes development and build of a first of type, multi-function, wide field of regard AESA radar providing increased capability and performance when compared to conventional AESA Fire Control radar systems.

Aimed at future UK platforms, the AESA TDP will focus on Day/Night All Weather targeting, high resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), and Air – Air targeting and communications and will raise the technology readiness levels of the enabling hardware, de-risk the capability and demonstrate maturity of concept. After rigorous ground and compact antenna test range testing, the radar is planned to fly on a Royal Air Force Typhoon aircraft in the UK.

This TDP programme builds on previous investment from UK MoD and SELEX Galileo’s considerable internal investment in AESA technology and product development.


SELEX Galileo announces $10M AESA surveillance radar contract for the US Department of Homeland Security

SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica company, has been awarded a $10M contract for Seaspray 7500E Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars which will be fitted to King Air 350ER Multi-role Enforcement Aircraft (MEA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and US Customs and Border Protection (US CBP). Follow on contracts for additional SELEX Galileo AESA radars should be finalised within the next few months. This new achievement follows the success of other SELEX Galileo AESA radars in the US strategic security domain.

The US Coast Guard previously selected Seaspray 7500E for its HC-130H maritime patrol aircraft which is now in operational service. US Customs and Border Protection has also selected the Vixen 500E for its Citation 550 aircraft for an air intercept role. On the King Air aircraft, Seaspray 7500E will be crucial to the Multi-role Enforcement Aircraft’s ability to conduct its missions of maritime surveillance, overland surveillance and air to air detection and tracking of small light aircraft.

The prime contractor for the MEA is Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) of Sparks, Nevada and the Seaspray radars will be delivered to them for integration into the aircraft. SELEX Galileo will work closely with Sierra Nevada Corporation to ensure the radars are optimised for the specific MEA missions.

Steve Mogford, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to announce this latest Seaspray contract in the US and are proud to be delivering a key sensor for this vital MEA mission. SELEX Galileo’s AESA surveillance radar is setting standards in the US surveillance market that other radars cannot meet. We look forward to working closely with our prime contractor, Sierra Nevada Corporation, to deliver this important capability”.


SELEX Galileo awarded a £10 M contract by the Canadian Department of National Defence

SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica Company, has been awarded a £10M contract by the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) for the supply of the Company’s Digital Gun Management Systems (DGMS). DGMS is a variant of the UK Light Gun LINAPS (Laser Inertial Artillery Pointing System) for the M777 lightweight towed howitzer. The order follows on from an initial contract procured in 2006.

The Company’s Digital Gun Management Systems (DGMS) has demonstrated that it can dramatically improve the Canadian Artillery’s capability during missions providing timely and accurate target engagement. The system can be rapidly deployed and the gun crew can operate from unsurveyed locations, in all weather and light conditions. DGMS represents a significant improvement over traditional artillery systems which relied on optical sights to determine gun direction.

Keith Marshall, VP Marketing and Sales Electronic Warfare and BPA at SELEX Galileo said: “SELEX Galileo welcomes the award of this new contract for its battle proven LINAPS system. Above all we are delighted by the appreciation of its performance that has been acknowledged by the Canadian customer, as well as by other customers that are currently using it in theatre. LINAPS confirms itself as a strategic asset in the tactical scenario delivering outstanding force protection capability and further market opportunities are arising around the world starting with India.”

The DGMS-equipped M777s have performed with high precision since they were deployed in theatre in late 2006. The Canadian Forces has proven experience with the DGMS on operations and training since its introduction into service in 2006.

Notes to the Editors:

DGMS incorporates a gunner’s display, vehicle motion sensors and a powerful mission management system. The DGMS is integrated with the Indirect Fire Control Computer System (IFCCS) and the Raytheon Microlight digital radio, to provide a digital link from the Command Post to the guns. This ensures a seamless transfer of mission data and rapid, accurate target engagement.

LINAPS, of which DGMS is a variant, is in service with the British Army 105mm L118 Light Gun, and was successfully deployed in Iraq during the second Gulf war. A self-contained gun-mounted navigation, pointing and weapon management system, LINAPS enables rapid and accurate artillery deployment in all weather conditions.

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Boeing Begins Offsets In India

December 8, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: BNET 

Boeing recently sold the P-8I maritime patrol aircraft to India. This country requires offsets for foriegn companies winning contracts and Boeing…

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RAAF Buys FLIR Systems for Patrol Aircraft

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) exercised an option with FLIR Systems to procure more FLIRs for their P-3 maritime patrol aircraft. CNNMoney.com has the press release. The contract option is the first option exercised under an original contract signed last year. The original contract had a value of over $13 million U.S. and no value for the option was released. The contract will upgrade existing FLIR Systems products to HD standard.

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