Marine Corps to Support Afghan Electronic Attack Missions from Qatar

February 24, 2014 by · Comment
Filed under: afghanistan, Qatar, Syndicated Industry News 

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Qatar’s Armored Brigade to Receive Leopard 2 MBTs, Pzh2000 Artillery

April 19, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Germany, Qatar, Syndicated Industry News 

leo2_afgThe German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) announced it has signed a contract with the Emirate of Qatar to modernize the Emirate's single armored brigade, at an investment of over $2 billion. The acquisition is part of a comprehensive...

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FMS of Apache to Persian Gulf States to Grow

The United States has over the last decades sold billions to the various Gulf States to counter threats first from Iraq and now Iran. This has included increasingly sophisticated systems such as the PATRIOT and THAAD missile defense systems, C-17 transports and large amounts of helicopters. One aircraft that has proven popular is the AH-64D Apache attack helicopter made by Boeing (BA).

This is in use with countries like Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, the U.A.E. and others. Now it is being reported that Qatar has made a request for up to 24 of the helicopters. The deal if fully executed would be worth about $3 billion. This includes not only the new aircraft but also spares, support equipment, training and weaponry.

Qatar has also proposed buying Black Hawk helicopters from the U.S. made by United Technology’s (UTX) Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

The addition of the Apache increases commonality with the U.S. military as well as providing significant capability for the Qatar military. These aircraft have seen heavy use in Iraq and Afghanistan providing fire support for ground troops as well as carrying out strike missions.

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Lockheed Martin Delivers Four C-130J Super Hercules Airlifters to Qatar — Press Release

Lockheed Martin Delivers Four C-130J Super Hercules Airlifters to Qatar

MARIETTA, Ga., Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — At ceremonies today at the Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) facility here, company officials formally delivered four C-130J Super Hercules airlifters to the State of Qatar.

The Qatar Emiri Air Force’s new Super Hercules are the longer fuselage or “stretched” variant of the C-130J. The aircraft will be used for humanitarian relief and military missions for the defense of the State of Qatar. The new airlift fleet will ferry to Qatar in October.

“It is a historic day for both the Qatar Armed Forces and Lockheed Martin as we welcome Qatar into the global C-130 family,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin vice president for C-130 programs. “This acquisition of a fleet of C-130Js provides Qatar with a highly flexible airlift capability. As the first C-130J operator in the Middle-East, Qatar takes a unique place in C-130 history.”

This is Qatar’s first experience with C-130s and Lockheed Martin is providing a complete solution package. “The package includes the four aircraft; aircrew and maintenance training; spares; ground support and test equipment; and a team of technical specialists who will be based in Qatar during an initial support period.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.

For additional information, visit our website: http://www.lockheedmartin.com

SOURCE Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

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All Good Things Must Come to An End: Boeing Begins Winding Down C-17 Workforce

The Boeing (BA) C-17 Globemaster III has been one of the most successful military transport aircraft of recent time. Originally designed and manufactured by McDonnell Douglas in the early Nineties as a replacement for the C-141 Cold War era aircraft when Boeing merged with the California aerospace giant they took over production of this key aircraft. The U.S. Air Force has taken delivery of over 200 C-17 and there are several more in production at the Long Beach facility.

Unfortunately one of the areas that the Obama Administration targeted for cuts as part of their defense spending reforms was the C-17 program. They were not the first to do this as the Air Force had an acquisition objective of less then 200. Congress against the wishes of different defense secretaries consistently added C-17 aircraft production and support to the budget to get to the current planned quantity of around 220. Critics said this was only due to the fact that up to 50,000 people worked on the program across the United States and the additional aircraft were pure pork. Supporters countered that strategic airlift was critical to support U.S. operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and world wide.

This was continued in the 2009 defense supplemental and 2010 budget but with the 2011 budget this ended. There were no more C-17 aircraft to be ordered by the U.S. military.

Boeing has been able to sell the aircraft to some overseas customers. Currently the aircraft is operated by the United Kingdom, Australia, NATO and Qatar. The United Arab Emirates has entered into a contract to buy six aircraft and Kuwait one. India is considering the aircraft to supplement its fleet of Russian made IL-76 transports but right now that is the only major contract pending.

Because the future number of aircraft is limited right now Boeing announced yesterday that over one thousand employees would begin losing their jobs. Workers in Long Beach; St. Louis; Mesa, Arizona and Macon, Georgia will be affected.

In their press release Boeing said: “as the company moves to a new production rate of 10 C-17s per year. Boeing will reduce the production program’s work force by approximately 1,100 jobs through the end of 2012. The company delivered 14 C-17s in 2010.

The move to the new production rate, announced in February 2010, will be completed this summer and result in the elimination of the second shift at the C-17 final assembly facility in Long Beach. The lower production rate is designed to extend the line as Boeing works to capture additional international orders.”

Boeing hopes that new orders will materialize while they slow the production line down to continue it for several months. If the orders do occur they can adjust the speed of line to meet their obligations. If they do not the production rate will slow to zero and thousands more workers will lose their jobs.

Boeing has made it clear in the past that the Long Beach plant which is a legacy of McDonnell Douglas will be closed and not transferred to other Boeing aircraft projects.

All military acquisition programs have a definitive objective for how many systems will be purchased. The C-17 is no different then any other and eventually that number would be reached. Then production will stop.

Without any new major transport program on the horizon for at least the next several years there is no new system for Boeing to bid on and utilize their work force and production capacity.

The C-17 will remain a key system for the Air Force and Boeing will continue some business supporting it but large scale production is finished.

Photo from tony.evans flickr photostream

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Selling Overseas To Make Up For Coming U.S. Defense Cuts

Arizona is a top beneficiary of defense dollars. This is primarily due to Raytheon and Bell activities in the state. Raytheon makes missile defense systems and Bell helicopters. Now with the possibility that Obama’s cuts to the defense budgets starting in 2010 and out the companies there are looking overseas for work.

Unfortunately this will be the business plan for all defense contractors if their is a significant contraction in U.S. defense spending. The focus will be on selling systems and support to Asian, South American and Middle Eastern companies. India, Brazil, the U.A.E. and Qatar have already made major investments in U.S. and European equipment and there are several major contracts coming. In 2008 the U.S. already captured two-thirds of the market but overall purchases were the lowest they had been since 2005. If this trend continues due to the global downturn in the economy there may be less opportunity for these sort of sales.

These trends may lead to further consolidation of the defense industry in the U.S. and abroad as domestic and foriegn markets may not be able to support the amount of business built up since 2001 primarily by the United States. This will be the most important factor facing the industry which has not seen this situation since the early Nineties and the end of the Reagan arms build-up.

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C-17 FMS buy

Boeing will continue the C-17 production line for a few more years. See a press release here. No details of how many aircraft or contract value were provided. Boeing is on contract for 190 C-17s for the USAF, of which 175 have been delivered. 15 more were just placed on contract as part of the FY08 Defense Supplemental bill. Boeing had been seeing the end of the production line with the finishing of USAF and foreign orders. Depending on the size of the Qatar order it may extend the line for some time.

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