US ARMY CONTRACTS RAYTHEON FOR PATRIOT AIR DEFENCE SYSTEM UPGRADE
Raytheon has been awarded a contract to upgrade the Patriot air and missile defence system operated by the US and two allied militaries. Awarded by the US Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM), the $235.5-million contract requires the company to begin full rate production of the radar digital processor (RDP) kits for Patriot modernisation that will deliver significant benefits to troops. The kits are expected to provide improved target detection and identification, as well as enhanced surveillance, and support of Patriot advanced capability-3 (PAC-3) missile segment enhancement (MSE) system. Additional benefits would include a 40 per cent improvement in overall radar reliability due to increased mean time between failure, as well as decrease in the number of battery replaceable units needed for the system from 759 to 56.
Patriot is a long-range, all-altitude, allweather air defence system designed to protect soldiers against advanced threats. Developed under the Patriot International Engineering Services Programme (IESP), the RDP increases the reliability of the digital processing system and associated analogue components by tenfold. Work under the contract is scheduled to be carried out at the company’s Integrated Air Defense Center in Massachusetts, with support from a global team of Patriot system suppliers.
Jointly manufactured by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, Patriot is a long-range, all-altitude, all-weather air defence system designed to protect soldiers against advanced threats such as aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the battlefield. Extensively operated by the US forces during Kuwait War and the most recent Iraq conflict, the missile is also in service with Egypt, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Korea, Taiwan and the UAE.
US AND QATAR SIGN $11 BILLION WEAPONS SALE AGREEMENT
The US Government has signed letters of offer and acceptance (LOA) worth $11billion with Qatar for the sale of attack helicopters and air-defence systems. Signed by the US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Qatar’s Defence Affairs Minister Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah, the agreement covers the Boeing-built AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, as well as Patriot and Javelin missile systems. The deal is reportedly the biggest US weapons sale this year, and is also the first acquisition of Patriot missiles by Qatar.
Unnamed US defence officials were quoted by Agence France Presse as saying that the US will supply around ten batteries for the Patriot systems, as well as 24 Apache helicopters and 500 Javelin anti-tank missiles. Qatar has been investing in missile defence systems to counter the threat from Iran, which has strengthened its missile arsenal, the officials said.
The two ministers also signed and renewed the US-Qatar defence cooperation agreement during Hagel’s visit to Doha. As well as governing the interaction between the US and Qatari armed forces, the ten-year agreement enables the continued deployment of US soldiers to installations in the area, including the Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base, Reuters reported.
DEFENCE MINISTRY CLEARS PROCUREMENT PROPOSALS WORTH 21,000 CRORE
` India’s Ministry of Defence on Saturday cleared procurement proposals worth
` 21,000 crore. In his first Defence Acquisition Council meeting, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley cleared critical proposals such as the much-awaited replacement of Indian Air Force’s ageing Avro transport aircraft fleet, supply of Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv for the Coast Guard and Navy at
` 7,000 crore and the ` 9,000-crore proposal for fleet support ships for the Navy. Continuing the stance that the NDA Government has taken ever since coming to power, the indigenisation theme was visible even in the clearances given on Saturday. For instance, the request for proposal for the Avro replacement programme would be issued to Indian private players, who can jointly build the aircraft along with foreign vendors.
Acceptance of necessity for the programme to replace the fleet of 56 Avro platforms was accorded by the Defence Acquisition Council in July 2012. As per the programme, 16 aircraft would be manufactured by the foreign vendors while 40 would be built within the country. The tender for fleet support ships too would be issued to private sector and public sector shipyards within the country. Another proposal to produce offshore patrol vessels and fast patrol vessels for the Coast Guard, pegged at ` 2,360 crore was also given a green signal.
INDIAN ARMY WANTS INCREASE IN FINANCIAL POWERS OF THEATRE COMMANDERS
As the Narendra Modi Government focuses on faster decision-making and quicker defence procurement processes, the Army’s regional commanders may soon get to break free of the bureaucratic rigmarole, if their demand for hiking their financial powers, in some cases even doubling it, is met by the Defence Ministry. If this proposal is approved by the NDA Government, it would pave way for speedier purchase of weapons and supplies urgently required by the troops for operational needs in troubled areas such as Jammu and Kashmir and in the North East states, say officers at the Army