US ARMY CON­TRACTS RAYTHEON FOR PATRIOT AIR DE­FENCE SYS­TEM UP­GRADE

SP's LandForces - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES / NEWS IN BRIEF -

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

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