June’s top news stories

7 July 2019 (Last Updated July 15th, 2019 11:00)

Sikorsky received a $542m production contract from the US Navy to build six VH-92A presidential helicopters, and Babcock confirmed that it rejected a merger proposal from Serco Group. Naval-Technology.com wraps up key headlines from June 2019.

June’s top news stories
The VH-92A helicopter completed operational testing that included operating on the south lawn of The White House in September 2018. Credit: US Marine Corps photo by Sgt Hunter Helis.

Sikorsky secures contact to build VH-92A presidential helicopters

Sikorsky received a $542m production contract from the US Navy to build six VH-92A presidential helicopters.

Procurement of the six helicopters is part of the programme of record for the US Marine Corps to purchase 23 aircraft.

In addition, the contract for the presidential helicopter replacement programme comprises spares and training support.


Babcock turns down merger offer from Serco Group

Babcock confirmed that it rejected a merger proposal from Serco Group, claiming that the potential combination had no strategic merit.

News of the proposed merger was reported by The Sunday Times. According to the newspaper, Serco approached Babcock with the proposal to create a defence firm worth £4bn.

This was the second attempt made by Serco after a preliminary approach late last year, the newspaper added.


Fincantieri and Naval Group sign deal to create 50-50 joint venture

Italy’s Fincantieri and France’s Naval Group signed an agreement to create a 50/50 joint venture (JV) to develop technologies and secure new export contracts.

The companies announced plans for the JV in October 2018.

The Alliance Cooperation Agreement was signed by Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono and Naval Group CEO Hervé Guillou while on board the Italian frigate Federico Martinengo in La Spezia.


India invites bids for six Project 75-I submarines construction

The Indian Government issued an expression of interest (EoI) to identify interested domestic companies to build six conventional submarines under the national navy’s Project 75-I.

The Rs450bn ($6.45bn) P-75(I) project is a big boost to the government’s Make in India programme.

India’s P-75(I) project is the second project to reach out to private firms under the latest Strategic Partnership (SP) Model.


German Navy commissions lead ship of F125-class frigates

Germany commissioned Baden-Württemberg, the first of a new F125-class of German Navy frigate ships, during a ceremony on 17 June.

Baden-Württemberg was built in Germany by ARGE F125, a consortium comprising thyssenkrupp Marine Systems as the lead company and Lürssen Werft.

The F125-class ships will replace the Navy’s F122 Bremen-class frigates, which entered service between 1982 and 1990.


US Navy awards contract to Raytheon for precision landing systems

The US Navy awarded a $234m initial low-rate production contract to Raytheon to manufacture 23 joint precision approach and landing systems (JPALS).

The global positioning system (GPS) enabled precision landing systems will be outfitted on all of the navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships.

JPALS has the capability to guide aircraft to precision landings in all weather and surface conditions.


UK seeks new technologies for future Royal Navy fleet

The UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is set to launch a new competition to seek intelligent systems and technology solutions to develop a comprehensive future Royal Navy fleet.

Known as ‘Intelligent Ship – The Next Generation’, the competition will be officially launched in London on 19 June.

Through the competition, the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) is looking for proposals for novel and innovative projects to facilitate the wider use of intelligent systems within future warships.


Northrop wins USMC contract to supply 30 G/ATOR radar systems

Northrop Grumman received a $958m contract from the US Marine Corps (USMC) to provide an additional 30 gallium nitride-based (GaN) AN/TPS-80 ground/air task-oriented radar (G/ATOR) systems.

The contract for Lot 6 full-rate production of G/ATOR radar systems also includes spares parts and retrofit kits.

Radar systems are being procured under a plan managed by Program Executive Officer Land Systems.


US conducts BALTOPS 2019 with Nato allies amid Crimea tensions

The US Navy-led multinational maritime-focused exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2019 has commenced in the Baltic Sea.

The annual exercise will involve maritime forces from 18 countries and will be held until 21 June.

BALTOPS is a key maritime exercise in the Baltic region and one of the largest exercises in northern Europe. It is designed to enhance flexibility and interoperability among allied and partner nations.


US Navy issues RFP for FFG(X) multi-mission frigate contract

The US Navy invited companies to bid for the detail design and construction (DD&C) contract of the next-generation guided-missile frigates FFG(X).

The request for proposals (RFP) is for the first ten frigates under the programme, including one base ship and nine options.

Following an open competition, the navy will announce a winner and award a contract for FFG(X) DD&C in the fiscal year 2020. The proposed contract is consistent with the US National Defense Strategy.