Persian Gulf & Middle East Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Tyrant King
Israel keeps quiet over F-35I's combat debut

  • 16 MARCH, 2018

Israel’s Lockheed Martin F-35I "Adir" is reported to have made its combat debut during strikes conducted against Syrian air defence systems last month. The action was mounted following a border clash that culminated in an Israeli air force Lockheed F-16 being shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

The F-35I's suggested offensive debut has not been confirmed officially, with Israeli air force commander Maj Gen Amikam Norkin having classified all operations with the type.

Air force officials have described the stealth fighter as a "super-intelligence collector" and a "game-changer", pointing to its ability to acquire and distribute data to other assets in the air and on the ground.

The Israeli air force's "Golden Eagle" squadron currently operates nine F-35Is, and is due to receive another six examples this year.

Israeli air force

Israel has so far committed to acquiring 50 conventional take-off and landing F-35s, with its aircraft to be equipped with locally developed electronic warfare equipment and weapons.
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's naval development plans show heavy emphasis on air defense. Its new corvettes and even landing platform dock (LPD) will have long-range surface-to-air missiles."

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Why Saudi Arabia Just Bought One of America's Most Controversial Warships...

"Lockheed Martin has taken the first steps in fulfilling a massive naval deal it reached with Saudi Arabia last year.

The Pentagon awarded Lockheed $481.1 million for "long-lead-time material" to begin construction of four Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) ships. The MMSC ships are modified versions of the Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), which Lockheed also makes. Last November, the Pentagon had awarded the company a $22.74 million contract to work out the modifications that Saudi Arabia had requested. The latest contract indicates that the design has been agreed upon."

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according to DefenseNews Steel cutting to begin for Qatar Navy ships in July, delivery in 2021
The first steel cutting of the Qatari Emiri Navy’s corvettes is set to take place in July while the delivery of the first two units ― one corvette and one offshore patrol vessel ― is expected in 2021, according to the vice president of the Qatar program at
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“We are very excited about the very first steal cutting due later this July. We are currently working on the corvettes design phase and are then planning to enter the OPV’s design phase, [of] which first steel-cutting is due next year,” Davide Traverso said March 14.

In August, Qatar confirmed its order for seven vessels from Italian shipyard Fincantieri, following the signing of a preliminary contract in June 2016. The deal consists of four corvettes, each more than 100 meters in length, two offshore patrol vessels and one landing platform dock.

Following the design phases for the corvettes and the OPVs, the company will focus the LPDs, Traverso said.

“This is the biggest turnkey program we have ever had in terms of export market in the Arab region,” he said. “It is worth $3.8 billion, so our effort is not only focused on the design and construction phases, but also on training activities, integrated logistics support and in-service support up to 10 years.”

The full program ― including MBDA’s coastal defense systems and land-based missile stations ― will cost more than $5 billion.

Although the units are being constructed in Genoa, Italy, the shipyard “will definitely help grow the Qatari naval business by bringing up ship-maintenance infrastructure to the Gulf country,” Traverso noted.

“The program will be a big boost for our shipyards in the naval business area, but I would say the same for Qatar, as we will be staying there for approximately 10 years in order to maintain the naval units,” he added.

For its part part, the Navy is drafting operational requirements and has gotten a team of 10 people, including eight officers, involved.

“There is a very close cooperation between us on the concept and design phases,” Traverso said. “We have a very strong relationship with the Qatari Navy because we feel there is a big design phase for the full fleet, which is putting us in the position to be here in the region for 15 years.”

For the first time ever, Fincantieri showcased the multirole air defense corvettes for the Navy at the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference held last week in Qatar.

Although the current status of the design is expected to change on a regular basis because of the continuous rearrangement of the electronic equipment and weapon systems, the existing configuration revealed at DIMDEX “won’t change a lot,” Traverso said.

In terms of weapons, the corvettes will be fitted with a 76mm main gun by Leonardo, in addition to Aster 30 surface-to-air missiles and Exocet anti-ship missiles by MBDA. Leonardo is also responsible for the integrated supply of the new naval units’ combat system Athena and main radar system Kronos.

The OPVs will be equipped with MBDA’s ground-based air defense system deploying the MICA fire-and-forget missile and Exocet missiles, as well as Leonardo’s Kronos radar.

The LPD, it will be fitted with MBDA’s Aster 30 missiles and the L-band active electronically scanned array radar.

“This is a very well-equipped fleet,” Traverso said. “Leonardo’s combat system suite, for example, is designed to be very much interoperable on all units of the fleet.”

The corvette design selected by the Navy has a length of 107 meters and a draft of 4.2 meters for a full-load displacement of 3,250 tons. Its maximum speed is set to be 28 knots, and its range 3,500 nautical miles (at 15 knots).

The crew is 112-strong, and the flight deck and hangar are sized for one
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briefly commented:
The Main-Armament Level Of Warships Entering Service 2 minutes ago
Last edited:


Over 22 Countries Participate in Gulf Shield 1 Joint Military Drill in Saudi Arabia.......

It is considered the largest military drill in the region in terms of diversity of expertise and quality of weapons. It seeks to raise the military readiness of the participating countries, modernize joint mechanisms and enhance coordination and cooperation.

The Gulf Shield 1 drill is a turning point in terms of the techniques used in accordance with the most modern military systems in the world.

The drill was aimed at strengthening mutual military relations between the two sides, enhancing joint coordination and cooperation, unifying planning procedures and developing command and control operations in the battlefield.

related to Wednesday at 9:29 PM
Sunday at 10:08 PM... so now I've checked this picture isn't a fake:

it's inside of for example Trump praises arms sales as he meets Saudi crown prince
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Saudi Arms Buyers Won a $3.5 Billion Discount From the Pentagon
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  • Pentagon waived $3.5 billion to sell $15 billion Thaad system
  • Other U.S. allies also win waivers from paying for development

President Donald Trump says the Saudis are a “big purchaser” of American arms. A $3.5 billion discount they won from the Pentagon last year in buying
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for $15 billion shows they’re also adept at tapping into the Pentagon’s generosity.

Welcoming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to the White House on Tuesday, Trump said the kingdom has completed $12.5 billion in purchases of planes, missiles and frigates from U.S. companies since his visit to Saudi Arabia last year.

He didn’t mention the discount granted last April on the Thaad system from
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The price break, which hasn’t previously been reported, was approved after the Saudis claimed the sale could be lost without it. It came in the form of two waivers from a U.S. law requiring foreign purchasers of American weapons to pay part of the Defense Department’s costs in developing them.

The sale, announced in October, was only the second time the U.S. has allowed the Army’s Thaad anti-missile system to be sold for export, after a sale to the United Arab Emirates. The Thaad batteries deployed in South Korea are owned by the U.S.

A month after the sale was announced, Russia disclosed that it was selling Saudi Arabia its S-400 air defense system, which it asserts is equal in capabilities to Thaad.

Largest Yet
The Saudi waivers were the largest yet approved for any nation, based on a Government Accountability Office review published in January of the discounts from 2012 through 2017. Over those years, the Pentagon approved $9.2 billion in waivers to allies, mostly from the Middle East, on the rationale of preventing lost sales. That includes about $4.5 billion last year, including the Saudi waivers, the first year of the Trump administration, up from about $500 million in 2016.

The GAO highlighted the $3.5 billion in waivers without naming Saudi Arabia. A U.S. official familiar with the data, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the Saudis were the beneficiaries.

Not all of the waivers approved necessarily ended up at the initial amounts cited in the review, according to the GAO.

While the discounted arms sale reflects Trump’s priority on building alliances with Saudi Arabia -- and in countering the regional influence of its arch rival Iran -- it raises questions about the policy of giving wealthy nations a break from contributions toward weapons development costs that otherwise would go to the U.S. Treasury.

Taxpayers’ Burden
“American taxpayers are footing the bill for billions of dollars for researching and developing the weapons we sell to foreign governments.” Representative Jackie Speier of California, a Democrat who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.

“The Gulf Arab nations are among the richest in the world” so “they can certainly afford it,” said Speier, who joined a colleague in requesting the GAO report. Yet the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, or DSCA, “repeatedly and without examination bought the absurd claim that paying those reimbursements would cause Gulf nations to call off” deals, said Speier, who added that she’s exploring options to tighten oversight of the DSCA.

‘Carefully Evaluate’
Senator Robert Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement to Bloomberg News that he’ll pursue an explanation for the Saudi waivers.

“We need to carefully evaluate all our military assistance and arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as we do with any country,” the New Jersey senator said. “I plan to ask the Administration why it granted Saudi Arabia a waiver exempting it from reimbursing the United States” for “an expensive missile system, and how this contributes to our national security. I would seriously question this waiver for such a wealthy country,” even though “Saudi Arabia remains an important security ally.”

A law requires foreign buyers of American military systems to reimburse a share of the one-time or “nonrecurring” research and development costs borne by taxpayers. In addition to the risk of lost sales, a waiver can be granted if a potential customer makes a case that the sale will improve “commonality” with the U.S. military through the use of standard weapons. These types of waivers are available for sales to NATO allies, Australia, South Korea and Jordan, the GAO found.

99% Approval Rate
The defense agency approved $16 billion, or 99 percent of waiver claims, for various reasons from 2012 through 2017. A waiver is issued almost routinely when a customer claims the sale will be lost without it, according to the GAO.

A congressional aide official familiar with the data the defense agency gave to the GAO said it showed Saudi Arabia had won 57 waivers totaling $4.82 billion, including the Thaad sale. Other waivers totaled $2.6 billion to Qatar, $767 million to the United Arab Emirates and $328 million to Kuwait.

DSCA spokesman Tom Crosson said in an email that “we’ll be able provide you with additional details” about the report “after we provide our inputs to Congress.” Foreign military sales support “various foreign, national security, and economic policies,” he said.

“Losing sales can significantly impact these key objectives, and nonrecurring cost waivers are one way we ensure we are a competitive option for our allies and partners,” he said.

Vice Admiral Joseph Rixey, who was director of the DSCA at the time, told Speier at a June 2016 hearing that he waives costs “in accordance with the Arms Export Control Act. That authority has been delegated from the president down to the secretary of defense and down to me.”

Rixey was still agency director last year, when the Saudi waivers were approved. He joined Lockheed in November as vice president of international program support. Lockheed spokesman Maureen Schumann said the company declined to comment on the report of Thaad waivers.
Dec 23, 2017
Sep 25, 2017

kinda related is Boeing scores big with F-15, KC-46 contracts with foreign militaries
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(huge price drop of F-15s for Qatar described inside)
and Qatari Eagles set to me the most advanced to date
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A $6.2 billion order from the government of last year Qatar for 36 F-15QA (Qatari Advanced) fighters is the latest in a long line of successes for the Eagle. In fact, the Boeing heavyweight is enjoying something of a renaissance, having scratched around for new business a decade ago. Today, money from Qatar and from Saudi Arabia has injected new life into the St Louis-based program that is now marketed as the Advanced F-15, and which has set a new benchmark for the fighter that first flew 46 years ago.

Steve Parker, Boeing’s vice-president of F-15 programs says the Eagle is going to be around for a long time. ‘We’re happy with where it is now. The beast is still unbelievable and it’s only getting better.’

The F-15QA will be the most capable variant to date, building on the already-impressive F-15SA for Saudi Arabia by adding new 10 x 19-in Large Area Displays (LADs) in both cockpits and adding the new AN/APG-82(V)1 Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar that is also currently being retrofitted to US Air Force F-15Es. Parker told Combat Aircraft: ‘The old days of the F-15 trying to hang in there are gone — we are foot-to-the-floor and seeing a lot of interest.’

The Advanced F-15’s payload is at the center of its capabilities. Adding fly-by-wire has enabled the opening up of stations 1 and 9 — the new outer wing hardpoints. Boeing’s Amber Rack is featured on the fly-by-wire F-15. This means the Saudi and Qatari jets can fly with a standard 12 air-to-air missiles. Adding the Amber Rack to the conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) allows for up to 22 missiles, or a mix of air-to-ground stores.

Boeing is also developing structural upgrades for the new Qatari aircraft that will have read-across for prospective USAF service-life extension programs. ‘We are also re-mastering the Qatari wing with proprietary technology, which takes cost out. That will also be available for the [US] Air Force for the F-15C and E.’

Parker says the F-15QA ‘comes off the Saudi pedigree.’ The Qatari aircraft will also be the first with the new 10×19-in large-area displays, plus a new low-profile head-up display (HUD). Parker says the LAD is attracting a lot of interest from current F-15 customers, with four air forces already interested such a cockpit upgrade. ‘There’s amazing processing power in the display itself,’ he says. Adding that it’s powered by the new Advanced Display Core Processor (ADCP) II, a common mission computer with ‘tremendous growth potential’.

The F-15QA order has taken the F-15 line at St Louis out to 2022, and Parker sees good potential for more business. ‘I expect us to go to the full order of 72 aircraft for Qatar.’
Feb 19, 2018
Jan 28, 2018
Kuwait to Procure 28 Super Hornet Strike Fighters
Posted: February 16, 2018
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Boeing and Kuwait cement Super Hornet deal
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Boeing and the government of Kuwait on Friday finalized a
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for 28 Super Hornets, with a contract value that could amount to almost $1.2 billion.

Under the agreement, Kuwait will purchase 22 single-seat F/A-18E models and six F/A-18Fs, the two-seat version of the jet.

The contract immediately obligates $275.9 million for long-lead nonrecurring engineering costs, including radar warning receivers and aircraft armament equipment.

However, because the final award value has not been definitized, Boeing stands to make as much as $1.2 billion — the ceiling value of the contract.

The State Department approved the Super Hornet sale to Kuwait in November 2016. At the time, Kuwait was considering a purchase of up to 40 aircraft to replace its current fleet of legacy Hornets, and the department estimated the sale could rack up a value of up to $10.1 billion.

The deal was originally seen as a lifeline for Boeing that would allow the company to keep the Super Hornet in production into the early 2020s. However, in its fiscal year 2019 budget release, the U.S. Navy rolled out an ambitious plan to buy 110 Block III Super Hornets over the next five years.

That level of procurement will keep the production line humming until 2025, Dan Gillian, Boeing’s F/A-18 and E/A-18 program manager, told Defense News earlier this week.