US approves Hawkeyes for France and Ospreys for Indonesia

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In a series of notifications to the US Congress published on July 6, the State Department approved the potential sales of aeronautical equipment to France (Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye), to Indonesia (Bell Boeing MV -22B Block C Osprey) and to Lithuania (Lockheed Martin / Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk).France has announced its intention to purchase the E-2D airborne alert aircraft to replace its current E-2C Hawkeyes in September 2019. The potential sale is estimated at “around $ 2 billion” and covers three fully equipped aircraft plus four spare Rolls -Royce T56-427A engines, alternative communication systems and a joint mission planning system. The agreement also includes two joint systems integration laboratories, one to be established in France with the other at Northrop Grumman’s facilities in Melbourne, Florida, where the Advanced Hawkeyes are manufactured. Technical and logistical support is included, as well as documentation and crew training.

The French Navy currently has three E-2Cs, two of which are normally assigned to the air wing on board the navy’s only aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle. The third is normally on land to serve as a reserve and for training. The small fleet is operated by Flottille 4F, based in Lann-Bihoué in Brittany, which rose to operate the type in 2000. French E-2Cs have been used operationally in Afghanistan and Libya, and have been improved with NP2000 propellers.

Although extremely similar, the incoming E-2Ds introduce a new avionics suite with an APY-9 radar which has three arrays of electronically scanned antennas in a rotary rotodome. If the sale goes as planned, France will become the second foreign operator of E-2D, after the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The French Navy often conducts joint carrier operations with the US Navy, and in 2018, E-2C and Rafale M fighters operated from the USS George HW Bush while Charles de Gaulle was docked for a refit.

Also estimated to be worth $ 2 billion, the potential sale of eight MV-22B tilt-rotor aircraft and related equipment to Indonesia. Included is a total of 24 Rolls-Royce AE1107C engines, and the Ospreys would be equipped with AAQ-27 prospective infrared, AAR-47 missile warning systems, APR-39 radar warning receiver sets and ALE-47 bale / flare dispensers. The planned armament includes the FN America M240D 7.62mm machine gun and the 0.5 inch Browning GAU-21 heavy machine gun. A support package is also included. The Ospreys would provide the Indonesian armed forces with greater defensive scope in the increasingly tense Asia-Pacific region.

Jakarta has increasingly turned to the United States for weapons in recent years, following the lifting of an arms embargo in the mid-2000s. air is the Lockheed Martin F-16, of which a first batch of 12 F-16A / Bs was acquired in the mid-1980s. During the embargo, Indonesia turned to Moscow, which provided some Sukhoi Su-27/30 number, but in the mid-2010s, the Air Force acquired 24 ex-USAF F-16C / D Block 25s, which were upgraded to near the block. 52 standard before delivery.

Indonesia had signed to buy 11 Sukhoi Su-35s, but the barter deal was terminated in March this year due to the breakdown of negotiations with Russia and political pressure from Washington. The acquisition of more F-16s – probably according to the F-16V standard – seems likely in the near future.

The request approved by Lithuania concerns the supply of six UH-60Ms in standard configuration of the United States government with a common missile warning system AAR-57, an electro-optical turret FLIR Systems Talon MMS and two door cannons M240D per aircraft . The country’s small air force currently depends on the Mil Mi-8s of the Soviet era for its air mobility capability.

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