Procurement: August 13, 1999


  • The US Air Force has asked Lockheed Martin to draw up plans to build 200 Special Mission F-22 Raptors in addition to the 339 Air Superiority Fighters now planned. This reflects how greatly the F-22 has impressed the Air Force brass.
  • United Defense plans to build a new factory in Elgin Oklahoma to manufacture the Crusader howitzer system. The proposed site is near the Fort Sill artillery ranges. First production vehicles are expected in 2004.
  • Spain will spend $112 million refitting its seven P-3 Orion naval patrol planes with the new Fully Integrated Tactical System. This provides five multi-function workstations inside the cabin.
  • Germany's defense spending will fall in real terms for the first time since 1950 under new plans by the Schroder government. The decreases (part of an overall budget cut) will average about 1%, but will reflect a 3% drop from original plans by Kohl's previous conservative government. This is expected to result in cuts in planned procurement programs which are not yet under contract.
  • Turkey has received the first 10 of 50 US-built S-70 (UH-60) tactical helicopters. Norway plans to scale back its armed forces by discarding obsolete equipment. The last 15 F-5 fighters will be scrapped and 336 squadron will be disbanded. The eight Storm-class missile boats and two Kobben-class subs (which have been laid up for a year) will be discarded. All of the venerable 40mm L70 anti-aircraft guns will be sent to the reserves.
  • Sweden says all five versions of the Viggen fighter, the JAS39 Gryphon, and the SK60 trainer have been cleared of Y2K problems.
  • Poland plans to build a new artillery system using a Western-designed 155mm turret on a new tracked chassis (known as Kalina) which uses some T72 components. The British are offering the AS52 Braveheart, which is essentially a copy of the AS90 that fought in the Gulf War. The Poles plan to buy 6 complete turrets, then license-build 72 more. 
  • Thailand has placed 50 Scorpion tanks in storage as it lacks the money to fix them or ship them back to Britain for an overhaul. 
  • New Zealand has asked for bids on supplying 80 wheeled armored personnel carriers to replace its M113s and 24 fire support variants of the same vehicle to replace Scorpion tanks.
      --Stephen V Cole

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