March's top stories: Boeing wins $3.4bn Apache helicopters contract, US ally uses Patriot missile

Boeing has secured a $3.4bn contract to deliver AH-64E Apache helicopters to the US Army and Saudi Arabia, and a Patriot long-range air defence system was used by an American ally to shoot down a small quadcopter drone. Army-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from March 2017.


Boeing wins $3.4bn contract to deliver 268 AH-64E Apache helicopters

Boeing secured a $3.4bn contract from the US Government to deliver AH-64E Apache helicopters to the US Army and Saudi Arabia.

Under the terms of the contract, the army will procure 244 remanufactured Apache helicopters while the foreign military sales contract requires the company to deliver 24 new Apaches to Saudi Arabia.

Under the contract, Boeing will provide remanufactured and new-build aircraft, Longbow crew simulators, ground support equipment, and spare parts, as well as integrated logistics support and engineering services.

US ally used Patriot missile to shoot down small quadcopter drone

US Army General David Perkins reportedly said that a Patriot long-range air defence system was used by an American ally to shoot down a small quadcopter drone.

The Raytheon-built missile system has been designed to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft.

The details about when and where the strike was carried out were not revealed.

Australia launches $730m fund to support new defence technologies development

The Australian Department of Defence launched its A$730m ($561m) Next Generation Technologies Fund to help develop new technologies for defence needs.

The Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) will lead the ten-year research and development programme to improve the capabilities of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The government will initially invest A$16.8m ($12.91m) in the programme by June.

HRW claims ISIS used chemical weapons in Mosul

International non-governmental organisation (NGO) Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused ISIS militants of using chemical weapons in Mosul, Iraq, last week, causing harm to civilians and combatants.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), 12 people were being treated for possible exposure to a mustard agent in a hospital in Erbil.

Though ICRC's tests have not yet been conclusive, patients in the hospital reportedly showed symptoms indicative of a chemical attack, including burns.

Brazilian Army orders more RBS 70 very short-range air defence systems

The Brazilian Army contracted Saab to supply RBS 70 very short-range air defence system (VSHORAD).

Valued at SEK105m ($11.65m), the contract covers delivery of an undisclosed number of RBS 70 man-portable launchers.

Other equipment to be supplied under the contract included training simulators, night vision equipment and multispectral camouflage for the weapon's operators and maintainers.

US begins THAAD deployment in South Korea to counter North Korean missile threats

The US Pacific Command started deploying the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea.

The move follows the latest launch of four ballistic missiles by North Korea, according to media sources.

In July 2016, the US and South Korea agreed to deploy the THAAD system to counter North Korean missile threats.

Supacat and Rheinmetall partner to deliver military vehicles to Dutch Army

Supacat partnered with Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Netherlands (RMMV NL) to deliver 12kN air assault (AASLT) and 12kN light-weight protected vehicles for the Royal Netherlands Army.

The agreement has been signed in support of the Defence-wide Wheeled Vehicle Replacement (DVOW) programme.

Under the agreed terms, RMMV NL will be responsible for producing the vehicles designed by Supacat.

India conducts test launch of BrahMos missile with extended range

India conducted a test launch of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur off the coast of Odisha, India.

Conducted on 11 March, the trial validated the missile's ability to hit enemy targets more than 400km away.

The missile was test-fired from a mobile autonomous launcher during the trial, which met all mission parameters, according to BrahMos Aerospace.

Estonia to invest in ammunition and armaments for its 2nd Infantry Brigade

The Estonian Ministry of Defence unveiled a four-year development plan to procure weaponry to improve the defence capability of its 2nd Infantry Brigade.

Nearly €90m will be spent to purchase ammunition and armaments, as well as complement the brigade's command, communications and transport capabilities, the ministry stated.

The government recently approved a ten-year plan, under which the brigade will receive two new battalions consisting of more than 1,000 combatants.

US DoD offers funding to support science and technology research

The US Department of Defense (DoD) awarded research grants to 160 university researchers at 84 institutions.

The awards, worth $47m, were granted as part of the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP).

DURIP funding will be spent on new equipment that will support defence research and associated graduate student research training.