Pakistani navy Sea Sultan project

Paramount Group is converting additional Pakistani Embraer jets to maritime patrol aircraft (MPAs) under the Sea Sultan project.

Mid-2021, South Africa’s Paramount Group was contracted to convert three Embraer Lineage 1000 regional jetliners into long-range maritime patrol aircraft for the Pakistani Navy, as well as the pre-conversion maintenance, repair and overhaul of the aircraft.

Pakistan plans to replace the country’s P-3C Orion fleet with it’s Sea Sultan MPAs. A total number of 10 Sea Sultans is expected to be procured in a follow-on contracts.

Leonardo, Germany’s Rheinland Air Services and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) competed for the contract after a closed tender launched in November 2020, with Rheinland offering its Sea Eagle maritime patrol aircraft conversion of ATR 72 propeller liners, while TAI offered a package based on that developed for the Turkish Navy’s ATR 72s.

A $190 million contract signed between Pakistani Ministry of Defence Production and Leonardo in June 2021 after three months of technical discussions saw the Italian defence company acquire two aircraft to join the single Lineage 1000 already in Pakistan.

However, it now appears that Paramount Group has now overtaken Leonardo as the prime contractor for the Sea Sultan project. The work involves South Africa’s Paramount Group handling the pre-conversion maintenance, repair and overhaul of the aircraft under an additional contract, while Leonardo will acquire two aircraft to join the single Lineage 1000 already in Pakistan, followed by the design, modification, installation and integration of an anti-submarine warfare and maritime patrol package.

Virginia-based IT management firm General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) has been selected as the network provider and support for the US Air Force in Europe and Africa, according to the Department of Defence.

The $908-million IT network services deal is expected to be completed in July 2027. An optional three-year extension could run through July 2030.

GDIT was awarded the grant out of six bids the Air Force Installation Contracting Command received.

The contract includes USAF base support, communication planning, platform engineering, operation mapping, and information systems. Services will take place at various facilities in Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Turkey, and the rest of Europe.

Dubbed the Europe-Wide Information Technology Enterprise Network (EITEN), the project “will equip airmen across Europe with the knowledge, tools and data they need to mobilize and operate at any place and any time,” GDIT Defence Division Senior Vice President Brian Sheridan said. “Consolidating multiple mission-critical services under a single contract will also allow for greater speed, flexibility and accessibility of IT services needed across the region.”

EITEN will supply IT services needed by overseas airmen to deliver “unparalleled mission assurance through cyberspace to war fighters in joint and combined environments,” Air Force Division Vice President Jon Marshall said in an interview with Breaking Defence.

Leonardo had previous fruitful relations with Pakistan, supplying Grifo radars for Mirage-III and F-7PG Fishcan fighters, delivering AW139 helicopters, and helping procure refurbished M109 self-propelled howitzers.