Canada to Announce FWSAR Winner by Year’s End | Boeing Implements Hardware Fix on KC-46A Boom | Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain Await Approval on Fighter Jets
- A total of five defense manufacturers have expressed an interest in supplying the replacement to Canada’s CF-18 fighters. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Eurofighter and Saab all took part in a conference call with Canadian officials last week, with Dassault planning to meet and discuss the matter at the Farnborough International Airshow this week. Lockheed, whose F-35 was dropped by the Canadian government, welcomed the meetings as a first step towards a new competition.
- Raytheon has secured a $34.8 million USAF contract to modify its ADM-160 Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (MALD) for carriage on the Navy’s F/A-18E/F. Used currently on USAF F-16 and B-52s, the MALD deceives adversaries by replicating the signature of friendly aircraft, and the new development will see it receive an improved electronic warfare payload, the ability to carry out low-altitude flight, and an enhanced net-enabled datalink. The development will last for 24 months and see two demonstrations of the system.
- While the Canadian government may be experiencing headaches over its CF-18 replacement, the winner of the Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) aircraft competition is expected by end of this year. Contenders in the showdown include Leonardo-Finmeccanica’s C-27J, Embraer’s KC-390 and the Airbus C-295. The $2.3 billion program has the companies tasked with specifying how many airplanes are needed to meet Canada’s search-and-rescue requirements.
- “Bypass surgery” has been carried out on the KC-46A to fix problems with the the flying boom on the tanker. A hardware fix has been implemented by adding two bypass valves to lighten the load on the boom. Boeing describing the modification as similar to that used on the US Air Force’s current KC-10 tankers.
Middle East North Africa
- The USAF has joined the US Navy in voicing its frustration over delays by the Pentagon to sell fighter jets to three Middle East nations. Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain have been waiting on multi-billion dollar arms deals to be approved including F-15, F/A-18 and F-16 fighter jets. Air Force Deputy Undersecretary Heidi Grant told Reuters that she had to reassure those countries that the delays won’t alter relationships between both sides.
- Islamic State militants have shot down a Russian Mi-25 helicopter with a US made TOW anti-tank missile. Two pilots were killed in the action, which took place near the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra on Friday. The weapon has been used throughout the five year Civil war by Syrian opposition forces.
- While he may be soon out the door as UK Prime Minister, David Cameron has announced the completion of a number of deals for the P-8A maritime patrol aircraft and AH-64E attack helicopters during the Farnborough airshow this week. The UK announced its intention to buy the submarine-hunting P-8A planes in November to plug a gap in its defenses that has existed since 2010, when it ditched the Nimrod, built by the local BAE Systems. As a result of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, Cameron was to step down as leader in October, however this could be hastened as only one candidate, Theresa May, remains in the leadership race.
- Leonardo-Finmeccanica is to restart testing of its prototype tilt rotor AW609 aircraft following a crash last year that killed two of its pilots. The AW609 can take off and land vertically, like a helicopter, but it can then become a de-facto fixed-wing airplane, allowing it to fly further and faster than a normal helicopter. First delivery dates of the aircraft is expected to start toward the end of 2018.
- India’s Rustom 2 armed UAV is to make its maiden flight between July 28 and August 2. The indigenous development program has faced delays as scientists struggle to reduce the weight from 2,400kg to 1,700kg. Compared to the earlier Rustom 1, the newer UAV has Electronic Intelligence, Communication Intelligence, Medium and Long-Range Electro-optic Payloads, and Synthetic Aperture Radar that will enable it to see through the clouds.
- The AW609 tilt-rotor aircraft:
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