McSally Urging WH to Keep A-10s Flying | USN Places $2.5B Order with Boeing for Poseidons | Boeing Contracted for New Air Force One
- Rep. March McSally has written to the White House in defense of the A-10 ahead of Obama’s budget rollout this week. The former USAF pilot has been one of the biggest political supporters of keeping the close air support aircraft in service until full plans for its legacy replacement are in motion. McSally’s efforts to keep the plane have so far resulted in the USAF reportedly shelving the A-10’s retirement plan indefinitely, due to increased demand for the attack plane in military operations in the Middle East. The letter also urged the president and defense secretary to fund depot support, maintenance, and upgrades to extend the life of the A-10 fleet, such as finishing the wing replacement effort.
- The US Navy has placed an order with Boeing for twenty P-8A Poseidon aircraft in a contract worth $2.5 billion. Sixteen will replace the P-3C Orion used by the Navy for long-range, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare as well for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Four will be sold to Australia under the US Foreign Military Sales program. Included in the contract, Boeing will also be tasked with providing obsolescence monitoring, change assessment, and integrated baseline and program management reviews.
- Boeing has been awarded the first contract for the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program which will field the next Air Force One. The $25.8 million contract will see Being perform risk reduction activities that will include the definition of detailed requirements and design trade-offs required to support informed decisions. Additional modifications will be made to this contract in the future to purchase the commercial 747-8 aircraft, as well as to design, modify and test those aircraft to meet the presidential mission.
- The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) conducted a successful non-intercept flight test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the nation’s Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). A long-range ground-based interceptor was launched to evaluate the performance of alternate divert thrusters for the system’s Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle. A USAF C-17 aircraft was used to to fire a a target representing an intermediate-range ballistic missile over a broad area of ocean near Hawaii. The missile was then detected, tracked and given a fire control solution to engage the target from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The test of the missile has involved cooperation from several parties alongside the MDA including the USAF 30th Space Wing, the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, and the US Northern Command.
Middle East North Africa
- Egypt has received delivery of its second batch of three Rafale fighters bringing its total number to six. A special ceremony marking the delivery was held on Thursday with French and Egyptian officials in attendance. The importance of the Rafale acquisition was stressed by Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Mohamed Samir who said that they represent a “new addition to the armament system and combat readiness, and enhances the combat capabilites of the armed forces.” Last year’s contract will see Egypt acquire twenty-four of the jets from Dassault which also included a FREMM frigate from DCNS.
- Mashinostroeniya Corporation has announced the completion of a silo-based version of the Bastion anti-ship missile system. The new variant had been developed primarily for export purposes geared at countries with smaller territory and a need to defend smaller amounts of coastline. The silo-system is capable of defending coastline of more than 600 kilometres, and are an ideal addition for its allies. As Russia utilizes a mobile complex of the system allowing for ease of transportation over its extensive coastline, the new addition shows Russian companies are developing products that will be of interest to foreign buyers, looking to increase foreign arms sales.
- Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recently arrested the former chief of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu. The arrest of Amosu comes as part of an investigation into an ongoing $2.1 billion arms deal scandal. The former Alpha jet pilot’s particular involvement surrounds the purchase of two military helicopters without functioning rotors, then having them replaced and flown with rotors that were taken from an unserviceable Russian-made helicopter gunship. The EFCC is investigating many prominent former and serving military officers as well as twenty-one companies involved in monumental fraud of funds meant to go towards fighting the Boko Haram insurgency.
- Indian private companies have lodged complaints to the Indian Defence Ministry over the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) program. The complaints come after the ministry selected the state owned Ordnance Factory Board as one of the two companies nominated as Development Agencies (DA) to develop a prototype for the vehicle. One of the two companies would then be selected to produce the FICV in a deal potentially worth $11 billion. The selection of the second DA will be chosen from up to six other private companies once all bids are entered by February 16.
- Footage of the KC-46 first aerial refuelling:
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