Textron Gearing Up for AF Light Attack Competition | USN Taps LM to Overhaul MK-92 FCS | IAI/ELTA Release Foliage Penetrating Radar
- While Textron may have been rumored to be a potential contestant in the USAF’s T-X trainer competition, the company has told DefenseNews that it plans to participate in the yet-to-be released competition for the Air Force’s new light attack platform. The company confirmed that it will demonstrate both the Textron AirLand Scorpion jet and Beechcraft AT-6 at the service’s upcoming industry demonstration, scheduled to take place at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico this summer. If the flight experiments are successful, they could pave the way for confirmation of an official competition to provide aircraft for the currently shelved OA-X platform.
- Raytheon has been contracted $11.8 million by the US Office of Naval Research to develop new communication technologies that will enhance situational awareness capabilities for the US Navy’s air and missile defense operations. Known as Communications and Interoperability for Integrated Fires (CIIF), the technology will enable new and existing Navy ships to share information across common data links and will allow operators to relay messages to aircraft, USMC expeditionary systems, and ground-based test sites. Speaking on the new system, Raytheon said it will give battlefield commanders the instant access to as much information as possible as it “ties together that information – from land, sea and air-based sensors, across the services – in ways never before possible.”
- The US Navy has tasked Lockheed Martin with overhauling MK 92 fire control systems in a $68 million basic ordering agreement. Work to be carried out includes performing various equipment changes, repairs, overhauls and field services to support in-service engineering requirements, as well as undertaking computer programming and documentation development. The efforts will support systems on vessels for the US Coast Guard and foreign navies through foreign military sales to allied nations. Work will be completed by March 2022.
Middle East & North Africa
- Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has released a new radar capable of identifying targets traveling through heavily wooded areas. Developed in conjunction with subsidary ELTA systems, the ELM-2112FP persistent surveillance foliage penetration radar will be displayed at the upcoming LAAD Defense & Security conference in Brazil, and will be marketed as a border security solution with all-weather infrastructure protection applications on land and sea. During their announcement, IAI said that the radar has already been successfully deployed, quoting an unnamed commander saying that the radar’s capability “has opened our eyes in places that were so far beyond our vision; this system has huge operational value.”
- MBDA has officially launched their new short-range air defense system, the Mistral ATLAS-RC at the HOMSEC 2017 conference in Madrid, Spain. A statement by the company says that the system has been specifically designed for “very short” range engagements, and tailored to the security needs of Spain’s defense ministry. Armed with two Mistral missiles and a thermal sight, the weapon is comprised of a turret made to be mounted on light armored vehicles and is being marketed as an ideal solution for combating airborne threats such as fixed and rotary-wing aircraft and UAVs.
- The British Royal Air Forces and BAE Systems have completed a series of trials as part of the Phase 3 Enhancement package that the company is developing for the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft under the Centurian program. RAF pilots in conjunction with support from BAE’s engineers flew over 40 flights with the aircraft which set out to test its high precision MBDA Brimstone air-to-surface weapon. Each flight carried two launchers; each containing three Brimstone missiles alongside four AMRAAM, two ASRAAM, and two Paveway IV laser-guided bombs. The Centurian program aims to upgrade the Typhoon to sufficient multi-role standards in order to effectively replace the Tornado GR4 currently in service, by 2018.
- As Saab continues marketing the Saab C and D fighters, the company has announced that their latest E variant is on course to make its debut flight during the second quarter of this year. So far, the company has conducted low-speed taxi tests on the fighter and are now validating its app-type software architecture in preparation for the first flight. Deliveries of the new fighter are expected to be made to the Swedish Air Force in 2019 with an export order to Brazil set to follow. Further potential markets include sales to Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Finland, Indonesia, Malaysia and Switzerland.
- Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has delivered a fourth Souryo-class diesel electric submarine (SSK) to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), bringing to eight the number now operated by the service. In total, Tokyo plans to have 12 Souryo-class vessels in operation by 2021 after funding for a 12th submarine was included in the 2016 budget. The submarines are equipped with six 533 m bow tubes that can fire the indigenously-developed Type 89 heavyweight torpedo and can also deploy the UGM-84C Harpoon medium-range anti-ship missile to tackle surface targets. As part of a plan to win a submarine production contract from Australia, Japan is sending one of its Souryus to Sydney next month to participate in a joint naval exercise with the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force.
- A recent emergency landing by an RAF Typhoon:
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