The US Air Force has tapped Merlin Labs to test autonomous flight technology for the KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft. The stepwise approach will begin with reducing crew workload and then proceeds to reduced crew operations, the Boston-based aviation technology firm explained. A reduced workload could help the crew avoid costly mistakes. Autonomous uncrewed operations at the final stage could see the elimination of crew altogether.
An internal review of the Canadian military’s cyber force has found that it is facing a shortage of personnel and proper training, hampering its capacity to carry out critical cyber missions. This is despite the government in 2017 calling to ramp up the recruitment of cyber specialists and provide them with training needed to fend off sophisticated cyberattacks. According to an internal evaluation obtained by Ottawa Citizen, the cyber force has struggled to meet the call because of “inefficiencies with everything,” from procurement to security clearances.
Middle East & Africa
Aselsan handed over the first batch of two upgraded M60T tanks to the Turkish Land Forces earlier this month. The first indigenous M60T upgrades include an Aselsan fire control system, STM Savunma tank command, control, communication information system, and additional armor from Roketsan. The US gave the tanks to Turkey after the first Gulf war in exchange for its support.
According to Defense News, six months after Ukrainian pilots tested the Swedish Gripen fighter jets, the aircraft’s vendor says government and industry movements are continuing to provide them to Kyiv in what could be a relatively quick transfer. Stockholm has been touting the possibility of sending the Gripen JAS39 to Ukraine for several months now, but has made any decision on this contingent upon the country’s accession to NATO.
According to Janes, Indonesia’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) appears to have downsized a programme to equip the country’s armed forces with Sikorsky S-70M Black Hawk helicopters. A copy of the contract-related documents provided to Janes by an industry source at Singapore Airshow 2024 indicates that the Indonesian Army will now receive a total of 22 airframes instead of the 24 that was initially announced by the ministry.
The US State Department has approved the possible sale of the Advanced Tactical Data Link System Upgrade Planning and related equipment to Taiwan. The estimated $75-million sale includes cross domain solutions, high assurance devices, GPS receivers, and communications equipment. “The proposed sale will improve the recipient’s ability to meet current and future threats by enhancing communications and network security, and providing infrastructure to allow the secure flow of tactical information,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency stated.