USA: CVN-78 Ford Class aircraft carriers: Naval Air Force Atlantic tested a long-range aerial drone last weekend, the Navy announced. The long-range cargo transport, dubbed Blue Water UAS, is designed to operate with Naval Forces that typically operate in heavy winds over open water and require aircraft to land on vessels that are moving rapidly at sea. The proof-of-concept test was conducted last Sunday by transporting lightweight logistical equipment from the mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center at Naval Station Norfolk on board USS Gerald R. Ford while the carrier was in-port. More »
V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor: Raytheon won a $14.9 million contract modification, which increases the scope and provides updates to the CV-22 mission planning system to support the suite of integrated radio frequency countermeasures. Additionally, this modification provides capability defect package problem reports in support of the V-22 software support activity. The V-22 Osprey is a joint-service, medium-lift, multimission tilt-rotor aircraft developed by Boeing and Bell Helicopters. The US Air Force and US Navy variants are equipped with a Raytheon AN/APQ-186 terrain-following, multimode radar. Work will take place in Indiana and estimated completion will be in September 2022. More »
Saab announced that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has received its third Saab GlobalEye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. The delivery of the third of the five Bombardier Global 6000 business jet-based platforms that were contracted to the UAE Air Force and Defense (AF&D) under the Swing Role Surveillance System (SRSS) programme came about 10 months after the first was handed over in late April 2020 and five months after the second was delivered in September 2020. The GlobalEye platform is built around the Saab Erieye Extended Range (ER) S-band (2–4 GHz) radar that is housed in the same external dorsal ‘plank’ as the company’s original Erieye system. More »
Rapid Fire | Thursday, February 25, 2021, 05:00 UTC ()
Naval Air Force Atlantic tested a long-range aerial drone last weekend, the Navy announced. The long-range cargo transport, dubbed Blue Water UAS, is designed to operate with Naval Forces that typically operate in heavy winds over open water and require aircraft to land on vessels that are moving rapidly at sea. The proof-of-concept test was conducted last Sunday by transporting lightweight logistical equipment from the mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center at Naval Station Norfolk on board USS Gerald R. Ford while the carrier was in-port.
Boeing announced that its T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer has entered production at its plant in St. Louis. Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president of T-7 Programs, says technicians will assemble the aircraft with minimal tooling and drilling thanks to the use of full-size determinant assembly. The jet was fully designed using 3D model-based definition and data management systems developed at Boeing during the last 20 years, Boeing said in a press release.
Middle East & Africa
The Egyptian Navy will be the first international customer for the VL MICA NG (New Generation) air defense system. MBDA says the missile will be used to arm Egyptian corvettes. The VL MICA NG system offers improved capabilities to handle atypical targets (UAVs, small aircraft), as well as future threats characterized by increasingly low observable infrared and radio frequency signatures. Additionally, VL MICA NG will be able to intercept ‘conventional’ targets (aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles) at longer distances.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Matrix have signed an agreement to establish a joint AI excellence centre. The two companies will co-develop AI, machine learning (ML) and Big Data-driven solutions to be integrated into IAI’s: satellite and space systems, defense and attack systems, missiles, homing heads, electro-optical payloads. IAI has been using AI capabilities in its various systems for many years. It will now leverage the development center to work with Matrix Defense on scaling existing capabilities and developing new ones.
The Royal Navy announced that HMS Spey has left Portsmouth, beginning the journey to joining her sisters as fully-fledged members of the Overseas Patrol Squadron. When Spey becomes operationally active she will be the eighth Offshore Patrol Vessel vessel in the Royal Navy fleet with HMS Forth, Medway currently on operations in the South and North Atlantic and Mediterranean respectively. The other patrol vessels are active in UK waters.
South Korea’s defense project promotion committee has approved a plan to acquire a new “counter-artillery detection radar-III” to replace the aging AN/TPQ-36/37 weapon-locating radars. The new radar will be develop locally. AN/TPQ-36 is a weapon-locating radar, designed to detect and track incoming mortar, artillery and rocket fire to determine the point of origin for counterbattery fire.
Watch: USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) Super Aircraft carrier in action
| Israel inked a letter of acceptance (LOA) with the United States for the procurement of two Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft, and plans further similar agreements to enhance its qualitative military edge (QME) in the region. According to the Ministry of Defense, the LOA for the tankers was signed over the previous weekend. It added that it intends to enter into similar agreements for the standing up of a third squadron of Lockheed Martin F-35I Adir combat aircraft, the replacement of its Sikorsky CH-53D Yasur heavy-lift helicopters, the procurement of advanced munitions, “and more”. More »
| General Atomics won an $11.2 million contract modification, which exercises options to procure Group 5 Unmanned Air System (UAS) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance support for outside the continental US (OCONUS) Task Force Southwest and Marine Corps operations using contractor-owned/contractor-operated MQ-9 Reaper UAS. The MQ-9 Reaper has an operational ceiling of 50,000ft, a maximum internal payload of 800lb and external payload exceeding 3,000lb. It can carry up to four Hellfire II anti-armor missiles and two laser-guided bombs (GBU-12 or EGBU-12) and 500lb GBU-38 JDAM (joint direct attack munition). Work will take place in Arizona and California. Estimated completion will be in May 2021. More »
| Raytheon won a $74.2 million deal, which provides 23.4 APY-10 radar system production kits and related support for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft for Navy and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. The AN/APY-10 RADAR system is a multi-mission maritime and overland surveillance RADAR. It is capable of performing long-range surface search and target tracking, periscope detection, ship imaging and classification using synthetic aperture radar and inverse synthetic aperture radar. Work will take place in Texas, Massachusetts, California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ontario, Florida and Connecticut. Estimated completion will be in August 2025. More »
| Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias says his country is close to signing a Status of Forces Agreement that will allow Greek Patriot air defense missile unit to deploy in Saudi Arabia. The agreement was concluded during a meeting in Athens between Dendias and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud in January last year. But the deployment was delayed by the COVID pandemic. More »
| Northrop Grumman announced on February 16 that it has carried out the first major design review event for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD). The GBSD is being develop to replace the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile. The review took place in November, 2020 over a period of three-days by a team from Northrop Grumman and the US Air Force. More »
| The US Marine Corps 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit declared that the air wing on board amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) has air operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve from February 13. VMM-164 (Reinforced) is providing close air support operations and defensive counter air support operations while F-35Bs from VMFA-122 are executing long-range strike. More »