LM’s T-X Competition Configured T-50A Takes First Flight | US Army Fires LM JAGM from UAV | Slovakia MoD Rejects Offer from Swedes for Saab Gripen Lease
- Lockheed Martin has announced that one of the company’s test pilot’s has made the first flight of the T-50A that is configured to compete in the US Air Force T-X competition. Equipped with a 5th generation cockpit, the aircraft is billed as the only one being offered that meets all of the USAF’s Advanced Pilot Trainer (APT) program requirements. LM is co-developing the aircraft with South Korean firm Korea Aerospace Industries.
- Setbacks to the KC-46A tanker program have been compounded as Boeing has admitted that a software solution to fix the load issues on the flying boom was not robust enough and the company will have to modify the hardware itself. The plane was initially aiming to have a low-production order to deliver 18 tankers by next August. Issues arose during refueling trials with larger aircraft such as the C-17 military transporters which caused unacceptable stress loads along the axis of the boom.
- NG Imaging Systems has been awarded an $81 million contract for sniper engineering and manufacturing development as well as low-rate initial production of a family of weapons sights. The contract marks the first clip-on thermal weapon sight specifically developed and fielded for the sniper community by the Army. Completion and delivery is expected for June 2021.
- The US Army has successfully fired Lockheed Martin’s multi-mode Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) from a UAV for the first time. Testing was conducted on an MQ-1C Gray Eagle at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. The Gray Eagle test was the seventh flight test for the JAGM missile. The missile was previously tested on Apache attack helicopters and Marine Corps Cobra helicopters.
- Slovakia’s Ministry of Defense has rejected an offer from the Swedish government on a lease agreement for Saab Gripen fighters. Under the provisions of the deal, Slovakia would have seen Stockholm lease six JAS 39Cs and two JAS 39Ds for an undisclosed price for a total of 1,200 flight hours per year. However, since elections in March saw a change of government including the Slovak National Party, the new prime minister Robert Fico has praised the capabilities of the MiG-29 aircraft.
- Following its northern neighbor Romania, Bulgaria looks set to modernize its air force with surplus F-16s supplied by Portugal. The Portuguese Ministry of National Defense reports that a request for information has been filed by the government in Sofia for nine of the aircraft to be modernized. Any deal would result in F-16s supplied by the US government under its Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program or aircraft of allied nations that are replacing the type with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
- Discussions are under way between Japan and Thailand’s military governments for the potential purchase of Kawasaki P-1 maritime patrol plane and the ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious aircraft which could pave the way for both government’s to become limited defense partners. The defense equipment contract that needs to be signed for any deal to follow through is being seen by some commentators as an effective wedge by Japan to block the continuation of cooperation between Bangkok and region rival China.
- After the relaxing of the decades long arms embargo on Vietnam, Hanoi doesn’t seem to be rushing after US arms just yet. It’s been reported that negotiations have begun with the Indonesian government over the purchase of CN-295 transport aircraft – an Airbus C-295 license-built by Indonesian Aerospace. Indonesia’s Vice President Jusuf Kalla made the announcement, saying the sales proposal was discussed with Vietnam’s deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- Rare footage of North Korean Mi-2 helicopter firing anti-tank guide missiles:
Categories: Daily Rapid Fire