AEHF-5 Launch Was Successful | Elbit To Update Tanks for South East Asian Country | Second RAF Eurofighter Tranche 3 To Be Delivered Later This Year
Lockheed Martin announced that the AEHF-5 protected communication satellite is now in transfer orbit. The launch on August 8 was successful and the AEHF-5 is now responding to the US Air Force’s 4th Space Operations Squadron’s commands. According to Lockheed, the squadron began “flying” the satellite shortly after it separated from its United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket approximately 5 hours and 40 minutes after the rocket’s successful 6:13 am ET liftoff. The Advanced Extremely High Frequency 5 or AEHF-5 satellite is the fifth addition to the Air Force’s Advanced Extremely High Frequency constellation. The satellites are built by Lockheed Martin and are used to relay secure communications for the Armed Forces of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the Netherlands. The first AEHF satellite was launched in 2006 and the most recent, the AEHF-4 in October 2018. The sixth and final AEHF satellite is expected to launch later this year.
The Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire is the first guard base to receive a next-generation KC-46A Pegasus refueling tanker plane. The refueling tanker flew into the Pease Air National Guard base late Thursday afternoon. The Pegasus is developed from a Boeing 767 passenger plane. It is replacing KC-135 Stratotankers in the US Air Force fleet of refueling planes. The Air Base will receive three KC-46As per month for four months. The KC-46A can refuel any fixed-wing plane, foreign or domestic made, while both planes are airborne. It can also accommodate a mix of passengers, including patients and cargo. Boeing had been three years behind schedule on the Pegasus program before deliveries began. The Air Force halted deliveries a couple of times due to debris in the plane. Last week, Lockheed received a $55.5 million contract modification for engineering work on a redesign of the plane’s boom telescope actuator.
Middle East & Africa
Elbit Systems will upgrade tanks and supply radio systems for an Army of an unspecified country in South East Asia. The 32-month deal is valued at approximately $80 million. According to Elbit, the company will supply Fire Control Systems and Electric Gun and Turret Drive Systems for tanks and advanced radio systems from the E-LynX family in several configurations, including hand-held and man-packed radios for infantry soldiers and vehicular radios for Armored Fighting Vehicles. The E-LynX tactical solution is a 4TH generation communication solution provided by Elbit Systems. The software-defined radio (SDR) offers a secure and reliable tactical communications solution to all echelons – from the individual soldier on the battlefield to deployed headquarters.
Craig Hoyle from Flight Global reports that the final Eurofighter Tranche 3 for the UK Royal Air Force has made its second flight and will be delivered to the customer by end of the year. The Royal Air Force has an active fleet of 116 Typhoons, the oldest of which are 14 years old. Under current plans, the type should remain in UK service until 2040, operating alongside its short take-off and vertical landing Lockheed Martin F-35Bs. The same news report also said that Qatar has requested to accelerate the delivery of its own Eurofighters. The jets will start arriving in 2022 and most of the 24 jets on order will be delivered in 2023. The final aircraft will reach home in 2024.
Lockheed Martin Australia issued a call for local companies to register interest in participating in its program to develop the combat system for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) fleet of next-generation Attack Class submarines. The company said the call to engage with local industry relates to the preliminary design and research and development phase of the combat system program. Australia’s Future Submarine Program is the largest defense capital investment program in Australia’s history and is a truly national endeavor. Design of the Future Submarine has commenced, with platform construction due to begin in 2022-23 and the first Future Submarine likely to enter service in the early 2030’s. Specific requirements detailed by Lockheed Martin Australia include “novel methods for reliable communications on an unstable platform”; “emerging technologies for improved autonomous celestial navigation”; “distributed underwater sensor networks and their impact on submarine operations”; and “novel methods to integrate compressive sensing techniques”.
Jane’s reports that the relationship between India and Pakistan has been increasingly tense since New Delhi announced on August 5 its decision to scrap the special constitutional status it had granted to its portion of the disputed northern region of Jammu and Kashmir about 70 years earlier. Pakistan has expelled India’s High Commissioner to Islamabad, adding that its own envoy, who has yet to assume the position, would not move to India because of New Delhi’s revocation of Article 370 in the Indian constitution. This statute had granted the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir special powers since the early 1950s to make its own laws and fly its own flag.
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