Air Force Scales Down Use Of Jayhawks | British And Germans JTACs Trained Together In Lithuania | Indonesia Leases CH-47Ds
The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is on course to conduct the first ever intercept of a intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) target using a SM-3 Block IIA interceptor this year. Vice Adm. Jon A. Hill, director of MDA, says this will be executed under Flight Test Maritime 44 (FTM-44). It will be conducted in a “defense of Hawaii” scenario, with a ship and the SM-3 Block IIA, Hill added. Hill was speaking at a August 18 webinar sponsored by the Heritage Foundation, he said his agency is evaluating the feasibility of using the Aegis Combat System together with the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor as a layer in the missile defense of the US homeland.
The US Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command confirmed that it intends to scale down the T-1 Jayhawk fleet and students on the air mobility track will spend more time on the simulator instead. Pilots at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, and Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, will reportedly continue with the normal T-1 program but students assigned to Randolph Air Force Base will not fly the T-1 aircraft. Those at Vance Air Force Base will be exposed to a modified T-1 training syllabus. Senior leaders will make a decision whether to expand the program after gathering feedback from the two courses at Vance and Randolph. Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, 19th Air Force commander, said that this will lead to a reduction of T-1 aircraft if the program is successful. The T-1 fleet at NAS Pensacola will be retained to train combat systems officers.
Middle East & Africa
According to Jane’s Israeli company Rafael Defense is partnering with Pratt Miller and Oshkosh Defense in order to win a contract to provide 30 mm cannons for US Army Stryker vehicles. After a two-and-a-half-month deadline extension, all Medium Calibre Weapons System (MCWS) program proposals and bid samples are due on August 24. Although many vendors are remaining tight lipped over whether they are still competing, Janes confirmed with multiple, wholly separate, sources that Pratt Miller is no longer teaming up with CMI Defence and is now saddled up with Rafael and Oshkosh for its bid. Under the competition, the army wants to select a team to outfit Stryker vehicles with 30 mm cannons. Service plans called for a two-phased, concurrent approach involving a design integration study phase to help inform requirements development and the acquisition strategy, and a separate Stryker MCWS request for proposal.
British Army and German Bundeswehr Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) trained together at Kazlu Ruda training ranges in Lithuania on Exercise FURIOUS WOLF, alongside Typhoon aircraft from No. 6 Squadron Royal Air Force. The British and German troops have been training alongside other NATO JTAC partners across the Baltic States to hone their skills in accordance with NATO standardized practices. According to the British Army, all NATO JTACs use the same procedure when working with alliance aircraft. According to NATO, JTACs from Estonia, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the United States all worked together with air crews from the Estonian Air Force, the Royal Air Force as well as the Spanish Air Force.
Ukraine’s NATO-funded disposal of old and obsolete ammunition resumed this week after the project was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the alliance said. Ukraine acquired vast amounts of weapons and ammunition after the Soviet Union withdrew from Warsaw Pact countries in the 1990s. NATO’s Trust Fund Demilitarization Project has been working since 2005, at the request of Ukraine’s government in order of reducing the accumulation of unstable and potentially dangerous munitions. A second phase of the project, which will dispose of 29,600 tons of ammunition, 2.4 million antipersonnel mines and 1,500 tons of other unserviceable ordnance by the end of the year, began in 2011 but was halted to deal with the pandemic, NATO reported on Tuesday.
Indonesia’s National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) has leased a CH-47D helicopter from Billings Flying Service of the United States for forest fire fighting and COVID-19 relief operations. The large rotorcraft is on a one month trial and will assist in the distribution of test kits to remote regions. It arrived in Sumatra on August 18 and is already painted in BNPB colors. The board says it will also lease a Black Hawk helicopter for similar duties.
Watch: 5 Worst Weapons Projects the US Military Has in The Works