Air Force selects Kirtland AFB for AC-130J FTU | Afghanistan ordered 15 ScanEagle UAVs from Boeing Insitu | Taurus Sytems Hopes To Develop Taurus K-2 With Korea
The US Air Force decided to relocate the AC-130J Ghostrider Formal Training Unit from Hurlburt Field, Florida to Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. This is done so that the Air Force Special Operations Command to realign its training mission under Air Education and Training Command and consolidate AC-130 initial and mission qualification training at Kirtland AFB. According to the service, the AC-130J is a highly modified C-130J capable of extremely accurate navigation due to the fully integrated navigation systems with dual inertial navigation systems and global positioning system.
The US Air Force announced on November 20 that it has selected Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama as the preferred location to host the MH-139A Grey Wolf Formal Training Unit. The MH-139 mission will replace the mission of the Air Force Reserve’s 908th Airlift Wing’s aging C-130Hs currently at Maxwell AFB. The MH-139A Grey Wolf is a multi-mission helicopter. It is based on the commercial AW139 helicopter and designed to protect intercontinental ballistic missiles and transport US government officials and security forces.
Middle East & Africa
Marine Group Boat Works won a $48.7 million contract modification in support of the government of Jordan for two 37-meter patrol boats, communications equipment and other technical assistance. The company is a full-service boat construction and superyacht refit facility. This contract is for two 37-meter Patrol Boats, communications equipment and other technical assistance for the Royal Jordanian Navy. Foreign Military Sales in the full amount will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Work will take place in Chula Vista, California, and is expected to be completed by September 2023.
Insitu won a $9.8 million contract modification, which definitizes pricing and exercises options for the procurement of 15 ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles, nine ScanEagle payloads, and three spares lots needed to provide the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and support current ANA ScanEagle efforts. The Boeing Insitu ScanEagle is a small, long-endurance, low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing, and is used for reconnaissance. The ScanEagle was designed by Insitu based on the Insitu SeaScan, a commercial UAV that was intended for fish-spotting. The ScanEagle continues to receive improvements through upgrades and changes. ScanEagle carries a stabilized electro-optical and/or infrared camera on a lightweight inertial stabilized turret system, and an integrated communications system having a range of over 62 miles (100 km); it has a flight endurance of over 20 hours. Work will take place in Washington. Estimated completion will be in July 2021.
A HIMARS Rapid Infiltration (HIRAIN) took place in Romania on November 19. It saw two M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) with 2 launcher crews being deployed from Germany with help from 352nd Special Operations Wing. The 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Field Artillery Brigade (41st FAB) was only reactivated recently and that was the unit’s second live fire event. It was also the first time that US forces have fired HIMARS from land into the Black Sea in Romania. All six personnel left from Ramstein Air Base, Germany early in the morning and were back in Germany on the same day.
The president of Taurus Systems Korea Co. says his parent company hopes to develop a smaller, longer-range Taurus K-2 cruise missile jointly with South Korea. Christoffer Drevstad said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency that the smaller weapon is suitable for aircraft such as the F-16 and FA-50. “We are developing Taurus K-2, which is smaller but has the same or even more performance of the current missile,” Christoffer Drevstad said. The current version of the air-to-ground precision-guided missile is Taurus KEPD 350K with a flight range of 500 kilometers. South Korea bought around 260 units, most of which are fitted on F-15K fighter jets. The weapon, known as a bunker-buster missile, can be used to destroy radar stations and other key facilities in North Korea, according to experts.
Watch: Boeing’s MH-139A Grey Wolf Is A Multi-Mission Helicopter Ready To Serve The U.S. Air Force