Airbus Warns A400M Customers on Turboprop Controllers after Crash | ‘Three Dealer’ Bid Re-evaluation Decision Appealed | X-37Bs to Launch
- The Marine Corps has begun testing its F-35Bs aboard USS Wasp (LHD-1), with these tests set to last two weeks. Six of the aircraft are being tested for specific abilities as part of Operational Testing (OT-1); these include digital interoperability between aircraft and ship systems, something particularly sensitive given the aircraft’s recent software problems. The USMC decided to push ahead regardless of 2B software issues, with the intention of hitting IOC in July.
- Raytheon has further complicated the Air Force’s $1 billion appealing a federal judge’s decision last week to allow the Air Force to re-evaluate bids. The company previously filed a lawsuit when the Air Force tried to re-open the competition as a result of challenges by competitors Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin.
- The Air Force is planning on launching two X-37B Orbital Test Vehicles into orbit on Wednesday, which will see the testing of a plasma-based propulsion system previously reported here. This will be the fourth X-37 mission, with the mission also testing materials for NASA. The the third mission lasted 674 days, with no information on how long this latest will last.
- The Navy has laid down the keel of SSN 789 at Huntington Ingalls Industries. The Virginia-class fast attack sub is the newest of the class, following on the tails of the Colorado, which was laid-down in March. This new boat – the sixteenth – will be named the Indiana. Navy leader have been pushing for the Virginia-class to possess more firepower.
- On Tuesday the Army awarded LockheedMartin a $30 million modification to convert 200 ATM-114Q-6 Hellfire training missiles to ground-attack missiles (AGM-114R-9B-1), with the work set to last two years. Also on Tuesday the Navy awarded Whiting Turner Contract Co a $30.3 million contract to construct a power and propulsion high bay test facility at Philadelphia Navy Yard. The work is expected to run until November next year.
- The aircraft of the Navy’s Naval Air Arm in one graphic.
- Airbus has ordered software checks on the A400M aircraft following the crash of one of the aircraft earlier this month during a test flight. The company announced that it has released a notice to A400M customers asking them to inspect the aircraft’s Electronic Control Unit, which help control its Europrop International TP400-D6 turboprop engines. Europe’s largest defense project, the aircraft has been grounded by many users following the crash which killed four people. The aircraft has been ordered by eight nations.
- Russia will close [Russian] NATO’s supply line through its territory to Afghanistan. The rationale given is the end of provisions given under UN Security Council Resolution 1386, which cleared international troops to operate in the country, with this resolution expiring at the end of 2014. Although the number of NATO troops operating in the country is reduced from the number at the peak of the conflict and the use of Russia’s Ulyanovsk as a transit hub has subsided considerably, this closure will complicate the logistical resupply of the thousands of troops and support personnel remaining. The principle supply line is now through Pakistan. Russia threatened to close the supply line before in 2011, in an attempt to pressure NATO to limit its missile defense coverage.
- On Tuesday the Australian Defense Ministry announced a $61.4 million contract with Harris Corporation’s Australian subsidiary for tactical radio support, which will see the company maintaining 15,000 radios previously sold through various follow-on contracts in addition to an original 2010, $112 million contract.
- India is planning on deploying its SU-30MKI fighters to Britain later year, with a potential deployment to the US pencilled in for next year. The fighters will be accompanied by Il-78 refuelers, with the jets scheduled to take part in joint exercises with the Royal Air Force in July and August. If they head to the US, the Flankers may take part in the Air Force’s Red Flag exercise.
- However, one of the Indian Air Force’s Flanker fleet went down on Tuesday, with the pilots ejecting safely. The Indian fleet of SU-30MKIs has been plagued with reliability issues, with the entire fleet grounded in October last year following a similar crash.
- Jumping out of a CH-47…
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