Aussie Hornets arrive in Canada | UAE developing light attack aircraft | India requests 21 Russian Fulcrums
The US Navy contracted Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems $20 million to design and support the AN/BLQ-10 Electronic Warfare (EW) system for new-construction and in-service submarines. The deal includes engineering and technical services for the design, development, testing, integration, technology insertion/refreshment and system support of the EW. The AN/BLQ-10 submarine EW provides automatic detection, classification, localization, as well as identification of potentially hostile radar and communications signals at sea. The program is adopting an open-architecture, incremental development process that fields hardware and software technology insertions every two years. The system is for Virginia-, Los Angeles-, and Seawolf-class fast-attack submarines, Ohio-class conventional guided-missile submarines, and future Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarines. Work under the contract will take place in New York and Virginia and is scheduled to be completed by February next year.
The Navy awarded Boeing a $17.8 million contract modification to procure two additional F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, modified to extend the service life of the aircraft. The Super Hornet is a twin-engine, carrier-capable, multirole fighter aircraft that is able to carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons. The E model of the aircraft is a single seater, and the F model is a two-seater. The F/A-18E/F s operational in 10 U.S. Navy Carrier Air Wings. Work under the modification will be performed in Missouri and California and is expected to be finished by October next year.
Two Australian F/A-18A Hornets arrived in Canada on Saturday. The two Hornets are the first of up to 25 aircraft that will be sold to Canada along with spares and support equipment. The Canadian government acquired the 30-year old jets in order of filling a capability gap affecting the Royal Canadian Airforce’s ability to simultaneously meet NORAD and NATO obligations. Originally, Canada had intended to supplement its fleet of 85 Boeing CF(F/A)-18 A/B fighters with 18 new Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets. This plan was cancelled in favor of the Australian Hornets when Boeing accused Canada’s Bombardier of receiving unfair subsidies from Ottawa. Before the aircraft can be integrated into the Canadian fleet of CF-188 Hornets, they will undergo several modifications in Mirabel, Quebec. They have to be brought to the same operational configuration as the Canadian CF-188 Hornets. This means cockpit and communications upgrades, a night vision imaging system, a sniper targeting pod, landing gear modifications, a new ejection seat as well as the Air Force paint scheme.
Middle East & Africa
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) are reportedly developing their first light attack aircraft. The defense company Calidus is manufacturing the so called B250, which is currently being tested. The aircraft has multi-role capabilities for modern and asymmetrical warfare, including close air support, counter-insurgency, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It can also serve as a basic and advanced trainer. The plane, which is built out of carbon fiber, is on show at the ongoing International Defence Exhibition (Idex) in Abu Dhabi. Calidus is a relatively new but fast-growing Abu Dhabi based defense-technology company currently working on strengthening the capabilities of the UAE defense industry.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unveiled a new loitering munition. The so called Mini Harpy is a tactical system that can be launched from land-, marine- as well as helicopter-borne platforms. The munition is electrically powered and can loiter in ranges of up to 100 km for up to two hours. IAI designed the system to provide operators with maximum control, including abort and re-attack capabilities. It also offers detection of broadcast radiation with electro-optical capabilities. It weighs 45 kg and is able to carry a shaped charge of approximately 8 kg. The Mini Harpy will be displayed for the first time at the Aero India Exhibition in Bangalore this week.
Pilatus delivered a PC-24 to the Swiss government, which it had ordered in 2014. The brand-new PC-24 Super Versatile Jet replaces a business jet supplied by a North American manufacturer and previously used for government flights. The Swiss Air Force will operate the aircraft for the Swiss government. The government jet sports a modern, white-grey livery with striking Swiss cross on the tail fin plus the words “Swiss Air Force”. Pilatus is a Swiss aerospace manufacturer producing STOL aircraft and military training aircraft. The PC-24 business jet is a low-wing cantilever cabin monoplane powered by two Williams FJ44-4A turbofans, each mounted in a nacelle on the side of the rear fuselage. The aircraft will be used primarily for travel within Europe. The PC-24 has a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,704 kilometers) and flies at a speed of 440 knots (815 kilometers per hour).
India requested for an urgent shipment of 21 MiG-29 „Fulcrum“ fighters from Russia. The Fulcrum is a twin-engine fighter aircraft developed by the Mikoyan design bureau as an air superiority fighter in the 70s. The MiG-29 aircraft are commonly outfitted to use a range of air-to-surface armaments and precision munitions. India was the first international customer of the MiG-29. The Indian Air Force (IAF) placed an order for more than 50 MiG-29s in 1980 while the aircraft was still in its initial development phase. In January 2010, India and Russia signed a $1.2 billion deal under which the Indian Navy would acquire 29 additional MiG-29Ks. Acquiring MiGs is considered the cheapest way to quickly replenish the diminishing strength of the IAF, which used to have 38 fighter squadrons but now struggles to keep that number above 30, far below the government-approved figure of 42. Delivery terms of the 21 MiG-29s are currently under negotiation.
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