B-1B Lancer Armed With Hypersonic Weapons | Top Aces Might Buy Israeli F-16A/Bs | Philippines Formally Received ScanEagle2
According to the US Air Force, a B-1B Lancer bomber conducted a demonstration testing its ability to externally carry potential hypersonic weapons. The “external captive carry” test was conducted last week by the 412th Test Wing’s 419th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., the Air Force said on Tuesday. The plane carried an inert Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile outside its fuselage. An earlier test demonstrated the capability of carrying large weapons within the plane. The tests indicate that the B-1B can deliver and launch large hypersonic weapons, which by definition fly at over five times the speed of sound. The United States, China and Russia are all developing hypersonic missiles.
According to media reports, the Brazilian Navy completed the modernization of amphibious assault ship Atlantico on 12th November. After the modernization, the ship will be able to operate with fixed-wing medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles as well as crewed tiltrotor VTOL aircraft. After the modernization, the Brazilian Navy decided to reclassify the helicopter carrier “Atlantico” as an aircraft carrier. The Atlantico was procured in 2018 for a value of £84 million from the United Kingdom, where it has operated since 1995. With 203 meters in length and 21,600 tons of displacement, the vessel was used as a platform for helicopters on amphibious assault missions. Despite the new name, the ship has no characteristics to be considered an aircraft carrier, such as catapult or ski-jump takeoff systems.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli media is reporting that Israel’s Ministry of Defense is in talks with Canada’s Top Aces for the purchase of 29 surplus F-16A/B fighters. Israel is asking for between $3 million and $4 million for each jet and the Ministry of Defense’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT) is responsible for the talks. General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons were delivered to Israel in the early 1980s and over the past decade have been gradually phased out of service.
The United Arab Emirates approved the establishment of a new national cybersecurity council, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Prime Minister and Vice-President and ruler of Dubai, said. The cabinet of the UAE government also appointed Industry and Advanced Technology Minister and head of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Sultan al-Jaber as a special envoy for climate change.
The first two of fifty new Apache AH-64E attack helicopters have been delivered to the British Army. The British Army expects to operate 50 AH-64E aircraft. Approval for the upgrade of fifty of the UK’s WAH-64 fleet to AH-64E Apache Guardian standard was given by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency in August 2015 however in July 2016, the UK placed an order for 50 AH-64Es through the US Foreign Military Sales program instead of upgrading their Westland-built WAH-64s. To date, more than 500 AH-64E model Apaches have been delivered worldwide. “The arrival of the first Apache E model attack helicopter to be delivered to the British Army over the next two years marks the beginning of a significant uplift in capability to enhance the army’s contribution across the spectrum of military operations,” Major General Jez Bennett, Director Capability, was quoted as saying.
The Philippine Navy formally received an Insitu Inc ScanEagle 2 unmanned aerial system from the United States during a “turnover, acceptance and blessing ceremony” held at the Naval Base Heracleo Alano in the Philippine city of Cavite near Manila on November 25. The PN said in a statement that the $14.79 million system – which comprises eight unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), two launchers, the SkyHook recovery system and a ground control station – was handed over by US Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Kimberly Kelly and representatives from the US Embassy in the Philippines’ Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG).
Watch: B-1 Lancer – The Bone – Supersonic Bomber