B-52H Drops JASSM’s in First Test | IAI Shows Off New Drone-Guard | Britain’s $1B Defense Innovation Initiative
- After a long wait, the KC-46A tanker has been cleared for production. The Milestone C approval was awarded by US Under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, Frank Kendall, following a series of stringent refueling tests of various USAF and Navy aircraft. Contracts are expected to be awarded to Boeing within the next 30 days for the first two low rate initial production lots, totaling 19 aircraft.
- A B-52H bomber equipped with the new Conventional Rotary Launcher (CRL) has successfully dropped three AGM-158 Joint Attack Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM) from its internal weapons bay for the first time. While the bomber is capable of carrying 12 of the cruise missiles on its wing pylons, the inclusion of the Conventional Rotary Launcher now enables it to hold a further eight internally, a payload increase of 60%. Next in store for the launcher is more of the same testing but with the inclusion of live weapons followed by final validation of the CLR system’s full capability.
- The AIM-9X Sidewinder has become the first short range air-to-air missile to be fully integrated on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Testing of the missile so far has lead to a three for three success with a fourth guided test expected by the end of the year alongside final integration work. The F-35 is capable of holding two AIM-9Xs on its wings, and when configured for air superiority missions, can hold four AIM-120s internally.
Middle East North Africa
- Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has showcased their Drone Guard system to a number of armed forces in order to show its operational capabilities. Designed with the threat of small UAVs carrying explosives in mind, the trails saw the system disrupt a number of different UAVs which can be detected from as far as 3kms. Once identified, Drone Guard can then send the UAV back to its launch point, or hold it in a certain space until its battery or fuel runs out.
- The US State department has cleared a $231 million munition sale to a number of European NATO members. Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Spain are to receive 2,040 joint direct attack munition (JDAM) guidance kits of various iterations, as well as computer control groups, joint programmable fuzes, and bomb fin assembly and airfoil groups. Also included in the deal would be laser sensors, proximity sensors, avionics kit interfaces, electronic bomb fuzes, repair and return services, transportation, engineering services, and other support services.
- Saab has received a number of contracts for munition and development work for the Swedish military. A $14.3 million deal has been awarded for the provision of a variety of ammunition for the Carl-Gustaf recoilless rifle, an anti-armor weapon. The company has also been tapped to undertake a $15.29 million project to design, develop and deliver vehicle electronics to Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Gmbh for use in Leopard 2 tanks used by Sweden.
- The British government has launched a $1 billion defense innovation initiative aimed at fast tracking future defense solutions and changing the MoD’s creative culture. Individuals and companies will be able to avail of the fund over the next ten years, and follows the mentioning in the 2015 Strategic Review for the need to include the cutting edge in departmental culture. Technologies believed to benefit from the extra funding include Birmingham University’s sensors that can survey underground tunnels in minutes, and Animal Dynamics’ work on tiny drones inspired by dragonflies.
- Taiwan has agreed to part of a US weapons package that will see delivery of 13 sets of Phalanx close-in weapons systems (CIWS) and other equipment set to the tune of $286.6 million. While not due for delivery until at least 2024, the new CIWS systems will add to one MK 15 Block 1B CIWS system found on one of its Kidd-class destroyers and give an uplift in capabilities to the older Phalanx systems currently in use. The deal is part of a wider $1.83 billion defense package that includes two Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigates, 36 AAV-7 amphibious assault vehicles, and 250 Block I-92F MANPAD Stinger missiles.
IAI’s Drone Guard:
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