Naval Air Force Atlantic tested a long-range aerial drone last weekend, the Navy announced. The long-range cargo transport, dubbed Blue Water UAS, is designed to operate with Naval Forces that typically operate in heavy winds over open water and require aircraft to land on vessels that are moving rapidly at sea. The proof-of-concept test was conducted last Sunday by transporting lightweight logistical equipment from the mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center at Naval Station Norfolk on board USS Gerald R. Ford while the carrier was in-port.
Boeing announced that its T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer has entered production at its plant in St. Louis. Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president of T-7 Programs, says technicians will assemble the aircraft with minimal tooling and drilling thanks to the use of full-size determinant assembly. The jet was fully designed using 3D model-based definition and data management systems developed at Boeing during the last 20 years, Boeing said in a press release.
Middle East & Africa
The Egyptian Navy will be the first international customer for the VL MICA NG (New Generation) air defense system. MBDA says the missile will be used to arm Egyptian corvettes. The VL MICA NG system offers improved capabilities to handle atypical targets (UAVs, small aircraft), as well as future threats characterized by increasingly low observable infrared and radio frequency signatures. Additionally, VL MICA NG will be able to intercept ‘conventional’ targets (aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles) at longer distances.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Matrix have signed an agreement to establish a joint AI excellence centre. The two companies will co-develop AI, machine learning (ML) and Big Data-driven solutions to be integrated into IAI’s: satellite and space systems, defense and attack systems, missiles, homing heads, electro-optical payloads. IAI has been using AI capabilities in its various systems for many years. It will now leverage the development center to work with Matrix Defense on scaling existing capabilities and developing new ones.
The Royal Navy announced that HMS Spey has left Portsmouth, beginning the journey to joining her sisters as fully-fledged members of the Overseas Patrol Squadron. When Spey becomes operationally active she will be the eighth Offshore Patrol Vessel vessel in the Royal Navy fleet with HMS Forth, Medway currently on operations in the South and North Atlantic and Mediterranean respectively. The other patrol vessels are active in UK waters.
South Korea’s defense project promotion committee has approved a plan to acquire a new “counter-artillery detection radar-III” to replace the aging AN/TPQ-36/37 weapon-locating radars. The new radar will be develop locally. AN/TPQ-36 is a weapon-locating radar, designed to detect and track incoming mortar, artillery and rocket fire to determine the point of origin for counterbattery fire.
Watch: USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) Super Aircraft carrier in action