Boeing & Saab’s 2nd T-X Aircraft Flies Right | LM Wins $1.6B for Q-53 AESA | Electric Goat Corp to Produce Missile Tubes for Columbia Class Subs
- Boeing and Saab have conducted the maiden flight of their second production-ready T-X aircraft. The jointly developed advanced trainer is said to have handled “exactly like the first aircraft and the simulator, meeting all expectations” over the course of the one hour flight, according to Matt Giese, Boeing test pilot for air force programs. “The front and back cockpits work together seamlessly and the handling is superior. It’s the perfect aircraft for training future generations of combat pilots.” Boeing and Saab’s offering to the USAF’s T-38 trainer replacement program faces competition from a Lockheed Martin/Korea Aerospace Industries T-50A and a proposed modified M-346 called the T-100 from Leonardo.
- Lockheed Martin has won a $1.6 billion contract to continue manufacturing the AN/TP-Q-53 counterfire radar for the US Army. The Q-53 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar will eventually replace older systems like the Q-36 and Q-37, and is capable of detecting incoming indirect fire like rockets and mortars, allowing response time for troops to reach cover, but they can also detect the location of the launch site. This allows counter battery fire to triangulate and respond with fire of their own. Lockheed Martin remains the only supplier of such systems to the Army.
- Electric Boat Corporation has been selected by the US Navy to produce 17 ballistic missile tubes for submarines constructed under the Ohio Replacement Program. Valued at $95.6 million, delivery is expected to be completed by December 2023. These upcoming Columbia-class submarines are being produced under the Common Missile Compartment program—joint effort with the UK to use the Trident ballistic missile as primary underwater nuclear deterrent—and will eventually enter service after 2031. Once in service, the vessels will serve as the primary undersea nuclear force for the United States for at least 50 years.
Middle East & North Africa
- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to meet Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Sochi on May 3, where it is expected that the two leaders will discuss contracts for Ankara’s purchase of the S-400 air defense system. On announcing the upcoming meeting, Turkey’s Defense Minister Fikri Isik said more information on the contract and implementation of some projects will be provided later, adding that the deal is still a long way off from having anything signed. Turkey’s quest to purchase a new air defense missile system turned unexpectedly back toward Russia late last year, as both governments experienced growing relations following the downing of a Russian fighter encroaching on Turkish airspace in November 2015.
- Nigeria inducted two new Mi-35Ms into their Air Force during a ceremony to mark’s the service’s founding anniversary in Makurdi on April 24. The helicopters are the first two of twelve Mi-35s ordered by Abuja to bolster the close air support (CAS) capabilities of the armed forces in order to help them tackle an insurgency by the militant jihadists of Boko Haram. In addition to the helicopters, this effort also includes a planned procurement of A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft.
- An official from Almaz-Antey has announced that state trials of the S-350 Vityaz air defense missile system will be completed by the end of the year. The medium-range SAM system is currently undergoing preliminary firing tests and has already had its radar and control systems validated. Moscow plans to have 30 units operational by 2020, and will use the latest S-350 variant to replace older versions of the S-300, and complement other systems including the newer S-300 variants, Morfey, Buk, Tor, Pantsir-S1, S-400 and S-500.
- The Australian military has received six new M88A2 Hercules armored recovery vehicles from the US to support their fleet of Abrams main battle tanks. Australia’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group reported that the vehicles have already been painted with Australian camouflage and deployed and supporting units based in Darwin and Townsville, and operator and maintenance training at Puckapunyal and Bandiana in Victoria. The value of the vehicles is worth about $44 million.
- Singapore is to upgrade their fleet of AH-64D Apache helicopters. The Ministry of Defense announced that it the program aims to equip the country’s existing Apache rotorcraft with enhanced Helicopter Integrated Electronic Warfare Systems and updated satellite communication solutions in a drive to enhance their mission capabilities. While the government added that the upgrade program is expected to be complete within the next few years, they did not disclose an official date. Approximately 20 Ah-64D helicopters have been operated by Singapore’s 120 Squadron since 2006.
- Overview of DARPA’s Service Academies Swarm Challenge:
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