Boeing Tapped for KC-46 Engineering | Turkey Wants To Use SOM-J On National Aircraft and Drones | Russia Kicks Off Ocean Shield 2019
HEBCO Inc. won an $80 million deal for A-10 technical order sustainment. The contract is for 10 years of non-personal technical services of technical order sustainment activities by providing technically accurate and up-to-date digital data. The A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single-seat, twin turbofan engine, straight wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic for the United States Air Force. The A-10, sometimes also called „Warthog“ served in the Gulf War during Operation Desert Storm, the American led intervention against Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, where the A-10 distinguished itself. With a variety of upgrades and wing replacements, the A-10’s service life can be extended to 2040. HEBCO will perform work in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Clearfield, Utah. Estimated completion date is August 1, 2030.
The Air Force awarded Boeing a $55.5 million contract modification for KC-46 engineering, manufacturing and development. The Boeing KC-46 Pegasus is a military aerial refueling and strategic military transport aircraft developed by Boeing from its 767 jet airliner. The new KC-46 fleet is planned to replace the US Air Force’s aging fleet of Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers. In April 2019, the company was awarded a $5.7 billion contract for a new fleet of the aircraft with combat capabilities. The KC-46 has completed receiver certification testing with Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft this year. The San Antonio Express News reports that the KC-46 „has been plagued by critical deficiencies that include the plane’s ability to refuel stealth aircraft without damaging them“. The Air Force even stopped accepting the KC-46 twice after debris was found in the planes. These issues have cost the USAF more than $300 million and forced it to limit some refueling operations. Under the current modification, Boeing will perform work in Seattle through February 2021.
Middle East & Africa
According to local reports, Turkey plans to use air-to-surface missiles initially developed for the F-35 on locally developed national combat aircraft and drones. Turkey’s industry and technology minister, Mustafa Varank said on Saturday that the SOM-J cruise missile jointly developed by the US and Turkey, will be deployed on local air assets following Ankara’s exclusion from the F-35 program. The SOM-J is a next-generation, medium-range, all-weather, air-to-surface standoff cruise missile. Stealthy and precise, the SOM-J is designed for use against heavily defended, high-value anti-surface warfare and land targets. These include surface-to-air missile sites, exposed aircraft, strategic assets, command and control centers and naval vessels. The SOM-J can be integrated into the Ak?nc? UAVs produced by leading unmanned air system manufacturer Baykar Makina. The Ak?nc? system can reach an altitude of 40,000 feet and has the capability of flying for 24 hours straight. It has the capacity for a useful load of up to 350 kilograms.
Ukraine’s Air Force completed drills over the Black Sea, the ArmyInform Agency reports. The service finished the tactical flight training which included various action scripts of subdivisions of the air brigade. The MI-14 and Ka-27 helicopters as well as the airplanes An-26 participated in the training. During the weekly exercises, the crews were engaged in mastering pilots’ skills, and worked out search and rescue, first aid and evacuation elements. The culmination of the military exercises was the search and tracking of “enemy” submarines by members of the Naval Air Force, followed by bombing and torpedo strikes.
On August 1, Russia kicked off the the second in a new series of power projection exercises in the Baltic Sea, Tass reports. The exercise, called „Ocean Shield 2019“ includes 49 combat ships, 20 support vessels, and 58 aircraft drawn from the Baltic, Black Sea, and Northern fleets and the Caspian Flotilla, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence. The Ocean Shield Naval Drills will last from August 1 to August 9 in the Baltic Sea under the direction of Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov. The exercises practice the deployment of the Navy’s inter-fleet grouping and the skills of commanding the fleet’s forces. It will also check the Navy’s capability to defend Russia’s national interests.
Indonesia managed to equip its Su-30 fighter with an Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) pod. The rest of the fighter fleet are already using western ACMI pods. The SU-30 is a multirole two-seater fighter. Indonesia ordered two Su-30MKK aircraft in 2003, a further three Su-30MK2 aircraft in August 2007 and six more Su-30MK2 in January 2012. ACMI pods record an aircraft’s in-flight data. The ACMI consists of four subsystems: Control and Computation, Transmission Instrumentation, Airborne Instrumentation, Advanced Display and Debriefing or Individual Aircrew Display.
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