Boeing Tapped For Super Hornet Block III Upgrades | US And UAE Conclude Joint Live Fire Exercise | Loyal Wingman Prepared For Taxi Trials
According to Boeing, the 20th US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet entered Boeing’s Service Life Modification program for upgrades and extension of use. The SLM program adds a Block III conversion to the plane, in use since 1999, with features including enhanced network capability, added fuel tanks, an advanced cockpit system, signature improvements and an enhanced communication system. Each plane’s life is extended from 6,000 flight hours to 7,500 flight hours, with the intent of keeping the F/A-18 in active service for decades to come.
The submarine tender USS Emory S. Land arrived in California Monday for maintenance after a nearly eight-month deployment with the US 7th Fleet. The ship will spend 150 days in port at Mare Island Dry Dock in Vallejo, Calif., for a regular overhaul through an awarded contract of $33.5 million, the Navy said. The ship departed Guam, and completed a 14-day sequester period to guard against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, before arriving in California. The USS Emory S. Land is one of two submarine tenders in the Navy.
Middle East & Africa
The United States and the United Arab Emirates concluded a joint live fire exercise in the Arabian Gulf last week, the Navy Central Command said on Monday. The four-day exercise involved the UAE’s Joint Aviation Command and the US Naval Forces Central Command, US Air Forces Central Command and US Special Operations Central Command in air operations supporting maritime surface warfare, the Navy said. US and Emirati pilots also participated in live fire exercises, which officials said offers an opportunity to practice strike capabilities against simulated surface targets.
For the first time, the air forces of Israel and Germany began a two-week joint exercise over Germany on August 17. Six IAF F-16C/D “Barak” fighter planes of the Israel Air Force, two “Re’em” Boeing 707 aircraft known as “Re’em,” and two Gulfstream G-550 surveillance planes known as “Nachshon-Eitam” arrived at Germany’s Norvenich base, marking the first time that IAF aircraft landed on German soil, Israeli officials said. “The flights will be carried out using NATO’s combat doctrine as opposed to ours, which creates a challenge for the pilot and weapons systems operator in the cockpit,” Lt. Col. A said.
According to the Royal Navy, it has has “shown its commitment” to using autonomous and robot systems for underwater survey work. The Royal Navy, the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and the National Oceanography Center have expanded their Memorandum of Understanding for the underwater environment. The first iteration of the memorandum, signed in 2014, focused on the joint development and trials of unmanned underwater vehicles. Potential projects coming up include further testing of gliders and autonomous surface and underwater vehicles as well as the development of robotics systems and their possible military use.
Australian Defense reports that the Boeing Australia’s Loyal Wingman prototype unmanned aircraft has been spotted out in the open and is being prepared for taxi trials. While the actual location was not disclosed, it is likely to be in Amberley. A Boeing spokesperson confirmed that the first flight will take place this year. Australia is spending $40 million for three prototypes under Project 6014.
Watch: Meet America’s New ‘Assault Ship’ Armed with F-35s (And Much More)