Canadian Commercial Tapped For F-138 Repair | Rafael Shows Drone Dome Counter-UAV Using Laser Against Quadcopters | India’s Vikrant Delivery Delayed
Canadian Commercial Corp. won a $225 million contract for F-138 and component repair. F138 is the U.S. military designation of the General Electric CF6-80C2 high-bypass turbofan engine produced by GE Aviation. It powers the US Air Force’s Lockheed C-5M Super Galaxy heavy strategic transport aircraft, the largest aircraft in the US military inventory. The aircraft has four F138 engines and each delivers a thrust of 51,000 lbf. The Canadian Commercial Corporation is a Canadian federal Crown corporation mandated to facilitate international trade on behalf of Canadian industry, particularly with governments of foreign countries. Canadian Crown corporations are state-owned enterprises owned by the Sovereign of Canada. This contract provides the Air Force with the depot repair support required for the F-138 engine and components. Work will take lace in Richmond, British Columbia and is expected to be finished by February 11, 2030.
The US Air Force is looking to reduce its Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II close air support fleet by proposing to cut its non-active force fleet by 46 aircraft, or by 33%, in fiscal year 2021. The USAF, according to its FY 2021 budget request released on February 10, would keep its active force A-10 fleet at 143 aircraft but the service would slash its Air National Guard fleet from 85 aircraft to 46 and also reduce its Air Force Reserve fleet from 55 aircraft to 48. Major General John Pletcher, deputy assistant secretary for financial management and comptroller, told reporters that these aircraft would be the oldest and least-ready aircraft, and that these cuts, combined with planned modernizations, would allow the USAF to have A-10s in seven squadrons flying into the 2030s.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems released a video on February 12, which showed its Drone Dome counter-UAV system for the first time using a laser to destroy commercial quadcopters. According to the company, the system achieved 100% success in all test scenarios during a demonstration carried out recently in Israel. The stages of the interceptions reportedly included target detection, identification, and interception with a high-power laser beam. The video showed a system mounted on a Land Rover using its electro-optical sensors to track a quadcopter and direct its laser beam onto it as it took evasive manoeuvers until it fell to the ground.
Airbus noted progress in the delivery of the promised capabilities of its A400M airlifter, but has been hit with additional penalty charges pertaining to continued programmatic shortcomings. The company successfully rebaselined its contract with the European defense agency OCCAR and the seven partner nations in July 2019 and continued to rollout the aircraft’s capabilities, but faced $1.3 billion in added charges across the wider programme, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said at the company’s annual press conference in Toulouse. The rebaselined contract with OCCAR and the launch nations of Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey, and the UK, is a cost neutral agreement designed to ‘achieve the A400M’s full suite of contracted capabilities and retrofit schedule while also keeping the programme on a sound financial footing’.
India will not be able to take delivery of its aircraft carrier Vikrant due to delays in securing fighters to operate on board the ship. INS Vikrant is the first aircraft carrier to be built in India. The Financial Express cited Defense Minister Sripad Naik as saying that “issues with the delivery of aviation equipment from Russia” was the cause. However, TASS later quoted an anonymous Russia source saying Moscow has yet to receive any order for new MiG-29K carrier-borne fighters. The ship’s completion and commissioning had been delayed several times. She was originally intended to be delivered in December 2010 and commissioned in 2016. This however was later postponed, with sea trials to begin in 2017 and commissioning planned for 2018.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said on February 12 that a USAF MC-130J had flown over the Taiwan Strait on that morning from north to south direction. The press release added that a pair of B-52 bombers were off its east coast flying in the same direction as well. The ministry said it was aware of the flights and had monitored them throughout. The US Pacific Air Forces also confirmed that two B-52s had flown from Andersen Air Force Base on the US territory of Guam and conducted “synchronized training south of the Taiwan Strait with a US Air Force MC-130J” from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. The USA has no formal ties with Taipei but is bound by its Taiwan Relations Act to help it defend itself, and Washington is the island’s main source of arms.
Watch: RAFAEL’s DRONE DOME with LASER Intercepts Multiple Targets