CH-53K Completes Initial Operationals Testing | Boeing, Gen Atomics, LM & NG to Alter MQ-25 Designs for CBARS | Kuwait’s Typhoons to Get LM’s ATPs
- Argentinian Air Force pilots have completed their evaluations of the M-346 advanced jet trainer, according to the Italian Defense Ministry. The testing, which took place between October 12 and 13 in Italy, saw the pilots assess the trainer’s air-to-air and air-to-surface capabilities. Argentina is looking to acquire between 10-12 trainers to operate in a combat capacity to replace retired Dassault Mirage III and Mirage 5 fighters and their grounded Douglas A-4R Fightinghawk fleet. Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) FA-50 Fighting Eagle is also in the mix and was tested in September.
- The CH-53K King Stallion helicopter has completed its initial operational testing. A two-week trial period, known as the OT-B1, took place at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Requirements asked of the helicopter included multiple external lift scenarios of 27,000 lb. (12,200 kg), in-hover, and 12,000 lb. (5,422 kg) 110 nautical mile radius missions.
- Four companies have been awarded contracts by the US Navy to conduct risk reduction work on their designs for the MQ-25 Stingray. Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and Lockheed Martin received contracts for $43 million each while Northrop Grumman received $35.8 million. The risk reduction work will see the companies alter previous designs of the MQ-25 as an unmanned strike bomber to fit its new role as an aerial tanker under the carrier-based air refueling system (CBARS) program.
Middle East & North Africa
- Eurofighter Typhoons recently ordered by Kuwait will be fitted with Lockheed Martin’s Sniper advanced targeting pods. Under a contract with the Aircraft division of Leonardo-Finmeccanica, a member of the Eurofighter consortium, Lockheed Martin will supply 18 pods for Kuwaiti Typhoons, plus integration and logistics support. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2017.
- A technical agreement has been signed between the governments of Lithuania and Norway to bring two batteries of the Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) to the Baltic nation. The $108 million systems are expected to be delivered by 2020. In the meantime, NATO is considering the deployment of a Patriot air-defense missile unit in Lithuania, which if accepted, could be operational by July next year.
- The Czech Republic has approached several Western defense companies as they looks to replace their existing Soviet-era SA-6 air-defense system. Raytheon, MBDA and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have been contacted by Prague with the request that missiles should have an effective range between 20 and 50 kilometres. A second competition, for the purchase of a 3D Mobile Air Defence Radar (MADR), sees France’s Thales, the Israeli Elta and the Swedish SAAB bidding for the contract.
- Russia will buy a number of SR-10 jet trainers in order to test the plane over the next three years. The first models of the forward-swept wing jet trainer will be ready for the Defense Ministry by the end of 2017 with 20 expected to be delivered by 2020. It’s believed that engine manufacturer Saturn has proposed to power the aircraft using their AL-55 turbofan engine.
- A Spanish consortium of Indra and Navantia is teaming with Indonesian shipbuilder PT PAL to update the combat system of an Indonesian navy vessel. The $18 million deal will see work carried out on the Fatahillah-class corvette, the Malahayati, and involves the renovation of the ship’s sensors and fire control systems and their integration through a modern combat management system. Both Spanish firms have previously collaborated on a number of naval programs, including development of the Spanish navy’s future F110 frigate.
Tom Cruise talks training for Top Gun :
Categories: Daily Rapid Fire