B-52s Get JDAMs, JASSMs & MALDs | NATO Orders Saab RBS 70 BOLIDE Missiles | NK SLBM Test Shown to be FakeJan 15, 2016 00:20 UTC
- Six B-52s have now been equipped with JDAM capabilities after a series of modifications by Boeing for the USAF. Installation of upgraded internal weapons bay launchers will allow for the bomber to launch eight Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) at one time from the internal bay. Furthermore, the launchers can be easily transferred between aircraft, and will allow the planes to also carry Joint Air-to-Surface Stand Off Missiles (JASSMs) and Miniature Air Launched Decoys (MALDs), increasing their operational capabilities.
- Testing of a new sensor on the Tomahawk missile has been successful. Raytheon owned T-39 test aircraft carried out a number trials over a three week period engaging moving targets on land and at sea. The development of the sensor was part of company funded, independent R&D looking to enhance the current Tomahawk long-range precision strike/land attack role. Since 2005, Raytheon has been investing in increasing the missile’s seeker capabilities and effectiveness in varying environments.
- The US Navy’s San Antonio class warships may be fitted with missile defense radars and lasers according the a spokesperson for Huntington Ingalls. Discussions are apparently ongoing to have the system installed on LPD vessels as they have ample available space to store and create the energy necessary to run the radar and weapons. Such an addition would greatly increase the defensive capabilities of the amphibious transport ship, and certainly fits in line with the Navy’s future plans to make all their vessels more well rounded and capable of operating defensively and offensively.
- NATO’s Support and Procurement Agency has placed an order to Saab for RBS 70 BOLIDE missiles. The $12.4 million sale will be delivered between 2016-2017 according to the company. Procurement of the short-range air defense missile is being seen as a move by NATO to strengthen its air defense capabilities. An extremely popular system, over nineteen countries use the man-portable system and missile which can also be armed to fixed and rotary wing aircraft for short distance engagement.
- A new version of the Aster 30 Block I missile is to be developed since France has signed an agreement with consortium Eurosam to proceed with its development. The Aster Block 1 New Technology program will aim to increase the surface-to-air missiles interception range as part of a wider upgrade to a NATO anti-ballistic missile shield on the continent. While exact figures of the program were not released, it is claimed that the contract is worth several million euro. Italy, which operates the same missile system, is expected to sign a similar agreement with Eurosam in the coming months.
- Germany will lease, not buy, Heron TP UAVs from Israel’s IAI. It had been initially rumoured that Berlin would purchase the Heron to make up for a current shortfall in UAV capabilities. The decision not to buy by Berlin makes sense as the Heron TP is only meant to act as a stopgap solution while a UAV by is developed by Germany alongside partners Italy, Spain and France. At a cost of $650 million, the lease is expected to last from 2018-2025, when the European drone is expected to come online.
- An unnamed Asian country has received delivery of eight IL-76 aircraft from Ilyushin with negotiations for the purchase of five more of the aircraft currently ongoing. Several Asian air forces operate the transport aircraft, including India, Iran, and Kazakhstan. It was reported in August of last year that a modernized version had several interested parties which included both Iran and Kazakhstan, alongside Algeria and South Africa, so one of them may well be the mysterious buyer.
- A proposal to deploy Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems in South Korea is being reviewed by the government. A plan sent by the US forces based in the country is something Washington has wanted to do for some time as a wider ballistic missile defense plan for the region. Seoul has been reluctant to have it deployed as it may effect the often tentative relations with China, but recent nuclear tests by North Korea have put the idea back on the table.
- Surprise, surprise. North Korea’s “successful” SLBM test was a not so elaborate fake: