USAF’s GSC Issues RFP for Jammin’ Drone Fighters | Pratt & Whitney Wins $1.4B Deal for F-35 Engines | Rafael Unveils New Drone Dome to Neutralize Malicious UAVsApr 14, 2016 00:55 UTC
- A request has been made by the USAF’s Global Strike Command for a small UAV capable of defeating small commercial drones with electric jamming. The winner must weigh not more than 2.72kg and carry an on board jammer that operates on 433MHz, 915MHz, 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz. It must also be able to disrupt GPS L1 and GLONASS L1 signals. 38 anti-drone systems are being requested, and will be distributed across eight Global Strike Command bases, including Barksdale, Dyess, Ellsworth, FE Warren, Kirtland, Malmstrom, Minot and Whiteman, housing the USAF’s strategic bomber fleet and managing intercontinental ballistic missiles.
- A deal has been reached between the Pentagon and engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney to provide the ninth low rate production of F135 engines for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The $1.4 billion deal covers 66 engines, as well as spares, extra parts, and support. Part of the order will include engines for five of the F-35 partners, including Italy, Norway, Israel, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
Middle East North Africa
- Israel’s Rafael has unveiled their latest system aimed at countering malicious UAV systems. Dubbed the “Drone Dome” the system is capable of defending critical sites against hostile threats, detecting, tracking and neutralizing UAVs classified as malicious. The system has 360° circular coverage, and uses an electro-optical/infrared sensor and radar to detect a threat. The data is then combined and correlated and alerts the operator of the hostile UAV. It then initiates either an automatic interference operation – as per pre-defined rules – or it is carried out manually by the operator. The threat is neutralized by activation of directional GNSS and a radio frequency inhibitor/jammer.
- A combat engineering version of Israel’s Namer troop carrier is currently undergoing operational testing. Based on the Merkava Mk4 main battle tank, the new Namer is equipped with the Trophy Active Protection System (APS), which defends against anti-tank missiles, mortars, and RPGs. The new version will allow Israeli ground forces to deal with terror tunnels, bridge obstacles and maneuver in high-threat areas.
- Missile manufacturer Matra BAE Dynamics Alenia has announced that the first Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles were delivered to the USA for integration and testing on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II. The missiles are intended for the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy’s F-35Bs and will provide British Lightning IIs with a “highly capable, passive, within visual range air-to-air capability.” Testing will include captive carry and safe-separation tests that will eventually lead to live shots against representative targets and are a step toward the UK armed forces declaring initial operational capability with the F-35 by end of 2018.
- Bulgaria’s government is to privatize two state-owned defense companies over the next number of years. The privatization will see the country’s leading arms maker VMZ Sopot and arms exporter Kintex put up for sale in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Funds from the sales will go toward the acquisition of new multirole fighter jets for the Bulgarian Air Force which are due to replace their Soviet-designed Mikoyan MiG-21 jets.
- Marshall Aerospace and Defence has been contracted by special mission system provider Aerodata to convert two ATR 72-500s into maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) for an undisclosed navy. The company will install a radar, camera, self-protection equipment, and stores pylons on the twin-engined turboprops at their Cambridge, UK site, and a team of engineers will travel to Aerodata’s location in Braunschweig, Germany throughout the installation. Potential clients ordering the work include Pakistan, who have two of the aircraft in storage undergoing maritime conversion work, and Turkey who has also operated an ATR 72-600 in the MSA role before converting it into a utility configuration in 2013.
- Mitsubishi’s X-2 stealth demonstrator has moved one step closer to its first flight after a series of taxi and runway tests since January. The aircraft has now moved into the Vr stage whereby the aircraft accelerated to rotation speed, and the pilot pulled the nose wheel off the ground. Testing took place at the Nagoya Airfield on April 9, and precedes the plane’s maiden flight, expected by the end of the month.
- Mitsubishi’s X-2 latest tests: