USN Research Lab Develops CASA to Film Intercepts of US Spy Planes | HELMTTs Destroy Laptops with Lasers | Boeing Hopes to Persuade Denmark on Super HornetsMay 23, 2016 00:57 UTC
- The US Naval Research Laboratory “has developed a prototype” Common Airborne Situational Awareness (CASA) camera pod to film Chinese and Russian intercepts of US spy planes. Spy planes under the Pacific Command have been recently involved in a number of increasingly reckless intercepts by Russian and Chinese fighters; however, cameras onboard are unable to document proof of fighter flying close by. CASA allows for coverage from all angles with the pods to be carried under the wings of P-3 or P-8 aircraft.
- A High Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck (HELMTT) operated by the US Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command has been tested successfully, shooting down a large number of UAVs, quadcopters and laptops with just a blast of concentrated light. HELMTT includes a 10-kilowatt laser — equivalent to about 10 million handheld laser pointers — a beam control system, acquisition and tracking sensors, and other supporting equipment, mounted on a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, or HEMTT. The system is designed to track incoming threats, such as rockets, artillery, cruise missiles, UAVs, and even threats on the ground, and then destroy them with a laser, rather than with kinetic munitions.
- Crew from television network Russia Today (RT) were treated to a tour of Russia’s A-50U AEW&C platform. The Ministry of Defense hosted the event at an air base in the Ivanovo Region, some 254Km from Moscow. Tasks to be undertaken by the aircraft include detecting and tracking a number of aerial (fighter jets, bombers, ballistic and cruise missiles), ground (tank columns) and surface (above-water vessels) targets, informing command centers about the developments in the air and sea, and directing fighter and strike aviation.
- Boeing is still holding on to hope that it can sell its Super Hornets to Denmark after claiming that the Danish government had used “incomplete and possibly flawed data” to conclude that the Super Hornet was more expensive to operate than the F-35. The comments were made by a Boeing official speaking to a Danish parliamentary committee last Thursday following the government’s decision to opt for the next generation F-35 to replace its aging F-16s.
- Almaz-Antey has revealed that its S-300V4 air defense system is now capable of engaging targets up to 400Km away. Utilizing technologies found in its fifth generation systems such as the S-400 and a new longer range missile, S-300V4 systems are considered to be more efficient than their predecessors by up to 2.5 times. The upgrades will make it considerably more difficult for enemy Airborne early warning and control aircraft to operate safely within the new radius.
- Rumors that Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s trip to meet Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin would involve discussions over an acquisition of Su-35 fighters have been dismissed by the Indonesian Foreign Minister. Retno Marsudi denied that any discussions over the fighter took place, with defense talks revolving around increased security cooperation, including information exchanges as well as technology transfer related to the purchase of weaponry.
- Selection of a fighter to be manufactured under the “Make in India” initiative will be decided by next March according to India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar. Models in the running include Boeing’s F18A, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault’s Rafale or the Saab Gripen. Parrikar also mentioned that the ministry’s negotiations over its drawn out purchase of 36 Rafales will be wrapped up in “weeks.”
- The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has agreed to purchase a decommissioned Airbus A340-500 passenger jet from Thai Airways. A total of $50 million will be paid to the national carrier over four installments between 2016 and 2017. It’s expected that the aircraft will be converted over for military use by Thai Aviation Industries to help boost its transport capabilities.
- RT’s look at the A-50U: