SOCOM to Test Mounted Laser on Apache | US State Dept Clears FMS of F/A-18 C/D Svc & Support to Kuwait | Qatar Approved for $20M FMS Javelin Guided MissilesMay 31, 2016 00:53 UTC
- The United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) intends to mount a laser weapon on an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, with feasibility tests to commence this summer. According to Col. John Vannoy, the Program Executive Officer Rotary Wing Programs, much of the information regarding the test “will be internal,” however the office envisions using the laser weapon to destroy vehicles or generators as opposed to sending in a missile that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. An expansion of the program could also see the weapon mounted on the MH-60 Black Hawk.
- A new sense of urgency has been injected into Canada’s CF-18 fighter replacement by Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan, saying that the issue “needs to be dealt with quickly.” Speaking at the CANSEC defence and military trade show in Ottawa last week, Sajjan didn’t forget to remind reporters that the issue was inherited from the previous government while seemingly forgetting that it was the current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau’s promise to ditch its participation in F-35 procurement in favor of a more affordable aircraft.
- Following close on the heals of the F-35’s delay in achieving initial operational capability (IOC), the KC-46A tanker will miss its scheduled Spring 2017 delivery to units. Instead, deliveries have been rescheduled for late summer or early fall of next year. The KC-46 tanker program was already on a tight trialing schedule as part of its Milestone C demonstration in June, but will now be pushed back until August.
Middle East North Africa
- The US State Department has cleared the potential Foreign Military Sale to the government of Kuwait for F/A-18 C/D services and support in a deal worth up to $420 million. Under the contract, 275 contractor representatives will travel to Kuwait for a period of three years to provide support including F/A-18 avionics software upgrades, engine component improvements, ground support equipment, engine and aircraft spares and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, Engineering Change Proposals (ECP), US Government and contractor programmatic, financial, and logistics support. The deal comes as Kuwait awaits approval for 24 newer F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets.
- Qatar is to receive $20 million in Javelin Guided Missiles and associated equipment, training, and support, after the sale was cleared by the US State Department on Thursday. Included in the sale are 50 Javelin Guided Missiles (Category I), and ten Command Launch Units (CLUs) with Integrated Day/Thermal Sight (Category III Sensitive) with Container. Also included are ten Javelin Missile Simulation Rounds, one Enhanced Basic Skills Trainer (EPBST), and 12 Non-Rechargeable Battery, Six Storage Battery Rechargeable, Battery Discharger, Battery Charger for #9, and ten Battery Coolant Units.
- F-16s under the control of the Royal Air Force of Oman are to receive follow-on support including support equipment, communications equipment, personnel training, spare and repair parts, publications, Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program (ECISAP), Contractor Engineer Technical Services (CETS), Technical Coordination Group (TCG), International Engine Management Program (IEMP), Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory (PMEL) calibration and technical orders. The sale is estimated to be worth up to $260 million.
- Lithuania and Poland look set to both procure a number of short and medium air-defense systems. Negotiations have commenced between the Lithuanian government, Norway’s Kongsberg Gruppen and Raytheon for their co-developed Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS), while Kongsberg has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) to offer the NASAMS for Poland’s Narew short-range air defense missile program. The modernizations come as both eastern European nations look to bolster their air defences as tensions over potential Russian incursions continue to grow.
- The Indonesian Air Force has received back an Su-30MK2 after undergoing large scale upgrades in Belarus. Purchased back in 2003, the IAF operate 16 of the aircraft but have been lacking in the latest weaponry and systems. The upgrades come as the government’s planned purchase of the latest Su-35 fighter remains surrounded in uncertainty with a purchase order intended to be finalized earlier this month still unsigned.
- US Navy test of two SM-3 Block 1B interceptors equipped with a modified third-stage rocket motor nozzle: