USN Gives Moniker “Stingray” to MQ-25A | KC-390 Tanker/Transport Embarks on WW Demo Tour | BAE Wins $2.8B Contract for RAF Eurofighter Typhoon SupportJul 19, 2016 00:58 UTC
- While speculation over its name has been floated for some time, the US Navy’s first carrier unmanned aerial vehicle has been officially named. Known as the Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System (CBARS) program, the service’s Material Command has now designated the aircraft MQ-25A with the name “Stingray.” Initially conceived as a low observable lethal, and deep penetrating strike platform, the MQ-25A will now focus on refueling with some ISR capabilities and followed up with later weapons installation.
- Following its debut at the Farnborough Air Show last week, Embraer’s KC-390 tanker/transport aircraft is to embark on a worldwide demonstration tour. The specifics of the tour stop offs have not been revealed, although interested parties include the Czech Republic and three stops in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The Brazilian Air Force will induct the KC-390 in 2018.
- Lockheed Martin has won a $21 million US Navy contract to provide Trident II D5 missiles to the service. The latest submarine-launched fleet of ballistic missiles, Trident II follows the Polaris, Poseidon and Trident I C4 programs. Trident was first deployed in 1990 and is currently deployed on board US Ohio-class and British Vanguard-class submarines.
Middle East North Africa
- Last week Raytheon announced the success of Saudi-operated Patriot batteries in intercepting missiles coming from Yemen, however the system failed to take down a Syrian UAV that ended up in Israeli air space. The intrusion took place over airspace on the Golan Heights, which has been in Israeli possession since its annexation in 1967. While the IDF have often responded to stray rocket fire from the neighboring Syrian Civil War with tank and mortar shells, this marks the first time that Patriot missiles have been brought into play.
- New UK Prime Minister Theresa May has overseen a vote on the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons program. The renewal will cost the British taxpayers some $41.1 billion, and has been met with opposition from the Scottish National Party (SNP) and has split the Labour Party on the issue. With four Trident submarines in operation, at any one time the UK has one armed and at sea, one undergoing maintenance and two either at port or on exercises.
- BAE Systems has been awarded a support contract for the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon fleet. Over the ten years of the deal, BAE is set to earn some $2.8 billion, and it is being referred to as the Typhoon Total Availability Enterprise (TyTAN) agreement. Italy’s Leonardo has also been enlisted under the Joint Avionics Solution (JAS) initiative, which will leverage a similar support package that it already provides for the Italian air force’s Typhoons. Leonardo estimates it will be worth some $666 million to the company.
- Experts have urged the Taiwanese government to commence development of their indigenous jet trainer as many of the engineers behind the IDF fighter are retiring. The advice was given at a forum organized by Taiwan’s MoD on the trainer’s development on July 15. It’s possible that Taiwan will lose the knowledge to build its own indigenous jet aircraft in ten years if nothing is done.
- Iran has received the missile part of the S-300 missile defense system from Russia. The delivery keeps on track Moscow’s aim to have all parts of the system transferred to Iran by the end of the year following earlier shipments of missile tubes and radar equipment. A sale of the system was initially cancelled in 2010 following pressure from Western governments, but was renewed by Vladimir Putin in April 2015 sparking concern from Israel.
- Sinking of the Perry-class frigate USS Thach during the Rim of the Pacific 2016 exercise: