AIM-9X Block II Missiles Get Capability Upgrade | Russia’s KA-52K Katran To Be Field Tested in Fall | Brits Overwhelmingly Favor Trident RenewalJul 20, 2016 00:52 UTC
- AIM-9X Block II missiles are getting an air-to-surface mode. Manufacturer Raytheon is currently working on porting the software necessary for the transition following the award of a $291.7 million contract by the US Navy. The deal is for the provision of 660 Lot 16 AIM-9X missiles as well as AIM-9X Block II Captive Air Training Missiles, containers, and spare components for the Navy, USAF, and a number of foreign militaries.
- Following the refueling of an A-10 Thunderbolt, the KC-46 has completed the last in a series of in-flight refueling tests necessary before its Milestone C production decision. A selection of Navy, USAF and USMC aircraft were chosen including the C-17, F-16, F/A-18 and AV-8B. The Milestone C decision to begin low-rate initial production is expected in August.
- The US Army’s Rapid Equipping Force has ordered CyPhy Works’ Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC) system. A tethered UAS, PARC provides a continuous eye-in-the-sky capability by flying for days at a time engaging in long-endurance flights, with the tether providing power while also allowing communications and video to flow via the Kevlar-strengthened microfilament tether.
Middle East North Africa
- Russia’s latest KA-52K Katran helicopters are to be tested in the field during upcoming military action in Syria. The helicopters will be on board the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and will join the Syrian campaign from October 2016 to January 2017. Reasoning behind the deployment, according to Viktor Murakhovsky of Arsenal Otechestva magazine, is that it “is a test of the operational and technical capacity and ability of our air carrier strike group, since previously Russia has never used air carriers in real combat conditions.”
- British MPs voted overwhelmingly in favor of renewing their aging nuclear submarine fleet by 471 to 117. Opponents to the renewal of the Scottish-based nuclear-armed Trident submarines came from the Scottish National Party (SNP) and parts of the Labour Party, however new PM Theresa May stressed lawmakers to back Trident, not only to protect Britain from growing threats from Russia and North Korea, but also to protect thousands of jobs in Scotland and elsewhere. Critics say that May is using the Trident vote to help unify the Conservative Party after a rather bruising “Brexit” from the European Union.
- India is looking into a major purchase of Russian naval, air, and anti-air weaponry. The shopping list includes 12 S-400 “Triumpf” anti-air systems, four Tu-22M3 strategic bombers, 80 Mi-17 helicopters and six IL-76 aircraft which are suitable for the Israeli Phalcon radar. Russia is already in the process of of a $900 million modernization program of India’s MiG-29 fleet.
- North Korea has fired three ballistic missiles in retaliation to the upcoming deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea. Believed to be two Scud missiles and one Rodong, the missiles flew between 500 and 600 km (300-360 miles) into the sea off its east coast. The provocations come as a political show of force from Pyongyang rather than as a test aimed at improving missile capability.
- Hyundai is to provide a new naval tanker to New Zealand to replace the replenishment tanker that is nearly three decades old. Powered by diesel engines driving twin props, and capable of refueling two ships at a time while underway, carry and refuel Defense Force helicopters, produce and store water, and store and transport bulk goods. For self-defense, the tanker will operate two mini-typhoons and a Phalanx close-in weapons system (CIWS).
- CyPhy Work’s PARC UAV: