US Delivers $50M in Weapons & Munitions to Lebanon | LM & Elbit Sys to Enter UK’s Challenger II Upgrade Program | Sri Lanka Looks to Replace Kfir FightersAug 12, 2016 01:09 UTC
- A long awaited low-rate initial production decision for the KC-46 tanker is to be made by the end of the month. Secretary of the USAF Deborah Lee James informed the media of the upcoming meeting “We believe that the aircraft has met all of the wickets that are required to meet milestone C, but of course that remains to be seen, so I’ll say stay tuned on that.” Flight testing of the aircraft wound up in July following a number of hardware and software fixes to the plane’s boom following aerial refueling problems.
Middle East North Africa
- Russian helicopters seeing action in Syria are to be fitted with composite rotor blades to counter against the rapid wear and tear currently experienced on their metal ones. According to the blade’s manufacturer Mil, the composite blades have already been used in the production of multirole Mi-38 and Mi-35M attack helicopters and have also been included on the newly upgraded Mi-28NM. Russia has been supporting the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad with air support and logistics since September 2015.
- In addition to a $1.1 billion Airbus H225M helicopter deal, France is also trying to sell Kuwait anti-ship missiles to help fill a specific Kuwaiti requirement for airborne missiles for use against fast offshore boats. The Gulf nation had a similar requirement on its recent purchase of Eurofight Typhoons. Airbus is conducting similar work on H225Ms operated by the Brazilian Navy, integrating the MBDA Exocet AM39 anti-ship missile.
- $50 million in weapons has been delivered by the US to Lebanon. Goodies in the shipment include 50 armored Humvees, 40 Howitzer field artillery pieces, 50 MK-19 grenade launchers and 1,000 tons of ammunition, including small, medium and heavy artillery rounds. With Lebanon being the fifth-largest recipient of US military financing, the country has received more than $221 million in funding this year.
- With just a day to spare, a joint effort by Lockheed Martin UK and Elbit Systems will enter the UK’s Challenger II upgrade program. The duo’s late entry into the $816 million modernization will see them duke it out with a consortium involving General Dynamic and the tank’s original equipment manufacturer BAE Systems as well as bids from Rheinmetall, Swiss defense company Ruag and a CMI Defence-Ricardo UK partnership.
- The Russian Aerospace Forces are to shortly receive next generation bombs with proximity fuzes. According to state-owned manufacturer Tecmarsh, the fuze has recently passed tests and is being prepared for serial production. Improvements in the new munition aim to decrease the amount of energy lost to crater creation and soil displacement and increasing the radius of damage.
- Sri Lanka has expressed an interest in replacing its aging Kfir fighters. According to a cabinet spokesperson, the government has approved a new competition and is looking for interested manufacturers to come forward. The service is looking at getting between eight to twelve aircraft which at present is down to only one serviceable fighter.
- South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) has given the second half of 2020 as the date for the first prototype of their indigenous active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. Developed in conjunction with Hanwha Thales, DAPA foresees six years of development, with the new radar to be ready for deployment in 2026. The radar will be integrated on the upcoming KF-X indigenous fighter.
China sends its Gaofen-3 radar imaging satellite into space: