First Glimpse of NG’s T-X Competitor Hits Twitter | Cali Woman Gets 4 Years in Fed Prison for Illegal Exports to China | Japan’s Defense Upgrades to Beef Up F-15J FleetAug 23, 2016 00:58 UTC
- The US Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) plan to equip unmanned, high-endurance, long-endurance aircraft with high-power electric lasers in order to shoot down ballistic missiles in their boost phase will see a proof of concept test between 2020-2021. It’s been reported that this fall, the agency plans to award contracts to two industry teams for preliminary design and fabrication of flying laser testbed aircraft beginning in 2018. One of the two teams is Lockheed Martin, who is rumored to be contemplating the use an unmanned version of the Cold War-era U-2 Dragon Lady as one of its potential platforms.
- Pictures have surface on Twitter unveiling the first glimpse of Northrop Grumman’s offering in the USAF T-X competition. The trainer prototype, Model 400, was snapped on a runway in Mojave, California during a high speed taxi test, and sports a prominent, single vertical fin and a nose section similar to the T-38.
- A court in Miami has sentenced a California woman to 4 years in federal prison after being convicted of illegally exporting US military gear to China. Wenxia Man said she colluded with a spy who specializes in copying foreign military equipment for the Chinese government. In June, a jury convicted Man of conspiring to export and actually exporting military equipment without the proper license, which involved engines used in F-35, F-16 and F-22 fighter jets as well as an MQ-9 Reaper UAV.
Middle East & North Africa
- A deal has been struck between the Algerian government and Leonardo for the sale and home-made production of a number of the helicopters, including the AW101. The move is being viewed by analysts as a way of both increasing Algerian defensive capabilities and domestic job creation as well as potentially preventing an Arab Spring type event among its population’s youth. Algeria is all too familiar with security threats following a number of attacks on its oil and gas facilities by Jihadist militants in recent years; most notably 2013’s In Amenas hostage crisis, which left 39 foreign hostages, an Algerian worker, and 29 militants dead.
- Nigeria is to import a number of Mi-35M attack helicopters and the UAE-made Yabhon Flash-20 UAV. The purchases will boost the government’s capabilities against the Jihadist insurgency of Boko Haram in the country’s north-east, as well as attacks against its Niger Delta oil installations in the south. Delivery of the hardware is expected to start arriving later this year and continue into 2017.
- Incheon-class frigates operated by the South Korean Navy are to be armed with Haeseong II ship-to-surface cruise missiles. Six of the vessels have already been produced as part of the first batch with 18-24 planned in total. While Seoul had initially scheduled the missiles to be incorporated on all vessels from batch two onward, it was decided to retrofit the first six as well, with work scheduled to commence next month. To accommodate the new missiles, the ships will have angled canister launchers installed on their decks.
- With a national-record breaking defense budget on the cards for Japan next year, upgrades to increase the country’s air-superiority capabilities are being rolled out by the government. With Japan’s F-35 deployment not due until the end of 2017, plans are underway to upgrade and upgun its current F-15J fleet. Among the changes are plans to double the number of air-to-air missiles the F-15J can carry to 16 as well as an expansion of the jet’s lifespan.
- Plans to deliver Russian-made equipment to the Afghan Armed Forces has been delayed by India. The cause, a lack of spare parts for an Mi-25 helicopter. New Delhi has already transferred three of the attack helicopters to Kabul and has received pleas by some in the US military to increase its supply of Russian weapons and parts. An embargo imposed on Moscow has seriously hampered the availability and access to spare parts for Afghanistan, which operates a hodgepodge selection of various military vehicles.
Iran unveils its indigenous Bavar-373 air-defense system: