Nov 16, 2016 00:55 UTC
- Italy’s Leonardo-Finmeccanica has commenced a whistle-stop tour of Latin America with their C-27J Spartan tactical airlifter. Bolivia, Panama, and Argentina will be included on the tour following earlier displays of the the aircraft’s multimission capabilities in Mexico and Peru. According to the company, 82 units are already under contract with 14 operators.
- General Atomics’ extended-range Predator C Avenger has completed its first flight. Featuring leading edge de-ice provisions and wings extended by 3.2m to 23.2m (76ft), the Avenger Extended Range variant’s endurance has increased from 27h to 40h on its legacy Avenger and Predator B UAVS. The company is now working on a high-energy laser weapon for the platform and could begin integrating a package by next year.
Middle East & North Africa
- Elbit Systems has released a device capable of detecting and neutralizing enemy UAVS. Known as ReDrone, the system is designed to detect and disrupt nearby UAVs by blocking radio signals as well as being able to support information, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance missions. A supporting SupervisIR system can also be integrated to boost detection capabilities, enabling thermal imaging.
- Wooden tanks and humvees are being used by the Islamic State in an attempt to subvert the US-led air campaign in and around the city of Mosul. A handful of mockups were seized by Iraqi forces slowly making their way through the city and even included bearded mannequins to represent militants. However the Jihadists aren’t the only ones to have employed such tactics. Dummy tanks, both wooden and inflatable, were used by British and American forces prior to the Normandy invasion and more recently by Yugoslav forces in order to mislead NATO during the Kosovo War in the late 1990s.
- Airbus has successfully demonstrated that its A400M tanker can refuel another A400M. Two “buddy-buddy” flights were flown out of Seville, Spain with more than 50 contacts in level flight, and turns using the centerline hose and drum unit (HDU). The presence of the HDU, a third point of contact not found on any other tanker currently on the market, enables the refuelling of large receivers such as another A400M or C-130.
- Nordic defense firms including Saab, Kongsberg, and Patria are working toward greater industry consolidation that could lead to a much higher focus on major joint weapons systems and military equipment procurements. The move comes at a time of growing Nordic-Baltic military-industrial cooperation spurred by fears of potential Russian military aggression in the region. Against this backdrop, the Estonian government is investing greater resources in developing their own export-driven and tech-based defense sector, while Norway has signed a deal with the UK toward greater maritime surveillance cooperation and joint exercises in Northern Europe.
- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has reversed his decision to cancel a $34.6 million assault rifle deal with the US. Duterte, known for his bombastic rhetoric and statements, which include calling President Obama “the son of a whore,” had put the deal on hold following fears by his administration that the deal would be held up by US lawmakers over alleged human rights abuses. The 27,000 SIG Sauer M4 assault rifles are destined for the Philippine National Police whose anti-drugs campaign has been the source of the criticisms.
- Critical shortages of ammunition and equipment have left the Indian government no choice but to trigger their Fast Track Purchase (FTP) process in order to access supplies from the international market. By doing so, the Defense Ministry bypasses the usual procurement process, allowing small teams of high-ranking defense officials to purchase the required ammunition and gear from abroad. Acquisitions worth $1 billion are expected to be made in Russia and Israel and include a variety of ammunition, limited quantities of assault rifles, thermal-imaging equipment, light machine guns and rocket launchers as well as Anti Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) to be mounted on helicopters.
A400M refueling another A400M:
Nov 15, 2016 00:58 UTC
- The first US flight of the T-50A advanced jet trainer will take place on November 17 at Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Pilot Training facility in Greenville, South Carolina. Developed jointly by LM and Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), the trainer is an upgraded version of the T-50 Golden Eagle and is being offered to the USAF’s T-X trainer competition. It was expected that RoKAF Chief of Staff Gen. Jeong Kyeong-doo and Vice Defense Minister Hwang In-moo would witness the flight, but due to the recent political turmoil at home, will not make the trip. South Korean President Park Geun-hye is under increased pressure to resign following allegations that she let her friend Choi Soon-sil, a shamanist cult leader, have extensive access and influence over government policy and decision making.
- Aurora Flight Sciences is to develop an unmanned Huey helicopter for cargo delivery. The company has already tested their aerial cargo/utility system (AACUS) on two other helicopters and are now looking to develop an unmanned UH-1H Huey with their Tactical Autonomous Aerial Logistics System (TALOS). Commercial applications being mulled over by Aurora include for civilian first responders flying in storms or nighttime.
Middle East & North Africa
- F-16C/D fighters from the Israeli Air Force 101 Fighter Squadron are being integrated with the Rafael Spice 1000 precision guided munition. The munition is a 453kg (1,000lb) bomb equipped with a guidance kit, with pop-out wings that extend its range to more than 100km (54nm). The IAF expects to reach full operational capability with the Spice 1000 in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Israel’s Defense Ministry is looking to outsource testing the Arrow missile defense system and Shavit rocket to private companies with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael both bidding for the tender.
- The Royal Navy is expected to be left without an anti-ship missile strike capability between 2018-2020. Such a gap is being caused by the planned retirement of the Sea Skua missile in early 2017 and the 2018 retirement of the SWS60 Harpoon. A limited anti-ship capability will only return when the Sea Venom/ANL lightweight anti-ship missile is equipped on the Wildcat HMA.2 helicopter in late 2020. No funded program is in place by the UK for a Harpoon replacement, however.
- Russia’s third-generation Ratnik (Warrior) combat gear will feature an active exoskeleton, which will significantly increase the physical power of soldiers wearing it. It will be introduced within the next 5-7 years. The active exoskeleton mechanism’s hinges are equipped with electric and hydraulic drives, to enhance the possibilities of the musculoskeletal system. A passive exoskeleton that does not contain wire and will not be connected to the body of the serviceman will also be included. It will serve to reduce the load on joints and will reduce the likelihood of injury. Designers will create systems to display information and target designation on the visor or goggles.
- US troops in Europe have received their largest ammo delivery in over 20 years. 600 shipping containers were delivered to the Miesau Army Depot in Germany late last month for storage and distribution to USAF and Army forces. The buildup is seen as a way of reassuring anxious European allies, especially in eastern Europe, against a believed security concern posed by Russia.
- While some commercial jet deals are slowly making their way toward Iran, a Russian diplomat has said that military acquisitions are not so simple. Tehran’s plans to acquire Russian fighters such as the Sukhoi Su-30SM may be difficult due to UN Resolution 2231, which would refer such defense deals to the Security Council. Levan Dzhagaryan, the Russian Ambassador to Iran, made the comments but also stated that Moscow is “ready to cooperate with Iran on this sensitive issue, but only under permitted areas.”
- A joint venture agreement has been finalized between Elbit Systems and Adani Enterprises to manufacture UAVs for the Indian market. The joint venture will pitch Elbit’s Hermes 450 and 900 systems in an effort to break the stranglehold currently held by fellow Israeli firm IAI. Having recently joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), New Delhi is forging ahead with procuring armed UAVs in order to tackle militants operating in areas such as the disputed region of Kashmir.
GoPro Cockpit footage of a Croatian Air Force MiG-21:
Nov 14, 2016 00:58 UTC
- Talks are being carried out between Lockheed Martin and President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team over a number of programs including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Trump had made disparaging comments about the F-35 last year on a conservative talk show, calling into question the fighter’s cost-benefit when compared to the capabilities of existing aircraft. Speaking on the talks, LM’s executive vice president for aeronautics Orlando Carvalho said, “We believe that in working with his transition team all the right information will get communicated and they’ll make the right decisions.”
- Shares in major US defense companies ended strongly last week, as news of a Trump presidency heralds good news for continued arms export growth. Investors, betting on higher Pentagon spending under Trump, spurred the growth with Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics share prices hitting lifetime highs last Wednesday. Under the Obama Administration, US arms exports, measured by production costs, grew 54 percent in 2015 from 2008, the year before President Barack Obama took office, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Middle East & North Africa
- AH-64 Apaches operated by Israel now have an anti-tank capability. Modifications to the attack helicopters now allow for the firing of the Rafael Spike anti-tank guided missile. The program began in 2014 following the halting by Washington of a shipment of Hellfire missiles to Israel during Operation Protective Edge. The offensive, which saw IDF forces conduct several weeks of operations in the Gaza Strip in response to Hamas rocket fire, has drawn international criticism on both sides.
- Israeli media have reported that Azerbaijan is interested in the Iron Dome missile interceptor system. If true, it will mark the first sale of the system to a foreign customer. The news comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to visit Azerbaijan in the coming months amid growing ties with the region. Such a sale could, however, increase tensions between Azerbaijan and neighbor Armenia, who has been in conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
- Airbus has been slammed by French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian over the company’s delivery schedule of the A400M transport aircraft. In recently released minutes from a November 2 meeting of the defense committee of the lower house National Assembly, Le Drian stated “The problem is the company…Today, the A400Ms delivered are not operational – and the problem does not concern just France: that is the case everywhere.” Talks are now underway for a more timely delivery of tactical versions of the A400M which has seen issues with a lack of capabilities including parachute drops, self defense, and landing on short runways. In order to cover urgent operational requirements and fleet replacement, Paris has ordered four Hercules C-130J transport planes to fill the gap.
- Bulgaria has signed a deal with Russia to purchase ten engines for its aging fleet of MiG-29 jet fighters. The $23.75 million deal includes the supply of four new and six repaired engines. Last year Bulgaria signed an agreement with NATO ally Poland to repair six MiG-29 fighter jets, part of a push by Sofia to reduce its reliance on Russia. In an effort to move toward greater compliance with NATO standards, the Balkan country is also planning to buy eight new or second-hand fighter jets in 2017.
- Russia is prepared to commence delivery of six MiG-29 fighters to Serbia, as long as Belgrade pays the $50 million required for the aircraft’s repair and transfer. Discussions of such a sale have existed since January as both countries hold discussions on increased trade and economic cooperation. Speaking on such cooperation, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said that any such acquisitions would not be used for offensive measures and only for the defense of the country and its people.
- The Indian Navy has been asked to clarify their need for US-2 amphibious aircraft before the government gives the acquisition the go ahead. It was expected that the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, would approve the procurement from Japan last week but are now requesting more information on how the aircraft will be deployed. A detailed explanation is being prepared by the the sailing branch.
Aurora Flight Sciences unmanned version of the Bell UH-1H:
Nov 11, 2016 13:59 UTC
On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, the guns ceased. Today, the British Commonwealth countries remember those who came before, and those who came after, and all who have given in their nation’s service. Americans know this day as Veteran’s Day, and a number of European countries know it as Armistice Day.
On this day, DID offers background and worthy official sites related to Remembrance Day and Veteran’s Day. Readers may be interested in seeing the slight differences as well as the similarities – gaining new perspectives which may come in handy in project, liaison, or foreign posting situations.
Continue Reading… »
Nov 10, 2016 00:58 UTC
- With President-elect Donald Trump scheduled to take the White House, the head of NATO has assured allies that it will defend and protect any member that comes under attack unconditionally. Trump had made comments during his campaign that allies who did not pay their fair share on defense could be abandoned. While the rhetoric delighted many at home, it has unnerved the ex-Soviet Baltic states wary of an increasingly aggressive Russia. Speaking at a news conference, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said “NATO’s security guarantees a treaty commitment and all allies have made a solemn commitment to defend each other and this is something which is absolute and unconditioned.”
- A fire that erupted in the weapons bay of a USMC F-35B in late October is being investigated. The Naval Safety Center revealed that two systems were at fault, the Honeywell-made integrated power package (IPP) and a hydraulics system. Sensors onboard the aircraft detected the fire and failures of the IPP and a hydraulics system while the aircraft was flying in the airport’s landing pattern. While the fire is being classed as a Class A mishap, an IPP fire in 2011 on board an F-35A grounded the F-35 test fleet.
- BAE Systems has won a $13.3 million DARPA contract as part of the Adaptive Radar Countermeasures (ARC) program. Research currently being conducted aims to give future US jamming systems the ability to react in real-time to counter unfamiliar radar signals. ARC uses BAE’s cognitive electronic warfare technology, including advanced signal processing and machine learning techniques. Those technologies would allow ARC to identify even those dynamic, virus-like radars across the frequency spectrum and form a countermeasure. Early versions of the technology could become available as a software and firmware upgrade for US fighters after 2018.
Middle East & North Africa
- Israeli navy officials are evaluating fixed-wing extremely short take-off and landing (ESTOL) UAV ideas to eventually deploy on their four new Saar 6 corvettes and existing SAAR 5 missile vessels. The ESTOL UAV will be based on propulsive lift technology that will enable it to take off from a very small platform on the navy ship. A decision will be made on the platform in 2017.
- Vessels on busy shipping lanes between Yemen and Somalia run the renewed risk of piracy and terrorism following two attempted attacks last month. The European Union’s counter-piracy naval force (EUNavFor) confirmed last week six armed men attacked chemical tanker CPO Korea 330 nautical miles east of Somalia on October 22, the first reported attack on a major vessel off the country for two and a half years. Another attack on October 25 saw shots fired on a gas tanker off Yemen, in what some analysts believed to be a potential suicide attack.
- Negotiations between China and Zambia are underway for the provision of additional fighter and other aircraft types. The African nation is currently receiving delivery of six Chinese L-15 fighter-trainers, bought in 2014 at a cost of $100 million. Speaking at the recent Airshow China exhibition, Zambian Air Force commander Erick Chimese said the L-15 had been chosen over competitors like the Yak-130 and M-346 due to its lower operating and acquisition costs.
- Lithuania has received new British-made sniper rifles worth $1.4 million. Manufactured by Accuracy International, the AXMC sniper rifles are the first sniper rifles to be used by the Lithuanian Land Force, who until now, used FN SCAR-H PR semi-automatic precision rifles instead. AXMC sniper rifles double the effective range of the FN’s 1,968 feet allowing for the destruction of targets from 1.5-kilometere (nearly 1 mile) away both during the day and at night.
- An Indonesian Air Force CN-235 has been fitted with Leonardo-Finmeccanica’s SAGE sensor system. The modification program was led by PT Dirgantara Indonesia and US company Integrated Surveillance and Defense with collaboration from Leonardo. Currently in use by South Korean maritime helicopters and to be introduced by Brazil next year, SAGE operates by identifying the location of radio frequency emitters – such as surface-to-air missile fire-control radars – from a single aircraft, enhancing situational awareness.
US and UK test MK18 MOD 2 UUV to detect mines:
Nov 09, 2016 00:58 UTC
- US weapon exports for FY 2016 have hit $33.6 billion, down $13 billion from last year. While the drop was expected, DSCA head Vice Adm. Joseph Rixey argued that the total overall figure is not a barometer his agency uses to judge its success, as sales were a fundamental result of foreign policy, stating “It’s nothing more than a tool for us to anticipate what we’re going to anticipate and work with.” Rixey also pointed out that if the long-awaited sale of fighter jets to Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain had been cleared in 2016, as many had expected, the total would have eclipsed the record-setting year of 2015.
- Hydroid has won a $7 million US Navy contract for work on the MK18 Kingfish underwater drone. The contract modification exercises a third-year option for engineering support and training services for the Kingfish’s Mod 1 and Mod 2. Offering better endurance and area coverage rates than its Swordfish predecessor, the Kingfish system supports very shallow water missions, very shallow mine countermeasures and underwater object localization tools.
Middle East & North Africa
- Head of the Saudi Royal Air Force, Gen. Muhammad bin Saleh Al Qtaibi, has expressed his country’s interest in purchasing Pakistani aircraft. Al Qtaibi is on an official visit to Pakistan to discuss ongoing security issues in the region, but expressed Saudi intentions towards a hefty procurement of JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighters and Super Mushshak trainers. The Saudis already operate approximately 20 Super Mushshaks but the prospect of a significant export order for JF-17s from the Gulf kingdom adds to the fighter’s growing interest abroad.
- Turkey has committed to looking everywhere for a long-range missile defense system, including Russia, if its plan to develop one locally takes too long. Ismail Demir, undersecretary for defence industries, made the comments during a news conference in Ankara yesterday. Due to pressure from fellow NATO members, Turkey dropped a $3.4 billion tender for such a system last year after it had provisionally awarded China the deal. But with tensions mounting between Western allies, particularly over Washington’s support for Kurdish fighters operating in Syria, a reorientation toward Russian or Chinese suppliers may be more than just mild flirtation.
- The Swedish Defence Material Administration (FMV), Stockholm’s procurement agency, has contracted Saab to provide an advanced helmet mounted display (HMD) system, known as Targo. Valued at $13.2 million, the HMDs will be manufactured and supplied by the Brazilian company AEL Sistemas (AEL) and used on the Swedish Air Force’s Gripen E fighters. The same HMD system has also been selected for Brazil’s Gripen fighters.
- Britain has been selected as a global repair hub providing maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade services for F-35 fighter avionic and aircraft components. The move is expected to generate hundreds of millions of pounds for the UK defense industry with the potential to unlock more than 2 billion pounds of future F-35 support revenue over the lifetime of the program. Centered in Wales, the work will be conducted by a partnership enterprise between Defence Electronics & Components Agency (DECA), BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman, supported by key F-35 Original Equipment Manufacturers.
- India’s Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved the purchase of 83 Tejas Mk 1A fighters and 15 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH), marking the first clearances under the Indigenous Design Development and Manufacturing (IDDM) category. However, it was also reported that a hotly expected decision on whether New Delhi would sign off on purchasing 12 US-2 amphibious aircraft from Japan was deferred. DAC also cleared India’s new blacklisting policy.
- Following a US State Department block on the sale of 26,000 assault rifles to the Philippines, the archipelago’s hard-man President Rodrigo Duterte has cancelled the sale outright. The guns had been destined for use by the Philippine National Police, who, since Dutetre assumed office in June, have been pursuing an aggressive anti-drugs policy which has seen thousands of suspected drug dealers and addicts murdered. Duterte has suggested that replacement rifles could be cheaply procured from Russia instead.
Pop culture-orientated Youtube comedy channel comments on the defense industry:
Nov 08, 2016 00:58 UTC
- The net cast in search of new warships for Canada has been widened as Ottawa allows designs still yet to be proven to be allowed into the competition. It had previously been decided that only off the shelf designs would be considered. Local firms are said to benefit from the change as a new design is not wedded to foreign systems, and could potentially provide Canada with the most up to date technologies. The criteria change will also allow for the participation of BAE Systems latest Type 26 design, however critics of the changes claim that a proven design would cut the amount of technical risk and speed up the procurement process for Canada.
Middle East & North Africa
- The Algerian Army has discovered an illegal weapons stockpile in the southern desert province of Adrar. Included in the cache were 17 anti-helicopter missiles, 28 grenades, 27 grenade detonators, one rocket launcher, 20 ammunition magazines and 200 bullets. With Islamic State militants currently on the back foot in neighboring Libya, surrounding governments have been wary of fighters and weapons flowing across the porous desert borders to ignite further chaos across the region.
- Turkey’s FNSS and the Indonesian PT Pindad have completed a joint design for a medium-weight tank and started production of a prototype. Known as the Modern Medium Weight Tank, the vehicle features advanced ballistic and mine protection, a broad range of fire power, advanced electronic controlled systems and a heavy duty suspension system. The vehicle will be fitted with an automatic electronic-controlled transmission with a minimum of 20hp/ton ratio, depending on the configurable protection system. Its six-wheeled suspension system will be built on torsion bars with double pinned tracks.
- Deutsche Telekom will launch a drone defense system this year designed to guard airports, stadiums, car test tracks and critical infrastructure. The German firm has been asked by car manufacturers to design a system that would prevent UAVs from snapping photos of prototypes they test on race tracks, while football club FC Bayern Munich is looking for a system to prevent their use during matches. It has been reported in German media that the company had invited a number of drone defense firms to a demonstration of their technology in July, including US-based Dedrone, Australia’s Droneshield, Norway’s Squarehead Technology and Airbus’s Rohde & Schwarz.
- Egypt and Russia have been dragged into the ongoing war of words surrounding Poland’s dropped Caracel helicopter deal with Airbus and France. Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz accused Egypt of reselling French-built Mistral amphibious assault ships initially intended for Russia to the Russian Navy for the princely sum of €1. Yes, one Euro. The comments, made during a parliamentary session, outraged France, who abandoned the Russian sale under pressure from NATO allies. However Macierewicz’s remarks pale in comparison to his deputy who dismissively said that the Poles had taught the French “to eat with a fork a couple of centuries ago” after France revoked Poland’s invitation to the Euronaval 2016 defense expo in Paris.
- While most of the US and world have their eyes upon who will be the next commander-in-chief, North Korea may use the opportunity to launch their next Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM). An official said the move by Pyongyang could be interpreted as sending a strong message to the next US President, whether it be Trump, Clinton, Stein or Johnson. Besides the missile launch, military forces on the Korean peninsula are not ruling out other forms of provocations by the North, although they have as yet detected nothing out of the ordinary along the heavily guarded DMZ.
- Details have emerged on India’s second indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vishal. Naval planners anonymously revealed that the warship will be powered by a nuclear reactor, will have space for 55 aircraft which will be launched using the American-made Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS). We’ll be waiting a while however, as the ship is not expected to enter service until the 2030s.
- Singapore’s procurement of helicopters set to replace their aging fleet of Super Puma and Chinooks will see contracts go to both Airbus and Boeing. While details regarding price and unit numbers have yet to be released, the city-state will buy a number of H225M medium-lift helicopters from Airbus and CH-47F heavy-lift helicopters from Boeing, rumored to cost in the region of $1 billion. Singapore’s defense budget is the largest of its south-east Asian neighbors and they are actively looking to increase capabilities as China increases their assertiveness in the South China Sea.
PT. Pindad & FNSS Modern Medium Weight Tank:
Nov 04, 2016 00:58 UTC
- After much wrangling, Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon have concluded negotiations on the ninth lot of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program with a unilateral agreement that will see 57 jets produced for $6.1 billion. At $107 million per plane, this is the lowest price per plane thus far. The deal will give profit margin certainty to Lockheed and its partners who have been producing the jet under a placeholder agreement known as an “undefinitized contract action,” something the company would have preferred to not have to deal with. Lockheed said that the latest lot is “not a mutually agreed upon contract, it was a unilateral contract action, which obligates us to perform under standard terms and conditions, and previously agreed-to items.” Lot ten negotiations, for 94 aircraft, are still underway.
- Northrop Grumman will help to develop a directed energy laser system for self-protection of next-gen jets for the USAF. The Air Force Research Laboratory contract has tasked the company to develop and produce the beam control piece of an airborne laser weapon demonstration array that the laboratory is developing as part of the Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) program. Testing is to begin in 2019. The laser would reside in a pod that could be attached to fighter-sized aircraft, with the system tested on aircraft flying at supersonic speed.
Middle East & North Africa
- Following a number of high-profile drone incidents, Dubai is testing out ways to detect and track drones in order to prevent them from disrupting flights at its airport. Trials are currently underway to create a tracking system to detect the real-time location of any nearby drone and the radio frequency on which it is being operated. Other measures suggested by aviation associations representing airlines, pilots and airports across Europe have called for mandatory registration and training of drone users following a number of near-misses.
- Consortiums led by BAE Systems and Rheinmetall have been selected by the the UK MoD for the assessment phase of the Challenger 2 life extension project (LEP). Both groups were selected as the preferred bidders by the government, aimed at modernizing up to 227 of the aging Challenger 2 tanks currently in service with the British Army. Two $23 million contracts for the assessment phase are expected before the end of the year for a 24-month assessment program ahead of selection of a winning proposal in 2019. The winners stand to earn $802 million from the project.
- An F-16 with the 416th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, USA, is carrying out risk-mitigation testing of the Joint Strike Missile (JSM), a fifth-generation, long-range, precision-guided, stand-off missile system designed by Kongsberg Defence Systems and being developed for the Norwegian armed forces. While the weapon will be eventually integrated on Norwegian F-35s, testing on the F-16 will allow for easier integration on the next-generation stealth fighter. The JSM is designed to be carried in the F-35A’s internal weapons bay and is the only powered, anti-surface warfare missile to do so according to Norwegian officials.
- The German high court will soon rule on Germany’s decision to lease a Heron TP UAV from IAI, following legal action mounted by rival bidder General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. Berlin decided earlier this year to lease the Israeli-made drone based on previous experience with the Heron I but met opposition from GA based on the fact that the decision was made without a competition. German sources have called the legal action “a very rude intervention in Germany’s sovereignty.”
- A Chinese company is to receive three Russian helicopters following an announcement at the Airshow China 2016. Jiangsu Baoli Aviation Equipment Co. is set to receive Mi-171A and Ka-32 helicopters as well as an Ansat light helicopter in a medevac configuration. Delivery is slated for next year.
- India is expected to announce its new blacklisting policy for foreign defense companies guilty of corruption next month. While the exact details are yet to be known, companies will not be given a blanket ban and will be allowed to participate in future competitions following the payment of an economic penalty. It remains to be seen whether the six foreign companies currently blacklisted under the current graft regime will be allowed back into the fold.
ANSAT Light multi-role helicopter:
Nov 03, 2016 00:58 UTC
- A number of F-35Bs will conduct developmental and operational testing aboard the USS America amphibious assault ship. Two of the Short Takeoff & Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant will be used in third phase development testing, evaluating the jet’s short take-off vertical landing operations in a high-sea state, shipboard landings, and night operations. Another five will undergo operational testing which involves the simulation of extensive maintenance on a ship. The USS America is the first ship of its class that incorporates design elements specifically to accommodate the new Joint Strike Fighter.
- Lockheed Martin has won a number of US Navy & USAF contracts for work on the Aegis Weapon System and F-22 Raptor aircraft. A $536 million deal will see Lockheed conduct sustainment services for the F-22 through to December 2017 while a $60 million award covers Aegis ship integration and test efforts for five new Arleigh Burke-class ships, as well as the modernization of five existing ships of that class. Completion of the Aegis contract is expected for November 2017.
- CACI International has landed a massive deal to support the US Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO). Valued at $1.7 billion, CACI will provide JIDO with deployable analytical operations, intelligence and training services to support the organization’s Focused Support/Decisive Effort mission worldwide. The deal will seek to enhance the ability of deploying joint forces to integrate capabilities, technologies and lessons learned against improvised-threat weapons, including improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.
Middle East & North Africa
- Israeli Air Force officials plan to have its fleet of F-35I “Adir” fighters operational as soon as possible, with service technicians due to visit the US in order to participate in a series of test flights manufacturer Lockheed Martin plans to perform at its Fort Worth, Texas facilities. The test flights aim to familiarise the crew with maintaining the fighter and preparing it for a combat mission and also includes a visit to the USAF’s base in Utah to observer operational procedures for the F-35. With the first two Israeli F-35s slated to arrive next month, immediate work is expected to begin on installing Israeli-developed systems.
- Swiss firm Pilatus is confident that a contract with the French government to sell Paris PC-21 trainers is very close. It’s expected that between 20-25 of the turboprop aircraft will be sold in a procurement deal designed to replace the French Air Force’s aged fleet of Dassault Alpha Jet trainers. A decision on the competition is expected in 2017 with the PC-21 the only trainer being offered by the two shortlisted consortia, respectively led by Airbus Defence & Space and Babcock. Leonardo’s Aermacchi M-345 had also been in the mix but did not make it to the competition’s latter stages.
- The UK’s finance minister has announced funding worth $2.3 billion in order to counter cyberattacks. Speaking at a technology conference in London on Tuesday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond added that “we will not only defend ourselves in cyberspace, we will strike back in kind when we are attacked.” The spending over the next five years represents a doubling of funding on cyberdefense in the 2011 to 2016 period.
- Planning to visit Crimea? Well, some of the Soviet-era tourist attractions once available may have been commandeered for Russian defense in the region. Previously abandoned Soviet missile bunkers, once open to the public (for a $50 fee), are now off limits as Moscow has blocked roads to the area which locals now believe “is a functioning military base with an anti-ship missile system.” The bunkers are just one of several previously abandoned military installations being used as the militarization of the Crimean peninsula continues, as reciprocal NATO buildups occur within Russia’s east European neighbors.
- AAI Corp has won a $206 million US Army contract to carry out work as part of Australia’s RQ-7B Shadow drone program. The foreign military sale includes contractor logistics sustainment services for Shadow, and is expected to be completed by October 2017. Australia’s first Shadow drones have been in operation since 2011 and provides reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and force protection for brigades in all weather and at all hours.
Higher quality look at Chinese J-20s: