First Flight of Boeing-Saab T-X Trainer Due Before 2017 | NG Completes Design Review for Tern UAS | Iraqis to Buy HQ-9 Surface to Air Missiles from ChinaDec 02, 2016 00:58 UTC
- Following the completion of afterburner engine runs last week, Boeing has announced that the first flight of the Boeing-Saab T-X trainer will take place before the end of the year. However, several tests remain to be carried out prior to the full flight, including low, medium, and high-speed taxi tests, as well as takoff, climb, and landing. The Boeing-Saab offering is one of the two clean sheet designs being offered to the USAF, the other being Northrop Grumman, as part of the T-X competition. Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin has partnered with KAI to offer the T-50A, a version of the Korean company’s T-50 trainer, while Raytheon has joined with Leonardo and CAE on the T-100, which uses Alenia Aermacchi M-346 as the basis.
- Northrop Grumman has announced the completion of two critical design reviews for the Tern UAS that it is designing alongside the Office of Naval Research, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Mid-October saw the NG team complete a critical design review for the vehicle’s General Electric engine, while the latest review covered its vehicle management system. The Tern program has been undertaken in order to develop a new UAS system that can be deployed from maritime platforms for surveillance and strike missions. It is also being designed to fly in vertical and horizontal modes.
- Norwegian UAS maker Prox Dynamics has been acquired by sensor developer FLIR Systems in a cash deal worth $134 million. Once finalized, FLIR will have access to the company’s product line, and will continue to develop new devices to support military and para-military intelligence operations. A specialist in covert surveillance systems, products offered include the pocket-sized Black Hornet aerial sensor, which can be hand-launched by soldiers on the battlefield to collect intelligence and support surveillance operations.
Middle East & North Africa
- The Iraqi government is reportedly set to finalize a deal to buy the HQ-9 long-range surface-to-air missile system from China. Valued at $2.5 billion, Baghdad is expected to finance the acquisition using credit from China, and paid for in installments of $833 million. The deal may also include Type 99 tanks and other Chinese military equipment.
- In response to the current missile testing by the Ukrainian military near Crimea, Russian warships have taken up position off the peninsula in order to improve their air defenses. The two-day exercises, which began yesterday, have angered Moscow, as their forces remain on high alert and fearful that international flights may be delayed. Ukrainian officials have dismissed the fears, saying the testing is being carried out in accordance with international law and does not threaten Crimean air space.
- A consortium led by state-run PGZ will provide six batteries of the PSR-A Pilica system to the Polish Ministry of Defense. Delivery of the anti-aircraft platforms will take place between 2019 and 2022, and will cost Warsaw $180 million. Plans to beef up all forms of air-defense capabilities has $9.5 billion earmarked for middle-range air and anti-missile defense systems, and a further $4.7 million available for short-range air-defense procurements.
- Australia’s government has issued a request for tender to three shortlisted designers for the production of their multibillion dollar Offshore Patrol Vessel program, with officials telling designers Damen, Fassmer and Luerssen that they must focus on local shipbuilding enterprises to support the project. Prospective contracts will cover 12 vessels and are slated to replace Australia’s Armidale-class patrol boats. The project is part of the Australian government’s $89 billion investment in naval ships and submarines over the next 20 years.
- Contracts have been signed between India and the US subsidiary of BAE Systems for the provision of of 145 M777A2 LW155 ultralight howitzers. The $737 million deal will see BAE partner with Indian private sector defense company Mahindra Defence Systems to assemble 120 ultralight howitzers, while the remaining 25 guns will be supplied over the next three years. Meanwhile, neighboring Pakistan’s own self-propelled howitzer competition is shaping up, with South Africa’s Denel and Serbia’s Yugoimport-SDPR offering their T5-52 and NORA B-52 guns respectively.
Overview video of Northrop Grumman’s Tern UAS: