- The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) will test this week, the intercept of an intermediate-range ballistic missile target using the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. Despite being planned months ago, the test will garner added significance in the wake of North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 4, that has heightened concerns about the threat from Pyongyang throughout the region and beyond. The THAAD system being used for the test is deployed to Alaska, the only part of the United States within range of a North Korean ICBM.
- Colorado Engineering has won a $3 million contract to design, fabricate and test graphics processing units (GPU) for the F-35 Block 4 radar upgrade program. The long awaited Block 4 software update is expected to provide the F-35 with improved radar and electronic warfare systems, and allow the aircraft to carry additional weapons used by both the US military and other F-35 customers. Other additions include upgrading the Lockheed electro-optical targeting system and adding a wide-area high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mode – dubbed “– Big SAR” to the Northrop Grumman APG-81 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.
- Boeing has been awarded a $14.3 million modification to a existing foreign military sales contract for parts changes on CH-47F Chinooks used by the Netherlands and Turkey. The deal will coverobsolete parts changes to account for low- or non-existent production of spares for older model airframes. Work for the project will be conducted in Ridley Park, Penn., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 21, 2020.
- Piaggio has resumed flight testing of its P.1HH HammerHead UAV, after the first model crashed in May last year. The second prototype made a successful flight on July 5, at Birgi military airport in Trapani, Sicily. However, the company did not release any further information on either the recent flight or the planned flight test schedule. Piaggio so far have eight orders for the aircraft, to be delivered to the UAE from 2018, and an expression of “great interest” from the Italian military, who have been helping Piaggio by providing Italian bases for testing.
- Austria will be ditching the Eurofighter Typhoon from 2020 and will replace it with cheaper aircraft either bought or leased from another supplier, according to the Defense Ministry. The move comes as Vienna takes legal action against Airbus and the Eurofighter consortium for alleged deception and fraud in the procurement of the Eurofighter fourteen years ago. Maintenance costs, believed to be $5 billion during the Eurofighter fleet’s lifespan, is another factor for choosing another aircraft. The ministry added that by buying and operating a new fleet comprised of 15 single-seater and three twin-seater supersonic jets over the same period could be 2 billion euros cheaper than continuing its current program.
- Bulgaria has once again post-ponded discussions on procuring Gripen fighter aircraft, once month after Prime Minister Boyko Borissov signaled that the talks would start soon despite his criticism of Bulgaria’s previous interim government for announcing them. Now, an investigation will take place by a parliamentary commission into the interim government’s actions, which will also check whether President Rumen Radev influenced the process. Radev, who appointed the interim government after Borissov’s previous government resigned late last year, called the commission “a tribunal for political influence” and stressed that military experts had made the decision in favor of the Gripen aircraft.
- The Indian Defense Ministry is expected to soon release an Expression of Interest document for local firms to supply 110 light utility helicopters to the Indian Navy in conjunction with a foreign firm. A “Make in India” project, the procurement comes as New Delhi deemed the Ka-226T helicopters—manufactured by Russia and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)—unsuitable for its needs. Indian firms expected to be interested in the deal include Mahindra, L&T and Bharat Forge, along with foreign partners like Airbus Helicopters, Russian Helicopters, Sikorsky and Bell Helicopters.
- Australia now operates a full fleet of 12 Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft, after the first two units arrived in February. The aircraft will be based at Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley. Minister for Defense Marise Payne said that the Growlers “will work with Army and Navy to deliver a networked joint force able to maneuver and fight in the electromagnetic spectrum.” Australia is the only country outside of the US to operate the Growler, and has already conducted successful weapon firings and integration flights with RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornets and US Navy EA-18G Growlers as part of Operational Test and Evaluation.
- K-300P live-firing: