RAF Eurofighter fires Brimstone | Turkey and Eurosam agree on missile defense system | SK prosecutors raid KAI officesJul 18, 2017 05:00 UTC
- Airbus Helicopters has received a $35.2 million contract modification for the supply of parts and logistical support for the US Army’s UH-72 Lakota light utility helicopter. The deal includes orders for spare parts and logistical support to account for higher flying hours by the UH-72 fleet than originally projected. Work will be conducted at Grand Prairie, Texas, with a scheduled completion date set at December 31, 2017. $35.2 million in 2017 Army operations and maintenance funds have been obligated for the project.
- The first Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer to be commissioned in five years has been named the USS John Finn, during a ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii. Named after US Navy sailor Chief John Finn, Finn had been awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the attack on Pearl Habor, and at the time of his death in 2010, was the oldest living recipient of the award. In preparation for the vessel’s commissioning, acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackly said that Finn “distinguished himself through heroic service to his fellow Sailors and our nation. I know the men and women who make up the crew of USS John Finn will carry his legacy forward with the same selfless service he distinguished more than 75 years ago.”
Middle East & North Africa
- Despite recently agreeing to purchase the S-400 air defense system from Russia, Turkey has also signed an initial agreement with the Franco-Italian Eurosam consortium for the development of a missile defense system. According to the deal, Turksh companies and Eurosam—which is owned by the multinational European missile maker MBDA and France’s Thales—will work together to produce SAMP/T Aster 30 long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, which is already in use in several NATO member countries. The SAMP/T Aster 30 system uses a network of sophisticated radars and sensors – including 3D phased array radar – enabling it to be highly effective against all types of air threats. The system can intercept missiles with a 600 kilometer range and it can operate in standalone mode or can be integrated in a coordinated network such as NATO missiles defense system.
- An investigation into fraud surrounding Austria’s 2003 purchase of Eurofighter jets has moved forward after Green party lawmaker Peter Pilz filed an official complaint with Vienna prosecutors against Daimler. Daimler, which was the parent company of Airbus’ predecessor EADS, is being accused by Pilz of deceiving the Austrian Economy Ministry about side deals intended to boost the local economy that were required by Vienna to agree the purchase. Pilz added that after years of research, they have “a seamless chain of evidence” that shows that new projects presented by firms tendering for the fighter contract were in fact already underway. Daimler company spokeswoman Ute Wueest von Vellberg said the criminal charges were unfounded.
- Russia’s next-generation fighter-interceptor jet is being designated the PAK DP, according to director general of the Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RSK MiG), Ilya Tarasenko. Research and development work of the aircraft is expected to start in 2019 and will replace the MiG-31 which is expected to be phased out of service in the next ten years and replaced by a more sophisticated warplane. Meanwhile, Russia’s next generation strategic bomber, known as the Advanced Long-Range Aviation Complex (PAK DA), is due to make its maiden flight in 2025-2026 and is expected to enter serial production shortly after.
- Following a series of flight trails earlier this year, a British Eurofighter Typhoon has test-fired a Brimstone air-to-surface missile for the first time. The missile’s integration is part of Phase 3 Enhancements developed for the jet in a wider a program known as Project Centurion, which aims to deliver a series of upgrades that will improve the strike abilities of RAF-operated Tornado GR4s and Typhoons. The missile is expected to enter service in 2018.
- Prosecutors in South Korea have raided the offices of the nation’s only aircraft manufacturer, Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), after allegations that the firm inflated the research and development costs of a weapons program. Although the project in question has yet to be officially revealed, South Korean media believe that the wrongdoing occurred during the development of the Surion helicopter, where KAI allegedly defrauded the state-run Defense Acquisition Program Administration out of $41.8 million. This marks the first investigation since reformist prosecutor Yoon Seok-yeol was appointed as head of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors‘ Office. Yoon was a member of an independent counsel team involved in the probe that impeached former President Park Geun-hye and her administration on corruption charges.
- The Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) has taken delivery of two overhauled F-7 jets as Chinese specialists help the island nation conduct overhauls of two further F-7 aircraft at the Aircraft Overhaul Wing located at SLAF base, Katunayake. It is expected that the Chinese will help with a number of further overhauls before withdrawing, leaving the SLAF with the capability to independently handle future work. While initial overhauls are being conducted solely on Chinese-made airframes—Columbo operates PT-6 trainers and Y-12 transport aircraft in addition to the F-7s—it may be possible to overhaul other aircraft as well. Sri Lanka currently has a number of Russian-made MiG-27s and the Israeli Kfirs, however, they are either grounded or deemed unserviceable.
- HALO jumps for the armchair general: