NATO exercise sees SM-6 intercept | Bulgaria drops Gripen, requests info on F-16s and Eurofighters | SK, US, and Japan, start missile tracking drillOct 25, 2017 05:00 UTC
- Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $14.7 million US Air Force (USAF) contract to enhance the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast out system, among other parts of the communications system on the C-5. Work to be undertaken include C-5 communications, navigation, surveillance/air traffic management engineering and manufacturing development program and incorporates the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast out technology. Work will be completed at Marietta, Ga., and is expected to be completed by September 25, 2019. Lockheed’s C-4 Galaxy has been in service since 1970 and is one of the world’s largest transport aircraft.
- The crew testing an Embraer KC-390 prototype aircraft had to request an early return to base after completing stall tests on the aircraft. Conducted on October 12, the routine test was part of Embraer’s flight certification efforts for the KC-390 ahead of deliveries next year, however, during the flight, decreased lift force caused an altitude loss that would prematurely call the KC-390 crew back to the firm’s manufacturing and flight test centre at Gavião Peixoto, Brazil. No further details on the incident were given. The tactical transport and tanker aircraft is expected to enter service with the Brazilian Air Force in 2018 with Brasilia expected to receive a total of 28 units.
Middle East & Africa
- Advanced Technology Systems Co. of McLean, Va. has been awarded a $64 million firm-fixed-price, cost reimbursable, and time-and-materials contract for Egyptian border security. Under the terms of the deal, the firm will provide Cairo with a mobile surveillance sensor security system to support the Egyptian Board Guard mission of securing Egypt’s national borders from international terrorist organizations that may travel into the region from Iraq, Sudan, Libya or Chad. Work will take place at its subsidiary, STARA Technologies Corp., Gilbert, Arizona, with a scheduled completion time set for August 20, 2019.
- A NATO-led international ballistic missile defense exercise off of the coast of Scotland concluded with the successful interception of a medium-range missile with a Standard Missile-3. Known as Formidable Shield, the exercise ran from September 24 to October 17 with participants from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain and the United States, and was designed to assess the capabilities of allied ballistic missiles and air warfare defenses at sea, with the goal of improving NATO allies’ ability to respond to incoming threats. During the SM-3 test, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) successfully detected, tracked and intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target with a Standard Missile-3 Block IB guided missile. Simultaneously, the Spanish frigate SPS Alvaro de Bazan (F101) fired an Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) against an incoming anti-ship cruise missile while the Netherlands frigate HNLMS Tromp (F803) fired ESSMs against a pair of incoming anti-ship cruise missiles. Manufacturer Raytheon added that the first land-based version of the SM-3 to became operational in Romania in 2016, and a site in Poland is expected to be in service by next year.
- The US State Department’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of the potential foreign military sale of 12 Bell UH-1Y twin-engine, medium-sized utility helicopters to the Czech Republic. If approved, the Central European nation will be the first foreign operator of the rotorcraft. Valued at an estimated $575 million, the package includes 25 T-700 GE 401C engines, 13 Honeywell Embedded GPS/INS systems and 12 7.62mm M240 Machine Guns. Other items requested by Prague include the Brite Star II FLIR system, aircraft survivability equipment, the AN/AAR-47 missile warning and laser detection system, AN/ALE-47 counter-measure dispensing systems, and joint mission planning systems. Bell Helicopter, Textron and General Electric Company will act as principal contractors on the deal.
- Bulgaria has pulled away from plans to procure eight JAS-39 Gripen fighter aircraft and will instead launch a new tender for new fighter aircraft. The Defense Ministry said it will request new offers from Portugal and Italy—who had previously offered second-hand F-16s and the Eurofighter Typhoon respectively—after the tender is officially filed in November. The decision to ditch the Gripen was made in early October following the release of a report from the special committee of the Bulgarian parliament, who called on the Cabinet to relaunch its MiG-29 fighter replacement tender despite the recommendation of a ministerial expert group that ranked the Gripen as the top choice. Approximately $899.8 million has been earmarked for the program.
- An Indian Air Force (IAF) official has made claims that the service is looking to end involvement with PAK-FA next-generation fighter aircraft program, urging the government to back out of the effort. The aircraft is a collaborative effort between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the Russian air giant, Sukhoi, but also involves work from various Russian design bureaus. The IAF source claimed that the “IAF is not keen to continue with the program,” and cited concerns such as an insufficient reduction in radar cross-section (RCS), especially in comparison to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, and difficulties in the Russia’s ability to demonstrate that it can produce the requisite technologies for 5th-generation fighters, such as electronic subsystems. Standing behind the program, however, is HAL, who is confident that the PAK-FA will succeed, arguing that the depth of technology-transfer being offered to India under the PAK-FA is not available elsewhere.
- South Korea and Japan have kicked off a two-day missile tracking drill on Tuesday, in anticipation of any missile or nuclear attacks from North Korea. the anti-missile drills have been conducted every few months since an agreement was made last year during a Security Consultative Meeting between South Korea and the United States. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the exercises will take place in coastal waters off South Korea and Japan and involves four Aegis-equipped ships from the three countries. No missiles will be fired during the exercise.
- Turkey’s Kargu rotary-wing kamikaze drone: