Navy uses ATARI to land Super Hornet at sea | US pitch to Turkey to drop S-400 & buy Patriot instead in vain | RBS-15 data leak was man with cellphoneApr 05, 2018 05:00 UTC
- Huntington Ingalls received Monday, April 2, a $179 million cost-plus-incentive-fee modification for for services related to production of the new USS Enterprise, the Navy’s third Ford-class aircraft carrier. The contract covers the procurement of the long-lead-time material for the USS Enterprise, which is currently within the fabrication phase of production. Work will be performed in Newport News, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by February 2027. The agreement follows a $55.8 million award announced by the Pentagon the previous Friday, which tasked Huntington with providing services to support the USS Gerald R. Ford, the class’ flagship vessel that is expected to leave on its first deployment in 2021. Work on this contract will occur in Hampton Roads, Va., and is expected to be complete in June 2019. Washington so far plans to build ten Ford-class carriers with three currently in various stages of construction.
- Last month saw a landing signals officer (LSO) successfully was able to remotely take over a F/A-18 Super Hornet on the glide path and bring it aboard an aircraft carrier for a touch-and-go. Taking place at sea on board the Nimitz-class USS Abraham Lincoln, the event was made possible by the use of an ATARI, or aircraft terminal approach remote inceptor, which allows LSOs to take over an aircraft from up to five miles away. Though not intended to be a primary method for recovering aircraft, it does provide a relatively inexpensive backup system in the case an LSO needs to step in and use their expertise and training to safely guide an aircraft. Along with the ATARI, a van outfitted with the ATARI system was brought aboard and setup behind the LSO platform to allow the engineers to watch the approaches in real-time, monitor safety-of-flight data and ensure passes were going smoothly. The van recorded flight data for engineers to analyze later and allowed the Air test and Evaluation Squadron VX-23 to test their system without having to install it Abraham Lincoln. No plans are yet in place for fleet-wide deployment.
Middle East & Africa
- Turkey has reaffirmed its commitment to buying the S-400 Triumf air defense system from Russia despite threats of sanctions from Western allies if the sale was to continue. The news comes as the US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Tina Kaidanow, who heads the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the State Department, was in Ankara to attend the 5th gathering of Turkey—US Defence Trade Dialogue, following a 2-year hiatus, where the US delegation had offered to sell Turkey the Patriot missile system as an alternative to the S-400. Previous negotiations over Patriots have stalled over issues such as the price and technology transfer. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirum, however, said last week that Turkish efforts to buy the Patriot system would continue, but added, “These are not an alternative to the S-400. Turkey has already made its S-400 decision.” This sentiment was echoed by Turkey’s strongman President Tayyip Erdogan at a press conference in Ankara on Tuesday, who said that his government could cooperate with Russia on defense projects besides the S-400 missile defense system, without giving any further details. Russian media quoted its President Vladimir Putin as saying the S-400 deal was a priority in military cooperation between Moscow and Ankara.
- Swedish media reports that sensitive data on the RBS-15 anti-ship missile system has been freely available online since 2017. According to the daily newspaper Aftonbladet, the data was obtained by a regular visitor to the War Archive in Stockholm who then took pictures of hundreds of pages of data using his mobile phone and posted it on a website. The information was subsequently posted on a Russian forum. Designed by Saab Bofors Dynamics, the RBS-15 is a is a long-range fire-and-forget surface-to-surface and air-to-surface, anti-ship missile. It arms various naval vessels as well as Saab’s JAS-39 Gripen fighter. An extended-range variant is being developed for the Gripen E will also come with an upgraded seeker and will have a reduced launch weight and increased range compared to earlier incarnations.
- The radar that will operate with the S-500 air defense missile system has been unveiled to the public for the first time. Known as the Yenisei, the phase-array radar was shown by the Rossiya-1, with the report also showing footage of the newly upgraded Pantsir SM short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system. While not much public information is available about the Yenisei, Sputnik News says it features a phased-array antenna to spot and track aerial targets across an entire range of altitudes, provide “friend or foe” identification and determine priority targets. When working in automatic mode, the radar is capable of identifying four types of objects: planes, helicopters, drones and missiles. The S-500, is also billed as the only missile defense system around capable of engaging hypersonic targets.
- The Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) KUH-1 Surion helicopter has wrapped up several months of de-icing tests in the US, with the helicopter on its way back to South Korea. Testing took place at Sawyer International Airport, Michigan, with staff from both KAI and the South Korean Army joining US Army personnel for the work. This is the second year in a row that Seoul has brought aircraft to Sawyer for testing.
- Chinese UAV experts have said that a drive to gain a carrier-borne UAV capability will need government support if it is to be successful. Speaking to a press conference on Monday, Shi Wen, the chief engineer and designer of China’s Caihong (CH) UAV series said that while there have already been “efforts to promote artificial intelligence (AI) for UAVs to allow manned aircraft to co-pilot UAVs,” he added that “considerable resources are needed in carrier-based UAV research,” so it would be risky to attempt without “government support.” Shi’s team is under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC), and his team has developed a series of UAVs, including the CH-3, CH-4 and the advanced CH-5, which can now engage in surveillance and attack missions. The CH series of drones is popular among nations along the Belt and Road initiative, especially in some Middle East and African countries, which have a huge demand for weapons.
- Russia complete’s third test-fire of 53T6M ABM interceptor: