Raytheon microwaves Drones | Aselsan introduces new AESA radar | Rafale most likely to win Indian Tender?May 03, 2019 05:00 UTC
The Air Force and Raytheon successfully conducted an exercise involving high-energy microwaves and guided lasers to shoot down drones. Raytheon’s advanced high power microwave (HPM) and mobile high energy laser (HEL) systems engaged and defeated multiple unmanned aerial system targets. The high energy laser system uses invisible beams of light to shoot down aerial targets, and the high-powered microwave bursts disrupt drone guidance systems. Its primary advantages are speed and a low cost per engagement. The weapons have been mounted on all-terrain vehicles specially made by Minnesota’s Polaris Industries for the military. Raytheon and the US. Air Force Research Laboratory have partnered on a $2 million contract to test and demonstrate high-power microwave and counter-UAV technologies.
The US Air Force conducted an airstrike targeting terrorist organization Islamic State’s assets at Wadi Ashai, Iraq using the F-35A Lightning II aircraft for the first time. The conventional take-off and landing fighter jets, performing the strike in support of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, used a Joint Direct Attack Munition to conduct the air strike to take out an entrenched Daesh tunnel network and weapons cache deep in the Hamrin Mountains. The strike marked the first combat employment of the F-35A. The F-35A aircraft were recently deployed from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, US, to Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE and joined the Combined Forces Air Component team in the CENTCOM area of operations (AOR) last month.
Collins Aerospace announced that it had supported the first end-to-end flight of General Atomic Aeronautical Systems’ MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft in civil airspace. The flight took place at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona on March 12. General Atomics used the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics system as part of the interface for the flight’s ground control station. The integration of the FAA-certified Pro Line Fusion into UAS ground control stations helps to bring together a multitude of data inputs such as weather, airspace information, mission data, SAR pattern flight management and notice to airmen notifications, providing real-time mission optimization and a common operating picture for the operator.
Middle East & Africa
Turkish company Aselsan finished integration of the PULAT Active Protections System to Turkish Army’s M60T main battle tanks. Aselsan developed PULAT to meet the emerging demand to protect against the increase of rocket (RPG) and anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) threats against tanks. PULAT detects anti-tank missiles or rockets approaching to the platform with its high technology radar and disables them at optimum range from the platform by utilizing Hard-Kill method. ASELSAN has also been developing the AKKOR active protection system for ALTAY main battle tanks. The system is currently undergoing field tests and will be delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces along with mass production ALTAY main battle tanks.
Aselsan introduced another new technology at the IDEF 19 in Istanbul, which started on April 30. The Turkish company showcased an active electronically scanned array (AESA) design that is being pitched for integration on the Turkish Air Force’s F-16 fleet. According to the company, the radar will be able to perform non-co-operative and automatic target recognition, while also featuring protection against radar frequency jamming, and has electronic support and electronic attack functions. Aselsan sees the radar competing with systems such as Northrop Grumman’s APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar on the domestic and export market.
Raytheon won a $159 million contract to support large-scale, live training exercises at the US Army’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) in Hohenfels, Germany. Raytheon developed the Mobile Instrumentation System technology that enables the distributed training. On the ground at JMRC, Raytheon provides a range of services including training area instrumentation, after action reviews and battlefield effects to increase training realism. The US Army Garrison Hohenfels Training Area is the largest US Army Europe maneuver training area and comes under the command of the Commanding General, Joint Multinational Training Center, Grafenwoehr.
In the May issue of Combat Aircraft Magazine, Journalist Angad Singh states that the French Rafale will most likely win India’s 2019 tender for 110 new warplanes. Since India already once ordered 36 Rafales as part of an earlier fighter tender, he explains: “With 36 aircraft already on order and the infrastructure in place for an additional 36, a case could certainly be made that training, basing and sustainment costs for additional aircraft would not be an impossible burden.“ This would be bad news for Lockheed Martin as the company is developing a new variant of its iconic F-16 single-engine fighter in order to compete in the tender. Other candidates for the Indian tender are the Saab Gripen from Sweden, the European Eurofighter Typhoon, the MiG-35 from Russia and the Boeing Super Hornet from the United States.
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