The US Navy completed guided flight tests for Raytheon’s Block 2A short-range, surface-to-air missile, the company announced in a press release This means the missile is ready for the Navy and Raytheon expects to deliver the RAM Block 2A by the end of the year. The RAM is a supersonic, lightweight, quick-reaction, fire-and-forget weapon. It is designed to destroy anti-ship missiles. The Block 2 variant has a larger rocket motor, advanced control section and an enhanced RF receiver capable of detecting the quietest of threat emitters. The improvements make the missile two and a half times more maneuverable, with one and a half times the effective intercept range, Raytheon says. The RAM is deployed on more than 165 ships in 11 countries, ranging from 500-ton fast attack craft to 95,000-ton aircraft carriers. The tests occurred at the Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, California, and from the Navy’s self-defense test ship off the coast of Southern California.
Lockheed Martin announced that it finished a demonstration of its radar solution for the US Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) program during a Sense-Off at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. In May, the Army requested proposals for prototypes after it had struggled to procure a new radar for its integrated air and missile defense system meant to replace the Patriot AMD system. Lockheed Martin completed a two-week-series of exercises showcasing how its new solution will meet the Army’s requirements for the LTAMDS system, while providing additional deployment strategies for the air and missile defense mission.
FlightGlobal reports that the US Air Force is still finding foreign object debris insight KC-46 Pegasus refueling tankers. Tools, rubbish and left-over parts, including loose nuts, are being found since Boeing first delivered the refuelers in January and revamped its inspection process. Assistant secretary of the Air Force, Will Roper cited „cultural issues“ as the root of the problem. Air Force stopped accepting the planes from Boeing in February until its inspection process was changed. Deliveries resumed in March and were halted again after the Air Force found more debris. Will Roper says, he expects all of the KC-46s are going to have foreign object debris.
Middle East & Africa
Israel will replace its own refueling tankers. The country made the first step towards replacing its old Boeing-707 tankers by submitting a Letter of Request to the US Government, for the acquisition of two new Boeing KC-46 refueling tankers. The request is for the acquisition of two aircraft with an option for the future acquisition of an additional six. Israel Defense reports that Airborne refueling tankers are vital for the Israel Air Force to extend its long strategic reach. They provide the Air Force with the ability to reach countries within the third, distant circle.
Saab relaunched the HMS Uppland. The Uppland is a Gotland Class Submarine. Two ships of the class now have concluded comprehensive mid-life upgrades. The Swedish Navy’s diesel-electric subs are the world’s first submarines to feature a Stirling engine air-independent propulsion system. This extends their underwater endurance from a few days to weeks. The mid-life upgrades saw the submarines receive an additional 2 meter hull section to accommodate the third generation of the Stirling air-independent propulsion engine and a diver lock-out chamber in addition to combat management and ship management systems upgrades. The updated version of Uppland and her sister ship Gotland are paving the way for the next generation of Swedish air independent propulsion submarines: the Blekinge Class, or A26.
The Philippine Navy commissioned two Leonardo AW159 Lynx Wildcat helicopters and four Korean Amphibious Assault Vehicles in a ceremony on June 17 at the Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Cavite City. The AW159 are part of a $101 million deal signed with Leonardo in 2016. They feature anti-submarine warfare capabilities and will serve with the Naval Air Wing’s Squadron MH-40 at the Danilo Atienza Air Base. The helicopters will be deployed from the José Rizal Class frigates, the first of which was launched on May 23 at the Ulsan facility of South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries. The four Korean Amphibious Assault Vehicles were ordered in April 2016 from South Korean defense company Hanwha Techwin.
A Kawasaki military transport aircraft of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force accidentally dropped 81mm mortar with supplies from the air during training in Shizuoka Prefecture. The incident happened during the training of the Ground Self-Defense Force 1st Airborne (Kuu Tei) team over the Higashi-Fuji Training Center. A C-1 transport aircraft accidentally dropped the mortar system. Though the accident was not life-threatening, the Self Defense Force announced they would do their best to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
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