USN Retired Its Hornets | Iranian Army Unveiled Labeik Guidance Upgrade | Lithuanian Air Force Started Testing NASAMSOct 08, 2019 05:00 UTC
The US Navy has retired its fleet of Boeing F/A-18A-D Hornet combat aircraft from active service. The USN announced on October 2 that the final flight took place out of Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia. The retirement of the ‘classic’ Hornets brings 35 years of frontline service with the USN to an end and comes just over a year since the service performed its final carrier deployment of the type earlier in 2018. While the Hornet has been retired from the USN’s active unit inventory, it will remain operational with the Navy Reserve, the Blue Angels display team, and the US Marine Corps (USMC).
Raytheon announced the final stage for development of the Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool for the US Army. The EWPMT is a suite of software tools and applications which deliver capability enhancements to plan, coordinate and synchronize battlefield electronic warfare, spectrum management, and cyber operations. The service refers to the development stages as “capability drops,” and Raytheon’s CD4 is the final stage of fully operational capability. The tool features a software interface overlaid onto a physical map, allowing soldiers to visually manage their signal output in the electromagnetic spectrum, and then use the tool against threats in a tactical environment. “EWPMT gives the Army the freedom to add new capabilities and algorithms so they can manage an increasingly complex electromagnetic spectrum,” said Niraj Srivastava, product line manager for Raytheon Electronic Warfare Systems. “And because it uses open architecture, the tool can be shared with other military services.”
Middle East & Africa
The Iranian Army unveiled what appeared to be a new guidance upgrade called the Labeik that converts existing artillery rockets into surface-to-surface missiles on October 3, Jane’s reports. Several Labeik units were displayed in an event attended by General Mohammad Hossein Dadras, the deputy commander of the regular military, and Brigadier General Kioumars Heidar, the commander of its ground forces. The system looked similar to the guidance units used with the Fateh-110 family of solid-propellent missiles. However, its four triangular control surfaces were inverted. As with the Fateh-110 family, these would be attached between the rocket motor and warhead to steer the projectile. They appeared to be compatible with the 610 mm diameter of the Zelzal heavy artillery rocket.
Airmen from the Lithuanian Air Force have started testing the NASAMS medium-range air defense system at the Kongsberg factory in Norway. The tests will run until February 2020. The system will then be delivered to Lithuania by the end of 2020. The trials will assess technical and tactical conformity of NASAMS components to the determined weaponry specification. The tests will run until February 2020 and test all the NASAMS components – missile launchers, radars, electro-optical sensors, components of integration with the RBS70 short-range air defense systems, communication, and control components, and vehicles. The contract for procuring the NASAMS mid-range air defense system for the Lithuanian Air Force was signed by the Ministry of National Defense and Norway’s Kongsberg NASAMS manufacturer on October 26, 2017.
Elbit Systems won a $153 million contract to supply an Army of a country in Southeast Asia with a comprehensive, multi-layered array of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The contract will be performed over a 22-month period. Under the deal, Elbit Systems will supply a networked multi-layered UAS solution, including more than a thousand THOR Multi-Rotor Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) mini-UAS, scores of Skylark LEX, Skylark 3 and Hermes 450 tactical UAS as well as Universal Ground Control Stations. The THOR vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) Mini – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) is a low altitude multi-rotor platform, designed for a wide range of surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Built from the ground up, THOR features a real-time HD data link and unique control software.
The Royal Thai Air Force intends to replace its F-16A/B fleet at Wing 1 and a committee will soon be formed to draft the Concept of Project Requirements (COPR). Air Force chief ACM Maanat Wongwat has indicated that the successful bidder will have to allow Thailand to access the software code of the fighter in order to develop it for its own needs. Air Force commander ACM Maanat Wongwat said the Air Force has a policy of not purchasing “ready-made” aircraft, and the F-35 manufacturer has yet to sell its jet to a buyer who wants to participate in the development of the fighter jets’ software programs. “We are implementing a ‘purchase-and-develop’ policy in our procurement plans, which we intend to begin enforcing in the next 3-5 years,” said the air force chief, who took up the post this month.
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