Saab Starts T-7A Production | Elbit Systems Finished Hydrop Field Demonstration | Rheinmetall Commissioned To Extend Life Of Marder IFVsJan 22, 2020 05:00 UTC
Saab announced that the company had started assembly production of its section of the T-7A aircraft, the advanced trainer developed and produced together with Boeing for the United States Air Force. Production began on January 10, 2020. The Swedish company is responsible for the development and production of the aft fuselage section for the advanced trainer, with seven aft units being produced in Linköping, Sweden for final assembly at Boeing’s US facility in St. Louis, Missouri. The USAF announced the T-7 Red Hawk as winner of the USAF Advanced Jet Trainer competition in 2018. Formerly known as T-X, Boeing named the fighter T-7 Red Hawk in September, 2019. The T-7A Red Hawk introduces capabilities that prepare pilots for fifth generation fighters, including high-G environment, information and sensor management, high angle of attack flight characteristics, night operations and transferable air-to-air and air-to-ground skills.
Lockheed Martin announced in a press release that two US Air Force F-35s were integrated with the US Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System, providing an airborne sensor capability to successfully detect, track and intercept near simultaneous air-breathing threats in a test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. In December 2019, the F-35s were used as sensors during an IBCS live fire test against multiple airborne targets for the first time. Linking F-35s to IBCS via the Multifunction Advanced Data Link provided enhanced situational awareness and weapons-quality track data to engage airborne targets. The proof of concept demonstration reportedly used experimental equipment developed by Lockheed Martin, including the Harvest Lightning Ground Station and IBCS adaptation kit. The F-35 is a stealthy, supersonic multi-role fighter.
Middle East & Africa
Elbit Systems said it completed a successful field demonstration of its patented Hydrop system. The system is a solution enabling high-altitude high-precision aerial firefighting. The field demonstration reportedly took place recently as part of an exercise led by the Israel Fire and Rescue Authority. During the exercise two Air Tractor aircraft from the Israeli Fire Fighting Squadron were directed to extinguish a burning field, from as high as 500 ft.. The Israeli company claims its Hydrop system allows crews to operate safely at night for the first time. Most aviation authorities ban low-altitude water drops during darkness for safety reasons. Elbit carried out its demonstration with the Israeli firefighting squadron late last year, using two of the squadron’s Air Tractor AT-802F aircraft. A total of 1.6t of 140g biodegradable liquid pellets were released over a burning field in a “computed ballistic trajectory”. It says the exercise achieved “a precise hit”, with saturation of between 1 lit and 2 lit.
The German Bundeswehr commissioned Rheinmetall to take further measures to extend the service life of the Marder infantry fighting vehicle. “In order to keep the tracked vehicles ready for use in the coming years, the drive train of the 71 Marder 1A5 vehicles will be replaced“, the company said in a press release. Rheinmetall will be supplying the German military with a total of 78 conversion kits as well as vehicle tool kits and special tools, logistical support, an initial store of spare parts, and training and instruction. The deal is worth approximately $122 million. As a first step in replacing the drivetrain, a new powerpack will be installed in all of the vehicles, which will boost the Marder’s engine output from 600 to over 750 HP.
Japan will launch its eighth Intelligence Gathering System reconnaissance satellite into space on January 27. This satellite will be equipped with an electro-optical camera. Japanese satellite and space industry company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) announced that an MHI H-IIA satellite launch vehicle will send the IGS reconnaissance satellite into orbit from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture. The IGS satellite will reportedly carry an electro-optical camera. Japan currently operates five high-resolution synthetic aperture radar imaging and two electro-optical IGS satellites that monitor military activities by North Korea and China, to include ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests, naval activities in the South China Sea, East China Sea, the Sea of Japan, and the Western Pacific Ocean.
India’s Ministry of Defense approved the procurement of indigenously developed equipment worth $716.6 million for the Indian Army on January 21. The MoD’s Defense Acquisition Council gave the OK for the acquisition of an undisclosed number of electronic warfare (EW) systems that will be designed by the state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation and manufactured locally. The IA will deploy these systems in the country’s plains and desert regions to provide comprehensive electronic support and counter-measure capabilities to field formations.
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