The Air Force deployed four B1-B Lancer bombers and 200 airmen to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, from Texas for training operations. Three Lancers flew to Guam while one flew east of Japan to conduct training with US Navy assets operating in the region before heading to Andersen AFB, the Air Force said in a statement. The aircraft and personnel are part of the 9th Bomb Squad, 7th Bomb Wing of Dyess Air Force Base in Texas. The length of the deployment was not announced. B-1s, which can carry a larger missile payload than B-52 bombers, were last deployed to the Indo-Pacific region in 2017. “Deployments like this allow our airmen to enhance the readiness and training necessary to respond to any potential crisis or challenge across the globe,” Col. Ed Sumangil, 7th Bomber Wing commander, said in the statement. “It also provides a valuable opportunity to better integrate with our allies and partners through joint and combined operations and exercises.”
Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Missiles & Defense will partner to develop the Defense Department’s next missile interceptor, the companies announced. The joint effort is in pursuit of of a US Missile Defense Agency contract to replace the Redesigned Kill Vehicle program, which was abruptly cancelled in August 2019. Two bidders will be selected to compete for the Next Generation Interceptor program, a $664.1 million project of the MDA. The Pentagon formally issued a request for proposals in April, and will accept bids until July 31.The US military currently uses Raytheon’s Exo-Atmospheric Kill Vehicle, which uses a ground-based interceptor missile to boost it to an intercept trajectory. It then separates from the boost vehicle and using its own rockets to correct the trajectory, collides with an incoming warhead, known as hit-to-kill.
Middle East & Africa
The Israel’s Ministry of Defense ordered 6.6-pound drones for its ground forces working in urban areas. The Rafael Spike Firefly is a “loitering munition,” also known as a kamikaze drone or suicide drone, a category in which the single-use munition loiters airborne in a target area, searches for targets, and attacks once one is located, exploding on contact. The munition weighs about 6.6 pounds. It fills a niche between cruise missiles and unmanned combat aerial vehicles, although the system chosen by the IDF is notably small and transportable by a single soldier.
General Dynamics Electric Boat won a $60.6 million contract to provide US Trident II Strategic Weapon System (SWS) ship alterations and United Kingdom SWS ship alterations for Strategic Systems Program shipboard integration installations. The Trident missile is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) equipped with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV). Originally developed by Lockheed Missiles and Space Corporation, the missile is armed with thermonuclear warheads and is launched from nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). Trident missiles are carried by fourteen United States Navy Ohio-class submarines, with American warheads, as well as four Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines, with British warheads. The missile is named after the mythological trident of Neptune. Work will take place Washington, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Scotland and England. Estimated completion will be by April 2024.
Serbia’s 3rd missile battalion of the 250th Air Defense Missile Brigade has been equipped with the Pantsir-S1E self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile system. Serbian President Aleksandar Vu?i? visited the unit on the 21st anniversary of the shot down of USAF chief of staff Gen. David Goldfein on May 2. Goldfein’s F-16 was hit by a S-125 missile fired by the unit.
Boeing Australia has rolled out the first of three Loyal Wingman prototype unmanned aircraft. The aircraft will make its maiden flight this year. It’s the first of three prototypes for Australia’s Loyal Wingman Advanced Development Program, and the first aircraft to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years. Loyal Wingman drones are meant to provide fighter-like performance with the capacity to fly more than 2,000 nautical miles (2,300 statute miles). The prototype unveiled today will now begin ground testing, with taxi tests and flight tests due later this year.
Watch: Check Out Israel’s Newest AIr Defense Technology