The US government is ready to send its newest spy satellite, NROL-129, into space on July 15 using a Minotaur 4 rocket. The payload, was craned on top of the former LGM-118 Peacekeeper missile, at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport last week. The launch window is expected to be opened at 1300GMT. NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility plans to provide a live stream of the event. This is the first Minotaur liftoff in nearly three years.
A task force focused on issues of racism, sexism and other biases in the branch was announced by the US Navy this week. “Task Force One Navy” will be led by Rear Admiral Alvin Holsey, who will report his findings to the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mike Gilday, through the Navy’s Chief of Personnel, Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, the Navy said on Tuesday. A video released last week to Navy personnel, included statements by enlisted Black sailors, commenting on racial and sexual biases they have encountered. At the end, Gilday appears, commenting in part that “as sailors, and as a Navy, we cannot tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind.”
Middle East & Africa
Arab News reports that an agreement has been signed between the General Directorate of Border Troops of Saudi Arabia and the local Military Industry Corporation on the production of joint armored vehicles. The head of the Military Industry Corporation, which is part of Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Military Industry, said that the standard engine tests of the Dahna armored vehicle, which will be produced jointly with the Border Troops, have been completed in accordance with international classification. “The Dahna armored vehicle with a 4 × 4 wheel formula is a multi-purpose vehicle suitable for all conditions and military operations,” he said.
Serbia unveiled its CH-92A UCAVs. A video report noted: “At the military airport Colonel pilot Milenko Pavlovi? presented unmanned aerial vehicles that arrived from China a few days ago. The Air Force of Serbia received the first part of the delivery of 6 CH-92A aircraft, which will carry two FT-8C missiles with a range of 6.8 km. An agreement was also made to take over the technology used by the CH-92A for a domestically produced BPL of the ‘Pegasus’ type. The Pegasus will also carry two missiles, but for the lower class of the FT-8D type with a range of 5 km. It is expected that in the middle of 2021, the Air Force of Serbia will receive the entire squadron of Pegasus.”
The Japanese government is said to be considering a suggestion to put the Aegis Ashore system on a floating platform out at sea. However, the idea is met with skepticism by some as the floating base is vulnerable to tsunami and from torpedo attacks. Another suggestion was to have two more Aegis-equipped destroyers added to the fleet but the challenge is finding enough personnel to man those warships. One solution proposed was to have Ground Self-Defense Force personnel deployed on board the ships. But having more Aegis warships will not allow Japan to deploy them around the clock as the ships cannot operate effectively during bad weather. Japan announced on June 15 to suspend the Aegis Ashore program as it cannot guarantee that the SM-3’s Mk72 booster can safely drop inside the base in Yamaguchi Prefecture.
News reports from Japan reportedly say the governments of Japan and United States have started talks on how to proceed with the former’s F-X fighter program. According to the reports, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Lockheed Martin are involved as well. It is said that the other two American companies are Boeing and Northrop Grumman. While Lockheed’ strength is in stealth technology, Boeing has considerable knowledge on composite materials while Northrop can contribute in radar and electronic warfare technology.
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