The Air Force, along with with partners Lockheed Martin and Boeing, completed work on the last of 247 planes in the F-22 Structural Repair Program, officials at Hill Air Force Base in Utah announced on Wednesday. Structural modifications, made by the 574th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron of the Ogden Air Logistics Complex, to the F-22 Raptor added flying serviceability of the fighter plane by an estimated 8,000 hours, according to the Air Force.
Lockheed Martin won a $11.4 million deal, which provides engineering and logistics services in support of the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft program to monitor and manage fatigue and obsolescence issues and operational and/or technical problems arising from P-3 fleet usage for the Navy, Foreign Military Sales customers and other US government agencies. The P-3C Orion land-based maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft was first operational in the US Navy in 1962. The P-3C first entered service in 1969 and has been continuously upgraded and updated with new avionics systems and mission equipment. More than 700 P-3 aircraft have been built by Lockheed Martin. The aircraft is operational in the airforces of ten countries. Work will take place in Marietta, Georgia and is expected to be finished in January 2026.
Middle East & Africa
The Times reports that a Pantsir-S1 air defense missile system was captured in Libya and turned over to the United States. A C-17 was sent to Zuwara airport last June to bring the system to Germany. The operation was ordered amid concerns that the Pantsir S-1 missile battery, which can easily bring down civilian aircraft, could fall into the hands of militias or arms smugglers in the war-torn north African country.
A detachment of Spanish Air Force Eurofighter combat aircraft and support staff arrived at Mihail Koglaniceanu Air Base on January 25, marking the service’s first operational deployment to Romania in support of NATO. Six EdAE Eurofighters and 130 personnel arrived at the base on Romania’s Black Sea coast, from where they will perform NATO’s Southern Air Policing mission through to the end of March. “This is the first time that Spain has sent [its] fighters to the southeast of NATO’s territory to support the alliance’s deterrence and defense measures,” NATO’s Allied Air Command said.
Draken International has rebranded its recently acquired Cobham Group Aviation Services UK business, changing the name of the UK-based aviation training provider to Draken Europe. The change has been made to differentiate the business from the Draken US branch of Draken International, and comes four months after the Aviation Services UK business was divested by Cobham Group on 25 September 2020.
Assault ship HMS Albion has transferred the duty of Royal Navy Fleet Flagship to aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. As Fleet Flagship, HMS Queen Elizabeth will carry senior naval staff, receive foreign dignitaries, and act as a command and control centre for other Royal Navy vessels. In the last few decades, the flagship has usually been an aircraft carrier but in 2010 the flagship became assault ship HMS Albion, assault ship HMS Bulwark in 2011, helicopter carrier HMS Ocean in June 2015 and then back to HMS Albion in 2018.
Bell Boeing Joint Project Office won a $25.5 million, which adds scope for the production and delivery of nine right aft sponson fuel tank kits in support of V-22 Production Aircraft 9-17 for the government of Japan. Additionally, this modification provides development and updates to existing technical data as well as services in support of aircraft deliveries and aircrew pilot and crew chief training for the government of Japan. The V-22 Osprey is a joint-service, medium-lift, multimission tilt-rotor aircraft developed by Boeing and Bell Helicopters. Boeing is responsible for the fuselage, landing gear, avionics, electrical and hydraulic systems, performance and flying qualities. Work will take place in North Carolina, Japan, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and Texas. Estimated completion will be in March 2024.
Watch: The Ultimate Supersonic Interceptor – F-106 Delta Dart
Latest updates[?]: Lockheed Martin won a $11.4 million deal, which provides engineering and logistics services in support of the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft program to monitor and manage fatigue and obsolescence issues and operational and/or technical problems arising from P-3 fleet usage for the Navy, Foreign Military Sales customers and other US government agencies. The P-3C Orion land-based maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft was first operational in the US Navy in 1962. The P-3C first entered service in 1969 and has been continuously upgraded and updated with new avionics systems and mission equipment. More than 700 P-3 aircraft have been built by Lockheed Martin. The aircraft is operational in the airforces of ten countries. Work will take place in Marietta, Georgia and is expected to be finished in January 2026.
P-3 Orion, armed –
The P-3 Orion remains the USA’s main maritime patrol aircraft, and is also finding use in overland surveillance roles despite the fleet’s age. Earlier DID articles have noted the extra effort required to preserve the USA’s P-3C Orion maritime surveillance & patrol aircraft, along with radar and weapons upgrades to improve the fleet. Lockheed has even opened a new production line, to deal with planes whose wings that are so aged and worn that they need a full replacement.
The SMIP (Sustainment, Modification, and Installation Program) is intensive depot-level inspection and repair process that includes P-3 airframe and component inspection, identification of problems, and corrective maintenance. The idea is to ensure safe and reliable P-3 use, while trying to get more hours out of each airframe in order to sustain dwindling global fleets. More intensive “MIP” efforts may be launched once inspection results become clear, such as the USA’s P-3 recovery plan and full “ASLEP” re-winging efforts underway in Norway and Canada.
The 5th-generation F-22A Raptor fighter program has been the subject of fierce controversy, with advocates and detractors aplenty. On the one hand, the aircraft offers full stealth, revolutionary radar and sensor capabilities, dual air-air and air-ground SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) excellence, the ability to cruise above Mach 1 without afterburners, thrust-vectoring super-maneuverability… and a ridiculously lopsided kill record in exercises against the best American fighters. On the other hand, critics charged that it was too expensive, too limited, and cripples the USAF’s overall force structure.
Meanwhile, close American allies like Australia, Japan and Israel, and other allies like Korea, were pressing the USA to abandon its “no export” policy. Most already fly F-15s, but several were interested in an export version of the F-22 in order to help them deal with advanced – and advancing – Russian-designed aircraft, air-to-air missiles, and surface-to-air missile systems. That would have broadened the F-22 fleet in several important ways, but the US political system would not or could not respond.
This DID FOCUS Article tracks continuing maintenance and fleet upgrade programs, contracts, and timely news. A separate public-access feature offers a profile of the USAF’s most advanced fighter, and covers both sides of the F-22 Raptor program’s controversies.
BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin each won a contract modification in support of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. BAE Systems won $81.3 million to procure 1,512 radio frequency countermeasures for Lot 12 of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft in support of non-US Department of Defense participants, Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers and for the Navy. Lockheed received $64.1 million for the procurement of Digital Channelized Receiver/Techniques Generator and Tuner Insertion program technology to upgrade F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft with Digital Tuner Insertion Program electronic warfare racks and high efficiency low voltage power supply. BAE Systems will perform work in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California and New Jersey. Estimated completion will be in March 2024. Lockheed Martin will perform work in Texas and is expected to be finished in June 2025.
Sierra Nevada Corp. won a $29.8 million contract modification for the MC-130J Airborne Mission Networking program low rate initial production. This order provides for the procurement of production kits, spares and weapon system trainer support. The MC-130J Commando II is a special operations transport that also flies clandestine, or low visibility, single or multiship, low-level air refueling missions for special operations helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft, and infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces by airdrop or airland intruding politically sensitive or hostile territories. Work will take place in Colorado. Estimated completion date is January 19, 2023.
Middle East & Africa
Collins Aerospace won an estimated $27 million deal for KC-135 Aero-I satellite communications replacement. This contract provides to identify, develop, integrate and test a commercial off the shelf Iridium Satellite Communication system to replace the current C/KC-135 International Marine/Maritime Satellite system. The deal involves optional Foreign Military Sales to Turkey and France. Fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $3,800,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity. Work will take place in Iowa and Oklahoma. Estimated completion date is July 31, 2026.
According to the British Ministry of Defense, Spearfish and Sting Ray torpedoes are receiving a £230 million ($315 million) maintenance uplift as part of a new contract. The Torpedoes Repair and Maintenance (TRAM) contract will run for six years. TRAM supersedes the Torpedo Capability Contract (TCC) with BAE Systems which ran for 10 years. Spearfish torpedoes – which use sonar to home in on targets – are carried by the Royal Navy’s Astute class and Trafalgar class hunter-killer submarines and the nuclear deterrent Vanguard class to neutralize underwater and surface threats. While Sting Ray torpedoes are deployed on Anti-Submarine Warfare mission, including frigates, Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.
Pakistan has received five Cai Hong 4 (Rainbow 4, or CH-4) multirole medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles from China, according to export-import (EXIM) logs on the Pakistan Exim Trade Info website. The UAVs, which were delivered by Chinese defense contractor Aerospace Long-March International Trade Co Ltd, arrived in the South Asian country on 15 January, according to the website. It is unclear, however, which variant of the CH-4 was ordered by Islamabad, and whether this delivery is part of a larger UAV order or just a limited acquisition of this UAV type, possibly for testing.
The Indian Navy and the Republic Singapore Navy have signed a bilateral submarine rescue agreement, establishing mutual underwater emergency assistance between the two services. The agreement, which is known as the Submarine Rescue Support and Co-operation Implementing Arrangement, was signed at the fifth iteration of the India-Singapore defense minister’s dialogue that was held via video conference on January 20. The RSN currently operates a fleet of two Archer-class and two Challenger-class diesel-electric submarines and is anticipating the delivery of four new Type 218SG boats from Germany. The service also operates the 84 m submarine rescue ship, Swift Rescue , which is capable of conducting intervention and hyperbaric rescue operations.
Watch: The Royal Navy Has Developed The World’s Most Advanced Torpedo
Alabama Shipyard LLC won a $19.7 million contract for a 76-calendar day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul/dry docking on USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1). USNS Lewis and Clark is an American dry cargo ship, the lead ship of her namesake class.The contract to build her was awarded to National Steel and Shipbuilding Company of San Diego, California, on 18 October 2001 and her keel was laid down on April 22, 2004. Work will take place in Mobile, Alabama. Estimated completion date will be by May 24, 2021.
The US Army is using 3D printing technology to produce N95 respirators, the chief of the Defense Department’s medical technology office said on January 25. Air Force Maj. Gen. Daniel Williams, of the US Army Medical Materiel Development Activity’s Warfighter Expeditionary Medicine and Treatment Project Management Office, said his primary task involves assisting Defense Department commercial partners in producing respirators that comply with military needs. While the companies have experience in 3D modeling of products, many have “never manufactured medical devices,” Williams said.
Middle East & Africa
US Marines from the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command worked alongside US Airmen from the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing during a recent Tactical Air Forward Arming and Refueling Point (TACAIR FARP) exercise at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. During the exercise, a Marine KC-130J Hercules refueled an Air Force F-16 in a simulated austere location.
Greece has signed the contract to buy 18 Rafale fighters. Theodoros Lagios, General Director of Armament and Investments of the Greek Ministry of Defense, and Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation signed the paperwork on January 25. Dassault says deliveries of aircraft will be begin in the summer of 2021 and will be spread over two years.
Australia’s government has announced that it will spend $1 billion to give the Royal Australian Navy long-range anti-ship missiles, extended range surface-to-air missiles, advanced light weight torpedoes, and maritime land strike capabilities. Defense Minister Linda Reynolds’ press release says this will help the nation enhance its maritime security. The anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles will have range greater than 370km while the maritime land strike missiles has a range of more than 1,500km. Australia will start investing in the development of the Standard Missile 2 Block IIIC and the Standard Missile 6 Block 1 missiles and continue its long-term investment and key contribution to the Evolved SEASPARROW Block 2 missile program.
According to the BBC, fifteen Chinese aircraft entered Taiwanese airspace over the weekend in a show of force regarded as a test of President Joe Biden’s foreign policy resolve. While over 380 Chinese military flights into the island’s air defense identification zone were recorded in 2020, Saturday’s incursion involved eight Chinese bombers, four fighter planes and an anti-submarine aircraft. Sunday’s operation included 12 fighter planes, two anti-submarine planes and a reconnaissance plane.
Latest updates[?]: Alabama Shipyard LLC won a $19.7 million contract for a 76-calendar day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul/dry docking on USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1). USNS Lewis and Clark is an American dry cargo ship, the lead ship of her namesake class.The contract to build her was awarded to National Steel and Shipbuilding Company of San Diego, California, on 18 October 2001 and her keel was laid down on April 22, 2004. Work will take place in Mobile, Alabama. Estimated completion date will be by May 24, 2021.
Warships get a lot of attention, but without resupply, an impressive-looking fleet becomes a hollow force. The US Navy’s supply and support fleet has been aging, and needed new vessels. T-AKE is part of that effort, and the ships have also found themselves performing “naval diplomacy” roles.
The entire T-AKE dry cargo/ ammunition ship program could have a total value of as much as $6.2 billion, and a size of 14 ships, as the US looks to modernize its supply fleet. How do T-AKE ships fit into US naval operations? What ships do they replace? What’s the tie-in to US civilian industrial capacity? How were environmental standards built into their design? And what contracts have been issued for T-AKE ships to date?
Northrop Grumman won a $3.6 billion deal for Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) operations, sustainment and support. The contract provides for research, development, test, and evaluation, integration and operations and sustainment for existing and future payloads contained in or connected to the BACN system and associated ground stations or controls, ancillary equipment, support equipment and system integration laboratories. BACN is a US Air Force airborne communications relay and gateway system housed in the unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawk, another Northrop Grumman product, to receive and distribute battlefield communications. It is designed to increase the range of voice communications in mountainous terrain by relaying the signal over an extended distance. It can also act as a bridge between frequencies, enabling a convoy commander on a frequency-limited radio to talk with a supporting close-air-support asset on a different frequency. Work will take place in San Diego, California. Expected completion date is January 24, 2026.
Woodward HRT Inc. won a maximum $9.7 million deal for F-15 rotary vane assemblies. The Boeing F-15E dual-role fighter is an advanced long-range interdiction fighter and tactical aircraft. The F-15E is the latest version of the Eagle, a Mach 2.5-class twin-engine fighter. Work under the contract will take place in California. Ordering Period End Date is April 1, 2025. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
Middle East & Africa
According to local news, Israel is giving the US the green light to place Iron Dome batteries in the gulf region. Israel is not revealing the countries in which the batteries will be deployed. Following the signing of the Abraham Accords, the US is expected to place Iron Dome air defense batteries in the Persian Gulf area soon, in a move coordinated with and approved by senior Israeli officials, the Haaretz newspaper’s Yaniv Kubovich reported, quoting defense officials. The reporter pointed out that Israel is not revealing the countries in which the batteries will be deployed, and the defense establishment claims that the deployment is not part of the normalization agreements.
The UK’s first fleet of uncrewed fighter aircraft is one step closer to reality following the award of a £30 million contract to design and manufacture a prototype in a three-year deal supporting more than 100 jobs in Belfast. According to the Royal Air Force, the uncrewed combat aircraft will be designed to fly at high-speed alongside fighter jets, armed with missiles, surveillance and electronic warfare technology to provide a battle-winning advantage over hostile forces.
Four Russian-made Mi-35 attack helicopters will arrive for the Air Force and Air Defense Forces of the Republic of Belarus in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to defence-blog.com. The new Mi-35 is a multi-role combat helicopter manufactured by Rostvertol, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters. It integrates modern, high-precision weaponry for destroying ground-based armored targets and providing air support for ground missions.
Mitsubishi Electric was awarded a research contract by the Japanese Ministry of Defense for detection of ballistic missiles using satellites. The bid submitted by the company was just 22 Japense Yen, which is about 21 cents. A Defense Ministry official expressed their astonishment at the unprecedented low amount agreed on between the parties after the ministry put the research offer up for competitive bidding. According to the ministry, there have been bids as low as several hundred yen (a few dollars) in the past, but no such offers had been made as of late. The ministry has not disclosed the amount of research costs it had envisioned, but it is believed to top several million yen (tens of thousands of dollars) at a conservative estimate. As the bidding price is less than 1/100,000th of the estimated research cost, the Defense Ministry has reportedly consulted with a lawyer to check if there are any problems with the contract, and has also confirmed with the electronics maker that they are capable of performing the research. No issues were found with either party. Mitsubishi Electric will develop tech to detect hypersonic military gliders, which can be maneuvered at high speed with irregular flight trajectories. The company has been entrusted with research regarding the implementation of “limb observation,” a type of method that enables missiles to be detected by stationing numerous satellites at the same altitude to survey missiles horizontally.
Watch: Why You Need to Respect the F-4 Phantom II Fighter Bomber
General Dynamics won a $21.4 million contract modification to exercise options hours for Abrams Systems technical support. M1A1/2 Abrams main battle tank is manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS). The first M1 tank was produced in 1978, the M1A1 in 1985 and the M1A2 in 1986. Abrams M1A2 SEPV3 (System Enhanced Package) is a modernized configuration of the Abrams main battle tank (MBT) in service with the US Army. Work will take place in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2022.
General Atomics has tested its newly developed Self-Protection Pod (SPP) on the MQ-9 last year at the Yuma Proving Grounds (YPG). During the test on October 28, the pod detected Radio Frequency (RF) and Infrared (IR) missile threats and deploy countermeasures. The pod is equipped with the AN/ALR-69A(V) Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), the Leonardo DRS AN/AAQ-45 Distributed Aperture Infrared Countermeasure (DAIRCM) System, the BAE Systems ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser System, and the BriteCloud Expendable Active Decoy (EAD). The brains of the pod is the Terma AN/ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management System. The demonstration is intended to show that the US Navy can conduct anti-submarine warfare tasks using the company’s MQ-9B SeaGuardian UAV.
Middle East & Africa
Three Indian Air Force Rafale fighters flying home from France this month will have tanker support from a UAE A330 MRTT. Another seven Rafale fighters heading home in April will get the similar help from UAE. The UAE air force’s Airbus multi-role transport tanker will refuel the three Indian fighter jets twice on their non-stop eight-hour flight from Bordeaux-Merignac base in France to join the Golden Arrows Squadron in Ambala.
The US Trade Department has disclosed the sale of the Patriot air defense missile system to Morocco in December, the announcement was uncovered by The North Africa Post. The purchase was concluded in 2020. Last year, Morocco purchased 25 F-16 fighters equipped with 5th generation radar (for $2.8 billion) and 24 Apache attack helicopters (for $2.6 billion). There is also a plan for the establishment of a military industry in Morocco. Far Maroc, a website specializing in Moroccan military affairs, reported that Morocco plans to operate a total of 48 advanced F-16s in its Air Force, with a goal of maintaining air superiority in North Africa.
Rolls-Royce has been awarded $1 million of research funding from the US Government for digital foreign object debris (FOD) detection technology. The year-long research contract from the US Navy, will help to further develop Rolls-Royce’s ‘FanSense’ debris monitoring system, which is currently supporting the Pegasus engine.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said in a speech on January 22 that he wants to replace the aging UH-1 helicopter with six to seven new ones. He made the announcement after a fatal crash of a UH-1 in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon on January 16 that killed seven people on board. “I am not making any hard promises. But you can rest assured, I will try my best to look for money so I can replace the old helicopters,” he was quoted as saying.
Watch: The M-1 Abrams Tank Shows Monstrously Power & Capability
Boeing won a $2 billion contract modification for Lot 7 production KC-46 aircraft, subscriptions and licenses and G081 flat file. The modification provides for the exercise of an option for an additional quantity of 15 KC-46 aircraft, data, subscriptions and licenses, and G081 flat file being produced under the basic contract. The company delivered the first KC-46A to the Air Force in January 2019. Since then, Boeing has delivered 42 tankers to four different bases. The next-generation KC-46 brings new capabilities and operational flexibility to the US Air Force and international customers. Boeing says the KC-46 is a multirole tanker designed to refuel allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures. It’s also equipped to carry passengers, cargo and patients on any mission at any time. Work will take place in Seattle, Washington and is expected to be finished by May 31, 2024.
Detyens Shipyard won a $19.2 million deal for a 76-calendar day shipyard availability. The work to be performed under this deal provides regular overhaul availability and dry-docking services for the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Laramie (T-AO 203). The deal also contains six unexercised options, which if exercised, would increase cumulative contract value to $19,841,567. USNS Laramie (T-AO-203) is a Henry J. Kaiser Class underway replenishment oiler operated by the Military Sealift Command to support ships of the UNS. Work will take place in Charleston, South Carolina and is expected to be finished by June 4, 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Reuters reports that the United Arab Emirates have signed an agreement with the United States to buy 50 F-35 fighters one hour before President Biden was sworn into office. Anonymous sources said that the agreement made the purchase request official. It was supposed to be signed in December but negotiations dragged on as both sides bargain over the delivery schedule, costs and technology packages. The UAE, one of Washington’s closest Middle East allies, has long expressed interest in acquiring the stealthy F-35 jets made by Lockheed Martin and was promised a chance to buy them in a side deal when it agreed to normalize relations with Israel last August.
The Belgian and Royal Dutch navies have selected the Thales NS50 AESA 4D radar for their 12 Mine Counter Measures Vessels (MCMV). Thales says this compact multi-mission radar will accord small vessels with air and surface detection plus missile and gun fire control. The NS50 is a 4D multi-function naval radar. It offers superior air and surface detection, tracking and classification performances providing highly accurate 4D target information required for rapid acquisition by short-range “fire and forget” Surface-to-Air-Missile Systems as well as fire control of ship-borne artillery against surface targets.
Elbit Systems UK announced that it has been awarded a contract by the Ministry of Defense to provide the British Armed Forces with Dismounted Joint Fires Integrators (D-JFI) for Joint Terminal Attack Controllers and Fire Support Teams. The contract will be performed over a five-year period and is valued at approximately £100 million.
Watch: Are Hypersonic Weapons a threat to America’s Aircraft Carriers?
The United States and Britain confirmed a joint declaration Tuesday for the Carrier Strike Group 2021 deployment to be led by Britain’s aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth Queen. Signed by acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, the joint declaration enables the deployment of US Navy and Marine Corps equipment and personnel as part of the inaugural operational deployment of the Carrier Strike Group. The deployment will include a detachment of US Marine Corps F-35 Lightning II aircraft and the Navy’s USS The Sullivans.
Leonardo and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems have announced that they have completed the delivery of Trophy Active Protection Systems (APS) ordered by the US Army for installation on Abrams main battle tanks. This marks a major milestone in the US Army’s efforts to outfit multiple brigades of tanks with APS to protect soldiers’ lives against increasing anti-armor threats. Developed by Rafael in response to successful anti-armor attacks and the ongoing proliferation of those threats, Trophy APS provides “combat-proven protection against rockets and missiles while simultaneously locating and reporting the origin of the hostile fire for immediate response”.
Middle East & Africa
US forces conducted two airstrikes on al-Shabaab operatives in Somalia, killing three members of the Islamist terrorist group, US Africa Command said. No civilians were injured or killed in the airstrikes, conducted near Jamaame and Deb Scinnele in coordination with the government of Somalia, according to initial assessment, AFRICOM said in a statement. “These strikes targeted known al-Shabaab leaders involved in IED facilitation, fighter training and attack planning,” US Air Force Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson said in a statement. “Striking these leaders disrupts al-Shabaab’s ability to attack our partners and indiscriminately kill innocent civilians with improvised explosive devices. We are working closely with our Somali partners to support their operations against al-Shabaab, protect their people and provide governance,” said Anderson, commander of Joint Task Force-Quartz.
The first Hellenic Air Force upgraded F-16V fighter has flown on January 17, the Hellenic Aerospace Industry has announced. The press release says the flight went smoothly. The aircraft is the former F-16C Block 52+ with HAF serial 005 (USAF serial 06-0005) which was acquired through the Peace Xenia IV Foreign Military Sales program in 2005 and delivered in 2009 to the 335 Mira Tigris (“Tigers”) at Araxos Air Base. The aircraft was chosen to become the prototype for the Block 72 upgrade, which was performed locally by the Hellenic Aerospace Industries (HAI) at Tanagra Air Base, with the support of Lockheed Martin, beginning in January 2020.
A suspect has been arrested and detained over the theft of equipment from a Il-80 airborne command post. Zhora Khachunts’s lawyer told TASS that her client was arrested on January 4 and will be detained till Mar. 4. The accused is being held in the Taganrog pre-trial detention center. The Il-80 command post was undergoing maintenance at Taganrog Yuzhny airport when it was found broken into on December 4 last year. According to the news report, 39 radio equipment and 5 electronic boards were taken from the aircraft.
Pakistan conducted a successful flight test of Shaheen-III, a surface-to-surface ballistic missile, capable of hitting targets as far as 2,750 kilometers. The test flight was aimed at re-validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system, said Director General Inter Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar in a tweet. According to ISPR, the successful flight test, with its impact point in the Arabian Sea, was witnessed by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Nadeem Raza, Director General Strategic Plans Division, Commander Army Strategic Forces Command, Chairman NESCOM and the scientists and engineers involved.
Watch: Tesla in Pakistan || Qatari & Azeri JF-17 Block III || Shaheen 3 Tests || Hal Tejas 1B & Variants?