Raytheon Gets $74M For AMRAAM Missile Integration | Rafale F3-R Made 1st Operational Flight With Meteor | Taiwan Harpoon Delivery DelayedMar 08, 2021 05:00 UTC
The Defense Department’s awarded a contract to Raytheon, which is meant to support integration of AMRAAM missiles with current and future Air Force aircraft. The $74 million deal to Raytheon Missile Systems was announced on Thursday, and provides the “necessary aircraft lab, flight test, flight clearance and simulation support during all integration requirements in AMRAAM for F-15, F-16, FA-18, F-22, F-35 and other current inventory or next generation platforms that may join the Air Force or Navy inventory before the end of fiscal 2029,” the Defense Department announced. The contract is the latest of several awarded by the Defense Department pertinent to the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, a seven-inch-diameter, beyond-visual-range missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Work will be primarily conducted at Raytheon’s Tucson, Arizona, facilities.
The US Air Force says it is preparing to carry out the first booster test flight (BTF-1) of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) following the delivery of the test missile to Edwards Air Force Base on March 1. “The BTF-1 test vehicle is complete and is progressing through ground testing to verify its readiness for flight. The team has successfully dealt with COVID challenges and resolved technical findings not uncommon in a first-of-a-kind weapon system. We have minimized schedule delays while maintaining a laser focus on engineering rigor. Our first BTF will happen in the next 30 days, followed by several additional booster and all-up-round test flights by the end of the year,” said Brig. Gen. Heath Collins, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Weapons.
Middle East & Africa
Jerusalem is currently in talks with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates over establishing a four-nation defense alliance, local news reported at the end of last month. Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have discussed expanding cooperation in facing common enemies, an Israeli official familiar with the matter confirmed on March 1. The matter is being “informally discussed,” the source said, adding that the countries are US allies. All four believe a nuclear Iran would be a major threat and have been eyeing the Biden administration’s plan to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal with concern. In an interview with Fox News, defense minister Benny Gantz said on March 4, that Israel is preparing to act independently against Iran and is updating plans for military strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites: “If the world stops them [Iran] before, it’s much the better. But if not, we must stand independently and we must defend ourselves by ourselves“.
The F3R Standard of the Dassault Rafale fighter jet integrated the Meteor missile. With this, the Standard has reached a new milestone. Developed by MBDA within the framework of cooperation involving France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy, Spain, and Germany, the Meteor is a beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile. The weapon has a range of over 150 kilometers (90 miles) and can reach Mach 4 speed. The French Air Force announced on March 4, that it carried out the first operational flight with a Rafale equipped with combat-ready Meteor missiles.
According to the UK Royal Navy, the HMS Magpie was able to chart the waters around Plymouth purely using regular radar installed on shipping the world over and a specialist computer program which measures wave height. Using that data and information about currents, the software can produce a detailed profile of the seabed in a matter of hours – without the ship or boat having to physically sail over the area being surveyed.
Taiwan is unlikely to take delivery of the Harpoon Coastal Defense System in 2024 after the United States inform the island that Boeing can only start delivery of equipment in 2025, Up Media reported. Also, the delivery of the missiles will only take place in 2026 and Taiwan will also have to purchase communications equipment that was not included in the original Foreign Military Sale package. The news report added that Taipei had requested to buy the RGM-84Q-4 Harpoon Block II+ ER missile but Washington only agreed to sell the RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II. It was also pointed out that the entire purchase, from formulation to approval, took only three months and it was not part of the Navy’s weapon acquisition work plan for 2020. This lead to speculation that the sales contract to Boeing was forced on the Navy.
Watch: RAFALE FRENCH NAVY PILOTS – CHILLOUT 7