Despite row, Canada cleared for Super Hornet purchase | Saab unveils Gripen Aggressor, targets US and UK sales | India nears purchase of US-2 from Japan
- Canada has been approved by the US State Department to purchase up to 18 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft. In addition to 10 F/A-18Es and 8 F/A-18Fs, the Trump administration approved the transfer of up to 44 F414-GE-400 engines, associated spares and equipment, as well as weapons including 100 AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II missiles as part of the sale. It is unsure whether Ottawa will proceed with the sale, as a current row with Boeing over Canadian firm Bombardier has the government looking to Australia for second-hand Super Hornets to fill its interim requirement for replacement of its fleet of CF-18s.
- Boeing expects to deliver its KC-46A tanker to the US Air Force by December, but the service branch expects that this schedule will slip into spring 2018. Brig. Gen. Donna Shipton, Tankers Directorate program executive officer said that the manufacturer has made “steady progress, just slower than planned” to complete Federal Aviation Administration certifications and flight tests. In recent months, Boeing had projected first deliveries in March and later August of this year before its most recent target date of December. The USAF plans to buy 179 KC-46 tankers through 2027. Eventually, the service branch expects to replace 455 aging KC-135 Stratotankers and KC-10 Extender tankers in the fleet.
- The US Navy has successfully tested the AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar developed by Raytheon. The event took place off the west coast of Hawaii on Sept. 7, involving a short-range ballistic missile target and a number of air-to-surface cruise missile targets. During the test, he radar successfully searched for, detected and maintained track on all targets throughout their trajectories, and the Navy said that preliminary data from the test showed the system met its primary objectives against a complex short-range ballistic missile and multiple air-to-surface cruise missile simultaneous targets. they will be equipped on US Navy DDG 51 Flight III destroyers.
Middle East & Africa
- Deliveries of MiG-29 fighters to Egypt have commenced, with Cairo expected 50 aircraft to be delivered by 2020. Speaking on the sale, Russian presidential aide for military and technical cooperation Vladimir Kozhin said that everything “will also depend on the capacity of plants, which have a full load of work on these vehicles. But I’m sure that we will meet the deadline on fulfilling our obligations under the contract.” The MiG-29 jet can accomplish patrolling activities, provide close air support for ground forces and paratroops, interdict combat areas, conduct aerial reconnaissance, intercept aerial targets, escort strike and military transport planes and deliver strikes against ground and sea targets.
- Saab has unveiled its Gripen Aggressor platform for the adversary air combat training market. Based on the proven Gripen C-series, the unarmed aircraft was debuted at this year’s Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2017 expo in London, and is being offered as a solution to the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) program. ASDOT is a 15-year program to provide ‘Red Air’ adversaries for RAF fighter training, and also ‘Blue Air’ platforms for the training of joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs) and fighter controllers. The requirement also includes electronic warfare and simulation elements. Saab also sees the Aggressor as a high-level aggressor option for the United States Air Force’s Adversary Air (ADAIR) program.
- Harris Corp is developing a carriage and release system for RAF-operated F-35B aircraft. While the value of the contract remains unknown, Harris will provide four internal bay-compatible SCORPION Lightweight Ejection Rack Units for two F-35 weapon bays which will allow for the release of MBDA’s new SPEAR precision strike missile. Harris said the ERUs are being manufactured at the company’s facility in England.
- India may use a visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to sign a deal to purchase 12 ShinMaywa US-2 amphibious aircraft. Media in India have already reported that a deal was apparently sealed during former Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley’s visit to Tokyo last week, and are likely to be deployed strategically at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with the objective of carrying out maritime surveillance patrols in the larger Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The 12 aircraft will be assembled in India and the next phase of the agreement could see 18 US-2s assembled locally under the “Make in India” program.
- The Gripen Agressor:
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