The US Navy together with Raytheon successfully test fired another round of Excalibur N5 munitions, the company announced on Monday. The Raytheon Excalibur N5 is a 5-inch or 127mm artillery projectile intended for use by surface warships utilizing 127mm cannons such as the Mk 45 naval gun system. The N5 is the naval variant of the Excalibur round. Excalibur impacts at a radial miss distance of less than two meters from the target. The precision-guided projectile has been fired more than 1,400 times in combat. According to Sam Deneke, Raytheon Land Warfare Systems vice president, the “N5 doubles the range of the Navy’s big guns and delivers the same accuracy as the land-based version.”
According to reports, The US Navy and the US Air Force will develop their prospective next generation-fighters separately after jointly developing the F-35 Lightning II. The reason for the USN and the USAF parting ways is that the are looking for different specifics in their new fighters. The Navy does not plan to use its Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) aircraft on penetration missions in highly-contested air space as the USAF aims to do with its next-generation fighter. The USN director of air warfare, Angie Knappenberger commented on the subject, that “a penetrating fighter, the Navy doesn’t have to do that. So some of that inherent design of the aircraft it does drive costs and if you don’t need that for our mission area then you don’t necessarily want to pay for it.” However the two separate next-generation fighters will likely share electronic warfare, radar, networking and weapons systems.
Middle East & Africa
Some new Russian-made Ka-52 helicopters owned by the Egyptian Air Forces have been spotted at Was al-Jandali Air Base near Cairo. The Ka-52 Alligator is an all-weather attack helicopter. It is fitted with a mast-mounted radome housing a Phazotron FH-01 Millimeter Wave Radar (MMW) radar with two antennas for aerial and ground targets. The Alligator is powered by two Klimov VK-2500 turboshaft engines driving two coaxial contra-rotating main rotors. Each engine produces a maximum take-off power of 2,400hp. In 2015, Egypt agreed to acquire 46 conventional Ka-52 Alligator helicopters. In 2017 Russia announced that 15 of the attack helicopters would be delivered to Egypt the same year and 31 more were to arrive in 2018 and 2019. Last August it was reported that twelve Ka-52s were spotted at Katameya International Airport outside Cairo.
Russia wants to sell its Su-57 fighter jet to Turkey in case the F-35 deal with the US falls through, reports say. The US has warned Turkey that it would expel the country from the F-35 program if it accepts the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile system as the US sees the purchase incompatible with Turkey’s commitments to NATO. The S-400’s radar system could enable the Russian military to figure out how the F-35 operates. Washington has already halted deliveries of F-35 parts to Turkey. However, according to Turkish officials, the country can’t afford to leave the F-35 without replacement. Sergei Chemezov, head of Russian company Rostec now offered the Su-57 to Turkey. The Su-57 is a stealth, single-seat, twin-engine multirole fifth-generation fighter. Sukhoi completed the manufacture and delivery of a batch of Su-57 prototypes back in 2018. They are currently being tested.
The USS Blue Ridge arrived in Singapore on Monday as part of its deployment to Asia. The Blue Ridge is the US’ 7th Fleet flagship and the namesake of its class of amphibious command ships of the US Navy. This is not the first time for the ship to sail to Singapore as it last visited the nation three years ago. As part of the visit, Blue Ridge sailors will take part in several community relations events and explore the city on guided tours. Members of the 7th Fleet band will perform in public concerts. In March, Blue Ridge also conducted a maritime cooperative activity with Philippine Navy vessel BRP Ramon Alcaraz. The ship was christened in 1970 and deployed to home port of Yokosuka, Japan, in 1979. The Blue Ridge is slated to remain in Yokosuka until 2020, more than 10 years beyond the originally estimated decommissioning date.
India’s largest surveillance satellite so far, the Radar Satellite (RISAT) 2BR1 is set to launch on May 22. The RISAT 2BR1 is the latest addition to the RISAT series of India’s defensive satellites. It is an upgrade over its predecessors and adds to India’s surveillance capabilities. The RISAT family developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) provide all-weather surveillance using synthetic aperture radars. On one side, India will be able to monitor the Indian Ocean for Chinese naval ships more efficiently and, on the other, keep an eye on the Arabian Sea for Pakistani warships. RISAT 2BR1 is first of the five planned military satellites that ISRO has planned for 2019. This is an impressive record for ISRO, which launches one or two military satellites a year.
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