F-35 Invited to Play in Games for First Time | Void Sensing Bomb Fuse Gets Low Rate Production OK | AF Sticking with Northrop’s Answer to AA Missiles: Lasers
- F-35As will take part in USMC exercises for the first time this week, with the fighter also set to drop live ordnance. The Green Flag West exercises will run to June 12, with the Marine Corps’ B model Joint Strike Fighter recently concluding trials aboard USS Wasp.
- In a separate set of exercises, NORAD will flex its interceptor muscles in the early hours on Wednesday, with a planned readiness exercise. The testing will also be a chance for officials to drill personnel and fighters from Joint Air Defense Operations Center (JADOC), as well as civilian agencies under an umbrella exercise named Falcon Virgo 15-09.
- A first group of US Navy sailors are now trained to operate General Atomics’ EMALS system aboard the Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). Following successful no-load testing in May, shipborne testing of the system is scheduled for later this year, with the government also eyeing export opportunities for the system.
- The FMU-167/B Hard Target Void Sensing Fuse (HTVSF) has passed Milestone C review, with this opening the door to Low Rate Initial Production of the Orbital ATK-manufactured system. The HTVSF is under development with the Air Force and is designed to provide advanced capabilities against hardened and buried targets through the use of in-flight cockpit programmability and multi-function and multi-delay arming technologies
- Northrop Grumman will continue to support the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) system, with the Air Force handing the firm a $111 million contract modification to provide support services and equipment to the system through to April 2017. The system uses a laser to defeat missile threats to large aircraft, an increasingly important consideration owing to the proliferation of MANPADS.
- Following the award of a twelve-month feasibility study by the UK’s Ministry of Defence, BAE Systems will examine the potential to equip the Eurofighter Typhoon with a common weapon launcher. The study is aiming to assess whether a launcher could carry three weapons, increasing the Typhoon’s firepower and comes on the heels of a contract for the fighter’s Phase 3 Capability Enhancement (P3E) package, which will see the integration of several weapons, including the Brimstone II and Storm Shadow.
- British defense firm Ultra is acquiring the Electronic Warfare business units of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions in an up-to $265 million deal announced Monday. The new business will be known as Ultra Electronics Herley Industries and become part of Ultra’s Tactical & Sonar Division. The deal is a reflection of the UK company’s continuing push into the US market, with Krato’s products equipping many platforms, including the US Navy’s Growlers.
- Japan has requested four E-2D Advanced Hawkeye early warning and control aircraft from the US, following a decision in November to procure the aircraft along with V-22 Ospreys and Global Hawk UAVs. The Japanese already operate the E-2C version of the Hawkeye, with this potential sale worth an estimated $1.7 billion.
- India has successfully tested a Harpoon anti-ship missile, with the country having requested the Boeing-built missiles twice, in 2008 and again in July last year. Launched from a Jaguar fighter, the missiles are intended to equip the Indian Air Force’s fleets of Jaguar and Poseidon aircraft, as well as the Indian Navy’s Shishumar-class submarines.
- India and the US are also set to sign a defense framework agreement on SecDef Carter’s visit to the country this week, with a specific focus on technology transfer and joint development. The most significant area of cooperation is likely to be missile defense.
- A Royal Navy frigate demonstrating the Harpoon…
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