F-35 Scores 8:0 Kill Ratio During Mock Air Combat | Sikorsky CH-53K on Track | Belgium Sends 6 F-16s to Jordan Against IS
- Lockheed Martin’s AN/TPQ-53 counter-battery radar has proven that it can be used to detect unmanned aerial vehicles alongside its usual task of detecting incoming artillery and rocket fire. The company announced the success following testing carried out by the US Army as part of its Maneuver and Fires Integration Experiment (MFIX) at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Conducted annually, the MFIX exercise brings together military, industry and academia to assess solutions to future warfighting needs in a live environment.
- The USAF has released an infographic revealing that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter scored an 8:0 kill ratio against the F-15E during mock air combat. Using combat-coded F-35As from Hill Air Force Base, the simulations were part of the evaluation process needed in order to declare the jet to be initially operationally capable. The seven fighters used also demonstrated their ability to carry out basic close air support and limited SEAD/DEAD missions with crews attaining a 100% sortie generation rate with 88 of 88 planned sorties and a 94% hit rate with 15 of 16 GBU-12 bombs on target.
- Sikorsky has achieved a key USMC requirement with the CH-53K King Stallion by successfully flying 100ft above the ground with a 12,250kg (27,000lb) payload. Due to replace the CH-53E Super Stallion, the new helicopter promises better range and triple the E model’s payload in hot weather conditions, as well as flight-by-wire flight controls designed to reduce pilot workload in degraded visual environments. While successful testing has the CH-53K currently on track, it hasn’t always been plain sailing with gearbox trouble delaying its first flight for a year.
Middle East North Africa
- Monday’s rapprochement deal between Turkey and Israel is unlikely to trigger near-term resumption of defense trade or bilateral military cooperation. The agreement shows a normalization of relations after the 2010 Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla which left eight Turks and an American citizen of Turkish origin dead. However, a return to major defense cooperation between the two which saw a peak between 1998-2005 is unlikely amid Turkey’s rising Islamist policies and ongoing tension with Egypt, Jordan and many Arabian Gulf states.
- Belgium has sent six F-16s to Jordan to aid in operations against Islamic State targets. This will be Belgium’s second rotation of F-16s to Jordan, the first lasting from October 2014 to June 2015. While the last time saw the jets target militants in Iraq, the second deployment will see operations expanded to targets in Syria. This is the first military action the country has taken since IS carried out terrorist attacks against Brussels’ airport and metro system.
- Development of Russia’s S-350 air-defense system prototype is almost complete and is already undergoing trials, according to senior military commander Sergey Babakov. The system will replace the older S-300PS as the Armed Force’s middle-range air-defense capability. Capable of being activated in five minutes, Russia aims to have 30 in operation by 2020.
- Testing of a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) system operated by Taiwan is to be carried out at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico next month. This marks the first time Taiwan has fired the new system and reasoning behind having it in the US is to avoid China collecting information about it and due to airspace restrictions in Taiwan. Scheduled for early July, the tests will see two missiles being fired to intercept a target simulating a ballistic missile.
- Japan has issued a Request For Information (RFI) for three alternatives to replace the F-2: a new fighter type, modifying an existing one, or importing. However, concepts devised by the Defense Ministry suggest Tokyo is leaning towards a new fighter as it wanted a large, twin-engine jet with long endurance, and internal carriage of six big air-to-air missiles. Unfortunately, no current fighter in service or development in the West satisfies those demands, leaving China’s Chengdu J-20 the closest to what Japan wants.
- First flight test of the BrahMos missile on an Indian Su-30MKI:
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