First AH-1Z Flight With Link-16 | Rheinmetall Started UK Boxer Production | Japan To Launch Loyal Wingman From F-X Fighter
Airbus US Space & Defense won a $119.8 million contract modification for an extension of contractor logistics support services for the UH-72 Lakota. The UH-72A Lakota is a light utility helicopter. UH-72A Lakota helicopters were acquired to replace the UH-1H Iroquois and OH-58 A/C Kiowa helicopters. Work will take place in Grand Prairie, Texas. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2022.
The US Marine Corps (USMC) has flown the first AH-1Z flight that has Link-16 capability. Bell says a two-way connection was completed from the helicopter to a ground station. Bell added that the Link-16 package from Northrop Grumman adds a new digital moving map, a new security architecture and Advanced Networking Wideband Waveform (ANW2) datalinks to the helicopter.
Middle East & Africa
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighters operated by the Air Forces of Italy, UK and Israel are set to take part in this year’s edition of Falcon Strike 21 (FS21) exercises. Falcon Strike 21 a joint, multinational exercise involving service members from the US, Israel, Italy and the United Kingdom to integrate 4th and 5th generation fighter capabilities in a large force employment event.
Welding for the fabrication of prototypes and subsequent series production of the Boxer Mechanized Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme, under which British Army is procuring over 500 Boxer vehicles started. Under the aegis of Artec GmbH, a joint venture of Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), Rheinmetall will fabricate first prototypes at its plant in Kassel, Germany which will also make the the first series vehicles. The prototypes will have content supplied by the United Kingdom, such as the remotely controlled weapon stations, generic vehicle architecture components, the local situational awareness system or the vehicle emergency lighting system.
Yomiuri Shimbun reports that Japan will budget for the research and development of its loyal wingman in next year’s fiscal budget. The report added that the unmanned air aircraft will be carried aboard the next-generation fighter dubbed F-X. The concept is not new in Japan. The former Fuji Heavy Industries develop the Fuji TACOM unmanned aerial vehicle from 1995 to 2011. The drone was carried on board the F-4E and F-15J. The US Air Force has also integrated the UTAP-22 Mako on the F-15C.
The Indian Navy has started to train its personnel to fly and maintain the MH-60R naval helicopter in the United States. The detachment have started their training at NAS Pensacola. Hindustan Times reports that two MH-60Rs will delivered to the Indian Navy next month and the third helicopter will be delivered by end of the year.
Watch: Viper AH-1Z attack helicopter air missile capability