Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) cut the first steel plate for use on the US Navy’s fourth ship of the Gerald R. Ford Class aircraft carrier Doris Miller (CVN 81) on Wednesday at its Newport News Shipbuilding division, marking the beginning of its construction. Doris Miller is the second ship of the two-carrier contract award HII received in January 2019 for the detail design and construction of the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers; Enterprise (CVN 80) being the first ship of the contract.
The head of US Space Force says the nascent military branch has grown into a “warfighting force” after meeting key milestones. Army Gen. James Dickinson, US Space Command commander, said in a press release that the command has achieved initial operational capability on Monday, two years after it was founded.
Middle East & Africa
Boeing formally rolled out its new F-15QA fighter for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF). The first set of F-15QA jets will ferry to Qatar later this year following the completion of pre-delivery pilot training. Boeing has been providing maintenance and logistics support for the QEAF during pre-delivery pilot training, which began earlier this year. In addition, Boeing will establish and operate an aircrew and maintenance training center for the QEAF at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar through 2024 while also providing in-country spares and logistics support once aircraft are delivered.
General Atomics won a $42.6 million contract for MQ-9 Reaper contractor logistics support. The company was also awarded a $8.1 million option. In both cased, the contractor will provide an additional period of support for the United Kingdom Royal Air Force. Work for both deal will take place in Poway, California.
The SkyGuardian drone will soon be conducting trials from RAF Waddington in England and RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland. In July the UK government announced the order of a further 13 Protector UAVs to add to the three already contracted, bringing the total number to 16 (the UK had an earlier stated requirement for 20 air vehicles, although a US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notification of the proposed Protector sale has put the number at 26). The RAF is scheduled to declare the capability operational in 2023/2024.
The US State Department has OK’d a sale of precision-guided weapons worth about $258 million to South Korea. The sale, announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Wednesday, will help South Korea address threats on the Korean Peninsula and progress the transfer of wartime operational control to the country, the agency said.
Watch: F-15QA Ababil Unveiled