Further THAAD launch planned for this week | Another industry nominee for Trump Administration | Mi-28NM to enter serial production
- Alaska’s Kodiak Island could be the site of a further THAAD system launch, conducted less than a month after a previous successful test at the facility. In a notice posted by the US Coast Guard, mariners are advised to remain clear of swaths of ocean between Kodiak Island and Hawaii through the weekend. The launch is expected to take place at the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska between 7 p.m. on Jul. 29 and 1:30 a.m. on Jul. 30. THAAD, which currently has a 100 percent success rate in 14 tests, uses a direct hit to intercept a target in its final phase of flight. Batteries of the system have been placed in Guam and South Korea to counter missile threats from North Korea.
- Raytheon vice president of government relations Mark Esper has been nominated by the Trump Administration to act as secretary of the Army. The third selection made by the White House for the position, Esper’s nomination comes after the previous picks—Tenn. State Senator and former Army flight surgeon Mark Green and Wall Street trader, and businessman Vincent VIola—dropped out over criticism over LGBT positions, and financial entanglements involving federal contracts respectively. Esper is the second industry big hitter to be offered a Pentagon position and if confirmed by the Senate, will join former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan, who will serve as secretary of defense.
Middle East & North Africa
- The Eurosam consortium has outlined its plan to develop a SAM system for the Turkish government, having already signed a “Heads of Agreement” (HoA) with Turkish defence companies Aselsan and Roketsan to develop and produce the system in Turkey. MBDA, a member of Eurosam, has confirmed that this system will effectively form the basis of Turkey’s own air defence program, adding that the future Turkish system “will be based on the technologies and experience that Eurosam has built in ground and naval systems.” However, it remains unclear if Ankara will purchase Aster 30 SAMP/T (Surface-to-Air Missile Platform/Terrain) batteries off-the-shelf or if it will solely acquire the joint system developed by Eurosam, Aselsan and Roketsan.
- Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) has delivered its first batch of Super Mushshak trainer aircraft to the Qatari Emiri Air Force (QEAF). Eight aircraft were ordered last June and are expected to serve as a primer and/or screener trainer for trainee Qatari pilots at its al-Zaeem Air Academy prior to moving onto the Pilatus PC-21 trainer. Further procurements expected to be delivered to Qatar include 24 Dassault Rafales and 36 Boeing F-15QA, and it is possible that PAC may be providing its JF-17 fighter following a demonstration of the aircraft by the Pakistan Air Force during a visit to Qatar last year.
- Russia has announced plans to start serial production of the upgraded Mi-28NM helicopter in 2018. A modernized variant of the Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopter, work on the new system began in 2009 and features a radically new locator providing an all-round visibility, a new dual control system and other equipment, as well as a high-precision weapon. The variant will be deployed to all front line units.
- State media in Iran have reported that a new production line has been opened to produce the Sayyad-3 surface-to-air missile. Capable of reaching an altitude of 27 km (16 miles) and travel up to 120 km (74 miles), the Sayyad-3 has been developed to target fighter planes, UAVs, cruise missiles and helicopters. news of the missile’s production comes as tensions with regional rivals andthe US mount over Tehran’s alleged “malign activities” in the Middle East which has seen Washingtontarget 18 entities and people for supporting what it said were “illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity.”
- Japanese F-2 fighter aircraft is to receive a new supersonic anti-ship missile that will replace the Air Self-Defense Force’s Type 80 and Type 93 missiles. Currently under development, the speed of the new missile is roughly Mach 3, or three times the speed of sound and about three-times faster than the Type 93 missile, and plans are underway to test the munition against a retired destroyer. It also differs on current missiles as aircraft will launch the new missile by attacking targets at a high speed and low angle, making it harder for interceptor missiles to defend. The anti-ship missile effort is one of several programs currently underway by Tokyo to increase the lethality and operational capabilities of its warfighting platforms as part of plans to deter a Chinese Navy that has been increasingly active in power projection activities in the region.
- The Indonesian Air Force has announced the second phase of its 2014-2019 plan to upgrade its fighter, transport, and UAV capabilities. Under the procurement plan, Jakarta will replace its F-5 fighter aircraft and MALE UAVs with newer, more capable aircraft, and has also announced intentions to purchase Lockheed Martin’s C-130J transporter. Other big ticket items planned include 12 new radars, helicopters and training aircraft.
- President Trump’s speech at the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford:
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