GBU-69/B In Trials With Gray Eagle | Netanyahu Wants to Boost Israel’s Defense Budget | Babcock International Wins GSA-9 Support Contract
The US Army Special Operations Aviation Command (ARSOAC), together with the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), has performed a series of complex launch trials with the Dynetics baseline and Block I variant GBU-69/B Small Glide Munitions (SGMs) from an MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aircraft System. According to Jane’s, the services conducted the trials in late August at the US Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. The tests mark the first time the GBU-69/B weapon system has been released from a UAS and represent an expanded platform set from which the munition can be employed. The baseline GBU-69/B SGM is a 60 lbs Class precision glide munition, 11.4 cm in diameter, and has a wingspan of 71.1 cm. The Gray Eagle is a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS. The aircraft offers extended endurance, increased payload capacity, and high-reliability. Its mission capabilities include surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition, communications relay, and weapons delivery.
The US Air Force issued its new uniforms to recruits after a three year wait, entering basic military training, utility uniforms identical to those of the US Army. The first Operational Camouflage Pattern uniforms were distributed at the 37th Training Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, last week. They will be rolled out to all Air Force personnel over the next three years. The new OCP has six colors, allowing its camouflage to better blend in with various environments, compared to the four pixelated colors of the ABU, and will cost $20 per set more. Insignia indicating rank will no longer be on airman’s sleeves or officer’s collars, but will be displayed in the center of their chests. Organizational patches and a US flag will appear on the new uniforms as well. By April 1, 2021, all airmen will be required to wear the OCP.
Middle East & Africa
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a significant increase in the country’s defense budget, citing a growing threat from Iran. His announcement came after an Iranian attack using drones and cruise missiles, on two oil refineries in Saudi Arabia on September 14, and a recent Israeli attack on Albukamal at the Iraq-Syria border, where Iran is building a military base. Netanyahu, in the process of forming a new government said last week that Israel must raise its defense spending by “many billions immediately and then many billions every year” since a threat from Iran „has intensified in recent weeks.”
Babcock International won a deal for for the Gun System Automation (GSA) 9 in-service support contract with the Ministry of Defense supporting the UK Royal Navy. The contract will provide support for all aspects of GSA9 support including Electro Optical Gunfire Control System (EOGCS), the Electro Optical Sensor Platforms (EOSPs), the Quick Pointing Devices (QPD) and below decks equipment of six Control Consoles, Gun Allocation Subsystem, Gunnery Check Fire System and two Maintenance and Analysis Facilities (MAF). The deal includes an option to be extended by two years and will be carried out from the company’s Devonport and Portsmouth facilities in the UK, delivering support for the Navy’s Type 45 Daring Class destroyers and management of the supply chain for the work.
South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a report presented to the National Assembly for a parliamentary audit that the country will launch the second phase of the F-X project in 2021. $3.3 billion will be allocated for this phase of the project. Codenamed the F-X, or Fighter eXperimental, South Korea has been pushing to replace its aging fleet of F-4 and F-5 fighter jets since 2012. Under the first phase of the project, the country has decided to buy 40 F-35A stealth fighters by 2021.
The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) has confirmed that the country is buying a C295 and G280 for command and control missions. The C295 will be delivered this year while the G280 will reach home in August 2020. The Airbus C295 is a new generation tactical airlifter in the light and medium segment. The C295 conducts multi-role operations worldwide under all weather conditions. It is fully certified and routinely operates day and night in combat missions in all weather extremes, from desert to maritime environments, from extremely hot to extremely cold temperatures. The Gulfstream G280 is a twin-engine business jet. It began delivery to users in 2012.
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