GPS III ready for Take-Off | Israel intercepts Gaza Drone | Polish Reapers relocate to Romania
DynCorp International won a $306.6 million contract from the US Air Force for aviation command and control and maintenance services. The deal includes air traffic control, airfield management and maintenance support in the Air Force Central Command’s area of responsibility. The Air Force Central Command’s area of responsibility also covers southwest Asia. DynCorp is expected to perform work until July 31, 2024.
Lockheed Martin announced that its second next-generation GPS III satellite is all set and ready for its planned launch on July 25. According to a news release published by the company, Lockheed Martin Space and United Launch Alliance (ULA) technicians completed encapsulating GPS III Space Vehicle 02 in its launch fairings at the company’s Astrotech Space Operations facility, where the satellite has undergone pre-launch processing and fueling since its arrival in March. This final step enclosed GPS III SV02 in a protective, aerodynamic, nose-cone shell. GPS Block III’s purpose is to keep the Navstar Global Positioning System operational. The first satellite in the series launched in December 2018. According to Lockheed, GPS III satellites will have three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities than its predecessors. Spacecraft life will extend to 15 years, 25 percent longer than the newest GPS satellites on-orbit today. In the next few days the second GPS III satellite will be mounted on a Delta IV rocket to prepare for the launch.
Middle East & Africa
Local news reports that a drone, which infiltrated from the Gaza Strip was intercepted by the Israel Defense Forces on Monday morning. “A short while ago IDF troops spotted a drone entering from the Gaza Strip. The drone was shot down by IDF soldiers and then sent for investigation,” the military said in a statement. Israeli radar systems spotted the drone while it was flying over the border in northern Gaza and then over Kibbutz Zikim. An Israeli Defense System intercepted the UAV. The Defense Forces took pieces to further inspect its origin and what it had been carrying.
The US Air Force announced in a press release that it temporarily relocated its Polish MQ-9 Reapers to Romania, while the runway at Miroslawiec undergoes construction. The UAVs had begun flying out of Miros?awiec Air Base in northwestern Poland in May 2018. The MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily against dynamic execution targets and secondarily as an intelligence collection asset. With its significant loiter time, wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons, it provides a unique capability to perform strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets. The detachment is a geographically separated unit assigned to the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany, whose mission is to conduct Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance in order to meet combatant commander objectives. It has not been revealed how many Reapers had been stationed in Poland and now Romania.
Saab received a $52.8 million order for the Carl-Gustaf man-portable weapon system. The company did not disclose, which customer ordered the weapon system. The Carl-Gustaf is a shoulder-launched weapon system used to destroy armored tanks with add-on armor protection, to neutralize landing craft and bunkers and to clear obstacles. It is also used to engage enemies in buildings. The recoilless 84mm rifle in any case is a lightweight, low cost weapon that uses a wide range of ammunition, which makes it extremely flexible and suitable in a wide variety of roles.
Japan’s Atago Class Guided Missile Destroyer completed its second round of sea trials last month, according to local media reports. The new ship dubbed Maya or PN 179 is right on track for commissioning in 2020. The Maya is the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force’s seventh surface combatant to be equipped with the Aegis combat system. The Atago Class ships are improved versions of the Kongou Class. The Aegis system used on Atago Class ships is more capable than that, used on the previous Kongou Class. The Atago Class has a 127 mm dual-purpose gun in a stealth-shaped mount. For anti-submarine warfare there are 2 triple-tube torpedo launchers for Mk.46 Mod.5 Neartip, or Japanese Type 73 torpedoes.
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