US and Chilean Naval Forces commenced the exercise Teamwork 2019 on July 5. The biennial naval exercise takes place off the Chilean coast. It focuses on conducting training scenarios in intermediate and advanced anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare operations. Two P-8As from the Navy’s Patrol Squadron 4 or VP-4 are deployed to Chile for the exercise. The USS Michael Murphy is joining them off the coast. The Boeing P-8A Poseidon is a multi-mission maritime aircraft. In 2004, the Navy awarded Boeing for the system development and demonstration phase of the program for the US Navy’s next-generation maritime surveillance aircraft. The Teamwork South 2019 exercise builds upon established relationships between the US and Chilean Navies and improves joint capabilities to conduct bilateral engagements. The exercise strengthens international maritime partnerships and improves the readiness of participating forces for a wide range of potential operations.
The Guatemalan Air Force signed a contract for two Argentine Pampa III jet trainers, Jane’s reports. The Argentinian and Guatemalan defense ministers signed the $28 million deal in Buenos Aires on July 3. The contract includes technical support and training. The operation is part of an agreement signed in Olivos, in the presence of the presidents of Argentina and Guatemala and senior officials of both countries. Pampa III is an advanced jet trainer produced in Argentina by Fabrica Military de Aviones. In recent years, FAdeA carried out one of the most ambitious restructuring of the group of state-owned companies. The company managed to balance its capabilities, increasing its efficiency and productivity rates.
Middle East & Africa
Reuters reports that Iran said it would further scale back its commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, raising its uranium enrichment level beyond agreed levels to produce fuel for its power plants. On Sunday during a news conference, Iranian officials said the process of raising uranium enrichment higher than set out in the deal would begin in a few hours. The senior officials said Iran would produce uranium at 5% enrichment, above the agreed cap of 3.67%. They added that Tehran would keep reducing its commitments every 60 days unless signatories of the pact moved to protect it from US sanctions.
The spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces stated that army troopers and allied fighters from Popular Committees have launched a string of airstrikes against hangars in Saudi Arabia’s Jizan airport near the border with Yemen, using a squadron of domestically-manufactured Qasef-2K (Striker-2K) combat drones. The rebel attack on the civilian airport reportedly wounded nine civilians. On June 23, another rebel attack on Abha airport killed a Syrian national and wounded 21 other civilians, according to the coalition. The Houthis have increased attacks in recent weeks against Saudi Arabia, which has been running a bloody military campaign in the Middle East’s poorest country since 2015.
The French Navy will retire its remaining Westland Lynx Mk 4(FN) helicopters in 2020. The retirement comes two years earlier than initially expected. The Lynx Mk 4(FN) had been planned to retire in 2022, but with support costs rising the decision has now been made to bring forward the type’s out of service date by two years as a savings measure. The Westland Lynx is a multi-purpose military helicopter. The British Lynx went into operational usage in 1977 and was later adopted by the Armed Forces of over a dozen nations. Early retirement of the Lynx will leave a capability gap as the type, equipped with the DUAV-4 active dipping sonar, constitutes the primary anti-submarine rotorcraft on board the French Navy’s last two F70 Class frigates, La Motte-Picquet (D645) and Latouche-Tréville (D646).
The first Rafale aircraft will arrive in India right on time within the next two months, local news reports. There has been a lot of controversy in India over the purchase of the French fighters. India claims that Rafale is a fifth generation war plane. However, aviation experts dispute it. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi survived a scam hovering around purchase of the planes in his first stint. The first batch of four combat jets is expected to be ferried to India by May next year and will form the first squadron of Rafale fighters that will be deployed at the Ambala Air Base. Indian pilots will undergo extensive training on the jets in France as part of the contract and will initially be given lessons on simulators for the full range of missions planned with the fleet.
Watch: Official delivery of the first Griffon VMBR 6×6 multirole armored vehicles to the French Army