* Acting Secretary of the US Navy (USN) Sean Stackley has revealed that there are issues concerning the General Atomics-built Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) when launching F/A-18 aircraft that are loaded with fuel tanks. Stakley told a congressional hearing on June 16 that vibrations were detected when fuel tanks were attached to Super Hornets, “so now what they’re doing is going back through the software and adjusting the system to remove that vibration.” Installed onboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, EMALS is intended to enable a higher degree of computer control, more accurate end-speed control, and smoother acceleration when launching carrier-based fixed-wing aircraft, and is also intended to adapt to future carrier air-wing platforms, such as lightweight unmanned systems or future heavy strike aircraft.
* The Colombian Air Force (FAC) has added two additional Kfir fighter aircraft to its fleet as replacements for aircraft lost in training accidents. Bogota has lost four trainers from 2009-14, as well as one operational fighter, leaving its only one two-seat Kfir and a limited training ability. Alternative options included bringing back two Dassault Mirage 2000-5 fighters from retirement, but ultimately, the Kfir option was chosen. Israel have had the Kfir aircraft in storage since their retirement from the IAF as they look to sell them second-hand to cash strapped governments looking for a cheap fighter solution.
* Raytheon have tested a high energy laser system installed on a AH-64 attack helicopter. The test at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, saw the helicopter go airborne with the system before successfully engaging several targets, including a tank. The system saw Raytheon pair a variant of the Multi-Spectral Targeting System, an advanced electro-optical infrared sensor, with a laser. The MTS provided targeting information, situational awareness and beam control. The demonstration marks the first time that a fully integrated laser system successfully engaged and fired on a target from a rotary-wing aircraft over a wide variety of flight regimes, altitudes and air speeds.
* Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) has announced that United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) have delivered two Su-30 fighter aircraft to the government of Nigeria. Ten more aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in 2018. The acquisition is one of several air platforms being procured for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), with $68.76 million earmarked “for counter air, counter surface, air ops for strategic effect and air support operations.” These include purchases of JF-17 fighters from Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Mi-35M helicopters, and the A-29 Super Tucano for COIN operations.
* The UK’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, has began sea trials after leaving BAE’s shipyard in Scotland on Monday. During the six week trial, crew will test the vessel’s speed, maneuverability, power and propulsion, and weaponry before returning to its shipyard Rosyth for further testing and maintenance and then return to sea to test mission systems. She will later transfer to Portsmouth Naval Base to be handed over to the Royal Navy later this year.
* RAMSYS GmbH has being awarded a $92.3 million contract for design and development work on the Rolling Airframe Missile Block 2B (RAM) in a deal fully funded by the German government. Work will be conducted mainly at Ueberlingen, Germany, and several other sites across the country with a completion date scheduled for June 2021. The program is a joint effort between the the German and US navies, with other allies including South Korea, Japan, Egypt, Greece deploying the system on board vessels that include aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships and littoral combat ships.
* The US State Department has cleared the possible sale of one C-17 transport aircraft to India. Valued at an estimated $366 million, the package also includes 4 Turbofan F-117-PW-100 engines, a missile warning system, a countermeasures dispensing system and an identification friend or foe transponder. Offsets usually requested by New Delhi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative will be negotiated between both India and lead contractor Boeing.
* A possible $1.3 billion deal has also been cleared by the US State Department that could see up to five Gulfstream G550 aircraft with Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Electronic Warfare (AISREW) mission systems delivered to Australia. The sale will support ongoing efforts by Australia to modernize its Electronic Warfare capability and increases interoperability between the US Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). L-3 Technologies will act as lead contractor on the sale.
* Raytheon tests high energy laser from Apache: