KC-46A Boom Problems Resolved | Boeing & MBDA Succeed In Test of Brimstone From AH-64E | Lockheed Martin Undertakes Upgrades for 500 In Service F-16s
- A KC-46A fitted with its brand new modified boom has successfully managed a mid-air refueling of a C-17 with the previous axial loading issues no longer present. The testing was carried out on July 12 and the USAF also refueled an F-16 on July 8. Refueling attempts with the F-16 earlier this year were successful, although a higher than expected axial load on the boom was detected. The higher load was again present during the initial attempt with the C-17 which necessitated installation of hydraulic pressure relief valves in the boom.
- Saab is aiming to carve out a market in South America following their export coup to Brazil. Cash conscious governments from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Argentina could all find a cost effective replacement for their aging fleets in the Gripen fighter. The company has brought a mock-up of its latest model to the Farnborough Air Show alongside an older model for nations that don’t need the kinds of capabilities the new jet brings to an air force.
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- Turkish munition firm Rokestan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus to integrate a variety of weapons from Roketsan’s existing product range on the Airbus C295W. Existing products in the Rokestan inventory include the 70mm laser-guided missile “CIRIT”; laser-guided long-range anti-tank Missile “LUMTAS”; and laser-guided bomb “TEBER”. With the C295W already used as a transport and maritime patrol aircraft, the weapons integration is part of of Airbus’ expansion plan to increase the capabilities of the plane.
- Boeing and MBDA have conducted successful life-fire testing of the Brimstone missile on the AH-64E attack helicopter. Funded by the UK MoD, the nine month integration project saw both companies collaborate on a leased AH-64E from the Pentagon. The weapon’s Semi-Active Laser (SAL), Dual Mode SAL/millimetric wave (mmW) and fully autonomous mmW guidance modes were tested while the helicopter was hovering, moving and maneuvering/banking.
- A UK operated Eurofighter Typhoon has commenced flight testing of the E-scan radar following successful ground trials on the aircraft. The trials are designed to ensure the radar and weapons system reach the required capability in time for first deliveries to the Kuwait Air Force, which became the aircraft’s eighth customer earlier this year. Development of the new radar underpins the Typhoon’s current and future capability evolution.
- Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) has chosen Thales’ Scorpion helmet-mounted sight and display (HMSD) to go into the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase of the South Korean Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) program. Once completed, Thales will provide 400 of the HMSD to KAI. The program will see 200 LAHs introduced into service in the early 2020s.
- Lockheed Martin is to undergo a large upgrade project of some 500 in-service F-16 fighters with 300 upgrade orders already gained from South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore. The F-16V format will see the inclusion of Northrop Grumman’s SABR electronically scanned radar, as well as a new 6 by 8 inch center pedestal display, a Link 16 data link, enhanced data processing and a Sniper advanced targeting pod. A push to sell upgrade packages comes as the company reaches the end of its F-16 orders, which at the current rate, will see production halt in 2017.
- US experts believe that North Korea will be capable of carrying out full-range testing of the KN-11 submarine-launched ballistic missile within the next year. The hermit kingdom’s latest test last week ended in failure after exploding mid-air. Analyst Joseph Bermudez stated that the biggest challenges to Pyongyang are quality control and system integration.
- MBDA’s Brimstone on the AH-64E Apache:
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