LM Successfully Launches Vector Hawk UAV from Marlin AUV | US Mil Building $100M Facility for MQ-9’s in Africa | Boeing Rolls Out 1st of 12 P-8As for Royal Australian AF
- Lockheed Martin has revealed that they successfully launched a Vector Hawk canister-launched small UAV from their Marlin MK2 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The disclosure was made during the Annual Navy Technology Exercise (ANTX) in August. To transmit the launch command to the Marlin, Lockheed engineers relied on the Submaran, an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) developed by Ocean Aero, as a relay.
Middle East & North Africa
- It’s been reported that the US State Department has finally cleared the multi-billion sale of fighters to Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain. Sources told media outlets that US officials have begun to notify lawmakers informally about the sale of 36 Boeing F-15 fighter jets to Qatar valued at around $4 billion, 28 F/A- 18E/F Super Hornets (plus options for 12 more), to Kuwait for around $3 billion, and 17 Lockheed F-16 fighter jets to Bahrain, plus upgrades of up to 20 additional aircraft. The deals will be formally announced once the 40-day informal notification process has ended.
- Eurofighters purchased by Kuwait will come equipped with Lockheed Martin’s Sniper targeting pod, with 14 more already requested for its F/A-18 legacy Hornets. Deliveries will commence in 2017 for integration. Once fitted, the Eurofighter will become the 9th platform to use Sniper, joining variants of the F-15, F-16, F-18, A-10, B-1, B-52, F-2 and Harrier.
- Building is underway by the US military of a $100 million facility for the use of MQ-9 Reaper operations in the region. The news comes less than a year after the announcement was made that Reaper and Predator bases in Ethiopia and Djibouti would be closed. MQ-9s operated from East African bases are used primarily for missions against Islamic insurgents such as al-Shabaab in Somalia and AQAP in Yemen.
- Romania has become the latest operator of the F-16 following delivery of the first six from a total of twelve from Portugal. The $203 million deal includes nine F-16AM single-seaters and three F-16BM two-seaters as well as an overhaul of engines; initial logistics support; training of up to nine pilots, 75 technicians, and four mission planers; two years of on-site support; and updating the fleet to operational flight program (OFP) development software M5.2R standard, with support from Lockheed Martin. More F-16s from another NATO member are being sought by Romania who currently operate a fleet of MiG- 21 LanceR aircraft.
- Saab is to pursue Gripen figter sales to the Philippine Air Force, with plans to open an office in Manila by the end of the year. Speaking on the opening day of the Asian Defence and Security 2016 (ADAS 2016) exhibition in Manila, Carl-Erik Leek, Saab’s executive vice-president in the Asia Pacific, said the new office would be the centre of the company’s marketing activities in the country. Current efforts in the country have been coordinated from the company’s regional offices in Thailand.
- Delivery of the Malaysian Air Force’s fourth and final A400M transport aircraft will happen early next year. The first aircraft was delivered in March 2015, the second came early this year while the third was received in the middle of this year. Gen Tan Sri Roslan Saad told reporters that the latest A400M will come with a software upgrade.
- Boeing rolled out the first of its 12 P-8A Poseidon aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force during a ceremony in Seattle. The maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft, based on the design of Boeing’s 737-800 fuselage, will fly to Australia in November. Featuring a weapons bay as well as under-wing and under-fuselage hard points for weapons, the aircraft will be used for anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction as Australia looks to assert itself as a regional security player in the region.
Taiwan’s future air warfare DDG shoots down attacking F-14s:
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