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M28 Skytruck to Sky Tour Caribbean & Latin America | Germany’s Jenoptik to Supply $13.8M Components for Patriots | Lotte Moves Ahead with Land Swap for THAAD

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Americas * Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky and their Polish affiliate PZL Mielec are in the final stages of planning a tour of the M28 Skytruck short takeoff and landing aircraft. The tour will involve a transatlantic flight from Poland to the Caribbean and Latin America, with key stops in Trinidad & Tobago and 12 other […]
Americas

* Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky and their Polish affiliate PZL Mielec are in the final stages of planning a tour of the M28 Skytruck short takeoff and landing aircraft. The tour will involve a transatlantic flight from Poland to the Caribbean and Latin America, with key stops in Trinidad & Tobago and 12 other cities in Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico and Panama. Built for transporting passengers and cargo, the M28 is being marketed for both civilian and military applications as a platform that can operate in extreme weather conditions and fly very different mission profiles.

* The USAF is expected to green light a study into a potential low-cost, light-attack fighter fleet to augment the A-10 Warthog and other close-air support (CAS) platforms in Iraq and Syria. The service will abandon plans for a more long-term replacement of the Warthog, which is expected to keep flying well into the 2020s. $100 million has already been earmarked for the study, scheduled to start in the Spring, and will look at the capabilities of the existing commercial designs such as Textron’s Scorpion light-attack fighter before calling out to industry.

* Leonardo and its Team Spartan partners have mounted a legal challenge with the Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) over the decision to award Airbus the Fixed-Wing Search-and-Rescue (FWSAR) program. Leonardo’s C-27J Spartan lost out to the C295W, however Team Spartan stated that “the C295W is a slower aircraft and will have difficulty covering the required search-and-rescue regions in a way that is compliant with the request for proposal [RfP]. The inclusion of a 5th Main Operating Base in the Airbus proposal would be the only way to be compliant, and that was not submitted. As it stands, this will significantly increase operating times in the north of Canada.” The team also criticised the C295W’s ability “to safely perform all missions without the presence of an auxiliary power unit [APU]” because it would not have the necessary Extended Range Twin Engine Operations rating.

Africa

* The UN has been notified that the German military’s Heron I UAV has achieved Full Operational Capability in Mali. Deployment of the UAV in Mali is planned to initially last until February 2018 when German operators will undergo intelligence gathering and surveillance missions after taking over from the Netherlands last July. The aircraft has been leased from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and has undergone maintenance and overhaul work by Airbus Defence and Space Airborne Solutions GmbH (ADAS).

Europe

* Germany’s Jenoptik has been contracted $13.8 million to provide components supporting the Patriot air and missile defense system. The manufacturer has been a long-term supplier for the Patriot program, offering power-supply units and sub-systems for the platform. The latest deal follows on earlier contracts in 2016 and will see the company deliver electrical generators, spare parts packages and testing equipment.

Asia Pacific

* Lotte Group has signed an agreement with the South Korean government to move ahead with a land swap that will see the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system on a golf course owned by the firm. Seoul said that the system will be in place by the end of the year with a South Korean military official indicating that the system could be in place as early as August. While the reasoning for the system making its way to the Korean peninsula comes amid North Korean ballistic missile testing, the deployment has received protests from China, concerned over THAADs powerful radar penetrating Chinese territory.

* India’s Ministry of Defense has rejected a plan to procure British Advanced Hawk trainer aircraft. The decision was made after revelations that British engine-maker Rolls-Royce bribed officials of India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited between 2005 and 2009 to secure orders for engines to power the Hawk 132 advanced jet trainers destined for the Indian Air Force. An IAF official stated, “this is because the MoD does not want [to] give additional orders for engines to tainted Rolls-Royce for the Advanced Hawk program.” New Delhi had initially contracted BAE for 123 Hawk Mk-132 advanced jet trainers for the IAF and the Navy.

* It’s been reported that a North Korean spy agency has been illegally selling defense equipment through a front company out of offices in Malaysia. Glocom sells battlefield radio equipment in violation of United Nations sanctions and advertises over 30 radio systems for “military and paramilitary” organizations. Last July, an air shipment of North Korean military communications equipment, sent from China and bound for Eritrea, was intercepted in an unnamed country. The seized equipment included 45 boxes of battlefield radios and accessories labeled “Glocom”, short for Global Communications Co. Malaysia is one of few in the international community with strong ties with Pyongyang, but these have been put under strain in recent weeks following the assassination of the older half-brother of dictator Kim Jong-un by North Korean agents in Kuala Lumpur Airport.

Today’s Video

* PZL M28 demo:

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