Navy launches Block II Upgrade for Growler | Raytheon Missiles take part in NATO Exercise l Greece gets P-3B
Saab’s T-X production facility in West Lafayette, Indiana will become one of the Swedish company’s major sites according to CEO Hakan Buskhe. The T-X is an American/Swedish advanced jet trainer. It was announced on September 27, 2018 that the aircraft would become the Air Force’s new advanced jet trainer, replacing the T-38 Talon. 351 aircraft and 46 simulators are to be supplied at a cost of $9.2 billion under the T-X trainer program. Buskhe believes, the trainer aircraft program will open new opportunities an the aircraft has potential to be sold around the world, defensenews reports.
The US Navy kicked off the Block 2 upgrade for the EA-18G Growler aircraft. Jane’s reports, that the USN issued a request for information in late May, in which it announced the intention to procure non-recurring engineering in support of EA-18G Growler Block 2, including Electronic Attack Unit Surrogate Processor, AN/ALQ-218(V)4 RF receiver system, and AN/ALQ-227(V)2 communication countermeasures. The Growler is a variant of Boeing’s F-18F Super Hornet. The aircraft provides tactical jamming and electronic protection to the carrier air wing. The Navy will have its existing Growler fleet brought in for the Block II upgrades, which will incorporate new sensors and some of the Super Hornet Block III upgrades – like conformal fuel tanks. The Growler’s sensors upgrades will do some of the analysis work previously done by pilots, enabling the pilots to process data more efficiently.
Middle East & Africa
France donated two aircraft to Senegal on Thursday. The two Tb30 Epsilon will help train pilots at the Air Force School on Thies near Dakar. The aircraft are part of a program to transfer a total of seven military planes from France to the Senegalese Air Force School. The Tb30 is a single-engine military trainer, that can carry out complete basic flight training, including aerobatics, instrument, night, formation, combat maneuvers and visual flight rules, or instrument flight rules navigation. It is armed with two 7.62mm general purpose machine gun pods which can fire munitions at the rate of 500 to 600 rounds a minute. The machine gun has 853m/s muzzle velocity and weighs 10.5kg.
Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3, Standard Missile-2 and evolved SeaSparrow Missile played a part in a NATO exercise called Formidable Shield 2019. The two-week exercise took place at the UK defense ministry’s Hebrides Range located on the Western Isles of Scotland. The Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO conducted the exercise on behalf of the US 6th Fleet. The SM-3 was fired at a simulated target, the SM-2 and the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile engaged targets simulating anti-ship cruise missiles. The SM-3 interceptor is a defensive weapon used to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The SM-2 provides superior anti-air warfare and limited anti-surface warfare capability against advanced anti-ship missiles and aircraft out to 90 nautical miles. The Evolved SeaSparrow Missile provides self-defense battlespace and firepower against high-speed, highly maneuverable anti-ship missiles in the naval environment.
Airbus presented a mock-up of the military version of the H160 helicopter. The H160M was developed for the French Armed Forces’ Joint Light Helicopter Program. The program will see 169 helicopters delivered to the country’s three armed forces. The company presented the model at an event at its Marignane facility, during which French defense minister Florence Parly announced that the launch of the Joint Light Helicopter Program has been brought forward from 2022 to 2021. This means, the helicopter can eventually enter service two years early. The H160M will replace all helicopter types in the French Military except for the NHIndustries NH90, Airbus Helicopters Tiger, and Airbus Helicopters H225M Caracal.
The Hellenic Navy received its first modernized P-3B maritime patrol aircraft as part of the Hellenic Navy P-3B maritime patrol aircraft mid-life upgrade and modernization program implementation. Representatives from the Hellenic Navy, Lockheed Martin and Hellenic Aerospace Industry hosted a ceremony on May 17. The government-to-government agreement between the United States and Greece was announced in 2015, providing for the re-activation of one Hellenic Navy P-3B Orion maritime patrol aircraft, which was the recently delivered aircraft. The agreement also includes the modernization of four Hellenic Navy P-3B aircraft through the Mid-Life Upgrade Program. The P-3 Orion is used for homeland security, anti-piracy operations, humanitarian relief, search and rescue, intelligence gathering, antisubmarine warfare and, recently, to assist in air traffic control and natural disaster relief support. The Hellenic Navy operated the P-3 fleet for 15 years.
Linda Reynolds will be Australia’s new defense minister and Melissa Price will be the country’s defense industry minister. Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Minister, announced the new leadership on May 26. Alex Hawke will be new assistant defense minister and Darren Chester will continue his role as minister for veterans’ affairs and defense personnel. The leadership change comes after Australia’s 2019 elections, in which the Liberal-National coalition reached about 80% of the votes. Before the election, Reynolds was the defense industry minister while Price was minister of the environment.
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