Navy Tests UAVs And USVs | Saudi Arabia Upgrades F-15 ESTS | Boeing Tapped For Japanese KC-46 Support
The US Navy announced the start of its first manned and unmanned capabilities exercise on April 19 at Naval Base San Diego. Executed by the Navy’s 3rd Fleet, “Unmanned Battle Problem 21” will “generate warfighting advantages in integrating multi-domain manned and unmanned capabilities into the most challenging operational scenarios,” ist says in a statement. Unmanned systems, including the MQ-9 Sea Guardian and MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicles, Sea Hunter and Sea Hawk unmanned surface vessels and small and medium unmanned undersea vehicles with modular payloads will be involved in exercises.
The USS Oakland, the Navy’s newest littoral combat ship, was formally commissioned in a weekend ceremony, as the first LCS ships face retirement. The Oakland, an Independence-class trimaran 418 feetlong and designed to carry a crew of 40 in shallow water and ocean-going situations, officially joined the Navy fleet in Oakland, California on April 18.
Middle East & Africa
The Advanced Electronics won a contract modification for the F-15 Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) Electronic System Test Set (ESTS). Services acquired under this effort are to provide the RSAF with an upgraded ESTS. The RSAF currently uses an A31U18240-2 ESTS configuration, and this shall provide the scope to upgrade and install the A31U18240-3 and A31U18240-4 configuration (frequently referred to as -3 and -4, respectively), as well as familiarization training, regression testing, and travel. Work will be performed at the RSAF Central Maintenance Facilities within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the Science and Engineering facility in Huntsville, Alabama; and Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, and is expected to be completed April 16, 2021.
The US Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program Office completed Precision Approach and Landing System (PALS) certification on HMS Queen Elizabeth in March, completing a critical step in preparing the ship for its first operational deployment. The PALS system includes the AN/SPN-41B Instrument Carrier Landing System (ICLS), previously installed by PMA-213 as a foreign military sales (FMS) effort, and the AN/USN-3 Joint Precision and Approach Landing System (JPALS) system, installed as a US asset to support the future embarkation of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211’s F-35Bs aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth during its inaugural operational deployment.
Boeing won a $79.5 million contract modification for KC-46A long lead spares, initial spares and support equipment. This modification provides mission essential long lead spares, initial spares, and support equipment for use on the Japan KC-46 aircraft being produced under the basic contract. The US Air Force awarded Boeing $279 million for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s (JASDF) first KC-46A tanker in December 2017. The agreement was completed through the Foreign Military Sale process between the US government and Japan. Japan is now on contract for a total of four KC-46 tankers. Japanese partners produce 16% of the KC-46 airframe structure. Work under the contract modification will take place in Everett, Washington. Estimated completion date is June 30, 2024.
News reports from Taiwan say the Ministry of National Defense intends to submit budget request for a new early warning radar system in 2022. As per reports, the new radar is likely to be the same AN/FPS-115 PAVE PAWS that Taiwan had wanted to build in the southern part of the island. Currently, it has only one system on Leshan mountain. The site is said to be Lilongshan, north of Hengchun.
Watch: F-15s Fighter Jet at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia