NGJ-MB Flew For First Time Under Right Wing Of Growler | Pentagon Investigating Attacks On US-Convoys In Iraq | Thailand To Upgrade C-130Hs
The Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) flew for the first time on August 7 under the right wing of a EA-18G from VX-23. Lt. Jonathan Williams, VX-23 test pilot, says the new pod imposed negligible handling issues with the Growler. The first flight, conducted by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, is a Safety of Flight (SOF) checkout that ensures the pods can be safely flown on the EA-18G aircraft for follow-on test flights.
The HH-60W Jolly Green II helicopter reportedly carried out its first aerial refueling on August 5 by connecting with a HC-130J tanker over southern Alabama. This connection marked the start of two weeks of developmental testing of the aircraft’s aerial refueling abilities by 413th Flight Test Squadron testers and their mission partners, says the press release. John Biscaino, Sikorsky’s test pilot, and Maj. Andrew Fama, 413th FLTS, were at the controls during the milestone test flight.
Middle East & Africa
The Pentagon said on August 11 it is investigating a pair of attacks on US-supported military convoys in Iraq. According to officials, the military is investigating one attack Monday night on a convoy carrying equipment near the Iraq-Kuwait border, south of Basra. Shiite group Ashab Al Kahf claimed responsibility, saying it destroyed “equipment and vehicles belonging to the American enemy.” The Pentagon uses foreign contractors to provide security in the area, which is a key transportation site.
According to BAE Systems, engineers from Australia and the UK have successfully completed a rigorous structural testing programme that has seen a Hawk airframe achieve the equivalent of 50,000 flying hours. The Mk127 Hawk operated by the Royal Australian Air Force has a safety clearance to fly 10,000 hours and is the most advanced standard of the aircraft. The firm also say that air forces in the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Oman operate similar standards of aircraft in their Hawk fleets with the Qatar Emiri Air Force due to become the latest to operate this most advanced standard of aircraft.
Thailand will spend $30 million to upgrade 12 C-130H cargo planes instead of purchasing new aircraft. The cabinet approved the project on August 4. Royal Thai Air Force commander ACM Maanat Wongwat explained that the budget to finance the upgrade will come from tie-over funds over the next two fiscal year. Earlier this year, the Royal Thai Air Force published a white paper that calls for the replacement of the C-130H by 2030. It said that the aircraft was commissioned in 1980 with 40 years in service and is nearing the end of its lifespan. It wishes to buy new replacement aircraft from 2022 in three batches of four aircraft.
A clear rendering of South Korea’s light aircraft carrier has been distributed to the local media and the ship’s main features can be seen. The overall shape is similar to the America-class with 9 spots on the flight deck for helicopters to take-off and land. The island is longer with two smoke funnels and two octagonal masts that are similar to those on the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock. Two phase-array panels could be seen on the the forward mast. The port side aircraft elevator is in the same spot as American-class but the starboard side elevator has been brought forward closer to the island.
Watch: FAST & AGILE USS ST LOUIS ARMED WITH NAVAL STRIKE MISSILE TO TAKE ON LARGER RUSSIAN & CHINESE SHIPS!