* An MV-22B Osprey has successfully flown with critical components fabricated by 3-D printing. The work was undertaken by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) which involved the creation of a titanium link and fitting assembly for the engine nacelle of the aircraft. This link and fitting assembly is one of four that secure a V-22’s engine nacelle to the primary wing structure. NAVAIR intends to further expand the usage of 3-D printed components, fabricating six additional parts for the V-22, H-1 and CH-53K.
* While it doesn’t seem so at first, an emerging problem for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is that it is almost too stealthy. Pilots flying the aircraft have discovered that they are unable to participate in certain training exercises such as evading surface-to-air threats. The inability on the ground to track the fighters had to be rectified by crews flipping on their transponders in order to be followed.
Middle East North Africa
* Israel has wheeled out its indigenous Eitan armored personnel carrier (APC) demonstrator. Weighing in at 35 tons, the 8×8 APC will cost nearly half that of new Merkava Mk4-based Namer heavy carriers now in production. Field trials will now commence to assess Eitan’s performance in “varied and complex” conditions and the Ministry of Defense hopes to have it in service within the next five years.
* A missile explosion at a military installation in northern Ukraine has killed three people, including a NATO representative. The incident occurred last Thursday while a missile was being unloaded from a vehicle. According to local media, the NATO representative was there to oversee the disarmament of Soviet-era weapons.
* Delivery of a South Korean made fleet tanker for the British Royal Navy has now been delayed by seven months. Initially due to enter service in September, the vessel is still undergoing trials with manufacturer Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). A total of four tankers are to be eventually delivered as part of the service’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) program.
* South Korea’s Hanwha Techwin is to buy out the Thales SA stake in their joint venture, Hanwha Thales, for $257 million. While the deal has yet to be approved by the South Korean government, the sale would result in Hanwha owning Hanwha Thales outright and integrated into the company. The integration will add expertise in command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems to Hanwha Techwin, who primarily deal with land systems.
* AM General has been awarded a $356 million contract to provide Humvees to Afghanistan. The deal will see 1,259 M1151 armament-carrying Humvees and 414 M1152 troop carriers delivered, and is part of an earlier released foreign military sales contract which includes deliveries to Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Ukraine, and Tunisia. Features found in the models include armor protection, including frag kits, all of of which can be installed and removed in the field.
* BAE and Rheinmetall have both been shortlisted by the Australian government to participate in the second phase of their LAND 400 program. The vehicles offered, AMV35 (BAE) and the Boxer 8×8 (RM), will now be assessed on their mounted combat reconnaissance capabilities. Once selected, the winning company will provide replacements for the Australian light armored vehicle and M113 armored personnel carrier fleets.
Eitan 8×8 APC: