* Canada will purchase 18 Super Hornets from Boeing as an interim solution to its CF-18 fleet replacement. Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan made the announcement adding that Ottawa will also launch a brand new competition for a multi-role fighter. On the interim procurement, Sajjan said the Super Hornets would allow Canada to maintain NATO operational standards.
Middle East & North Africa
* The governments of Pakistan and Turkey have signed an agreement to supply 52 Super Mushshak basic trainers for the Turkish military. Signatories on the deal were Air Marshal Arshad Malik, Chairman Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), and Mustafa Seker, Deputy Undersecretary Turkish Ministry of Defense Industry. Delivery is expected by 2019 and comes with a $50 million price tag.
* Lockheed Martin and Boeing are expected to be the main competitors in an upcoming program to replace Israeli Air Force Sikorsky CH-53 Yasur helicopters. Israeli pilots are expected to test LM’s latest CH-53K and Boeing’s CH-47 before a winner is chosen in 2018. While figures on the deal have yet to be mentioned publicly, the IAF intends to acquire 20-25 helicopters.
* Firing trials have commenced of the Roketsan UMTAS anti-tank missile onboard Turkish T-129 attack helicopters. Both the laser-guided and imaging infrared seeker versions of the indigenous munition have been tested. 16 of the equipped helicopters are currently in service, with Ankara wanting to up this to 35 by the end of 2017.
* Released documents have revealed that Germany plans to spend as much as 1 billion euros on their participation in the European multinational MRTT fleet. The program will see a pool of A330 MRTT tankers stationed in Holland for sharing between partners. So far, Netherlands and Luxembourg have signed up while Norway and Belgium are considering the offer too. For Germany, membership fees to join the program start at 2.5 million euros.
* Russia’s Barguzin rail-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) complex has successfully carried out their first pop-up test. Each complex can carry up to six RS-24 ICBMs. Full flight development tests will now take place ahead of deployment in 2018. The new mobile complexes mark a major upgrade on Soviet-era rail-based strategic missile predecessors.
* Following in the footsteps of neighboring South Korea, Japan is considering the potential deployment of the THAAD system as they look to better protect themselves from North Korean nuclear threats. While no concrete plans are yet in place to deploy THAAD, military officials are looking at the option of beefing up defense capabilities and are “considering what can be done.” At present, Japan’s missile defense system involves on ship-based SM-3 interceptors to target missiles in space and land-based PAC-3 batteries to intercept rockets flying closer to the ground. While this had been deemed sufficient measures, Pyongyang’s increased ballistic missile testings have moved the procurement of a more long-range system onto the agenda.
* The Indian Air Force has given an initial operational clearance (IOC) to the latest Jaguar DARIN-III upgrade program. Upgraded by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the fighter was fitted with autopilots, next generation avionics and lethal armaments, and will keep the fleet flying until 2030. The Indian Navy has also been given the go ahead by the government to buy 12 upgraded Do-228 maritime patrol aircraft from HAL.
Swedish Coastal Artillery reactivating its RBS-15 coastal anti-ship missile system.: