* Raytheon’s high powered microwave demonstrator capable of disabling the electronics on small UAVs is reported to have gained renewed interest from Department of Defense contractors. This follows the successful 2013 test of the system’s capabilities on an Army site. The system is the ground-based cousin to Raytheon’s computer-frying missile, the Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) and also resembles the active denial system’s configuration, including its reflector and steering mirror, but with a different mission set.
Middle East North Africa
* Turkey’s strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that his country’s shipbuilding industry is capable of constructing its own indigenous aircraft carrier. Erdogan made the claims in a speech at a launching ceremony at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard. However any ambitious plans to start such a development won’t begin until the completion and delivery of TCG Anadolu, a planned amphibious assault ship being built by the Sedef–Navantia consortium.
* The US State Department has cleared potential foreign military sale (FMS) for AC-208 sustainment, logistics, and spares support to the government of Iraq. Contained in the $181 million deal is a five-year sustainment package for its AC/RC-208 fleet that includes: operational, intermediate, and depot-level maintenance; spare parts; component repair; publication updates; maintenance training; and logistics. This will allow the Iraqi Air Force (IqAF) to continue to operate its fleet of eight C-208 light attack and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft beyond the June 2016 end of its existing CLS contract.
* Italy has landed its largest ever export deal after signing contracts with Qatar to provide seven naval vessels from Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard. The deal is estimated to be worth between $3.8 to $4.28 billion. According to Italian officials, the Gulf nation also signed a pre-contract agreement, or “Letter of Award” with European missile house MBDA to supply Exocet and Aster 30 missiles worth €1 billion to equip the vessels, with a contract to follow “within weeks.”
* Aviastar-SP – a subsidiary of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC)- has been looking at various alternatives to replace the aging Russian-Ukrainian An-124 cargo plane. The company’s managing director, Andrey Kapustin, told RIA Novosti that the project is still in the conception stage. Production of the An-124 has been suspended amid the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine following the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 and accusations by Ukraine that Moscow is meddling in its conflict in the eastern Donbas region.
* Airbus believes that it has found a solution to its A400M tactical transport incapability of refueling helicopters in flight. Tests conducted on the company’s H225 helicopter revealed that the rotorcraft’s proximity to its T-tail meant that the air-to-air refueling activity could not be safely completed using a standard, 24.4m (80ft)-long hose. The potential solution, still awaiting tests, involves using a stiffer hose that is more narrow in diameter which will result in a slower refueling time.
* Japan’s military was on alert for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch, a government source said on Tuesday, with media reporting its navy and anti-missile Patriot batteries have been told to shoot down any projectile heading for Japan. The alarm was raised when Pyongyang appeared to have moved an intermediate-range missile to its east coast, but there were no signs of an imminent launch according to South Korean sources. Tension in the region has been high since isolated North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and followed that with a satellite launch and test launches of various missiles.
* Polish F-16 fighters escorting Chinese President Xi Jinping on his state visit: