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Daily Rapid Fire

Raytheon’s SM-6 Almost at FOC | LM’s Fury 1500 UAV Undergoes Long-Range Flight Tests | US Clears FMS to New Zealand for $1.46B in P-8A’s

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Americas * Raytheon’s Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) is expected to be declared fully operational in the near future, after the missile was successfully put through a series of rigorous Navy testing. Four missiles were fired from surface ships using the MK 41 Vertical Launch System—deployed on Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers—at a variety of land-launched […]
Americas

* Raytheon’s Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) is expected to be declared fully operational in the near future, after the missile was successfully put through a series of rigorous Navy testing. Four missiles were fired from surface ships using the MK 41 Vertical Launch System—deployed on Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers—at a variety of land-launched targets, including supersonic and subsonic missiles, with all four test fires successfully intercepting their targets. Furthermore, the missile has been approved for international sales to select countries as of January this year.

* Lockheed Martin has been conducting long-range flight tests of the Fury Unmanned Aerial System ahead of the platform’s low-rate production later this year. Fully funded and tested with the company’s own dollar, the Fury boasts an endurance of more than 12 hours and a 100-pound payload of surveillance sensors and communications systems. The firm is targeting both domestic and international orders, touting the platform for special operations missions as well as a possible replacement system for the US Army’s Shadow UAS. So far, only an unknown Middle East buyer has ordered the system, with orders for six units as well as a potential follow-up order of a further six.

Middle East & North Africa

* Israel’s air defense systems have fired a Patriot missile at “a target” over the Golan Heights, with local media reporting that the target in question was a drone from Syria. The incident occurred just hours after an earlier bombing of a suspected arms dump belonging to the Lebanese group Hezbollah and located near Damascus international airport, by the Israeli air force. While having stayed out of much of the neighboring civil war in Syria, there has been a steady increase in Israeli responses to Hezbollah activity in Syria and around the Golan Heights. The plateau, which is recognised as Syrian territory, has been occupied by Israeli forces since 1967.

Europe

* A team including Airbus, BAE Systems, Eurofighter GmbH, MBDA and the UK‘s Ministry of Defence, have successfully completed a dual firing of two Meteor air-to-air missiles from a Eurofighter Typhoon, hitting an important milestone with the integration of the missile on the fighter. The missiles were fired from Airbus’s Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) 4 over the UK’s Hebrides range, and marks the sixth in a series of tests that started last year aimed at upgrading the fighter’s multi-role capabilities. As well as the Eurofighter, the Meteors are going to arm some export models of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

* Greece has requested the transfer of five second-hand CH-47D helicopters from the US Army’s inventory in a deal estimated to be worth $80 million. The sale, already approved by the US State Department, also includes seven units of the Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) and 12 T55-GA-714A turbine engines. Greece’s procurement of the helicopters goes toward their efforts to expand rotary-wing transport capability in an effort to modernize their armed forces while further enhancing greater interoperability between Greece, the US and other allies.

Asia Pacific

* Japan is moving ahead with a study into the possibility of deploying the Aegis Ashore missile defense system in the country. Seen as a cheaper alternative to the high profile deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea, only two Aegis sites (compared with six THAAD sites) would be needed to cover the entire country from a potential ballistic missile launch from North Korea. At present, Tokyo’s air defense network includes naval-based Aegis destroyers as well as the Patriot system. However, the inclusion of a permanently deployed, land-based Aegis system will allow Japanese forces to respond much quicker to any incoming missile threats.

* The government of Australia has been cleared by the Trump administration to move forward with the purchase of 70 AGM-88B High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) and 40 AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missiles (AARGM). With a total cost estimated at $137.6 million, the deal will also include up to 16 CATM-88B HARM Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); up to 16 CATM-88E AARGM CATM; up to 25 AGM-88B Control Sections; up to 25 AGM-88B Guidance Sections; up to 20 AGM-88E Control Sections; up to 20 AGM-88E Guidance Sections; up to 48 Telemetry/Flight Termination Systems; as well as US Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other associated support equipment and services. The missiles are being requested for use on the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) fleet of Electronic Attack EA-18G Growler aircraft, of which, the service plans to have 12 operational Growlers by the middle of this year.

* New Zealand has been cleared by the US State Department for the $1.46 billion purchase of four Boeing P-8A maritime patrol aircraft alongside associated equipment and support. The sale will go toward the maintenance of Wellington’s Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) capability, following the retirement of the P-3K maritime patrol aircraft. Japan had also tried to sell the Kawasaki P-1 to New Zealand, a rival platform being marketed agains Boeing’s P-8A.

Today’s Video

* Dual firing of a Meteor missile from a Eurofighter Typhoon:

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