Russia Protests Ukraine Plan to Test Fire Near Crimea | US State Dept Clears Sale of JASSM-ER to Poland | USAF Contracts Raytheon in $22M FMS to Taiwan
- Defense officials from Bolivia are exploring the possibility of purchasing A-29 Super Tucanos from Brazil. The Embraer-made light attack aircraft will be used to clamp down on illegal activity, namely drug and mineral trafficking, along both nation’s 3,423 km shared border. According to Brazil’s defense ministry, Bolivian interest in the counter-insurgency plane was raised during a meeting to deepen bilateral relations.
- Saab will provide further training and simulation systems under a contract awarded by the US Army. According to the company, the contract falls under the service’s Program Executive Office of Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), and will provide OSAG 2.0 interoperability upgrades for the 7th Army Training Command’s Deployable Instrumentation System, Europe (DISE) and Combat Vehicle Tactical Engagement Simulation System (CVTESS). The new capability will allow the US, who use the MILES Communicaton Code (MCC), to train seamlessly with the European partners, who mostly utilize the OSAG 2.0 standard.
Middle East & North Africa
- Tunisia’s government has admitted that US drones are patrolling its border with Libya, to help fend off attacks from the Islamic State. Speaking on television, President Beji Caid Essebsi maintained that the UAV’s were unarmed and denied that they took off from Tunisian air bases. Essebsi also stated that the surveillance drones would be given to Tunisia after training conducted by 70 US soldiers, although exact numbers remain unclear.
- The Nigerian Air Force has announced that they have refurbished 13 aircraft, some of which have returned to active duty putting down an insurgency led by the jihadist group, Boko Haram. In addition, ten more aircraft will be added to their fleet, including four new Mi-35N attack helicopters, at least three ex-Brazilian Air Force Super Tucanos, and three JF-17 Thunders from Pakistan. This will add to a recent order of Super Mushshak trainers and a soon to be completed refurbishment program of older helicopters and light aircraft to carry out surveillance and counter-insurgency missions.
- Plans by Ukraine to test fire missiles near Crimea have been met with protest from Russia. Having annexed the peninsula in 2014, Moscow is regarding the planned tests as violating “Russia’s sovereign air space,” summoning the Ukrainian defense attache to hand over a protest note ahead of the December 1 & 2 launches. Meanwhile, Russian military buildup in Crimea continues.
- The US State Department has cleared the potential sale of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles – Extended Range (JASSM-ER) to Poland. Estimated at $200 million, if passed Warsaw will receive 70 AGM-158B JASSM-ER missiles, 2 AGM-158B Flight Test Vehicles, 2 AGM-158 Mass Simulant vehicles, and 1 Captive Carry variant of the AGM-158B Flight Test Vehicle. F-16 C & D upgrades, along with training services, and additional supporting equipment are also included in the deal.
- In the wake of Brexit and Trump, the European Union unveiled its biggest defense funding and research plan in more than a decade as part of a broader push to revitalize defense cooperation within the bloc. Also included is the European Commission’s proposed plan for a 5 billion-euro ($5.3 billion) fund to let governments club together to buy new helicopters and planes to lower costs. Another plan, according to EU officials, to let the EU’s common budget and its development bank invest in military research, would open the door to new drones, cyber warfare systems and other hi-tech gear.
- Raytheon has been contracted by the USAF to provide upgraded missile warning radar centers to Taiwan in a $22 million foreign military sale. Under the deal, the company will upgrade Taiwan’s Early Warning Radar Surveillance Radar Program Missile Warning Center to address obsolescence concerns. The new system will warn operators of incoming ballistic missile attacks, as well as track threats, and provide accurate determination of threat versus non-threat objects.
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