Russia-US Relations Strained After Reaper Su-27 Collision | Spain To Acquire More PC-21s | Taiwan Unveils New Combat And Surveillance Drones
Northrop Grumman won a $57.5 million modification, which exercises options to provide continued sustainment, engineering, logistics, and test support for MQ-4C Triton air vehicles, mission control and operator training systems; continued field service representative’s technical support to ensure that the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) aircraft are mission-capable for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions supporting aircraft early operational capability and initial operating capability; and continued reach-back engineering support for both the Navy and the government of Australia MQ-4C Triton UAS assets. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Maryland (36.5%); San Diego, California, California; Jacksonville, Florida; Mayport, Florida; Baltimore, Maryland; various location within the continental US (CONUS); and various location outside CONUS (12.7%), and is expected to be completed in March 2024.
Russia’s relations with the United States are in a “lamentable state” and at their lowest level after a Russian jet downed one of the US’ drones, the Kremlin has said. The US said a Russian fighter plane caused its drone MQ-9 Reaper to crash into the Black Sea on Tuesday, marking the first direct encounter between US and Russian forces since Moscow invaded Ukraine.
Middle East & Africa
For the first time, a civilian industry will provide maintenance services for operational systems employed by the Israeli Navy. The agreement aims to increase accessibility and efficiency, while reducing costs. In addition, routine maintenance work will be performed at the highest professional level, thus ensuring optimal operational capabilities. The multi-year agreement will extend for over 20 years and includes maintenance services for dozens of “Typhoon” remotely-controlled naval weapon stations (RCWS). The maintenance services provided by RAFAEL will bolster the technological and operational cooperation between RAFAEL and the Israeli Navy and establish maintenance capabilities for additional systems.
The Spanish Air Force has officially inked a deal to acquire an additional 16 PC-21s, reinforcing their pilot training division with more Pilatus trainer aircraft. Having decided to purchase 24 PC-21s in early 2020, this recent development now solidifies Spain’s position as the largest PC-21 operator in Europe. After using the PC-21 for over 18 months, the Spanish Air Force has been left in awe with how efficiently the integrated training system works. It provides a range of benefits from reliable and efficient aerodynamics and safety systems, to avionics that allow it to perform diverse phases of flight training. Lieutenant Colonel Ildefonso Martínez-Pardo González, AGA Air Operations Group Commander, noted that the PC-21 has exceeded their expectations and that their partnership with Pilatus has been exemplary.
The Polish military has deployed anti-tank barriers on its borders with Russia and Belarus to prepare for a potential escalation of the war in Ukraine. Poland could be heavily affected by the armed conflict should it spread beyond the borders of Ukraine. Polish Defense Minister Mariusz B?aszczak recently uploaded photos on Twitter showing his country’s security measures to protect its border with Kaliningrad Oblast.
Taiwan’s National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), a military R&D and systems integration center, unveiled its version of the Switchblade miniature loitering munition. The press conference in Taichung highlighted three other indigenous unmanned air vehicles: Albatross II, Cardinal III, and new variants of Chien Hsiang. NCSIST official Chi Liping informed the media that the miniature loitering munition, which is yet to be named, can be used by a single soldier to accurately target high-threat targets, including high-value individuals and vehicles. The munition is like a large grenade that can be carried in a backpack and used for nearshore attacks. The munition has a range of over 10km and can loiter for more than 15 minutes, fitted with electro-optical and infrared cameras. It has been designed to self-destruct at the end of its flight.
WATCH: MQ-9 Reaper vs Su-27 Midair Collision