T-X Competitors Pushed to Excel | USAF Issues RFP For Modernization of ICBMs | Japan Plans Upgrade to Patriot PAC-3s to Include MSEs
- Competitors involved in the upcoming T-X program will have the opportunity to score bonus points according to a draft request for proposals (RFP) by the USAF. The inclusion comes as part of an incentive by the service to push manufacturers to exceed the threshold requirements in certain performance areas. For example, the minimum requirement is for the jet to pull 6.5g in a turn. Exceeding the specification by each 0.1g will earn a bonus point, with a cap at 7.5g. This system will, in theory, edge out low cost bids.
- Two contracts are to be awarded by the USAF in 2017 for a new Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) weapons system, or ground-based strategic deterrent. On Friday, the service released a request for proposals for the replacement of the existing Minutemen III ICBMs as part of the military’s costly modernization of its atomic weapons systems. The next ten years will see up to $350 billion spent on the modernization with some analysts suggesting the costs will run in excess of $1 trillion over 30 years.
- As part of the European Reassurance Initiative package, Ukraine has received 24 RQ-11B Raven UAV systems from the US. The hand-launched reconnaissance and surveillance tool are being given to help increase and modernize Ukrainian security efforts amid ongoing violence in the country’s eastern regions. More than $600 million has been made available by the US for training and equipment to help Kiev better defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- Two C-23B+ Super Sherpa transport aircraft due to be inducted into the Estonian Air Force have been dropped by the authorities. The two were offered on a free transfer by the US back in 2014, however are no longer deemed necessary to the service’s needs. First used by the USAF in 1985, Estonia along with Djibouti and the Philippines were offered the aircraft as well, along with several being transferred to Alaska.
- The latest version of the Mi-28NM has been spotted at the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, with pictures capturing the attack helicopter on its first hover. In development since 2008, a prototype first flew in 2015 with further tests to continue before delivery to the Russian Defense Ministry later this year. The improved version comes equipped with surveillance radar, an advanced suite of optical-electronic sensors mounted in the new nose turret, and a dual control system which allows the navigator-operator to operate the machine if required.
- India has finally inked a deal with Rosoboronexport to modernize ten Ka-28 naval helicopters. Valued at Rs 2,000 crore ($428.8 million), the contract will see the submarine hunting helicopters transported to Russian Helicopters’ facility in Kumertau to be overhauled to extend their life-span over the next five years. Upon return to India, new avionics will be installed.
- Japan is to upgrade their Patriot PAC-3 missile defense system with Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptors with upgrades likely to begin next year. With Tokyo set to host the Olympic Games in 2020, the move represents the most significant upgrade to Japan’s missile defense system in a decade. The work will be carried out under license by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) who are expected to upgrade 12 batteries in the first year, another 12 the following year, with four in the subsequent twelve months.
- Kazakhstan has taken possession of their fifth of eight ordered C-295 transport aircraft from Airbus. Two were originally delivered in 2013 with options to increase to eight if necessary. The C-295 has proved a popular choice, with Airbus supplying the aircraft to over 20 international customers.
The Mil Mi-28 Night Hunter:
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