US State Dept Approved FMS to Canada of C-17 Support | UAE Considers Buying Dozens of Su-35 from Russia | Indian Announces $10B in Deals with Washington
- An F-35C loaded with the latest F3 software configuration has successfully hit a moving target with a GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb in what was the munition’s first developmental release from the fighter variant. The successful test was made capable by the inclusion of Lead Point Compute logic in the software which enhances the effectiveness against moving targets, with the objective of reducing pilot workload. This works by delaying the release point of the weapon to ensure the weapon has the available kinematics to guide to and reach the target at its future location. The GBU-12 has now been tested on every variant of the F-35.
- Canada is to receive a C-17 Globemaster III sustainment package after the US State Department approved the potential foreign military sale. Valued at a possible $195 million, the deal will support five C-17s operated by Canada including tasks such as in-country field services, maintenance and technical support, spares and additional equipment. Boeing will act as lead contractor with support to be provided by Lockheed Martin.
Middle East & North Africa
- The UAE is in discussions with the Russian government over the potential sale of “several dozen” Su-35 fighters. The announcement was made by Russian trade minister Denis Manturov as Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces held bilateral talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last Thursday. Until now, the Gulf Emirate has only purchased French, UK, and US jets. But, flush with petrodollars, it has become the third-largest importer of arms and has been dubbed “little Sparta” by US Defense Secretary General James Mattis due to their participation in the ongoing Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, and their establishment of naval bases off the east coast of Africa.
- Romania looks set to be the latest site of NATO’s European missile defense shield after General Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca, chief of the General Staff, announced Bucharest’s intentions to purchase the Patriot system. Already in talks with manufacturer Raytheon, the missiles would be part of an integrated air defense system comprising six newly acquired F-16 fighter jets as Romania brings their forces up to NATO standards and retires outdated communist-era MiGs. News of the potential deal shortly follows Poland’s decision to purchase the Patriot system, much to Russia’s chagrin. Russian President Vladimir Putin described the purchases as a “great danger” saying Moscow will be forced to respond by enhancing their own missile strike capability.
- MBDA has been awarded a number of missile contracts by the UK government totalling $698 million. The contracts include three separate missile deliveries, including the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM), the Meteor, and the Sea Viper (Aster). The Meteor air-to-air missiles will be integrated on the F-35B Joint Strike Fighters that will be based onboard the Royal Navy’s two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and includes work that aims to help “de-risk the integration effort and includes the mixture of test assets, productionisation and engineering work needed to support Meteor’s compatibility and use from F-35.” Meanwhile, the Sea Viper system will be integrated on the Navy’s Type 45 Destroyers, while the CAMM will provide the anti-air defence capability on the new Type 26 Frigates.
- Boeing has pulled out of Belgium’s F-16 replacement competition citing unfair treatment in the selection process. Initially hoping to sell the F/A-18 Super Hornet, the company pulled out of the race on Wednesday declaring that they did not “see an opportunity to compete on a truly level playing field with the extremely capable and cost-effective F/A-18 Super Hornet,” adding that it will now have time to devote to existing customers such as the recent $2.1 billion deal to provide P-8 Poseidon aircraft to the US Navy. Brussels will now have to decide between Lockheed Martin’s F-35, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab’s Gripen, and Dassault’s Rafale.
- As US VP Mike Pence continues his tour of several Asia ally nations, Indonesia has announced $10 billion dollars in trade and investment agreements with Washington, including the sale of Lockheed Martin’s Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods. While a White House statement stated the pods are meant for Jakarta’s fleet of F-16A/B fighters, they are more likely to be fitted on the upgraded F-16s that the TNI AU acquired under the Obama administration. Lockheed will supply the pods from their Missiles and Fire Control facility in Orlando, Florida, and work closely with the Indonesian Air Force to train pilots and maintenance crew.
- Taiwan has announced intentions to begin talks over the potential purchase of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Lawmakers of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee were told by Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan that Taipei will approach Washington in July over the fighters, once the Trump administration has appointed officials for handling affairs with Taiwan. The military are looking to buy the F-35 for its short-takeoff and vertical landing capabilities, which would allow Taiwan to continue operating air capabilities if their airbases were destroyed in a conflict with China.
- Testing of South Korea’s Haesong ship-to-ground missile:
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