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Daily Rapid Fire

USAF Considers Ejection Seat Change on F-35 | Brexit Could Change Face of UK Defense | Lifted Embargo Not Leading Vietnam to Rush into Buying

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Americas * The USAF has

* The USAF has F-35 supply chain, impacting the workshare strategy that forms the backbone for the international fleet of the Lockheed Martin-designed fighter. Reasoning for inquiring about such a switch comes as the service looks to the ACES 5 as a potential risk mitigation step if additional things happen as we go through the testing of the Martin-Baker seat.

* The US Navy is to conduct live-fire testing this September utlizing an F-35 to provide sensor data in order for an SM-6 anti-air missile to destroy its target. The demonstration comes as the service attempts to expand its Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA) architecture with more sensors and weapons in order to tweak the system from a primarily anti-air sole to a secondary anti-surface capability.


* Contracts to secure up to 500 military and civilian vehicles for the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) are close to completion with Indian manufacturer Ashok Leyland. The MDF are currently looking to procure personnel carriers, light trucks, fuel tankers, field ambulances, water bowsers, buses, and other logistics vehicles to replace their Tata-made military fleet, which was also acquired from India in 2006. Although the deal is not without controversy, as the selection of Ashok Leyland, without going through a tender process, has led to calls for the country’s Anti-Corruption Bureau to probe how the Indian company landed the deal.


* Following the British public’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) following its “Brexit” referendum, analysts and industry now have to wonder on the implications on the country’s defense and aerospace sector. With NATO, not the EU considered the bedrock of European defence and security IHS Janes proposes the UK vote will overall be fairly balanced and relatively limited for both the UK and the rest of the EU. Much, however, depends upon the way Europe reacts to the event. Furthermore, a potential second Independence referendum in Scotland, a population predominantly in favor of the EU, could have a profound effect on the UK’s military capabilities, not least over the question of the future of the nuclear submarine base at Faslane, Scotland.

Asia Pacific

* While the lifting of the US arms embargo on Vietnam may have led some to believe there would be an immediate rush to purchase US hardware, Hanoi seems more interested in acquiring weaponry from Japan instead. Kawasaki Heavy Industries’s P-3C maritime patrol aircraft, a license built version of the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion, is currently being swapped out for the newer indigenous P-1 and offers a cheaper alternative to getting them second-hand from Lockheed Martin. Another advantage Vietnam hopes to tap into is Japan’s expertise in operating the P-3. The JMSDF has deployed its P-3s to Danang, Vietnam for exercises, and the Vietnamese have experience working with Japanese crew.

* India’s defense procurement agency has cleared a proposal to purchase 145 M777 Ultra Lightweight Howitzer artillery guns from BAE Systems. As part of the $750 million deal, some 120 of the 145 guns Su-30 MKI fighter in India’s Air Force fleet has carried the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile for the first time, marking a key milestone toward the eventual deployment of the capability. The 2,500kg missile was carried during a 45 minute sortie from the Hindustan Aeronautics airport in Bengaluru on the first of two Su-30s to be integrated with the munition for testing. With the capability of being launched from air, land and sea, the air variant contains larger fins to help with stability when separating from an aircraft.

Today’s Video

* Five ways of taking down a commercial UAV:

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