The US Air Force has awarded machine learning-based health developer Sparta Science a small business innovation research deal to identify early signs of sub-concussive brain injury in airmen. Data gathered from the research will assist experts in developing a capability to recognize the impacts of repeated exposures to subconcussive blasts. According to Sparta, results of the program will determine plans to reduce the long-term effects of injury and lessen lost duty days due to related health issues.
The US Air Force’s F-35 Lightning II fighter has completed its first flight in the new Technology Refresh 3 (TR-3) configuration. The service’s 461st Flight Test Squadron demonstrated the capability with an instrument F-35 flight test aircraft at Edwards AFB in California. For 50 minutes, the plane flew close to the speed of sound at an altitude of 35,000 feet (10,700 meters) over the Mojave Desert.
Middle East & Africa
Moroccan and Spanish authorities have broken up a jihadist cell linked to the Islamic State group and arrested its three members in a joint operation, Morocco’s security services said Wednesday. One of the “extremist elements” was arrested by special forces from Morocco’s DGST domestic intelligence agency in the rural southern region of Chtouka Ait Baha, the country’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) said in a statement.
Rheinmetall has been contracted by an international customer to modernize their 35mm cannon-based air defense systems. The order, which is worth a figure in the low three-digit million-euro range, also includes ammunition and other components for the modernized Skyguard air defense batteries. Work on the modernization is set to begin in 2023 and will include upgrading the customer’s 35mm twin guns to the latest Oerlikon GDF009 standard. This upgrade will enable the country to protect itself and its vital assets from a wide range of aerial threats, including small unmanned aerial systems. Rheinmetall Italia is handling the order.
After a four year interruption, the French Air Force is set to receive new additions to its fleet in the form of Dassault Aviation’s Rafale. On December 29, 2022, the Mérignac plant of Dassault Aviation delivered the first of these aircraft, tail number B359, to the Direction Générale de l’Armement (French defense procurement agency). B359 is part of the “tranche 4” order for 60 aircraft which was awarded in 2009. This delivery is a major milestone for Dassault Aviation as well as for the French Air and Space Force, as it marks the resumption of deliveries of the Rafale aircraft to the country.
The Indian government on Tuesday approved the purchase of a domestically-developed portable air defense system. The Very Short Range Air Defence System (VSHORAD) is part of a wider defense acquisition approved for $523 million, including HELINA anti-tank guided missiles and BrahMos missile launchers, and fire control systems.
WATCH: Rheinmetall Air Defence: Oerlikon Skyguard 3 Air Defence System