The US Air Force has started phasing out one of its oldest and most reliable assets, the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter. This move comes as the Air Force’s 55th RQS (Rescue Squadron) has just returned from a successful deployment, during which the Pave Hawk fleet played a crucial role in a variety of missions, including personnel recovery, casualty evacuation and on-call support to joint and coalition forces. The 55th RQS, based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, is now preparing to fully integrate the new HH-60W Jolly Green II helicopter into its fleet. This newer helicopter model is expected to bring increased aircraft availability and newer technologies to the table, which will be leveraged by 55th RQS aircrews to continue the vital mission of combat search and rescue operations.
A Stratolaunch Talon-A separation test vehicle has completed its second captive carry flight test in Mojave, California. During the demonstration, the Stratolaunch Roc carrier aircraft carried the Talon-A named TA-0 and flew for six hours, achieving an altitude of 22,500 feet (6,900 meters). Before the launch, data on aerodynamic loads and critical information were provided by Roc and TA-0’s onboard systems to ensure the safety of the separation. Meanwhile, the aircrew practiced communication sequencing and chase formations prior to the flight.
Middle East & Africa
The Israel Ministry of Defense signed a $95 Million contract with Elbit Systems to purchase advanced electro-optical systems for the IDF ground forces. Under this $95 million contract, Elbit will supply and maintain the systems over a 10-year period. The various systems include long-range deployable observation systems, thermal weapon sights, and night vision equipment. These systems will provide the IDF with observation capabilities, target acquisition, and enemy exposure in various combat scenarios during day and nighttime.
The European Defence Agency (EDA) has launched a $2.2 million project to enhance the target recognition capabilities of partner militaries. The automatic target/threat recognition, identification, and targeting for land systems project will develop technologies to assist European forces in detecting, prioritizing, and selecting targets without human aid.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will appoint a regional official as the new defense minister following the resignation of the much-criticized Christine Lambrecht. The defense minister-designate, Boris Pistorius, is a member of Scholz’s Social Democratic Party and has served as interior minister of Lower Saxony state since 2013.
The US and Japan have inked two bilateral agreements for technological research and supply chains to support the alliance’s defense. The agreements seal a Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation Projects memorandum of understanding (RDT&E MOU) and a Security of Supply Arrangement (SOSA). US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Japanese Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu signed the confirmations during a meeting in Washington, DC.
WATCH: Talon-A vehicle mated with Stratolaunch Roc carrier aircraft for the first time