USAF Taps Gen Atomics for $370.9M Add’l MQ-9 Reapers | LM & Raytheon Submit for Potential Patriot Replacement | Elbit Launches Maritime Variant of Skylark C
- General Atomics is to provide 30 MQ-9 Reaper UAVs to the USAF. The $370.9 million contract will be completed by May 31, 2019.
- Norwegian missile manufacturer Kongsberg has chosen Raytheon to produce launchers for its (NSM) in the USA. The duo are offering the system for use on the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships. Final assembly, integration and testing of the NSM will also be undertaken by Raytheon.
- Both Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have submitted offers for upgraded integrated air-and-missile defense radar concepts as the US Army decides on its eventual Patriot system replacement. The service was initially planning to integrate the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), but this was ultimately shelved. As a result, the request for fresh radar concepts may prove a progressive first step in deciding whether to upgrade Patriot or go for something new.
- The assembly hanger for the T-50A is up and running according to the trainer’s manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Situated at the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center (SCTAC), the 38,000 square foot Hanger 11 underwent a three month retrofit after previously playing host to modifications on P-3 Orion and C-130 Hercules aircraft. Assembly of the T-50A will commence with the supply of parts fabricated by South Korea partner KAI and is being offered as part of the USAF’s Advanced Pilot Training program.
Middle East North Africa
- Elbit Systems has launched a maritime variant of its Skylark I Mini UAV. Dubbed Skylark C, the new system offers the extended operational capabilities of its land-based counterpart and provides the ability to inspect maritime activities from a safe distance, observe targets, perform reconnaissance over coastal areas, and perform continuous covert surveillance. Those standing to benefit from this latest offering include special forces and other small-scale naval crews.
- Italy has confirmed that it has sent special forces to Libya. They now join British forces already present in Libya, training militias to tackle Islamist forces connected to the Islamic State. Italy is one of the first European countries feeling the effects coming from the current turmoil unfolding in Libya, with the ongoing lawlessness fueling a smuggling trade and a steady flow of migrants and refugees toward Europe.
- The UK is to exercise its option to acquire one more Airbus Zephyr S lightweight solar-powered UAV. This adds to the two already ordered in February of this year and will be ready for flight trials in the summer of 2017. Zephyrs are capable of sustaining flight at 65,000ft for days at a time providing surveillance.
- All 13 C-130Js operated by the Australian Defense Forces are now installed with the latest networked battlespace system. Engility’s Joint Range Extension (JRE) TDL system will see its first operational use during exercises at training ranges in the country’s Northern Territory. This marks the first time that a C-130 has integrated Link 16 with a loadmaster station on board.
KC-46 tanker refueling mission:
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