Boeing won a $41.4 million deal, which provides intermediate level repair capability at Fleet Readiness Centers. Additionally, it provides for the development of support equipment to test and troubleshoot aircraft armament equipment specifically pylons, bomb rack units, sonobuoy launchers, armament control panel and the aft pneumatic source in support of the P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The P-8A Poseidon, the US Navy’s maritime patrol aircraft, is capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations, and is also successful at search and rescue. Operating with a smaller crew, yet delivering an extended global reach, greater payload capacity, higher operating altitude, open-systems architecture and significant growth potential, the P-8A provides more combat capability. Work will take place in Missouri, Indiana, Washington and Florida. Estimated completion date is in September 2024.
The US Air Force confirmed that it has designed, built and flown at least one prototype of its next-generation fighter jet. Officials revealed that the prototype has begun flight testing Tuesday during the Air Force Association’s virtual Air, Space and Cyber Conference. The development of the prototype happened in secret, and other details will likely remain under wraps due to the classification of the Air Force’s Next Generation Air Dominance Program, which connects air warfare systems that could include fighters, drones and other networked systems.
Middle East & Africa
The Heron UAV, which was developed and built by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), landed on September 16 at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport, becoming the first drone ever to navigate commercial airspace and land at an international airport alongside commercial flights. The UAV took off from Ein Shemer airfield, landed at Ben Gurion, and flew back to Ein Shemer. The takeoffs, flights, and landings were all conducted from the Ein Shemer control station. According to IAI, the historic landing proves the maturity and safety of the company’s Long Runner operating system, which allows UAVs to take off and land automatically on long-haul routes of 1,500 km or more using satellite communications technology and a combination of accurate takeoff and automatic landing capability.
On September 27th, Swiss voters will go to the polls to decide on the purchase of new fighter jets. The Air Force’s $6.4 billion purchase of new fighter jets has been challenged to a referendum by pacifists and left-wing political parties. Parliament has given its approval for the government-backed plans to boost and modernize Switzerland’s Air Defense Capabilities. It is the third nationwide vote in almost 30 years about the acquisition of new military aircraft for the Swiss Air Force. Voters will decide on the credit package alongside four other issues on September 27.
The German Bundeswehr announced that C G Haenel has been selected to supply its new assault rifle. Haenel is offering its MK 556 to replace the Bundeswehr’s G36 assault rifle from Heckler & Koch (H&K). According to the Bundeswehr, the decision was not yet legally effective, leaving open the possibility of an appeal from H&K, which was competing with its HK416 and HK433 assault rifles. The necessary funding for the new assault rifle must be approved by the Bundestag, the German parliament, which the Bundeswehr expected by the end of the year.
The Philippine Air Force lost a Sikorsky S-76A air ambulance on September 16 due to bad weather. The two pilots and two air crew members in the aircraft were killed in the crash. The helicopter belonged to the 545th squadron. They were on their way to Jolo, Sulu to pick up a patient when the helicopter crashed at the village of Upper Manggas.
Watch: Full F-22 Demo: Exclusive Look Inside the Raptor