According to Jane’s, the littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Charleston (LCS 18) completed the first set of overseas mine-countermeasures (MCM) training missions during a 26-month forward deployment in the Western Pacific. The LCS MCM mission package and AN/AQS-20 sonar mine detection sets achieved initial operational capability (IOC).
Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, is the service’s top pick to become the next active duty home of the F-35A Lightning II fighter. The Air Force said Monday it plans to bring two F-35 squadrons to the Valdosta base starting in fiscal 2029, when it hopes to complete phasing out its fleet of A-10C Thunderbolt II attack planes.
Middle East & Africa
The Pakistani government has requested a nearly 16% increase to its defense budget, despite a standoff with the International Monetary Fund over economic stagflation. The government unveiled its request for $6.267 billion for fiscal 2023-2024 — a 15.7% increase over the revised total for fiscal 2022-2023 — on June 9.
Ukraine and Slovakia have inked an agreement to jointly develop a 155 mm self-propelled howitzer based on the Slovak Eva gun. The Eva is a truck-mounted artillery system developed by the Slovak state company Konstrukta Defence. Unveiled in 2015, the self-propelled gun has a range of 41 kilometers. Meanwhile, the new howitzer will have technical inputs from both sides and be adapted to Ukrainian requirements, Slovak publication Denník K said.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has inked a contract to deliver Rotem loitering munitions to three NATO countries. The Vertical Takeoff and Landing tactical loitering munition is part of IAI’s family of loitering munitions including the Harpy, Harop, and Mini-Harpy. It has been combat-proven since 2019.
China’s defense minister said he hoped to expand naval cooperation with Russia, in the highest-level public talks between military officials from the two countries since a failed mutiny in Russia last month. Li said he hoped the two navies could strengthen communication, regularly hold joint exercises and “expand practical cooperation,” according to a statement from the Defense Ministry in Beijing.
WATCH: USS Cooperstown (LCS 23), the U.S. Navy’s Latest Freedom Type Littoral Combat Ship