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Daily Rapid Fire

USS Gerald Ford To begin ACT | Mali Receives Streit Typhoon MRAPs | India’s Su-30 Fighter Equipped With BrahMos

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Americas The USS Gerald R. Ford left port in Norfolk to begin aircraft compatibility testing off the East Coast, the Navy announced. The ACT started Thursday It is meant to continue testing of systems for aircraft to launch and land on the vessel. It started in earnest, the Navy said in a press release, with an E-2D as the first aircraft to land on the carrier as it departed from port. The Ford is intended to replace Nimitz Class carriers. However it had troubles with cost overruns and delays. The Ford logged 747 launches and arrestments to date. This will be the first time the T-45 Goshawks, E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes and E/A-18G Growlers aircraft will launch and recover from the aircraft carrier. The Brazilian Army released its strategic plan paper covering the period from 2020 to 2023, Jane’s reports. The document directs the Force’s investment effort over the next four years, continuing the Army’s transformation process. The document reportedly covers 15 main actions and a total of 34 overall measures over a range of areas mainly comprising the acquisition of equipment including field artillery howitzers, soldier gear, small arms, unmanned ground and air vehicles armored multi-role boats, transport and attack […]
Americas

The USS Gerald R. Ford left port in Norfolk to begin aircraft compatibility testing off the East Coast, the Navy announced. The ACT started Thursday It is meant to continue testing of systems for aircraft to launch and land on the vessel. It started in earnest, the Navy said in a press release, with an E-2D as the first aircraft to land on the carrier as it departed from port. The Ford is intended to replace Nimitz Class carriers. However it had troubles with cost overruns and delays. The Ford logged 747 launches and arrestments to date. This will be the first time the T-45 Goshawks, E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes and E/A-18G Growlers aircraft will launch and recover from the aircraft carrier.

The Brazilian Army released its strategic plan paper covering the period from 2020 to 2023, Jane’s reports. The document directs the Force’s investment effort over the next four years, continuing the Army’s transformation process. The document reportedly covers 15 main actions and a total of 34 overall measures over a range of areas mainly comprising the acquisition of equipment including field artillery howitzers, soldier gear, small arms, unmanned ground and air vehicles armored multi-role boats, transport and attack helicopters, air surveillance radars, simulators, cruise missiles, guided rockets, utility aircraft, medium-altitude air defense systems, mortars, anti-armor weapons and 4×4 armored vehicles.

Middle East & Africa

The Malian Armed Forces received a batch of seven Streit Typhoon mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles that were delivered by an An-124-100 transport aircraft on January 16. A Malian government statement said the vehicles are the first of 130 that are being procured from the United Arab Emirates, of which 30 are expected to be donated by Abu Dhabi. This is the largest order that Mali has placed for armored vehicles placed to date. The FAMa is already a user of Streit vehicles having received Pythons and Gladiators in 2018. The Typhoon is a 4×4 vehicle with STANAG Level 2 armor as standard, although the manufacturer claims this can be increased to Level 4 if required. It is able to accommodate up to 10 soldiers, including a driver and front passenger. On the following day, the European Union (EU) ambassador in Mali handed over 13 Arquus Bastion 4×4 armored vehicles, including at least one configured as an ambulance, to the FAMa during a ceremony conducted at the Kati military camp.

Europe

According to Russian media reports, Russia will build three prototypes of its next-generation nuclear-capable strategic bomber, dubbed Tupolev PAK DA for evaluation and testing. Citing a research and development contract between the Russian government and the Tupolev design bureau signed at the end of 2017, Izvestia newspaper offered a number of new details surrounding the Russian Air Force’s next-generation strategic bomber. The bomber will reportedly be manned by a crew of four. Preliminary tests of the three prototypes have been scheduled for April and are expected to be concluded by the fall of 2025. This will also include the bomber’s maiden flight. State trials are set to begin in February 2026, which are expected to last for around two years.

Asia-Pacific

Indian defense contractor Larsen & Toubro has delivered 51 K9 Vajra-T 155mm / 52-calibre tracked self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) to the Indian Army. The 51st Vajra-T, which is a variant of the Hanwha Defense K9 Thunder SPH, was handed over to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the company’s Armored System Complex (ASC) located in the Indian state of Gujarat. Spread over 40 acres within L&T’s 755-acre Hazira Manufacturing Complex, the ASC manufactures and integrates advanced armored platforms such as self-propelled artillery howitzers, future infantry combat vehicles (ficv), future ready combat vehicles or future main battle tanks. It features high-end machinery and automation aids, feeder shops, and a full-fledged mobility test track for acceptance and qualification of armored vehicles. The contract also includes an associated engineering support package (ESP) that covers spares, documentation and training and maintenance transfer of technology to the Army Base Workshop.

According to media reports, India’s Strategic Forces Command has begun receiving 42 Su-30MKI air dominance fighters modified to carry air-launched BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. This will significantly enhance the striking power of the air leg of India’s nuclear triad. The Sukhoi Su-30 MKI is a twin-seater, highly maneuverable, fourth-generation multirole combat fighter aircraft built by Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau and licensed to India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The plane will serve as the backbone of India’s Air Force through 2020 and beyond. Delhi has already acquired around 200 jets, and eventually plans to acquire 282 of them. The Brahmos is jointly developed by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia. Capable of traveling at speeds of Mach 3.0, the Brahmos is the fastest cruise missile in the world. As Russia and India Report explained, “The BrahMos’ 3000 km per second speed – literally faster than a bullet – means it hits the target with a huge amount of kinetic energy. In tests, the BrahMos has often cut warships in half and reduced ground targets to smithereens.”

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