USS Ronald Reagan commences sea trials | Turkey to unveil new missiles at IDEF 2017 | German woes over delayed A400M
- Boeing has received a $89.2 million US Navy contract to conduct maintenance on various F/18 series fighter and EA-F18G electronic warfare aircraft. Included in the agreement are a wide variety of inspection and engineering projects, including High Flight Hour programs designed to keep aging airframes flying. Work will be performed in Jacksonville, Florida, and is expected to be completed in December 2017.
- The USS Ronald Reagan, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, has commenced sea trials after leaving Command Fleet Activities Yokosaka base over the weekend. The ninth to be built in its class, the massive nuclear-powered ship can maintain and launch more than 85 aircraft, displaces nearly 97,000 tons of water, and is one of the only forward deployed aircraft carriers in the Navy at this time. While at sea, crew will undergo a number of qualification and certification exercises, including engineering and medical drills as well as air, flight deck and hangar bay operations to evaluate the performance of Sailors and their departments.
- Kratos Defense & Security Solutions has revealed that it has successfully completed a number of demonstration flights for an unnamed customer of a new jet-powered, high-subsonic UAV. While the designation of the UAV has yet to be announced, Kratos said the UAV was developed by the company’s “secret, special programs group,” and that the vehicle has had several successful demonstration flights with the government agency, adding that it is the most capable aircraft ever developed by the firm. The UAV’s publicly disclosable altitude performance ranges between 10ft and 45,000ft and possesses a payload capacity of 136kg (300lb), which is lighter than the 226kg carried by the XQ-222 Valkyrie proposed for the US Air Force’s Low-Cost, Attritable Strike Unmanned Air System Demonstration (LCASD).
Middle East & North Africa
- Turkey will use the 13th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) to unveil two new indigenously developed missiles designed for its F-16s. The GÖKDOGAN—a short-range infrared-guided dogfight missile— and the BOZDOGAN— a missile that has an active radar seeker for long-range engagement—were developed by the Scientific and Technological Research Council’s (TÜBITAK) Defense Industry Research and Development Institute (SAGE). Making the announcement, Science, Industry and Technology Minister Faruk Özlü added that projects developed by TUBITAK, and later transferred to companies in the manufacturing defense industry, have made important contributions to Turkey’s defense industry’s localization.
- Israel has contract Elbit Systems to provide military land vehicles with its satellite-on-the-move (SOTM) systems. The two-year agreement will see Elbit provide dozens of its ELSAT 2100 SOTM family of systems, which allow high-data rate broadband capabilities on a wide variety of platforms operated by the IDF. Features of the system include advanced tracking capabilities which can allow for communications anywhere and at any time. The value of the contract was not disclosed.
- USAF F-35As, sent to Europe to participate in a series of training exercises, have completed their deployment. While based at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, UK, eight aircraft from the 34th Fighter Squadron flew 76 sorties and tallied more than 154 flying hours alongside F-15s from the 48th Fighter Wing. The fighters also experienced forward deployment to Estonia and Bulgaria in order to maximize training opportunities, build partnerships with allied air forces and familiarize Airmen with Europe’s broad and diverse operating conditions. It has also been reported that the F-35A will take part in the Paris Air Show after it was earlier said to have not been invited.
- A report by the German Defense Ministry has raised concerns over the military readiness of the A400M due to contractual wrangling with manufacturer Airbus, as well as ongoing technical issues with the aircraft. First ordered in 2003, the A400M aimed to give European nations an independent transport capability but costs have since spiraled and Airbus has warned of “risks ahead” for the continent’s largest defense project. The report warns that Airbus may request delays ranging between 12 and 18 months in order to fix the issues, which could lead to a German capability gap when Berlin retires its fleet of C-160 Transall aircraft in 2021. In response to this gap, Germany and France have decided on a plan to jointly procure and operate a number of C-130J aircraft from Lockheed Martin in order to augment their A400M fleets.
- The Royal Malaysian Air Force has refuted earlier reports that it has received an offer by Japan to transfer refurbished second-hand P-3C maritime patrol aircraft to Malaysia. Speaking to media, RMAF chief Gen. Affendi Buang said that the service “have not received any formal offer or decision so far.” It was reported last week that Japan was looking to donate retired P-3Cs to Malaysia, letting that Southeast Asian country keep closer watch over the South China Sea to rein in China’s maritime expansion. However, due to its pacifist constitution, Japan is unable to transfer defense equipment to other nations at no cost.
- A tour of the USS Ronald Reagan:
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