XQ-58A Opens Weapons Bay Door In-Flight | UK, Qatar Expand Defense Partnership | BAE Systems Wins CMWS Contract
Universal Propulsion Company won a $10.9 million contract for the manufacture of up to 5,000 cartridge initiators and thrusters used in V-22 and CV-22 aircraft. This contract includes a five-year base period with no options. The V-22 Osprey is a joint-service, medium-lift, multimission tilt-rotor aircraft developed by Boeing and Bell Helicopters. Boeing is responsible for the fuselage, landing gear, avionics, electrical and hydraulic systems, performance and flying qualities. Work will take place in California. Estimated completion will be by March 2026.
The XQ-58A flew its sixth flight on March 26 and this time the drone opened its weapons bay door in-flight for the first time. A ALTIUS-600 small drone was then released from the weapons bay. Alyson Turri, demonstration program manager, added that the XQ-58A flew higher and faster during this flight.
Middle East & Africa
The UK has confirmed it is to establish a joint operating unit with Qatar for the BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainer (AJT) aircraft as part of a wider military co-operation agreement signed by the two countries on April 1. The unit, which will be based at Royal Air Force (RAF) Leeming in England, will operate the Mk 167 (T2 in RAF nomenclature) variant of the Hawk recently acquired by the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) in support of its Eurofighter Typhoon procurement. The updated defense agreement will also see the RAF deploy a Voyager aircraft to Qatar to periodically provide air-to-air refuelling training for the Qatari Emiri Air Force.
BAE Systems won a $21 million contract from the UK Ministry of Defense. The contract is to support the Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) over the next four-and-a-half years. “The UK Ministry of Defence has been a key partner on CMWS for decades,” said Christopher Austin, BAE Systems’ director of Threat Detection Solutions. According to the company, the system alerts crews to incoming threats and commands automated countermeasure dispensing, ensuring survivability of the aircraft and its crews.
The Pentagon said that it’s aware of Russian military activity in the Arctic and that it is committed to protecting US interests in the region. “Without getting into specific intelligence assessments, obviously we’re monitoring it very closely,” John F. Kirby, the Department of Defense press secretary, said during a press conference. “Obviously, no one wants to see the Arctic as a region become militarized.” One day prior, CNN had reported on satellite images by space technology company Maxar that document Russia’s build-up of military equipment and the testing of weapons, including that of a Poseidon 2M39 torpedo, in the Arctic.
The runway reconstruction project at Hsinchu air base, Taiwan is progressing ahead of schedule and the Mirage 2000 jets can return to their home base after May. The air force says the project is now 83.9 percent completed and 7.67 percent ahead of schedule.
Watch: America’s New Stealthy Drone Fighter Is Back: XQ-58 Valkyrie Makes a 2nd Test Flight