Monthly Archives: July 2016

T-X Competitors Pushed to Excel | USAF Issues RFP For Modernization of ICBMs | Japan Plans Upgrade to Patriot PAC-3s to Include MSEs

Americas Competitors involved in the upcoming T-X program will have the opportunity to score bonus points according to a draft request for proposals (RFP) by the USAF. The inclusion comes as part of an incentive by the service to push manufacturers to exceed the threshold requirements in certain performance areas. For example, the minimum requirement is for the jet to pull 6.5g in a turn. …

Digital Raven: Hand-Launched UAV Goes Binary

Latest updates: USAF to use RQ-11Bs at bases worldwide. RQ-11B Raven(click to view full) The RQ-11 Raven is a 4.2-pound, backpackable, hand-launched UAV that provides day and night, real-time video imagery for “over the hill” and “around the corner” reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition. Each Raven system typically consists of 3 aircraft, 2 ground control stations, system spares, and related services…

Despite Doubts, Canada Still Paying into F-35 Program | Growth in Paveway Sales Boosts Raytheon | Brexit No Impact – BAE Posts Small Revenue Rise

Americas While Canada’s government continues to flounder on its CF-18 fighter replacement, it still continues to contribute to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Since the Liberal Party’s campaign promise to ditch the F-35 and launch a new replacement competition, they continued paying $33 million into the program. Meanwhile, consultations have taken place with fighter manufacturers which some see as simply giving the Liberals political cover to buy a plane other than the F-35 without holding a competition. If a fair and free competition were to include Lockheed Martin, a fair bet would be on the F-35 winning. Officials from South Korea and the US have met in Washington for their first set of talks to discuss the transfer of technologies for the former’s upcoming KF-X indigenous fighter…

USAF T-X Competition Heats Up | Airbus Takes Major Hit for A400M and A350 Problems | Poles Expect Patriot Missile Defense Deal by Year’s End

Americas The USAF T-X competition is continuing to heat up with Lockheed Martin announcing the successful maiden flight of its second T-50A aircraft. Developed in conjunction with T-50 manufacturer Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), testing took place in South Korea one month after first T-50A completed its initial flight tests. The consortium faces a number of clean and off the shelf designs from Boeing/SAAB, Raytheon/Finmeccanica and Northrop Grumman/BAE Systems. …

LM’s Presidential Heli Passes CDR | Greece’s P-3B Gets $142M Mod Program | China Rails At South Korea for THAAD Deployment

Americas The US Navy has cleared Lockheed Martin’s VH-92A program Critical Design Review (CDR). Tasked with transporting the president and vice president of the United States and other officials, the VH-92 will see initial fielding in 2020, and production continuing until 2023. First flight is expected next year. Middle East North Africa Two years since the commencement of deliveries, Israel has received the last of its M-346 Lavi jets from manufacturer Leonardo-Finmeccanica. …

MNVR Panned by Pentagon Chief | Afghan Army Cashing in on Ammo Scrap | Largest Amphibious Aircraft (AG600) Rolled Out in China

Americas The Pentagon’s chief weapons tester Michael Gilmore has blasted the Army’s Mid-Tier Networking Vehicular Radio (MNVR) just as the service prepares to make a production decision for the system. Gilmore described the MNVR, saying the radio “did not meet commanders’ operational needs for a mid-tier network solution.” and “provided no value added in mitigating the significant impacts to communications and mission execution experienced in a satellite communications (SATCOM)-denied environment.” Only time will tell if the report affects the Army’s production decision. Lockheed Martin projects slow but steady growth in the international sale of its missile- and air-defense systems. Products such as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) and Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) interceptor have all been garnering interest from European and Middle East governments and the company expects to win various competitions over the next few years. Missile and fire control division is responsible for about 50 percent of their international purchases. …

LM Plans F-35 Production for Turkey Despite Coup Attempt | Germany Leases Israeli Drones for Mali Ops | Dassault Racks Up $662M in New Defense Orders

Americas In just six months, Saab has spent almost all of its investment funding for the upcoming USAF T-X trainer program. Partnered with Boeing, little is known about the aircraft’s design except that it is based on a clean sheet design. The team face off against a Lockheed Martin/KAI proposal based on the latter’s T-50, a Raytheon/Leonardo offer of the M-346-derived T-100 and a new platform being developed by Northrop in association with BAE Systems. Formal requirements for the program will be released by the USAF either by year’s end or early 2017. Two new close air support aircraft to complement and eventually replace the A-10 are being sought by the USAF…

Pakistan Looks for 2nd Hand F-16s | SK’s KAI Breaks into African Market | Saab Courts Indonesia with Gripen C/D Fighters to Replace F-5E’s

Americas A B-52 has dropped the Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) precision-guided bomb from its internal bomb bay for the first time. The test was carried out to certify the new Conventional Rotary Launcher being developed for the legacy bomber. Following the successful drop, testers will now continue with dropping the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile, Miniature Air Launched Decoy, and the MALD Jammer from the launcher…

AIM-9X Block II Missiles Get Capability Upgrade | Russia’s KA-52K Katran To Be Field Tested in Fall | Brits Overwhelmingly Favor Trident Renewal

Americas AIM-9X Block II missiles are getting an air-to-surface mode. Manufacturer Raytheon is currently working on porting the software necessary for the transition following the award of a $291.7 million contract by the US Navy. The deal is for the provision of 660 Lot 16 AIM-9X missiles as well as AIM-9X Block II Captive Air Training Missiles, containers, and spare components for the Navy, USAF, and a number of foreign militaries. …