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Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) are currently tested with Airborne Infrared (ABIR) sensors – performing persistent, forward pickets to spot hostile missile launches and track them through their flight trajectory. These missions will soon evolve as RPAs become operational, and augment existing radar and space-based sensors, providing midcourse tracking and target discrimination, to help targeting ground and ship-based missile defense interceptors. In the next phase MDA will equip even larger unmanned platforms with high-power laser systems, to perform boost-phase intercept. The agency plans to demonstrate such systems in 2021.
Almost 50 unmanned systems from the UK, USA, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, and Austria participated in a month-long war game for robots, organized by the Royal Navy. Spanning air, surface and the undersea domain, ‘Unmanned Warrior 2016’ (UW16), has been in the making for almost two years, with dozens of players from different nations invited to take part in this unique operational demonstration, held as part of NATO’s Joint Warrior exercise.
The Boeing company unveiled today the new jet trainer aircraft it has developed with Saab AB [Stockholm: SAABB]. The companies plan to offer the aircraft for the U.S. Air Forces' future trainer aircraft, under the T-X program planned for 2017. The aircraft has one engine, twin tails, stadium seating and an advanced cockpit with embedded training.
Four unmanned systems developers from Israel are introducing new versions of Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems (STUAS) at Eurosatory, addressing the growing interest in tactical UAS among military forces worldwide.
The US Air Force's new aerial refueler, KC-46A Pegasus successfully transferred fuel through its boom to an F-16C Fighting Falcon fighter. Flight tests employing the centerline drogue system and wing aerial refueling pods will evaluate refueling of A-10, C-17 and F/A-18 and AV-8B and receiving fuel from KC-10. Shortly after the tests the program will proceeding to the Milestone C decision and Low Rate Initial Production, bringing the aircraft to initial operational status by August 2017.
Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Masten Space Systems have won additional funding from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to continue developing their concepts for the United States military's XS-1 robotic space plane under the program's second phase (Phase 1B).
India is likely to recompete the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) program, inviting bidders to compete on the production of 90 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force at a cost of around $30 billion. The RFP will likely recompete all the types that have already been evaluated by the IAF
Two industry groups are proposing business aircraft platforms as an alternative for the US Air Force JSTARS replacement. The Air Force is planning to retire the existing Boeing 707-based E-8Cs from 2025-2026 and is expecting to have at least four of the new planes in production by 2023.
The US Army intends to develop and field a new family of specialized vehicles to support 'joint forcible entry' missions. The Ultra Light Combat Vehicle (ULCV) general-purpose troop carrier is the highest priority in this plan. Fast, agile and safe to drive on and off road, ULCV will provide troops the survivability and protection by avoiding the roads vulnerable to IEDs and ambushes, gaining freedom of movement by traversing more concealed and unpredictable routes.
The UK has mothballed a quarter of its AgustaWestland-Boeing WAH-64 Apache Longbow AH.1 helicopters following the end of combat operations in Afghanistan. According to IHS Jane's, 16 of the Army's 66 Apaches were placed into storage, leaving a force of 50 helicopters. These helicopters are likely to provide replacement parts, maintaining the operational fleet until the next upgrading of the British Apache fleet.
Boeing and the Saab Group have conducted a feasibility test launching a Small Diameter Bomb (SDB I) GPS guided aerial bomb from coupled to an M-26 rocket launched from an MLRS rocket launcher. The Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) allows the artillery system to reach targets from significantly longer distances, and engage hard-to-reach targets, while maintaining the Small Diameter Bomb’s flight maneuverability and accuracy.
The Indian defense industry in the government sector alone, employs nearly 200,000 workers and thousands of engineers and scientists. There are studies that show that even a 20 to 25% reduction in imports could directly create an additional 100,000 to 120,000 highly skilled jobs in India.
Combining Lockheed Martin’s IRST21 infrared sensor with advanced networking and data processing technology, Legion Pod accommodates additional sensors within its current structure to address diverse mission requirements across a variety of platforms.
Boeing and the U.S. Air Force successfully completed the first flight of the KC-46 tanker test program Sunday 28 December 2014. The plane, a Boeing 767-2C, took off from Paine Field, Wash., at 9:29 a.m. (PST) and landed three hours and 32 minutes later at Boeing Field. The 767-2Cs enter flight test as commercial freighters prior to receiving their aerial refuelling systems, while the KC-46s will fly as fully equipped tankers through the FAA and military certification process.