Australia to Operate Six MQ-4C Drones by 2025

Australia commits to buy six Northrop Gruman MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance drones, to be fielded beginning in 2023, at an investment of $1.4 billion. The Tritons will operate with manned aircraft to enhance Australian anti-submarine warfare, maritime strike, and search and rescue capabilities.

UAC Delivers Communications Relay Aircraft to the Russian Government

The Russian aerospace company United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) delivered the second of two Tupolev Tu-214 PU-SBUS communications support special mission aircraft (ПУ-СБУС) ordered by the Russian Ministry of Defense. The aircraft was delivered on June 18, 2018. The first aircraft was delivered on March 26 this year. The two aircraft provide a communications support platform, carrying the SBUS-214 carried the communication node payload, housed in a large ventral fairing and SATCOM dome.

World Powers Modernize, Improve Nuke Arsenals

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released today the findings of SIPRI Yearbook 2018, which assesses the current state of armaments, disarmament and international security. One of the key findings includes the state of world's nuclear forces as of January 2018. "All the nuclear weapon-possessing states are developing new nuclear weapon systems and modernizing their existing systems" the report stated. The inventories listed in the table above show a small decline in the U.S. and Russian inventories, as Russia modernizes its strategic weapon's arsenal, and the US phases out some of the oldest warheads, under the nuclear disarmament agreements.

NEW DAS Expected to Save $3 Billion in F-35 Sustainment Costs

Lockheed Martin selected Raytheon to develop and deliver the next generation Distributed Aperture System (DAS) for the F-35 fighter jet. The Raytheon-built DAS will be integrated into F-35 aircraft starting with Lot 15 aircraft, expected to begin deliveries in 2023 and is expected to save to more than $3 billion over the life cycle of the program.

Stealth Fighters Arrive in Britain Two Months Ahead of Schedule

The first of Britain’s next-generation fighter jets have arrived home two months ahead of schedule in a major milestone for the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. The first of Britain’s new cutting-edge aircraft arrived into RAF Marham their new home in Norfolk. This was the first tranche of F-35s to arrive, with RAF Voyager aircraft providing air-to-air refuels on their trans-Atlantic journey. More jets are due in Britain later this year, and there is an overall plan to procure 138.

F-35 Need $1.4 Billion for Urgent Fixes. Who Pays the bill?

In 2019, DOD will decide whether to enter full-rate production for the F-35 aircraft. From the next year onwards, the Pentagon plans to invest about $10 billion annually for two decades acquiring F-35s - the most expensive and ambitious weapon acquisition program in U.S. military history. By the time the program moves into full-rate production, 500 aircraft will be procured and will need fixes and resolving deficiencies found during the testing. Bringing those aircraft to full capability could cost $1.4 billion. The F35 program office will hold a summit later this year to determine who will be responsible for the costs associated with resolving the remaining deficiencies.

NSM Extends LCS Firepower Over The Horizon

Tthe U.S. Navy selected the Norwegian Naval Strike Missile (NSM) developed by Kongsberg Defense to provide the fleet of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) of the U.S. Navy with an Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) capability engaging hostile ships and land targets at ranges of 200 and beyond. Adding an offensive over-the-horizon capability is essential for the LCS to address the US Navy’s Distributed Lethality (DT) strategy. The Navy defines DT as the capability to strike from any ship and at any place in the world. The Navy considers that deploying offensive weapons on as many U.S. ships as possible would complicate an enemy’s ability to attack.

India Tests Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet for Future AAM/SAM Propulsion

The Indian Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) completed a first test flight of an advanced propulsion system that promises to enhance the range and agility of air-to-air (AAM) and surface-to-air missiles (SAM). The Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) developed under a joint Indo-Russian R&D project achieved a speed of Mach 3 on its first flight.

Iron Dome Defeats Mortar Attacks from Gaza

Israel’s air defenses that were busy in recent weeks repelling rocket attacks from Syria and the Gaza strip succeeded yesterday, for the first time, to defeat Palestinian mortar attacks that targeted Israel's border villages. In the four years since operation ‘Pillar of Defense’, the last conflict that erupted between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza, Iron Dome went through several spiral developmental cycles to expand the system’s capabilities against new threats, such as unmanned aerial vehicles and mortars. Yesterday, the system demonstrated for the first time, in combat conditions, its capacity to defeat a barrage of mortar bombs.

DEFEXPO 2018 – Aerospace Highlights

Models of India's future hope for indigenous airpower: Ghatak stealth combat UAV and Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) on display at DEFEXPO 2018. Other models included Airborne Early Warning (AEW) platforms and the Advanced Air Defence missile, part of India's strategic missile defense network, can be seen in the background.

DEFEXPO 2018 – Photo Highlights

Part I of 4 photographic reviews of DEFEXPO 2018 brought to you by Defense-Update.

Four Multinational Teams Bid for £1.5 billion UK-MOD Operational Readiness Training Services Contract

The British Ministry of Defense has selected four groups to bid for its upcoming Air Support to Defense Operational Training (ASDOT) requirement. Each of the groups selected for the program has teamed with training services specialists from the USA, Canada, and Israel to deliver adversary aircraft and weapons. The winning group will operate various high-performance jets simulating aggressor fighter and attack planes, cruise missiles and electronic combat to training British air, land and naval forces. A final selection is expected in September 2018 followed by the contract award in 2020 that could be worth up to £1.5 billion over 15 years.

US Drone Maker Cleared to Export Jet Powered Combat Drones

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, a manufacturer of jet-powered tactical unmanned aerial drone systems, will soon offer its Mako militarized, combat unmanned aerial vehicles systems for export, following approval of such export by the U.S. State Department to certain European and Asia Pacific region countries.

Hypersonic Weapons Enter Service with Russian Aviation

Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Republic confirmed today that Russia began deploying new strategic weapons that are virtually immune to enemy missile defense capabilities. These weapons include a hypersonic air-launched attack missile and ground-launched hypersonic glider, that can be used with nuclear or conventional warheads. Russian scientists have also matured a compact nuclear propulsion system that can be fitted to unmanned aerial vehicles and torpedo-like submersibles, used as cruise missiles. Nuclear powered Representing new weapon categories, both systems are not likely to be covered by the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

Recent news: