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ATAC Secures Contract to Support AFSOC Joint Terminal Attack Controller Training

The Aviationist Blog - Wed, 19/08/2020 - 17:23
The company, in partnership with Valkyrie Aero, will use L-39s and A-27s to provide live contract Close Air Support for JTAC trainees. After securing a contract to provide adversary training at Luke and Holloman Air [...]
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Russia MOD Says A Su-27 Intercepted An Italian Atlantic MPA Over The Black Sea. But The Italians Retired The Type in 2017.

The Aviationist Blog - Tue, 18/08/2020 - 19:00
According to the Russian MOD, the Flanker intercepted an Italian aircraft that was approaching Russia’s state border last Sunday. But the Su-27 must have misidentified the roundel… According to a spokesman for Russia’s National Defense [...]
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Ka-65 - Tue, 18/08/2020 - 16:00

Russian Ka-65 Naval Helicopter
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For The First Time In History Israeli Combat Aircraft Have Landed In Germany To Take Part in Blue Wings 2020 Exercise

The Aviationist Blog - Mon, 17/08/2020 - 17:00
Six IAF F-16C/D “Barak” Jets supported by G550 CAEW, B707 tankers and C-130 Have Just Landed At Nörvenich Air Base. On Aug. 17, 2020, six Israeli Air Force F-16C/Ds “Barak”, belonging to the 101 and [...]
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Tsyrkon - Mon, 17/08/2020 - 01:55

Russian Tsyrkon Hypersonic Anti-Ship and Land Attack Cruise Missile
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This Poster Shows For The First Time All The Aircraft Flown by The 160th SOAR (A) “Night Stalkers” From Its Origins To The Present

The Aviationist Blog - Sat, 15/08/2020 - 20:08
A poster finally shows all the variants (except the Stealth Black Hawk) owned by the elite U.S. Army unit. The U.S. Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) “Night Stalkers” is a highly-specialized combat aviation [...]
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Why Online Casino is Gaining More Popularity Among Soldiers - Sat, 15/08/2020 - 19:10

Why Online Casino is Gaining More Popularity Among Soldiers
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MZKT-6922 - Sat, 15/08/2020 - 17:30

Belarusian MZKT-6922 Special Wheeled Chassis
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Icarus Aerospace Unveils a New Tactical Air Vehicle Family of Aircraft

The Aviationist Blog - Fri, 14/08/2020 - 10:11
The three aircraft variants are highly resemblant of the Vietnam-era OV-10 Bronco. Icarus Aerospace, a relatively new Canadian company, recently unveiled a clean-sheet aircraft called TAV (Tactical Air Vehicle), which they advertise as an “highly [...]
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Check Out This Declassified 1957 CIA Documentary About Secret U-2 Development.

The Aviationist Blog - Thu, 13/08/2020 - 15:59
Video Shows U-2 Construction and “Watertown” Test Area Before It Became “Area 51”. Before there was a “Storm Area 51” movement, before the F-117 and the Oxcart and SR-71, before all of the hype and [...]
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Type 11 - Thu, 13/08/2020 - 01:55

Japanese Type 11 Short-Range Air Defense Missile System
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The EA-18G Growler Flies For The First Time With the New Next-Gen Jammer Mid-Band Pod

The Aviationist Blog - Wed, 12/08/2020 - 15:45
This first flight validated the capability of the pod to be safely flown under the Growler’s wings. NAVAIR (Naval Air Systems Command) recently announced that an EA-18G Growler of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) [...]
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Take A Look At These Incredible Shots Of The Russia’s Sole Completed Lun-Class Ekranoplan

The Aviationist Blog - Mon, 10/08/2020 - 19:29
Some new interesting (internal and external) images have emerged of the only Project 903 Attack/Transport ground effect vehicle (Ekranoplan) with carrier-killing supersonic missiles that has recentlty made its final voyage before becoming museum. On Jul. [...]
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Virgin Galactic Unveils New Mach 3 Civilian Aircraft Concept

The Aviationist Blog - Mon, 10/08/2020 - 09:16
The aircraft, developed in cooperation with NASA, is set to become the first supersonic airliner since the retirement of the Concorde. On August 3, 2020, Virgin Galactic unveiled a concept for a new civilian high-speed [...]
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Missing Mariners Located by a KC-135 Tanker Thanks to Huge S.O.S. Written on the Beach

The Aviationist Blog - Sun, 09/08/2020 - 18:38
The three men went missing in Micronesia, prompting a joint U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force and Australian Defence Force rescue mission. On July 29, 2020, three men were sailing aboard a 23-foot skiff from [...]
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NG Tapped For Minuteman Service Life Extension | Turkey To Train 1/3 Of Somali Army | South Korea Unveiled AESA Prototype

Defense Industry Daily - Sun, 09/08/2020 - 07:00

Northrop Grumman Systems won a $21.9 million task order for the Minuteman III Fast Rising B-Plug service life extension. The LGM-30G Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, is an element of the nation’s strategic deterrent forces under the control of the Air Force Global Strike Command. The Minuteman is a strategic weapon system using a ballistic missile of intercontinental range. Missiles are dispersed in hardened silos to protect against attack and connected to an underground launch control center through a system of hardened cables. Launch crews, consisting of two officers, perform around-the-clock alert in the launch control center. Work will take place in Layton, Utah. Expected completion date is November 17, 2022.

Lockheed Martin won a $77.4 million contract modification, which provides for the development and installation of flight test instrumentation on one F-35B Lot 14 aircraft and one F-35C Lot 14 aircraft for government testing in support of the F-35 program. The F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF), is being developed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company for the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and the UK Royal Navy. The stealthy, supersonic multirole fighter was designated the F-35 Lightning II in July 2006. The JSF is being built in three variants: a conventional take-off and landing aircraft (CTOL) for the US Air Force; a carrier variant (CV) for the US Navy; and a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft for the US Marine Corps and the Royal Navy. Work will take place in Texas, California, Denmark and the Netherlands. Estimated completion will be in June 2023.

Middle East & Africa

Turkey will ultimately train around a third of the Somali National Army, according to Mehmet Y?lmaz, the Turkish ambassador to the East African country. Y?lmaz told the state-controlled Anadolu Agency that Turkey had pledged to train 5,000 soldiers for the SNA, which is projected to have a force strength of 15,000–16,000. He said the battalions that have graduated from Turkish training are currently taking part in operations and include officers and non-commissioned officers who are forming the “backbone” of the SNA. The training of a fifth battalion has continued despite the coronavirus pandemic, albeit with strict precautions, bringing the total number of SNA soldiers trained by the Turks to 2,500, he added.


Lockheed Martin won a $65.3 million deal for fiscal 2020 Aegis modernization, new construction of guided missile destroyers and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) production requirements. This contract combines purchases for the Navy; the Kingdom of Spain; and the government of Japan, under the FMS program. The Aegis Weapon System is a centralized, automated, command-and-control and weapons control system that was designed as a total weapon system, from detection to kill. The heart of the system is the AN/SPY-1, an advanced, automatic detect and track, multi-function phased-array radar. This high-powered (four megawatt) radar is able to perform search, track, and missile guidance functions simultaneously, with a track capacity of more than 100 targets. The first Engineering Development Model (EDM-1) was installed in the test ship, USS Norton Sound (AVM 1) in 1973. Work will take place in Moorestown, New Jersey; Clearwater, Florida; and Owego, New York. This procurement covers the production and delivery of multi-mission signal processor equipment sets; Aegis Combat System support equipment; and electronic equipment fluid coolers and kill assessment system 5.1 equipment. This contract action also provides MK 6 Mod 0 equipment for the government of Japan and the Kingdom of Spain FMS requirements. Expected completion will be by November 2024.

A Royal Air Force P-8 has completed the first tracking of a Russian warship on August 3. The maritime patrol aircraft monitored Russian warship, Vasily Bykov, as it transits the North Sea. It was accompanied by Eurofighters from RAF Lossiemouth and A330 Voyager from RAF Brize Norton. The P-8 offers a potent blend of tracking options and associated weapons able to find surface and sub-surface vessels, once more allowing the RAF to complete effective joint maritime operations with the Royal Navy.


South Korea has unveiled an indigenous active electronically scanned-array (AESA) radar prototype for use by the Republic of Korea Air Force’s (RoKAF’s) next-generation multirole fighter aircraft, which is being developed under the Korean Fighter eXperimental (KF-X) program. The radar, which has been under development since 2016 by South Korean company Hanwha Systems and the country’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD), was unveiled in a ceremony on August 7, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

Today’s Video


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AIM-82 - Sun, 09/08/2020 - 01:55

American AIM-82 Short-Range Air-To-Air Missile
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Tactical Air and Draken International Get Adversary Training Contracts

The Aviationist Blog - Fri, 07/08/2020 - 14:24
The two companies join ATAC to provide Red Air aircraft to support U.S. Air Force fighter pilot training. About a week ago we reported about the contract awarded to ATAC on July 21, 2020 to [...]
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Joint EDA/ESA ‘AUDROS’ project edges closer to demonstration

EDA News - Fri, 07/08/2020 - 10:37

The detection and identification of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNe) threats has traditionally been a costly and painstaking endeavour for the military and for other civilian actors such as protection forces (border police, fire brigades etc.). Aside from the obvious risk of exposure for counter-CBRNe personnel, neutralising the threats demands complex sampling and analysis procedures, particularly in the bio- and chemical areas, to avert or mitigate their effects. 

This article has first been published in EDA's 'European Defence Matters' magazine N° 19 published in June 2020

If the time, expense and personnel required to carry out such tasks could be telescoped, the world would be a far more secure place. Indeed, new technologies – and new combinations of existing technologies – hold great promise in that regard. 

The European Defence Agency (EDA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) aim to do just that with their novel approach to the CBRNe sector, one that promises high levels of deployability, safety, speed, accuracy and reliability for detecting and identifying threats. The two Agencies have supported European industry in developing a concept, which is only a step or two away from the industrial production stage, meaning it could be rolling out to Europe’s defence and civil first-responder communities in just a few years.

Welcome to AUDROS (‘Autonomous Drone Services in the CBRNe operations’), the joint EDA/ESA project that combines satellite-based services with Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) technologies. The resulting capability would have a wide range of applications for many different users, ranging from defence forces to first responders (police, emergency response, firefighters, etc.) to industry (transport, energy, critical infrastructure security, etc.).

Joint call for proposals

AUDROS has evolved over several stages and is now poised to tackle the core of its development work. Its two sponsoring partners laid down the project’s initial groundwork with a preceding Implementing Arrangement, signed in March 2017. This was followed by a workshop open to defence and civil stakeholders and subsequent interactions in order to assess the requirements of all the interested Member States. EDA’s CBRN research and technology expert network played a central role in capturing defence specific needs and requirements. 

That, in turn, saw the definition of a joint call for proposals to study the design and function of a prototype system. “We received a solid number of proposals, matching our requirements for new CBRNe detection-identification-monitoring capabilities and services, making it a genuine success,” said Shahzad Ali, EDA moderator for CapTech CBRN & Human Factors1. 

AUDROS was one of the awarded teams of the one-year feasibility study contract worth €350,000. The Consortium was made up of four partners: the two Czech companies BizGarden (as prime) and GINA Software, the Polish company Cervi Robotics, and the Czech Ministry of Defence research institution known as VTU. “The main purpose of the study was to look at AUDROS’s technical analysis, economic viability, the added value brought by the space-based data, new possible applications and, of course, the crucial ability to deal with CBRNe threats,” observed Ali. 

RPAS hangar system

Starting in early 2018, the joint EDA/ESA team analysed the solutions proposed by industry to meet user needs for CBRNe countermeasures, with the study’s results assessed in December of that year. It laid out the definition of an RPAS hangar system. The ultimate goal? To enable fully autonomous beyond-visual-line-of-sight drone operations equipped to carry out day or night-time detection of persons and equipment, and search and map radiation sources, chemical warfare agents or toxic industrial pollution. 

The joint team then witnessed in late 2018 the successful demonstration of a proof-of-concept system for AUDROS. This comprised a modified off-the-shelf quadcopter RPAS with a maximum take-off weight of 25 kg (including payload of up to 9 kg) and a hangar. Equipped with lightweight sensors for radiation and gas detection, AUDROS’ test scenario focused on detecting a chemical near a large industrial site by sending the drone to ‘sniff out’ the agent’s molecules and location. This was demonstrated during the prototype system’s outdoor flights around the facilities of project partner VVU. 

“Space technologies are a crucial component of AUDROS”, said Beatrice Barresi, ESA’s Project Officer. “Satellite Navigation allows us to command the RPAS and to monitor the position of the rescue team in the field. That is not all: satellite imagery are needed to visualise the situation and to provide best available data to command the RPAS. Last but not least, satellite communication protects data transfer towards remote dispatch/command.” 

Just as important was the study’s recommendations for the design and construction of AUDROS’s drone hangar. The prototype’s portable hangar, which was connected to a fixed power source, was designed to enable the drone to autonomously re-charge its battery. Expanding on this design in future to enable auto-switching of detection suites, for example, would significantly increase the flexibility and duration of AUDROS-based missions, particularly if several drones and hangars were deployed at the same time. 

Towards deployment

That, however, is for the project’s next and crucial phase, namely the deployment of AUDROS in a fully operational scenario. The payload will be modular in design and industrially scalable for commercial production. 

The Czech-Polish consortium is expected to receive a new contract to build the pre-operational service, which will be financially supported by EDA and ESA.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has fortunately not adversely impacted the rolling out of the project, namely because AUDROS’s demonstration budget had been earmarked,” said Ali. “Thus, this 18-month contract will go ahead as planned, with the idea of signing off on it by the summer.” 

“Engaging projects swiftly is a critical means at our disposal to respond to the pandemic’s adverse effect on the economy at large and the space industry in particular. ESA, with its partner EDA, is therefore fully engaged to proceed as soon as possible with agreed projects in order to channel much needed resources to protect Europe’s essential industrial base in these unprecedented times”, added Florent Mazurelle, ESA’s Principal Security Strategy Officer.

The demonstration project will expand the prototype’s technical design by incorporating drone payloads for the mapping and visual day/night detection of persons, as well as situational awareness from integrated satellite services. Its hangar will be able to either recharge a drone’s battery or swap it out for a newly recharged one. Doing so would mean that a fleet of drones, combined with one or more hangars, could carry out 24/7 execution of CBRNe-missions across a relatively wide operational area. 

“Indeed, the combination of sophisticated detection-identification and monitoring suites with the diverse array of satellite services promises to produce a powerful dual-use CBRN-protection capability for Europe’s military and civil users. And it would have many cross-over links to other EDA research goals in the areas of counter-terrorism, harbour protection, protection of critical infrastructure, logistics and in-theatre medical surveillance, to name just a few. The spill over benefits, in other words, could radiate out in many directions”, concluded Ali. 

Fruitful cooperation

EDA’s research collaboration with ESA got off the ground in June 2011 when the two organisations signed their Administrative Arrangement on cooperation, which, above a tightly knit policy dialogue, has now given birth to cooperative projects in countless domains such as cyber defence, critical technologies for European non-dependence, Earth observation, secured satellite communications, to name but a few. 

AUDROS was a logical outgrowth of the EDA’s Joint Investment Programme on CBRN Protection, which it launched in 2012 to stimulate R&T work in the defence sector among its Member States and their industries. 


1 The European Defence Agency’s work in the Research & Technology domain is in line with the Agency’s mission to support Member States in their efforts to improve defence capabilities. EDA organises its R&T priorities in different Capability Technology Areas (CapTechs), which are networking fora for experts from government, industry, small and medium enterprises (SME) and academia, moderated by EDA.

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