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20 Aug 15. US Navy’s HSC 7 test fires APKWS II from MH-60S Seahawk. The US Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7 based at Naval Station Norfolk has fired an HSC advanced precision kill weapon system II (APKWS II) from an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter during a live-fire exercise.
HSC 7, also known as the Dusty Dogs, has now become the first helicopter squadron in the Northeast to fire an APKWS II from an MH-60S Seahawk.
The exercise was part of the HSC-7 work-up cycle in preparation for deployment in the 5th Fleet area of operation with the USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN 69) Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10.
HSC-7 tactics officer lieutenant Erik Gustafson said: “The event allowed HSC-7 crews to build proficiency in employing the system before we commence joint training with our Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 counterpart, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74.
“Together, we will provide CVW-3, CVN-69 and the whole CSG-10 team with an unmatched anti-surface warfare capability.”
During the exercise, the Dusty Dogs deployed two helicopters at a practice range approximately 20 miles off the Virginia coast near Naval Air Station Oceana. One helicopter carried out combat manoeuvres and fired the APKWS II at both stationary and moving targets, while the other served as a support aircraft, with an observing training officer and two rescue swimmers aboard.
The APKWS II is a laser-guided rocket, which serves as a low-cost, high-accuracy variant to the Hellfire missiles that have previously been used against lightly armoured targets. Gustafson added: “The MH-60S will employ APKWS II along with its existing 20mm cannon, 2.75in unguided rockets, Hellfire missiles, and crew-served door guns, providing the warfare commander with a lethal and effective helicopter weapons system.” (Source: naval-technology.com)
20 Aug 15. USAF’s 91st missile wing launches unarmed LGM-30G Minuteman III ICBM. The US Air Force’s (USAF) 91st missile wing has successfully completed an operational test launch of an unarmed LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile. Performed at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the Minot AFB team launched the ICBM with the collaboration of 576th Flight Test Squadron and 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg AFB.
The 91st MW Task Force commander lieutenant colonel Eric Thompson said: “Launching an ICBM under operational conditions is a whole team effort, and that’s what we bring out here to replicate the scenarios in the field as close as possible.
“The operations and maintenance crews who come out here with us know the job they’re doing back home is important, and actually coming out here to launch an unarmed missile really solidifies the job we do every day with nuclear deterrence.”
The tests verified the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system and also offered valuable data to make sure the platform remains a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent.
The operations and maintenance crews from the supporting missile wing reassemble the missile and pull alert duties before each operational test launch.
Meanwhile, the latest launch marked the 45th anniversary of the 91st MW’s deployment of the Air Force’s first Minuteman III missiles on alert.
The 576th FLTS commander colonel Craig Ramsey said: “Vandenberg has hosted the operational test launch programme for over five decades, and its here that we really have a chance to demonstrate the effectiveness and operational capabilities of our weapon systems.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
19 Aug 15. Iran S-300 contract ready to be signed. Russia displayed an S-300V-series system during its Army 2015 show in June 2015. The fact that the system was painted in a desert colour suggested it was one of the ones being produced for Egypt. Iran and Russia have finalised a contract covering the delivery