26 Oct 21. Field Aerospace upgrades more than 50 USAF T-1A flight decks. Field has completed over 50 CSO and Special Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT) aircraft and 14 simulators on time and on budget for the USAF as part of the Air Force Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) contract to upgrade the fleet of 178 T-1As over a period of 7 years.
Field Aerospace was selected by the USAF as the prime contractor and teamed with subcontractors Nextant Aerospace, Collins Aerospace, HEBCO and FlightSafety International to bring advanced capabilities to the next generation of U.S. Air Force pilots. The modernization included updating the T-1A to the Collins Aerospace Pro Line 21 system, which enables the aircraft to meet the FAA’s ADS-B Out mandate eliminating avionics obsolescence issues for the aircraft.
“Field Aerospace is proud to provide a critical capability to our warfighters and help support the U.S. Air Force meet its pilot demands for the future,” stated Matt Carreon, Vice President, Field Aerospace.
The T-1A aircraft are medium-range, twin-engine jets used for advanced-phase training of airlift and tanker pilots. They are stationed across five U.S. operating bases.
27 Oct 21. Japan to send pilots to Italian flight training school. Japan is to send its military pilots to train at the AMI’s International Flight Training School (IFTS). It was announced on 26 October.
Following recent similar agreements with Germany and Qatar, the AMI and Leonardo have secured a deal for the JASDF to undertake advanced pilot training (Phase IV) at the IFTS, located at the 61st Wing’s Lecce Galatina Airbase in southern Italy.
“The Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force, General Alberto Rosso, and the Chief of Staff of the JASDF, General Shunji Izutsu, have signed today an important technical arrangement on the training of Japanese military pilots,” as well as training student pilots, Leonardo said, adding that the agreement could also see Japanese instructors working at the IFTS. Leonardo did not say when the first JASDF personnel are scheduled to arrive at the IFTS.
As noted in an announcement, the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana – AMI) and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) enjoy a close relationship, with both air forces operating the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and Boeing KC-767 tanker. (Source: Janes)
27 Oct 21. Russian Marines conduct anti-aircraft drills in Arctic region. The air defence units carried out the exercise at a military training ground near Lake Santayarvi. Russia’s Northern Fleet Marine Corps has conducted anti-aircraft drills in the Pechenga District of Murmansk in the Arctic region. The live-fire exercise was carried out by the air defence units at a military training ground near Lake Santayarvi. During the exercise, the marines used portable Igla and Strela-10 anti-aircraft missile systems based on lightly armoured tracked transporters to destroy aerial targets.
Russia’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement: “The air defence batteries covered the marine units in the positional area, on the march and on the offensive.
“Combat crews of anti-aircraft gunners performed firing on the move at suddenly appearing targets, imitating the helicopters of a mock enemy.”
The exercise also included engaging mock sabotage and reconnaissance groups of the enemy, as well as overcoming conditionally contaminated areas of the terrain.
Around 100 personnel were involved in the drill.
Separately, the crews of naval aviation and the army aviation of the Southern Military District conducted a tactical flight exercise with helicopters of the Black Sea Fleet.
The drill involved helicopter pilots performing single and double flights, as well as piloting in the dark to enhance flying skills in low cloud conditions and to practice actions for the use of electronic suppression systems.
Mi-28N, Ka-52, and Mi-35 attack helicopters and Mi-8 and Ka-27 helicopters were involved in the exercise.
Earlier this month, the Russian Navy successfully tested the Zircon hypersonic missile. The missile was fired from Yasen-class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine Severodvinsk. (Source: naval-technology.com)
26 Oct 21. India’s locally built aircraft carrier Vikrant begins second sea trials. The aircraft carrier completed its maiden sea trials in August this year. The Indian Navy’s first locally built aircraft carrier (IAC), Vikrant, has set sail to start its second sea trials in the south-east Arabian Sea. The development was confirmed by Indian Navy spokesperson in a Twitter post, with the vessel heading out on 24 October. The aircraft carrier completed its first round of sea trials in August.
Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), which is constructing the IAC Vikrant, completed the basin trials for the carrier in November last year.
Basin trials were executed to test the propulsion, transmission, and shafting systems.
The vessel has been designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND).
With a displacement capacity of 40,000t, the 262m-long and 62m-wide carrier is claimed to be the largest ship to be built at the Cochin Shipyard.
It has more than 2,300 compartments and is designed to accommodate around 1,700 people, with separate spaces for female officers.
IAC Vikrant is capable of accommodating MiG 29K fighter jets, as well as Kamov-31 and MH-60R multi-role helicopters.
The Indian Navy is expected to take delivery of Vikrant in August next year.
IAC is part of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The initiatives are aimed at making India self-reliant and increasing the country’s domestic defence manufacturing capabilities. (Source: naval-technology.com)
27 Oct 21. US Navy task force integrates MANTAS USV during New Horizon exercise. The Royal Bahrain Naval Force and Bahrain Coast Guard also participated in the exercise. The US Navy’s new Task Force 59 (TF59) has integrated and assessed MARTAC’s MANTAS T12 uncrewed surface vessels (USV), which operated alongside other ships in the Arabian Gulf. The activity was performed as part of the New Horizon exercise, which is claimed to be the first at-sea evolution for Naval Forces Central Command’s (NAVCENT) TF59. During the exercise, the MANTAS T-12 USV operated alongside crewed US patrol craft and maritime assets of the Bahrain Defense Force (BDF). This activity means NAVCENT integrated USVs with crewed assets in the US 5th Fleet area of operations for the first time. NAVCENT US 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces commander vice-admiral Brad Cooper said: “Working with our regional partners on unmanned systems integration is crucial to enhancing collective maritime domain awareness.
“Bahrain, as our first regional partner to collaborate with Task Force 59 during an at-sea exercise, demonstrates the strengthening of our strategic relationship.”
The first phase of the New Horizon exercise saw operators controlling the USVs aboard patrol coastal ship USS Firebolt.
The final phase involved the participation of a larger force of NAVCENT’s crewed and uncrewed maritime and aerial assets.
The Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF) and Bahrain Coast Guard also took part in the exercise.
Other participating units included patrol boat USCGC Maui, an SH-60S helicopter, a V-BAT UAV, and an RBNF patrol craft.
Both the US and Bahraini forces practiced operating the ships and boats with a view to enhance interoperability and mutual understanding.
Task Force 59 commander captain Michael Brasseur said: “This is a significant milestone for our new task force as we accelerate the integration of unmanned systems and artificial intelligence into complex, cross-domain operations at sea. Real-world evaluation is essential.” (Source: naval-technology.com)
28 Oct 21. Rheinmetall and Thales to continue taking care of Tiger helicopter simulators in France and Germany. Together with its partner Thales, Rheinmetall will continue to look after the helicopter simulators used for training crews of the Tiger attack helicopter. In summer 2021, a contract to this effect was awarded through OCCAR, the European procurement organization. This integrated service support contract, which for Rheinmetall represents sales in the low double-digit million-euro range, runs from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2025. Under the terms of the contract, Rheinmetall and Thales will now be taking care of a total of twenty modern Tiger simulators at bases in Le Luc, Fritzlar, Pau and Phalsbourg, as well as providing service and maintenance support. The eight full-mission simulators and twelve cockpit procedure trainers enable crews to train using the latest configuration of the aircraft in service: in France, the Tiger Hélicoptère d’Appui et Destruction (HAD) Block 2, and in Germany, the Unterstützungs¬¬hubschrauber Tiger Step 2 Krypto. The French armed forces and the German Bundeswehr train their personnel in a modern virtual combat environment, contributing to full operational readiness and greater flight safety. The Tiger simulators are among the most advanced full-mission simulators for attack helicopters anywhere. The Tiger is a highly sophisticated weapons system, whose replication in a simulator poses major demands in terms of hardware and software. In the current order, Rheinmetall, Thales and OCCAR (which stands for Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en Matière d’Armement) are building on years of successful cooperation in the field of simulation and training. OCCAR contracted with the Tiger Aircrew Training Means (ARGE TATM) working group to modernize the simulators currently in use. ARGE TATM is a joint venture of Rheinmetall Electronics GmbH and Thales AVS France SAS. This project was successfully completed at the end of 2019. Future treatment of obsolescent features and further updates, such as the current installation of the latest maintenance releases, make continued cooperation in the Tiger domain appear likely, including follow-up orders.
27 Oct 21. USAF’s F-35A Lightning II fighter jets take part in WSEP tests. The evaluation took place at Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) from 8-23 October. The US Air Force (USAF) 356th Fighter Squadron’s (FS) first F-35A Lightning II unit in the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) took part in an air-to-air weapons evaluation. The evaluation took place at Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) from 8-23 October, and represents the completion of the Weapon System Evaluation Program (WSEP) East 22.01 test. According to the USAF, this is the second fifth-generation platform assessed on employment of live-fire air-to-air weapons. It is conducted in support of the objectives of National Defense Strategy (NDS). The latest event marks a new milestone for the 356th Fighter Squadron as it moves towards becoming the first initial operational capability (IOC) F-35A squadron in Pacific Air Forces. 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group chief enlisted manager chief master sergeant Scott Grabham said: “An F-35A stationed in the Pacific is one thing, an F-35A stationed in the Pacific that has successfully passed WSEP is another.
“WSEP tests the effectiveness of their daily regime by injecting a deployed environment and live munitions.
“This is often the first time maintainers get a chance to load a live-munition onto their aircraft and the first time aircrew experience launching a missile at a threat representative, manoeuvring target. This is strategic deterrence in the region that needs it most.”
The exercise saw nine live missiles being fired by first-time shooters. The missiles include the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) along with the AIM-9X Sidewinder.
For the first time, pilots could also shoot the F-35A aircraft’s 25mm cannon against a QF-16-towed aerial target gunnery system.
Grabham added: “All of this realistic training is evaluated by a hand-picked mix of experienced aircrew and maintainers empowered to commend and critique exercise participants.
“We compile missile-fire data from our newest platform (F-35A) with our latest missile variants and software, which helps refine tactical application of the weapons system, uncovers any issues with the platform/missile interface, and eventually feeds Air Force doctrine.”
The next event will see WSEP East 22.02 combine with Checkered Flag 22-1 exercise. This activity is scheduled from 8-19 November at Tyndall AFB.
21 Oct 21. UK’s F-35B Lightnings take part in multilateral maritime exercise. The naval training exercise was conducted in the Indian Ocean. The UK Royal Air force (RAF) has announced the participation of F-35B Lightnings from 617 Squadron in Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX) 2021. The multilateral partnership exercise involves the UK Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and the US maritime forces. The exercise saw 617 Squadron training with Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2), a US Navy Air Wing from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. It was conducted in the Indian Ocean from 15-18 October. F/A-18E from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113, F-35B from VFA-211, F-35C from VFA-147, E/A-18G Growler from Electronic Attack Squadron 136, F/A-18F from VFA-2, E-2D Hawkeye from Airborne Command & Control Squadron 113, and F/A-18E Super Hornet from VFA-192 are the US Navy and US Marine Corps aircraft that participated in the exercise. The Royal Australian Navy was represented by frigates HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) and HMAS Sirius (O 266). The UK Navy assets included CSG 21, comprising HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), HMS Richmond (F2389), RFA Tidespring (A136), HMS Defender (D36), HMS Kent (F78), RFA Fort Victoria (A387), and USS The Sullivans (DDG 68). The Izumo-class multipurpose operation destroyer JS Kaga (DDH 184) and Murasame-class destroyers JS Murasame (DD 101) participated on behalf of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. The exercise focused on aspects such as regional security, naval cooperation, and interoperability in the Indo-Pacific region. (Source: naval-technology.com)
20 Oct 21. British Army armoured reconnaissance battlegroup manoeuvres across Germany. Approximately 180 vehicles and 650 soldiers from the British Army’s Royal Lancers divisional reconnaissance regiment deployed over 1,100 km by road to Germany in the last week of September from their home garrison in Catterick, North Yorkshire, for Exercise ‘Somme Lancer’. The regiment reported on social media that it then carried out a 70 km tactical road march from the British Army training facility in Sennelager to Hamelin, where the main exercise play unfolded across approximately 5,000 sq km of private land. Danish reconnaissance troops from the Guard Hussar Regiment joined the UK troops and German Luftwaffe Eurofighters and Tornado bombers from Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader (Tactical Air Wing) 31 and 33, respectively, for approximately 55 hours of simulated close air support during the exercise. ‘Somme Lancer’ culminated back in Sennelager on 15 October with the start of a week-long combined arms live-fire exercise. (Source: Janes)
26 Oct 21. UK-India tri-service exercise Konkan Shakti. UK’s Armed Forces are participating in exercise Konkan Shakti with their counterparts from the Indian Armed Forces from 21 to 27 October 2021 in India.
Personnel from all three services from both countries are exercising in a tri-service exercise, the most ambitious conducted by the two countries to date. It follows on from the May 2021 announcement by Prime Ministers Modi and Johnson of the India-UK 2030 Roadmap.
The United Kingdom’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG), led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, is also participating in the exercise.
The exercise is another step in deepening the defence and security ties and boost strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. The exercise provides an opportunity for the armed forces of two outward looking, confident democracies to work in synergy and uphold our shared commitment to peace and security.
First Sea Lord Admiral and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Tony Radakin said, “The CSG’s engagement with India showcases the deepening comprehensive strategic partnership. Both the Indian and the Royal navy are blue-water, multi-carrier navies, which places us in a very exclusive club. Our growing interactions are a testimony to the shared commitment to rules-based international system, a belief in the values of open trade, and in the importance of the freedom of the high seas – a right conveyed on all nations.”
Defence Adviser at the British High Commission, Gavin Thompson, said, “A strengthened partnership with India is a key pillar of the UK’s tilt to the Indo-Pacific. Prime Ministers Modi and Johnson agreed to work in lockstep for our shared security and prosperity. Konkan Shakti will not only boost the cooperation of our armed forces but also strengthen the living bridge connecting the people of our two great nations.”
The Konkan Shakti exercise began on 21 October and will culminate on 27 October. The UK is only the third country with which India is conducting a tri-service exercise.
The exercise follows the CSG’s two-day engagement with the Indian Navy in July, followed by exercise Konkan along the UK’s coast in August and exercise Ajeya Warrior between the two armies earlier this month.
The CSG is operating in the region as part of a six-month deployment to the Indo-Pacific. The maiden CSG deployment will travel 26,000 miles, visiting more than 40 countries. Pictures/footage of the CSG21 deployment can be downloaded here.
At 65,000 tonnes, HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest surface vessel ever constructed in the UK. She leads six Royal Navy ships, a Royal Navy submarine, a US Navy destroyer and a frigate from the Netherlands in the largest concentration of maritime and air power to leave the UK in a generation. It is equipped with the fifth generation F-35B lightening multi-role aircrafts. They are being jointly crewed by the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and the US Marine Corps. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
25 Oct 21. India’s DRDO tests aerial target Abhyas near Odisha coast. Abhyas vehicle can be used as a target to evaluate the effectiveness of several missile systems. India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has flight-tested the high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT), Abhyas. Abhyas was tested from DRDO’s integrated test range (ITR) in Chandipur, Odisha, India, on 22 October. It is designed and developed by DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) as a HEAT system in Bengaluru, India.
Change is happening fast in the fleet industry and the future is electric. As electric vehicle (EV) technology improves at a staggering rate, the sector is embarking upon radically reforming its vehicle mix, the energy used and how it is purchased.
More than 100 of the world’s largest businesses have now signed up to the Climate Group’s EV100 campaign, making a global commitment to ensure their fleets are electric by the end of the decade. This amounts to a staggering 4.8 million vehicles and the installation of huge numbers of charging points worldwide to support them. British Gas, which runs one of the largest fleets in the UK with more than 12,000 vehicles on the road, will have a fully electric fleet by 2025.
One big challenge, however, will be the availability and visibility of charging infrastructure to support the move away from petrol and diesel. With Arval Mobility Observatory reporting that more than 60% of fleets expect to have implemented an alternative energy mix by 2023, energy retailers – traditionally the oil and gas majors operating vast networks of fuelling stations – need to adapt quickly.
The target aircraft’s performance was monitored through telemetry and other tracking sensors, including radars and an electro-optical tracking system (EOTS).
In a statement, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) stated that the current flight test is executed as a part of developmental flight trials.
According to the MoD, the expression of interest (EOI) for vehicle production has already been sent to Indian industries.
Once developed, this target aircraft will meet the needs of high-speed HEAT for the Indian Armed Forces.
MoD said: “Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and chairman, DRDO also congratulated the teams associated with successful flight test of ‘ABHYAS’ and termed it as a force-multiplier considering its accuracy and effectiveness.”
The locally developed missile target vehicle can be used as a target to evaluate the effectiveness of several missile systems.
The vehicle is equipped with a small gas turbine engine and leverages MEMS-based inertial navigation system (INS) to navigate and the Flight Control Computer for guidance and control.
Launched using a twin underslung booster, the vehicle is programmed for fully autonomous flight. (Source: army-technology.com)
21 Oct 21. Tri-service integrated exercise Wallaby 21 concludes. The exercise saw the Singapore Armed Forces conducting coordinated missions to enhance air-land-sea integration.
The Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has announced that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) had successfully concluded Exercise Wallaby 2021 (XWB21).
The exercise was conducted in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) in Queensland, Australia.
This year, XWB21 saw the participation of 580 personnel and platforms from the Singapore Army, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), and the Republic of Singapore Navy.
During the exercise, the Singapore Armed Forces conducted coordinated missions on a large scale to enhance air-land-sea integration.
Activities and operations during the exercise included live-firing by AH-64D Apache helicopters, air-drop from C-130 transport aircraft, as well as ship-to-shore exercises.
It also involved deck-landing by CH-47F Chinook helicopters and replenishment serials from RSS Endeavour.
According to a press statement released by MINDEF, SWBTA enables SAF to undertake integrated training across all the three services.
At the conclusion of the event, Exercise Wallaby 21 air director colonel Sherman Ong said: “The vast expanse of the training area gave us the opportunity to conduct training that cannot be replicated back in Singapore.
“The complexity and challenges of the terrain allowed the RSAF to hone our operational competencies and conduct essential integrated training with our counterparts from the army and the navy.
“Every serviceman and woman understood the importance of the safe management measures implemented during the exercise and adhered strictly to them, which enabled us to conduct high quality training without compromise.”
To ensure that Covid-19 health and safety protocols are strictly followed and maintained, the Singapore Armed Forces worked in close cooperation with the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Exercise Wallaby was suspended last year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.(Source: naval-technology.com)
About InVeris Training Solutions
InVeris Training Solutions combines an agile approach with an unmatched expertise in training technology to design and deliver customized, cutting-edge, first-rate training solutions that keep military, law enforcement, private and commercial range clients safe, prepared and ready to serve – Because Seconds Matter™. With a portfolio of technology-enabled training solutions, and a team of 400 employees driven to innovate, InVeris Training Solutions is the global leader in integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training solutions. With its legacy companies, FATS® and Caswell, InVeris Training Solutions has fielded over 15,000 live-fire ranges and 7,500 virtual systems globally during its 90-year history. The Company is headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia and partners with clients in the US and around the world from facilities on five continents.