30 Dec 21. Kratos to deliver BQM-177A subsonic aerial target drones for US Navy. Kratos Defense & Security Solutions’ Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems (KUAS) has won a $50m sole source contract for the acquisition of 65 BQM-177A subsonic aerial targets (SSATs). KUAS received a contract modification (P00007) to an earlier firm-fixed-price contract. This latest modification contract exercises an option to acquire nearly 50 BQM-177A subsonic aerial target systems for the US Navy, seven for Japan, and eight for the Saudi Arabian government. The contract scope also covers related technical and administrative data in support of full rate production (FRP) lot three. Naval Air Systems Command, (NAVAIR) Patuxent River, in the US state of Maryland, is managing the contracting activity.
Kratos Unmanned Systems division president Steve Fendley said: “The Kratos team is incredibly proud to receive this third consecutive full rate production option award supporting our US Navy customer. We are also excited that 15 of these drone aircraft will support the US Government’s foreign allies. Throughout the challenges of the last two years, Kratos has remained focused on developing, producing, and delivering target and tactical drone systems to support the established and forecasted customer needs.”
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions is a developer of platforms, systems, and technology for US National Security associated customers, partners, and other commercial enterprises.
In July this year, US Navy contracted Kratos Defense & Security Solutions’ Defense & Rocket Support Services (DRSS) division for the development of hypersonic experimental test vehicle. In February 2019, BQM-177A achieved initial operational capability and started land-based operations in Point Mugu, California. (Source: naval-technology.com)
24 Dec 21. US Marine Corps completes MEU Exercise in Okinawa. The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) of the US Marine Corps (USMC) and some subordinate units have completed a training exercise in Okinawa.
The other units that were involved were Battalion Landing Team (BLT), 1st Battalion, 5th Marines (1/5), Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 (Reinforced) and Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31.
During the two-week long MEU Exercise (MEUEX), more than 2,275 Marines and sailors honed their skills for conducting crisis response missions.
It included practising tactics, techniques and procedures for such missions.
31st MEU sergeant major Joshua Smith said: “The MEU conducts MEUEX after compositing as a MAGTF [Marine Air-Ground Task Force].
“It’s where we amass our forces, perfect our skills across the warfighting functions, mutually improve tactical skills and project our combat power. It’s truly motivating to see our Marines and sailors operating as a lethal force.”
BLT 1/5’s Operations Officer major Keegan R. Kinkade said: “As a response force, rehearsals sharpen our efficiency.
“This exercise enhanced interoperability amongst all elements of the MEU, deepening the mutual understanding of each other’s capabilities, equipment, and tactical employment.”
The 31st MEU conducts MEUEX in order to maintain its readiness and enhance MAGTF interoperability.
It also enables the personnel to refine their skillset to support different naval concepts including Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations and Distributed Maritime Operations.
31st MEU commanding officer Colonel Michael Nakonieczny said: “MEUEX provides us the opportunity to sustain and re-validate our readiness to deploy at a moment’s notice to crises and contingencies throughout the Indo-Pacific.
“Whether we find ourselves responding to a humanitarian disaster, non-combatant evacuation, or other crises, the 31st MEU is equipped to integrate and operate across the competition continuums and in all domains.”
Earlier this year, USMC received a new, explosive rocket launcher that provides additional protection in urban environments. (Source: naval-technology.com)
24 Dec 21. India tests high-speed expendable aerial target Abhyas. India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has flight-tested the high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT), Abhyas.
The indigenous unmanned aerial target system was launched from DRDO’s integrated test range (ITR) in Chandipur, Odisha, India, on 23 December.
DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), along with other DRDO laboratories, has developed the system in Bengaluru, India.
It is designed to meet the Indian armed forces’ need for aerial targets.
During testing, the system received the required acceleration from two boosters to take off in the initial stage following launch while a small turbo jet engine helped maintain high subsonic speed with long endurance.
Different range instruments that were deployed monitored the entire flight and the data captured confirmed the system’s performance.
The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that the trial showcased ‘high subsonic speed trajectory at a very low altitude with high endurance’.
The MoD also noted the successful flight test of the indigenous data link during the trial. It was designed by an unidentified industry partner based in Bengaluru.
Commenting on the test, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said it “is noteworthy testimony of synergy between scientists and industry”.
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DRDO chairman and DD R&D secretary also congratulated the development efforts of the laboratory scientists, team members and related industry partners.
Abhyas is programmed for a fully autonomous flight. It uses a flight control computer for guidance, and can be controlled with a ground-based controller.
It also features an indigenously developed inertial navigation system based on micro-electromechanical systems.
In October, the aerial target system was tested as part of its developmental flight trials.
17 Dec 21. Three FMS customers to receive F-16V training systems. The DoD did not name which countries that will be receiving F-16V training devices, but two are in Eastern Europe and a third is in the Middle East. Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems has obtained a $77.64m contract for F-16 Block 70/72 (F-16V) training systems. The deal from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center ‘provides for the engineering, manufacturing, and development, production, integration, testing and delivery of training devices, as well as spare parts and support equipment’, the DoD noted in a 15 December announcement. Unnamed classified FMS programmes for three US allies (two in Eastern Europe and one in the Middle East) are included in the contract, which is expected to be completed by 14 December 2027. Shephard Defence Insight lists Bulgaria, Greece and Slovakia as the confirmed European customers for the F-16V, with Bahrain in the Middle East also ordering 16 of the aircraft. (Source: Shephard)
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 and commercial range customers 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 15,500 live-fire ranges and 7,500 virtual systems globally during its 95-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.