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20 May 20. Covid-19: Red Hawk testing progresses at Edwards AFB. Boeing and the US Air Force (USAF) have continued testing the T-7A Red Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), despite personnel restrictions put in place because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The first two Red Hawk production representative jets have continued through flight trials despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The USAF reported on 19 May that the 412th Test Wing (TW) at the California base has put in place remote working and other mitigating solutions to protect its airmen and contractors while continuing to progress the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the Red Hawk programme.

“The 412th TW has maintained an operational tempo that rivals pre-virus days, despite geographically separated teams and reduced manning. The 412th TW has continued operations through the adoption of dynamic processes and innovative techniques,” the USAF said.

As noted by the service, with these new measures in place the 412th TW has participated in Distributed Test Operations (DTO) with the Red Hawk. “On 30 April the T-7A Test Team executed the first real-time DTO in a mission control room at Ridley Mission Control Center at Edwards AFB. The significance of the DTO process is that it allows engineers within Ridley to view real-time flight tests from remote locations. The latest test took place approximately 2,000 miles away at the Boeing St Louis facility [in Missouri], which allowed engineers at Edwards AFB to watch video and view flight telemetry in real time,” the USAF said. (Source: Jane’s)

20 May 20. In a first, B-1s fly over Sweden for training. Two B-1B Lancer bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota flew to the Nordic region of Europe Wednesday as part of a training mission with allies.

The flight marked the first time any B-1s have flown over Sweden, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa said in a release Wednesday. The B-1s, from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth, trained with Swedish Gripen fighters and conducted close air support training with Swedish joint terminal attack controllers at Vidsel Range there.

The B-1s were also escorted by Typhoon fighters from the Royal Air Force as they flew over the United Kingdom. And they flew tactical sorties with Norwegian F-35s, and flew a low approach over Ørland Air Station, the home of Norway’s F-35 fleet.

“Long-range bomber training missions strengthen our steadfast partnerships with allies across both Europe and Africa and showcase our ability to respond globally from anywhere,” USAFE commander Gen. Jeff Harrigian said in the release. “This mission further enhances our interoperability capabilities by taking groundbreaking steps to incorporate our partners to generate seamless operations.”

A KC-135 Stratotanker from the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, England, and a Dutch KDC-10 from the 334th Squadron at Eindhoven Air Base, Netherlands, refueled the B-1s so they could make the round trip from Ellsworth without stopping.

This is the latest in a series of long-range bomber task force missions carried out this month, including all three types of bombers in the Air Force’s fleet. For example, B-1s previously trained earlier in May with Danish and Polish F-16s and other fighters.

In some of the releases announcing long-range bomber flights, the Air Force has said they show the United States’ ability to conduct operations and support allies and partners is unaffected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, the release on Wednesday’s mission did not reference the pandemic. (Source: Airforce Times)

19 May 20. CAE Australia secures RAAF contract to upgrade training systems. CAE Australia has secured a contract to upgrade an aircraft simulator and other training systems at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Richmond in New South Wales. Under the $26m four-year contract, the C-130J Hercules tactical transport aircraft will receive training systems upgrades as part of the C-130J Block Upgrade Program. The C-130 is a family of military transport aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin.

The contract is expected to generate new opportunities and create seven full-time jobs within the industry.

Australia Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “This will equip defence with a state-of-the-art C-130J aircraft simulator so that our airforce can access the highest quality of training available.

“A modern training system closely aligned with the upgraded C-130J aircraft configuration is essential to providing a robust and safe capability.

“This partnership demonstrates CAE Australia’s in-country expertise in this field, and their commitment to supporting these airforce capabilities.”

The first airforce students are expected to start training on the new simulator and training systems in early 2023.

A total of 16 pilots, eight loadmasters and up to 100 maintenance crew will be trained each calendar year.

The Australian Defence’s partnership with CAE Australia is expected to deliver a new capability for the RAAF.

In April 2018, the RAAF commissioned the tenth and final C-27J Spartan into service during a ceremony held at RAAF Base Richmond.

Built by Lockheed Martin Alenia Tactical Transport Systems (LMATTS), the C-27Js replaced the existing fleet of DHC-4 Caribou and provided a light tactical fixed-wing aircraft capability to the RAAF. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

19 May 20. Nato troops take part in training with British and Spanish pilots. Nato troops from enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Lithuania are engaged in training with the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and Spanish Air Force from the Alliance’s Baltic Air Policing mission.

The joint training commenced earlier this month and is scheduled to conclude later this week.

It provides an opportunity to improve close air support and aircrew procedures, as well as skills of all the participating airforces.

The participating battlegroup includes German and Norwegian Joint Terminal Attack Controllers with specialised soldiers guiding fighter aircraft to targets on the ground.

They will also conduct air-to-ground support missions with British Eurofighter Typhoons and Spanish F-18s.

As part of Nato’s Air Policing Mission, the British and Spanish airforce contingents will guard the skies over the Baltic region, operating from Šiauliai Air Force Base (AFB) in Lithuania.

The Nato battlegroup in Lithuania includes around 1,200 personnel from Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Norway.

The Nato Air Policing mission commenced after the Belgium Air Force handed over the Baltic Air Policing Mission to the Spanish Air Force.

The RAF also joined and was expected to replace the already departed Portuguese Air Force.

In March this year, more than 600 personnel of the UK RAF passed a major capability test conducted by Nato.

The Capeval evaluation test was conducted at RAF Leeming to evaluate the operational capability of the service to support the organisation under challenging conditions. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

19 May 20. Russia scales down war games amid pandemic. Russia’s foreign minister said Tuesday that Moscow has scaled down its military drills amid the coronavirus pandemic. Sergey Lavrov said that the Russian military also has decided not to conduct any war games near the country’s borders with NATO member nations during the outbreak. Russia’s chief military officer met with his French counterpart Thursday and raised concern about NATO’s activities near the Russian border. Russia-West relations have sunk to post-Cold War lows after the 2014 Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and Moscow’s support for a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine. Moscow has repeatedly voiced concern over the deployment of NATO forces in the Baltics, describing it as a threat to its security. Russia and the alliance also have blamed one another for conducting destabilizing military exercises near the borders. (Source: Defense News)


Meggitt introduces the next generation of immersive training — the FATS® 180MIL.

Delivering 180° high definition projection and 5.1 surround sound, the FATS 180MIL increases training realism, heightening awareness and proper use of force responses. Three borderless screens fit into almost any space with at least a 10’ tall ceiling, providing a 150” X 84” (16:9 aspect ratio) borderless projection surface. It also includes:

  • Military Validation – The same high-fidelity ballistic engine validated by the US Army, USMC and other military customers.

o Provides accurate ballistic characteristics in flight.

o Supports and enforces the proper fundamentals of marksmanship.

  • Immersive Training – Supports both 3D Marksmanship and Judgmental training.
  • Courseware – Delivered with full array of training courseware.
  • Hit Detection System – Three digital cameras interface directly with Off-CPU real-time (OCR) processor used by FATS® 100 system for easy upgrade path.
  • Projectors – Ultra short throw projectors provide freedom of movement, displaying stunning visuals in 180°environment.
  • Low-Light Subsystem (optional) – Practice in simulated low-light conditions with hand-held and weapon-mounted flashlights.
  • Rack – Uses same transportable rack as the FATS 100 system.
  • Realistic Sounds – Self-powered audio system plays scenarios in 5.1 surround sound. Using directional sound effects board, the instructor can incorporate unsettling sounds from any direction, including barking dog, crying baby, gunshots and more to elevate situational awareness.
  • Supports up to 60 simulated weapons, including FATS weapons and ammunition types. Up to 4 simulated weapons can be assigned to a single user.

With the FATS 180MIL, users feel they’re in the action, facing decision-making pressures while maintaining situational awareness.


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