Following a successful test last fall, Raytheon’s fifth-generation AIM-9X–the principal short-range air-to-air missile employed by U.S. forces–could become a part of the air-to-surface inventory for employment against both land and sea targets.
Letters of offer and acceptance (LOAs) covering the supply of Raytheon’s AIM-120C-7, the latest version of the proven advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (Amraam), have been signed by three Arab nations: Kuwait, Morocco and Jordan (in order of signing).
Finland is the latest customer for Raytheon and Kongsberg’s National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS), following Norway, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.S. NASAMS is a networked air defense system that includes Raytheon’s MPQ-64F1 Sentinel radar and the surface-launched version of the AIM-120 AMRAAM. NASAMS was developed in the 1990s, and is now in its NASAMS II configuration, as first delivered to Norway in 2007.
The four partner nations in Eurofighter have agreed to delay until 2015 the introduction of the Meteor, the advanced rocket-ramjet beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) designed by MBDA. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is managing the development of Meteor, and is the only country to have committed to production so far. However, the MoD told the UK National Audit Office that it was falling into line with Germany, Italy and Spain.
Appearing for one day only, the F-22 Raptor thrilled the Farnborough crowd yesterday with a majestic display of power and agility. Now the Raptor heads home to join the rest of its unit at Langley, Virginia, as the F-22 fleet gathers experience and capability.
Intended to arm the ‘Euro-canards’ (Gripen, Rafale and Typhoon) and possibly integrate into the RAF’s JSFs, the MBDA Meteor ramjet-powered missile is taking giant strides towards service entry. Recent successful guided firings have paved the way for trials of production-representative missiles, keeping the program on track for an in-service date of 2013.
Switzerland is in the market for about 20 new fighters to progressively replace its remaining F-5 fleet. In a preliminary evaluation, the defense ministry pre-
Boeing’s F-15 Eagle has racked up an enviable 104-0 combat record, as one of the world’s top-flight air-superiority and air-to-ground assault fighters. Although the Eagle made its first flight 36 years ago, the latest U.S. Air Force plan says it won’t be leaving its inventory any time soon. Current considerations call for the F-15C/D to remain in service for another 17 years, and the F-15E for another 27.
The Pakistan air force is due to begin receiving new-build F-16s from Lockheed Martin beginning in 2009. The 18 aircraft on order–plus a major upgrade package for the nation’s existing aircraft and further options–will dramatically enhance the service’s capabilities and will bring to a close a controversial 20-year procurement saga.
Bahrain: The Royal Bahraini Air Force acquired its first batch of
F-16s in May 1990, having ordered eight Block 40 F-16Cs and four
F-16Ds through foreign military sales (Peace Crown I) channels in 1987. They flew missions during Desert Storm in 1991.