The US Army will suspend use of its new fitness test as a requirement for graduation from training programs because of COVID concerns. A new version of the six-event Army Combat Fitness Test went into effect last week. The Army will encourages taking and passing the strength and fitness test, but the requirement to successfully complete it will be delayed until at least September 2021, the end of the fiscal year. Suspension of the use of the test reportedly comes as the Army acknowledged constraints on training and testing due to the quarantining, social distancing and other protections required during COVID-19 pandemic.
Boeing won a maximum $149.6 million delivery order for the KC-46 Commercial Common Program consumable parts. The KC-46 Pegasus is a military refueling and strategic military transport aircraft. The Air Force intends to procure 179 Pegasus aircraft by 2027. The first four KC-46 aircraft were delivered to McConnell AFB, KS, in January 2019. The KC-46A places the boom operator on the flight deck, viewing receivers through a camera-driven display called the Remote Vision System (RVS). Work will take place in Missouri. Estimated completion date is October 7, 2023.
Middle East & Africa
Qatar has submitted a formal request to the United States to buy stealthy F-35 fighter jets, three people familiar with the deal said, in a deal that if pursued could strain US ties with Saudi Arabia and Israel, Reuters reports. The request for the Lockheed Martin Co jets was submitted by the Persian Gulf state in recent weeks, the people said. A US State Department spokesman said, “As a matter of policy, the United States does not confirm or comment on proposed defense sales or transfers until they are formally notified to Congress.” Keen to counter Iran in the region, the US helps to arm allies including Qatar, host to the largest US military facility in the Middle East, and home to 8,000 US service members and Department of Defense civilian employees.
HMS Queen Elizabeth came under a simulated missile attack as part of a major exercise. Hawk jets and other aircraft, some operated by Cobham, have been simulating air attacks against the Carrier Battle Group. Typically, Hawk jets support Dassault Falcon 20DC aircraft acting as long-range anti-ship bombers. The Falcons are flown by Cobham Aviation Services. HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Strike Group are currently exercising alongside allied nations in the North Sea, as part of NATO’s largest annual exercise, Joint Warrior.
PKL Services won a $13.8 million price modification to continue providing military aircraft F15 SG maintenance and operations training. The contract provides for the Republic of Singapore Air Force training on F15 aircraft, and includes both maintenance and operations on the F15 aircraft. The F-15 has a wingspan of 42 feet 9.75 inches (13.05 m) and a length of 63 feet 9 inches (19.43 m). The single-seat air-superiority version is armed with a 20-millimeter rotary cannon and an array of short-range and medium-range air-to-air missiles. The RSAF’s F-15SG is an all-weather multi-role fighter designed to achieve air superiority over the battlefield. It is one of the most advanced and technologically sophisticated variant of the F-15 aircraft built to date. Work will take place in Idaho and estimated completion date is September 30, 2022.
The Indian Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for signing a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in the field of cybersecurity between India and Japan. The MoC will enhance cooperation in areas of mutual interest, which include inter-alia, capacity building in the area of cyberspace; protection of critical infrastructure; cooperation in emerging technologies; sharing information on cybersecurity threats/incidents and malicious cyber activities, as well as best practices to counter them; Developing joint mechanisms for practical cooperation to mitigate cyber threats to the security of Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure etc.
Watch: F-15 Eagle – the American hunter