A new active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar from Raytheon that will be installed on the B-52H bomber might allow the US Air Force to reduce the number of people operating the bomber from five to four. Maj. Gen. Andrew Gebara, director of strategic plans, programs, and requirements for Air Force Global Strike Command, said the decision in not “imminent.” Replacing the AN/APQ-166 radar will also lead to a new radome. And the new one might forgo the AN/ASQ-151 Electro-Optical Viewing System (EVS), which consisted of a low light level television (LLLTV) and a forward looking infrared (FLIR) system mounted in blisters under the nose. Its capability is currently surpass by Litening and Sniper pods carried on the bomber.

The Defense Department announced it has awarded $600 million in contracts to several companies for testing of 5G communications technology at five US military sites. The testing will be performed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Naval Base San Diego, Calif.; Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Ga.; Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and Hill Air Force Base, Utah, the Pentagon said. The Defense Department will include in the testing a pilot of 5G-enabled augmented and virtual reality for mission planning and training, testing 5G-enabled “smart warehouses,” and evaluating 5G technologies to enhanced distributed command and control. 5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, and the project is designed to explore potential military applications of the system.

Middle East & Africa

Turkey is preparing live-fire exercises in the Aegean Sea, angering Greece, and has transported its Russian-made S-400 air defense system to the Black Sea. Turkey, whose military buildup and claims of sovereignty in the Mediterranean Sea have angered Greece, announced it will stage exercises in the Aegean Sea from Oct. 26 to Oct. 28, in Turkish-held and international waters. The announcement was made Friday in navigational telexes from its naval station in Smyrna, Turkey.


The US State Department approved a $12.5 billion purchase on Friday by Finland for 64 F-35 fighter planes and associated munitions and equipment. The approval, a statutory notification to Congress, follows an April request by the Finnish Defense Ministry to buy the planes through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the US Defense Department agency responsible for foreign military sales. Although Finland is aligned with western military powers and not with its neighbor, Russia, it is not a NATO member.

The From not only approved a potential F-35 sale, but also the sale of the F/A-18EF Super Hornet. The Super Hornet package, which is worth an estimated $14.7 billion, includes 50 single-seat F/A-18E jets, eight double-seated F/A-18Fs and 14 EA-18G Growlers, which is the electronic attack variant. The package also includes 166 F414-GE-400 engines for the dual-engine fighter, Sniper targeting pods, AN/APG-79 radars, AN/ALR-67(V)3 electric warfare countermeasures receiving sets, and Next Generation Jammer Midband and advanced electronic attack kits for the EA-18G. The potential sales paved the way for the nation to purchase American jets should either Boeing or Lockheed Martin win its ongoing fighter competition.


South Korea is planning to replace 103 of its UH-60P utility helicopters with the local-made KUH-1 helicopter, a lawmaker disclosed. Rep. Han Ki-ho of the main opposition People Power Party said the government ditched the project to upgrade the UH-60 and will be spending more than five times the amount of money to produce the KUH-1. A retired Maj. General, Han said the KUH-1 has reduced range and carry two fewer troops compared to the Black Hawk.

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