Americas

The US Army received the first Infantry Squad Vehicle made by General Motors Defense. The vehicle, which the Army received at GM Proving Grounds, was the result of the first major contract GM Defense, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GM, has won since its formation since 2017. GM Defense delivered the vehicle just 120 days after winning the $214.3 million deal to produce it in June. “One hundred and twenty days from contract award to delivery is a significant milestone, and I am very proud of the team for this accomplishment,” said David Albritton, president of GM Defense in a statement. “We’re leveraging General Motors’ engineering prowess and immense manufacturing capabilities to bring transformative solutions to the military vehicle market.” The Infantry Squad Vehicle is based on the 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 truck, and it uses 90% commercial components, but is designed to carry a nine-soldier infantry squad quickly across a battlefield.

The Pentagon delayed plans to move the F-35 program to full-rate production because simulation testing that’s needed before that can even begin has been delayed until next year. The testing phase was originally scheduled for 2017 but had been delayed to December of this year. Now it’s being moved back again because technical preparations aren’t complete, and both testing and the production decision have been pushed to 2021, according to Jessica Maxwell, spokeswoman for Defense Department acquisition chief Ellen Lord. While it’s not clear, why the test schedule has been delayed again, but in April Lockheed said it expected lower sales and slower deliveries for several of its programs this year due to disruptions caused by the current global pandemic, with the F-35 program being particularly hard hit.

Middle East & Africa

A batch of MiG-29Ms that Algeria ordered in 2018 have been delivered in pieces to the country and they are assembled and ready for flight. These aircraft are now at Oran. This first batch was delivered in a disassembled state. It is unknown how many aircraft are involved in this batch and if the aircraft were delivered as air freight or by boat. The new aircraft are being prepared for their first flights at an air base in the vicinity of Oran. The deal for the new single seat MiG-29M and dual seat MiG-29M2 was signed during the MAKS-2019 International Aviation and Space Salon in Moscow (Russia). The new M-model will replace the older MiG-29S and MiG-29UB in use at Bou Sfer air base. The number of aircraft in this contract is reported to be fourteen aircraft. The new Algerian Air Force MiG-29M/M2 is the same version as the Egypt Air Force MiG-29Ms.

Washington agreed to consider allowing the UAE to buy stealth F-35 fighter jets in a side deal to its normalization agreement with Israel. Israel will not oppose US sales of “specific weapons systems” to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, in an apparent reference to the high-tech F-35 warplanes sought by Abu Dhabi. Under a principle of preserving Israel’s “qualitative military edge”, the United States consults with it on proposed sales of advanced arms to other countries in the region.

Europe

According to the British Royal Navy, Royal Marines have completed two weeks of rigorous training in the skills needed to protect the UK’s nuclear deterrent. The Royal Marines of 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group are held at very high-readiness year round, guarding the nuclear deterrent carried onboard the Vanguard-class submarines based at Faslane Naval Base in Scotland. The commandos battled in a range of complex environments and challenging scenarios that ensure they are ready to safeguard the nuclear deterrent whatever the situation.

Asia-Pacific

A Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Canberra-class amphibious assault ship has embarked a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) CH-47 heavy-lift helicopter on its flight deck for the first time, marking a new level of interoperability between the two armed forces. The aircraft underwent deck landing qualification on HMAS Adelaide (L 01), the RAN’s second Canberra-class vessel, as part of Exercise ‘Sea Wader 2020’, which took place off the coast of Queensland, Australia. “The ability to operate our largest amphibious vessels with Singapore’s CH-47 Chinook helicopters means we can work together to mobilize and move personnel or supplies at sea, and enhance our combined joint capability”, said Linda Reynolds, Australia’s Minister for Defense, in a statement.

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