Northrop Grumman has revealed its concept for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) LongShot program to develop an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of employing multiple air-to-air weapons. The company released a conceptual rendering of its proposed design on 10 February, two days after it was awarded a contract alongside General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) and Lockheed Martin for the first phase of its LongShot program. “The LongShot program enables us to combine our digital engineering skillset with our extensive knowledge in advanced technology weapons, autonomous systems, and strike platforms to increase weapon range and effectiveness,” Jaime Engdahl, program director, kinetic weapons and emerging capabilities at Northrop Grumman was quoted as saying.
The 104th Fighter Wing has painted an American flag on the nose of its flagship F-15C and the graphic is composed of the names of members in the wing as well as those who had lost their lives while serving the 104th Fighter Wing. The roughly six-foot by four-foot nose art graphic is painted on both sides of the aircraft and the names of those who had fallen are painted in gold color. This F-15C #85-125 scored a kill against a Iraqi MiG-29 on January 17, 1991 using a AIM-7 missile.
Middle East & Africa
A US-Turkey joint Navy exercise on the Black Sea successfully integrated surface, air and subsurface warfare capabilities this week, the two countries announced. The US Sixth Fleet’s Arleigh Burke Class guided-missile destroyers USS Donald Cook and USS Porter, joined by a P-8A reconnaissance plane, joined Turkish frigates TCG Orucreis and TCG Turgutreis and two Turkish F-16 fighter planes for the one-day exercise on Tuesday, the US Navy said. “The training conducted for the fundamental types of naval warfare has further strengthened cooperation between the Naval Forces of the two countries and has contributed to their interoperability,” the Turkish defense ministry said Wednesday in a statement.
Germany has flown the first Panavia Tornado combat aircraft to have its service life extended with the goal of seeing the wider fleet out to its 2030 retirement date. The Luftwaffe announced that the first Tornado, serial 43+42 from Tactical Air Force Wing 33, had flown following the process that had seen its airframe life extended to 8,000 flight hours from the type’s current 6,000 flight hours. “A decision by the Federal Ministry of Defence was decisive for the laborious step of dismantling the fuselage,” the Luftwaffe said. “According to this, all 85 Tornados should remain in service until the end of 2030. This can only be achieved if such extensive work is done.”
There’s a new layer of defense around the British HMS Lancaster and her 200 crew to keep enemies at bay. According to the Royal Navy, the Portsmouth-based warship has been fitted with heavy machine-guns to fend off small, fast-attack craft – guns tested for the first time off the South Coast this week as the ‘Queen’s Frigate’ shakes off winter cobwebs.
Greece will buy frigates from France to strengthen its navy, the National Herald reported on Wednesday. The plans to buy the Belharra class ships follow the signing of a $2.79 billion deal with France to buy 12 used and six new Rafale fighter jets, the New York-based Greek American newspaper said. Greece has close political and defense ties with France, which has backed Athens in a dispute with Turkey over territory in the eastern Mediterranean. The acquisition of the French frigates will constitute the largest weapons program ever undertaken by the Greek armed forces, the National Herald said. Total spending would amount to $6.05 billion, it said.
Watch: HMS Lancaster tests newly installed heavy machine guns