US Air Force “Orange Flag” and “Black Flag” exercises this week tested mission planning with cross-domain data gathering, the Air Force said. The exercises involved the Air Force Test Center’s 412nd Test Wing, headquartered at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and the 53rd Wing of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in achieving what the Air Force terms All-Domain Command and Control.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin approved a request to extend the deployment of National Guard members in the Capitol through late May, the Department of Defense announced. Per a statement from Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, about 2,300 National Guard personnel will continue to support the mission, a reduction of about half of the current support force in the Capitol. On Monday a national security task force released a report, which said the US Capitol Police were “inadequately trained” to deal with the violent mob attack of Jan. 6.
Middle East & Africa
The special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR) warned that the withdrawal of US contractors in May will have an enormous impact on the combat capabilities of the Afghan military. John Sopko says the Afghans rely on the Americans to carry out 100 percent of the maintenance work on the C-130 and Black Hawk helicopters. Without those contractors, those aircraft could only fly for a few months after their departure. He added that the departures “will negatively impact Afghan security forces, threaten the Afghan state and imperil own national security interests if Afghanistan should further destabilize.”
Denmark’s first F-35, L-001, has flown this week. The jet will be delivered to the Royal Danish Air Force in April and will be flown to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, later this year for pilot and maintainer training. Lockheed Martin says the Danish Air Force will bring its F-35s back home in 2023 and be based at Royal Danish Air Force’s Fighter Wing Skrydstrup.
Japanese media revealed that eight Japanese companies are participating in the development of the F-X fighter. The main contractor will be Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. IHI Corporation will develop the engine, Subaru and Kawasaki Heavy Industries will build the airframe, Mitsubishi Electric will take the electronic warfare system portion while Toshiba, Fujitsu and NEC will design the avionics and radar.
The Philippine Navy chief told Philippine News Agency (PNA) that his service will be acquiring only one battery of the Indian-made BrahMos supersonic anti-ship missile. One battery consists of three systems, Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo was quoted as saying. Each system has its own launcher with 2 to three missiles each. He added that the purchase is still awaiting approval from by the Commander-in-Chief.
Watch: F-X Japanese 6th Generation Fighter Jet