The US Air Force has decided to add an active duty component to the 168th Air Refueling Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base. The move will add four additional KC-135s and up to 220 additional active duty personnel. This will make the squadron a total force unit as it increases the total KC-135 aircraft to 12. The personnel will be reassigned from within the Air Force.
F-35A, AF-1, has successfully carried out the in-flight release of the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) over at Edwards Air Force Base last month. Forsvarsmateriell, the Norwegian Defense Material Agency, was responsible for conducting successful test drops of the JSM missile from the F-35A in the desert at Edwards Air Force Base in California in February. Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace (KDA) is developing the JSM. The testing took place as part of the programme to integrate the JSM into the F-35, under the JPO (Joint Program Office) which is responsible for the F-35 cooperation programme, and is carried out in close cooperation with US authorities.
Middle East & Africa
According to Israel Defense, Israeli company Mobius Protection Systems, which specializes in the design, development and manufacturing of life-saving, energy-absorbing systems for military vehicles, announced that earlier this year it received another order from the IDF to supply its seats for the new Ofek armored personnel carrier.
The Israeli heavy APC is based on the chassis of the Merkava Mk.2 and Merkava Mk. 3 main battle tanks.
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived in Souda, Crete on March 20 and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will board the ship on March 23. The vessel approached pier K14 with the help of four tug boats at about 11 a.m. According to press reports, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to visit the US aircraft carrier on Tuesday.
The US Department of Defense announced an $11.4 million contract to Foster-Miller for MK 2 Man Transportable Robotic System series systems and Talon systems to Australia.The services under this contract cover the production of systems, depot level repair parts, initial spares kits, consumables, repair parts and approved accessories. The MTRS provides a stand-off capability to locate, identify and clear landmines, unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices. It can also be equipped with chemical or biological weapons sensors as a scanning device. It is controlled by a remote handheld device and can be integrated with several platforms, allowing commanders to coordinate a larger search for threats.
The Republic of Korea has decided to buy a batch of US-made AGM-114R multi-purpose Hellfire II missiles. The US military’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency issued a press release on March 19, 2021, that announced that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea of AGM-114R Hellfire missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $36 million. The potential sales, announced on the website of the DSCA, involve hundred eighty-eight AGM-114R Hellfire missiles. Also included are AGM-114R spare parts; US Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; repair and return; storage; and other related elements of logistical and program support.
Watch: Know Your Aircraft: The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker