The Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) carried out a captive carry flight on an F/A-18F on April 22 and the missile was able to communicate with the host aircraft for the first time. This flight is in support of the first live fire test of the AARGM-ER that is scheduled this spring. A series of aerial maneuvers done during the flight validated the compatibility of the missile with the F/A-18E/F.
The first two F-15EX fighter planes of the US Air Force are participating in an Alaska training exercise, the Air Force said. Two of the new-model aircraft have been built, and both are elements of the Northern Edge 21 exercise underway until May 14 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, the branch said in a press release. The planes are variants of the F-15C, and are equipped with improved maneuverability, acceleration, durability, computer power and armament, according to their manufacturer, Boeing.
Middle East & Africa
A news report from Nigeria says the country will take delivery of the first 6 M346FA jets from Italy before the third quarter of this year. The African nation is said to have bought 24 of the advanced jet trainers last year.
Relyant Global LLC won a $19.6 million deal for construction of a new airfield, security fencing and other facilities at Kainji Air Base. Bids were solicited via the internet with six received. Work will take place in Nigeria. Estimated completion date is August 1, 2023.
The gallery reports that Egypt is preparing to buy a spy satellite and two MRTT tankers from France. La Tribune says Paris agreed to provide a $6.5 billion loan to Egypt and only $4.5 billion will go towards the purchase of 30 Rafale fighters that was recently announced.
Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land has signed a deal with the British Defense Ministry to upgrade Challenger 2 main battle tanks. The $1 billion contract has been agreed to supply the Army with 148 upgraded, fully-digitised tanks as part of a major overhaul of the armed forces. The Challenger 3 tanks will replace the existing Challenger 2 vehicles, which have been in use since 1998. Under the military restructure the overall number of tanks will be cut from 227.
China’s Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) has signed a deal with the provincial government of Sichuan to develop an industrial park in the region, dedicated to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). A statement by the Sichuan government said the new facility will be located in Zigong, in the center of the province, and will focus on both military and commercial UAVs. “We will develop a world-class manufacturing industry cluster,” said the statement.