Oct 23, 2020 05:00 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
The US Air Force has started a search to find a supplier for its Global Precision Attack Weapon, a small, lightweight bomb that fits in the weapons bays of the B-21 and F-35. The weapon is to have “high loadout” and digitally engineered, Air Force magazine reports. „High load“ means many can be carried on a single platform, suggesting a small size—and digitally engineered, with open-systems architecture. It should enable “maximum flexibility to integrate a suite of technologies,” including position, navigation, and timing and guidance, navigation, control; as well as “cockpit-selectable warhead effect,” fuzing, sensors, propulsion, “signature optimization” or stealthiness, “maritime apps, multimode seeker, affordable mass, and autonomy/sensing.” GPAW will have to operate “within the joint, all-domain functional environment against near-peer competitors.” It was suggested the weapon should be able to collaborate autonomously. The announcement modified a previous announcement published by the Air Force and Special Operations Command in the spring.
This year’s Trident Warrior 20 exercise saw the US Marine Corps deploy four oceanographic sensors from its MV-22Bs for the first time. Dropped into the Pacific Ocean by VMM-163, these sensors were previously deployed from the back of C-130s or directly by ships. The data collected would provide the Marines with the best environmental awareness possible prior to conducting amphibious operations. Trident Warrior is an annual large-scale field experiment in operational naval environments.
Middle East & Africa
The United States contracted the sale to Jordan of one Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter for royal duties. The Department of Defense announced that Sikorsky had been awarded $13.7 million for a single UH-60M to be delivered by November 30. Fiscal 2010 Foreign Military Sales (Jordan) funds for the full amount were obligated at the time of the award. “The UH-60M will supplement Jordan’s existing Royal Squadron fleet of Black Hawk helicopters and be used to facilitate the movement of the Jordanian royal family in a safe and efficient manner,” the DSCA notification said.
Leonardo successfully demonstrated unique integrated capabilities between a manned aircraft and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). This took place in the UK during Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUMT) trials between a Leonardo AW159 Wildcat helicopter and a semi-autonomous UAV from Callen-Lenz Associates. The demonstration was part of the British Army’s MUMT themed Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) 19, and was planned and executed by Dstl and took place on Salisbury Plain in September.
A notice released Wednesday says the State Department has approved the sales to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States of 135 Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response (SLAM-ER) missiles and related equipment estimated for more than $1 billion, 11 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) M142 Launchers and related equipment for an estimated $436.1 million and six MS-110 Recce Pods and related equipment for an estimated $367.2 million. “This proposed sale serves U.S. national, economic, and security interests by supporting the recipient’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announcement said.
Watch: Why America’s V-22 Osprey Just Keeps Getting Better – Able to Fly Across the Pacific Ocean