July's top stories: Brimstone missile's first live fire trial, British RAF to begin recruiting women

MBDA’s Brimstone missile successfully completed the first live test firing from a Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, the British RAF is to allow women into ground close combat roles for the first time. Airforce-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from July 2017.


MBDA’s Brimstone air-to-surface missile successfully completed the first live test firing from a Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

The live firing was conducted as part of Phase 3 Enhancement (P3E) package for Typhoon.

Sensor and mission system upgrades are being provided to Typhoon as part of Project Centurion to ensure the smooth transition of Tornado GR4 capabilities for the UK Royal Air Force (RAF).


British RAF to begin recruiting women for ground close combat roles for first time

The British Royal Air Force (RAF) is to allow women into ground close combat roles for the first time, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has revealed.

The RAF Regiment originally planned to open its recruitment to women by the end of next year, alongside the Infantry and Royal Marines, but the process will now begin from September this year.

The RAF Regiment is the airforce’s ground fighting force that is responsible for protecting RAF bases, aircraft, and equipment at home and abroad.


Embraer’s KC-390 tactical transport aircraft completes 40-day demonstration tour

Embraer Defense and Security announced that its KC-390 military transport and tanker jet successfully completed its 40-day demonstration tour.

During the tour, the aircraft made 52 landings in 18 different countries across Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

The transport tanker was showcased at the 52nd annual Paris Air Show this June and continued to a series of flight demonstrations before returning to Brazil.


US AFRL and Australia’s DST conduct hypersonic flight test

The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) conducted a successful hypersonic flight test.

Conducted at Woomera Test Range in South Australia, the flight forms a part of a joint research programme conducted by DST and AFRL.

Woomera was selected as the test site because of its location, vast area and ability to support continuous telemetry collection during the flight, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) stated.


Boeing wins $442.8m contract to upgrade RAAF's E-7A Wedgetail aircraft

Boeing Defence Australia secured a A$582.5m ($442.8m) deal to upgrade the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft.

Upgrades include an addition of new and more advanced combat identification sensors, tactical data links, and communication and encryption systems.

Australia Defence Minister Marise Payne said: “The upgrades are an important step in maintaining a potent Australia air combat force and will ensure continued interoperability with Australian allies, including the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members.”


Canada extends military support to Global Coalition against ISIS

Until 31 March 2019, the Government of Canada is extending its military support to help the Global Coalition in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The extended support includes providing training for new potential partners within the Iraqi security forces and supplying a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CC-130J Hercules aircraft for tactical airlift.

Up to 850 military personnel will be deployed to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.


Elbit demonstrates ability to link air training simulators through cloud-based environment

Elbit Systems demonstrated its ability to connect air training simulators through a secure simulation cloud in order to provide simulation and information services.

As part of the demonstration, the company connected two air training simulators, located in remote locations via a cloud-based simulation environment, by providing a common Synthetic Natural Environment (SNE).

The connected simulation devices flew simultaneously to perform the components of air missions that would occur within their SkyBreaker mission training centre.


US military launches airstrike against al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia

The US military reportedly launched an airstrike against extremist group al-Shabaab in Somalia, on 2 July.

The strike followed approval from US President Donald Trump to provide additional precision fires in support of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The US Department of Defense (DoD) was authorised in March to support Somali security forces in their fight against the al-Shabab militant group.


US Committee on Armed Services votes in favour of US Space Corps

The US House Armed Services Committee voted in favour of creating a new branch of the armed forces in the country, called ‘Space Corps’.

The committee voted 60 to 1 to approve the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The new US Space Corps command, which will be responsible for the US Air Force’s (USAF) space operations, will serve as a separate military service within the Department of the Air Force.


Croatia to float RFP for foreign fighter aircraft

The Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Croatia is planning to float a request for proposal (RFP) for purchasing fighter aircraft.

Croatia wishes to obtain the fighter aircraft from five countries, including Sweden, the US, South Korea, Israel, and Greece.

The RFP involves the Swedish Gripen JAS-39, the US F-16, South Korean FA-50, Israeli F-16, and Greece F-16 fighter jets.