June's top stories: L-3 wins $1.9bn KDC-10 support deal, Denmark buys F-35 jets

L-3 Communications has secured a contract for the USAF's KDC-10 aerial refuelling tankers, the Danish Ministry of Defence has agreed to buy F-35A Lightning II multirole fighters. Airforce-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from June 2016.


KC-10

L-3 Communications wins $1.9bn KDC-10 logistics support contract from USAF

L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace secured an indefinite-delivery / indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract for the US Air Force's (USAF) KDC-10 aerial refuelling tankers.

Valued at approximately $1.9bn, the contract will see the company provide logistics integration and support for the aircraft.

The deal covers contractor operated and maintained base supply, aircraft maintenance to include depot and contractor field teams, and also modifications for service bulletins and time compliance technical orders, according to the US Department of Defense.

Denmark to buy Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jets

F-35

The Danish Ministry of Defence agreed to buy 27 F-35A Lightning II multirole fighters to replace its existing fleet of F-16 aircraft that has been in operation since 1980.

The announcement follows approval from the Danish Parliament.

Lockheed Martin's F-35 was chosen over Boeing's F-18 Super Hornet and Airbus' Eurofighter Typhoon. The Royal Danish Air Force will operate the F-35As starting from 2024.

US DARPA to develop new aircraft propulsion system for hypersonic speeds

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking to develop a new aircraft propulsion system that could operate at hypersonic speeds.

The Advanced Full Range Engine (AFRE) programme aims to develop the propulsion system based on a turbine-based combined cycle (TBCC) engine concept.

Combining a turbine engine for low-speed operations and a dual-mode ramjet will offer the potential for military operations from longer ranges with shorter response times and enhanced effectiveness compared to current military systems.

RAF Tornado attack aircraft use Storm Shadow missiles against ISIS

RAF

The UK Royal Air Force's (RAF) Tornado attack aircraft used Storm Shadow missiles for the first time to conduct air operations in the fight against ISIS in Iraq.

According to the UK Ministry of Defence, Tornado GR4s used four cruise missiles against a very large concrete bunker in western Iraq on 26 June.

The Storm Shadow long-range and air-launched missile, with a range of more than 250km, can travel at a speed of Mach 0.8.

US amends defence funding legislation to pave way for A-10 wing upgrades

US Representative Martha McSally amended defence funding legislation to provide $100m for new A-10 wing upgrades.

The fiscal year 2016 Defense Appropriations Act was passed by the US House of Representatives, preventing the retirement of any A-10s.

The bill also covers full funding for EC-130H airborne tactical weapon system.

Raytheon completes 'Run For Record' test of USAF's GPS OCX B-WAN

Raytheon successfully conducted a 'Run For Record' test of the US Air Force's (USAF) global positioning system next-generation operational control system's (GPS OCX) black wide area network (B-WAN).

B-WAN provides network connectivity to unclassified external interfaces for GPS OCX, which is a ground-based command and control system designed to manage GPS satellites with enhanced accuracy and precision.

During the component-level testing, which included mission capability and cyber controls, B-WAN scored a 100% requirement pass rate.

India's HAL flight tests Su-30 MKI aircraft integrated with BrahMos missile

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) conducted the first test flight of Sukhoi Su-30 MKI aircraft with BrahMos missile at its airport in Nashik, Maharashtra, India.

The aircraft with supersonic cruise missile is anticipated to increase India's air strike capability, according to The Indian Express.

The integration of the missile on the aircraft gives a lethal weapon delivery platform to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The maiden flight was carried out for 45min on 25 June.

RAF's first F-35B Lightning II fighter arrives at Fairford station in UK

RAF

The UK Royal Air Force's (RAF) first F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter aircraft was delivered after a two-year delay due to a technical problem.

RAF Squadron leader Hugh Nichols piloted the aircraft to RAF Fairford accompanied by a pair of US Marine Corps' F-35Bs, BBC News reported.

The three aircraft landed in Fairford station, UK, after crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

Brazilian Air Force begins operational testing of KC-390 transport aircraft

The Brazilian Air Force is conducting operational testing of the KC-390 transport / tanker aircraft at Campo Grande air base.

The first trials were successfully completed by dropping paratroopers from the Embraer-built aircraft.

The trials will involve dropping of supplies and checks of the stability of extractor parachutes.

France and Italy sign agreement to co-develop Aster 30 Block 1 NT missile

European missile-maker MBDA announced that France and Italy have signed a cooperation arrangement to jointly develop the Aster 30 Block 1 NT missile.

The Aster 30 Block 1 NT programme covers missile upgrades, and the modernisation of the Aster 30-SAMP/T systems currently in service with the French Air Force and the Italian Army.

Upon completion of the modernisation, the systems of the SAMP/T medium-range surface-to-air missile will feature enhanced capabilities against ballistic missiles.