US Navy seeks new ‘Aggressor' training aircraft

by Gareth Jennings

Seen in USN colours as part of Boeing's pitch for the service's Undergraduate Jet Training System requirement, the T-7A Red Hawk is likely to be one of the candidate platforms put forward for the USN's recently released Tactical Surrogate Aircraft requirement. (Boeing)

The US Navy (USN) has issued a request for information (RFI) for a new Aggressor aircraft for ‘red air' combat training.

The Tactical Surrogate Aircraft (TSA) requirement released on 21 October would see a new aircraft type perform three primary pilot training missions, namely to augment flight time and training in front-line type model series aircraft, provide adversary air support, and to serve as a flight lead aircraft for fleet replacement squadrons.

“The aircraft needs to simulate and/or replicate current and future fighter aircraft systems by providing the training environment and relevant experience to build tactical skills, systems management skills, and decision-making skills required for weapon system employment actions. These actions will be influenced by environmental information, avionics outputs, sensor data, weapon-cueing, and manoeuvre elements,” the RFI said.


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Brazilian Army mulls loitering munitions and armed UAVs

by Victor Barreira

The Brazilian Army uses the hand-launched FT-100 fixed-wing ISTAR tactical UAV for different applications. (FT SISTEMAS S/A)

The Brazilian Army is seeking to adopt unmanned combat tactical effectors such as loitering munitions and armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The army is conducting preliminary studies that are expected to culminate with the publication of requirements for such systems over the next few years, Lieutenant Colonel Leonardo Gomes Saraiva, Army High-Staff supervisor of the Subprogram Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (SPrg SARP), told Janes .

Acquiring loitering munitions is planned for the short term, while the Category 0, 1, 2, or 4 armed UAVs with beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) capability are to be procured in a short to medium term.

The SPrg SARP, part of the Army Strategic Program Obtaining Full Operational Capability (Prg EE OCOP), is aimed at acquiring unmanned systems for roles such as intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR); electronic signals intelligence (ELINT); communications intelligence; logistics, fire support and command-and-control, and to support the Brazilian Defence Technological and Industrial Base. Final administrative activities to formally establish the SPrg SARP will occur in 2022, Lt Coronel Saraiva said.


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AFRL pursues multispectral threat warning under EOS-DEW

by Richard Scott

The US Air Force has launched an effort to develop and demonstrate prototype advanced integrated threat warning system technologies to address multispectral guided missiles, hostile fire, and directed energy weapon systems.

Led by the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL's) Sensors Directorate, the Electro-Optic Sensing Defensive Electronic Warfare (EOS-DEW) programme is intended to mature integrated multispectral threat warning solutions combining missile sensing, laser sensing, and hostile fire sensing, while also advancing test and developmental risk reduction methodologies. The latter includes exploring new techniques for multispectrum simulation, multithreat simulation, and sensing technology evaluation, together with enhanced testing and evaluation techniques to support research and development.

According to a EOS-DEW call released on 30 November, the diverse nature of the missile threat requires exploiting various sensing techniques and early launch detection, requiring “continual improvements in missile warning sensor architectures, exploiting different portions of the electromagnetic spectrum”.

It continued, “Directed energy threat detection, on the other hand, requires laser detection schemes containing multiple discriminants. The relative fidelity of coherence, wavelength, direction-of-arrival, geolocation, fluence, and pulse processing discriminants is dictated by the threat spaces of interest and drives the complexity of warning sensor architectures to satisfy hand-off requirements for protection countermeasures.”


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Images confirm Y-20U aerial tanker is in PLAAF service

by Andreas Rupprecht

A photograph and video footage have emerged on the Weibo social media platform confirming that the aerial refuelling variant of the Xi'an Aircraft Corporation Y-20A transport aircraft has entered service with the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).

The footage, which was posted on 28 November, shows an example of the Y-20U aerial tanker in flight featuring low-visibility PLAAF markings as well as serial number ‘20241', both of which indicate that the platform is in service within the 13th Transport Division, 37th Air Regiment at Kaifeng under PLA's Central Theater Command.

The latest development comes on the same day a Y-20U was spotted, for the first time, among the aircraft that entered Taiwan's air defence identification zone (AIDZ), along with two KJ-500 AEW&C, a Y-9 EW, five H-6K bomber, six J-10 and four J-11 fighter, and eight J-16 multirole fighter.

The Y-20U is fitted with three hose-and-drogue refuelling pods that are possibly based on the Russian-made UPAZ-1A pods used on the Ilyushin Il-78M tanker aircraft. Two of the refuelling pods on the Y-20U are mounted under the outer wings while the third one is on the rear fuselage.


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The US Navy (USN) has issued a request for information (RFI) for a new Aggressor aircraft for ‘red a...

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