Pentagon budget 2023: USAF secretary sheds light on F-35s procurement decisions

by Gillian Rich

The USAF wants more F-35s but must balance competing priorities such as NGAD and JATM. (US Air Force)

The US Air Force (USAF) cut its FY 2023 F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter procurement in exchange for other funding priorities, as the Block 4 updates remains delayed, according to the service's top official.

However, the USAF is still asking Congress for more of the fighters.

“We had to make some difficult choices with this budget; when we looked at the attack air portfolio, we had a number of things that we needed to do,” USAF secretary Frank Kendall told reporters at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on 19 April. “We needed to fully fund the Next-Generation Air Dominance [NGAD] platform. We wanted to complete the buy of the F-15EX, which has a couple more years to go now. We need to get on with some of our advanced air-to-air missiles like [AIM‐260 Joint Advanced Tactical Missile] JATM.”

Among budget concerns, Kendall also said that the USAF needs the upgraded Block 4 software and hardware for the F-35A conventional variant to meet the “pacing challenge with China, for their advanced systems”.


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VIDEX 2022: Vietnam operationalises locally developed unmanned vehicles for CBRN defence missions

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A CBRN defence UAV that has been deployed by the People's Army of Vietnam, on display at VIDEX 2022. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

The People's Army of Vietnam has operationalised an indigenously developed unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) and locally made multirotor unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) across two of its chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defence units.

This was confirmed by a representative from the service, who spoke to Janes at the Vietnam International Defense Exhibition (VIDEX) 2022, which is taking place in Hanoi from 8 to 10 December.

The UGV is known as the ‘Viet Nam Robot CBRN' while the UAV has been dubbed as the ‘Airborne Radioactivity Monitoring System UAV'. Both systems have been developed by the Vietnamese Academy of Military Science and Technology (AMST).

The six-wheeled UGV is a 115 kg vehicle with a manipulator arm that can lift weights of up to 23 kg. It features a gripper attachment that can be interchanged according to mission types, and the type of decontaminant involved. It is equipped with two video cameras, and these are located on the UGV's main body and manipulator arm, respectively.


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VIDEX 2022: Vietnam company positions grenade-dropping UAV for international market

by Ridzwan Rahmat

The Vietnam-developed Hera UAV, which can drop up to nine grenades per sortie, on display at VIDEX 2022. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

Vietnamese unmanned systems company RT Robotics has unveiled an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system that is capable of dropping up to nine grenades per sortie.

The system, which has been dubbed as the Hera ‘individual combat drone', is man-portable and propelled by four rotor-wings.

RT Robotics is a subsidiary of Vietnamese conglomerate CT Group, which also has business in real estate, finance, construction, and technology sectors.

Speaking to Janes at the Vietnam International Defense Exhibition (VIDEX) 2022, which is taking place in Hanoi from 8 to 10 December, a representative from the company, Quoc Luong, said that the Hera UAV has been fully developed in-country by Vietnamese engineers.

“Compared to similar UAVs manufactured by Israel, US, and NATO countries, the Hera is the most capable [in terms of the number of grenades that can be carried]. It is also more portable as it weighs only 9 kg and is the lightest [in the class of similar UAVs]”, Quoc said.


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VIDEX 2022: Vietnam Army deploys locally developed UAV for scout, targeting operations

by Ridzwan Rahmat

The VUA-SC-3G Scout UAV, which is in service with the People's Army of Vietnam, is seen here on display at VIDEX 2022. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

The People's Army of Vietnam (PAV) has inducted a locally developed fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for scout and target acquisition missions across several units.

Speaking to Janes at the Vietnam International Defense Exhibition (VIDEX) 2022, which is taking place in Hanoi from 8 to 10 December, a representative from the service described the UAV as an equipment that was first developed by Viettel Military Industry and Telecoms Group (Viettel) for reconnaissance operations by border units.

The UAV is referred to by the PAV as the VUA-SC-3G and it began operations with the service in 2018. It has been developed by PAV, in collaboration with Viettel.

Besides reconnaissance operations, the PAV is presently conducting early trials of the system with formations such as the artillery services for target acquisition operations, the representative added.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/pentagon-budget-2023-usaf-secretary-sheds-light-on-f-35s-procurement-decisions

The US Air Force (USAF) cut its FY 2023 F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter procurement in excha...

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