RoCAF aircraft conduct first emergency landing drill on highway

by Alessandra Giovanzanti

RoCAF F-CK-1 Ching Kuo, F-16V, and Mirage 2000-5 fighter aircraft along with an E-2K aircraft during emergency take-off and landing drills that were conducted from a provincial highway in Taiwan on 15 September during this year's ‘Han Kuang' military exercises. (Military News Agency )

Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) aircraft have taken part in a take-off and landing exercise in which they used highways as emergency airstrips for the first time.

The drill, which was aimed at testing the ability of RoCAF pilots to operate from narrow and shorter runways, was held on 15 September as part of Taiwan's annual ‘Han Kuang' military drills.

The manoeuvres involved four different aircraft: an Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation F-CK-1 Ching Kuo multirole Indigenous Defence Fighter, a recently upgraded Lockheed Martin F-16V combat aircraft, a Dassault Mirage 2000-5 fighter, and a Northrop Grumman E-2K airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) platform.


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South Korea launches first domestically developed space launch vehicle

by Alessandra Giovanzanti & Gabriel Dominguez

South Korea launched its first-ever domestically developed space launch vehicle on 22 September, but the rocket failed to place a dummy satellite into orbit.

Called the ‘Nuri' or Korea Space Launch Vehicle II (KSLV-II), the three-stage rocket lifted off from Naro Space Center in South Jeolla Province's Goheung County at 1700 h local time in an event that was also attended by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The president referred to the development as an “excellent accomplishment for a first launch”, despite the mixed results. “It's not long before we'll be able to launch it exactly into the target trajectory,” said Moon in a speech broadcast on national TV, adding that “the ‘Korea Space Age' is approaching”.

Minister of Science and Technology Lim Hey-sook stated that, while the launch was somewhat disappointing, it is significant as it was “the first test of a launch vehicle independently developed in [South] Korea”. It was meaningful to confirm that “all major launch steps were carried out and [that the country] has secured this core technology”, he added.


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UK sets sights on interim strategic sealift capability

by Richard Scott

MV Hartland Point is one of four strategic sealift ships currently operated by Foreland Shipping under the terms of a 25-year private finance initiative (PFI) arrangement. (Crown Copyright/UK Ministry of Defence)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has begun to explore options for a future strategic sealift capability to begin operation in 2025.

A request for information (RFI) to inform programme and commercial strategies for a planned interim capability, lasting a minimum of five years and to an updated user requirement, was released on 20 October. This interim capability would succeed the MoD's existing sealift contract, which expires at the end of January 2024.

Strategic sealift provides the MoD with a capability to deploy cargo overseas from the United Kingdom in support of both standing commitments and contingent operations. The UK's current roll-on roll-off strategic maritime capacity, vested in the four Flensburger RoRo 2700 sealift ships MV Anvil Point , MV Hartland Point , MV Hurst Point, and MV Eddystone


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Series of ‘causal factors' resulted in fire risk and damage to amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard, US Navy report finds

by Michael Fabey

A series of “causal factors” led to the fire risk and damage of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), a US Navy investigation found. (US Navy)

Different categories of “causal factors … allowed for the accumulation of significant risk and led to an ineffective fire response” for the 12 July 2020 blaze that caused the damage and eventual decommissioning of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), according to the US Pacific Fleet Command Investigation released on 20 October.

The investigation identified the four categories of causal factors: the material condition of the ship, the training and readiness of the ship's crew, the integration – or the lack of it – between the ship and supporting shore-based firefighting organisations, and the oversight by commanders across multiple organisations.

The command investigation concluded that “a lack of familiarity with requirements and procedural non-compliance at multiple levels of command” contributed to the loss of ship.


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Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) aircraft have taken part in a take-off and landing exercise in w...

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