South Korean F-35s training to destroy North Korean ICBM launchers
24 November 2022
by Akhil Kadidal
A South Korean Air Force F-35 fighter jet drops a GBU-12 precision bomb during joint air drills in response to North Korea's ICBM launch on 18 November. (South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images)
South Korean Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters have started training to destroy North Korean missile launchers amid continuing provocations by Pyongyang.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said that four F-35As began training to drop GBU-12 Paveway II precision-guided bombs at Pilseung Shooting Range in Gangwon-do on 18 November. The objective of the exercises was to “hit North Korean [transporter-erector-launcher] TEL mock targets”, the JCS said.
According to the South Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND), the training is to enhance the capability of the F-35 fleet to strike North Korea's missile-related facilities.
Since 5 January, North Korea has conducted at least 65 known launches of short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, according to Janes data. Another 16 launches comprised unclear missile types.
The MND has said that the training exercise was conducted hours after North Korea launched a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on 18 November. The JCS added that the training exercise was a response to the ICBM launch.
Indian Army issues tender to procure light vehicles
01 March 2024
by Kapil Kajal
The Indian Army has been seeking to replace its ageing Maruti Gypsys and Mahindra MMs with new light vehicles since the early 2010s in a phased manner. As part of this, the service awarded a contract to Tata Motors to supply 3,192 4×4 Safari Storme vehicles (pictured above) in 2016. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)
The Indian Army has issued a tender to procure 4×4 ‘light vehicles' to perform general service (GS) roles.
According to a request for proposal (RFP) issued by the Indian Army on 29 February, the service intends to procure 1,054 light vehicles under the ‘Buy (Indian)' category. Under this category of procurement, at least 50% of the purchased product must be indigenous.
The gross weight of the new light vehicles must be more than 2,500 kg, and the vehicles are required to provide mobility in hilly, high-altitude, cross-country, and desert terrains, the RFP said. The light vehicles will be utilised for rapid deployment of small teams in conventional as well as counter-insurgency operations, the RFP added.
India test-fires very short-range air-defence system
01 March 2024
by Kapil Kajal
VSHORADS – pictured above from a DRDO test in March 2023 – is a tripod-launched missile system designed to strike moving aerial targets such as unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters, and fighter aircraft. (DRDO)
India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) test-fired two of its very short-range air-defence system (VSHORADS) missiles from a ground-based portable launcher, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a press release on 29 February.
The tests were conducted on 28 and 29 February from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, Odisha, the MoD said.
“These tests were carried out against high-speed unmanned aerial targets under different interception scenarios. During all the test flights, the targets were intercepted and destroyed by the missiles, meeting the mission objectives,” the MoD added.
A DRDO official told Janes on 1 March that the tests were a part of the developmental process of the missiles.
Enhanced Chinese Sky Hawk stealth UAV takes to flight
29 February 2024
by Akhil Kadidal
CASIC is enhancing its Sky Hawk low-observable UAV for improved stealth characteristics and greater range. (Janes)
China's Tianying (Sky Hawk) tailless low-observable, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has started flight-testing following upgrades to its primary parameters. According to Chinese state-owned media, the changes improve the UAV's stealth characteristics and endurance.
Developed by the No 3 Research Institute of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), the Sky Hawk has been designed to conduct stealth-based reconnaissance and attack missions, according to state-owned media. CASIC has previously said the Sky Hawk will operate either independently or alongside other unmanned platforms for force multiplication.
On 27 February the state-owned broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) aired footage of the Sky Hawk conducting a test flight.
According to CASIC, the Sky Hawk is designed for multirole operations at “high altitude, high stealth” and with “high autonomy”. As a force multiplier, the Sky Hawk could help support People's Liberation Army Air Force's (PLAAF's) unmanned operations such as stealth penetration, precision attack, and multidimensional attack, Janes assesses.
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