The first newbuild Tu-160M made its maiden flight on 12 January. (United Aircraft Corporation)
Russia has flown the first Tupolev Tu-160M ‘Blackjack' strategic bomber to roll of its newly reconstituted production line.
The flight took place at Kazan Aviation Plant on 12 January.
“The flight took place at an altitude of 600 meters [1,969 ft] and lasted about 30 minutes. The crew of test pilots of Tupolev performed manoeuvres to test the stability and controllability of the aircraft in the air,” Rostec said.
The Tu-160 first entered into Soviet service in the late 1980s, with production running through to 1995. In 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the restart of production of the upgraded Tu-160M variant to bolster the air force's strategic bomber capabilities at a time of increasing tension with the West, and to offset delays to the PAK-DA future bomber programme.
ATLA has confirmed that the EM railgun achieved 2,297 m/s projectile speed during recent trials. (ATLA)
Japan is developing electromagnetic (EM) railguns to counter emerging threats including hypersonic weapons.
A spokesperson from Japan's Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) told Janes on 19 January that a study to develop the capability is expected to accelerate in 2022.
“Since financial year 2016 we have studied the underlying technologies of railguns. In the studies we have worked on increasing launch velocity and establishing material technologies for the rails, which have high current endurance characteristics,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that ATLA will launch studies of future railguns in 2022. These studies will aim to establish entire technologies necessary for early practical use for missile defence and anti-ship operations. The studies aim to achieve a high rate-of-fire and projectile flight stability for the railguns, said the spokesperson.
Janes has previously reported on a video shared by ATLA in July 2018, which showcased a small-calibre developmental EM railgun along with related support and test equipment.
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket lifts-off from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral, Florida with the US Air Force's Wideband Global SATCOM system. (ULA)
Members of the US Space Force's (USSF) combat requirements office are weighing options for the development of a hybrid, space-based satellite communications (satcom) architecture, as the US Air Force's (USAF's) premier research directorate is standing up a similar architecture for extra-terrestrial intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations.
The notion of a hybrid satcom architecture is akin to how cellular data is transmitted during voice and video calls, as well as other means of electronic communication. A cellular signal can ping across any number of cellular provider networks and infrastructure, transmitting on to one network, then leapfrogging across other networks until the data reaches its destination. In terms of satcom, under a hybrid approach, data transmission can be initiated through a network at geosynchronous orbit (GEO), then jump onto a satcom network at medium-Earth orbit (MEO) or low-Earth orbit (LEO) – and potentially back up the orbital satcom chain – until the data transmission reaches the receiver.
UK notes ‘considerable interest' in soon-to-be-surplus Hercules airlifters
19 January 2022
by Gareth Jennings
With the UK set to retire its remaining 14 Hercules airlifters on 31 March 2023, the MoD told
that considerable interest has been received in the fleet form a wide range of parties.
The United Kingdom has received “considerable interest” in its fleet of soon-to-be-retired Lockheed Martin C-130J/C-130J-30 Hercules airlifters.
A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson told Janes on 19 January that the sales campaign being run for the Royal Air Force's (RAF's) one remaining short-bodied C-130J C5 and 13 long-bodied C-130J-30 C4 variant Hercules airlifters has attracted a wide range of potential buyers.
“The situation on C-130J sales is that [the Defence Equipment Sales Authority] DESA continues to lead on a very active sales campaign with considerable interest being expressed by a wide range of interested parties,” the MoD said.
In this episode of The World of Intelligence we talk about some of the current real-world challenges we face and how commercial open-source providers like Janes and like our guests, Fivecast, have started to solve some of those challenges and ho...