Update: Airshow China 2021: Chinese air force unveils EW variant of J-16 multirole fighter aircraft
29 September 2021
by Andreas Rupprecht & Alessandra Giovanzanti
A screengrab from CCTV footage released on 24 September showing the SAC J-16D electronic warfare aircraft in Zhuhai a few days before the start of the Airshow China 2021 defence exhibition. (CCTV)
The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has unveiled an electronic warfare (EW) variant of the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) J-16 multirole fighter aircraft at the Airshow China 2021 defence exhibition being held from 28 September to 3 October in Zhuhai.
Known as the J-16D, the two-seat aircraft was seen parked in the static display area of the exhibition bearing standard PLAAF insignia. Wang Ya'nan, chief editor of the Beijing-based
magazine, was quoted by the
newspaper as saying that this suggests the platform is in service.
Additionally, the aircraft bears construction number ‘0109' on the side of its engine intakes, indicating that it is the ninth aircraft from the first production batch. However, the platform features no serial number on its tail, making it difficult to determine which unit it has been assigned to.
Boeing avoids labour strike at three US defence plants
04 August 2022
by Marc Selinger
Boeing is developing the MQ-25 Stingray unmanned tanker for the US Navy. The company has averted a labour strike at three US factories that build military aircraft, including the MQ-25. (Boeing)
Unionised workers at three Boeing military aircraft factories in and near St Louis, Missouri, have approved a new three-year contract, averting a looming labour strike, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) announced on 3 August.
Boeing welcomed the news. “We're pleased with the outcome of the vote and we look forward to our future here in the St Louis area,” the company said in a statement.
The IAM said that Boeing's latest contract offer contained better retirement benefits compared with the one its members rejected on 24 July. About 2,500 union members were scheduled to go on strike on 1 August, but postponed the walkout after receiving the new offer.
“The newly ratified modified offer features critical improvements to the company's previous offer for retirement plans, including a USD8,000 lump sum payment that can be deferred to an employee's 401(k), and continuing the 4% company contribution and 75% match on the first 8% of an employee's 401(k) contribution,” the union said.
Rocket Lab launches surveillance satellite for Australian DoD, US NRO
04 August 2022
by Oishee Majumdar
Rocket Lab launched NROL-199, co-developed by the US NRO and the Australian DoD, with the help of its Electron rocket from a spaceport in New Zealand's Māhia Peninsula on 4 August. (Rocket Lab )
The second of the two surveillance satellites co-developed by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) of the United States and the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) was launched by the US-based Rocket Lab from its spaceport in New Zealand's Māhia Peninsula on 4 August.
The US NRO and Rocket Lab confirmed the launch of this second satellite, named ‘Antipodean Adventure' or NROL-199, on Twitter.
The first satellite named ‘Wise One Looks Ahead' or NROL-162 along with NROL-199 “carry national security payloads” designed and built by the US NRO in partnership with the Australian DoD, a spokesperson for the NRO told Janes on 3 August.
The two agencies will collaborate in operating these satellites, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said that the NROL-162 and NROL-199 “missions are the latest examples of NRO's commitment to enhancing relationships” with the US' “allies and partners and demonstrates NRO's capability to consecutively launch multiple rockets from overseas locations”.
US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has selected L3Harris Technologies as the lead contractor for its long-awaited Armed Overwatch programme.
The company was awarded a contract worth a maximum of USD3 billion on 31 July, although it was officially announced by the Tampa-based command on 1 August.
The Armed Overwatch programme intends to provide US Special Operations Forces (SOF) with up to 75 “deployable and sustainable manned aircraft systems [capable of] fulfilling close air support [CAS]; precision strike; and SOF intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) in austere and permissive environments”, according to USSOCOM's request for information for the programme.
Additional requirements called for a “multirole, modular” aircraft capable of supporting counter-terrorism/counter-violent extremist organisation operations in addition to “collapsing the stack by merging the capabilities of larger ISR and armed aircraft capabilities into one cost-effective, resilient package”.
Use of Armed Overwatch aircraft is expected to increase availability of other air assets to support operations against more advanced adversaries.
In this episode of The World of Intelligence we speak with Neil Spencer on the value of OSINT in the commercial sector.
Neil Spencer is the Director of Strategy and Partnerships for LifeRaft. He has more than twenty years of security indust...