British F-35 fighter jets land on deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth

The F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft landed and took off from the British Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier during operational trials off the east coast of the US.

Britain’s next-generation aircraft carrier is currently undergoing operational trials. The navy’s largest vessel left for the US in August to take part in Westlant 19 alongside the US Navy.

The landing of the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) F-35 fifth-generation combat aircraft on the flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth marks a key milestone in the creation of a fully operational carrier strike group.

Raytheon’s NGJ-MB pod completes first power generation flight test

Raytheon’s Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) for the US Navy completed the first power generation flight test at Niagara Falls Airport in New York, US.

NGJ-MB, an airborne electronic attack weapon system developed by Raytheon for the US Navy’s EA-18G Growler aircraft, has generated its own power for the first time.

Data from the test will play a key role in the airworthiness authorisation decision to fly the jamming pod on the EA-18G Growler.

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RAAF-funded project testing extended capability for P-8A Poseidon

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)-funded project is testing an extended search and rescue capability for the P-8A Poseidon.

The study is being conducted off the coast of the Naval Air Station Patuxent River (PAX) in Maryland and is evaluating the UNIPAC III Search and Rescue (SAR) kit on the P-8A maritime patrol aircraft.

The US Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) revealed that the kit will enable the P-8A to provide survivor assistance to 100 people in a single sortie.

Exercise Joint Warrior gets underway

Around 4,000 military personnel, 58 aircraft, 16 ships and three submarines began mass wargames in Scotland for Exercise Joint Warrior.

Equipment involved in the exercise includes the Royal Navy minehunter HMS Hurworth, HMS Albion and the Type 23 Frigate HMS Sutherland. The majority of personnel participating in the exercise are sailors or marines, but 635 air personnel and 319 soldiers are also involved.

International equipment includes the French FS Tonnerre and the German FGS Berlin replenishment ship.

Serco wins professional support services contract from US Navy

Serco secured a potential five-year $162m contract to continue providing professional support services to the US Navy’s Amphibious Warfare Program Office (PMS 377).

The company will provide services such as test and evaluation programme support, acquisition and life cycle management, technical management support, and integrated logistics support.

The recompete contract includes a base performance period of one year and four one-year option periods.

USMC selects Northrop Grumman to build prototype NGHTS systems

The US Marine Corps (USMC) chose Northrop Grumman to develop advanced targeting systems with the aim of delivering improved capability.

Northrop Grumman will build prototype Next Generation Handheld Targeting Systems (NGHTS) that will help forward-deployed observers in the rapid acquisition of targets with greater precision.

The USMC is looking for a compact, rugged, lightweight, man-portable system that will enable marines to quickly acquire targets and perform guidance.

Saab’s ground-launched small diameter bomb hits sea target

Saab announced that the ground-launched small diameter bomb (GLSDB) has hit a predetermined target in the sea during long-range test firing at the Andøya Test Center in Andenes, Norway.

The successful test launch was conducted by GLSDB developers Saab and Boeing on 26 September.

The GLSDB hit a target located 130km away from the fully autonomous launcher.

MUOS SATCOM system declared ready for full operational use

The US Navy completed a multiservice operational test and evaluation of the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) and declared it ready for full operational use.

A series of critical test and evaluation phase events involving the next-generation narrowband military satellite communications system has showcased its full operational capability.

MUOS is ready for the transition into unrestricted operations.

Naval Group begins construction on French Navy’s first FDI frigate

Naval Group cut steel for the French Navy’s first defence and intervention frigate (FDI) during a ceremony at its facility in Lorient.

The steel-cutting ceremony marks the start of construction on the first FDI frigate for the French Navy.

Naval Group will build five FDI 122m-long multi-purpose ships under the programme. The first ship is expected to be delivered in 2023.

HII delivers US Navy’s Virginia-class submarine Delaware

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division successfully delivered the US Navy’s Virginia-class submarine Delaware (SSN 791).

The 377ft-long, 7,800t nuclear-powered fast attack submarine was launched in December last year. It completed sea trials earlier this month.

Delaware, which is the second ship to be named in honour of the US state, is the ninth Virginia boat to be delivered by Newport News Shipbuilding division. It was christened by the ship’s sponsor, Jill Biden, in October 2018.