June's top stories: Nato AGS aircraft, AN / TPY-2 radar export

Northrop Grumman unveiled the first Nato alliance ground surveillance (AGS) aircraft, the US Army awarded the first full rate production order to General Dynamics to build additional Warfighter Information Network-Tactical Increment 2 systems, and the combined Australian-New Zealand Task Group completed training of more than Iraqi 700 soldiers. Army-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from May 2015.


Hawk

Northrop unveils Nato's first alliance ground surveillance aircraft

Northrop Grumman unveiled the first Nato alliance ground surveillance (AGS) aircraft during a ceremony at its facility in Palmdale, California, US.

The aircraft is a wide area surveillance Global Hawk, and is a part of a broader system of systems solution that will advance the alliance's evolving joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) requirements during Nato missions.

Missions include protection of ground troops and civilian populations, border control and maritime safety, counter terrorism operations, as well as crisis management, and humanitarian assistance in natural disasters.

KAI and South Korean Government sign LAH / LCH development contracts

LAH helicopter

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology (KEIT) signed contracts with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to develop light armed helicopter (LAH) and light civil helicopter (LCH).

The company was selected for system development of the LAH project and preferred bidder for the LCH core technology development in July 2014.

With a combined value of KRW1.6trn ($1.4bn), the contracts will see the company design and develop two 5t class LAH and LCH platforms using the Airbus Helicopters' H155 multi-purpose helicopter.

US Army awards WIN-T Inc 2 full rate production order to GD

The US Army awarded the first full rate production order to General Dynamics (GD) to build additional Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 systems.

Under the $219m contract, the company will produce and deliver more than 300 vehicle-based network communication nodes, along with related equipment and materials.

The contract enables the army to continue fielding WIN-T Increment 2 to units currently scheduled to receive the system.

Australian-New Zealand Task Group train Iraqi soldiers to fight ISIL

trainer

The combined Australian-New Zealand Task Group completed training of more than 700 soldiers from the 16th Division's 76th Iraqi Army Brigade to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in the country.

Undertaken at the Taji Military Complex, northwest of Baghdad, the eight-week training programme focused on the planning and conduct of operations, weapon handling, basic tactical manoeuvre, and integration of intelligence, as well as leadership and ethical behaviour in war.

Camp Taji is one of the four US-led building partner capacity (BPC) mission sites across Iraq.

UK further expands training of Ukrainian armed forces

ministers

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) outlined plans to expand its programme of training for Ukrainian Armed Forces, currently battling pro-Russian insurgents in the eastern parts of the country.

As part of a package announced in February this year, UK troops have already provided medical, infantry, logistics, and tactical intelligence training to 650 Ukrainian soldiers since March.

Approximately 250 personnel will now be trained in August alone in additional infantry, medical, and survival skills.

Chinese Army conducts fourth test launch of WU-14 hypersonic missile

The Chinese People Liberation Army (PLA) conducted another test launch of its new hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) amid escalating tensions with the US over the disputed South China Sea.

Dubbed WU-14, the weapon reportedly performed manoeuvres that demonstrated its ability to penetrate missile defence systems. It is said to be the fourth test of the missile in the last 18 months.

Previous trials of the missile were carried out in January, August, and December 2014.

US approves export of AN / TPY-2 ballistic missile defence radar to allies

radar

The US Government approved the potiential purchase of Raytheon army navy / transportable radar surveillance-2 (AN / TPY-2) ballistic missile defence radars for several US allies and security partners for use in forward-based mode.

Purchased through the foreign military sales programme, the forward-based mode AN / TPY-2 radar can be positioned near hostile territory to acquire ballistic missiles in the ascent phase of flight, shortly after they are launched.

Using a command-and-control battle management network, the radar then tracks and discriminates the threat, and passes critical information to decision-makers, and missile defence systems.

Obama authorises deployment of additional US soldiers to Iraq

The US Department of Defense (DoD) received permission from the president Barack Obama to send additional military personnel to Iraq to support the ongoing fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The Pentagon will now deploy up to 450 soldiers to expand the US advise-and-assist mission at the Al-Taqaddum air base in Al Habbaniyah, in support of the Iraqi Government, taking the total number of US troops serving in the country to up to 3,550.

Some of the soldiers earmarked for deployment to the Taqaddum airbase are already in Iraq, and will be repositioned, while the rest will come from outside of the country.

Germany chooses medium extended air defence system for TLVS programme

MEADS

The German Federal Ministry of Defence confirmed selection of the medium extended air defence system (MEADS) as the basis for Taktisches Luftverteidigungssystem (TLVS) programme.

The TLVS is a next-generation, network-based tactical air and missile defence system, designed to replace the Patriot air defence systems initially deployed by Germany in the 1980s.

Built by MEADS International, a joint project between Lockheed Martin, MBDA Italia and MBDA Deutschland, MEADS was chosen over the Raytheon-built Patriot system for the $4.5bn deal.

Harris acquires Exelis for $4.75bn

Harris acquired US-based aerospace, defence, information and services company, Exelis, in a cash-and-stock deal valued at approximately $4.75bn.

Under the deal, Exelis shareholders converted each of their shares into $16.625 in cash, and 0.1025 shares of Harris common stock, leaving the latter's shareholders with 85% ownership. Exelis shareholders now own 15% of the combined company.

Harris chairman, president and chief executive officer William Brown said: "The Exelis acquisition is transformative for our company and marks a major milestone in Harris's 120-year history.