Australia and New Zealand soldiers start training Iraqi Security Forces

Australian and New Zealand forces started training members of the Iraqi Army as part of international efforts to combat Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in the country.

Comprising 300 Australian and 110 New Zealand soldiers, the combined training force, known as Task Group Taji, is providing instruction to the Iraqi Army’s 76th Brigade troops in a diverse range of military skills including advanced weapon handling, laws of armed conflict and complex obstacle breaching techniques.

The training is being undertaken as part of international building partner capacity (BPC) mission, which aims to assist the Iraqi Government to disrupt, degrade, and ultimately defeat ISIL, also known as Islamic State.

Polish Army completes verification checks of EC 725 Caracal helicopter

Polish Armed Forces completed verification checks for the Eurocopter EC 725 Caracal tactical transport helicopter at the 33rd Transport Aviation Base in Powidz, Poland.

Conducted by the SZRP verification group, comprising experts and specialists in various operational and technical fields, the checks aimed to confirm that the helicopter is able to deliver the technical parameters submitted by contractors during the bidding phase in December 2014.

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Divided into two phases to verify ground and flight characteristics, the checks verified all 32 parameters indicated in the bidding proceedings, including common platform, design of the helicopter, performance, and on-board equipment.

Northrop IBCS system destroys ballistic missile during first flight test

Northrop Grumman’s integrated air and missile defence (IAMD) battle command system (IBCS) successfully destroyed a ballistic missile during its first flight test at an undisclosed location.

Jointly undertaken with the US Army, the testing saw a ballistic missile serve as a threat surrogate against a defended asset, which includes battery and battalion IBCS engagement operations centres, a Patriot radar, and two adapted Patriot launchers connected at the component level to the IBCS integrated fire control network.

The IBCS track manager established a composite track on the ballistic missile using measurement data from the Patriot radar. The IBCS mission control software assessed the track as a threat, and presented an engagement solution.

Sikorsky completes first test flight of S-97 Raider light tactical helicopter


Sikorsky Aircraft successfully completed the first flight test of the S-97 Raider light tactical helicopter prototype at its Development Flight Center (DFC) in Jupiter, Florida, US.

During the one-hour test flight, the aircraft, flown by pilot Bill Fell and co-pilot Kevin Bredenbeck, underwent a series of manoeuvres designed to validate its hover and low-speed capability.

The trial transitions the helicopter into more progressive flight testing, which will demonstrate key performance parameters critical to future combat operations, including armed reconnaissance, light assault, light attack, and special operations.

Islamic State fighters capture western Iraqi city of Ramadi

Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) reportedly took control of the western Iraqi city of Ramadi after killing dozens of Iraqi Security Forces.

The intense fighting, coupled with multiple suicide car-bomb attacks, prompted the Iraqi military and police personnel to abandon the capital of Anbar province, and retreat to an area east of the city.

In a statement, ISIL claimed to have seized the 8th Brigade Army Base, along with tanks and missile launchers left behind by the fleeing soldiers.

BAE completes technology development programme for US Army’s CIRCM programme


BAE Systems successfully completed the technology development bridge programme in the competition for the US Army’s common infrared countermeasure (CIRCM) programme.

The milestone was undertaken as part of a one-year, $11m contract awarded by the army to enable further development following the two-year, $38m CIRCM technology demonstration (TD) phase deal secured by the company in February 2012.

During the bridge programme, the company implemented an action plan designed to ensure that CIRCM provides the army with same reliability performance it realised in its current BAE-built common missile warning system (CMWS), and the laser-based advanced threat infrared countermeasures (ATIRCM) system.

GDELS’ Piranha V selected for Danish Army’s APC replacement programme

The Danish Ministry of Defence (MoD) selected General Dynamics European Land Systems’ (GDELS) Piranha 5 infantry fighting vehicle for its armoured personnel carrier (APC) replacement programme.

Awarded through GDELS-Mowag, the contract covers the supply of a minimum of 206 new APCs, with the exact number to be determined at a later date.

General Dynamics European Land Systems president Alfonso Ramonet said: "We are confident that this programme and the Piranha 5 in particular will guarantee the best protection for the Danish troops and provide the best value for the Danish industrial base.

US to supply $3bn V-22B Block C Osprey helicopters to Japan

V-22 Osprey

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of V-22B Block C Osprey aircraft and associated equipment to Japan.

Under the estimated $3bn sale, the Japanese Government requested the supply of 17 V-22B Block C Osprey aircraft, as well as 40 AE1107C Rolls-Royce engines, 40 AN/AAQ-27 forward looking infrared radars, 40 AN/AAR-47 missile warning systems, 40 AN/APR-39 radar warning receivers, and 40 AN/ALE-47 countermeasure dispenser systems.

The US will also supply 40 units of AN/APX-123 identification friend-or-foe systems, AN/APN-194 radar altimeters, AN/ARN-147 very high-frequency omni-directional range instrument landing system beacon navigation systems, 629F-23 multi-band radios (Non-COMSEC), AN/ASN-163 miniature airborne global positioning system receivers, and AN/ARN-153 tactical airborne navigation systems.

Australian Army commissions first two C-47F Chinook helicopters


The Australian Army inducted the first two CH-47F Chinook ‘Foxtrot’ helicopters into service during a ceremony at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Townsville in northern Queensland, Australia.

In May 2010, the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation signed a A$513.5m ($470m) contract with the US Army Security Assistance Command to deliver seven CH-47F Chinooks, as well as two flight simulators and associated spares.

Under the contract, Boeing Defence Australia will provide delivery and on-site operational maintenance support for the aircraft, which are scheduled to replace the army’s existing fleet of six CH-47D Chinook helicopters.

Indian Army Air Defence inducts Akash missile system


The Indian Army Air Defence Corps formally inducted the indigenously built Akash supersonic missile during a ceremony at the Manekshaw Centre in Delhi, India.

The induction comes more than three decades after the project was initiated in the mid-1980s, and is expected to boost the all round capability enhancement and operational effectiveness of the army to meet all the contemporary and emerging challenges of negating the enemy’s air threat.

Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and Bharat Electronic Limited as part of the integrated guided missile development programme, the Akash missile is an all-weather surface-to-air missile system capable of engaging aerial threats up to a distance of 25km.