The US Air Force has hit several milestones, with its MQ-9 Reaper drone successfully landing on a dirt strip for the first time, and Boeing’s T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer aircraft completing its maiden flight. Meanwhile, Israel is set to expand its F-35 fleet through a $3-billion deal with Lockheed Martin, and Taiwan has procured 14 Volcano mine-dispensing systems from American manufacturer Northrop Grumman.
- The MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle has proven its enhanced operational capabilities, successfully completing its first landing on a dirt strip in West Texas, in tests conducted by the 26th Special Tactics Squadron and 311th Special Operations Intelligence Squadron.
- Boeing completed the maiden flight of the T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer aircraft in St. Louis, marking the continuation of the engineering and manufacturing development phase for the T-7A program.
- Israel’s defense ministry announced a $3-billion deal to purchase a third squadron of F-35 jets from Lockheed Martin, expanding the country’s F-35 fleet to 75. The F-35 is an advanced stealth fighter jet capable of deep strikes, intelligence gathering, and air duels.
- Lockheed Martin won a $70.3 million modification to maintain and sustain operations of the Norway and Italy Reprogramming Laboratory facilities and systems in support of the F-35 program for non-US Department of Defense participants.
- Taiwan has procured 14 Volcano mine-dispensing systems from Northrop Grumman, valued at $146 million. The systems will be mounted on M977A4 cargo trucks and used to rapidly deploy anti-tank mines to repel an amphibious landing.