October 22, 2021

South Korea kicks off largest ever defence expo

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Lockheed Martin Demonstrated Real-Time Sensor Data on F-35 with non F-35 in Australia

 The Lockheed Martin (LMT) F-35 Lightning II and Virtual Aegis Weapon System (VAWS) demonstrated the ability to share real-time sensor data from Fort Worth, Texas, to Honolulu, Hawaii, and on to the Australian Defence Force during a recent military exercise between the United States and Australia.

In partnership with U.S. Indo Pacific Command, Lockheed Martin’s participation in Talisman Sabre 2021 (TS21) continued the military/industry team’s experimentation efforts to improve joint interoperability between U.S. services and allies.

The exchange of real-time F-35 data with non-F-35 platforms outside of the United States via the F-35’s multi-function advanced data link directly supports goals presented in the Pacific Deterrence Initiative. This initiative includes using large-scale exercises to pursue innovative experimentation in support of building joint all-domain information sharing capabilities.

“With this demonstration, the F-35 has proven that its sensor fusion capabilities make it the most advanced node in the 21st century warfare network-centric architecture,” said Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of the F-35 program. “We are proud to deliver on the expectations of our customers in the Indo-Pacific Command theater and in Australia and look forward to working with them to build on the capabilities the F-35 has proven thus far.”

In the 21st century battlespace, dominance will be determined by the ability to securely connect high-tech platforms into one cohesive network that spans every domain – air, land, sea, space and cyber. This recent demonstration strengthens the U.S. military’s interoperability with its allies against the heightened strategic threat environment. Only the F-35 has the ability to reach into austere environments to provide critical real-time information back to allied defense forces.

Starting with Talisman Sabre in 2019, Lockheed Martin has collaborated with U.S. Indo-Pacific Command on experimentation to enhance kill webs, which are a multitude of sensors that collect, prioritize, process, and share data, then fuse it into a continuously updated display of information for joint forces. The demonstrations conducted during TS21 are further proof of Lockheed Martin’s ability to quickly connect advanced technology, provide commanders more options to meet their objectives, and ensure warfighters have the information needed to quickly make critical decisions in the battlespace.

To date, the F-35 operates from 21 bases worldwide, with nine nations operating F-35s on their home soil. There are more than 670 F-35s in service today, with more than 1,440 pilots and 10,850 maintainers trained on the aircraft. The Aegis Weapon System’s versatility is reflected in afloat, ashore, expeditionary and virtual operations, with seven nations utilizing Aegis’ proven multi-mission capability.

Papua New Guinea Commissions of Second Guardian class Patrol Boat

 PNGDF has celebrated the commissioning of its second Australian gifted Guardian Class Patrol Boat, HMPNGS Rochus Lokinap at the Lombrum Naval Base.

The ceremony included the Australian Head of Mission and the Deputy Chief of Defence Force Commodore Philip Polewara. Sing sing dancers from New Ireland Province home of Brigadier General (retired) Rochus Lokinap were a part of the commissioning ceremony.

Royal Australian Navy is committed to continuing to support and strengthen the maritime security capability of our regional neighbour, Papua New Guinea.

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HENSOLDT Develops Multifunctional Jammer to Counter New Threats

 HENSOLDT’s ‘Kalaetron Attack’ – to be seen here in a pod version - combines latest technologies to secure control of the electromagnetic spectrum (image : Hensoldt)

Taufkirchen, Germany – Sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT has achieved a far-reaching technological leap in the advancement of technologies to control the electromagnetic spectrum. Combining artificial intelligence, digitisation, Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA) and 3D printing technologies, HENSOLDT has developed a multi-function jamming system ('jammer') called 'Kalaetron Attack' that can actively jam enemy radars in an extremely wide frequency band, but can also be used passively as a reconnaissance sensor.

"The latest air defence and combat aircraft radars cover an extremely wide frequency bandwidth or jump between certain frequencies in a fraction of a second, making them extremely difficult to neutralise," says Celia Pelaz, chief strategy officer and head of the Spectrum Dominance division at HENSOLDT. "By combining the latest technologies, we have managed to optimise the emitted power in a targeted way while controlling the electromagnetic spectrum with one receive channel. This would make 'Kalaetron Attack' perfectly suited both as an aircraft self-protection system and in the role of an escort jammer."

Core elements of the system are a fully-digitised, broadband sensor and effector, a fully-polarisable, electronically controllable jammer and a condensed design of the electronic components only made possible by metallic 3D printing. This has made it possible to integrate the AESA jammer into a relatively small pod system that can be easily integrated into flying platforms but also scaled for sea and land applications. The next step in development is to fit it into an aircraft in order to confirm the already outstanding laboratory results in realistic flight tests.

‘Kalaetron Attack’ is part of HENSOLDT's all-digital ‘Kalaetron’ product family. It can be deployed in various configurations on diverse platforms for self-protection, ESM and signal intelligence tasks, depending on customer needs. HENSOLDT has been active in the spectrum dominance market for decades. The company has developed COMINT and ELINT sensors for NATO and partner forces and integrates them into EW systems for the Air Force, Army and Navy.


HENSOLDT is a German defence industry champion with a leading market position in Europe and global reach. Headquartered in Taufkirchen near Munich, the company develops sensor solutions for defence and security applications. As a technology leader, HENSOLDT is also continuously expanding its portfolio in the field of cyber and developing new products to combat a wide range of threats based on innovative approaches to data management, robotics and cyber security. With more than 5,600 employees, HENSOLDT achieved a turnover of 1.2 billion euros in 2020. HENSOLDT is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, where it is part of the SDAX share index.

Malaysia Selects Radios from Rohde & Schwarz for Keris class


The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) is replacing the Chinese-supplied radios on its three Keris-class littoral mission ships (LMS) with those from German electronics manufacturer, Rohde & Schwarz.

Information published on the Malaysian finance ministry's procurement website indicate that the contracts are worth USD115,000 each. However, there are no details about which model was selected for the contracts.

BRP-Emilio Jacinto Departs Tawi-Tawi to Undergo Upgrade


COLONEL Romeo Racadio, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Tawi-Tawi, lauded the crew of the BRP-Emilio Jacinto (PS-35) for their hard work and dedication in securing the country’s waters in southern Philippines.“My gratitude to you for a job well done,” Racadio told the officers and men manning BRP-Emilio Jacinto.

Racadio led the send-off ceremony of BRP-Emilio Jacinto Friday, October 1, 2021, in Tawi-Tawi.The ceremony was highlighted with a ship tour and capability info brief facilitated by Commander Clyde Domingo, BRP-Emilio Jacinto commanding officer.Racadio then engaged with and presented a memento to the crew of the vessel.BRP-Emilio Jacinto is set to undergo repair and upgrade and will be replaced by BRP-Mariano Alvarez (PS-38).

BRP-Emilio Jacinto is currently assigned to the Offshore Combat Force of the Philippine Fleet.She is one of few ships in the Philippine Navy equipped with modern systems after the completion of combat, navigation, and weapon systems upgrades in 2019.“The BRP Emilio Jacinto has been of great help to the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) particularly in the campaign against terrorism and kidnap for ransom activity at sea,” said Major General Alfredo Rosario, Jr., Westmincom chief.

New video of the KF-21 Boramae, the future fighter developed in South Korea



 The KF-21 Boramae is the new fighter aircraft jointly developed by South Korea and Indonesia, whose rollout took place on April 9 this year.

Its first flight is scheduled for 2022, but while we wait, the manufacturing company (KAI) released a promotional video in which, through computerized images, shows what the aircraft will look like and what mission profiles it will have.It should be remembered that, although it may not look like it, the KF-21 Boramae is an aircraft that in its present incarnation belongs to the 4.5 generation of fighters, similar to a Super Hornet or Rafale. It is a twin-engine with an expected top speed of 2,200 km/h, a range of 2,900 km and a combat load of up to 7.7 tons.

But it is a design intended from the outset to evolve. It will be produced in successive blocks, which will incorporate new capabilities, with more advanced materials and construction techniques, which will bring this aircraft to the same level as 5th generation aircraft such as the F-35 (considered the de facto standard in this category).

However, KAI recently announced that the KF-21 Boramae will evolve beyond the current 5 Gen fighters to incorporate features of the 6th generation fighters currently under development.

In the video, you can see one of these features being developed in different programs around the world, which KAI also plans to equip the Boramae with. It is the ability to work in a man-machine partnership with unmanned combat aircraft, or drones.

The images show the KF-21 leading a formation of 3 unmanned aerial combat systems, whose stealth design is reminiscent of Russian company Mikoyan’s Skat project.

The drones will be commanded by the KF-21 pilot, who will designate targets and other aspects relevant to the mission, acting as an important force multiplier. These operations will demand the use of powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI), both in the unmanned systems and in the KF-21, a disruptive technology that the 6th generation fighters have incorporated since their conception.



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Australia Buys 12 More MH-60R Helicopters


The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters, Related Defense Services, and related equipment for an estimated cost of $985 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Australia has requested to buy twelve (12) MH-60R Multi-Mission helicopters; thirty (30) T-700-GE-401C engines (24 installed, 6 spares); twelve (12) APS-153(V) Multi-Mode Radars (installed); twelve (12) AN/AAS-44C(V) Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems (installed); thirty-four (34) Embedded Global Positioning System/Precise Positioning Service (GPS/PPS)/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI) with Selective Availability/Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) (24 installed, 10 spares); twenty (20) Link 16 Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems (MIDS) – Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) (12 installed, 8 spares); twelve (12) GAU-61 Digital Rocket Launchers (aircraft provisions only); twelve (12) Airborne Low Frequency Sonars (ALFS) (aircraft provisions only); eighteen (18) AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning Systems (12 installed, 6 spares); eighteen (18) AN/ALE-47 Chaff and Flare Dispenser, Electronic Countermeasures (12 installed, 6 spares); twelve (12) AN/ALQ-210 Electronic Support Measures (ESM) Systems (installed); twenty-four (24) M299 Missile Launchers; twelve (12) GAU-21 Crew Served Guns aircraft provisions (installed, includes aircraft adapter, ammunition bin, and other accessories); twelve (12) M240D Crew Served Gun Cradles (installed); and eighteen (18) AN/ARQ-59 Hawklink Radio Terminals (12 installed, 6 spares). Also included are AN/ARC-210 RT-2036 UHF/VHF radios with Communications Security (COMSEC); AN/APX-123 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponders; KIV-78; KIV-6; KOV-21; KGV-135A; Advanced Data Transfer Systems (ADTS); Airborne Low Frequency Sonars (ALFS) Training Simulators/Operational Machine Interface Assistants (ATS OMIA); spare engine containers; trade studies with industry to determine the feasibility and cost of implementing provisions for additional passenger seating and modifications to achieve enhanced crew survivability; defense services; spare and repair parts; support and test equipment; communication equipment; ferry support; publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment; United States (U.S.) Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; obsolescence engineering, integration, and test activities required to ensure readiness for the production of the Australian MH-60R helicopters; and other related elements of programmatic, technical and logistics support. The total estimated value is $985 million.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States.

Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific. The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.

This proposed sale will improve Australia’s capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay. Australia will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense. Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal U.S. contractor will be Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Owego, NY. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of the proposed sale will require U.S. Government and contractor personnel to visit Australia on a temporary basis in conjunction with program technical oversight and support requirements, including program and technical reviews.

336th Fighter Squadron deploys to Greece

 F-15Es from the 336th Fighter Squadron have deployed to Greece from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base for exercise Castle Forge.

An F-15E Strike Eagle is prepped to take off at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Oct. 4, 2021. The 336th Fighter Squadron is deploying jets to Larissa Air Base, Greece, in support of operation Castle Forge, a U.S. Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa-led joint, multi-national training event designed to provide a dynamic, partnership-focused environment that raises the U.S. commitment to collective defense in the Black Sea region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman David Lynn)

The APKWS is now capable of shooting down drones


Test rockets combined standard warheads and motors with APKWS guidance kits and a proximity fuze – enabling them to engage and destroy airborne drones at a fraction of the cost of traditional counter-UAS (C-UAS) strike capabilities.

BAE Systems, Inc. has successfully tested APKWS® laser-guided rockets in precision strike tests against Class 2 Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) at Yuma Proving Grounds. The 2.75” test rockets combined standard M151 warheads and Mk66 motors with APKWS precision guidance kits and a newly developed proximity fuze – enabling them to engage and destroy airborne drones at a fraction of the cost of traditional counter-UAS (C-UAS) strike capabilities.

“Unmanned Aerial Vehicles of all sizes are a growing threat increasingly deployed by adversaries around the globe,” said Greg Procopio, director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Systems at BAE Systems. “The flexibility and affordability of APKWS rockets make them a good choice for taking out small, tactical military drones. Our successful test strikes demonstrate the creativity of our engineers and an innovative and economical use of existing DoD materiel to address an emerging threat.”

BAE Systems conducted test fires and engineering tests to develop a capable system for U.S. armed forces and allies. The key to APKWS rockets’ counter-UAS capability is the innovative proximity fuze jointly developed by L3Harris Technologies and Technology Service Corporation. The fuze combines target proximity detection and point detonation capabilities, and is a drop-in replacement for existing M423 fuzes – allowing APKWS rockets to destroy UASs without the need for a direct hit.

Unlike expensive C-UAS missiles, APKWS rockets do not need to lock on the target before launch, instead relying on semi-active laser guidance optics that activate on launch, saving warfighters precious seconds when it counts.

APKWS guidance kits transform unguided rockets into precision-guided munitions with explosive effects and range capabilities that make them well-suited for today’s dynamic military engagements. APKWS rockets have proven combat capabilities and the flexibility to strike a variety of stationary and moving targets from planes, helicopters, ground vehicles, boats, and remote weapon stations.

JASDF F-2 loses canopy during scramble

A JASDF F-2 that scrambled from Tsuiki Airbase on Oct. 10 lost its canopy inflight while the jet was over the vicinity of Asakura city. 

October 11, 2021

J-10 enters service with PLAAF Shijiazhuang Flight Academy

China announced recently that the Shijiazhuang Flight Academy has inducted the J-10 into service. The unit is in charge of training fighter and fighter-bomber pilots for the PLAAF.

Mistral 3 missiles for Jose Rizal class frigates have been delivered to Philippines


 The Philippine Navy (PN) on Sunday said the Mistral 3 surface-to-air-missiles (SAMs) of the country's two guided-missile frigates were finally delivered at the Subic Bay International Airport in Bataan last Oct. 8.

In a statement, Navy spokesperson Commander Benjo Negranza said the surface-to-air missiles of the two Jose Rizal-class (JRC) frigates of the PN will provide the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) anti-air capabilities or the ability to shoot down aerial threats.

Procurement and delivery of the Mistral 3 SAMs is part of the PN Frigate Acquisition Project Lot 2B which was awarded to MBDA Missile Systems based in France.

"Surface-to-air missiles are among the primary weapons of FF-150 and FF-151 that bolsters the PN’s anti-air warfare capability. The arrival of these missiles will greatly capacitate our JRC frigates in the conduct of their maritime operations," Negranza said.

Meanwhile, PN Frigate Acquisition Lot 2A or for the JRC's surface-to-surface missiles is scheduled for deliveries in March 2022.

South Korean defense manufacturer LIG Nex 1 is the company that would deliver C-Star missiles which is considered the main surface-to-surface weapon of the JRCs.

The C-Star is described as a "sea-skimming surface-to-surface anti-ship cruise missile".

The BRP Jose Rizal and BRP Antonio Luna are modern warships capable of surface, sub-surface, air, and electronic warfare using state-of-the-art electronic sensors, long-range missiles, acoustic guided torpedoes, and an embarked anti-submarine helicopter.

The BRP Jose Rizal was delivered to the Philippines in May 2020 and commissioned July of the same year while the BRP Antonio Luna was commissioned March 19, 2021.

The contract for the two ships was placed at PHP16 billion with another PHP2 billion for weapon systems and munitions. (PNA)

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 A Philippine Navy AW-109E naval helicopter was involved in a landing accident in the early hours of Sept. 26. There are two versions of what happened to the helicopter.



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India’s indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant will start its second sea rials from the end of this month. The third set of trials is scheduled to take place in December.

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Taiwan to unveil new mobile short-range air defense system on Oct. 10

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Airbus Defence and Tata to supply 56 C295 aircraft to the Indian Air Force


Under the deal, 16 aircraft will be delivered in a flyaway condition by the Airbus Defence and Space within 48 months of signing the contract

The Defence Ministry on September 24 signed a deal with Airbus and Space S.A., Spain, for procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft to replace the Avro-748 planes of the Indian Air Force.

This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India under technology transfer by a private company, and the deal value is estimated around ₹22,000 crore.

Of these, 16 aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition from Spain within 48 months and 40 aircraft will be manufactured in India by Tata Consortium within 10 years from the date of contract.

The deal was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security early this month and the final contract marks the culmination of a decade-long process to replace the ageing Avro aircraft in service.

Also read: Explained | Why is Avro aircraft replacement and C-295 aircraft induction critical for the IAF?

The IAF has 56 Avro transport aircraft procured in the 1960s and in urgent need of replacement. The Request For Proposal (RFP) was issued to global firms in May 2013 and the sole bid by Airbus and Tata Group with the C-295 aircraft was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in May 2015. However, the final deal was repeatedly delayed.

The C-295 MW aircraft is a transport plane of 5-10 tonne capacity and has a rear ramp door for quick reaction and para dropping of troops and cargo. It is powered by Pratt & Whitney PW127 engines, part of the PW100 family. All 56 aircraft will be installed with indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite.

The programme is expected to generate 600 highly skilled jobs directly, over 3,000 indirect jobs and an additional 3,000 medium skill employment opportunities, with more than 42.5 lakh man hours of work within the aerospace and defence sector of India, the Defence Ministry had stated earlier.

The Avro replacement has become a critical project for the IAF after an ambitious project to jointly co-develop and produce a Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) of 20 tonnes with Russia to replace the An-32s, workhorse of the IAF, was scrapped after initial design discussions.

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India to take in 24 second-hand Mirage 2000 fighters

IAF’s 35-year old Mirage fleet, which performed exceptionally during the 2019 Balakot operation, is undergoing a mid-life upgrade, the people said – with the trigger for the acquisition of the second-hand aircraft being the immediate need for 300 critical spares.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to acquire 24 second-hand Mirage 2000 fighters, made by Dassault Aviation, in an attempt to strengthen its ageing fleet of the fourth-generation fighters and also secure parts for its two existing squadrons of the aircraft, people familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity. IAF has initialled a contract worth 27 million euros to buy the fighters, eight of which are in ready-to-fly condition, the people cited above added. That works out to a per-aircraft acquisition cost of 1.125 million euros. The people cited above said the aircraft will soon be shipped to India in containers.
IAF’s 35-year old Mirage fleet, which performed exceptionally during the 2019 Balakot operation, is undergoing a mid-life upgrade, the people said – with the trigger for the acquisition of the second-hand aircraft being the immediate need for 300 critical spares. The aircraft is becoming obsolete in France, they added, and IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhaduaria decided to go in for the purchase.

Out of the 24 fighters, 13 are in complete condition with engine and airframe intact with eight of them (nearly half a squadron) ready to fly after servicing. The remaining 11 fighters are partially complete but with fuel tanks and ejection seats, which will be scavenged to secure parts for IAF’s two existing squadrons of the fighter.IAF purchased around 50 fourth-generation Mirage 2000 C and B fighters way back in 1985 with a maintenance contract that expired in 2005. It signed another contract in 2015-2016 with the French original equipment manufacturer.

The purchase highlights the importance of shifting spare parts and engine supply chains to India for future acquisitions as fighters abroad reach obsolescence much faster than in India. Until the Narendra Modi government took the decision of acquiring the 4.5 generation Rafale fighters (also from Dassault), the Mirage 2000 was India’s front-line fighter, a position it has held since the Kargil war. The new Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign should ensure that original equipment and spares are now manufactured in India so that there is no shortage of spares till the time the fighter is decommissioned, the people cited above said.

The other issue that flows out of this last-minute acquisition is that the IAF and the Indian Navy should plan their fighter acquisition so that there is synergy between the two forces and coherence is maintained in the supply of spare parts, experts said. It also points to the need for the defence ministry to accelerate decisions on replenishing the country’s fighter fleet, especially because China has already moved to fifth-generation fighters and armed drones.

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India, U.S. sign agreement to co-develop air-launched UAV


 Air Vice Marshal Narmdeshwar Tiwari, Indian Air Force, Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Plans, and Brig. Gen. Brian R. Bruckbauer, Director of the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation (AFSAC) Directorate for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, signed a landmark agreement recently to co-develop air-launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).

The agreement is the inaugural co-development project under the U.S.- India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, a bilateral defense cooperation mechanism that promotes collaborative technology exchange, strengthens cooperative research, and enables co-production/co-development of defense systems for sustainment and modernization of military forces.

“The United States and India share a common vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, Kelli L. Seybolt. “This co-development agreement further operationalizes India’s status as a Major Defense Partner and builds upon our existing strong defense cooperation.”

The project is valued at more than $22 million with costs shared equally, and marks the largest-ever defense Research, Development, Test and Evaluation collaboration between the United States and India. The objectives are the Design, Development, Demonstration, Test and Evaluation of technologies including physical hardware such as small UAVs, avionics, payload power, propulsion, and launch systems through prototyping that meet the operational requirements of the Indian and U.S. Air Forces. The co-development project will be carried out jointly between the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

“This important Project Agreement comes after many months invested by the AFSAC team, AFLCMC program offices, AFRL, Air Force International Affairs, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, as well as our Indian Air Force and DRDO counterparts working together, side-by-side, on common national security interests,” emphasized Bruckbauer. “I am proud of the dedicated teamwork and partnership this Project Agreement represents for both of our countries.”

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