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Highlights of the Week

01/02 /2011 – By Kirsten Ashbaugh

A330 MRTT (Credit: Defense Industry Daily)

A330 MRTT (Credit: Defense Industry Daily)

Airbus A330 MRTT Optimistic at Year’s End

“On 13th December the A330 MRTT Future Strategic Transport Aircraft (FSTA) for the UK´s Royal Air Force successfully completed a series of dry contacts for the first time, performing simulated refuelling with a F-18 fighter using the FSTA´s Fuselage Refuelling Unit. The Fuselage Refuelling Unit is the same that is offered on the EADS North America KC-45, the configuration of the A330 MRTT that is being offered to the US Air Force.

“This latest activity follows the commencement of FSTA certification and qualification flight-testing on 24th November at the start of a process that will lead to eventual certification of the aircraft by Spanish military certification authority INTA. First delivery is due in late 2011….” Read more.

A fifth-generation fighter (Credit: Defence Talk)

A fifth-generation fighter (Credit: Defence Talk)

India and Russia Sign Contract to Develop Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft

“The project involves design and development of a Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft that will have advanced features such as stealth, supercruise, ultra-maneuvrability, highly integrated avionics suite, enhanced situational awareness, internal carriage of weapons and Network-Centric Warfare capabilities….” Read more.

AF Capt. Sylvia Kim (Credit: USAF, Staff Sgt. Heather Stanton)

AF Capt. Sylvia Kim (Credit: USAF, Staff Sgt. Heather Stanton)

French a Dying Language?  Not As of Now

“Capt. Sylvia Kim speaks fluent French, one of the official languages of Djibouti and a dominant language throughout the African continent. Realizing her skill could benefit Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Kim volunteered for her current position as medical planner for the Joint Operations Directorate with CJTF-HOA.

“‘The knowledge of the language has been essential [while deployed to CJTF-HOA],’ Kim said. ‘French and Arabic are the official languages in Djibouti, French being the operational language. It’s been essential in communicating and networking with the local Djiboutians and the camp staff and also imperative with correspondence with the Djiboutian government….'” Read more.

The Mistral and the Tonnerre (Credit: DCNS)

The Mistral and Tonnerre BPCs (Credit: DCNS)

Russia to Buy French Mistral-class BPC Multimission Helicopter Carriers

“According to the agreement, French military shipyard DCNS and its partner STX will build the first two ships in France with the next two being built jointly in Russia with Russian state-held shipyard OSK. The first Mistral should be launched in 2014, the second a year later.

“The announcement has remained virtually unremarked in France where news is centered on the unusually snowy winter, but has not remained unnoticed in Lithuania, which has vigorously protested the sale as an ‘error’….” Read more.

The Littoral Combat Ships (Credit: USN)

The Littoral Combat Ships (Credit: USN)

Lockheed Martin and Austal USA Both Awarded LCS Contracts

“Both companies succeeded in their bids to build more of the ships because, Navy officials said, they were able to reduce the cost of each new vessel to levels significantly below Congressionally- imposed cost caps.

“As a result, the long-stalled program that over the past six years has only produced four ships now stands to ramp up to produce 20 ships between now and 2015….” Read more.

"If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking."

—General George Patton Jr.

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