Philippines Wildcats To Be Armed With Spike Missiles 

The Philippines’ forthcoming pair of Leonardo AW159 Wildcat helicopters will be armed with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Spike NLOS missiles for anti-ship missions. The Philippine Navy chose the weapon because of its range of 25 km (15 mi.), says spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna. The navy has not identified the type of torpedo that it will buy for the helicopters, however. Wildcats of the Republic of Korea Navy are also armed with the Spike NLOS missile for attacking ships and land targets. The Philippines ordered its Wildcats for $114 million in 2016, with delivery expected in 2018. 

Britain’s Carrier Close to Sea Trials

Britain’s newest aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth will put to sea this month or July, Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff Rear Adm. Keith Blount declared at the Paris Air Show.

Sailing of the 65,000-ton carrier, which will help the UK reestablish its carrier strike capability, had been expected to sail back in April. Blount said that although there had been some technical issues with some systems, the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, the ship’s builders and the Royal Navy had decided to conduct derisking work while still in harbor at the Rosyth dockyard, near Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sea Trials are planned until year-end, with B-model F-35 Lightning II fighters due to embark for testing at the end of 2018.

UAE Seeks U.S.$2 Billion Worth of Patriot Missiles 

The United Arab Emirates has requested up to 160 new Patriot missiles built by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon in a deal worth up to U.S.$2 billion if finalized. The request has been approved by the U.S. State Department and the deal is now subject to a 30-day congressional review period. In a May 11 notification, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said the potential Foreign Military Sales include 60 Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) missiles built by Lockheed and another 100 Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical (GEM-T) from Raytheon. 

Switzerland Should Opt for Single Type Fighter Fleet 

The Swiss defense ministry has been recommended to purchase a single fleet of new fighter jets and a ground-based air defense system to protect the country’s airspace into the 2030s. Committees examining the options for the country’s future fighter procurement are proposing purchase options of 30, 40 or 55-70 aircraft to replace its fleet of F-5 Tigers and F/A-18 Hornets as part of 16 recommendations detailed by the Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport on May 30. Depending on the option, the cost of the procurement is between 5 and 15-18 billion Swiss francs (U.S.$5.147 billion and $15.44-18.52 billion), officials say. 

Airbus Plans Regional Jet-Size E-Fan X 

Airbus has begun planning a regional-airliner-scale electric propulsion flight demonstrator, the E-Fan X, which would fly within three years as a step toward potential development of a hybrid-electric single-aisle airliner. The proposal is to modify a BAe 146/Avro RJ regional jet with a 2-megawatt-class turbogenerator and batteries powering electric propulsors replacing one or two of the aircraft’s four turbofans. The E-Fan X has replaced Airbus’ plan to launch production of an electric-powered two-seat training aircraft, the E-Fan 2.0, as the next step after its E-Fan 1.0 technology demonstrator, which flew on battery power in 2014 and hybrid power in 2016.