• Lebanese Super Tucano pilots begin training

    The US Air Force (USAF) has begun training Lebanese student pilots on the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack turboprop, the service announced on 24 March. The first pilot trainee assigned to the USAF's 81st Fighter Squadron (FS) flew his maiden sortie at Moody

  • South African defence minister admits aircraft shortages

    South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula confirmed on 20 March that the air force's 35 Squadron, its only maritime patrol unit, was grounded for a time due to problems with the primary flight controls of its C-47TP aircraft. Mapisa-Nqakula was responding to a question submitted by a

  • LIMA 2017: Leonardo debuts ATR 72MP aircraft outside Italy in showcase of platform's maritime surveillance capabilities

    Key Points An ATR 72MP is being showcased outside Italy for the first time since the platform's induction into the Italian Air Force The aircraft is being positioned as having a low cost of operation and being easy to maintain Leonardo is showcasing an Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare: AM)

  • DARPA downselects companies for Phase 2 of Gremlins programme

    The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has downselected two companies to progress with its Gremlins 'aircraft carrier in the sky' programme, it announced on 15 March. Dynetics, Inc. and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) have been contracted to continue

  • DARPA awards Phase 2 contracts for Gremlins programme

    Teams led by Dynetics and General Atomics have been downselected for the second phase of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA's) Gremlins swarming, recoverable unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) programme. Two other Phase 1 contractors - Lockheed Martin and Kratos Defense &

  • India loses Su-30, Chetak on same day

    An Indian Air Force (IAF) Sukhoi Su-30MKI ('Flanker-H') fighter crashed in India's western Rajasthan state during a routine training flight on 15 March, injuring three people on the ground. The IAF said both crewmembers ejected safely from the twin-engined fighter, which had taken off from Uttarlai

  • USAF to convert Block 5 Reapers to ER configuration

    The US Air Force (USAF) intends to award General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) a contract to upgrade a number of its MQ-9 Reaper Block 5 unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) to the extended range (ER) configuration, it disclosed on 15 March. A solicitation titled MQ-9 Block 5 Follow-On

  • Singapore's Heron 1 UAV reaches full operational capability

    Key Points The Republic of Singapore Air Force has declared full operational capability on the Heron 1 unmanned aerial vehicle Platform enhances Singapore intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, including in non-conventional operations The Republic of Singapore Air Force has

  • US delays CV-22B deployment to Japan

    The US Department of Defense (DoD) has revised plans to deploy an initial three Bell-Boeing CV-22B Osprey tiltrotor to Japan later this year, with these aircraft now scheduled to arrive in 2020. The 'adjustment' announced by the DoD on 13 March puts back the planned deployment to Yokota Air Base

  • CASIC developing long-endurance stealth UAVs, says report

    State-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) has begun developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the military that can evade radar and anti-aircraft weapons, the state-owned China Daily newspaper reported on 9 March. "The company is focusing on the development of a

  • Low intensity, high capability: OPVs promise balance in requirements and budgets

    As offshore patrol vessels become more popular with navies around the world, they are adding operational value to lower-end tasks. Dr Lee Willett reports The offshore patrol vessel (OPV) provides an interesting case study of how navies around the world are attempting to balance the numerous and

  • Bell reveals FCX-001 future helicopter concept

    Bell Helicopter has unveiled a new concept helicopter to help develop 'safer, smarter, and more efficient' rotorcraft solutions of the future. Artist impressions of the FCX-001, as the concept aircraft is known, were revealed at the HAI HELI-EXPO event taking place in Dallas in early March.

  • Iran reveals Saba-248 domestically developed helo

    Iran has unveiled what it purports to be a new domestically developed and manufactured helicopter, national media announced on 7 March. The Saba-248, which was reportedly designed and built by Iran's Helicopter Renovation and Logistics Company (PANHA) in partnership with the Defence Ministry's

  • Afghan Air Force Super Tucano crashes in US training accident

    An Afghan Air Force (AAF) Embraer-Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft crashed during a training sortie in the United States on 6 March, the US Air Force (USAF) announced. The twin-seat turboprop came down in a residential area of southern Georgia. Both crew

  • MDHI reveals new MD 6XX platform

    MD Helicopters Inc (MDHI) revealed its new MD 6XX platform for military and civil applications at the HAI HELI-EXPO event in Dallas on 6 March. An image posted on MDHI's official Twitter page showed the MD 6XX to be a derivative of the company's MD 600N helicopter, but with a conventional tail

  • Stratobus demonstrator set for 2018 launch

    Thales has secured contracts with a number of military customers for preliminary studies of its Stratobus airship project, with the company preparing to launch a demonstrator of the system next year. The company describes Stratobus as being halfway between an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and a

  • Syrian MiG-23 crashes on Turkish territory, pilot recovered

    The Syrian pilot of an MiG-23 fighter belonging to Syria that crashed on 4 March near the Turkish town of Samandag in Hatay province, close to the Syrian border, is undergoing treatment at a Turkish hospital. Meanwhile, the Turkish military invited a Russian team to join an examination on the

  • Hungarian company presents MALE UAV

    Hungarian unmanned aerial system house Da21-Dron presented the DA 120, a multi-purpose medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (MALE UAV), at the 2017 Security and Defence-industry Conference and Exhibition held on 28 February in Budapest. Like other UAVs developed by the company,

  • Danish Seahawks near IOC

    Key Points The RDN is completing final training and integration work to clear its MH-60Rs for deployment, but isn't expecting to have full capability until 2019 Denmark has ordered nine MH-60Rs and intends to have a continuous helicopter deployment available in the North Atlantic Commander Claus

  • US Army issues new RFI for RQ-7Bv2 Block III engine

    The US Army has issued a new request for information (RFI) for a Block III engine for its Textron Systems RQ-7Bv2 Shadow tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The new RFI, which was posted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) website on 3 March, adds to an earlier solicitation

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