Air news

US Navy seeks new ‘Aggressor' training aircraft

By Gareth Jennings 22 October 2021
Seen in USN colours as part of Boeing's pitch for the service's Undergraduate Jet Training System requirement, the T-7A Red Hawk is likely to be one of the candidate platforms put forward for the USN's recently released Tactical Surrogate Aircraft requirement. (Boeing)  The US Navy (USN) has issued a request for information (RFI) for a new Aggressor aircraft for ‘red air' combat training.  The Tactical Surrogate Aircraft (TSA) requirement released on 21 October would see a new aircraft type perform three primary pilot training missions, namel...

Elbit Systems divests Ashot Ashkelon holding

By Charles Forrester 22 October 2021
Israel's Elbit Systems announced on 21 October that it had signed an agreement to sell its 84.98% stake in component manufacturer Ashot Ashkelon to private equity fund FIMI Opportunity Funds.  The deal is valued at USD88 million and will involve El...

ADEX 2021: Korean Air signs MOU with Insitu to develop VTOL UAV

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 22 October 2021
A computer-generated image of the KUS-VS ‘lift & cruise' VTOL UAV that Korean Air is currently developing for tactical operations. At ADEX 2021 the company signed an MOU with Insitu to develop a new lightweight, modular VTOL UAV. (Korean Air)  Korean Air and Boeing subsidiary Insitu have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop a new lightweight, modular, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).  Signed on 22 October during the 19-23 October Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2021 (ADEX...

US Army's unfunded requirement request for FTUAS would accelerate fielding

By Pat Host 22 October 2021
A scaled-up version of Textron Systems' Aerosonde HQ UAV on display at the 2021 Association of the United States Army's annual trade show in Washington, DC. Textron Systems is offering this scaled-up Aerosonde HQ for FTUAS Increment 2. (Janes/Pat Host)  The US Army's USD79 million unfunded requirement request for the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) in fiscal year (FY) 2022 would accelerate system fielding by two years.  US Army spokesman Jim Thomson said on 18 October that this money would field Increment 1, a capability of m...

Z-20 prototype seen carrying possible anti-tank guided missiles

By Andreas Rupprecht 21 October 2021
Images have emerged on Chinese social media platforms showing what appear to be a new prototype or variant of the Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG) Z-20 multirole helicopter carrying anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and other stores.  The imag...

US Army insists on human-piloted rotorcraft for armed reconnaissance mission instead of UAV

By Pat Host 21 October 2021
A US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper UAV pictured on 5 August at March Air Reserve Base in California. The US Army insists on having a piloted rotorcraft perform the armed reconnaissance mission, though an expert said the service could do it, and do it cheaper, with an MQ-9. (US Air National Guard)  The US Army insists it needs a human-piloted Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) helicopter to perform the armed reconnaissance mission despite experts telling Janes the service could perform the mission with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  Briga...

Switchblade 300 fired from USV as part of US/UK sensor-to-shooter demo

By Richard Scott 21 October 2021
An AeroVironment Switchblade 300 tactical precision-guided missile is fired from the UK's MADFOX USV during the NATO ‘REP(MUS) 21' exercise. (AeroVironment)  The US Navy (USN) and UK Royal Navy (RN) have successfully executed a maritime sensor-to-shooter (S2S) demonstration culminating in the firing of an AeroVironment Switchblade 300 tactical precision-guided missile from an experimental unmanned surface vessel (USV).  Part of a US/UK Interoperability to Interchangeability (I2I) initiative using unmanned/uncrewed systems, the S2S capability...

USMC takes official delivery of Reaper UASs

By Gareth Jennings 21 October 2021
US Marine Corps personnel control a government-owned and government-operated Reaper unmanned aircraft for the first time in late August. GA-ASO announced the official handover of ownership to the corps on 20 October. (USMC)  The US Marine Corps (USMC) has taken official ownership of two General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9A Reaper medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the manufacturer announced on 20 October.  The transfer of the Block 5 Reapers and their associated equipment was completed f...

DARPA hosting final drone swarm demo in November, companies look for service buy in

By Ashley Roque 21 October 2021
Shown here is an image of Northrop Grumman participating in DARPA's OFFSET programme. Both Northrop Grumman and Raytheon BBN will attempt to have a single operator control 200-plus ground and aerial drones during a November demo. (Northrop Grumman)  The US Department of Defense (DoD) may be focused on finding technologies to down aerial drones, however, its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is also working with Northrop Grumman and Raytheon BBN on ways a single operator can control hundreds of ground and aerial drones at once....

British Army armoured reconnaissance battlegroup manoeuvres across Germany

By Tim Ripley 20 October 2021
Vehicles of the British Army's Royal Lancers divisional reconnaissance regiment deployed from the UK to Germany for Exercise ‘Somme Lancer', which took place in the first half of October. (Crown copyright)  Approximately 180 vehicles and 650 soldiers from the British Army's Royal Lancers divisional reconnaissance regiment deployed over 1,100 km by road to Germany in the last week of September from their home garrison in Catterick, North Yorkshire, for Exercise ‘Somme Lancer'.  The regiment reported on social media that it then carried out a 7...

Update: AUSA 2021: US Army test pilots fly Defiant tech demonstrator during FLRAA source selection

By Pat Host 20 October 2021
The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant technology demonstrator as seen on 20 February 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. US Army test pilots have flown the platform during FLRAA source selection to help the team better refine its end product for the service if Sikorsky-Boeing wins the FLRAA procurement. (Janes/Pat Host)  US Army test pilots recently flew the Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant technology demonstrator during source selection for the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition to help the team have a better end product for the ser...

Arnold Defense unveils ‘Trident' 2.75-inch rocket air launcher concept

By Robin Hughes 20 October 2021
The Arnold Defense ‘Trident' three-round launcher prototype concept demonstrator mounted on Moog Space and Defense Group's Lightweight Dual Rail Launcher. (Arnold Defense)  Arnold Defense has unveiled a three-round air launcher concept protoytpe for 2.75 inch/70 mm laser-guided rockets. Developed in partnership with Moog Space and Defense Group, the concept demonstrator – designated ‘Trident' – was unveiled at the AUSA 2021 exhibition in Washington, mounted on a Moog Lightweight Dual Rail Launcher.  Weighing approximately 14.5–16.3 kg (unload...

USAF launches E-3 replacement effort, notes E-7 intent

By Gareth Jennings 20 October 2021
Seen here in Australian service, the Boeing E-7A Wedgetail is being lined up by the US Air Force as a replacement for its ageing E-3 Sentry AWACS fleet. (DVIDS)  The US Air Force (USAF) has launched an effort to replace its ageing fleet of Boeing E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, with the intent of fielding the same company's E-7 Wedgetail.  The USAF issued a notice of contract action, titled ‘E-3 Replacement Aircraft Studies & Analyses', on 19 October, in which it announced it is to sole-source Boeing to perfor...

ADEX 2021: LIG Nex1 unveils heavy-lift UAV development

By Dae Young Kim 20 October 2021
LIG Nex1 unveiled its KCD-200 unmanned aerial vehicle development at ADEX 2021. (Dae Young Kim)  South Korean defence prime LIG Nex1 is showcasing its new heavy-lift unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) concept at the 2021 edition of Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX), being held from 19 to 24 October.  LIG Nex1 unveiled a model of the KCD-200 heavy-lift UAV, which is being developed to meet defence and commercial logistics requirements. The effort leverages on the company's experience in UAV development and systems integratio...

Boeing to consider T-7A for USAF Advanced Tactical Trainer requirement

By Gareth Jennings 20 October 2021
Already under contract to deliver 351 T-7A Red Hawk aircraft to the US Air Force for its T-X Advanced Pilot Training requirement, Boeing is considering the platform for the service's recently revealed Advanced Tactical Trainer requirement also. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)  Boeing will consider offering the T-7A Red Hawk aircraft to the US Air Force (USAF) for its recently revealed Advanced Tactical Trainer (ATT) requirement.  Speaking to Janes and other defence media on 20 October, Paul Niewald, Boeing's vice-president and programme manager, T-7...

RAF receives seventh Poseidon MMA

By Gareth Jennings 20 October 2021
The seventh of nine P-8A Poseidons to be received by the UK bears the name William Barker VC, after a First World War pilot who flew with the same 201 Squadron that operates the maritime multimission aircraft. (Crown Copyright)  The seventh of nine Boeing P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime multimission aircraft (MMA) for the Royal Air Force (RAF) arrived in the United Kingdom on 19 October.  Aircraft ZP807, named William Barker VC after a Canadian pilot who served with the RAF's 201 Squadron during the First World War, flew into RAF Lossiemouth in S...

ADEX 2021: KAI pitches unmanned Light Armed Helicopter

By Gareth Jennings 19 October 2021
A screenshot from a KAI video showing the LAH MUMT concept, released at the ADEX 2021 event in Seoul. (KAI)  Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has revealed its concept for an unmanned version of the Light Armed Helicopter (LAH) it is developed for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA).  The manufacturer featured the unmanned version of the LAH as part of its wider portfolio of future unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) showcased in a new concept video released to coincide with the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX), which is ta...

Update: AUSA 2021: Bell selects Rolls-Royce engine for V-280

By Pat Host 19 October 2021
Rolls-Royce's AE 1107F engine on display on 13 October at the AUSA annual convention in Washington, DC. Bell will use the engine in its V-280 tiltrotor if it wins the US Army's FLRAA competition. (Janes/Pat Host)  Bell has selected Rolls-Royce's AE 1107F engine to serve as the propulsion system on the V-280 Valor tiltrotor if the programme wins the US Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition.  John Shade, Rolls-Royce executive vice-president of business development and future programmes, told Janes on 11 October at the As...

UK to probe Parker's bid for Meggitt

By Marc Selinger 19 October 2021
UK Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Kwasi Kwarteng has directed the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to assess whether Parker Hannifin Corporation's proposed acquisition of Meggitt raises national  security concerns, the department announced on 18 October.  The CMA will have until 18 March 2022 to finish its work and report its findings to Kwarteng, the BEIS said. While Kwarteng did not say what national security concerns might exist, Parker is headquartered in the United States...

ADEX 2021: KAI reveals more details about FA-50 upgrade plans

By Dae Young Kim & Gabriel Dominguez 19 October 2021
KAI has revealed more details about its plans to improve the range and combat capabilities of the FA-50 light attack aircraft. (KAI)  Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has revealed more details about the planned upgrade of its FA-50 Fighting Eagle light combat aircraft, 60 examples of which are currently in service with the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF).  Speaking to Janes at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2021 (ADEX 2021) held from 19–23 October, company officials said the upgrade, which is aimed at enhancing bo...
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